1. What genre, named by Lewis Pollak in 2001 to describe his game Children of the Sun, refers to works that combine the aesthetics of the inter-war 20th Century with retro-futuristic technologies? Other examples include films such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, novels like Railsea by China Mieville, and the Bioshock series of games.
2. One of the antagonists in the Ms. Marvel television series is a United States government organisation that was invented in Marvel Comics as a source of comic (heh) relief, and as a way to poke fun at its rival. It performed an essential service usually not depicted until this group got its own miniseries. What was it called and what did it do?
3. In architecture, this word refers to Moorish design. In Western classical music, the term describes melodies derived from Ottoman influences. In ballet, it is defined as “a body in profile, supported on one leg, the other leg extended at right angles to it, and arms held in various harmonious positions, with shoulders held square to the line of direction”. Which word?
4. In 1930, The Bank of Manhattan Company—now J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.—purchased a pair of Wogdon and Barton products from the great-granddaughter of their original owner, John Baker Church. The products were used by the bank’s founder and his benefactor, with expectedly tragic results. What were these items?
5. The first currency coins in Britain were issued by Offa of Mercia in the 8th Century CE. The design of the coins was copied from gold dinars issued by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur. Since the die-cutter did not read Arabic, what inscription inadvertently appeared on these coins?
6. Phallus indusiatus, a fungus, is known by many names, but the most evocative one refers to the delicate white netting that surrounds the cap and the smell of rotting flesh that it uses to attract flies in order to spread its spores. What is the three-word name of this fungus?
7. This creation of V. Ganapati Sthapati, unveiled in 2000, stands at 133 ft in height, a reference to the subject’s most significant work, estimated to be from the 5th century CE, addressing issues of honor, wealth, and love. What is this monumental undertaking which took 25 years to come to fruition?
8. The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite military group of 300 men that was constituted by the General Gorgidas purely on the basis of skill and merit, regardless of social class, as was the norm of the time. The composition of the group was unique in that it was constituted in pairs, an older erastes and a younger eromenos. What do these words mean, an integral part of the recruitment process?
9. John Graham Chambers was a Welsh sportsman who rowed for Cambridge, founded an amateur athletic club, rowed beside Matthew Webb across the English Channel, and edited a national newspaper. His most significant contribution to sports is known by the name of another man, John S. Douglas, who endorsed it in public. What did Chambers do?
10. Quadball is a recently renamed sport that changed its name in the US for two unrelated reasons. One is its “inventor’s” public position in opposition to the rights of transgender men and women, while the other is a more practical one. What was this other reason, which posed a more tangible obstacle to its long-term prospects?
Sumant Srivathsan has a day job as a digital marketer, but his true calling is disambiguating football and soccer on the Internet.
- Dieselpunk—much like steam was the fuel of choice in the Industrial Revolution, diesel fuelled the interbellum 20th Century.
- Damage Control (DC) is a government agency that cleans up the mess left behind by superhero battles.
- The pistols used by Aaron Burr (founder) and Alexander Hamilton (benefactor) in their duel, in which the latter died.
- The shahadah, which says “la ilaha illallah”, or “There is no God but Allah”.
- Bridal veil stinkhorn.
- The Valluvar statue in Kanyakumari. Aram (Honor), Porul (Wealth) and Inbam (Love) are the three sections of the Kural, which has 133 chapters.
- The Sacred Band were pairs of lovers (lover and beloved).
- The Marquess of Queensberry rules, used in boxing.
- Quidditch is a trademark owned by Warner Bros., and hence cannot be used in commercial enterprises.