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University Challenge Quiz


  1. How is hydrated magnesium silicate known when used in a bathroom?
  2. Which year saw the births of Barbara Cartland and Louis Armstrong, and the deaths of Queen Victoria and President William McKinley?
  3. Which US city is geographically closest to London?
  4. The Security Council of the United Nations has how many permanent members?
  5. 'In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover gem-like above the bay.' This was the final diary entry written on January 5th 1922 of which explorer, in South Georgia?

  6. University Challenge inspired which novel by David Nicholls?
  7. 'A thing of beauty is a joy for ever' are words written by which Romantic poet?
  8. Which American author’s collection of writings on fishing, published posthumously in 2000, include his experiences of the sport in the Pyrenees, Spain, Paris and Cuba?
  9. Species in which family of seabirds include Arctic, River, Sandwich, and Roseate?
  10. Which Shakespeare play features the line, "All that glisters is not gold"?
  11. Which city lies closest to the mid-point of a straight line drawn on the map from Cambridge to Bristol?
  12. Fawley is the surname of the title character of which 1895 Thomas Hardy book, his last completed novel?
  13. Which British monarch ascended to the throne during the presidency of Andrew Jackson?
  14. Which city between Bologna and Milan gives its name to both a hard cheese and a delicate dry-cured ham?
  15. If a particle of mass 30 kilograms undergoes a constant force of 330 Newtons, what is its acceleration?
  16. Which planet is principally made of iron, but shares its name with that of a different metal?
  17. Authors CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley, and former US president John F Kennedy all died on 22 November in which year?
  18. In transport history, the Rainhill Trials – won by Stephenson’s Rocket – took place towards the end of which decade?
  19. What Arian Christian Germanic people, under their king Gaiseric, sacked Rome in 455?
  20. When playing golf, my first shot lands 200 yards due north of the tee and 210 yards due west of the hole. How far is it from hole to tee?
  21. Which Central American country that gained independence from the UK in 1981 has a national flag featuring two woodcutters?
  22. The Fields Medal, infamously rejected by Russian Grigori Perelman in 2006, is awarded in which academic discipline?
  23. Combining the periodic table symbols for neon, tungsten, hydrogen and americium in consecutive order, which London borough is spelled out?


  1. Talc
  2. 1901
  3. Boston
  4. Five (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US)
  5. Ernest Shackleton
  6. Starter for Ten
  7. John Keats
  8. Ernest Hemingway (Hemingway on Fishing)
  9. Tern
  10. The Merchant of Venice
  11. Oxford
  12. Jude the Obscure
  13. William IV
  14. Parma
  15. 11 metres per second squared
  16. Mercury
  17. 1963

  18. 1820s
  19. Vandal
  20. 290 yards
  21. Belize
  22. Mathematics
  23. Newham