CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Questions and Answers

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto

(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on August 11, 2010.)

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I was once a sucker for quiz shows, memory tests and the like dating back to radio days. Television later introduced us the drama of “The $64 Question.”

I especially enjoyed the not as popular competition of “Name that Tune,” whereby you identified a song before your adversary. There were situations where the correct answer had to be made in two notes in order to win. (“Moonlight Serenade.”)

Granted it was an ego thing. Probably dating to grammar school days. As far back as kindergarten when you quickly discovered garnering a gold star always topped two silvers. (But just as quickly you learned not to lap the class if you wanted your share of Valentine’s Day cards.) Later it became apparent raising your hand to answer a teacher’s question was preferable to waving. And not too often. Again, restraint paid dividends.

Later up the educational ladder some of us were introduced to The Blue Book. Not the used car pricing bible but an essay test. In that long ago era teaching assistants (TAs) were paid to read the written gyrations of befuddled students who didn’t have the slightest idea of Freud versus fried. Only on important exams did the professor ever take the time to read. So, yeah, you quickly learned to con the con. (As some readers complain to this day, CR2S has never relented in its quest to confuse and complicate. Guilty.)

This is a quiz for people who know everything. I found out in a hurry that I didn’t. These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers.

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends?

2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year.  What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; It hasn’t been cut in any way.  How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ‘dw’ and they are all common words.  Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar.  Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetables or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh?

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter “S.”

ANSWERS:

1.The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leaders until the contest ends: Boxing.

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward: Niagara Falls. The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons: Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle.  The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree.  The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season.  When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Three English words beginning with ‘Dw’: Dwarf, dwell, dwindle.

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar: Period, comma, colon, semi-colon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, brackets, parentheses, braces and ellipsis.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked or in any other form but fresh: Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with “S”: Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snow shoes, stockings, stilts.

Yea, you get a gold star!  (Yes, I’m having a bad day.)

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by e-mail. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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