Tricky New Year London Quiz Answers


Here are the answers to eleven odd questions about London/

1. On which London monument do pearls turn to diamonds, and why is it turning blue?

Big Ben. On the background design of its faces, working outwards. When it’s finished being renovated its hands will be blue, as they once were.

2. There’s a man-eating tiger in Knightsbridge. Where is it?

The Tippoo Tiger is in the V&A. I have never seen it move.

3. Which London department store has stairs that are designed to disorient you?

The main staircase at Liberty was planned with uneven dimensions that would confuse visitors and make them spend longer in the store.

4. Name two stores with invisible glass?

Heal’s and Simpson’s (now Waterstones) were both constructed with concave ‘invisible’ non-reflective windows.

5. It was a hotel, a masonic temple, a pub, a music venue and the site of London’s biggest beer tragedy before being demolished 132 years after being built, in 2007.  What was on its roof?

The Horseshoe survived the bursting of its beer barrels (eight people were drowned by one million pints of porter) and had a huge horseshoe on its roof. It is now a nothing-to-see-here stump of an office block.

6. Which London monument was a pop-up made of wood, but proved so popular its designer remade it in stone?

The Cenotaph, by Edwin Lutyens. People wouldn’t stop putting flowers on it.

7. Which so-called ‘Soho club’ isn’t in Soho and held the wake for its owner (complete with his coffin) in his own bar?

The Phoenix Artists’ Club calls itself part of Soho but is across Charing Cross Road, technically St Giles. Maurice died and had his posthumous party in the bar. I was there, of course.

8. What’s the oldest intact building in London? (You can’t have the Coliseum!)

The White Tower. William the Conquerer clearly didn’t use my builder.

9. Alexander Pope wrote this about a London street. Fill in its name;

‘Cries he who high in Drury Lane, Lulled by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes and prints before Term ends, Obliged by hunger, and request of friends.’

Pope lived in the lane, as did many writers and actors who liked being near their favourite theatres.

10. Several iconic movie cars have associations with London. Name two of them and explain why.

You all had excellent car answers and I guess Genevieve is the most memorable. I put down the original sixties’ Batmobile, Herbie the love bug and Mr Bean’s car, all at the Hayes motor museum (not the Haynes motor museum, which is in Somerset) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which was driven by Dick Van Dyke at the Lord Mayor’s Show in the sixties. I know because I was there for that as well. James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was stolen in Florida, but the company is making 25 replicas, right down to the revolving numberplate.

That was fun. Shall we do it again some time?

8 comments on “Tricky New Year London Quiz Answers”

  1. Rachel Green says:

    Really enjoyed this. I only got 2/10 but was fascinated.

  2. Cynthia Allen says:

    Mr. Fowler: Currently working my way through the delightful adventures of Arthur and John; however after the fifth book, I started “hearing” their voices and realized that Arthur sounds exactly like Michael Gambon, and John sounds like my senior heart throb, Bill Nighy! Have there been any other reports of this phenomenon happening to others, or am I, like Arthur, alone in my special circumstances?
    And I do want to thank you for your splendid work and research for all of the books! London never ceases to amaze me from afar; I still hope to get there some day. A very happy new year to you and yours!

  3. Rh says:

    Thank you, great fun. I have a memory of the tiger being operated for an episode of blue peter in the john noakes days

  4. snowy says:

    “… diamond and pearls …”

    I know that you lot don’t see a lot of these in Megacity One.

    But that is deffo’ a bleeding Flower! [Even if Pugin was off ‘is ‘ead in Bedlam when ‘e drew it!*]

    [* The result of mercury poisoning, a thyroid condition or something unpleasant he caught in the trouser department; opinions differ.]

  5. Jo W says:

    Yes please,do another quiz.
    After a quiet festive time I’ve made up for it at the coalface for a few days ( aka visiting the grandchildren!) so I missed the quiz!! Oh no! Horrors Moriarty! Faints away,downwards…………..

  6. Denise says:

    I have failed miserably, as knew some .

  7. Helen Martin says:

    The Tippoo Tiger figures rather scarily in Laurie King’s “The Game” an homage to Rudyard Kipling’s “Kim” (and I am just reaching the page where Mary Russell is faced by it).
    Frank Baker, the owner of The Attic in North Vancouver, displayed an Aston Martin complete with fake machine guns as being from the Bond films. It was sold a number of years ago when the restaurant closed; I don’t know who bought it.
    Wonderful quiz; I got 3. Yes, do it again.

  8. Helen Martin says:

    The Tipoo Tiger figures rather scarily in Laurie King’s “The Game”, an homage to Kipling’s “Kim”.
    Bond’s Aston Martin (or at least a car that was claimed to be from his movies) was displayed for a number of years in North Vancouver at Frank Baker’s “Attic.” It was sold when the restaurant closed and I don’t know the buyer.
    Snowy: pearls and diamonds if you have a mechanistic view of things or a flower if you go for the imaginative view?

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