It is with some measure of solemnity that we bring you this week’s mind-bending, brain-crushing, Brainteaser. Wallowing in praise makes one vulnerable to accusations of “snobbery”, “elitism” and even, “pomposity”, inter alia, even though we try oh so hard to remain an instrument of the oppressed and needy. Oh, woe! In any case, having said all that, be advised you may not use any research medium. Lead pencils are allowed but only on five questions. We are watching. Any violations can and will result in exposure to an entire spectrum of pain-inducing punishments. Peine, forte et dure, as the French foppishly say:
1. Who said famously: “A cigar is sometimes just a cigar”?
a. Groucho Marx?
b. George Burns?
c. Fidel Castro?
d. Sigmund Freud?
e. Arnold Schwarzenegger?
2. When Hector Berlioz’s girlfriend heard the premiere of his “Symphonie Fantastique“, what did she do?
a. She sang along and ruined the entire concert;
b. She demanded a dozen frog legs a la Provence but had to settle for kettle corn;
c. She climbed onto the stage and had an attack of the vapors;
d. She took the opportunity to murder her aunt Celeste as she sat one row in front of her;
e. She joined most of the audience and walked out in disgust.
3. What is Josephine’s (Napoleon’s wife’s) family name?
a. De L’Arrogance;
b. De Pompidou;
c. De Hautmuseau;
d. De Beauharnais;
e. De Mayonnaise;
4. What actress has not played the role of Cleopatra on stage or screen?
a. Joan Collins?
b. Claudette Colbert?
c. Elizabeth Taylor?
d. Carol Burnett?
e. Linda Hunt?
5. Cognac, Armagnac, Pauillac, Barsac and Similac, are consumed by whom?
a. Self-important snobs, snooty people;
b. Mohawk Indians, followers of Chief Pontiac;
c. The rich and famous;
d. Effete Frenchmen and their epicene fiancees;
e. Drunkards, Winos and Babies, in that order.
6. In English, when you are thrown out of a window, you are “defenestrated”; when eyes are gouged out you are “deoccularised”; when your head is lopped off you are “decapitated”; when your intestines are pulled out, “disemboweled”. What is it called when your head is stuffed down a toilet?
7. Only one person from the area known as Saudi Arabia contributed anything intellectually for the last 50,000 years. What is his name?
a. T.E. Lawrence;
b. Ali Baba of the 40 Thieves;
d. Jamie Farr;
e. Muhammad the Messenger.
8. Saddam Hussein’s maternal uncle, Khairallah Tulfah, taught him that when God created evil in this world he made three things:
a. Lava Soap, Durian fruit and Banquet t.v. dinners;
b. Arab drivers, Italian drivers and Japanese drivers;
c. Rats, bats and cats;
d. Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and Lex Barker;
e. Persians, Jews and flies.
9. Syrian Perspective is introducing a new Food/Cuisine Page. Who are the three chefs starring in this added feature?
a. Jacques Pepin, Jules Palladin, Jean Pierre Aumont?
b. Alton Snarlton, Snarlton Feston, Flint Beastfoot?
c. Giada Di Laurentiis, Rachel Ray, Julia Childs?
d. Velda Virago, Vonda Bodega, Estancia L’Estrega?
e. Snobby Filet, Barrio Fatale, Ephemeral LeGassy?
10. Zeno’s famous paradox of time, movement and space has been solved by this tool:
a. Calculus’s dense sequences;
b. The hatchet. When someone tells you about Zeno, they stop when you brandish an axe;
c. The doctrine of “Superseding Infinitesimal Dilettantes”;
d. A fifth of Irish Whiskey;
e. Common sense, moron.