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Hard Trivia Questions and Answers

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1. What was the pen name of Charles Dickens?


answer Answer: Boz

Interesting Information:
O. Henry was the pen name of William Sydney Porter. Saki was the pen name of Hector Hugh Munro. George Sand was the pen name of Amandine Aurore Dupin Lucie, later the Baronne Dudevant. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
O. Henry, Saki, George Sand

2. Which number also means to kill someone?


answer Answer: 86

Interesting Information:
To 86 someone means to kill that person. There are many possibilities to the beginning of the phrase "to 86 someone". One possibility is that it is because a grave hole is usually 8 feet long and 6 feet deep. To 86 someone can also mean to ignore a person. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
66, 42, 88

3. Which sea does the Crimean Peninsula jut into?


answer Answer: Black Sea

Interesting Information:
Crimea is an independent republic, attached to Ukraine.

The Crimean War, fought mainly between Russia and a Great British/French alliance, occurred there in 1853-56. Did you know that the British Commonwealth's highest medals for wartime valour, the Victoria Cross, are made from the metal of a melted-down cannon from that war? Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Baltic Sea

4. Which country that obtained its independence from France in 1960 produces most of the world's vanilla?


answer Answer: Madagascar

Interesting Information:
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, yet it remains popular due to its wonderful flavor. Vanilla was first cultivated in Mexico, but was imported to Madagascar from Mexico in the nineteenth century by French traders. Madagascar now produces 58% of the world's vanilla, followed by Indonesia at 23%. All other countries are in single digits, including Mexico at only 2%. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Algeria, Mexico, Indonesia

5. What was the name of Anne Frank's father?


answer Answer: Otto

Interesting Information:
Otto Frank was the only member of his family to survive extermination in the Nazi death camps that claimed his wife and two daughters. After the war, Otto returned to Amsterdam where friends had saved Anne's diary and returned it. He decided his daughter's words possessed great meaning and had the diary published. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Hermann, Adolf, Gottfried

6. Famous actor Paul Newman won only one Academy Award for Best Actor in his successful career. Which film did he obtain it for?


answer Answer: The Color of Money

Interesting Information:
Paul Newman (1925-2008) won the Oscar for his performance as "Fast" Eddie Felson, an old pool hustler who decided to become a mentor to a young player named Vincent (Tom Cruise), who reminded Eddie of his youth. The film was directed by Martin Scorsese. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

7. Seattle, Washington is known as the "Emerald City"; which city in Washington state is known as the "Lilac City"?


answer Answer: Spokane

Interesting Information:
Spokane is called the Lilac City after the lilac flowers which flourish there. Since 1938, Spokane has held an annual Lilac Festival, which includes a Lilac Parade. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Tacoma, Port Angeles, Yakima

8. What famous comic strip "possum" is credited with saying, "We have met the enemy and he is us."?


answer Answer: Pogo

Interesting Information:
Pogo was a comic strip which ran from 1948 to 1975. His creator was Walt Kelly, whose work has been credited as influencing Bill Watterson the creator of "Calvin and Hobbes" and Jim Henson, creator of "The Muppets". Among Pogo's fellow denizens of Okefenokee Swamp are Alfred Alligator, Churchy LaFemme, and Porky Pine. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Churchy LaFemme

9. Which U.S. State is known as "The Apache State", "The Aztec State", "The Valentine State" and "The Italy of America"?


answer Answer: Arizona

Interesting Information:
Arizona's most common nickname is "The Grand Canyon State". "The Italy of America" has been coined to compare mountainous regions of Arizona with the mountains of Italy. It is called "The Valentine State" because it was admitted to the Union on February 14th, 1912. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
California, New Mexico, Texas

10. Which ice hockey legend is known to the hockey world as 'Mr. Hockey'?


answer Answer: Gordie Howe

Interesting Information:
Gordie Howe played hockey in six different decades, mostly for the Detroit Red Wings. He sat numerous records, many of which stood for years, and won countless awards and honors. The others are Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Bobby "The Golden Jet" Hull and Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull, Maurice Richard

11. Many Japanese celebrate Christmas with a special meal from which USA fast food chain restaurant?


answer Answer: Kentucky Fried Chicken

Interesting Information:
Since the 1970s when KFC entered Japan, a successful marketing campaign has firmly linked chicken with Christmas. KFC offers a special Christmas dinner menu complete with Christmas cake and salad. Reservations must be made in advance to ensure a meal as the lines stretch outside the store. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut

12. Which German Chancellor oversaw the reunification of Germany?


answer Answer: Helmut Kohl

Interesting Information:
Helmut Kohl (born 3rd April 1930), the leader of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) was chancellor of West Germany from 1982 to 1998 and chancellor of Germany from 1990 to 1998. His efforts contributed greatly to the reunification, the end of the Cold War and also the Maastricht Treaty. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, Angela Merkel

13. "Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing"... Where is the boat off to?


answer Answer: Skye

Interesting Information:
"Onward! the sailors cry;
Carry the lad that's born to be King
Over the sea to Skye."

"The Skye Boat Song" remembers the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) to Skye and thence to France, after the battle of Culloden. The air of the song is based on an old Gaelic tune, with the words written in the 1870s. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Kokomo, Timbuktu, Borneo

14. Around which town did my grandfather and me roam in the Beach Boys' song "Sloop John B"?


answer Answer: Nassau

Interesting Information:
"This is the worst trip I've ever been on".
Personally, I'd enjoy a trip to the Bahamas, even if a few things did go wrong....
"Sloop John B" was originally a West Indian folk song, collected by Alan Lomax in 1935. It was also recorded by The Weavers and The Kingston Trio. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Havana, Kingston, Cancun

15. Thomas Jefferson entered university at age 16, and graduated in 2 years with highest honors. Which university did he attend?


answer Answer: The College of William and Mary

Interesting Information:
Jefferson attended William and Mary, at the time the only university in his home state of Virginia. After his presidency he founded the University of Virginia. Old Dominion University was only established in 1930. While Harvard University was in existence in Jeffersons time, he did not attend it. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
University of Virginia, Harvard University, Old Dominion University

16. In which ocean would you find the Sargasso Sea?


answer Answer: Atlantic

Interesting Information:
The Sargasso Sea is located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off of Bermuda. It is the only sea without borders and is known for its crystal blue waters. It is also home to huge beds of Sargassum seaweed that often float near the surface and are home to many types of eels. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Pacific, Arctic, Indian

17. What composer, pianist, and radio talk show host composed "The NBA on NBC" theme song "Roundball Rock"?


answer Answer: John Tesh

Interesting Information:
"Roundball Rock" is a theme song composed by John Tesh and used for "The NBA on NBC" from 1990-2002. NBC played the song 12,000 times during their run. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
John Williams, Yanni, Hans Zimmer

18. Four U.S. states border the Canadian province of British Columbia: Washington, Idaho, Montana and - what is the fourth state?


answer Answer: Alaska

Interesting Information:
The Alaska panhandle borders northwest British Columbia along the Alaska Boundary Range of the Coast Mountains. The eastern perimeter of Juneau, the state capital of Alaska, borders the Stikine region of British Columbia, Canada. Alaska also borders the territory of Yukon. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota

19. What marine creature has a feeding organ known as "Aristotle's Lantern"?


answer Answer: Sea Urchin

Interesting Information:
The odd term originates from Aristotle's excellent description of the sea urchin in his "History of Animals" in which he likened the mouth-parts to a lantern. Sea urchins are ravenous feeders, using their "lanterns" to devastate large areas of seafloor and leaving "urchin barrens" behind. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Atlantic Cod, Lobster, Giant Clam

20. The name of which Middle Eastern country comes from the Semitic Hebrew root "Ibn", which simply means "white"?


answer Answer: Lebanon

Interesting Information:
The word is probably a reference to the snowbound Mount Lebanon.
Lebanon is a Middle Eastern country bordering Syria and Israel. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Israel, Kuwait, Cyprus

21. The lunar cycle has eight distinct phases. Which phase of the moon occurs directly after the full moon?


answer Answer: waning gibbous

Interesting Information:
The same side of the moon is always facing the earth. Moon phases are caused by the moon's position relative to the sun as the moon revolves around the earth. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
waxing gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent

22. "Tony Gillespie caught Flo approaching Festus on the QT carrying diamonds." In geology, this is a mnemonic for what?


answer Answer: The Mohs scale of mineral hardness

Interesting Information:
The Mohs scale ranks relative hardness from 1 to 10. At the low end is talc, a very soft mineral, with a hardness of 1. At the high end is diamond, the hardest mineral known, with a hardness of 10. In order, the minerals usually associated with the scale (and with this mnemonic) are talc, gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, feldspar (orthoclase), quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamond. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
The periods of geologic time, The typical components of soil, Different types of volcanic formations

23. If you drive directly east from anywhere in Washington State, what state will you cross into?


answer Answer: Idaho

Interesting Information:
Washington state borders only two other states. Idaho lies to the east and Oregon to the south. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Montana, Wyoming, Oregon

24. This English scientist discovered how circulation actually works. Who was this man, who was also King Charles I's personal physician?


answer Answer: William Harvey

Interesting Information:
In 1628 he published "An Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals", a book that contradicted erroneous theories accepted as true since antiquity. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Edward Jenner, Andreas Vesalius, Henry Gray

25. How many years did the Boston Red Sox go without winning a World Series championship as a result of the supposed "Curse of the Bambino"?


answer Answer: 86 years

Interesting Information:
The Red Sox were the wild card team in the American League playoffs in 2004. They beat the Yankees in the best of seven playoffs 4-3 after coming back from a 3-0 deficit. They then went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, shutting them out in four games.
The Red Sox' previous World Series victory was in 1918 against the Chicago Cubs. That was before they traded Babe Ruth, thus beginning the curse. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
68 years, 99 years, 75 years

26. Which toy was invented by John Lloyd Wright, the son of the prominent architect Frank Lloyd Wright?


answer Answer: Lincoln Logs

Interesting Information:
The original Lincoln Logs were made of one hundred percent wood when John Lloyd Wright invented the popular toy in 1916. The tin canister that contained the logs also had directions enclosed to build Lincoln's cabin or Uncle Tom's Cabin; however, children could use their own imagination and build the design of their choice. Red Square Toy Company and John Lloyd Wright manufactured his invention in 1918. Wright lived until December 20, 1972, watching his creation soar in sales. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lego, Tinkertoy, Construx

27. If you "Wanna Be Sedated" while doing the "Blitzkrieg Bop", what band are you listening to?


answer Answer: The Ramones

Interesting Information:
One of the seminal American punk bands, the Ramones were formed in Queens, NY in 1974. Though never boasting colossal record sales, they enjoyed a rabid cult following. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Queen, Supertramp, AC/DC

28. During which war were jet fighters first put into action?


answer Answer: World War II

Interesting Information:
Germany's Me-262 saw combat towards the end of World War II. By the time of the Korean and Vietnam wars, jet powered aircraft were commonplace. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
The Korean War, The Vietnam War, World War I

29. What traditional English dessert consists of suet pudding containing currants and is usually served with custard?


answer Answer: Spotted Dick

Interesting Information:
The "spotted" in Spotted Dick, comes from the currants which give it a spotted appearance. The "dick" is most likely a corruption of an old English word for pudding, though no-one is entirely certain. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Plum Pudding, Trifle, Black Pudding

30. Which of the Great Lakes does not touch Canada?


answer Answer: Michigan

Interesting Information:
The Great Lakes and their associated rivers form a lengthy portion of the U.S.-Canadian border. Lake Michigan lies solely within the borders of the U.S., touching only the states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Its waters join those of the other Great Lakes via its connection with Lake Huron at the Straits of Mackinac. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Superior, Erie, Huron

31. Which continent has the most countries?


answer Answer: Africa

Interesting Information:
There are 48 countries on the African mainland and 6 other nearby island countries considered part of the continent. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Asia, Europe, South America

32. Golfer Tiger Woods has made a tradition of usually wearing what color shirt when playing in the final round of a tournament?


answer Answer: Red

Interesting Information:
By the beginning of 2010, Tiger Woods had racked up 71 PGA tour wins and 97 professional wins. In 1996, his first year as a pro, Tiger was named "Sports Illustrated" Sportsman of the Year and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. He wears the color red as a sign of his college days at Stanford University. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Blue, Green, Yellow

33. Which great lyricist won back-to-back Oscars for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1962 and "Days of Wine and Roses" in 1963?


answer Answer: Johnny Mercer

Interesting Information:
Johnny Mercer had a fabulous songwriting career. Some of his more memorable hits include "Jeepers Creepers", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Blues in the Night", and "I Remember You". Mercer died in 1976 at the age of 66. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan

34. In which European city is the Nobel Peace prize awarded?


answer Answer: Oslo, Norway

Interesting Information:
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway. All other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. This is according to the wishes of Alfred Nobel who endowed the prizes. The reason for the different locations is unknown. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
Stockholm, Sweden, Paris, France, Brussels, Belgium

35. In 1835, Richard Lawrence made the first ever attempt to assassinate a United States president, but misfired. Who was Lawrence's target?


answer Answer: Andrew Jackson

Interesting Information:
When Lawrence misfired, he was approached by President Jackson. The 67-year-old president then proceeded to beat his attacker with his cane. Difficulty: Hard.
 
Some incorrect choices:
John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler
But that's just the start! Here are more great Hard trivia questions:

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