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Edward Lear Trivia

Edward Lear Trivia Quizzes

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As well as the well-known story of "The Owl and the Pussycat", Edward Lear produced a wide range of poetry, specialising in nonsense, often in the form of a limerick.
5 Edward Lear quizzes and 50 Edward Lear trivia questions.
  An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
I first heard "The Owl and the Pussycat" when I was about eight years old and it has stuck with me all these years. It is my favourite nonsense rhyme, written by Edward Lear in 1871. Here are ten easy questions on this nonsense rhyme. Good luck.
Easier, 10 Qns, wenray, Aug 30 15
352 plays
  There Was an Old Person Called Lear...   best quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
...who wrote Nonsense Poems, I hear. So I've written a Quiz on these Poems of his, that wonderful Poet, Edward Lear.
Average, 10 Qns, Kankurette, Aug 03 15
Kankurette gold member
272 plays
  'The Owl and the Pussycat'    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here we go again! Another favourite of mine, this time a poem by Edward Lear. How much do you know about their adventures?
Easier, 10 Qns, retiredangel, Jan 09 17
470 plays
  Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Edward Lear was a multi-talented man. He could play several musical instruments and was also an artist and illustrator, a writer and a poet, probably most famous for his nonsense poetry. This quiz is about that part of his life.
Average, 10 Qns, Spontini, Aug 04 15
284 plays
  Edward Lear's "The Jumblies"    
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten questions about Edward Lear's slightly nonsensical adventure.
Average, 10 Qns, poppersmoke, Aug 03 15
250 plays
trivia question Quick Question
After their delicious feast, what did the Owl and Pussycat do next?

From Quiz "'The Owl and the Pussycat'"

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Edward Lear Trivia Questions

1. It was beautiful and green, but what type of vessel did they sail away in?

From Quiz
'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: boat

It was a small wooden boat with a rudder and a sail. Edward Lear also wrote a poem about 'The Jumblies' who went to sea in a sieve! Edward had had a lonely life and obviously lived in his imagination.

2. In "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear, the couple dine on mince and slices of quince eaten with what type of spoon?

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Runcible

A Runcible spoon does actually exist. It is rather like a fork with two broad prongs and one sharp prong used to serve hors d'oeuvres. It is also thought to be a reference to his friend George Runcy.

3. What colour was the boat in which the owl and the pussycat went to sea?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: Pea Green

On the spectrum of visible light, green is the colour between blue and yellow. Because it is the colour of grass and leaves, it is quite often associated with springtime, growth and nature. The English word "green" used today comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "grene". There are so very many different shades of green. For example, just to name a few: fern green, forest green, jungle green, light green, moss green, mint green, tea green, army green, bottle green, bright green, emerald green, jade, Kelly green, sea green and many, many more, including of course, pea green. "The owl and the pussycat went to sea In a beautiful pea-green boat ..."

4. What kind of spoon did the Owl and the Pussycat use when 'dining on mince and slices of quince'?

From Quiz There Was an Old Person Called Lear...

Answer: Runcible

From 'The Owl and the Pussycat': 'They dined on mince and slices of quince Which they ate with a runcible spoon, And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon.' Although 'runcible' is a nonsense word invented by Lear, attempts have been made to define what exactly a 'runcible spoon' is. For instance, the 2000 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary describes it as being similar to a spork: 'a three pronged fork...curved like a spoon and having a cutting edge', while the Collins English Dictionary describes it as a fork with two broad prongs and one sharp, curved prong'. However, in Lear's artwork, it resembles a ladle. According to Lear, not only spoons can be 'runcible'. For instance, in 'How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!', the poet is described as wearing a runcible hat, and in 'Mr. and Mrs. Discobbolos', Mr. Discobbolos calls his wife a 'runcible goose'.

5. In what did the Jumblies go to sea?

From Quiz Edward Lear's "The Jumblies"

Answer: a sieve

The first line of the poem: "They went to sea in a Sieve, they did. In a Sieve they went to sea."

6. They took a jar of honey and lots of money, but what did they wrap them up in?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: a five pound note

When this nonsense poem was written in 1871 a British five pound note was fairly large and had to be folded up to fit into a wallet or pocket.

7. Who "went to sea in a sieve"?

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Jumblies

The poem in question is "The Jumblies". "Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a sieve". "The Jumblies" tells the story of these strange creatures who embark on a ridiculous voyage in a sieve. They reach a wonderful land and then return twenty years later and are welcomed back with a big feast by the locals.

8. What is the first thing mentioned in the poem that the owl and the pussycat took with them?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: Honey

On the journey in their little pea green boat they took some honey. According to old records, humans have been hunting for honey for over 8,000 years. In the country Georgia, archaeologists unearthed honey remains inside clay vessels found in an ancient tomb which are estimated to be between 4,700 and 5,500 years old. The ancient Egyptians used honey as a sweetener in cakes and biscuits, and it was also used for embalming the dead. Bee-keeping in China has existed for thousands of years. "They took some honey ..."

9. Which Edward Lear character had a head 'ever so much bigger than his body' (and a rather small hat), fell in love with the Lady Jingly Jones, and lived on the coast of Coromandel?

From Quiz There Was an Old Person Called Lear...

Answer: The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo

From 'The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo': 'On the Coast of Coromandel, Where the early pumpkins blow, In the middle of the woods Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.' Unfortunately for the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo, the Lady Jingly Jones is already engaged to a Mr. Jones, who keeps her supplied with Dorking hens. However, when the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo rides away on a turtle, she realises that he is the one she really loves. The Coast of Coromandel, incidentally, is a real place. It's in southeast India and is located between Kanyakumari and False Divi Point. There is also a Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand's North Island; it was named after a British ship, the HMS Coromandel.

10. How is the weather described on the day the Jumblies set sail?

From Quiz Edward Lear's "The Jumblies"

Answer: "stormy"

"In spite of all their friends could say/On a winter's morn, on a stormy day/In a Sieve they went to sea!"

11. The Owl serenaded Pussycat with a song, and he played which musical instrument?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: guitar

It was a very romantic setting under the stars, as Owl sung and strummed a small guitar. The small guitar may have been a ukulele. Perhaps Owl had previously sailed to the island of Madeira where the ukulele originated.

12. Lear wrote a poem about two pieces of furniture taking a walk in the sunshine and getting lost. What items were they?

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Table and Chair

The poem "The Table and The Chair" tells the tale of how a table and chair have a lovely walk around town, causing the locals to be amazed. They take a wrong turn and get lost and have to pay a duck, beetle and mouse to take them home again, where they all have a nice meal together.

13. One of the items they took with them was plenty of money, which was wrapped in what?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: A five pound note

The Bank of England first issued bank notes in 1694; however they were written for differing specific amounts (and not for generic values) up until 1745. During the Seven Years' War a ten pound bank note was issued, and in 1793 the first five pound note was issued, with one and two pound notes following in the next four years. The first five pound note was known as the "white fiver" because it was made with black printing on white paper. "... And plenty of money Wrapped up in a five-pound note."

14. In which improbable vessel did the Jumblies in the poem of the same name sail to sea?

From Quiz There Was an Old Person Called Lear...

Answer: A sieve

From 'The Jumblies': 'Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live. Their heads are green and their hands are blue, And they went to sea in a Sieve.' Amazingly, the sieve did not sink, and the Jumblies returned home with such souvenirs as a pig, a hive of silvery bees, and a 'lovely monkey with lollipop paws'.

15. What did they use for a mast in their little boat?

From Quiz Edward Lear's "The Jumblies"

Answer: tobacco pipe

"With only a beautiful pea-green veil/Tied with a riband by way of a sail/To a small tobacco-pipe mast."

16. Pussycat was so charmed by the Owl's singing, she called him what?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: you elegant fowl

Pussycat was so delighted by the Owl's serenade that she wanted to get married as quickly as possible. Obviously, she had waited too long. 'Fowl' was a term used for domestic birds such as chickens and ducks; it's odd that Lear used this word, but it's a nonsense poem.

17. Another Edward Lear poem was "The Courtship of the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo". The Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo has very few possessions. What item completes this list? "Two old chairs, and half a ______, One old jug without a handle".

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Candle

First published in 1877, this poem is a poignant story about the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo who is living on the coast of Coromandel. He falls in love with Lady Jingly who, unfortunately for him, already has a husband/partner at home. He sadly leaves Coromandel; she soon regrets her decision and waits in hope for the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo to return.

18. What type of musical instrument did the owl play while serenading the pussycat?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: A small guitar

The guitar is classed as a string instrument and can have from four to eighteen strings, but normally six. Guitars and their forerunners, the chordophones, have been around for a few thousand years. These days guitars are divided into two categories, acoustic and electric. Acoustic guitars fall into subcategories such as classical, flamenco, steel, and twelve-string. "The owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'Oh lovely pussy! O pussy, my love, What a beautiful pussy you are, You are, What a beautiful pussy you are."

19. About which personage did Edward Lear ask the question: 'Does he sing or whistle, jabber or talk And when riding abroad, does he gallop or walk Or TROT?'

From Quiz There Was an Old Person Called Lear...

Answer: The Akond of Swat

We never find out just who the mysterious Akond of Swat is in the poem. However, there was a real Akond of Swat: the Akhund (a type of religious leader) who ruled over the Princely State of Swat in the British Indian Empire. The state was dissolved in 1969, and was situated in what is now Khyber Pankhtunkhwa in Pakistan.

20. The Jumblies have ______________ heads.

From Quiz Edward Lear's "The Jumblies"

Answer: green

"Far and few, far and few/Are the lands where the Jumblies live/Their heads are green and their hands are blue/And they went to sea in a Sieve.

21. The Owl and the Pussycat did not want to wait too long before married bliss, but what stopped them marrying?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: no ring

A ring represents the love, commitment, and faithfulness of marriage. Today many couples exchange wedding rings. Edward Lear never married; his two marriage proposals were refused.

22. Lear wrote a poem about a married couple who fly to London to buy a hat and bonnet. The couple are "Mr and Mrs Spikky _______".

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Sparrow

Mr Sparrow is a ... well obviously he's a sparrow. Mrs Sparrow is not so obvious. She's a duck. They worry about how the cold weather is affecting each other as they don't have a hat or bonnet. They travel to London to buy them and are very pleased with their purchases.

23. The pussycat suggested to the owl that they should get married, but for how long did they sail before their marriage?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: A year and a day

In the Gregorian calendar, also known as the Christian or Western calendar, which was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, a year has either 365 or 366 days (every fourth year, leap year). The earth takes one year to orbit around the Sun. The seasons (summer, autumn, winter and spring) are a result of the Earth's axial tilt and take one year to complete. "Pussy said to the owl, 'You elegant fowl How charmingly sweet you sing! O! let us be married, too long have we tarried But what shall we do for a ring?"

24. How long did their sea journey last?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: a year and a day

It took them a long time to sail to the land where the 'Bong tree grows'. Edward Lear was a landscape painter and traveled widely, but sadly the beautifully-named 'Bong tree' existed only in his imagination.

25. "The Two Old Bachelors" is a poem about two old men who catch a _____ and want to eat it in a muffin, but lack sage and onion stuffing. What did they catch?

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: Mouse

I hope you realized that only a mouse would fit into a muffin. The two bachelors go searching for a sage to turn into stuffing. Their hunt is unsuccessful and they return empty-handed, only to find the mouse has gone, but not before eating the muffin.

26. What type of tree grew in the place they landed?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: Bong tree

The "Bong tree" is fictional and has been used by other authors as well as Edward Lear. Beatrix Potter referred to a "land where the Bong tree grows" in her book "The Tale of Little Pig Robinson". "Bong Tree Land" is mentioned in the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". Author James Ramsey Ullman wrote a book titled "Where the Bong Tree Grows" which recounted his travels to some remote islands in the South Pacific Ocean. "They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong Tree grows ..."

27. Which unfortunate Edward Lear character falls in love with a Jumbly girl, and spends the rest of his life wandering the Gromboolian Plain searching for her?

From Quiz There Was an Old Person Called Lear...

Answer: The Dong with a Luminous Nose

'The Dong with a Luminous Nose' is like a companion poem to 'The Jumblies', and is one of Lear's sadder poems. The Jumblies pay a visit to the Dong's homeland whilst on their travels, and he falls in love with one of them. After spending their nights dancing to the music of the Dong's pipe, the Jumblies sail away and leave the poor Dong pining for his lost love. He spends his days and nights wandering around looking for her, and in order to help him search for her at night, he makes himself a fake nose from the bark of the Twangum Tree with a lamp inside it.

28. In a wood they found 'a Piggy-wig with a ring though the end of his nose'. They decided to buy it, but how much did it cost?

From Quiz 'The Owl and the Pussycat'

Answer: one shilling

These were all British coins before decimalization in 1971. A silver shilling was worth 12 old pennies, and 20 shillings to a pound.

29. In "The New Vestments", Lear describes a man who makes a costume out of different food items. What did he use to make a hat? Think where he would put it and remember this is a poem.

From Quiz Nonsense Poems of Edward Lear

Answer: A loaf of Brown Bread

Being a poem, you might expect something he might wear on his head would rhyme so it shouldn't be a surprise what the correct answer is. Unfortunately, when he went outdoors, he was attacked by all sorts of creatures who wanted to eat his suit. Clearly a hat would go on his head so the answer should be easy. His suit was made up like this:- "By way of a hat, he'd a loaf of Brown Bread, In the middle of which he inserted his head;-- His Shirt was made up of no end of dead Mice, The warmth of whose skins was quite fluffy and nice;-- His Drawers were of Rabit-skins, -- but it is not known whose;-- His Waistcoat and Trowsers were made of Pork Chops;-- His Buttons were Jujubes, and Chocolate Drops;-- His Coat was all Pancakes with Jam for a border, And a girdle of Biscuits to keep it in order; And he wore over all, as a screen from bad weather, A Cloak of green Cabbage-leaves stitched all together".

30. What was the animal they met in the wood that had a ring in the end of its nose?

From Quiz An Odd Couple - The Owl and the Pussycat

Answer: Piggy-Wiggy

Pigs belong to the genus Sus, which includes the domestic pig and the wild boar. They are also related to the peccary, the warthog and the babirusa. Baby pigs are called piglets. It is estimated that at any given time, there are one billion domesticated pigs. They are omnivores and quite intelligent. It is suggested by archaeological evidence that pigs have been domesticated for thousands of years. "... And there in the wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose".

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