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Quiz about The Erudite Nero Wolfe
Quiz about The Erudite Nero Wolfe

The Erudite Nero Wolfe Trivia Quiz


Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe is an eccentric genius who occasionally employs words that are not at all well-known. From the clues given, can you deduce the meanings of ten such words? [No spoilers.]

A multiple-choice quiz by lowtechmaster. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
388,523
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
493
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. In "Fer-de-Lance", Manuel Kimball tells Wolfe, "[My father] told me everything you said to him. Why did you say what you did?" Wolfe replies: "Your tone is minatory. What specifically do you wish to berate me for? What did I say to your father that you would rather I had left unsaid?".

Which of these words is closest to the meaning of "minatory"?
Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In "The League Of Frightened Men", Andrew Hibbard offers Wolfe $500 a week to protect him from being killed. Wolfe (who has often expressed his view that if a person wants to kill another person, such protection is impossible) tells him: "I am sorry. To now my [ethical principle] has managed a satisfactory persuasion that the money I have put in the bank has been earned. I dare not put this burden on you".

Which word did Wolfe use instead of "ethical principle"?
Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In "The Rubber Band", Nero Wolfe is not at all pleased with the very complicated case brought to him, initially, by Archie Goodwin. Wolfe says: "Confound you, Archie, I have you to thank for this acarpous entanglement". Which word best fits the meaning of "acarpous"? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. In "Too Many Cooks", Nero Wolfe is being questioned by prosecuting attorney Barry Tolman about the taste test that led to the murder of Phillip Laszio. Wolfe tells Tolman: "I haven't the faintest idea who killed Mr. Laszio. It may be you have heard of me; I don't know. If so, you have perhaps gotten the impression that when I am engaged on a case I am capable of sinuosities, though you wouldn't think it to look at me. But I am not engaged in this case".

What does Wolfe mean by "sinuosities"?
Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. In "Over My Dead Body", Wolfe tells Inspector Cramer: "If you want [us to agree to work together], it would be doubly unprofitable for you to question me since you have stated that you will believe nothing I tell you."

Which unusual word does Wolfe use instead of the phrase "us to agree to work together"?
Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Wolfe to Naomi Karn: "Well. Now you're in a pickle."
Karn to Wolfe: "Me? Not at all."
Wolf to Karn: "Oh , yes, you are....let's don't start with caracoles. You know very well you're in a devil of a pickle" ["Where There's A Will"].

What is a "caracole"?
Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Upset because, on the way to exhibit orchids at the Crowfield Exposition, their car blew a tire and ended up on a tree, Wolfe barks at Archie Goodwin: "I presume you know, since I've told you, that my distrust and hatred of vehicles in partly based on my [total belief] that their apparent submission to control is illusory and that they may...act on whim" ["Some Buried Caesar"].

Which word did Wolfe use instead of "total belief"?
Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In "Too Many Women", Wolfe, tired of being badgered by Inspector Cramer, tells him: "Saturday afternoon a man came to this office and told me he had seen Mr. Naylor taking that taxicab. I questioned him and was satisfied that the facts he gave me were authentic, and I immediately phoned your office and gave those facts to Mr. Stebbins. What the devil is obreptitious?"

Which word best represents the meaning of "obreptitious'?
Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. In "And To Be A Villain", Arnold Zeck, master criminal, tells Wolfe: "So you know my name." Wolfe replies: "Yes, I know your name, sir. Is that [recklessly dangerous]? Many people know Arnold Zeck".

Which word did Wolfe use instead of "recklessly dangerous"?
Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In "Gambit," Archie Goodwin tells Nero Wolfe that he knows who killed David Kalmus, and gives a verbatim report of his explorations. Wolfe responds, "No wonder you can name him....This is satisfactory, Archie....An analeptic for my self-esteem".

Which word is closest in meaning to "analeptic"?
Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In "Fer-de-Lance", Manuel Kimball tells Wolfe, "[My father] told me everything you said to him. Why did you say what you did?" Wolfe replies: "Your tone is minatory. What specifically do you wish to berate me for? What did I say to your father that you would rather I had left unsaid?". Which of these words is closest to the meaning of "minatory"?

Answer: Threatening

"Minatory" comes from the Latin "minatorius" derived from "minari" (to threaten).
[Google Dictionary]

"Fer-de-Lance" is the first Nero Wolfe novel by Rex Stout. It involves a golfer's unexpected and inexplicable violent demise, the secrets of the foursome in which he was playing, ancient enmity, a deadly snake, an attempt to kill Nero Wolfe, and a very unusual ending in which Wolfe seeks justice for all.
2. In "The League Of Frightened Men", Andrew Hibbard offers Wolfe $500 a week to protect him from being killed. Wolfe (who has often expressed his view that if a person wants to kill another person, such protection is impossible) tells him: "I am sorry. To now my [ethical principle] has managed a satisfactory persuasion that the money I have put in the bank has been earned. I dare not put this burden on you". Which word did Wolfe use instead of "ethical principle"?

Answer: Casuistry

"Casuistry" (ultimately from the Latin "causus") as Wolfe uses it means "the application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct." [Google Dictionary]

"The League Of Frightened Men" involves Wolfe in a case in which the past seems to have caught up to the present. Because of a hazing prank at Harvard years ago, Paul Chapin was left a cripple. His fraternity brothers have tried to atone, and they thought that Chapin, a very successful author, had forgiven them. But a class reunion ends in death for one brother. Others then receive written threats. Another brother dies. Chapin is the obvious suspect. Wolfe figures it all out and arrives at a solution satisfactory for all.
3. In "The Rubber Band", Nero Wolfe is not at all pleased with the very complicated case brought to him, initially, by Archie Goodwin. Wolfe says: "Confound you, Archie, I have you to thank for this acarpous entanglement". Which word best fits the meaning of "acarpous"?

Answer: Sterile

"Acarpous" comes from the Greek a- (not) and karpos (fruit) and refers to something that does not produce fruit, or is sterile. [Dictionary.com]

In "The Rubber Band", Wolfe has to connect a Wild West lynch party, a horse and a promise from the past, to blackmail, broken promises, an influential British peer, and murder in the present.
4. In "Too Many Cooks", Nero Wolfe is being questioned by prosecuting attorney Barry Tolman about the taste test that led to the murder of Phillip Laszio. Wolfe tells Tolman: "I haven't the faintest idea who killed Mr. Laszio. It may be you have heard of me; I don't know. If so, you have perhaps gotten the impression that when I am engaged on a case I am capable of sinuosities, though you wouldn't think it to look at me. But I am not engaged in this case". What does Wolfe mean by "sinuosities"?

Answer: Being flexible about what he reveals

Wolfe is indicating that he is quite capable of not revealing everything he knows to the authorities when he is engaged on a case. Sinuosity comes from the Latin "sinuosus", meaning curved or flexible. [Google Dictionary]

In "Too Many Cooks", Wolfe and Goodman journey to the Kanawha Spa in West Virginia where "Les Quinze Maitres" are holding their every five year meeting. Wolfe is the Guest of Honor and featured speaker. Of the fifteen master chefs from around the world, three are dead and two cannot make the reunion, but the other ten are there. Among the ten and their wives, there are multiple jealousies and ill feelings that lead to strife. The solution centers on the taste test organized by the victim. Wolfe must deal with multiple egos and obfuscations. Wolfe himself is injured. But he prevails, and gets the secret recipe for "saucisse minuit" that he has always wanted.
5. In "Over My Dead Body", Wolfe tells Inspector Cramer: "If you want [us to agree to work together], it would be doubly unprofitable for you to question me since you have stated that you will believe nothing I tell you." Which unusual word does Wolfe use instead of the phrase "us to agree to work together"?

Answer: Consilience

"Consilience" means an agreement on the approaches to a topic. It derives from the Latin com- (together) and -siliens (jumping). [Google Dictionary]

"Over My Dead Body" presents Wolfe and Goodwin at their best. They are involved with a daughter adopted by Nero Wolfe, a paternity charge, questions of identity, diamonds, international intrigue, fencing, and multiple murders. The conclusion is one of great interest.
6. Wolfe to Naomi Karn: "Well. Now you're in a pickle." Karn to Wolfe: "Me? Not at all." Wolf to Karn: "Oh , yes, you are....let's don't start with caracoles. You know very well you're in a devil of a pickle" ["Where There's A Will"]. What is a "caracole"?

Answer: Evasion

"Caracole" is from the French "caracole" (snail's shell) and "caracol" (spiral). [Dictionary.com] Wolfe is saying, in effect, let's not go around in circles.

Noel Hawthorne's will, which left the bulk of his estate to his mistress, Naomi Karn, is contested by his three sisters (April, May, and June) and, separately, by his widow (Daisy). Wolfe's chore is complicated when Inspector Cramer informs them that Noel Hawthorne was murdered. In addition to the will and the murder, Wolfe has to deal with June's daughter Sara (a photographer), a law firm, and a second murder.
7. Upset because, on the way to exhibit orchids at the Crowfield Exposition, their car blew a tire and ended up on a tree, Wolfe barks at Archie Goodwin: "I presume you know, since I've told you, that my distrust and hatred of vehicles in partly based on my [total belief] that their apparent submission to control is illusory and that they may...act on whim" ["Some Buried Caesar"]. Which word did Wolfe use instead of "total belief"?

Answer: Plerophory

"Plerophory" (from the Greek "plerophoria", to bring full measure) means complete belief or total assurance. [Merriam-Webster.com]

In "Some Buried Caesar", after the car accident, Wolfe and Goodwin end up at the home of Thomas Pratt, owner of a chain of fast food restaurants, who is planning to advertise by barbecuing a champion Gurnsey bull, Hickory Caesar Grindon (that he bought for $45,000) and serving the meat in his restaurants. Many people object to such an ignoble end to a noble bull. Then the bull apparently kills a neighbor, someone else dies at the Exposition, Archie meets Lily Rowan, anthrax becomes a concern, and Wolfe has to sort it all out.
8. In "Too Many Women", Wolfe, tired of being badgered by Inspector Cramer, tells him: "Saturday afternoon a man came to this office and told me he had seen Mr. Naylor taking that taxicab. I questioned him and was satisfied that the facts he gave me were authentic, and I immediately phoned your office and gave those facts to Mr. Stebbins. What the devil is obreptitious?" Which word best represents the meaning of "obreptitious'?

Answer: Secretive

"Obreptitious" (from the Latin "obreptitius", meaning sneaking up on secretly) means secretive, done by surprise, or concealing the truth. [Wiktionary and Merriam-Webster.com]

In "Too Many Women", Waldo Moore, an employee at Naylor-Kerr, Inc., is killed by a hit-run driver. The police consider it an accidental death. Kerr Naylor, of Naylor-Kerr believes it was murder but refuses to discuss why. Jasper Pine, President of Naylor-Kerr, brings the case to Wolfe. Archie Goodwin goes undercover at the company where some 500 women, all apparently beautiful, work. After much intrigue, Kerr Naylor is killed by a hit-run and left where Waldo Moore's body was found. Wolfe has to work very hard to solve the puzzles of this very complicated case.
9. In "And To Be A Villain", Arnold Zeck, master criminal, tells Wolfe: "So you know my name." Wolfe replies: "Yes, I know your name, sir. Is that [recklessly dangerous]? Many people know Arnold Zeck". Which word did Wolfe use instead of "recklessly dangerous"?

Answer: Temerarious

"Temerarious" means rashly or recklessly dangerous (from the Latin "temerarius" meaning rash). [Google Dictionary]

"And Be A Villain" presents Nero Wolfe with one of his most challenging cases. During a live radio show, Cyril Orchard, publisher of a weekly horse racing almanac, dies after consuming a soft drink laced with cyanide. All those at the broadcast are suspects including the show's host, Madeline Fraser. Then a woman who put out a weekly economic/political journal is shot to death. Deborah Koppel, Fraser's former sister-in-law and best friend is poisoned with candy supposedly meant for Fraser. Besides trying to determine the murderer(s) and motive(s), Wolfe must cope with the one criminal with whom he would prefer not to deal, Arnold Zeck, who calls Wolfe to warn him off the case.
10. In "Gambit," Archie Goodwin tells Nero Wolfe that he knows who killed David Kalmus, and gives a verbatim report of his explorations. Wolfe responds, "No wonder you can name him....This is satisfactory, Archie....An analeptic for my self-esteem". Which word is closest in meaning to "analeptic"?

Answer: Revitalization

Wolfe's use of "Analeptic" (from the Greek "analeptikos" meaning a restorative) indicates that he was partly stumped by an element in the case that made no sense to him, a blow to his self-esteem. His self-esteem has now been restored. [Google Dictionary]

In "Gambit", Paul Jerin, a chess master, is playing twelve simultaneous games of chess "blindfolded." He is in a small room and his opponents moves are reported to him and his to them. He has only hot chocolate to eat or drink, feels ill, collapses, and dies at the hospital. Matthew Blount, who served the chocolate and also rinsed out the pot, is arrested for murder. Wolfe takes a case where no one else has a motive or opportunity to kill Jerin except Blount.
Source: Author lowtechmaster

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
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This quiz is part of series Fictional Fest:

Four quizzes on fictional detectives, including three on Nero Wolfe, and one on "Moby Dick".

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  2. Introduction To Nero Wolfe, Part I Average
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  4. The Erudite Nero Wolfe Average
  5. "Moby Dick": Melville's Masterpiece Average

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