Quiz about Word Smiths
Quiz about Word Smiths

Word Smiths Trivia Quiz


All of these Smiths can be found in books - either as characters, or with their names stamped in gold leaf on the spine.

A multiple-choice quiz by agony. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
agony
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
317,452
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
3068
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: spidersfull (9/10), gogetem (6/10), agentofchaos (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. This Smith brought us "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations". Who is this pioneer in the field of economics? Hint

Adam Smith
Will Smith
Noah Smith
Paul Smith

2. This Smith may have captured the castle, but is best known for a lot of spotted dogs. Hint

Nathan Smith
Dodie Smith
Michael W. Smith
Patti Smith

3. The next Smith is a smith - a worker in metal at a crossroads forge. I first encountered him as a child in the first story in Rudyard Kipling's "Puck of "Pook's Hill", and didn't learn until many years later that he wasn't invented by Mr Kipling. He is indeed a minor god in Norse and Teutonic mythology, and makes an appearance in "Beowulf". What's his name? Hint

Weland
Aegir
Heimdall
Bombor

4. This Smith with the "White Teeth" has many thoughts to share with us "On Beauty", in her novels. Who is she? Hint

Jackie Smith
Zadie Smith
Georgie Smith
Bobbie Smith

5. This bestselling author of what could best be described as "ripping good yarns" grew up on his father's ranch in Zambia (at that time Northern Rhodesia). Almost all of his novels, historical and modern, are set in Africa. Hint

Wilbur Smith
Kim Smith
Greg Leitich Smith
Bryan Smith

6. "Once upon a time there was a Martian named ________________." Which Smith did Robert Heinlein write about? Hint

James Smith
William Wallace Smith I
Valentine Michael Smith
Andrew Smith

7. This Smith brought us "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Hint

Betty Smith
Elaine Smith
Janet Smith
Dorothy Smith

8. The literary character Psmith fits the theme of this quiz, as the "P" is silent ("as in pshrimp"). Who created him? Hint

Graham Greene
Evelyn Waugh
P G Wodehouse
Gerald Durrell

9. EE Smith Ph.D. was an early science fiction author, most noted for his "Lensmen" series. What was his nickname? Hint

Baldy
Alby
Chuck
Doc

10. This prolific Smith seems to enjoy creating series characters - he has at least four series. His most famous character is probably a "traditionally built" lady detective in Botswana. Hint

Andrew Smith
Cordwainer Smith
Alexander McCall Smith
John Smythe


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This Smith brought us "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations". Who is this pioneer in the field of economics?

Answer: Adam Smith

Smith developed the idea of the "invisible hand" upon which free-market economics are still, to a large extent, based. His "Wealth of Nations" was published in 1776. An interesting tidbit I see upon researching him is that he was apparently abducted by gypsies as a child, but rescued.
2. This Smith may have captured the castle, but is best known for a lot of spotted dogs.

Answer: Dodie Smith

"The Hundred and One Dalmatians, or The Great Dog Robbery" (1956) is by far Dodie Smith's best known work, but there is a small but devoted following also for her first novel, "I Capture the Castle". Smith entered literary life as a playwright - her first produced play, "Autumn Crocus" was written while she was a toy-buyer for a department store.
3. The next Smith is a smith - a worker in metal at a crossroads forge. I first encountered him as a child in the first story in Rudyard Kipling's "Puck of "Pook's Hill", and didn't learn until many years later that he wasn't invented by Mr Kipling. He is indeed a minor god in Norse and Teutonic mythology, and makes an appearance in "Beowulf". What's his name?

Answer: Weland

Weland (or Wayland) forged the sword Gram that the Germanic hero Sigurd/Siegfried used to kill the dragon Fafnir. Fans of Wagner's operas will find the story familiar.
In the Kipling story, Weland is an old god with no more power, as no one now worships him. He is freed from his servitude at the crossroads when a human sincerely thanks him. He also makes an appearance in Raymond Feist's "Faerie Tale", in which he is a somewhat malevolent character.
4. This Smith with the "White Teeth" has many thoughts to share with us "On Beauty", in her novels. Who is she?

Answer: Zadie Smith

Her first novel "White Teeth" was something of a publishing sensation, and in my opinion deserved much of the hype - it's an excellent exploration of race and ethnicity in modern Britain. Her third novel, "On Beauty" won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006.
5. This bestselling author of what could best be described as "ripping good yarns" grew up on his father's ranch in Zambia (at that time Northern Rhodesia). Almost all of his novels, historical and modern, are set in Africa.

Answer: Wilbur Smith

Wilbur Smith's novels are something of a guilty pleasure for me. You couldn't exactly describe them as "good" - indeed sometimes the writing is laughably bad. There is no doubt, though, that the man can tell a story. The books are action packed, fast paced, well researched, and a genuine love of Africa shines through every page. Millions of readers worldwide seem happy to trade prose style for a good read, and who can blame them? His first novel "When the Lion Feeds" was published in 1964 and he hasn't slowed down since.
6. "Once upon a time there was a Martian named ________________." Which Smith did Robert Heinlein write about?

Answer: Valentine Michael Smith

"Stranger in a Strange Land" (1961) is the story of a human baby raised by Martians, and his introduction to human society. Badly dated, it is still worth reading if you can get past some of the cultural assumptions. Heinlein had no trouble imagining a future with space flight, or live grass used as a floor covering, but modern feminism apparently came as a complete surprise.

The book has some provocative ideas, though, and is noted for introducing the word "grok" into the language. (And, yes, that word is still used, by some - came across it in a web forum just the other day.) It means, literally, "to drink" - water has immense significance to the book's Martians - but really to understand on a complete emotional, physical and spiritual level.

The incorrect answers are the Smiths of cough drop fame.
7. This Smith brought us "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".

Answer: Betty Smith

"Growing up in poverty in early 20th century New York" is almost a genre of books in itself - when I was a teen haunting public libraries in the 1960s I came across dozens of them. This is one of the best of the bunch. The heroine, Francie Nolan, is like the tree of the title - in the concrete, dirt and neglect of her Brooklyn neighbourhood, she grows into something beautiful.

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", a thinly disguised autobiography, was a huge best seller when it came out in 1943, and was made into a movie in 1945 by Elia Kazan.
8. The literary character Psmith fits the theme of this quiz, as the "P" is silent ("as in pshrimp"). Who created him?

Answer: P G Wodehouse

Unusual among the young men in Wodehouse novels, Psmith is not a bumbling idiot. Imperturbable and facile-tongued, he languidly floats through the novels, while other people get in trouble.

He first appeared in "The Lost Lambs", part of the novel "Mike", in 1908/1909. This was later published as "Enter Psmith" in 1935 and can be found in "Mike and Psmith" from 1953.

If you enjoy earnest writing that hammers its points home thoroughly, you probably won't think much of Wodehouse. If you like it light, though, you can't help but get a giggle out of him.
9. EE Smith Ph.D. was an early science fiction author, most noted for his "Lensmen" series. What was his nickname?

Answer: Doc

EE "Doc" Smith was a food chemist by trade, making his living designing such things as doughnut mixes, before he became a writer. He was one of the pioneers of the "space opera" genre - exciting adventures in space suits. The first "Lensmen" novels were serialized in "Astounding Stories", under the editorship of the legendary John W Campbell.
10. This prolific Smith seems to enjoy creating series characters - he has at least four series. His most famous character is probably a "traditionally built" lady detective in Botswana.

Answer: Alexander McCall Smith

"The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" is the first book in the charming series about Precious Ramotswe, the first woman private detective in Botswana. Alexander McCall Smith has also brought us "The 2 Pillars of Wisdom", "The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie Mysteries)" and "44 Scotland Street" series. And he's not done yet.
Source: Author agony

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor LeoDaVinci before going online.
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