301 - Asterisk in Britain

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Her indoors is required to take the Life in Britain test. This is one step on the route to citizenship and one needs to show that one is sufficiently British. Actually, to show that one is conversant with whatever it is we think is common knowledge among the people. The trouble is what has gone into the book. Nothing is wrong, but the very breadth is staggering. I'm educated and aware and repeatedly score 22/24 where 18/24 is required for acceptance. But even my scores include answers where I'm largely guessing or eliminating impossible answers. 

None of my examples are quotes from the test, just made in the style I perceived from attempting some.

Here are some examples all from the Arts and Culture section (that's Pink questions in Trivial Pursuit): 

1 Two of these are notable British artists: Paul Gauguin, John Lavery, John Constable, Andy Warhol.

2 Two of these are notable British artists: John Petts, Lucian Freud, Sigmund Freud, Alistair Potts

3. Two of these are notable British artists: Michelangelo David,  David Allan, David Hockney, Jacques-Louis David

You are expected to recognise also Thomas Gainsborough, Joseph Turner, Henry Moore. And that Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir John Millais are pre-Raphaelites. All three were English, incidentally.

4 The Cenotaph is a memorial designed by which British artist and placed where?

a Richard Rogers, St Peter's Square, Manchester

b Henri Moore, Lime Street, Liverpool

c Edwin Lutyens, Whitehall, London

d Anthony Gormley Hamilton Park, Hamilton, Scotland

5 Who of these has won the Man Booker prize?

a Ian McEwan    b JRR Tolkein    c Vivienne Westwood    d Harold Pinter

6 Two of these performance statements are correct

a The Beatles played the SECC Glasgow in 1970

 b Edward Elgar conducted his own work at the Royal Albert Hall

 c The Rolling Stones played Glastonbury in 2013

 d Benjamin Britten won a Lawrence Olivier Award

You're expected to recognise as authors Austen, Dickens, Stevenson, Hardy, Conan Doyle, Waugh, Amis, Greene and Rowling, including the titles of works given in the booklet. Hence:

7 One of these is wrong

Evelyn Waugh wrote Decline and Fall          Sir Kingsley Amis wrote Plucky Tim

c Thomas Hardy wrote Jude the Obscure       d Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations


Musicians: Handel, Holst, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Britten. Venues: SECC Glasgow, Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and the V festivals, the Eisteddfod being in Wales, the RAH for the Proms; the Mercury prize, the Brit Awards, the Olivier Awards. The Beatles and the Stones. Gilbert & Sullivan, Andrew Llloyd-Webber; Pantomime, the Fringe and Festival.

8 Put the lines in poet order;        Blake, Browning, Byron, Owen, Wordsworth.     Answer example, edcba

a Oh to be in England now that April’s there     .... in England, Now!                       

b  I wander'd lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills                         

c She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies                  

d Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night                                              

e What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?                                                        

9 Two of these are not buried in Westminster Abbey

a  Sir Isaac Newton                          e Robert Browning  

b  Geoffrey Chaucer                         f William Shakespeare

c   Richard III                                    g  Charles Dickens,   

 d George Frederick Handel,            h Robert Adam

10 Correctly ascribe these buildings to these British architects, choosing from this list

 Robert Adam, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Inigo Jones, Edwin Lutyens, Richard Rogers, James Frazer Stirling, Christopher Wren, Frank Lloyd Wright.  The brown is for material one is 'supposed' to know.

a  Queen's House, Greenwich   and St Pauls Covent Garden and much of Lincoln's Inn Fields                              

b  Dumfries House, Ayrshire and Kedlestone Hall, Derbyshire                                           

c  St Paul's Cathedral, 10&11 Downing Street                       

d  London Aquatics Centre and Roca London Gallery

e  large parts of central New Delhi and The Cenotaph, Whitehall

f  Falling Water, Mill Run, Penn and Guggenheim Museum, NY

g  History Faculty Library, Cambridge and the Tate Britain

h  the Gherkin and Wembley Stadium

i  the Pompidou Centre and the Millenium Dome


Moving on to similar stuff about people you're expected to knowof and about, though heavens only knows when you were supposed to have studied this...

11 Connect these knights with their invention or discovery. Answers in the form Ax, By

a Sir Tim Berners-Lee  b Sir Frank Whittle c Sir Peter Mansfield, d Sir Robert Watson-Watt, e Sir Ian Wilmut,  f Sir Christopher Cockerell, g Sir Robert Edwards

A jet engine, B hovercraft, C Dolly the sheep, D in vitro fertilisation, E Magnetic Resonance Imagery F the internet, G radar

12 Like Q 11, only these are not all knights and these are things they are associated with: 

 i  John Macleod j Sir Bernard Lovell k Francis Crick, l John Logie Baird, m James Goodfellow, n Keith Campbell

J Jodrell Bank, I Insulin,  K DNA structure, L television, M the ATM, N cloning (Dolly again)

13 not in the test. These women were chosen by a Royal Society panel as the ten most influential on British science: Associate them with a field.

A Hertha Ayrton (1854-1923) B Mary Somerville (1780-1872)  C Caroline Herschel (1750-1848)  D Mary Anning (1799-1847)  E Elsie Widdowson CH CBE FRS (1908-2000) F Dame Kathleen Lonsdale DBE FRS (1903-1971 G Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836-1917)  ) H  Dorothy Hodgkin OM FRS (1910-1994) Nobel   I Rosalind Franklin J Dame Anne McLaren DBE FRS FRCOG

Suggested fields: a Astronomy, b Paleontology, c Medicine, including hospital for women d X-ray crystallography, e electricity, f nutrition, g genetics, specifically IVF,  h  magentism, i X-ray crystallography inlcuding DNA and viruses, chemical structures, such as insulin, penicillin and vitamin B12.      It is very tempting to put some biased ideas in your head, like shopping cleaning, etc



I have attempted to embed this Uquiz (q1-10 above)here: Initials will suffice for Your Name and I am not keeping any results intentionally.  To quit the test image you may need to refresh the page. So not entirely satisfactory. Updates take days to work through to an effective change on here.

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DJS 20200512

Top pic of Asterix in Britain, of which the repeated gag delineating a Brit is to ask if one would like a drop of milk in one's hot water, because tea hadn't come from India yet. Asterisk of course is substituting for some other word, perhaps based on a four-or-more letter equivalent, as in "This test is too **** hard".


1 Sir John Lavery 1856-1941, portrait painter, Belfast born; and John Constable 1776-1837, English landscape painter. Warhol was American, Gauguin French.

2 John Petts 1914-91, Welsh engraver and stained glass; Lucian Freud 1922-2011, German-born British portrait artist. Sigmund Freud Austrian psychoanalyst and grandfather of Lucian.  Alistair Potts is a British oarsman (cox, Gold 2000 and Silver 1999 at World Champs)

3 David Allan 1744-96, Scottish painter; David Hockney 1937-, influential 'pop-artist'. Jacques-Louis David French neo-classicist, 18th century. Michelangelo early 16th century artist, sculpted his statue David, to be found in Florence. There are other statues of David, notably by Donatello.

4 All sites given have a cenotaph. Rogers is an architect, Gormley and Moore are sculptors but they didn't design these. Sir Edwin Lutyens [answer c] designed the famous one in Whitehall, usually televised on Remembrance Day.

5 The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded annually for the best fiction novel written by an author from the Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe. It has been awarded since 1968. Past winners include Ian McEwan, Hilary Mantel and Julian Barnes. [Answer a, only]. Several British writers, including the novelist Sir William Golding, the poet Seamus Heaney, and the playwright Harold Pinter, have won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Leading fashion designers of recent years include Mary Quant, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien was voted the country’s best-loved novel.

6 b,c.  The Beatles last performed in 1969 and the SECC Glasgow was opened in 1985 but not named as the SECC until 2017. Edward Elgar often conducted his own work at The Royal Albert Hall. Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Walton have also done this (DJS research). The Laurence Olivier Awards take place annually at different venues in London. There are a variety of categories, including best director, best actor and best actress. 

7 b Sir Kingsley Amis wrote Lucky Jim. It was tempting to make this a lot harder.

8      d  Blake,  a Browning,  c Byron,   e Owen,   b Wordsworth.   

a ‘Oh to be in England now that April’s there      Robert Browning, 1812–89 – Home Thoughts from Abroad

b  I wander'd lonely as a cloud    William Wordsworth, 1770–1850 – The Daffodils             

c  She walks in beauty,     Lord Byron, 1788–1824 – She Walks in Beauty

d Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright                            William Blake, 1757–1827 – The Tyger                 

e  What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?    Wilfred Owen, 1893–1918 – Anthem for Doomed Youth           

Hard question: For me I'm sure b is Wordsworth and e is Owen, so ...eb. This reduces the quizlet choice to cdaeb or daceb.  I think Blake wrote The Tyger, so want the quiz line d..eb

9  Unashamedly difficult. Shakespeare is buried in Stratford-upon-Avon, included because his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, and because so many go visit the memorials and sites in Stratford. Richard III is in Leicester Cathedral, discovered under a Friary carpark in Leicester in 2012, interred in the cathedral 2015.  Also not at Westminster, Jane Austen. Some 300 or so significant people are at Westminster. Notably not at Westminster because they have been removed, Harold 1, Oliver Cromwell (and Admiral Robert Blake and John Pym for the same reasons).

10 Architects and architecture you are expected to recognise: Inigo Jones (Queen's House, Greenwich and Banqueting House, Whitehall), Robert Adam (Dumfries House, influence in the Royal crescent, Bath), Christopher Wren (St Paul's); that Gothic is 19th century and includes the Houses of Parliament and St Pancras station; Edwin Lutyens 20th century, New Delhi, Cenotaph (Whitehall); also Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Zaha Hadid.

When looking these up, I had no idea about Dumfries House and, if asked, I'd name the Old College at Edinburgh University as his, because it has been recently in the news. Quoting Wikipedia: Adam rejected the Palladian style, as introduced to England by Inigo Jones, and advocated by Lord Burlington, as "ponderous" and "disgustful". Yet Dumfries House  is a Palladian country house in Ayrshire, Scotland and is NOT in the wikipedia list of his accomplishments. It might well be more correct to point to John and Robert Adam together, and they would have cited Kedlestone Hall.

James Stirling is NOT in the list this page is about. Frank Lloyd Wright was not British, but American.

[correct answer to a hard question: a Inigo Jones, b Robert Adam  c Christopher Wren, d Zaha Hadid  e Lutyens f Frank Lloyd Wrtight, g the History Faculty is called the Stirling Building, notable to TLS as being sited at the wrong aspect, so it overheats, h is Norman Foster (and the Millau Viaduct and the Tulip, London), i is Richard Rogers (and  in London the Lloyds Building, Paddington Waterside, Paternoster Square; in Strasbourg, the ECHR Building)]

11 Ab Bf Ce Dg  Ec Fa Gd

12  Ij, Ji,  Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn

13 Ae  Bh Ca  Db Ef  Fd  Gc Hj  Ii  Jg    Get any of these at all and pat yourself on the back. I knew CGI.



Quiz 2 is at the moment only reached by this link. https://uquiz.com/s5vkhV I'm having trouble making the HTML load correctly. It is an efficient use of space, but you don't get to see the whole of the explanation of the answers.




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