Pirate queens, heavenly twins and a curious talking horse – take the Thursday quiz | Life and style

If you were lucky enough to get a break over Easter then it may feel like Thursday has come around earlier than expected, and that the weekend is nearly here again. Before you can kick off your shoes and start winding down, there is the small matter of 15 questions that are either general knowledge or vaguely topical from the news, with some jokes and sarcasm mixed in. There is a bonus point to be claimed in the comments if you can spot hidden references to Doctor Who in the wrong answer options. There are no prizes, but let us know how you get on.

The Thursday quiz, No 52

1.TO BOLDLY GO: A Nasa-led team of international scientists are hoping to send a message they call ‘the Beacon in the Galaxy’ into the Milky Way. What do they propose it contains?

2.HASTA MAÑANA MONSIEUR: That’s a 1974 song by Sparks about how they were the only three words that he knew for sure. But that’s not important right now. Scientists obviously don’t see the point of sending it into space, but when was the Esperanto language created?

3.OOH LA LA: What did they find under the floor of the Notre-Dame in Paris during an archaeological dig after the fire?

4.HARSH BUT FAIR: The former editor of El País travel supplement Andrés Rubio has caused a scene with his new book España Fea. What does the title mean in English?

5.SHIVER ME TIMBERS BUT IN CHINA: The Easter special of the long-lived children’s TV show Doctor Who featured an appearance by Zheng Yi Sao, reputedly the most famous of all female pirates. Also known as Ching Shih and Madame Ching, when did she sail the South China seas?

6.GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: Biology mixed with maths mixed with obscure measurements this week. If you are measuring things contained within a cell, then you would most likely be measuring in micrometres. How long is one micrometre?

7.HAPPY BIRTHDAY: It was artist Rachel Whiteread’s birthday yesterday. Happy birthday, Rachel! In 1993 she made history by becoming the first woman to win the Turner prize. With which work?

8.MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU: The late Jeremy Bulloch appeared in the Star Wars movies and amassed a huge collection of memorabilia that is being auctioned next month. It includes a lifesize statue of his character. Which character did he play?

9.SECRETS OF THE STARS: The constellation of Gemini is one of the signs of the zodiac, and its two brightest stars are named after which twins from mythology?

10.FIBONACCI NUMBERS: First described in Indian mathematics, and forming a sequence where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, F₉ is 34. 34 is a semiprime number. What is the definition of a semiprime number?

11.MYSTERY BADGE: Known affectionately as ‘the Iron’, and playing in claret and blue, which English football club has this badge?

12.WHY THE LONG FACE?: Which talking horse (not pictured) was owned by Wilbur Post in the US sitcom that ran from 1961 to 1966 and bore the horse’s name?

13.CONGESTION CHARGE BUT FOR PEOPLE: Which European city has announced that from June it will carry out a six-month pilot of charging day-trippers up to €10 to visit?

14.AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS: The website Wikivoyage lists 23 locations visited by fictional Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s novel, none of them by hot air balloon. No 12 is Shanghai, China. But, reputed to be the fastest regular passenger train service in the world, how many stations does the Shanghai maglev train serve?

15.MUSIC: Who had a hit in the UK in 2010 with a cover version of an Elton John song that also featured in a John Lewis TV advert?

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email [email protected], but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and he is probably too busy eating leftover Easter eggs to reply anyway.