Knights and elves and suffragettes – take the Thursday quiz

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More mysterious than the riddle of the Sphinx: the mystery of how this increasingly ridiculous quiz keeps getting published. Ahead of you are 15 topical and general knowledge question in a bizarre set of categories including “Blowing things up, but at sea”. You’ll also meet Kate Bush, Ron from Sparks, and have a hidden Doctor Who reference to spot. It is just for fun, there are no prizes. Let us know how you get on in the comments – but do try not to take it so seriously that you end up fact-checking the jokes.

The Thursday quiz, No 38

1.HAPPY BIRTHDAY: It is Orlando Bloom’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Orlando! He first came to global prominence in the Lord of the Rings movies as Legolas, but what is the name of his character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series?

2.LITERATURE: Ursula K Le Guin is regarded as one of the foremost science fiction writers of the 20th century. But which of these ISN’T the title of one of her book series?

3.GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: In the modern periodic table, how are the elements of a period arranged from left to right?

4.CHIVALRY: The Royal Order of the Seraphim is a chivalry order that appoints knights. Where?

5.ENSEMBLE CASTS: Which streaming Marvel TV series featured Kathryn Hahn, Debra Jo Rupp and Fred Melamed as part of its regular cast?

6.ON THIS DAY: Ernestine Rose was born in Piotrków Trybunalski in Poland on 13 January 1810. She was a prominent women’s rights advocate and suffragist in the US during the 19th century. But she died where in England?

7.(BABY BABY) CAN I INVADE YOUR COUNTRY? That’s a 2006 song by Sparks where they suggest that countries, planets, stars
and galaxies are all fair game. But that’s not important right now. China upset the UK’s security forces by releasing a spoof video featuring which spy?

8.ANCIENT HOOLIGANISM: In AD532 rival factions of chariot race supporters triggered the Nika riots, which, it is claimed, destroyed nearly half of which city?

9.FLAGS OF JOY: The Greek flag – notably not pictured here – features a white cross on a blue background in the top left-hand corner. Ignoring that bit, how many BLUE stripes does it have on the main body of the flag?

10.TO TREE OR NOT TO TREE: It has been announced that the first new plant to be officially named in 2022 – this exciting looking tree discovered in the Ebo forest in Cameroon – has been named after which famous Hollywood actor for their environmental campaigning?

11.BLOWING THINGS UP, BUT AT SEA: Britain’s nuclear weapons are carried by four submarines as part of the Trident programme. What are their names?

12.THE PLAY’S THE THING: Who wrote The Vagina Monologues, first performed in New York in 1996, and seen here being performed by Salma Hayek in Mexico City?

13.AFCON 21: The Africa Cup of Nations has started in Cameroon for 24 men’s football teams from the continent. Which Indian Ocean island nation, whose capital is Moroni, have qualified for the finals for the very first time?

14.WHO AM I? I was an Oscar-nominated writer and director, who died last week at the age of 82. My many credits included The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. Who am I?

15.MUSIC: In 1988, Peter Gabriel guested on whose album, titled Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm?

  • If you do think there has been an egregious error in one of the questions or answers, please feel free to email martin.belam@theguardian.com but remember, the quiz master’s word is always final, and he is seething about people relentlessly banging on about the completely made up January “Blue Monday”.