So I found this file, last modified 10 June 1997, on a set of back ups and it’s a pub quiz that I ran in Balliol bar. In fact considering the date I suspect that this is the night that Lettice first clapped eyes on me and thought “nice guy, shame about the jumper”.

People on Facebook and Twitter said that they wanted to see the quiz, so here goes.

Remember that this was set in June 1997 – Tony Blair has just won a landslide victory, Katrina and the Waves had just won the Eurovision song contest, Deep Blue had just beaten Gary Kasparov, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa were still alive, Google was being born and Wikipedia didn’t exist.


  1. What is Ludwig von Köchel’s claim to fame?
  2. Which instrument did jazz musician Bix Biederbecke play?
  3. “Killing Me Softly”, covered by The Fugees, was written about whom?
  4. Which actress has recently released a single entitled “Extremis”?
  5. What is the combined age of The Spice Girls?


  1. What hobby did Sherlock Holmes take up when he retired?
  2. What is the name of G.K. Chesterton’s clerical sleuth?
  3. Whose 1991 novel tells the story of a man who lives his life backwards?
  4. Which poet’s works include “The Wreck of the Hesperus” and “The Courtship of Miles Standish”?
  5. Captain Absolute, Sir Lucius O’Trigger and Bob Acres are the title characters in which play?

Television and Cinema

  1. In which cult TV series would you encounter the saying “Be seeing you” complete with accompanying salute?
  2. What’s the name of the man who in 1980 was voted worst director of all time and was played by Johnny Depp in a 1995 film?
  3. Which 1985 film was directed by Steven Spielberg and featured Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey?
  4. Name the two actors who played Scott Robinson in Neighbours?
  5. What is the name of Postman Pat’s cat?


  1. Which of the following is not a measure of radiation: Gray, Weber, Sievert, Curie, Bequerel?
  2. How is the drug in everyday use Acetaminophen better known?
  3. Which internal organ do most snakes lack?
  4. Which computing pioneer was tried and convicted because of his homosexuality?
  5. Which chemical element is named after a Norse god?


  1. Leonidas led which side at the battle of Thermopylae
  2. Which English king was imprisoned in Durenstein castle by Leopold of Austria?
  3. The “Defenestration of Prague” started which war?
  4. How old was Queen Victoria at the time of her ascension to the throne?
  5. Where in 1946 would you have found British, French and Japanese troops fighting on the same side?


  1. Which African country takes its name from some ancient ruins?
  2. What is the biblically inspired name of the islands in the South Pacific discovered in 1568 by the Alvaro de Mendana de Neyra?
  3. Which country is jointly ruled by the President of France and the Bishop of Urgel?
  4. St Mary’s, St Martin’s and Tresco are members of which island group?
  5. Which is the smallest of the United States?

Current Affairs – Remember, it’s 1997

  1. How many women are there in the new cabinet?
  2. How is Daniel Hooper better known?
  3. A great-nephew of which socialist hero was revealed as a “Tory Boy” during the election campaign?
  4. What is the quorum for the House of Commons?
  5. Why are Deborah Parry and Lucille McLauchlan in big trouble?


  1. Who, last year, won a fourth consecutive Olympic gold in a track and field event?
  2. Who were the last nation to win football’s world cup in their own country?
  3. Harold Larwood and Douglas Jardine were involved in which cricketing controversy?
  4. Which four tournaments make up tennis’s Grand Slam?
  5. What is the official name of rugby’s British Lions?


  1. Thomas Watson who in 1943 said, “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers” was chairman of which company?
  2. In 1975, Elizabeth Seton, became the first American to do what?
  3. Who said of the press barons, “Power without responsibility, the privilege of the harlot throughout the ages.”?
  4. What were P.G. Wodehouse’s first names?
  5. Which day of the week will the next century begin on?


  1. In which year was OUSU formed?
  2. Who first said that Balliol students had “the tranquil air of the effortlessly superior”?
  3. Which is the tallest college?
  4. Baillie College occasionally featured in which BBC TV series?
  5. Inspector Morse attended which college as an undergraduate? (Two possible answers as books and TV differ.)

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  1. Dr Paul says:

    Running your own pub quiz is the most fun a boy can have, provided he has grown weary of sex.

    A few quality questions in there. We like nos. 5, 18 and 26 in particular. Nice.

    Look at my site if you want loads more questions…

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