Are you smart enough for this University Challenge quiz?

Limber up for the climax of University Challenge with these questions from last year’s final


Just how Monkman are you? Find out with these select  21 questions from last year’s final. Once you’ve written your answers down, you can find the answers here.


Right, your starters for 10…

1. Meanings of what four-letter word include: a tidal wave of unusual height; the diameter of a tube or cylinder; a deep, vertical hole dug, for example, to obtain water; and, in the words of Ambrose Bierce, “a person who talks when you wish him to listen”?

2. More than 5,800m in height, Mount Hkakabo (right) is the highest mountain in which country?

3. Which country’s presidents and military rulers have included Yakubu Gowon, Sani Abacha and Goodluck Jonathan?

4. Which Greek letter is used both for the Möbius function in number theory and for the coefficient of friction in mechanics?

5. “Pleasure”, “punishment”, “thrill”’, “liability” and “atonement” are among nouns that commonly follow what Latin-derived adjective?

6. Hydrogen and helium are the two most abundant elements in the universe. What molecule would result from combining an atom of the third most abundant element with one of the fourth?

7. What was the first year of the 21st century to be a prime number?

8. What did the Canadian science writer David Levy describe as being, “Like cats: they have tails, and they do precisely what they want”?

9. In which European city is the Mother Teresa Cathedral (above), located on the boulevard Bill Clinton? It is the capital of a country recognised by more than 100 of the UN’s 193 member states.

10. What is the name of the member of the British Cabinet who, in July 1914, was the counterpart of the Russian Sazonov, the German Von Jagow and the Austrian Berchtold?

11. What common name is shared by the large rodents Castor canadensis and Castor fiber? The latter has recently been reintroduced to the UK.

12. “Next to the Bible, [it] is my comfort.” Of which work by Tennyson did Queen Victoria (right) say this?

13. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate is a 2014 work by which Canadian author and social activist?

14. In 1696, the Parliament of Scotland passed an Act that provided for a school in every parish. In what year did Forster’s Education Act make similar provision for England and Wales? You may have ten years either way.

15. What optical phenomenon can result from movement out of a gravitational field, or from the cosmic expansion of space, or from the movement of a light source away from the observer?

16. The name of what religious concept may be spelt by concatenating a word meaning “a strap attached to the bridle of a horse” and a commercial flower also known as the clove pink?

17. Ignoring the proportions of bands, stripes and crosses, the flags of France, Finland, Thailand, Poland and Indonesia (below) all appear if smaller rectangles are drawn in specific positions on the flag of which Nordic country?


18. “A gentle knight was pricking on the plain.” Of which poetical work is this the first line of the first stanza of the first canto? It was first published in 1590.

19. What is the radius of convergence of the exponential function defined on the complex plane?

20. Born in 1697, Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester, was a noted art collector who built which Palladian mansion in Norfolk? His collection is still housed there, and is largely intact.

21. An arboreal snake of sub-Saharan Africa, Dendroaspis polylepis has what common name? 

Click here for the answers…


University Challenge is on 8pm tonight, BBC2