Pit your wits against our fiendish quizmaster - you could win £1,000

Who said: ‘I know I’m not dumb and I also know I’m not blonde’: Pit your wits against our fiendish quizmaster Marcus Berkmann in our literary teaser — you could win £1,000

  • Marcus Berkmann challenges readers to a quiz for a chance of winning £1,000 
  • Divided the questions into various categories including Films and anniversaries
  • Winner will be announced in The Daily Mail books pages on January 21, 2022 

    1. Which book of the Old Testament contains the two censuses of the Israelites after their exodus?

    2. Which author suffered, at various times, anthrax, pneumonia, diabetes, hepatitis, skin cancer, malaria, a fractured skull, a ruptured kidney, a ruptured spleen and a crushed vertebra, survived alcoholism and two plane crashes, but finally offed himself with a gunshot to the head in 1961?

    3. Which winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature wrote the script for the first ever royal Christmas broadcast in 1932?

    4. Which writer, the creator of a much-loved children’s character himself, dramatised Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind In The Willows, making it into Toad Of Toad Hall?

    Sleuth: Joan Hickson as Miss Marple

    Sleuth: Joan Hickson as Miss Marple

    5. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Greek Interpreter, who, according to Sherlock Holmes, can always be found at the Diogenes Club from a quarter to five till 20 to eight?

    6. ‘Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.’ That’s the first line of which 1950 novel?

    7. What were named, variously, after a tram in New Orleans, a collection of animal figurines, and Brick’s wife Maggie?

    8. Four characters from Frozen — Anna, Kristoff, Hans and Sven — are named after which author, who wrote The Snow Queen, the film’s main inspiration?

    9. In Edward Lear’s The Owl And The Pussycat (pictured below) who performed the marriage ceremony?

    10. ‘Good career move,’ said Gore Vidal, in 1984, about which other writer’s death?

    ME, MYSELF & I

    As usual there’s a tidal wave of celebrity autobiographies in the bookshops. Who wrote each of these?

    1. Windswept & Interesting

    2. And Away . . .

    3. This Much Is True

    4. Don’t Laugh, It’ll Only Encourage Her

    5. All About Me!

    6. The Audacity

    7. Reflections

    8. Before & Laughter: A Life-Changing Book

    9. Leap Of Faith

    10. A Funny Life


    1. Which English author of picaresque novels such as The Adventures Of Roderick Random, The Adventures Of Peregrine Pickle and The Expedition of Humphry Clinker was born 300 years ago this year?

    2. Which French realistic novelist, probably best known for his first novel, was born 200 years ago, and never married or had children, explaining that he was opposed to childbirth because he would ‘transmit to no one the aggravations and the disgrace of existence’?

    3. Which French poet and essayist, also born 200 years ago, coined the term modernity (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility of artistic expression to capture that experience?

    4. Which American writer would have celebrated her 100th birthday in January, had she not died in 1995? She published the first lesbian novel with a happy ending, and Graham Greene called her ‘the poet of apprehension’.

    5. In September the author of the ‘Doctor’ series of comic novels would also have been 100. What was his pen-name? He was only the second person ever to reject Eamonn Andrews and his big red book on This Is Your Life, but relented and the show went out a week later.

    6. Crome Yellow, the first novel by which English writer, was published in 1921, and so this year was its centenary? This author died on the same day as President John F. Kennedy, and, therefore, news of his demise was rather overshadowed.

    7. Two well-known books by a prolific children’s author had their 75th birthdays this year. The Folk Of The Faraway Tree was the third in the Faraway Tree series, while First Term At Malory Towers was the first in the Malory Towers series. Who was the author?

    8. Which famous black paperback imprint was launched in 1946? A translation of Homer’s Odyssey was the first in the series, and remained the company’s bestselling book over the next decade?

    9. Which English writer, who died 75 years ago in 1946, had affairs with a significant number of women, including the writers Amber Reeves, Elizabeth von Arnim and Rebecca West, the birth-control activist Margaret Sanger and (on a visit to Maxim Gorky in Russia) Gorky’s own mistress, Countess Benckendorff?

    10. Which English author, born in 1946, wrote Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, which won the 2007 Bollinger Everyman award for comic writing? He was diagnosed with cancer shortly after publication and died in 2013.


    All of these writers won the Booker Prize, some a very, very long time ago. But at least they’re all in alphabetical order. No need to name the book, just in each case the writer.

    A. 1986

    A. 1986

    B. 1984

    C. 2018

    C. 2018

    D. 1990

    D. 1990

    E. 1983 & 1999

    E. 1983 & 1999

    F. 2019

    F. 2019

    G. 2004

    G. 2004

    H. 2009 & 2012

    H. 2009 & 2012

    I. 1997

    I. 1997

    J. 2017

    J. 2017


    Here are ten films based on famous books. I’ll give you the three main stars, the director and the year of first release. And I want you to give the title of the novel (or novella) it was based on and the name of its author. Example: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, directed by Jonathan Demme (1991). Answer: The Silence Of The Lambs by Thomas Harris. Let’s go!

    1. Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, directed by Victor Fleming (1939).

    2. Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, directed by J. Lee Thompson (1961).

    3. Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Tom Courtney, directed By David Lean (1965).

    4. Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, directed by Alexander Payne (1999).

    5. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, directed by David Fincher (1999).

    6. Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (2006).

    7. Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, directed by Christopher Nolan (2006).

    8. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, directed by David Frankel (2006).

    9. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender, directed by Steve McQueen (2013).

    10. Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, directed by Luca Guadagnino (2017).


    Who wrote the following novels or novellas?

    1. The Dean’s December (1982)

    2. The Enchanted April (1922)

    3. Snow In April (1972) and September (1990)

    4. November (1842)

    5. A Week In December (2009)

    6. July’s People (1981)

    7. The Hunt For Red October (1984)

    8. The March (2005)

    9. August Is A Wicked Month (1965) and Wild Decembers (1999)

    10. Juneteenth (1999)


    1 Nick Rennison enjoyed Ageless: The New Science Of Getting Older Without Getting Old, in January. A tortoise named Harriet died of a heart attack in an Australian zoo in 2006. Who had originally picked her up in the Galapagos Islands?

    a) Sir David Attenborough

    b) Steve Backshall

    c) Charles Darwin

    2 Which actor, according to a biography reviewed in January, always wore leather driving gloves in the car and a collar and tie to the beach?

    a) David Niven

    b) Kenneth More

    c) Roger Moore

    In a Constance Craig Smith review from January, who said the following: ‘I’m not offended by the dumb blonde jokes, because I know I’m not dumb . . . and I also know I’m not blonde.’?

    Jayne Mansfield

    Marilyn Monroe

    Dolly Parton

    Pictured left to right: Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe and country legend Dolly Parton

    a) Marilyn Monroe

    b) Dolly Parton

    c) Jayne Mansfield

    4Which classic novel left the novelist Marian Keyes cold because she had to do it for the Irish equivalent of A-levels? She says she is a fully-paid up Jane Austen fan now.

    a) Pride And Prejudice

    b) Persuasion

    c) Emma

    Roger Alton had some fun in March with Paul O’Keeffe’s book about the Battle of Culloden. How long did the battle last?

    a) Forty minutes

    b) Two hours

    c) Nearly three days

    6 In March, I reviewed a book about Isaac Newton’s London career. Which useful domestic item is Newton believed to have invented?

    a) The spoon

    b) The catflap

    c) The shaving brush

    7 ‘I have never experienced happiness. I have always been waiting for it.’ A typically gloomy remark from which great Russian writer, whose biography was Book Of The Week in March?

    a) Leo Tolstoy

    b) Fyodor Dostoevsky

    c) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    8 In April, Antony Cummins reviewed Blake Bailey’s vast biography of which great sex-crazed American writer, who died three years ago, aged 85?

    a) Saul Bellow

    b) Norman Mailer

    c) Philip Roth

    9 According to Roger Lewis in April, ‘Had Miss Marple been a novelist, she’d have been . . .’ who? ‘A large jar of marmalade is more desirable than a new love affair,’ she wrote.

    A) Agatha Christie

    B) Barbara Pym

    C) Miss Read

    10 William Palmer’s book In Love With Hell, about alcoholic writers, was a Book Of The Week in May. Which American writer had vodka for breakfast and went everywhere with a Thermos flask of dry martinis?

    a) Ernest Hemingway

    b) William Faulkner

    c) John Cheever



    Send your answers by post to Daily Mail Literary Quiz, Books Department, Daily Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT.

    Include your full name, address, phone number and email address (if you have one). Closing date for entries is January 17, 2022. The first set of correct answers drawn from the hat after that closing date wins a prize of £1,000.

    The winner’s name and the correct answers will be printed in the Daily Mail Books pages on January 21, 2022. The prize is non-transferable and no alternative is available. Allow 28 days for receipt of prize. Normal Daily Mail terms and conditions apply. See page 59 for full terms and conditions or visit: dailymail.co.uk/rules