A quiz on magazines

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 20, 2015

Joy Bhattacharjya

On this day, 90 years ago, Harold Ross and Jane Grant started a humour magazine that they announced ‘was not edited for the lady in Dubuque’. Nine decades on, The New Yorker continues to amaze and delight. In homage, this week’s quiz is about the world of magazines.

1 Which magazine was founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University — its name is actually a medieval form of the name of the Cam river. Former contributors include Ted Hughes, AA Milne and Sylvia Plath.

2 Connect the writings of Confucius, a European emperor, a US Civil War site and three varieties of trees with an extremely well-known international magazine.

3 One from The New Yorker. Their cartoons are just as well known as their prose. Which five-word catchphrase originated from the caption of a 1941 Peter Arno cartoon showing an engineer walking away from a crashed plane?

4 Which American magazine is popularly associated with a jinx that affects people appearing on its covers, starting with a certain Eddie Mathews in 1954, who broke his hand within a few weeks of his maiden appearance?

5 Which Asian airline has an in-flight magazine named after an asymmetrical dagger with a distinct blade pattern?

6 Most top football clubs have their own fan magazines or ‘fanzines’. If Chelsea has The Blue and the White and United We Stand is for Manchester United fans, which club’s best-known fanzine is called Gunflash?

7 In 1986, the Anandabazar Patrika group of publications pulled off a coup of sorts when it convinced actress and director Aparna Sen to edit its new Bengali fortnightly, Sananda. Who did the Pioneer Book Company convince a year later to head its new women’s magazine, Meri Saheli, which helped it become the largest selling Hindi magazine in the country?

8 In 1978, which 22-year-old was appointed editor of Bombay magazine, making him the youngest ever Indian editor of a mainstream publication?

9 Which magazine’s first cover, in November 1967, featured a picture of an actor playing a soldier in the film How I Won the War?

10 She appeared on the cover of a famous magazine in June 1985, but never saw the actual magazine till shortly before making the cover of the magazine again in April 2002. Identify the person and the magazine.


1. Granta

2. The Economist. Analects, Charlemagne, Lexington and Buttonwood, Baobab and Banyan are all popular opinion columns in the magazine

3. Back to the drawing board

4. The Sports Illustrated. Of course, Michael Jordan, who appeared 49 times on its cover, did not seem to be affected by the jinx. The magazine actually put a black cat on its cover when it discussed the history of the jinx in 2002

5. Singapore Airlines; the SilverKris

6. Arsenal. Other great names are A Load of Bull, Wolverhampton Wanderer’s fanzine, named after record goalscorer, Steve Bull, and War of the Monster Trucks, for Sheffield Wednesday fans

7. Actress Hema Malini

8. Vir Sanghvi

9. Rolling Stone. The actor was John Lennon, in his first and only non-musical appearance

10. Sharbat Gul, better known as the ‘Afghan Girl’, one of National Geographic’s most famous covers ever. Photographer Steve McCurry tracked her down 17 years later

( Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup)

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

Published on February 20, 2015
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