The greatest Houdini acts

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on September 11, 2021

Alive and kicking: The 12-member “Wild Boars” soccer team and their coach rescued from the flooded cave pose for a picture   -  REUTERS

On 12 September1943, German Commando Otto Skorzeny and his forces rescued Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from house arrest. This week’s quiz is about escapes and rescues

Great escapes

1. In March 1986, who drugged his guards and fellow inmates after inviting them for a party, calmly walked out of Tihar jail and was apprehended a week later in Goa?

2. According to a semi-serious study done by Kynan Eng, over $900 billion has been spent on rescuing which film actor across his various roles?

3. Who was rescued on 2nd Feb 1709, by the sailing ship Duke? The captain of the ship, Woodes Rogers, was amazed at the physical vigour and agility of the man he rescued.

4. The trapped miners in the 2010 Copiapo mining accident were finally rescued by a craft named the Fenix 2, which was specially built by the Chilean Navy for the purpose. Which international organization helped design Fenix 2?

5. In 1995, which Indian organization entered the Guinness Book of World Records, thanks to a rescue they had orchestrated between August 13th and October 20th, 1990?

6. Which hugely popular film star of the 20s was rescued by Corporal Lee Duncan in September 1918 from the French village of Flirey just after a major battle?

7. Captain Arthur Henry Rostron received the Congressional Gold Medal, became commodore of the Cunard fleet Line and in 1926 became a knight commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was first recognized for spearheading which rescue in 1912?

8. Which film features the story of Bruce Wayne’s escape from an underground prison named the Pit, which in the story is located next to Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur, India?

9. British divers: John Volanthen, Richard Stanton, Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell, and Australians Richard Harris and Craig Challen spearheaded which rescue operation in 2018?

10. In June 1962, Clarence Anglin, John Anglin, and Frank Morris escaped from which facility in 1962, regarded as the only successful escape from this facility in its history?


1. Charles Sobhraj

2. Matt Damon, almost $800 billion was estimated to be spent in the films Titan A.E, Interstellar and Martian, all set in space, while Saving Private Ryan counted for just around $100,000

3. Alexander Selkirk, the man who inspired the Daniel Defoe story, Robinson Crusoe


5. Air India, for the most people evacuated by a civilian airliner. Over 170,000 people were airlifted from Kuwait

6. Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd dog who was one of Hollywood’s most popular stars

7. Roston Rostron was the captain of the Carpathia, the only ship that managed to rescue passengers from the Titanic

8. The Dark Knight Returns, the final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy

9. The rescue of the members of the Wild Boar football team from the Tham Luang Nang Non Caves in Thailand

10. Alcatraz Island, which was a US federal prison between 1934 and 1963

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on September 11, 2021

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