Quiz on narrow escapes

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on March 23, 2018 Published on March 23, 2018

On March 24, 1944, 76 Allied prisoners attempted an ambitious escape from a German prison camp, dramatised in the film, The Great Escape. Today’s quiz is on famous escapes.

By a whisker

1 In 1912, which former US president was shot twice just before a speech and survived because his speech notes were in his breast pocket? He even went on to make his speech.

2 In one of the most famous escapes in cinematic history, whose likeness was replaced by a poster of Raquel Welch from the film One Million Years BC?

3 While on tour in 1959, Waylon Jennings gave up his seat on a flight to another musician and went on the tour bus instead. To whom did he surrender his seat?

4 Which actor was supposed to visit Sharon Tate’s home the night she was killed by the Manson gang, but bailed out at the last minute?

5 Who fled Agra in 1666 by bribing prison guards and having Niraji Raoji dress up as him, though legend has it that he escaped by hiding in baskets for fruits and sweets?

6 Which bestselling book and well-received film described Henri Charrière’s incarceration and subsequent escape from a penal colony in French Guiana?

7 Which actress missed being on a flight with her husband in 1958, due to cold and high fever? The plane, named after her, crashed and killed all on board.

8 Who escaped from 38/2 Elgin Road in the wee hours of January 17, 1941, dressed as a Pathan?

9 Which British PM first became a celebrity after escaping from a prison camp in 1899 while he was reporting on the Boer war?

10 Fiction. In which work does the protagonist take hide in a burial sack meant for his friend, Abbé Faria, and escapes when the sack is thrown into the sea?


1. Theodore Roosevelt

2. Rita Hayworth, in Shawshank Redemption

3. JP Richardson, the Big Bopper. The plane crashed and killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens — ‘the day the music died’

4. Steve McQueen; he was also on the list of people targeted by Charles Manson

5. Chhatrapati Shivaji

6 Papillon; the film starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman

7. Elizabeth Taylor. The plane was named ‘The Liz’ by her husband Mike Todd

8. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, on his way to the Soviet Union

9. Winston Churchill

10. Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo


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

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on March 23, 2018
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