Quiz on surprise hits

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on November 30, 2018 Published on November 30, 2018

On the birthday of Salvatore ‘Totò’ Schillaci, a substitute who ended up winning the Golden Boot award in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, we have a quiz on serendipitous hits.

Surprise, surprise

1 This cricketer arrived for the 2003 World Cup as a back-up fast bowler. After getting an opportunity due to Jason Gillespie’s injury, he took 7 for 20 against England. He also made 34 in a vital seventh-wicket stand to lead his team to victory. He got 64 in the next match and ended with 16 wickets for the tournament and a batting average of over a century. Identify this player.

2 This actor was originally selected for the title role of a 1998 film on the basis of his brief performance in Bandit Queen and an audition for another film, Daud. He was finally persuaded to take another role in the film, for which he borrowed his accent from his cook from Kolhapur. Name the actor, the character and the film, a landmark in Indian cinema.

3 In 1985, ITV, the producers of a television game show named Safecracker were looking for a compère to introduce the host and the contestants. The compère did such an excellent job that he was asked to host the show, which, under a changed name, went on to make Indian television history. Name the host and the show.

4 Queen were so unsure of this song that they didn’t even want to release a single, but Michael Jackson heard it and persuaded the group. Name this anthem of the 1980s.

5 This book, finally published in 1900, had so many rejections, that the author L Frank Baum kept a journal called A Record of Failure. After it released, it became a monster hit, which also inspired a hugely successful film. Name this work.

6 Which bestseller 2003 non-fiction book was written by the former host of BBC Radio 4’s Cutting a Dash programme and got its title from a terrible joke about a panda in a bar?

7 Which hit song of 2011, featuring Lehmber Hussainpuri, was not originally in the film in which it appeared? It was later added in the titles and became its biggest hit.

8 In 2001, Goran Ivanisevic became the first unseeded player to win the Wimbledon men’s title since Boris Becker in 1985. Who did he beat in the final?

9 In his first three group matches, this player, returning from a suspension, was so ineffective that he was described as “a ghost aimlessly wandering over the field”. In the next three matches, he scored six goals including a hat-trick against the favourites, and led his country to an incredible World Cup win. Name the player and the year.

10 In the 1968 Mexico Olympics, this athlete was stuck in the bus in traffic on the way to the 1500-m event. He finally got off and ran over a mile to the stadium and still managed to win the gold medal. Name him.


1 Andy Bichel

2 Manoj Bajpai, who played the role of the gangster Bhiku Matre in Satya

3 Siddhartha Basu, Quiz Time

4 ‘Another one bites the dust’

5 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, later just known as The Wizard of Oz

6 Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. Do look up the joke

7 ‘Sadi gali’ from the film Tanu Weds Manu

8 Patrick Rafter

9 Paolo Rossi, Italy; 1982

10 Kip Keino of Kenya, making him the second African athlete after Ethiopia’s Abebe Bikila (gold-winner for marathon, 1960) to win an Olympic distance-running event



Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Follow Joy on Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on November 30, 2018
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