Quiz: People and numbers

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on March 31, 2017


This week’s quiz is about something of interest to most of us in India — people and numbers

1 A 1976 American science fiction film by Michael Anderson depicts a dystopian society where the population and the consumption of resources are maintained in equilibrium by killing everyone who reaches the age of 30. The story follows the actions of specimen no. 5 who has terminated others and is now faced with termination himself. Name the film.

2 Which iconic novel has a long and detailed comparison by the protagonists of the two slogans ‘two plus two equals four’ and ‘two plus two equals five’, and was responsible for the popularity of the latter phrase? Very guessable.

3 Six was a Royal Marine Commando named Andy Renton, eight was only once referred to as Bill, eleven was Cederic and nine was never named. Which is the missing number?

4 Films. Most people think they’re addressing him by a letter. But he probably derives his name from the room number in Larkhill Retirement Camp, where he was experimented on extensively. Who, and in which film?

5 Which character got its name when a sound editor by the name of Walter Murch asked for a specific reel and dialogue track, which the director heard in passing and thought was a great name?

6 If the likes of Sean Connery and Daniel Craig have played 007, who played Gunmaster G9, the spy who valiantly fought the evil terrorist Shiv Shakti Organisation (SSO) in the films Surakshaa and Wardat?

7 With which East European would you associate the number 43252003274489856000. If it is any help, it states the number of possible combinations?

8 Which writer was fascinated by the regular 76-year orbit of Halley’s comet. He was born in the year of its perihelion in 1835, and always believed he would die in 1911, the year it visited next. He actually passed away that very year.

9 In the 1990s, which phenomenon did Dunbar’s Number seek to explain?

10 Fill in the blanks, and the person being quoted. “The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought ____will do.’ I typed it out. End of story.”


1. Logan’s Run

2. 1984, by George Orwell.; used as an example of the dogma the party might want people to believe. ‘Doublethink’ was the other phrase it popularised

3. 007 James Bond. These are the only other agents with a licence to kill

4. The character V in V For Vendetta. He was confined in Room 5

5. R2-D2 (Reel 2 Dialogue 2), in the Star Wars series

6. Mithun Chakraborty

7. Erno Rubik, who invented the Rubik’s cube in 1974

8. Mark Twain; in his words, “Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together”

9. It is the number of people which anthropologist Robin Dunbar believed a single person can maintain social relationships with

10. 42, author Douglas Adams

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

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

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Published on March 31, 2017
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