Because my attention has been concentrated on other projects recently, I have posted very infrequently on this blog of late. From today, the quizzes will be posted more regularly. Here are 20 questions for you:
1. Which British track and field athlete lit the Olympic flame at the 1948 London Olympics?
2. With a name meaning 'corpse shore', what is the name of the place in Hel where Níðhöggr lives and sucks corpses?
3. What is the name of the monumental gateway that serves as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens that now gives its name to any monumental gateway?
4. Who did Andy Murray defeat to win the final of the Cincinatti Masters in August 2008?
5. Which 17th Century Italian baroque painter, whose works include 'Baptism of Christ' and 'Venus and Amor', is known as 'The Anacreon of Painters'?
6. Who was the morganatic wife of Prince Rupert, Duke of Cumberland who is usually credited as the first professional actress on the English stage? Her first performance was on December 8 1660, in a production of Shakespeare's play 'Othello', when she played the role of Desdemona.
7. Which American football team play their homes games at Heinz Field?
8. Said to have been founded by a sister of Diomede and the birthplace of Democritus and Protagoras, which maritime city in Thrace is said to have become so overrun with rats that is was abandoned by its inhabitants who relocated to Macedonia?
9. Which American athlete was the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds?
10. According to Islamic belief, 40 of the 70 Abdals always live in which country?
11. Named after its ineffectiveness, which English Parliament of 1614 lasted no more than eight weeks and failed to resolve the conflict between King James I and the House of Commons?
12. Which horse won the 2008 Kentucky Derby? And which horse had to be put down after finishing second in the same race? *
13. Based on the stories in 'The Arabian Nights', 'Tales of the Genii' is the best remembered work of which English author?
14. First appearing in 1883, which catcher, playing for Toledo, became the first black major league baseballer?
15. What is the name of the boar of Norse mythology that was created by Eitri and Brokkr as a gift to Freyr?
16. Which English river was once known as the river Abus?
17. 'Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter', 'The Prime of Life', 'Force of Circumstance' and 'All Said and Done' are the four volumes of the autobiography of which French author?
18. In reference to seven Alexandrian poets and tragedians of the 3rd century B.C., what collective name was given to a group of 16th-century French Renaissance poets whose principal members were Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay and Jean-Antoine de Baïf?
19. Which city in Jiangsu Province in China, known for its gardens and silk industry, is nicknamed 'the Venice of the East'?
20. In the Bible, upon which mountain did Aaron die?
*Thanks to Myron for spotting the not very deliberate mistake in the original question here. The original question stated that Big Brown both won the 2008 Kentucky Derby and was put down afterwards. I can state with confidence that Big Brown did win the race but it was, in fact, Eight Belles who was 'euthanized' (yes, I hate that word too). Big Brown is not dead - at least he wasn't until he read my quiz, at which point the shock of finding that he had been pronounced dead on such an authoritative blog as this one caused catastrophic heart failure. R.I.P. Big Brown. And Eight Belles.
And the answers:
1. JOHN MARK
4. NOVAK DJOKOVIC
5. FRANCESCO ALBANI
6. MARGARET HUGHES
7. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
9. JIM HINES
11. ADDLED PARLIAMENT
12. BIG BROWN & EIGHT BELLES
13. JAMES RIDLEY
14. MOSES FLEETWOOD WALKER
17. SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR
18. LA PLEIADE
20. MOUNT HOR