13 August 2008

Fun & Games

I just watched Freezing on the ABC. It is so funny. The British make most excellent comedy. Check it out.

At work, the team occasionally does the quiz out of the newspaper. I got a little bored, so I wrote my own - using the dictionary of course. The team scored three out of ten, but a splendid time was guaranteed for all.

Good luck.


1. If someone is punctiliar, what are they?
2. Fattoush is a Middle-Eastern salad. Name three ingredients.
3. Fauvism is a style of painting characterised by the use of vivid colour. Its chief exponent was Henri Matisse (1869-1954). The French word 'fauve' translates literally as what?
4. In an orchestra, in which class of instruments would you find a component called a fipple?
5. The word gargantuan is derived from the large-mouthed voracious giant called Gargantua in the book of the same name by which famous French author?
6. The word interminate means? (Usage clue: "Cease thy interminate complaints, anon and forever.")
7. What is the collective noun for a company of bears?
8. What is a sparable? (Clue: This word formed by contracting 'sparrow bill.')
9. What is a superfecta? (Clue: Betting term.)
10. What is a spallywankle?


1. A punctiliar person is always on time or punctual.
2. Tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons made from toasted pita bread.
3. Fauve translates literally as wild animals.
4. The wind section. A fipple is a plug at the mouth of a wind instrument.
5. Rabelais
6. Interminate means endless or infinite.
7. A sloth of bears.
8. A sparable is a small, headless, wedge-shaped nail used for the soles or heels of shoes.
9. Picking the first four winners in a horse race. (Apparently there is another Australian term for this.)
10. By far the hardest question as I made this word up. The suggestion that spallywankle involves shaking the rain off your umbrella after using it was judged to be correct for imagination. I think I will shorten this word though, as in, "I will just spally my brolly, pet. Won't be in a minute."

Today we also learnt that the word robe, as in loose fitting garment, dates from 1275 and has the same root as the word rob, as in steal; but the robe whence you deposit your clothes is a boring abbreviation of wardrobe from the 1970's!

I hope you enjoyed this morceau of amusement.

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