Welcome to Superbrain 2015 – the North-East’s toughest, and most talked about, trivia quiz

Once again, there is more than £500 to be won, with the winner walking away with £250. The runner-up will get £100 and each of the six category winners will win £25, and there’s a King of the Pictures who will win £25 for the most correctly identified pictures.

Click here for the answers to this year's quiz

Superbrain has been a major part of The Northern Echo’s Christmas for nearly 30 years, and our quizmaster is David Chisholm of Newton Aycliffe. David won the quiz so regularly at the start of the millennium that we’ve given him the much harder task of setting the questions.

There are six categories and the picture round. You may enter as many categories as you like – you can enter only one category, you can enter a couple or you can enter the whole lot.

Or, of course, you could just play along for fun at home or in the pub – we know lots of people and families use Superbrain as the basis for a festive brainteaser.

All entries must be submitted on the answer grid printed today on the back of the Superbrain questions or on the downloadable online answer sheet.

Good luck, and don’t be daunted – you don’t have to answer every one of David’s brain-blowing teasers.

Question Clarifications

Literature 48 should read "which 1950s classic mentions David Copperfield in its first paragraph" and not "which 1960s classic".

TV & Film 26 is after the founder of Mouth magazine as opposed to Mouth newspaper. General Knowledge 26 should read: "Who or what was assigned number 6LL3 in 1996", rather than 6113.

11. Which series had heroes modelled on James Garner and Brigitte Bardot, as well as villains based on Claude Rains and Laurence Olivier?

12. Who plays drums in the band The Meddling Kids?

13. What is the surname of the family that have a dog called Spartacus?

14. Which martial arts expert fought the Gum Drop Kid?

15. What, and in which series, is next door to Speedy’s sandwich bar?

16. Which cartoon child was born on February 22, 1963?

17. What had the production title of 100,000 BC?

18. Which serial killer turned out, disappointingly, to be Sheriff Thomas McAllister?

19. With which long-running programme was Linda Barrett briefly associated?

20. In the first episode of which series did Holly Gribbs die?

21. Who did James Patterson tell off for only writing one novel a year?

22. What began with a Starling and ended with a Gayle?

23. Which series was a spin-off from Dad’s Army?

24. Which title character worked as a researcher for Eagle TV’s Searchlight show?

25. In which show was information gathered from Sid the Snitch?

26. Who was the founder of Mouth newspaper?

27. Which series was based on the US programme You Again?

28. In which programme did the first lesbian kiss to be televised in Britain take place?

29. Which MP was interviewed by Brian Walden in a one-off Christmas show in 1994?

30. Which former author hosted the talk show Vermont Today?

31. Who did WC Fields call a “plumber’s idea of Cleopatra”?

32. What was the first film made by Disney company Touchstone?

33. Who was a 5ft 6in cube with the face of a squashed cabbage?

34. Who is “the double-headed director”?

35. The logo for Amblin Films is a prop from which film?

36. The personal film company of which star was called Batjac?

37. Who had Brazil in every curve of her body?

38. Which actress extinguishes her cigarette in a tray of eggs in To Catch a Thief?

39. Which film had the production title of Wimpy?

40. Which actor tells Pamela Sue Martin to take off her skirt in The Poseidon Adventure (1972)?

41. In which film did Linda Darnell play an Indian?

42. “Movie, what movie?” is a tag-line associated with which film?

43. In which film can you have a drink at the Swinging Star nightspot?

44. Which actress was an inspiration for Marilyn Monroe’s portrayal of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?

45. Which horror film was appropriately edited at 666 5th Avenue in New York?

46. Through a poster of which actress does Andy Dufresne escape in The Shawshank Redemption?

47. Whose two methods of acting were with his teeth in and his teeth out?

48. “Can’t talk, can’t act – she’s sensational”. Which famous actress’ opinion of Ava Gardner?

49. Which film “almost starred Bela Lugosi”?

50. Which actress has played Supergirl and Lana Turner?


We'd like to apologise for the error with questions in the literature category. They have now been corrected.

11. Who was first a surgeon and then a captain of several ships?

12. Who is to be the latest to be allowed to continue the adventure of James Bond?

13. Under what name do we more commonly know the 8th Earl of Asherton?

14. Which heroine had “God’s nightgown” as her favourite expression?

15. Who kept a goat called Djali as a pet?

16. Which creature of mythical proportions was kept under wraps on Grimpen Mire?

17. In which Jules Verne novel do a doctor and a hunter set off in a balloon to explore Africa?

18. What did Jack London consider to be his autobiographical novel?

19. Which author described his style of writing as “putting black on white”?

20. Of which confectionary was Edward Pevensie particularly fond?

21. In which novel could you drink at the Onion Cellar?

22. Which Barsetshire inhabitant was doomed to eat his Christmas pudding alone?

23. Which novelist was fond of telling people that he was descended from a Salem witch?

24. Brigitte, Claude and Sarah have who in common?

25. The Tree and the Blossom was the working title for which work?

26. Which member of the aristocracy could have had the name Wampyr if his creator had had anything to do with it?

27. What is Tom-all-alone’s and in which novel does it appear?

28. In the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, the eponymous teacher swears by which work of classic poetry?

29. Which detective named all his cars after Dickensian characters?

30. Which novel is narrated by a novice called Adso?

31. Who kept a dog called Hamlet?

32. In which establishment did the Acid Drop teach?

33. “I can hip-hop, be-bop; dance until you drop and yo-yo make a wicked cup of cocoa”. The mantra of which title character?

34. By which group was the problem-solving waiter extraordinaire Jackson held in high esteem?

35. When first created, Mary Shelley gave her Frankenstein’s Monster a first name. What was it?

36. Which author took great delight in cruelly parodying the work of AA Milne, usually through the eyes of Timothy Bobbin?

37. Which author’s style of writing is said to have inspired the category of literature known as “Clit Lit”?

38. Who went missing at the Silent Pool?

39. Who took the name of Pippi Longstocking’s home for her own?

40. Who left a birthday to a friend?

41. Which writer’s nickname was given to him because of his illegible signature?

42. Which play is set in Harry Hope’s saloon?

43. Millon de Floss was the biographer of whom?

44. To which other famous author did Aldous Huxley teach French?

45. Which author revelled in the nickname “goat” in her childhood?

46. Which novelist worked for a time on a Swedish cruise liner?

47. The Case of the Man who was Wanted was, for a short while, thought to be an undiscovered and unpublished novel featuring which great literary creation?

48. Which 1950s classic mention David Copperfield in its first paragraph?

49. Who kept a pet called keeper?

50. The tales of which title character began in an Elephant House?


11. Which is the largest desert in the world?

12. Which Suffolk town has a disappearing cat population?

13. Who was born above a corner shop and died at the Ritz?

14. Of which organisation is Andre Cox currently the General?

15. What was Uriel’s biblical job?

16. In which city’s train station are all clocks deliberately set one minute fast?

17. Which fashion designer was responsible for the Nazi uniform?

18. The design of which company logo supposedly includes a hidden Danish flag?

19. What did Michelangelo give Adam that he didn’t have previously?

20. Who once sent Harpo Marx a barbed wire harp?

21. Who was mother to four English kings?

22. Aristotle believed there were only three and China as a country believes there are five. There are in fact seven. Seven what?

23. Who was the only American to get a favourable mention in Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf?

24. Who are Lizzie, Harry, Homer and Henry?

25. Where can you take a course in politicising Beyonce?

26. Who or what was assigned number 6113 in 1996?

27. Which company’s certificate of authenticity included a Countess as a watermark?

28. Who swapped half a pizza company for a full car?

29. “British wife wins Nobel Prize” was a British newspaper’s description of which triumph?

30. Which was the first of the Walton sextuplets to be born?

31. Under what colourful name did the colourful Isabelle Collin Dufresne become known?

32. What is the official drink of the USAmerican state of Rhode Island?

33. Which was the first national airline to officially ban smoking on its planes?

34. Who might have been first shot by Matt or Rob or at least two others?

35. Which country is the world’s largest producer of cherries?

36. What did your name have to be in order to travel around the world with Jordan Axani?

37. Glass Gem is much sought after. What is it?

38. In terms of deaths, what was the world’s worst ever volcanic eruption?

39. Who is probably the most famous man to have been a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph?

40. Over three-quarters of the world’s opals are produced by which company?

41. Who owned Miss, Bang, Shot and Damn?

42. Who once won his country’s election by receiving more than 215,000 more votes than there were members of the electorate?

43. Which was the first death to be recorded as Aortic Dissection?

44. What was designed by Louis and modelled on Dorothy?

45. Which seafood dish takes its name from the French Revolutionary Calendar?

46. Which country has a name which translates as hippopotamus?

47. Which leader was once offered a million dollars for a 1980s VW Beetle?

48. Thomas Selfridge once piloted a plane designed by which Scot?

49. What was sent out of business by a Mr Bigg in 1975?

50. How did Robert C Hershey appropriately die in 1974?


11. “At Penhill crags he tore his rags, at Hunter’s Thorn he blew his horn, at Capplebank stee he brak his knee, at Grishill beck he brak his neck.” What is the name of the well-worn old favourite being described here?

12. “No presents, no bonuses, no humbug of any sort” was the motto of whom?

13. Who was up in the air selling black puddens a penny a pair?

14. What was the birthplace of the Fighting Bradfords?

15. And where were the Battling Cooper boys born?

16. In which town can Dorothy Browne’s cross be found?

17. What do Willie Brand and Parkin Raine share?

18. Between which two places did the Cinder Track run?

19. Who attempted to sing the cat pie and the row in the guttor although somewhat inebriated in gin?

20. Attwood’s Foundry, supplier of cannonballs for the Crimean War, was to be found in which town?

21. Where was once dubbed Durham’s Little Hiroshima?

22. Which football team are nicknamed the Real Red Devils?

23. Which part of Coundon has a namesake in London?

24. What were once called “sable, solemn, still and sulphurous”?

25. If Adam is probably Alan, and Jane is probably Sarah, then who is Eva (probably)?

26. If you were sampling “Yorkshire’s lunatic broth” what would you be enjoying?

27. Which author famously lodged in Whitby, at 5 East Terrace?

28. Which town has snake stones on its coat of arms?

29. To which village would you go to read about the Parable of the Vinegar?

30. Which civil parish includes Byshottles in its official name?

31. Which town bought Mission Eleven 0 One?

32. Through the middle of which village does the Waterfall Beck run?

33. In which town was the bell of Big Ben cast, only for it to famously crack?

34. Where will you find the Montpelier of the North?

35. What was the strangest village in Britain in 2005?

36. In which town or village is the Pickled Parson a permanent guest?

37. With which nationality would you associate Hutton Hall, St Peter’s, Gainford and St Mary’s, Tudhoe?

38. Between which villages will you find the HOW triangle?

39. What did Harry Jenkins claim to be before he died in Bolton-on-Swale?

40. Where is Keel Row shopping centre?

41. What was described in 1957 as “the town that has no heart”?

42. In which hamlet did a seer, on April 24th, watch to see, from the vantage point of Old Hell Road, the spectral bodies of those about to die?

43. Who or what was the Hedley Kow?

44. Lynn Matthews, of Sunderland, almost won what in 1974?

45. Charles Robinson Sykes, from Brotton, was responsible for the design of what?

46. What were the surnames of the three Bishop Auckland players lent to Manchester United to help the team following the 1958 Munich air crash?

47. Which designer’s place of birth is generally accepted to be Stockton, although Middleton St George also lays claim?

48. With which country did Tyne Tees television do a programme exchange in 1966?

49. Alnwick is reputed to have a history of distilling which spirit?

50. Which music star played Middleton St George training college on May 12, 1973?


11. In which song do we meet a banker, a fireman, a nurse and a barber?

12. Collectively, who are Wish, Layzie, Krayzie, Flesh-N and Bizzy?

13. Who have recently called themselves “The Soul Boys of the Western World”?

14. What was the name of MC Kat’s home girl?

15. Which Canadian singer is known as the Godfather of Grunge?

16. Pray, by MC Hammer, sampled which Prince song?

17. Etc was the companion album to which album by whom?

18. Anthony, godson of Sonny Bono, can be found in which band?

19. Which dance track’s full title includes the “word” nuxx?

20. Which song connects Simon and Garfunkel, Suggs and the Vamps?

21. Which female singer’s own record label was the appropriately named Beehive records?

22. In which successful dance act will you find the son of Berry Gordy?

23. The Bedsit Tapes were a famous bootleg featuring which duo?

24. Who split their songs into categories, normally blue and red?

25. Which female’s stage name is usually abbreviated to LB?

26. Which was the Thompson Twins’ first album as a trio?

27. Which iconic rap song includes Superman and Dracula within its lyrics?

28. An off-the-cuff remark by Kylie Minogue inspired the title of which hit?

29. Which 1982 album smelt of fruit?

30. Which U2 hit single was supposedly inspired by Visage?

31. Which member of the Jam co-managed the Vapours?

32. Who might have been called Burning Peacocks?

33. The Postcard record label was originally centred on Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and which other act?

34. Which band are Starchild, Catman, Demon and Spaceman?

35. Which band had an appropriately named record label called Reception?

36. The laugh on which 1983 hit was inspired by Grandmaster Flash?

37. Butterfly Farm was one of the original names of which girl group?

38. Which band has remodelled Sergeant Pepper with the help of Miley Cyrus, among others?

39. Noel Gallagher has been recorded as saying he would give up all ten of his albums in order to have written which 1970s album?

40. Lily Rose Allen, now Cooper, is ultra-famous, but under which name does near namesake Louisa Rose Allen perform?

41. Which nu/heavy metal outfit are known by numbers rather than names?

42. Which Midlands band described themselves as playing multi-tone music, rather than two-tone?

43. The follow-up to which number one was going to be a song called Masters of the Force?

44. Which 1980 hit paraphrased Simon and Garfunkel?

45. Who are Derek, Matt and Dan?

46. Which album had the original title of Invisible Hands?

47. Who changed their name from Face 2 Face in time for chart success?

48. In the lyrics of which disco classic are Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes mentioned?

49. Who replaced Marilyn with Barbara in 1984?

50. For who did Charles, Brad and John provide the vocals?


11. Which tennis star once caddied for Rory McIlroy?

12. In which sport might you have seen Daddles the duck?

13. With which sport would you associate the Maurice Podoloff Trophy?

14. Which was the first country to ever boycott the Winter Olympic Games?

15. Petco Park, the venue of Great Britain’s famous Davis Cup victory over the US in 2013, is home to which sporting team?

16. What is the name of the last horse to win the Grand National underweight?

17. What was Quinton Ross thought to infamously be?

18. Who once won 11 matches just to qualify for the Snooker World Championships?

19. Who was the first (West) German to miss a penalty at the World Cup finals?

20. Who partnered Serena Williams to her only two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles?

21. Which former world number two is now a nun?

22. Who was the first left arm bowler to take nine wickets in an official Test match?

23. Who is known as the “sledgehammer of eternal justice”?

24. Which golfer earned himself a £114,000 BMW for shooting a hole in one at the 2014 European Masters?

25. Who was once known as Project 45?

26. Who is the tallest player to have represented the Harlem Globetrotters?

27. Which two left-handers have won the BDO world darts championship?

28. What did Fiorentina win in 1959?

29. Which cricket ground is famous for the tree inside its boundary?

30. Who used to take his fillings out because he was afraid his mind would be controlled otherwise?

31. What nationality are the three boxers who were the only brothers to have held world championships at the same time?

32. Which two countries were involved in the Olympic water polo match known as the “blood in the water” game?

33. Which was the last team, other than Real Madrid, to break the world football transfer record?

34. Which cricketer was playing in the T20 match in which Chris Gayle hit 175, as well as the T20 match in which Aaron Finch hit 156?

35. Which ice-hockey player was once banned for 47 matches?

36. Which driver was the only one to finish all F1 races in the 2013 season?

37. Who, in 2014, had his first century break at the Crucible for nine years?

38. Which star is featured in silhouette on the Australian Open tennis tournament logo?

39. Who was the first referee to use “vanishing spray” in an official competitive English football match?

40. The 2014 European Ryder Cup team featured how many Major winners?

41. Who has ridden winners in the Melbourne Cup, The Breeders Cup, the Arc De Triomphe and the English Derby?

42. What was the surname of the first father and son to play in the same US Masters golf tournament?

43. Who designed the bike used by Chris Boardman to propel him to 1992 success?

44. Which four American football teams have humans incorporated in their logos?

45. In which sport are Ostrich and Phoenix unlikely terms?

46. Jenny Pitman was the first, but which two other women have trained a Grand National winner?

47. Who was the first Australian to make it on to both the batting and the bowling boards at Lords?

48. What did Gerd Mueller once say was the only fault that he could see in Lionel Messi?

49. Which cricketer has a front lawn that reputedly is grass he “acquired” from the Wacca cricket ground?

50. Which tennis star learnt English by listening to the American comedy channel?

1. Each category has 50 questions, starting with ten picture questions. You may enter a single category, a couple of categories or the full 300 questions.

2. Or you may enter just the picture round, which is made up of the 60 pictures, ten from each category.

3. However many categories you enter, they must be on the answer grid published in The Northern Echo or on the online answersheet that can be downloaded by right clicking here and selecting 'Save Target As'.

4. Attach the downloaded sheet to the form below, fill in your details and click Submit





Attach Answersheet

5. All entries must be received by noon on Friday, January 23, 2015. We hope to publish the answers on Friday, January 30, with the name of the winners revealed on Saturday, February 7.

6. The winner will get £250, the runner-up £100, the six category winners £25 each, the King of the Pictures £25.

7. The winner is the person who has the most correct answers in the opinion of the quizmaster and the editor. In the case of a tie, lots will be drawn.

8. Any updates or clarifications will appear on Page 4 of The Northern Echo during the duration of the quiz and here online.

9. The editor's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.


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