For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
Superbrain winner strikes gold for fourth time
TONY has struck gold for a fourth time in The Northern Echo’s Superbrain quiz.
Last year’s winner Tony Gold, pictured above right with quizmaster David Chisholm, has held onto his crown - a crown he first won in 1986.
The semi-retired chartered surveyor from Houghton-le-Spring got 282 marks out of 300, and so pipped by a point the runner-up, Ian Dodds, from Gateshead.
“I thought it would be close this year because it was hard - harder than previous years,” said Mr Gold, 59. “I would usually consider 285 marks to be the benchmark.”
He found one question in particular to be a chew-on: “The name of what was changed in 1914, having originally been called Mermaid?”
He said: ”I am sick of reading about pubs called Mermaid and seeing stories about mermaids found off Saltburn and Robin Hoods Bay. In the end I put that it was a shipyard like the Neptune Yard - I thought it had to be something coastal.”
But the answer was, in fact, Dainty Dinah’s famous toffee, made in Chester-le-Street.
“I’m now an expert in mermaids - but not in toffees,” he said.
The North-East’s toughest trivia quiz was again set by David Chisholm of Newton Aycliffe, who completed a hat-trick of wins in the early 2000s. He tries to set it so that people have to work for the answers - you can’t just tap the question into Google and get it right straightaway.
“Doing Superbrain has changed enormously,” said Mr Gold. “Thirty years ago, when it first kicked off, the winners always thanked the librarians who had helped them. Now you have to work on your screen.”
Many thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations to our winners - unusually, there appear to be more female winners of the categories than male.
Winner (250): Tony Gold, Sunderland
Runner-up (100) and King of the Pictures (25): Ian Dodds, Low Fell, Gateshead.
TV/Film (25): Phil Spencer, Tow Law
Literature (25): Becky Mallon, Durham
General Knowledge (25): Graham Perry, Kiphill, Durham.
North-East (25): Stacey Wood, Belmont, Durham.
Pop (25): Sandi Wood, Darlington.
Sport (25): Helen Broadwith, Northallerton.
11. What was the name of the father of Brilliant Kid?
12. Which company had the slogan "Serves you right"?
13. Which secret agent was nicknamed "the Jigsaw"?
14. Which series has been called "Downtown Abbey with tills"?
15. Chill and Shivers were two of the nefarious side-kicks of which villain?
16. Chalk and Cheese software designs were featured in which series?
17. Who played the part of a policeman in A Family at War before going on to the streets of Weatherfield?
18. Shane Dooley lost his job in 2013. What was his job?
19. Which series is set in the city of Town?
20. Ammunition was the name of the inflammatory band in which one-off drama?
21. Which show was originally pitched as "Who wants to be a Millionaire - but with games"?
22. Blimpys was the rival fast food joint of which outlet?
23. "Oh no not them" was a US pilot made of which British series?
24. What was Victoria Nicholls` job before helping Robin Tripp in the running of Robin's Nest?
25. Which two comedy actors played the parts, taken by Peter Davison and Sean Hughes in the TV series, of Dangerous Davies and Mod Lewis in the original 1981 TV film of The Last Detective?
26. What was John Wayne reputedly paid for his cameo in The Beverley Hillbillies?
27. David Suchet was once rumoured to have done the voice-over for which series, although the actor himself does not recall it?
28. Which 1980s-1990s US series took its title from a song by Badfinger?
29. In which drama could you drink in the Brown Bear?
30. Les McQueen and Tony Cluedo were both members of which band?
31. "Every street should have one" was the original title of which short-lived comedy?
32. Who was out to prove he had nothing to prove?
33. Which comedy was from the brother of the director of Ghost?
34. Which film was the first to be set in Perfection?
35. Who would prefer animal on his passport, rather than actor?
36. And which star actually has Acteur-vigneron on his passport?
37. "To avoid fainting, keep repeating: it's only a movie" was how which horror advertised itself?
38. In The Manchurian Candidate, what was used as the hypnotic trigger for the killer?
39. In which film are Billy and Lori directed by Alan Smithee?
40. In which film do we see the gravestone of Sergei Leone, even though he was very much alive at the time?
41. What was Stan Laurel's personal favourite of the short film comedies he made with Oliver Hardy?
42. Who has a production company named for the street he grew up in?
43. In which film are grenades disguised as pies (of the custard variety)?
44. And in which Hitchcock film is there a custard pie throwing scene?
45. Who had the real name of Rebecca Buck?
46. Who called herself an "average gal, skinny in places; fat in others, with sort of blue eyes"?
47. During the filming of which of his movies did Errol Flynn reportedly suffer a heart attack?
48. Who received his last film credit in 1986, some 19 years after his death?
49. Which star died the day before he was due to co-present the first Patsy awards in the early 1950s?
50. Which film was going to be called D?
11. Who wrote his best-known book because he wanted "to poison a monk"?
12. What was Pinocchio's hat made from?
13. At which establishment did Jimmy, Nosey and Potty all teach?
14. Released in 2013, what has Stephen King titled the much anticipated follow-up to The Shining?
15. What was the name of the dog in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
16. Who had a mouth like a fireplace and a chimney for a nose?
17. Who inherits Plumfield Estate?
18. Who connect Joyce, Carroll and Kipling? This should be connects?
19. Which Rankin creation supports Hibernian?
20. The Brothers Grimm started to work on their own dictionary but only got as far as which letter?
21. Created by Patricia Highsmith, which instrument was played moderately by Tom Ripley?
22. Who suffered from the Morbids and the Demons?
23. Which child of the 1990s is an arachnophobe but not frightened of monkey bars?
24. Who is to update Poirot?
25. Who thought that people could be split into sponges, sand-glasses, strain-bags and mogul diamonds?
26. Which animal was atop the umbrella of Mary Poppins?
27. And which Harry Potter character is believed to have disguised his wand as an umbrella?
28. In which novel is there a computer called Earth?
29. In which specific type of confectionary does Charlie Bucket find his golden ticket?
30. Who had an American pen-friend called Mancini?
31. What nationality was Ian Fleming's criminal mastermind Dr No?
32. Who writes the Rutshire Chronicles?
33. Who was responsible for starting the Angel Fish and Aquarium Club?
34. Who was called the Dickens of Detroit?
35. What did the foolish Abel Drugger sell?
36. In which sort of factory did Arthur Seaton work?
37. Which John was often called barbecue?
38. The alter-ego of which author died of cancer of the pseudonym?
39. Which secret agent had a mother that was a nurse before she was tragically blown up?
40. Which author lived at Mulberry Hill?
41. Which author co-founded the Orange Prize?
42. Who has fallen out with his keyboard and now only speaks to his computer?
43. Who is credited with inventing the cocktail party?
44. William Boyd, the man charged with updating 007, has described which of Fleming's Bond novels as a turkey and an aberration?
45. The first case of which detective, solved when she was eight, involved stolen cake?
46. Who wrote his own obituary and published it six years before his death?
47. In which novel does a woman own Death, Ashes and Dust, among many others?
48. In which novel does the great Belgian detective Hercule Poirot die (by matchbox)?
49. Which 2013 novel ends with a passage from Ulysses?
50. Which author swapped a pudding for a strawberry?
11. Who is Yew Tree 5?
12. In which year did the First World War officially end?
13. How has the notorious Samantha Lewthwaite become better known?
14. Thatcher, Yellow Woodpecker and Kitchener are all types of what?
15. How many stars make up the grouping commonly called Orion s Belt?
16. In which Australian state will you find the Twelve Apostles?
17. Who was briefly MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone in April 1981?
18. What is the Chinese version of Twitter called?
19. Which painter was responsible for designing the Chupa Chups logo?
20. Which animal is also known as the mountain screamer?
21. The wives of who included a sister, an aunt and one he liked so much he ate her?
22. Which subject did dictator Pol Pot once teach?
23. Thomas Edison's original light-bulb design used what material as a filament?
24. How many clauses did the Magna Carta originally have?
25. Which colourful group of six all have names beginning with B, including a baby and another with a big heart?
26. Who was the first American president to survive an assassination attempt?
27. What was the name of the town that didn't stare?
28. In 1987 The MS Herald of Free Enterprise was going to which port when disaster struck?
29. What were the four Wangs famous for in the 17th Century?
30. Which European country grows the most bananas?
31. The name of which French car-maker is actually in Dutch?
32. Which composer often stole his sister's works and unashamedly published them as his own?
33. What is the state fish of Hawaii?
34. Who was involved in an unsavoury incident at Trois Pommes in 2013?
35. Which US town is appropriately twinned with the Scottish town of Dull?
36. In legend, who was born holding a blood clot?
37. Who was alive but not on Earth when the 9/11 tragedy occurred in 2001?
38. A man of letters, how did John Humble become known?
39. Briefly replaced in 2013, what were the three best known words of Oswald Lawrence?
40. The picture of Buzz Aldrin that featured on a cover of National Geographic in 1969 was taken by whom?
41. Charlemagne, Lewis and Thomas Jefferson are all types of what?
42. Which monarch over-indulged on peaches and cider?
43. Which American state's name is the only one that can be typed using one line of a typewriter?
44. Norman, William and James were among those that laid claim to which sobriquet?
45. Who once wrote gardening columns under the name Rose Blight?
46. Although the tales have been gradually softened, whose original fate was to have his feet burnt off before he was hung and thrown off a cliff?
47. What began in Toad Lane in the 1730s?
48. Where was Teresa Salcedo born in 1979?
49. When they crossed the border, the Von Trapps had how much money in total in their pockets?
50. Which Lord became a Baron albeit losing an R in the process?
11. Which weatherman was known as the Oracle of Thirsk?
12. For mining what was the village of Middleton Tyas once renowned?
13. Which town was the base for Bond Brothers Buses?
14. Which town is known to locals as Mount Pleasant?
15. What was the name of the community that housed up to 2,000 people during the building of the Stanhope and Tyne railway?
16. The name of what was changed in 1914, having originally been called Mermaid?
17. On which UK number one does Mrs. Loud from Newcastle sing backing vocals?
18. Into which river does Peg Powler supposedly pull people?
19. Where did Megs Maddison practise her herbal remedies?
20. The name for which Richmond-based company quite possibly has its origins in a word on a beer pump?
21. Which village was, so legend says, home to Oberon, King of the Fairies?
22. Where will you find a holy establishment known as the Rocket and Pineapple?
23. At one time, where could you have gone to the Top, Middle and Bottom cinemas?
24. In the 1890s, which sporting team used to hang a stuffed monkey from a crossbar during games?
25. What sport is played by the Newton Aycliffe Spartans?
26. Mary Badcock of Ripon was the model for the drawings of which literary character?
27. Who was Harrogate's first Queen of the Wells?
28. Which writer was briefly living at 1 Abbey Terrace in Whitby?
29. What was began at the Black Swan hotel by an ex-Chancellor and his friends in 1837?
30. What was the name of Whitby's last whaling vessel?
31. Where did Defoe describe as a place where "all the people great and small" were "a-kntting"?
32. Which model of car was the two millionth vehicle to roll off the Nissan production line in Sunderland?
33. Gonna Send You Back to Walker was the B-side of the first chart single for which band?
34. Which record-holder used to be called the Kings Pit Inn?
35. Which North-East personality was once a roadie for Dave Dee , Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich?
36. William Craven's path in life was said to be similar to that of Dick Whittington. Where was Craven born?
37. In which town is Bill n Geoff's ice-cream based?
38. What was the nickname of the high court judge Humphrey Potts?
39. Thirsk-born Thomas Eshelby has an association of sorts with which great military leader?
40. According to legend, in what year were Hell's Kettles formed?
41. Who broke Bridget's heart by forsaking her for Anne?
42. Which was the first of the region's mines to employ a robot worker?
43. How many arches does Yarm Viaduct have?
44. Where did Sir Walter Scott think the woods were green?
45. What did the Advance bring to Middlesbrough in 1858?
46. They may have a different meaning in the world of Harry Potter, but to a Geordie, what are Muggles?
47. Sex was in its infancy in Gateshead according to which builder?
48. What clothing item is manufactured in both South Shields and Hebburn?
49. What was the predominant colour of the first-team jerseys of ice-hockey team, the Whitley Warriors?
50. Where will you find the Temple of Minerva, the Serpentine river and Neptune's Island, all gathered in the same place?
11. With which singer would you associate the Pretty Green line of clothing?
12. What did the A in the name of briefly successful band the A*teens stand for?
13. On which Beatles A-side does Ringo Starr sing lead vocals?
14. Other than the Wombles themselves, which other hit-making band of the 1970s included a Womble?
15. By what collective moniker do Karis, Alex and Courtney call themselves?
16. Released in 1989, which was the lead track on the Ballad of the Streets EP?
17. Bobby Valentino successfully sued to be credited as co-writer on which number one, originally a Bananarama album track?
18. One-hit wonders with Barbados, Typically Tropical also wrote a top ten UK hit for which lady?
19. Who has been credited with being the First Lady of Crunk and B?
20. In Echo and the Bunnymen, Echo was originally a drum machine, but who had a drum machine called Dr Avalanche?
21. Which number one mentions Lolita and Lady Chatterley?
22. 3rdeyegirl are a rock band associated with which megastar?
23.The biggest hit for which duo was cited for the similarities between its intro and that of Beach Baby by First Class, a hit in 1974?
24. "Power to the people, respect for the steeple" was on the sleeve notes of the only number one for which outfit?
25. Having used Eddie Van Halen on Beat it, Michael Jackson tried to repeat the trick by using another famous guitarist to provide the riff on Black and White. Which guitarist?
26. Which late1990s hit ended with the immortal words "Elvis has just left the building"?
27. Which one word band once included Theodore in their name?
28. Who considered calling themselves the Dustcaps, amongst many other possibilities, before settling on their current name?
29. Which band's only successful journey to the top of the UK charts was a song about an escaped convict?
30. Which band, which weren't too good at spelling, upset Polaroid with the lyrics of their UK number three?
31. In 1998 Bob Geldof erroneously announced the death of which singer?
32. For which band, a one-hit wonder in 1970, did the singer Lynsey De Paul provide album artwork?
33. So Young and Beauty were tracks recorded, but not used, for which classic album?
34. The title of which 1960s number one features in the lyrics of a Mel and Kim hit?
35. Which Rihanna hit samples Tainted Love?
36. The band Cherry Bombz was a mix of members from Hanoi Rocks and the Clash, with a lead singer who had been in which novelty-hit act?
37. Which massive number one from 2007 was originally offered to, but turned down by, Britney Spears and her management?
38. Which Sheffield band includes a Thunder God?
39. Mike Oldfield has a writing credit on which number one?
40. Peter Hernandez, a member of the famous Smeezington song-writing team, is better known for his forays into the charts under what name?
41. Baby Love was lead vocalist with which outfit?
42. Brothers in Arms 2 was the working title of the debut album for which act?
43. Chaka Khan is name-checked on I Feel For You, her only number one in 1984. The same year saw which male artist sing his own name on a song that was also a number one?
44. Beats International, the first off-shoot for Norman Cook, began their chart career with Won't Talk About It, featuring the somewhat surprising falsetto vocals of which singer?
45. The Steinway piano on which John Lennon recorded Imagine was bought by which singer in 2000?
46. Who originally toured under the title of John's Boys?
47. Which band included "Dorian Gray" in its line-up?
48. With whom did Bjork want to duet, even though he was dead?
49. Which band once got stuck in a lemon?
50. Which word has been mentioned in a UK number one single twice, in 1979 and 1986 respectively?
11. In which sport are the Australian national side informally known as the Diamonds?
12. Who was nicknamed the Boy from Bowral?
13. Which team have long suffered from the curse of the Bambino?
14. Which sprinter is known as the Black Aeroplane?
15. Who had to concede a frame in the Snooker World Championships 2013 for playing three successive misses?
16. Tahiti's Tiki Toa plays which sport?
17. Who is the youngest participating driver in the 2013 F1 world championship season?
18. Which Australian was famously spooked, and subsequently mocked, by the Lumley Castle ghost in 2005?
19. Which former Grand Slam title winner was coach to Maria Sharapova for one match?
20. The middle name of which sportsman is Yutaka?
21. Eric Bristow once sponsored which fellow darts player to the tune of £10,000?
22. In terms of century stands, which is the most successful opening partnership in men's Test history?
23. Which sports stars have a share in the Miami Dolphin's NFL team?
24. Who partnered Padraig Harrington to win the 1997 World Cup of golf?
25. Who were the two boxers involved in the fight known as "the sound and the fury"?
26. Which was the first female gymnast to successfully land a back somersault at the Olympic Games?
27. Who is the Abergavenny Arrow?
28. With America seemingly in an unassailable position going into the singles matches at the most recent Ryder Cup, Davis Love III was asked who he thought would sink the winning putt. Which American did he put forward?
29. Which football side are sometimes known as the Gas?
30. Who was the first Englishman to hit six sixes in a competitive first-class cricket match?
31. Which was the most represented country in the European squad for the 2013 Solheim Cup success?
32. Where will you find the Dibley End?
33. Who was the first Indian to score a century in cricket's IPL?
34. Which football team lost a long unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge in 2013?
35. Which racing driver used to have Roland Rat on his car?
36. At which ground will you find the Cyril Knowles stand?
37. Which Rugby Union side have a camel as a mascot?
38. At which English stadium could you have seen greyhounds and cheetahs raced in the 1930s?
39. Who is, to date, the youngest footballer to reach 100 caps for a national European side?
40. Who was the last shooting guard to be the number one pick overall in the NBA draft?
41. Which decathlete still bears the scars from an encounter with a javelin?
42. Which former Darlington footballer reached a Wembley final in 2013?
43. Which city's current Rugby League and football managers have the same name?
44. Which team had to drop its nickname of the Crusaders due to adverse public reaction?
45. Which England cricket captain used to drink champagne during Test match lunch intervals?
46. Which two tennis stars run a wine bar together in eastern France?
47. Who was the first female jockey to ride a winner at the Cheltenham festival?
48. Who won the "Harbowl" in 2013?
49. Which sportsman once blamed a positive test result on eating pie?
50. What links footballer Dwight Yorke, cyclist Ivan Basso and athlete Haile Gebrselassie?