Idle Moments – June/July 2021

Greetings people and welcome to Idle Moments. By the time you read this you should be able to do these puzzles with a pint of your favourite beside you in your favourite corner of your local pub – though, sadly, only if you have your tablet and a Wi-Fi connection as we are not yet back on paper.

Let’s kick off with a classic non-rhyming limerick. This one, from Mike Gigg, first appeared in March 1992:

A pretty young girl called Penelope
 Found a wallet while flying to Europe.
 She asked the air steward,
 “Will I get a reward?”
 But he just replied, “You’ve got a hope.”

Right, let’s have some Number Puzzles:

  1. 80 C in a M
  2. 3 A in an AMC
  3. 100 H in a SK
  4. 5 PM of the UNSC
  5. 1688 GR
  6. 6 E of a T
  7. 100 L of MTG
  8. 1111 in B is F in H
  9. 100 H in a SK
  10. 361 is NS

This time for 5BY4, I have reverted to Avian Taxonomy (Last time, I promise). I am using up some birds whose species name is the same as their genus (that sounds like fun doesn’t it! Oh well, suit yourself). Can you pair this lot up?

  1. Quail A. Vanellus
  2. Corncrake B. Lagopus
  3. Goldcrest C. Milvus
  4. Magpie D. Coturnix
  5. Buzzard E. Regulus
  6. Red Grouse F. Pica
  7. Lapwing G. Buteo
  8. Red Kite H. Crex
  9. Greylag Goose I. Riparia
  10. Sand Martin J. Anser

Oh well, never mind; have a go at the General Trivia questions. The recent passing of Michael Collins at the ripe old age of 90 prompted me to dig out some questions about the Apollo missions and specifically those which left Earth orbit and went round the Moon

  1. Among the ten Apollo space missions to leave Earth orbit (Nos. 8 to 17), how many people flew on two missions?
  2. Of the above two-mission astronauts, only one did not walk on the Moon on either mission. Who was he? (Clue – his second mission was Apollo 13)
  3. Which Apollo mission was the first to employ a lunar rover?
  4. With the recent demise of Michael Collins, who is the last surviving member of the Apollo 11 crew?
  5. Who was the oldest person to walk on the moon (at the time he did so), and on what mission?
  6. And who was the youngest person to walk on the moon, and on what mission
    Well, that’s milked the Apollo project pretty well; let’s have some questions on speed (No, not the narcotic):
  7. Who was the first person to set the world land speed record at over 200 mph in his twin engined 1000hp’ Sunbeam on 29 March 1927?
  8. Who was the first person to set the world land speed record at over 300 mph (on 3 September 1935)?
  9. And who was the first person to hold the world land and water speed records simultaneously?
  10. Finally, who was the last person to hold the world land and water speed records simultaneously?

Well, that’s about it; time to get this lot over to the editor to see if he likes it. Maybe we’ll be back on paper soon. In the meantime have fun and stay safe (and hopefully they’re not mutually exclusive).
Andy Pirson
As usual, here are the solutions to the puzzles set in the April/May Idle Moments column

Number Puzzles:

  1. 2 Stripes on a Corporal’s Sleeve
  2. 3 Beverley Sisters
  3. 19 is Opposite Number One on a Darts Board
  4. 5 is the Atomic Number of Rubidium
  5. 5050 is the Sum of the Numbers from One to a Hundred
  6. 3 Number One Hits by Manfred Mann
  7. 1686 Lloyds of London Founded
  8. 5 Dashes is Zero in Morse Code
  9. 2 Twins in the Beverley Sisters
  10. 20 Fenchurch Street is the Walkie-Talkie

5BY4: (Allied operations of World War 2)

  1. Market Garden – Netherlands campaign stalled at Arnhem (‘A Bridge Too Far’)
  2. Overlord – Normandy Invasions (D-Day) and battle for France
  3. Carthage – RAF bombing of Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen
  4. Crossbow – operations against German V-Weapon installations
  5. Dynamo – the evacuation of Dunkirk
  6. Husky – the invasion of Sicily
  7. Downfall – the plan for invasion of Japanese home islands (halted after bombing of Hiroshima)
  8. Chastise – development of the Bouncing Bomb and Ruhr Valley dams raid
  9. Capital – the capture of Northern Burma
  10. Torch – invasions of North Africa November 1942 to May 1943

General Knowledge:

  1. The Duke of Edinburgh was born on 10 July 1921 on Corfu. When I wrote this question I little realised that he would sadly be leaving us so soon after its publication.
  2. Solar Challenger, piloted by Steve Ptacek, became the first solar powered aircraft to cross the English Channel on 7 July – in 1981.
  3. The Royal Liver Building was opened on 19 July, in 1911.
  4. Britain’s First trolleybus service started running on 20 June 1911 – in Leeds.
  5. The man shot by Sherriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico on 15th July 1881 was William H Bonney, aka Billy the Kid.
  6. The monarch in attendance at first Royal Ascot horse race meeting on 11 August 1711 was Queen Anne.
  7. Dom Mintoff become Prime Minister of Malta on 21 June 1971 following a Labour Party general election victory.
  8. The 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, enthroned on 27 June 1961, was Michael Ramsey.
  9. On 28 July 1821, the South American country which was proclaimed an independent nation (having been liberated from Spanish rule by the forces of San Martin) was Peru.
  10. The Humber Estuary Bridge was officially opened by HM the Queen on 17 July in 1981.