Let’s see how you do on this potpourri of obscure and, perhaps, not so obscure trivia (answers at the end of the column):
1. What baseball outfield star was successful in avoiding all of George Steinbrenner’s 1988 attempts to trade him?
2. What was the name of the war during which the Battle of the Herrings was fought?
3. Here’s an easy one. In the film, Animal Crackers, who says: “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I’ll never know?”
4. There’s a gas commonly known as “swamp gas,” “marsh gas” and sometimes “fire damp.” What gas is that?
5. What is the largest bay in the world measured by shoreline?
6. Remember the slew of Westerns on TV back in the 1950s? One of the most popular was Maverick. There were two Maverick brothers, Brett and Bart. Who were they played by?
7. Who are the three “Bs” of classical music composing fame.
8. What are the two highest-valued letters in the game Scrabble?
9. What was the name of the 1956 movie about the life of painter Vincent Van Gogh and who starred in it?
10. What football teams were playing when the instant replay was first used on TV?
11. How many bones are there in the human wrist?
12. When did the St. Lawrence Seaway open and what British and U.S. dignitaries were present? Don't name all 30, just the two most prominent dignitaries will be fine.
13. The largest animal of all time?
14. What is, or was, a wagon-maker called.
1. Dave Winfield was the guy that big, brash, loud and pompous George Steinbrenner couldn’t get rid of back in 1988.
2. A quick check of your high school history book would tell you that it’s not in there. Further research would tell you that the Battle of the Herrings took place during the Hundred Years’ War. The battle was on February 12, 1429. No wonder you couldn’t remember. It happened while the British were laying siege to Orléans and their Lenten herring rations were taken by the French.
3. That’s right. It was the Marx Brothers’ movie, Animal Crackers, and the line came from the one, the only, Groucho!
4. The gas is methane. That’s an easy one for UFO buffs, since many UFO sightings are debunked by simply attributing them to swamp gas.
5. The largest bay in the world measured by shoreline is Hudson Bay. The largest by area is the Bay of Bengal.
6. Brett Maverick was played by James Garner. That’s the easy one. Not so easy to recall is that brother Bart was played by actor Jack Kelly.
7. The three Bs of classical music are Beethoven, Bach and Brahms.
8. The highest valued Scrabble letters are Q and Z.
9. The Van Gogh movie was, Lust for Life, and starred Kirk Douglas.
10. When TV’s instant replay was first used back in the 1960s, the game underway was between Army and Navy and the replay was of a touchdown by Army quarterback Carl “Rollie” Stichweh.
11. The wrist contains eight bones. I would have guessed more. How about you?
12. The Seaway was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
13. The largest animal of all time is the blue whale.
14. Well, wagon-maker is not a bad name in itself, but officially such a craftsman is called a wainwright.