Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Wednesday Quiz is an extremely viscous biopolymer!


The weekly game of knowledge, intuition, inductive reasoning, and willingness to risk public embarrassment in a friendly and moderately supportive environment!!

Answers come out Fridayish, or when somebody reminds me, or perhaps when Eavan loses patience.

1. The son of Darius and the grandson of Cyrius, he almost -- but not quite -- pulled off an invasion of Greece.

2. It's one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, the capital of Shaanxi province, the eastern end of the Silk Road, and home to the famous Terracotta Army. It's got a city and a metropolitan population that are both about the same as Chicago's. What is the name of this important city?

3. It's a product -- an extremely viscous biopolymer! -- that they make by fermenting sugar with a bacteria, then use to thicken food or stabilize cosmetic products.

4. What's the stuff on the left?

5. In the Republic of South Africa, Zulu is the most common home language. (Afrikaans is third, and English is sixth.)  What language, with about 8 million speakers, is the second most common?

6. This company built the first real personal computer, but didn't try to sell it commercially because it didn't seem like there would be much of a market.  Whoops.  Their success in the realm of photocopying has managed to keep them afloat, however.

7. These dry-climate gardeners are practicing ______________.

8. Element 54 is an inert, heavy, colorless, oderless gas that lights up when electrical current is run through it. What's it called?

9. This is something that thousands of Scrabble players make reference to all the time without having any idea what it is.  What is it?

10. In their less common name, they give credit to Wilhelm Röntgen, the guy who discovered them. But what do we usually call them at the dentist's office?


The tie-breaker: There really weren't too many other questions I could have used with this week's letter. Show us what YOU've got: add a few additional questions, if you can.


Put your answers in the comments in honor of Wilhelm Röntgen.  


Christine M. said...

1. Xerxes
2. dunno
3. xanthan (sp?) gum
4. dunno
5. Xosa
6. Xerox
7. xeriscaping
8. xenon
9. don't play Scrabble
10. x-rays

gS49 said...

1. Xerxes
2. Xian
3. xanthosyn (sp?)
4. xylem
5. Xhosa
6. Xerox
7. xeroculture
8. xenon
9. xi (greek letter)
10. X-rays

What is defined as "hatred or fear of foreigners"?
What is the 24th letter of the English alphabet?
What "marks the spot"?
(OK, these are lame.)
What is the study of extraterrestrial beings?
What is "dry writing"? (no wisecracks, please)
Spell "Christ".
It can describe a movie or an alcoholic beverage.
Where Kubla Khan vacationed.
A shrew; you have to take her scolding philosophically.
Warrior Princess.
The tip of the breastbone.
You get them when you kill yet another dragon (abbr.).

Elizabeth said...

1. Xerxes
2. Xian
3. Xanthan gum
5. Xhosa?
6. Xerox
7. Xeriscaping
8. Xenon
9. Xi
10. X-rays

I treasure these Wednesday quizzes.

Elaine said...

1. Xerxes
2. X something....Tientsin? only spelled the new way. Xiangshu? (I think I just made that up.)
3. Xylose
4. Xylem! I knew this one!
5. X
6. Xerox
7. Xeno-landscaping
8. Xenon
9. X
10. Xrays
There's a statue to Roentgen in Giessen, Germany.

Name a childish percussion instrument! Fear of Furriners is called--! Xochimilco would be a great answer except I can't remember if it's a lake or a mtn.

Mm mud said...

1. Dunno...but for whatever reason I want to say Ptolemy
2. Xanadu aka Shangdu
3. Xanthan gum (now I know what it is made of!)
4. Xylem
5. Xinglish
6. Xerox (I think Xerex or Xorox would have been more fun)
7. Xericulture
8. Xenon
9. Xreek and Latin to me...don't play enough Scrabble
10. Xrays is far easier than Rontgen rays...sorry!

I am surprised that you left out a clue on Xylophone!!!

Ben said...

1. Xilace
2. Xian
3. Xanthum gum
4. Xcretion
5. Xulu
6. Xerox
7. their Xylophones inside, where it's cool
8. Xenon
9. Xi
10. X-rays

"There really weren't too many ... questions I could have [answered] with this week's letter."

margaret said...

1. Xeres
2. Xian
3. Xanthan gum
4. Xylo
5. Xotxi
6. Xerox
7. Xeriscaping
8. Xylene
9. Xu
10. X-rays

Amazing (but sometimes hard-to-watch) movie: "Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl"
"thanks" in Mandarin: xiexie
"Johny Hit and Run Paulene" tunesmiths

Susan Collard said...

1 Xerces
2 um uh Xiaonan
3 xylene
4 xylem
5 Xoso
6 Xeros
7 xeriscaping
8 xenon
9 xi
10 X-rays

This musical instrument is pictured in more children's ABC books than any other, even the popular Violin.

Eavan said...

1. Xerxes
2. Ha ha, no clue.
3. Xanthan gum, Yum Yum.
4. Xylem. Thank you, AP Bio.
5. Xhosa
6. Xerox. Michael, you made this one too easy.
7. Xsuccuculture.
8. Xenon. So romantic.
9. Ima guess and say it's xi.
10. X-Rays

other questions:

Obviously, Kublai Khan build his stately pleasure dome here.

The scientific study of extraterrestrial life. (Is this a real word yet?)

Michael5000 said...

What is defined as "hatred or fear of foreigners"? Xenophobia

What is the 24th letter of the English alphabet? Ex

What "marks the spot"? An unpleasant odor of stale urine

What is the study of extraterrestrial beings? I can tell who's read the Ender books in this crowd.

What is "dry writing"? Jose Saramago, but I still like him.

Spell "Christ" C-H-R-I-S-T

It can describe a movie or an alcoholic beverage. "piquant"

Where Kubla Khan vacationed. Wherever he wanted! [rimshot]

A shrew; you have to take her scolding philosophically. I actually don't know this one.

Warrior Princess. Mrs.5000

The tip of the breastbone. Oh very good.

You get them when you kill yet another dragon (abbr.). Niiiiiice.

Elizabeth said...

Xanthippe, the wife of Socrates. Reportedly, after she spent the morning screaming invective at him, he walked outside to get away, and she dumped a chamber pot on him out of a window, at which point he said something like "well, I knew if there was thunder, there would eventually be rain."

Aviatrix said...

1. Roman history, damn. If it's not in an Asterix comic I'm out of luck. I'm going with Claudius, because Bobius and Ryanius sound dumb. XERXES

2. Chinese geography, damn. Why couldn't Asterix have spent more time in China? Shanghai? XIOPIN

3. This is something I should know. It ends in -ose or -ase. I have a picture of it in my head. Viscose is clothes. Maize is not a polymer. Amaze is a verb. Zacrolose I just made up. Morose is an adjective. Agar is seaweed. BHT is added to package lining to ensure freshness. I'm going with "polysucralose" because it sounds vaguely plausible, like I might have known wat I was talking about but just named a different product. XANTHUM

4. Lignum is my key that this is plant matter. I was going to go with "it's a root" but "root vessel" isn't right. Perhaps it should be a word starting with X, for the Greek xylo, for either "wood" or OH! I JUST GOT IT! The letter is X. WELL PLAYED, MICHAEL! Now I only have to think of things beginning in X. XYLOID

5. I solved number four, and the rest of the puzzle, by letting my eye drift ahead to this question and thinking Swahili? Setswana? XHOSA




9. XI

10. X-RAYS

For extra questions ...

My first would be a picture question, showing a skinny third world humpbacked cow.

Then I'd ask for the name of the philosopher who wondered how we ever get anywhere, because we always have to get halfway there first.

Can you name a nature preserve in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo?

Santa Claus' postal code?

Aviatrix said...

Elaine: I made mine up too, but I did it CONFIDENTLY!

Michael5000 said...

The arrival of the postcard entry reminds me that it's time to throw down some ANSWERS. Here goes:

1. Xerxes
2. Xi'an
3. Xanthan gum
4. Xylem
5. Xhosa
6. Xerox
7. Xeriscaping. I'm not seeing any love for "xeri(o)culture," although it would of course be a perfect adequate word for the same thing.
8. Xenon
9. Xi -- the Greek letter.
10 X-Rays

Michael5000 said...

Only seven or eight letters left, ya know...

gS49 said...

Uh, Mike, all of my questions do start with "x". In order:
(I said they were lame.)
xenology (which is older than the Ender books)
xerography (whence the trademark "Xerox")
xristos, sorta, but in Greek; x=ch
XXX (porn or porter)
xyphoid process (sp? I forget)
x.p. (experience points--for the real geeks)

Aviatrix said...

I'll give my answers too, then:

X0X 0X0

I love the letter questions. Can you start over with things that END in the same letter?