Category Archives: Trivia

Geography (2)

On June 15, I published an 8 question test with alternate geography questions. Here is a short bonus. As in the previous test, the questions are replicated for several continents
After writing it, I discovered “World Geography” in the Android play store. It featured a series of different question types, some traditional, others less common, such as:
a) With a map of the continent shown, and one country highlighted, what is the name of this country?
b) With just the silhouette of the country shown, what is the name of this country?
c) What is the capital of a country?
d) Of which country is this the flag? (flag depicted)
e) how many inhabitants does a country have (<1 million, <10 million, <100 million, >100 million)

Here are some questions. Unlike my previous quiz, the questions are not by continent, but are worldwide.

1) Which islands are depicted?

2) Name the countries which belong to these flags:

3) Rank these cities from North to South:
Beijing, Berlin, Moscow, and Washington

4) Rank the following countries according to number of inhabitants:
Canada – Bangla Desh – France – Egypt

5) Rank the cities from least to most annual rainfall
Los Angelos – Washington – Madrid – Cairo – Tokyo

6) In which countries do these rivers have their origin?
Amazon – Nile – Donau – Mekong

I would like to thank user Rei-artur of wikimedia commons for releasing the first of the island maps above.

You can check your solutions here. I strongly advise you to write down all your answers before checking them.


When I got geography at primary school the main things I remember is that I had to learn which provinces we had in the Netherlands, and which towns are located where. At secondary school, the scope was broadened to Europe, the rest of the world. Of course, the location of major mountain ranges and rivers was included, again the form of “What is the name of this mountain range?” or “Where is river X?”.

This weeks puzzle is not so much a puzzle as an alternative geography test. If you are a geography buff, try your hand at this! The first question is a traditional question, to get you going, but the remaining questions require you to work with your geography knowledge in an unconventional way.

(Nearly) Everybody knows a lot more about the area close by than about countries far away. For this reason this questionnaire differentiates between USA, Dutch/European, and other countries. For these last, I welcome additions in the remarks section at the bottom of this post.

Rule: answer from your head – do not consult an atlas or wikipedia.

1) What is the capital of the State Arkansas?

2) Which states border the state of Missouri?

3) Mention three state capitals that start with the letter “D”.

4) Through which states does the river Rio Grande flow?

5) Which state has a larger surface: Wisconsin or Wyoming?

6) What is the largest (in terms of population) city in the state Alabama?

7) Which primary interstate highway serves the most states?

8) Geographical knowledge should also encompass knowledge not directly related to your home country. Which countries does Bolivia border in the west?

1) What is the capital of Ukraine?

2) With which countries does Austria share a border?

3) Mention 3 capitals starting with a B?

4) Through which countries does the river Donau flow?

5) Which country has a greater area, Austria or Czech republic?

6) Which capital has more inhabitants, Berlin, Londin or Paris?

7) Mention 5 countries in Europe with mountains above 3000 meters.

1) What is the capital of Cambodia?

2) With which countries does Afghanistan share a border?

3) Mention 3 capitals starting with a “D”

4) Through which countries does the Mekong river flow?

5) Which country has a greater area, Thailand or Iraq?

6) Which capital has more inhabitants: Manila or Riyadh?

7) What is the length of the longest highway in China?

1) What is the capital of Noord Holland

2) Which provinces border Gelderland?

3) Noem 3 steden met meer dan 100.000 inwoners die met de letter D beginnen

4) Door of langs welke provincies stroomt de rivier de Maas?

5) Welke provincie heeft een groter oppervlak: Drenthe of Limburg?

6) Welke stad in Gelderland heeft de meeste inwoners?

7) Door welke provincies loopt de A4?

You can check your solution here

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Fridays.


In the previous post I mentioned SudologiQs. Like Sudoku, the numbers 1-9 apear in every row, column and area exactly once. The difference with a normal sudoku is that no numbers are given as a clue, but that the puzzler gets a number of clues.

Let me give you a small 5×5 example.

Now let’s have an example of what a clue looks like:

Row I: Put the capitols of these countries in alphabetical sequence:
A: Korea
C: Netherlands
D: Afghanistan
E: Germany

All these capitols are well known, though they are not always the biggest cities in those countries:
Seoul, Washington, Amsterdam, Kabul and Berlin.
Assigning their alphabetical sequence: 4 Seoul, 5 Washington, 1 Amsterdam, 3 Kabul, 2 Berlin. So the solution becomes
IA: 4; IB 5; IC: 1; ID: 3; 1E: 2.

OK, let’s get started. Did you know that usage of your memory activates large parts of your brain? I suggest that you try to solve this without using wikipedia.

Row I Put the names of these dogs in alphabetical sequence:
A. A dog who playes basketball
B. Son of Gray Wolf and Kazan
C. Laura Ingalls’ second dog in Little House on the Prairie
D. fictional collie dog character created by Eric Knight
E. First dog in Married … With children

Row II Associate these scientists with their branche of science:
A. Hendrik Lorentz
B. Euclides
C. Ivan Pavlov
D. Carolus Linnaeus
E. George Bernard Shaw
1. Physiology or Medicine, 2. Literature, 3. Botany, 4. Physics, 5. Mathematics

Row III Link these quotes with the persons
A. Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
B. Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
C. Blood, sweat, toil and tears
D. By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
E. Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand
1. Mother Teresa, 2 Martin Luther King, 3 Winston Churchill, 4 Socrates, 5. Albert Einstein

Row IV Connect book and author
A: G. K. Chesterton
B: Agatha Christi
C: Ruth Rendell
D: Isaac Asimov
E: Dorothy Leigh Sayers
1. Henry, 2. Father Brown, 3. Lord Peter Wimsey, 4. Hercule Poirot, 5. Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford

Row V What is the translation of these bulgarian numbers?
A: tri
B: edno
C: chetiri
D: dve
E: pet

Column A Put the composers in chronological sequence:
I: Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
II: Johannes Brahms
III: John Lennon
IV: Johann Christian Bach
V: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Column B Associate these trees with their uses
I: Maple Tree
II: Black willow
III: Para rubber tree
IV: Scots Pine
V: Spruce trees
1. Whitewood, 2. Rubber, 3. Maple syrup, 4. Turpentine, 5. Substitute for quinine

Column C Order the names of these islands in alphabetical sequence
sudologiq islands
They are depicted at different scales.

Column D In which country do you eat this?
I England
II Germany
III Greece
IV Italy
V Spain
1 Pizza, 2 Tapas, 3 Sauerbraten, 4 Horta, 5 Beef in Beer

Column E which sporter practises which sport?
I Sawao Kato
II Michael Phelps
III Elisabeta Lipa
IV Larisa Lazutina
V Anton Geesink
1 Rowing, 2 Swimming, 3 Cross-country skiing, 4 Gymnastics, 5 Judo

You can check your solution

Sudologiq were published in a book in German, by Ludwig Konemann. I have the dutch translation in my possession. Amazon sells a french translation. Googling for a few minutes did not show any english language examples, so you might well be looking at the first example in the english language.

Cross sums

1) Physics*
blank 3x3 square
Every column and row totals 14.
ab3: the atomic number of silver
bc2: the number of hours in a day
bc1: the NGC number of a galaxy in the constellation Pisces
You should need only 2 of the 3 clues.

2) Bible*
blank 3x3 square
Every row and column totals 13.
ab3: the number of years that the people of Israel dwelt in the desert
abc2: number of fish caught by Peter at the end of the gospel of John
bc1: age of Mozes when he was called in the desert, + the number of daughters of Putiel that Eleazer took as his wife(s)
You should need only 2 of the 3 clues.

3) Games*
blank 4x4 square
Use the numbers 2,3, 4 and 6 exactly once in every row and colomn.
ab4: the number of chess pieces at the start of the game
bc3: the number of territories in the risk game
cd1: number of pegs in standard peg solitair
d2: number of suits in a card game
b21: the number of playing squares on a monopoly board MINUS the maximum number of houses on 1 street.
a21: the number of playing fields in back gammon
Again, you don’t need to solve every clue to solve the puzzle.

Cross-sums like the above appeared among others in “Introducing cross-sums” by Edward Fulbrook and Richard Maltby jr, ISBN 0-911104-68-2 in 1977. Mid 2012 I purchased a book with sudoku’s to be solved by obtaining trivia.
The term “cross-sum” is nowadays almost exclusively used for kakuro puzzles, which are hugely popular. Kakuro puzzles have a totally different concept.

In summer 2012 I obtained a book SUDOLOGIQ by Ludwig Konemann, which takes this concept to the form of sudoku’s.

You can check your solutions:
solution to 1
solution to 2
solution to 3