Saturday 26 December 2009


A man with alleged al-Qaeda links - reported to be a UK student - is quizzed after an attempted "act of terrorism" on a plane.
   - Today's BBC News

Quiz is an odd verb and best confined to scrabble. The police and lawyers call it questioning or interrogation. Perhaps there is legal loophole that allows somebody to be detained for quizzing but not questioning. Even on a quiz show with a quiz master, quiz is seldom if ever verbed. If it were then I would imagine a scene something like this:

An interrogation room deep beneath Langley Virginia. A wild-eyed TERRORIST is strapped to an electronic buzzer.

Let's get this show started. For ten points: by what name is Gordon Sumner better known? I'll repeat the question: by what name is Gordon Sumner better known?

Buzzer sounds, TERRORIST writhes slightly.

Hi there, Abdul! Great to have you in the cell. So who is Gordon Sumner?

I spit on your simple infidel questions! Gordon Sumner is Sting!

Lights flash, a jingle plays and water is boarded.

That's 100% correct!

TERRORIST (waving his fists jubilantly):
Death to the infidel!

Okay, Abdul, do you want to take this to the next level?

I am prepared to die!

Okay, for one hundred points and control of part of Somalia can you name me the most northerly, the most southerly the most easterly and the most westerly of the United States?

Got to be Hawaii to the West. And... no.... let me think...

Incidentally, the answer to that last question is N:Alaska, W:Alaska, E:Alaska, and S:Hawaii. But as Monty Python said: "Nobody leaves this show empty-handed; so we'll cut off his hands."

William Guantanamo Stewart

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