News Quiz

No. 196: “To Go”

China has already got rid of 66,000, and by year’s end will remove another 800,000. What?

by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer to

Monday’s Question (No. 195)–“Suggestive Gestures”: Last week, the British government received a letter offering advice on an ongoing investigation. From whom; suggesting what?“From Christopher Hitchens, claiming he knows EVERYTHING.”–Fred Graver (Chris Kelly had a similar answer, with dandruff and gin.)”Ken Starr intimating Clinton knows more about Jack the Ripper than he’s saying. (I hear Vernon Jordan tried to get him a job at Revlon.)”–Beth Sherman (similarly, Steve Spencer and Al Petrosky)”Oscar Mayer to the Brits: ‘Do what we do. Grind it, spice it, case it, pack it, ship it. Call it Crazy Dogs.’ “–Marshall Efron“Me, suggesting that, in light of recent events, the investigators looking into Princess Diana’s death might want to see whether Kate Moss was driving around Paris on the night in question.”–Tim Carvell“The pope, suggesting that Gen. Pinochet not be extradited to Spain. The pope did, however, suggest the extradition of Tinky Winky, for ‘crimes against God.’ “–Alex Balk

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Randy’s Wrap-Up

To News Quiz participants, “investigation” is not theological (angels?), financial (angles?), historical (Engels?), or scientific (something about string theory and tangles?); “investigation” means crime pursued by Ken Starr.

In the 19th century it meant Pinkerton’s, which yesterday agreed to be purchased by Sweden’s Securitas AB for $384 million. Founded in 1850 by Scottish immigrant Allan Pinkerton, the firm ran Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid out of the country on behalf of wealthy railroad owners, and beat the heck out of striking workers on behalf of anyone with a few bucks. It also thwarted a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, and thank God for that, for the entire course of history might have been different had the Great Emancipator been cut down. (Oh, all right; they uncovered an 1861 plot, a whole other thing. But I still blame them for “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”)

“You need to do more than post a guard with a doughnut and a nightstick,” said financial analyst John Schnelle, commenting favorably on the merger. “If you are going to enter the global market, why not do it with a marquee name?” Like, say, Starr?

Humanitarian Answer

As Alex Balk knew, the Foreign Office received a plea from the pope to free Augusto Pinochet, reports the Times of London.

Lord Lamont of Lerwick, the former chancellor who elicited the written appeal, said, “I suspect that the representations have been made at the highest level, recognising the General’s great contribution to protecting freedom during the Cold War.” Speaking of the pope, Lord Lamont added: “Having lived in Poland, he understands what a Marxist dictatorship is all about. As a great Christian leader, he values human life and he understands what happened in Chile. As an ironist …” Well, OK, I added the final phrase.

Daniel Radosh’s Anniversary Extra

Part of the official celebration of News Quiz New Year. By mayoral order, fireworks and criticism are prohibited.

What do Web surfers think of us here at the News Quiz? For answers, turn to the Excite search engine, where, when you enter a phrase, the site automatically suggests “select words to add to your search.” These are words that other people who did similar searches have included. Selected results:

News Quiz: irony, Canada

Our Targets

Bill Clinton: disgusted, castration

Congress: indecent

Strom Thurmond: cowed, mobbed

Strom Thurmond’s ass: crap, missy

Rudolph Giuliani: revitalizing

Bill Gates: billionaire, richest, wealth, hell

Michael Kinsley: exhilarating, lewd

Jews: pogroms, nazis, haman

Christians: persecution, persecutions, persecuted

Scientology: successes

New York: giants

California: crackle

Canada: curling


Randy Cohen: wormwood

Larry Amaros: lazily

Alex Balk: unoccupied

Adam Bonin: eve

Tim Carvell: somatosensory

Greg Diamond: clarity

Marshall Efron: anger

David Finkle: philistines

Bill Franzen: jail

Molly Shearer Gabel: gobble

Leslie Goodman-Malamuth: phonics

Ananda Gupta: blissful

Jon Hotchkiss: kitch [sic]

Chris Kelley: flake

Joydip Kundu: erupting

Barbara Lippert: santa

Noah Meyerson: fowl

Jennifer Miller: love

Norman Oder: intern

Jim O’Grady: earthworm

Alfa-Betty Olson: calliope

Katha Pollitt: moralistic

Sophie Pollitt-Cohen: prolife [does mom know?]

Daniel Radosh: rusty

David Rakoff: smote

Carrie Rickey: thinks

Nell Scovell: immersing

Beth Sherman: savoring

Andrew Silow-Carroll: devotion

Steve Smith: liberator

Andrew Staples: envelope

Deb Stavin: decay

Matt Sullivan: operas

Colleen Werthmann: schnauzer

Kate Wing: bombshell

Common Denominator

Ken Starr

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