News Quiz

No. 342: “A and Q”

The answer, from G.W. Bush, responding to Tim Russert on Meet the Press: “I really don’t. I will if I’m the president.” What is the question?

Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to

Monday’s Question (No. 341)–“Beat the Press”:

The headline in the London Mirror is “Joy of Six.” What is the lead?

“Gen. Pinochet to be cut up and divided among six countries that want a piece of him.”–Mac Thomason

“Grumpy’s death has caused the dwarfs to pull together as a family.”–Alison Rogers (Michael Mannella had a similar answer.)

“Despite another sixth-place division finish, Detroit Tigers ex-manager Sparky Anderson is quick to assure fans that the team is not disappointed. ‘We are a young team, we’re not feeling any pressure to outperform last year, we have great chemistry, and our shortstop bakes the best lemon bars in Major League Baseball, that’s for damn sure!’ “–Dale Shuger

“Great Oxford Street today was the scene of ‘Pedophiles on Parade,’ a joyous celebration of child abuse.”–Floyd Elliot

“Yesterday, this columnist ate a half-dozen kippers for breakfast, and he loved them all.”–Neal Pollack

Click for more answers.

Randy’s Wrap-Up

Among the single digits, no number is less evocative than six. Consider movie titles. Run up to seven and you’ll find that every other number has better films–One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Two for the Road, Three Days of the Condor (and Three Brave Men, based on a book about my Uncle Abe, who’s played by Ernest Borgnine–straight stuff–you can imagine how we felt), Four Feathers, Five Easy Pieces, and–no kidding, this is as good as it gets–Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga, with Lupe Velez and Leon Errol. It’s not that six is too big a number; climb one more and you get to Seven Samurai. Six is simply uninspired, suggesting nothing. It’s enough to make you turn to drink. Beer. With Borgnine. An entire six pack.

The Best-Laid Family Planning Oft Goes Astray Answer

“Cherie Blair’s a picture of happiness yesterday after news that her family will soon be extended–to six. The Mirror left rivals floundering yesterday when we broke the news that the Premier and his 45-year-old wife are expecting a baby in May.”

The story continues:

“The bookies entered into the spirit of things by jokingly offering 500-to-1 odds against the PM’s wife’s fourth child being named Ken and being born on his father’s birthday.

“Congratulations to the Blairs and their children–Euan, 15, Nicky, 14, and 11-year-old Kathryn–poured in from around the world.

“Hours after our stunning scoop, Mrs Blair accepted a bouquet from our readers. She paused outside 10 Downing Street, and smiled: ‘Thank you, I’m very well thank you.’

“Of her reaction to the pregnancy, she said: ‘It was a real surprise.’ Tory killjoys struck a sour note by calling the timing of the announcement a Labour stunt.”

Danny Spiegel’s Riding Derails Extra

“After reading your wrap-up I’ve come to the conclusion that you don’t ride Amtrak very much and that you’re getting your train perceptions from old movies. Or you do ride Amtrak–just not the Amtrak I’m always on. You see on ‘My Amtrak’ (sort of like Bill Cosby’s ‘My Philadelphia’), if it’s ‘only’$2 35 minutes late, hey, we’re making good time, baby!”

I was thinking of those high-speed maglev trains that whisk you swiftly and safely to your destination while you have intense encounters with Judy Davis. Are you saying they’re still on the drawing board?–Ed.

Daniel Radosh’s New Yorker Cartoon Contest Extra

The “Back Page” of the recent New Yorker “Cartoon” issue features a wacky contest: Write a caption for a Jack Ziegler drawing of a girl on her front porch shouting something about the man in the suit struggling up the path with a huge globe on his shoulders. (For readers who have never seen a cartoon and don’t know how a caption works, the editors explain that “Mom, Dad forgot the pizza!” would be one possibility.)

Here are some nearly winning entries:

  • Mom, Dad forgot the Pokémon cards!
  • Mom, Dad forgot the Harry Potter book!
  • Looks like Dad gave the wrong final answer!
  • OK, maybe the world is enough.
  • Mom, this probably isn’t a good day to leave Dad for Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Mom, look what Dad bought on eBay!
  • Mom, a homeless guy threw a huge globe at Dad’s head!
  • Dad, Dad’s home! I have two dads.
  • Mom, Dad replaced the continents with poorly rendered squiggly shapes.
  • Mom, why is The New Yorker stealing contest ideas from Nickelodeon magazine?
  • The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, by Nicholas Lemann. Oh, wait, that’s my entry for this week’s other contest.
  • I don’t care how much funnier your caption is, we’re using Steve Martin’s entry and that’s final.
  • Mom, Dad’s really gonna need a blow job tonight!

Common Denominator

British pol resigns after sex scandal.