Saturday, February 10, 2018

10Q (February 10, 2018)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. You might imagine that this World Heritage Site, National Park and Ramsar Site is named for its natural beauty, but it's actually named after the local name for the mangrove species Heritiera fomes (whose flowers are shown here), that are found there in large numbers. Which cross-border site?

2. [Audio link] These are the opening lines of the audiobook version of a novel first published in 1923. Identify the actor who did the recording, and name the character he is 'playing'. If you can identify the book – only the second to feature its protagonist and the first set outside England – from this scant sample, an additional 2 points!

3. What word used originally for a medieval contest between groups of knights on horseback, deriving from the Old French for 'to joust', was first used the way it currently is – in the context of other sports and games – in 1761?

4. The bottles in the photo below contain liquids composed of X, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavourings. They are used to refill devices known, besides other common names, as ECs, ENDS and PVs. What are these devices, and what is X (it's the expansion of one of the letters in one of the abbreviations mentioned here)?

5. In Hindu theology, the six passions of the mind – negative characteristics that prevent people from attaining moksha or salvation – are kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobh (greed), moha (attachment), mada or ahankar (pride) and matsarya (Y). What are they collectively known as, and what is Y (that is, 'matsarya' in English)?

6. This type of simple, reversible line embroidery stitch (left, in the image below) is named for the 16th-century portrait painter (right top) best known for his paintings of Henry VIII (such as the one right below) and his children, almost all of whom are depicted wearing clothing decorated with blackwork embroidery. What is it called?

7. What is known in defence services terminology as a brown-water navy?

8. The construction of this Tudor-style edifice with fortified towers, battlements and turrets was started in 1862 and completed in 1944. In 1884, it was bought by the British guardians of the minor Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, to serve as a place of residence during the course of his education and administrative training. It is known by the name of the city where it stands. What is it called?

9. Theron, who is the headmaster of the Collegium Magikos located in the Himalayas, is the father and teacher of which fictional character?

10. The two people in this photo were known to be good friends. In 1976, in Mexico City, the guy on the left (let's call him A) attended a screening of the film 'La Odisea de los Andes', for which the other man (B) had written the script. Spotting his friend, A went to embrace him. B, however, punched him in the face, knocking him down and giving him a black eye. Ever since, literary people in Latin America have wondered why. One story is that A had told a mutual friend that he found B's wife Patricia less than beautiful. A second is that Patricia, suspecting that B was having an affair, had asked A what she should do about it, and A had told her to leave him. The cause of this famous falling-out remains unknown. Who are these two?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

10Q (February 2, 2018)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. The word for what annual event comes from the French word for a purse or a small bag, which is why there's usually a handy briefcase involved?

2. In US prison slang, what is a 'four-piece suit'?

3. Name subject and (rather surprising) artist of this sketch made c. 1656 - c. 1658.

4. The area that is now this cricket ground was originally a lake, and there were plans to connect it to the sea by a canal to make it an alternative inner city harbour. However, the massive 1855 Wairarapa earthquake uplifted the area nearly 1.8 m and turned the lake into a swamp. The local city council accepted a proposal that the new land be drained and made into a recreational area, and in 1863 prisoners from the Mount Cook Gaol began to level and drain the new land. Which cricket ground is this (its name reflects its origins), and in which city is it?

5. It is the national animal of Guyana, and features in the country's coat of arms. It also appears on Brazilian currency notes. What English name for the Panthera onca comes from a Tupi word for the creature?

6. This is a clip from a single-season seven-episode soap opera titled 'X Heights' that was shot in a commercial location in Burbank, California, in 2009, without the people who ran the place getting to know about it. What is X?
If you have any problem viewing the YouTube video above, you can access the clip here.

7. Amini, Kadmat, Kiltan, Chetlat and Bitra constitute a group of islands that came under the rule of Tipu Sultan in 1787. They passed to British control after the Third Anglo-Mysore War and were attached to the South Canara Collectorate of the Madras Presidency. What is this group of islands called, and which Indian Union Territory are they now part of? The name of the UT used to contain the name of this island group till 1973, when it was given its current name.

8. The name of the crystal that the wine goblet shown below is made from comes from a Greek term that can be translated as 'not drunken'. This is rooted in the belief that it is a strong antidote against drunkenness. In his poem "L'_________, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'_________" ("_______ or the Loves of Bacchus and _________"), the 16th-century French poet Remy Belleau invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, wine and grapes, was pursuing a maiden named _________, who refused his affections. She prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by her desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple. Name the maiden / crystal. [Different forms of the name fit all the blanks above.]

9. The four-in-hand, Pratt or Shelby, half-Windsor and Windsor are all types of what? [Specific answer, containing at least two words, required.]

10. This is the unusually-named St. Olav’s Church on Dr. Bishwanath Jot Sarani at Tin Bazar, one of 100 buildings that were constructed between 1755 and 1845, when the town it is situated in was called Frederiksnagore. What is the current name of the town, named after an avatar of Vishnu, and which colonial power ruled it at the time?

Answers
1. The presentation of the Budget (which comes from 'bougette')

2. A full set of restraints, composed of handcuffs, leg irons and waist chain

3. Shah Jahan by Rembrandt
4. Basin Reserve, Wellington
5. Jaguar



6. Watch the title sequence 
IKEA
Titled Ikea Heights, the show is a comedic melodrama in which the characters live in a society of the same name inside an Ikea store. The characters are aware that they exist in an Ikea store but never comment on the ridiculousness of the concept. Sometimes, non-actors in the store accidentally end up being a part of the show – for example in the second episode, in which a detective investigates a murder by walking up to unassuming Ikea attendants and asking for clues.
7. Aminidivi islands, part of Lakshadweep (originally Laccadive, Minicoy and Aminidivi Islands)
8. Amethyst
9. Necktie knots

10. Serampore (locally Srirampur), which was a Danish outpost

Saturday, January 27, 2018

10Q (January 27, 2018)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. The person who owns this film production company (as well as a publishing imprint by the same name) could be ruing or relishing the irony – the meaning of the phrase in Latin could apply to his fortunes, his marriage and even his reputation. Who, and what does Infinitum Nihil mean?

2. This commonly-used English phrase alludes to the nocturnal burrowing mammal Meles meles, and refers to the so-called sport in which they were pitted against dogs and the protagonists tore each other apart. These creatures were chosen for this 'entertainment' as they are extremely tenacious when cornered and have the ability to bite their prey until their teeth meet. As a result, dogs could literally suffer the fate that the phrase states, which in its modern idiomatic sense refers to obstinate and persistent requests or demands placed on one. What's the phrase?

3. If you'd travelled frequently on Air Asia flights a couple of years ago (like I did), you would have heard this song played every time you landed. Just name the band who perform this song, both originally and in this ad (thinking of people like Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner might help).
If you have any problem viewing the YouTube video above, you can access the clip here.

4. In what way could these Test cricket batting performances be considered one-man shows (this is an exhaustive list): Bobby Abel (120) for England v South Africa in Cape Town in 1888-89; Len Hutton (364) for England v Australia at The Oval in 1938; Don Bradman (185) for Australia v India in Brisbane in 1947-48; Inzamam-ul-Haq (329) for Pakistan v New Zealand in Lahore in 2002; and Matthew Hayden (119) for Australia v Pakistan in Sharjah in 2002-03?

5. What is the poetic name of this magnificent structure, modelled after the Sublime Porte (Bab-i-Hümayun) in Istanbul, and therefore sometimes also known as the Turkish Gate? In which city – whose Metro service, launched last year, uses it as a logo symbol – is it located?

6. The insect family Coccinellidae derives its name from the Latin word 'coccineus', meaning 'scarlet'. Its common name refers to the Virgin Mary, who was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings. The insects' prominent markings were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows. What are coccinellids commonly called?

7. Originating from an Italian word for a strong, heavy paper or pasteboard (also the root of another English word very close in spelling to the one this question refers to), this was originally a full-size drawing made on sturdy paper as a study for a painting, stained glass or tapestry, such as the one on the left by Leonardo da Vinci. It got its current meaning after John Leech used it for the other image that you see, which he titled "[X] no. 1: Substance and Shadow" (1843), satirising such preparatory images for frescoes in the Palace of Westminster. What's the word?

8. The Vayu Vajra service whose bus you see here links up to KIA, named after the man whose statue is shown. Name the fellow, and tell me in which city the buses ply.

9. Mount Kenya (Africa), Mount Tyree (Antarctica), Puncak Mandala (Australia), K2 (Asia), Dykh-Tau (Europe), Mount Logan (North America) and Ojos del Salado (South America) are collectively known by a term that abbreviates to SSS. If the first S stands for 'Seven', and the third S stands for 'Summits', and the whole three-word term sounds like you could climb these mountains in a very short time, what does the middle S stand for?

10. The song lyrics below were written purely to exploit a clause in composer Anthony Courage's contract. As a result, though the lyrics were never actually used, the fact that they existed allowed the writer to claim half of Courage's royalties. Fill in the blanks in the lines below.
Beyond
The rim of the star-light
My love
Is wand'ring in star-flight
I know
He'll find in star-clustered reaches
Love,
Strange love a star woman teaches.
I know
His journey ends never
His ____ ____
Will go on forever.
But tell him
While he wanders his starry sea
Remember, remember me

Answers
1. Johnny Depp; 'Nothing is forever'
2. 'To badger [someone] to death'
3. American Authors
4. They outscored the opposition's match total on their own in one innings.
5. Rumi Darwaza, Lucknow
6. Ladybirds, from Our Lady's birds

7. Cartoon, from 'cartone' (also the root for 'carton')
8. Kempegowda (International Airport) in Bangalore
9. Second – the Seven Second Summits are the second highest mountains on each of the seven continents
10. Star trek – the lyrics were written by the show's creator Gene Roddenberry

Friday, January 12, 2018

10Q (January 12, 2018)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. The name that the Persians used for the nomadic tribe that the Greeks called Scythians is associated in India with what is known as the Indian national ________. This may give the official marker, but hardly anyone knows it. You can get to the relevant figure by subtracting 78 from the equivalent figure in the more commonly used global system. What am I talking about? [For full points, you have to give me a two-word answer in which the first word is the Persian name for the Scythians, and the second word is what comes in the blank.]

2. This diamond was seized in 2007 by the U.S. Marshals Service in a federal drug and money laundering investigation, and auctioned in 2011 for $2.84 million. After which James Bond movie has it been named, on account of its unusual colour?

3. With seven appearances at the FIFA World Cup, which country's men's national football team — nicknamed Les Lions Indomptables (The Indomitable Lions or Untameable Lions) in French — has been the most successful African team at the top level?

4. The most common form of what everyday object on European churches, farms and homes traces its origins back to a decree made by Pope Nicholas I in the 9th century, that decree made in reference to the prophecy that Peter would deny Jesus “before the cock crows”?

5. The man on the left, Sunil Narkar, played the man on the right in a popular ad from some eight years ago. For a point apiece, name the company, the product advertised, and the real-life person Narkar played.

6. Its full ceremonial name is: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. In English, this translates to "The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishwakarma." By what short name is it commonly known?

7. Until the introduction of automatic weapons, infantry troops tended to fight in a certain formation to repel cavalry or superior forces. What word for a small group of soldiers, now applied to sports teams and other such groups, shares its etymology with the word for the shape of the formation, as evidenced in the shared four letters at the beginning of both words?

8. This is a language in the Munda subfamily of Austroasiatic languages, related to Ho and Mundari. It is spoken by around 6.2 million people in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, although most of its speakers live in India, in the states of Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Tripura, and West Bengal. The language has its own alphabet, known as Ol Chiki, created in 1925 by Raghunath Murmu (it had till then been written using the Latin alphabet). What language?


9. Identify (a) this 1970 movie based on a 1962 book whose title has become a term used in English, and (b) the actor playing the American soldier (it was his debut film).

If you have any problem viewing the YouTube video above, you can access the clip here.

10. China and Russia top this list, with 14. Brazil is next, with 10. The Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo come next, with 9 each. India's tally is officially 7, though the situation on the ground makes it 6 for all practical purposes. What is this a list of?

Answers
1. The Saka calendar
2. Golden Eye

3. Cameroon

4. Weather vanes
Pope Nicholas I decreed that a figure of a rooster should be placed atop every church as a reminder of the incident, and from there it was adopted on other buildings and used for the weather prediction function. 

5. Intel's USB ad, in which Narkar played USB inventor Ajay Bhatt


6. Bangkok
7. Squad, from 'square'
8. Santali
9. (a) Catch-22 (b) Art Garfunkel
10. Countries which share land borders with the largest number of neighbouring nations

Saturday, January 6, 2018

10Q (January 6, 2018)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. The snark mark is a new-age punctuation mark that indicates that there's another layer of meaning in a sentence, usually a sarcastic or ironic one. What two standard keyboard characters, meant to represent an eye and a raised eyebrow next to it, make up the snark mark? [You can just type the relevant characters for the answer.]

2. Identify the man in this photo, the only American to become a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), the only non-Indian to sign the Congress manifesto in 1921, and the only American to become a political prisoner of Great Britain in the Indian freedom struggle (he was jailed for sedition).

3. Some of you will hopefully remember this ad from the early 2000s. What was it an advertisement for?
If you have any problem viewing the YouTube video above, you can access the clip here.

4. Infrastructure projects in Iceland — such as a 2015 highway project building a direct route from the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer — often come up against protests not just by environmental activists but also people protesting on behalf of 'Huldufolk' (Icelandic for 'hidden folk'). Because of the cultural significance of this 'community', these protests do get taken seriously, and can lead to delays or even cancellations. Who are the Huldufolk?

5. Identify this young man who, among other achievements, won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer in 1984 for 'Ankahee' and has sung or composed for films in Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali. (It would help to imagine him older.)

6. What connects the stellar Test cricket careers of Andy Sandham (1921-30), Bill Ponsford (1924-34), Seymour Nurse (1960-69), Aravinda de Silva (1984-2002), and Jason Gillespie (1996-2006)? In this context, what distinguishes (a) Andy Sandham and (b) Jason Gillespie [two separate answers required]?

7. The ATS, a treaty system that entered into force in 1961 and which currently has 53 signatory nations, was the first arms control agreement established during the Cold War, banning military activity where?

8. The Insight Meditation Movement refers to a number of branches of modern Theravâda Buddhism which stress insight into the three marks of existence as the main means to attain awakening and reach Nirvana. It finds its origins in modernist influences on the traditions of Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and the innovations and popularisations by Theravâda teachers such as Mahasi Sayadaw, Ledi Sayadaw, Anagarika Munindra and Pa Auk Sayadaw. The Indian branch primarily follows the teachings of S.N. Goenka and his co-teacher wife Illaichi Devi. By what name are we familiar with this movement?

9. While you are probably more familiar with his spy novels, this author also has a range of historical novels such as this trilogy of books, published between 2010 and 2014, which follow the fates of five inter-related families through the events of the 20th century. Name him. 

10. These are, respectively, Hon. Joan Barbara Yarde-Buller, the eldest daughter of the 3rd Baron Churston; Hollywood actress Rita Hayworth; and Kendra Spears, an American fashion model. They have all been married, at different points of time, to different persons holding a certain hereditary title. The current holder of the title – the fourth to do so – is Shah Karim Al Hussaini, a French-British business magnate, racehorse owner and breeder, who has some 15 million followers. Spears, now known as Salwa, is married to Karim's son and heir apparent Rahim. What title?


Answers
1. A period and a tilde

2. Satyananda Stokes
3. Visa
4. Elves
5. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
6. They all hit double centuries in their final Tests. 
(a) Sandham's was a triple, the first ever in Test cricket. 
(b) Gillespie's was also his maiden century, and the only one he ever scored in any form of the game!
7. Antarctica
8. Vipassana
9. Ken Follett
You might remember this one

10. The Aga Khan

Sunday, December 31, 2017

10Q (December 31, 2017)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicking on them]

1. A writer, journalist, photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer who has been associated with various people's movements since 1990, Sonia Jabbar took over this family business a few years ago, and has been trying to revitalise its image using innovative marketing and promotion initiatives such as this sort of commemorative mug. What business, whose name has been part of the social, economic and political discourse of the country for the last 40-odd years?

2. Psalm 58 of the Bible has a reference to an ancient belief that this snake (the only venomous snake in the UK, if that helps) is able to stop up its ears to avoid hearing the snake charmer called in to drive it away. This belief gave rise to what four-word phrase?

3. This is a photograph of the Hollywood Ten waiting to be fingerprinted in the US Marshal's office in November 1947. Who were the Hollywood Ten? [A broad explanation will do, no names required.]

4. One of van Gogh's favoured pigments was Indian yellow, a transparent pigment with an element of fluorescence used in oil painting. Likely first used by Dutch artists, its origin was unknown until an investigation in the year 1883. The method of production, reported by a Mr. T.N. Mukharji of Calcutta who claimed to have studied the process in Bihar, was found to be inhumane and was outlawed in 1908. From what was Indian yellow made?

5. The Khoisan people are an aboriginal people of southern Africa who have lived there for millennia. By what name, now considered derogatory, did  European colonialist settlers refer to them?

6. This is a scene from the 1959 German adventure drama film 'The Indian Tomb' ('Das Indische Grabmal' in the original German), based on Thea von Harbou's novel of the same name. Who directed the film?

If you have any problem viewing the YouTube video above, you can access the clip here.

7. Who said this about his recent (October 2017) book: "...we as individuals are dealing with change all the time, and we're hitting refresh -- we learn from it. The same is true for organizations, and the same is true for our society."

8. This English word, a variant of the Italian word for 'baby'; first came up in early 20th-century American theatre dialogue. It originally referred to a stupid, inconsequential man, but soon switched sexes. In 1920, composer Frank Crumit recorded "My Little _____ Down on the Bamboo Isle", in which the term is used to describe an island girl of questionable virtue. What's the bad word?

9. The term used for this method of differentiating bacterial species into two large groups comes not from a unit of measurement or a type of food ingredient, but from the surname of Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian [X], who developed the technique. What is [X]?

10. In his journal, the best-known denizen of the shore of this water body philosophised upon the wintry sight of Frederic Tudor's men at work on it: "The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well ... The pure ______ water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges." (a) Name the water body (b) Who wrote these lines? (c) What were Tudor's men doing?

Answers
1. The Nuxalbari Tea Estate (where the Naxalite movement started)

2. Deaf as an adder
3. They were the victims of the first systematic Hollywood blacklist.
On November 25, 1947, the day after these ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, a group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the artists. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films 'Spartacus' and 'Exodus'.
4. The urine of cattle fed only on mango leaves and water. 
The urine would be collected and dried, producing foul-smelling hard dirty yellow balls of the raw pigment. The process was outlawed as the cows were extremely undernourished, partly because the leaves contain the toxin urushiol which is also found in poison ivy.
5. Bushmen
6. Fritz Lang
7. Satya Nadella

8. Bimbo
9. Gram
10. (a) Walden Pond (b) Henry David Thoreau (c) Harvesting ice to send around the world, including to India. Tudor was known as the Ice King.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

10Q (April 10, 2015)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicked on them]

1. What are the people in this video clip, known as Foley artists, doing? The name comes from that of Jack Foley, a pioneer of this technique.

2. On December 15, 2009, this Google doodle marking L.L. Zamenhof's 150th birthday, honoured what invention of his?
3. Identify this person, Chairperson of the government-backed Beauty & Wellness Sector Skill Council.

4. Informally called "the Big Book", the title of this book came to be used for the organisation that published it. What organisation?
5. This word was originally used for a legendary creature or type of hobgoblin, its name derived from an old Celtic word for evil spirit or goblin. In medieval England, it was depicted as a creepy animal that lurked in the woods to scare children. In a modern context, the term serves as a metaphor for something which is annoying or irritating, a pet peeve. More rarely, it is used as another term for a scarecrow. What word?

6. In which city are international cricket matches played at the Keenan Stadium, named after John Lawrence Keenan, a former general manager at Tata Steel?

7. In 1985, Ugo Vetere, the then mayor of Rome, and Chedli Klibi, his counterpart in Tunis, signed a symbolic peace treaty to officially end which series of conflicts that had, due to lack of a previously documented ending, lasted 2,131 years?

8. His first film, in 1992, was a cult hit, and led to an unsuccessful sequel. His second big hit, made in 1997, resulted in two sequels. His third major role came in 2001 and led to a four-movie franchise. In commemoration of the second of these movie series, his star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame was positioned in front of an adult store called the International Love Boutique. Who?

9. Connect these images to the name of a place.

10. These are some examples from across the world of what?
– Sweden: Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (pronounced “Albin”)
– China: @ (“Translated into Chinese, [the symbol] means ‘love him’.”)
– Sweden: Metallica
– New Zealand: 4Real
– Germany: Hitler
– Denmark: Anus

Answers
1. Creating sound effects for films or radio
2. Esperanto, a 'universal language'. The doodle included the Esperanto flag designed by Zamenhof.
3. Vandana Luthra, the VL in beauty chain VLCC
4. Alcoholics Anonymous

5. Bugbear
6. Jamshedpur
7. The Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage
8. Mike Myers, star of 'Wayne's World' (and 'Wayne's World 2'), the three Austin Powers movies, and the four Shrek films.

9. Patiala – a Patiala peg, the coat of arms of the princely state of Patiala, and the Patiala salwar.
10. Names that parents tried to give their babies, which were deemed illegal by the state.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

10Q (April 5, 2015)

[For most of the images, larger versions can be viewed by clicked on them]

1. To begin with, a question in two parts. The person shown on the left below was the only important non-British general whose advice was constantly sought during wartime by Winston Churchill. He was invited to the Imperial War Cabinet in 1939, and appointed a Field Marshal of the British Army in 1941. On the right is a scene from a movie in which Athol Fugard played the man, perhaps the only context in which most of us would have heard of him. For 1 point each, who is this general, and which movie was this?

2. A communication within the Internet Engineering Task Force titled RFC ('request for comments') 920 sent in October 1984 resulted in a set of five of these. A sixth was added during the first implementation. This list remained static for about 15 years when several new items were added to the list. That opened the flood gates and since then new entrants have come in every so often. The whole business is currently maintained by something called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. What are these (1 point)? For additional points, what were the original six? (No additional points for getting less than four; half a point for getting four or five; 1 point for getting all six.)

3. For what purpose did India, in May 1959, introduced the 'External Rupee'?

4. What denomination is this US currency note, and who is the person depicted on it? (1 point for each answer)

5. The English word for this snake comes from the Latin 'natrix', meaning 'water snake'. Its modern form comes from what is termed in linguistics as 'faulty separation', a process that also gave rise to such words as 'apron', 'auger', 'nickname' and 'umpire'. What snake?

6. In Hindu mythology, who is referred to as Vajrabhrit (bearing the bolt), Vajrivat or Vajrin (armed with the bolt), Vajradaksina (holding the bolt in his right hand), and Vajrabahu or Vajrahasta (holding the Vajra in his hand)?

7. This bullet developed by scientists at QinetiQ and British Aerospace for use against the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010 has a hollow steel head giving it more range and effectiveness. By what nickname is it known, one which might give a potential target a distinctly unlucky feeling?

8. Listen to this audio clip of a concerto written by the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi in 1725 and identify the unusual solo instrument (unusual for Western classical music, that is) it features. For those who don't know, a concerto in Western classical music – in contrast to a symphony which is composed for the entire orchestra – is written for a soloist playing a specific instrument, backed by the rest of the orchestra.

9. This is a 1913 zinc etching by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadalupe Posada titled 'La Calavera _____' ('The Elegant Skull'). The image has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead in November, such as altars and calavera costumes. The etching was part of his series of calaveras, which were humorous images of contemporary figures depicted as skeletons, which often were accompanied by a poem. The blanked-out word in the title is the feminine form of the Spanish word for 'elegant'. Which 'elegant' skull in Bollywood is attached to a second half that means 'pleasure' or 'high spirits'?

10. Born of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and the brainchild of Department of Justice attorney Gerald Shur, this programme has successfully worked with more than 18,000 people since it first began operations in 1971. What programme, central to numerous American movies and TV shows?

Answers
1. Jan Smuts, Prime Minister of South Africa for two periods (1919-24 and 1939-48), whom Mahatma Gandhi came up against during his early political activism in South Africa. The movie, of course, was 'Gandhi'.
2. Internet top-level domains, or TLDs – the first five were .com, .edu, .gov, .mil and .org; .net was added at the time of first implementation
3. For circulation in those areas outside India that used the Indian Rupee. Only the States of the Arabian Gulf used the Indian Rupee at this time, so the notes designated as External Rupees soon became known as 'Gulf Rupees'.
4. It's a 100,000-dollar bill, the largest ever issued by the US Federal Reserve, and it features President Woodrow Wilson. Since I had forgotten to mask out the name 'Wilson', I'm cancelling that part of the question.

5. An adder, which started off as 'a nadder'
6. Indra (sorry, can't give points for India and Indira, even though those are probably spelling errors)
7. It's called a 'Dirty Harry round' ("Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?")
8. It's the Mandolin Concerto in C major
9. Katrina Kaif. In the title of the painting, the word is spelt 'catrina'. 
10. U.S. Marshall Service Witness Security Program (WITSEC)