Monday, May 28, 2012

D2. In Japanese mythology, Namazu is a giant catfish that lives in the mud beneath the earth, guarded by the god Kashima. Whenever Kashima lets his guard down, Namazu thrashes about. This is a mythical explanation for what natural phenomenon?

A. Earthquakes

Answers I received were split between 'earthquakes' and 'tsunamis'. A few hedged their bets and put both in. I have treated those as multiple answers and, as per standard quizzing rules, taken the first answer as the one to consider. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

F2. The name of the goddess depicted in this painting derives from a Proto-Germanic word for 'lady', and is as such linked to words with similar meaning in modern Teutonic languages. The first line of the Danish national anthem invokes her name: "It is called Old Denmark and it is _______'s hall". Identify her (any one of several spellings will do).

A. Freyja, from the same root as 'Frau'

Sunday, May 13, 2012

G2. Raised in the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam, he lived quietly as a lens grinder, turning down rewards and honors throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions. His given name, rendered as Baruch in Hebrew, Benedito in Portuguese and Benedictus in Latin, means "the blessed" in all these languages. His magnum opus, the posthumous 'Ethics', in which he opposed Descartes's mind–body dualism, has earned him recognition as one of Western philosophy's most important contributors.

A. Spinoza

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

C2. We are familiar with only a couple of these, but the International Society of Blood Transfusion lists 30 of them! MNS, Lutheran, Diego, XG, Indian and 25 others are systems to classify what?

A. Blood types

Friday, May 4, 2012

B2. This Brazilian footballer had a very successful stint with Bayern Munich in the early part of the previous decade, helping them win the domestic league and Cup double three times between 2002 and 2006. When he found his place in the starting XI threatened under new coach Felix Magath, though, he left amidst much acrimony, foretelling the downfall of the club. But he was back in 2007, and Bayern again won the double that year. Name the player.

A. Ze Roberto

Now that second clues have started to appear for the various Themes, guessing at the Themes is open. You can do that once for each Theme at each stage. Please remember that there are negative points for getting Theme guesses wrong.