Lockdown trivia time

Tom Maydon, AKA Trivia Tom from our weekly quiz in the Sunday Times Careers section, has compiled a two-part bumper brain-teaser to challenge the entire family (everyone should excel in at least one category). We hope it helps keep you sane and thinking through the lockdown. See the Sunday Times next week for the second part

29 March 2020 - 00:00 By Tom Maydon
Trivia in the time of Covid-19.
Trivia in the time of Covid-19.
Image: 123RF/ Julia Sudnitskaya


1. Hitler invaded which country in 1939, leading to the start of World War 2?

2. Who succeeded Shaka as king of the Zulu nation?

3. Demetrios Tsafendas assassinated which South African prime minister in 1966?

4. Which country was the former colonial power in Brazil?

5. Haile Selassie was the emperor of which country?

6. Who, in 1959, founded the Pan Africanist Congress?

7. What is the name of the Irish nationalist organisation? It literally means “ourselves alone”?

8. Adam Kok was leader of which group of people in SA during the early 19th century?

9. Montezuma was the last king of which ancient civilisation?

10. Which platteland town (situated about 120km from Johannesburg) was the first capital of the South African Republic?


11. In which city would you find Tiananmen Square?

12. How many hours is SA ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)?

13. Upington is on the banks of which river?

14. What “M” describes treed wetlands located on the coastlines in warm tropical climates?

15. Port Elizabeth flanks the western side of which bay?

16. Which island country has its capital at Port Louis?

17. Which river lies at the bottom of the Grand Canyon?

A. Mississippi

B. Yukon

C. Potomac

D. Colorado

18. The Horn of Africa is situated in which country?

19. What country is known to the locals as Magyar?

A. Finland

B. Mongolia

C. Hungary

D. Iceland

20. Name the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea?

A. Crete

B. Sardinia

C. Sicily

D. Cyprus

QUESTION: Which late South African singer had hits with ‘Pata Pata’ and ‘The Click Song’?
QUESTION: Which late South African singer had hits with ‘Pata Pata’ and ‘The Click Song’?
Image: Gallo Images/Getty Images


21. In which country is it thought Covid-19 first passed from animal to human?

22. What is the origin of the 19 in Covid-19?

A. 19th coronavirus

B. 19 spikes per virus cell

C. Replication rate per minute

D. The year 2019

23. Coronaviruses are so called because the virus resembles:

A. Bull’s horns

B. Fish scales

C. Hedgehog quills

D. A crown

24. What word, originating from the Greek for “all people”, refers to a disease that is prevalent across the entire world?

25. What word, originating from the Italian for “forty days”, means “to isolate”?

26. In the cartoon Tom and Jerry, what animal is Tom?

27. Which actor member of Monty Python played Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers?

28. Who played the title role in the TV series Fresh Prince of Bel Air?

29. What links a spicy Indian yoghurt drink to a TV show from the 1950s starring a rough collie dog?

30. What “L” is a British crime series starring Idris Elba as a murder detective?


31. From which flower is opium derived?

32. How many sides does a hexagon have?

33. Along with oestrogen, what is the other major female sex hormone?

34. What are male bees called?

35. In which galaxy is Earth situated?

36. What part of the body is affected by periodontitis?

37. By what name is solid (frozen) carbon dioxide better known?

38. Which of the following was not invented by a South African?

A. The Kreepy Krauly

B. Pratley Putty

C. CAT scan

D. Van der Graaf generator

39. What is the term used to describe the constant erratic movement of tiny particles suspended in a fluid or a gas (discovered by the botanist Robert Brown)?

40. What is the name of the law that states the computing power (or the number of processes a CPU can perform) should double every 18 months?

Charlize Theron. File photo.
Charlize Theron. File photo.
Image: Jean-Baptiste Lacroix/AFP


41. Which South African actress won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best actress for her role in Monster?

42. The film What’s Love Got To do With It? depicts the troubled life of which popular musician?

43. The film Jojo Rabbit is set during which armed conflict?

A. World War 1

B. World War 2

C. American Civil War

D. Vietnam War

44. Who directed the films Chasing Amy, Clerks, Dogma and Mallrats?

45. Who is due to succeed Ben Affleck as the next Batman (due to debut in 2021)?


46. With which musician would you associate the 1986 Graceland album?

47. Name the South African music genre that originates from the Afrikaans word for angry.

48. Which of the following bands is not Swedish?

A. Roxette

B. The Cardigans

C. Abba

D. A-ha

49. Which late South African singer had hits with Pata Pata and The Click Song?

50. "We’re beautiful, like diamonds in the sky" are lyrics to a 2012 song performed by whom?

51. What nationality are/were the following musicians: Oliver Mtukudzi, Andy Brown and Thomas Mapfumo?

52. Andrew Taggart, Alex Pall and Rhett Bixler are all part of which band that had hits with Closer, Something Just like This and Don’t Let Me Down?

A. Chainsmokers

B. Imagine Dragons

C. Panic! At The Disco

D. Mumford & Sons

53. What “M” is a US state (home of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard) and is also a Bee Gees hit?

54. Which 28-year-old Swedish DJ died suddenly in Oman in April 2018? (He had a hit with Wake Me Up.)

55. In what year in the 1970s did the following occur: Eagles have a hit with Hotel California; Fleetwood Mac release their album Rumours; Dire Straits are formed; Elvis Presley dies?


56. What colour is the final flag in Formula One motor racing?

57. In cricket, the bowlers Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram represented which country?

58. The Reds Super Rugby team play their home games in which city?

A. Sydney

B. Wellington

C. Melbourne

D. Brisbane

59. In which African country were the rugby players Corné Krige and George Gregan born?

60. In which city were 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered in the second week of the 1972 Olympics?

61. For which Portuguese football club did Benni McCarthy play?

62. Former Bafana Bafana and late Orlando Pirates star Lesley Manyathela was known by which nickname?

A. "Slow Poison"

B. "Telephone Exchange"

C. "Teargas"

D. "Lost and Found"

63. The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match took place in which city?

A. Tripoli

B. Kampala

C. Manila

D. Kinshasa

64. From 1936 to 1979 in Australia, in 1939 in England, from 1938-1958 in SA, and from 1968-1979 in New Zealand — how many balls were there to an over in a Test cricket match?

65. With which country would you associate Formula One great Niki Lauda?

ANSWERS: 1. Poland 2. Dingaan 3. Hendrik Verwoerd 4. Portugal 5. Ethiopia/Abyssinia 6. Robert Sobukwe 7. Sinn Fein 8. Griquas 9. Aztecs 10. Potchefstroom 11. Beijing 12. Two 13. Orange 14. Mangrove swamp 15. Algoa 16. Mauritius 17. D) Colorado 18. Somalia 19. Hungary 20. C) Sicily 21. China 22. D) The year 2019 23. D) Crown 24. Pandemic 25. Quarantine 26. Cat 27. John Cleese 28. Will Smith 29. “Lassie” 30. “Luther” 31. Poppy 32. Six 33. Progesterone 34. Drones 35. Milky Way 36. The gums 37. Dry ice 38. D) Van der Graaf Generator (American invention) 39. Brownian Motion 40. Moore’s Law 41. Charlize Theron 42. Tina Turner 43. B) World War 2 44. Kevin Smith 45. Robert Pattinson 46. Paul Simon 47. Kwaito 48. D) A-ha (Norwegian) 49. Miriam Makeba 50. Rihanna 51. Zimbabwean 52. A) Chainsmokers 53. Massachusetts 54. Avicii 55. 1977 56. Black and White 57. Pakistan 58. Brisbane 59. Zambia 60. Munich 61. Porto 62. A) “Slow Poison” 63. D) Kinshasa 64. Eight 65. Austria

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.