The Wild Colonial Tavern   250 South Water Street, Providence, RI 02903   (401) 621-5644

Past Categories

The questions are grouped into categories. The categories range from traditional categories such as Current Events, History and Literature to less conventional ones such as Hotels, Espionage and Celebrity Parents. Also, there is always one local category about Providence, Rhode Island, or our New England neighbors. The questions, when successful are designed to encourage teammates to discuss and debate their answers. Thus, a team can use the question clues to build an answer it might not already know.

Test Your Wits

Here are some sample questions. In a normal quiz, each of the categories represented below would have six questions—usually centered around some theme (often loosely). In these, we have given one question for each category. They are difficult and the quiz is especially difficult to do alone. But, since winning teams seldom score over 60%, if you and four friends can answer 3 or more of these six, you’d be in the hunt.

  • Group 1
  • Group 2
  • Group 3
  • Group 4
  • Group 5
  • Group 6

1. My 2nd Grader--Celtic Legends say that some seals could climb out of their skins and become humans. What were they called?
2. Opening Lines--“A screaming comes across the sky.” Name the Novel.
3. Climbing--This piece of equipment, popular among all kinds of climbers, derives its name form its original use which was to secure a rifle or musket not from its current use which is to secure a Sigg bottle.
4. Local Heroes--This organization hosted its annual plant sale this weekend at its Clifford St facility, where one could also buy rain barrels for sale by Feinstein High School Class of 2010.
5. American History--In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and in 1903 published his most famous work, The Souls of Black Folk.
6. When a garden is not a garden--This is neither Italian nor is it a garden. It’s Danish. And it’s an amusement park. Built in 1843, it is located in Copenhagen and is one of the world’s oldest continuously operating amusement parks.

Answers Group 1
1. Selkies
2. Gravity’s Rainbow
3. Carabiner—from Karabinerhaken
4. Southside Community Land Trust
5. W.E.B. Dubois
6. Tivoli Gardens


1. My 3rd Grader--This Dynasty which ruled from 1368 to 1644, built most of the Great Wall, as it is known today. The Ballad of Fa Mulan was popular during this dynasty.
2. Noms De Plume--This famed haiku writer and spiritual leader, wrote under15 different names before he settled on one given to him by a disciple and which denoted his fondness for a particular banana plant.
3. Local--This affordable housing non-profit was awarded the Citizen’s Bank/Turn to 10 award for its work in neighborhoods along Manton Ave. in Providence. It began as a program of Nickerson House Community Center in 1988.
4. Caddyshack--Judge Smeals’ special putter shares its name (at least half of its name), ironically, with a famous Irish king. Get that half right and we’ll give it to you.
5. Climbers--Born the son of a farmer and ferryman on Staten Island and having received little formal education, this tycoon came to control US river shipping and rail, battling famously with the patrician Wall street powerbrokers Drew, Fisk and Gould before amassing a fortune valued at 100 million (ten times the percentage of wealth that Gates has), leaving one million of it to Central University in Nashville. First and Last name, please.
6. Scary creatures---There are only two species of spiders in the US harmful to humans, the Black Widow and this.

Answers to Group 2

1. Ming
2. Basho
3. Olneyville Housing Corp
4. The old Billy Boru….Billy, Billy,Billy
5. Cornelius Vanderbilt
6. Brown Recluse


1. My 3rd grader--No one knows for sure what is killing the honey bees but the weekly Reader for April talks about the problem. Whole Foods has a donation coupon out this week and Hagen Dagz is launching a special vanilla flavor to help raise money to study the disorder which is currently being called what?
2. Climbers--A 2006 aticle in Nature argues that the fossilized remains of Selam, sometimes called Lucy’s baby, a young member of this species suggests adaptation not only for walking erect but also especially for tree-climbing. This argument prompted a 2006 cover in National Geographic depicting a life-like image of Selam. Selam is considered to be a member of what genus?
3. Local Heroes--This Cumberland native is now a member of the Boston Red Sox. He’s a member of the RI Italian American Hall of Fame and was nominated for the 2006 tony Conigliaro award for overcoming what might be mitochondrial abnormailites or what might be Channelopathy leading to Chronic Fatigue. Name him.
4. Caddyshack--Judge Smeals’ shares his first name with this founder of Yale. What is it? Full name, please.
5. When a garden is not a garden--In Monopoly, it costs 280.00. The real one in Atlantic City???
6. Veeps--In tribute to one of my quiz mentors (a member of the New Zealand quiz giants “The Spiros Agnew”): Of what state was Spiro Agnew governor?

Answers to Group 3
1. Colony Collapse disorder
2. Australopithicus
3. Rocco Baldelli
4. Elihu
5. Marvin Gardens
6. Maryland


1. My 3rd Grader--My American Girl doll Kirsten Larson has a crown of candles accessory for this Swedish December holiday. Name the holiday.
2. Veeps--This Veep passed away in office, having served only a little more than 1 year of his term as James Madison’s Vice President. As the governor of Massachusetts he had become notorious for a plan to redistrict voters to consolidate power. The term we still use for this type of chicanery derives from his name.
3. RFK--For what prominent senator did Kennedy work as counsel in the early 1950s? This same senator was godfather to Kennedy’s oldest daughter Kathleen.
4. Misquotes--Though it was ascribed to Marie Antoinette, probably during the French revolution, the phrase “Let them eat cake” actually appeared in print well before she ascended to the crown and was ascribed to a different member of the nobility by this French author and philosopher in his work Confessions.
5. Fictional Fathers--Portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne, he is the father of main character Trey, in the film Boyz in The Hood.
6. Local and Current--Wondering where your stimulus money is going? Some of went towards guaranteeing Coastway Credit Union’s loan to this Warren business, an institution for over 72 years.
Answers to Group 4
1. St. Lucia’s, St. Lucy’s
2. Elbridge Gerry
3. Joseph McCarthy
4. Rousseau
5. Furious Stiles
6. Jamiel’s Shoe World

1. My 3rd Grader--This nation is the only Hindu Kingdom and the only nation without a rectangular flag
2. Climbers--In the play Six Degrees of Separation, the main character Paul is able to con several wealthy characters by intimating that he can get them parts in his father Sidney Poitier’s upcoming film version of what popular broadway play?
3. Local and Current-- The 53rd installment of this national day was marked locally at Market Square in Providence. It included exhibits by retailers and enviro groups and an address by state transportation Director Michael Lewis
4. Caddyshack--When Spaulding changes his order form a hamburger to a cheeseburger, what does the judge inform him he will get?
5. RFK--From what State was RFK a senator when he ran for President?
6. Fictional Fathers--June 16th is the date this novel takes place in which the title character, Leopold, completes a rambling odyssey through Dublin to return home, having adopted a surrogate son, to his wife Molly.

Answers to Group 5

1. Nepal
2. Cats
3. Bike To Work Day
4. Nothing, and like it.
5. New York
6. Ulysses

1. My Third Grader--Pocahontas’ people were also known by a confederation which shares its name with her father. What is it?
2. Literary Openers--“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York/Ad all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house/ In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.” Name the play.
3. Noms De Plume--Mary Ann Evans, authored Middlemarch, Adam Bede, Mill on the Floss and Daniel Deronda under this pen name.
4. Local Heroes--On June 5th this organization/site/happening will host an event entitled Clay-doh during which one can “throw build and roll “ clay and shop the ceramics coops Bowl sale.
5. Fictional Fathers--In the children’s picture book, Mr. Seahorse, the title character completes a rambling odyssey of the undersea world to give birth to his little brood. Who is the author and illustrator of Mr. Seahorse?
6. Geography--Which Tropic is South of the Equator?

Answers to Group 6

1. Powhatan
2. Richard III
3. George Eliot
4. The Steelyard
5. Eric Carle
6. Capricorn