Friday, May 18, 2018

The Left-Handed Spanner: Aquatic Car Quiz

The Left-Handed Spanner, by Kaibeezy. 
Never thought I'd go on a cruise, except maybe the HMS Prog. As a proto-hipster (old), East Coast liberal intellectual elitist (snob), who does software things for a living (nerd, geek) and art for fun (artiste; artsy-fartsy), but who nonetheless appreciates 5.7 liter V8 wagons (Roadmaster), Texas barbeque (brisket), ice cold longnecks (Budvar), and other earthy delights (foie gras on Cheez-its, but never brie on a cheese steak), a cruise eventually, finally happened.

The main reason I capitulated, besides the buffet and the excursion to Mt. Etna, was that it looked like it would be a blast for the kids, and it was. One was off to the teen club all day until late at night, while the other had a nonstop party swimming, playing games and doing projects with scurvy seadogs her own age. A big reason this worked so well was that none of them knew each other in advance, so there were no cliques, and they were all in the same boat for 9 days. 

My wife and I sat in the sun and shade respectively, reading page after uninterrupted page of actual (electronic) books and occasionally glancing up at the sea sliding by, which was completely boring, and of course, exactly what we were after.

One lazy afternoon I wandered down to the sushi lounge to make a reservation for dinner. There was a quiz party going on, with maybe 75 folk gnawing on their golf pencils, huffing and puffing and complaining loudly over a grid of mysterious symbols. I asked the MC what was up.

"Yah, ve are do-ink a cah qviz." Cruise staff are from everywhere.

"Oh, yeah, those are are car logos. Can I join in?"

"Yah, but zere ah only a few zeconds remain."

"Yeah, but car logos, I'm good. How much time?"

"Forty-fife zeconds. Hurree!"

I made some space among the empties on top of the electronic grand piano and got to work. After 30 seconds, I had all but two: the one on the top right, and the second to last one on the bottom row.

"Wow, you ah goot!"

"Yeah, but this oval one is impossible."

"Turn ze sheet oveh."

Well now, that's better. Bingy bangy done and handed to the MC.

"OK, zis gentleman has got zem all correct! Has anyone else able to finish ze sheet?"


"You win!"

A pen and a cocktail coupon. Woo hoo.

"Just out of curiosity, how much time did they have to do this quiz?"

"Fifteen minoot. You ze smartest guy on zee boat, yah?"

OK, so do this. Solve this quiz using the "frontside" shown here, you've got a generous 5 minutes:

In 5 minutes, we will publish the backside of the quiz.  Hang tight.


  1. Lego, Hamburger Helper, Ford Taurus, Mitsubishi, Cadbury Cream egg
    Food Lion, Pantera (the band), (I can't think of a good parody for Vauxhall), Ikea, French Nonsense
    Snake-doctors, the Olympics, Lan-see-ah (Or, how to identify an Brexit victim), Mazda, M&Ms
    Chair, currently gender-neutral bathroom, West Virgina, Drunk Jack in the Box, Pee-Wee Herman.

    1. Vauxhall, what what? I say, that’s Saab, innit?

    2. You got the order mixed up, Saab is an Ikea house brand now.

      I suppose I could have called Vauxhall "Badge engineered Opels"


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