Boat Race Quiz – The Answers

23 March 2018

On 5 March, HTBS re-ran and old 1983 quiz by Chris Dodd for the upcoming Boat Races on Saturday 24 March. It seems to have been a tricky one because we didn’t get that many replies, and no one had all the answers correct. However, we picked one lucky winner, who had nine out of ten correct answers and who will receive a signed copy of HTBS editor Göran R Buckhorn’s book A Yank at Cambridge – G. H. Howell: The Forgotten Champion (2015). The winner is Malcolm Cook. Congratulations, Malcolm!

1. Who, arriving in Oxford in a toque a-twinkle with fine diamonds, caused eight young men to have their hearts transfixed by Eros’s darts?

Zuleika Dobson, in Max Beerbohm’s novel Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story (1911).

2. Who, with taper waist and fair complexion, was fated to get a Blue; at any rate, to be quite famous?

Sue Brown, first woman to cox the men’s Boat Race, Oxford 1981 and 1982. In the photograph, in the strong arms of Boris Rankov.

3. Which President was described as ‘the personification of matter over mind’?Stanley Duff Muttlebury of Cambridge, who selected his seven-lengths winning 1888 crew complete for a three-length win in 1889 and then lost the 1890 race by a length with a new green-behind-the-ears crew.

4. Which Prime Minister incited the mob to break up the town on Boat Race night?Harold Macmillan, former PM and Chancellor of Oxford University, at the 150th anniversary dinner, 1971.

5. Which Prime Minister said: ‘I don’t believe there’s a single spot on the Thames where I couldn’t tell you, in calm weather, the power of the current and the depth of the water.’?

William Gladstone, who was tutored at Oxford by Charles Wordsworth, a Boat Race founder.

6. Which Blues became Prime Ministers, and of which countries?

William Henri Waddington (Cambridge 1849, PM of France 1879; on the left) and Stanley Melbourne Bruce (Cambridge 1904, PM of Australia 1923-1929).

7. Which don found his muse on the Isis that became a best-selling children’s classic?Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

8. Which river was found to contain:

Dead Hogges, Doggs, Cats, and well-flayed Carryon Horses,
Their noysom Corpses soyld the Water Courses;
Both swines and Stable dung, Beasts guts and Garbage,
Street durt, with Gardners weeds and Rotten Herbage?
The Isis at Oxford, described by John Taylor, the Water Poet.

9. Which Corpus coach became Poet Laureate?

Robert Bridges, poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.

10. Who was the Blue Cardinal?

William Theodore Heard, Oxford 1907.

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