The Independent on Sunday: The Big Brit Quiz: From the Beatles to Blur, Monty Python to Marmite, how well do you know Great Britain?

Visitors to the British Isles may know how to find Buckingham Palace or pronounce Leicester Square, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still teach them a thing or two.

Fraser McAlpine, author of a new book Stuff Brits Like, has been trawling British culture and attempting to find the commonly appreciated (but often unsung) things that can’t be found on a map. See how many you already know. Answers at the bottom.

1 Which artist’s name is most closely associated with saucy postcards from the seaside?

2 What was the name of Rik Mayall’s recurring character in Blackadder?

3 Blur’s song “This Is A Low” takes inspiration from which radio broadcast?

4 Which baking ingredient has the legend “out of the strong came forth sweetness” on its packaging?

5 Our names are Bill, Tony, Geezer and Ozzy; who are we?

6 What name is given to the birthday custom of grabbing someone by the arms and legs and raising them up and down?

7 In which children’s TV drama did a prominent character struggle with heroin addiction?

8 What is the principal ingredient of the dish crappit heid?

9 Which song kept Joe McElderry from the Christmas No 1 in 2009?

10 What’s the name of the theme tune to The Archers?

11 Which drink claimed to be brewed in Scotland “from girders”?

12 What’s the correct pronunciation of Towcester?

13 Marmite is a by-product of which industrial process?

14 By what name is “the cricketers’ almanack” better known?

15 How many times can you dunk a Rich Tea biscuit before it falls apart?

16 Which character has been in Coronation Street since it began in 1960?

17 What kind of gun does James Bond prefer?

18 What do you call a spotted dick with plums and no raisins?

19 In which fictional London borough is EastEnders set?

20 At which university did both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien teach English?

21 Wimbledon’s Henman Hill previously sat within the grounds of which sporting organisation?

22 Who was the original presenter of Desert Island Discs?

23 In which beloved British film does a young boy train a bird of prey?

24 What’s the name of the fabled black dog that is said to roam Suffolk?

25 In conkers, what will a one-er become if it smashes another one-er?

26 Which crafts and cookery organisation was founded in Llanfairpwll gwyngyll in 1915?

27 What’s the term used in Doctor Who when the lead actor is replaced by another?

28 Which of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is also a board game?

29 Which city is populated by Leodensians?

30 Which baked food was developed with a disposable crust to prevent miners poisoning themselves while eating?

31 Which literary hero is commonly associated with a violin, pipe and a particular kind of hunting hat?

32 How old, to the nearest 1,000 years, is Stonehenge?

33 Which berries are used to flavour Vimto?

34 What pet name did Samuel Johnson have for his regular bouts of depression?

35 How many of the Beatles were (or are) left-handed?

36 Dorstone, Duddleswell and Dunlop are all varieties of what?

37 From which London bridge does The Boat Race start?

38 Who do Monty Python’s Flying Circus and televised snooker have in common?

39 According to the people of Devon, in which order should the cream and jam be applied to a scone in a cream tea?

40 And finally, what does the acronym NORWICH stand for?

Fraser McAlpine is the author of Stuff Brits Like (Nicholas Brealey, £9.99)


1 Donald McGill; 2 Lord Flashheart; 3 The shipping forecast; 4 Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup; 5 Black Sabbath; 6 The bumps; 7 Grange Hill; 8 A cod or haddock head; 9 “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against The Machine; 10 “Barwick Green”; 11 Irn-Bru; 12 “Toaster”; 13 Brewing beer; 14 Wisden; 15 Once; 16 Ken Barlow; 17 Walther PPK; 18 Spotted dog; 19 Walford; 20 Oxford; 21 The London New Zealand Rugby Club; 22 Roy Plomley; 23 Kes; 24 Black Shuck 25 A three-er; one point for winning, one taken from the rival conker; 26 The Women’s Institute; 27 Regeneration; 28 Othello; 29 Leeds; 30 The Cornish pasty; 31 Sherlock Holmes; 32 5,000 years; 33 Grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants; 34 The “black dog”; 35 Two, Paul and Ringo; 36 Cheese; 37 Putney Bridge; 38 David Attenborough; he commissioned both for BBC2; 39 Cream, then jam; 40 (K)nickers off ready when I come home

From The Independent on Sunday, 19 July 2015.