Have you ever heard of Mensa? The word Mensa is Latin for "table" because the organization was founded as a round-table society. In other words, Mensa is a gathering of equals. Equal how? Well, you must have an IQ that is scored in the upper two percent of the general population. In layman's terms, that means that you must score better than 98 people out of 100 on an IQ test.
Recently, I discovered a small volume titled "The Mensa Genius Quiz Book" by Grosswirth and Salny. It is chock-full of quizzes that allow the reader to match wits with the Mensa crew. I thought perhaps some of my readers would enjoy trying your hand at some questions.
The first test in the book is called a "warm-up" of trivia. Apparently, Mensa members enjoy trivia a lot. I've put the answers at the end of the column so you can check how you did.
Domenikos Theotocopoulos is better known as whom?
Where would you be if your restaurant check was in forints?
In a Jules Verne novel, who went around the world in 80 days?
If you heard people talking about ullage and botrytis, what would they be discussing?
Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales are in what country?
Which one does not belong: George Sand, George Eliot, George Orwell?
What's so unusual about St. Michael's Mount and Mt. St. Michel?
Where are the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon?
What were the occupations of the three men in a tub?
What is the name of the scale by which earthquakes are measured?
What species of living things has the greatest life expectancy?
What is the easternmost state in the USA?
What is the capital of Brazil?
What is the derivation of the word "boycott"?
Where did the UN meet, for almost 5 years, while the Manhattan building was being finished?
If you commit uxoricide, whom have you killed?
Would you care to have your best friend become a lycanthrope? Why or why not?
What feast was Good King Wenceslas celebrating?
In what country is Mount Kilimanjaro located?
What is the astronomical name for the Big Dipper?
She's known as Venus in Roman mythology. What is she called in Greek mythology?
F. M. De Lesseps is most famous for what?
The Strait of Juan de Fuca lies between what 2 countries?
When it is 12 o'clock noon at the meridian in Greenwich, what time is it in New York (using standard time for both)?
If you crossed Delaware Bay from south to north on the Lewes Ferry, where would you land?
Now, there are some folks reading this who think that knowing answers to trivia isn't always an indication of intelligence. In actuality, people who can answer a lot of trivia questions have good memory habits. And, good memory habits lead to the possession of a storehouse of knowledge.
Here are the answers to the test above. Since the book doesn't tell us how to score this test, let's give ourselves 4 points for every correct answer and use the typical high school grading system – 90-100= A, 80-89 = B. 70-79=C, 60-69 = D, 50-59= F. And, if you got a 49 or lower, your trivia skills need sharpening.
El Greco, the painter
George Orwell (the other two are females)
They are both tidal islands, cut off from the mainland, and a chapel sits on each.
Off the coast of Newfoundland
Butcher, baker, candlestick maker
The Richter Scale
From Captain Boycott, a land agent in Ireland who was ostracized for not reducing rents
At Lake Success in New York
Probably not – a lycanthrope is a werewolf
Feast of St. Stephen
For engineering canals: Suez and Panama
Canada and the USA, on the west coast
Southern New Jersey
If you think you might enjoy being a member of Mensa, their address is: Mensa, Dept. AW, 2626 E. 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11235.
If you would like to contact Dr. Smith, she can be reached at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of this newspaper.