Monday, June 03, 2013

Crimefest 4: Stump the Irish criminal mastermind

I can now reveal my role in the just-concluded Crimefest 2013 in sunny Bristol, England, without contravening the Official Secrets Act: I wrote the questions with which contestant Declan Burke had to grapple in the expert-knowledge segment of the festival's Criminal Mastermind quiz. (I'd have won the competition myself last year if I'd had more sleep, less gin, and a sharper ear for the unaccountable way the English speak English.)

My chosen subject last year was Dashiell Hammett, in a quiz I lost on penalty kicks on Hammett's birthday. Declan this year picked Irish crime fiction, and, through the magic of technology, you can now match wits with him.  It's like experiencing the clanging church bells and midnight kebabs of Bristol in your very own home! Do well on this quiz, and you'll win my admiration and maybe a book. Your two minutes begin ... now.
==================

  1.  Which 2007 novel opens: "No offence, Taoiseach ... but you're talking out of your hole"? 
  2.  Ronan Bennett’s fifth novel is Zugzwang. What is a zugzwang?  
  3.  From which humorist did Ruth Dudley Edwards lift a scene in The English School of Murder, substituting a cat for a swan?  
  4.  What was the purpose of Stonehenge, according to Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code?
  5.  In which Irish novel is a character kidnapped, and “They made her perform Riverdance”?  
  6.  Who said: “I think the great Troubles novel will be written by a woman”?
  7. Which Irish crime protagonist’s name means the same thing as Sam Spade’s?
  8. Who is Fetch?
  9. Who is Israel Armstrong?
  10. What is LEPRECON?
  11. Which novel headed Brian McGilloway’s 2009 list of “Top 10 Modern Irish Crime Novels”?
  12. Which sectarian killer is the model for Victor Kelly in Eoin McNamee’s Resurrection Man
  13. Who calls the 1970s a golden age of paranoia?
  14. Which novel includes the following line: “Unity was always McShiel's programme, because it did not necessitate taking sides on any definite question.”?

  15. Which includes this: “Thing was, he did look like Mickey Rourke. But late-night Brixton, most do, even the women."?
  16. Which two non-Irish crime writers did John Banville call “Two of the greatest writers of the 20th century”?
  17. Which Irish short-story collection pays tribute in its title to Damon Runyon?
  18. Which Irish author was movie director John Ford’s cousin? 
  19. Which Irish crime writer is the son of the writer and critic Seamus Deane? 
  20. Which Irish crime writer wrote three books with Jason Starr?

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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21 Comments:

Blogger Rob Kitchin said...

Well, I'm clearly no Irish crime novel mastermind. I think I can manage four of these. I bet Dec, loved you after hearing them.

June 03, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

You should read his post over at Crime Always Pays, Rob. It will make you feel better...

June 03, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

This dunce is clueless and embarrassed. Thanks for making my day!

June 03, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

Please, when a suitable period has passed (i.e., when all the other dunces are exasperated), please offer the answers.

June 03, 2013  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

For what it's worth, I claim that I could have answered nine of 20 questions, had they all been asked. I'm not saying which nine ...

June 03, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I can answer 8.

No, not eight questions--No. 8.

June 03, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Rob, Dec invited me to stay over at his house next week, but I got the distinct impression he intends to poison my breakfast.

June 04, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I shall happy to provide the answers--if readers promise to read all the authors and books that constitute those answers.

June 04, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Declan. as you well know, nine would have had you covered in rose petals and fending off hosannahs and huzzahs left and right, so let's have done with the hand-wringing, shall we? You have books to write, man!

June 04, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, be sure you have the right Fetch.

The irony of all this is that I never would have read any of these writers, with the possible exception of --- ----- if not for Declan Burke.

June 04, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the swan scene substitute is PG Wodehouse when Bertie is chased onto a gazebo by a swan.

June 04, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Anonymous, you're right. The scene is from "Jeeves and the Impending Doom," one of my favorite Wodehouse stories.

June 04, 2013  
Blogger Rob Kitchin said...

Peter, would be lovely to meet you when you're over in Ireland, alas I will be in Iceland all next week even if you were so inclined. I hope you have a great visit. Rob

June 08, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ach, we missed by use one letter. I'm in Dublin now.

Next time, then.

June 08, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

"Alas, I will be in Iceland next week" is a great thing to be able to say, though.

June 08, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Rob, one hesitates to indulge in stereotypes, but I have just spent part of a highly pleasant evening at the Palace Bar, and yes, the front window bears a quotation from Flann O'Brien, and yes, I chatted with friendly strangers. (And yes, my tipple was a Bulmer's with a glass of ice.)

June 08, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Alas, I will be in Iceland next week" is a great thing to be able to say, though.

A touching lament for the lost opportunities that so characterize the human condition, I'd say.

June 08, 2013  
Anonymous Garbhan said...

Just after seeing this, Peter. Very honoured by the mention. Have been scanning your wonderfully authoritative blog for your comments on the Irish invasion to help me frame a short piece on Belfast Noir. Good luck at Boucheron next month. (Garbhan)

October 20, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That line of yours I quoted in one of the questions? I can never think of it without feeling the corners of my mouth turn up into a smile. Another line of yours will form the centerpiece for one of my questions to the Belfast Noir panel. But you'll have to wait until then to read it.

And if you have a question you'd care to ask one of more of the panelists, send it along by e-mail, and I just might use it.

I'll likely make a few more posts on NI crime writing between now and Bouchercon. My preparations generally form the bulk of my blog posts in the month or so leading up to a convention, except when I insult rich rock and roll stars, as I did in last night's post.

October 20, 2014  
Anonymous Garbhan said...

Tend to agree with you on the rock'n'roll front - love the songs, not so much the singers. Though Paul McCartney's people are from my wife's hometown of Ballybay, Co. Monaghan, so he can do no wrong. And in fairness, he's suffered plenty in this life already.
Will think about a question for you for Boucheron - maybe something along the lines of how crime fiction in Ireland can often act as a social conscience - by questioning both the status quo and the accepted political revisionism. Will try to get you a succinct wording in the next week or two.
Hope you don't mind that I've quoted a snatch from your blog for an article on Belfast Noir. You really deserve great credit for your championing of the Irish invasion.

October 20, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Quote away; I'm flattered. And I'll pay you the compliment of saying that, comedy though your writing may be, it probably contains more striking comment about the state of your country that just about anything else I've read from there.

Funny you should mention McCartney. He was very much involved in the brief run of YouTube watching that inspired my rock-stat blog and Facebook posts. He did terrific versions of "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout" with Bruce Springsteen and offered a graceful. touching speech inducting John Lennon into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I would not mind seeing your Belfast Noir article. Where will it appear?

October 20, 2014  

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