Carmine takes a turn as Brooklyn Paper quizmaster

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I’m madder than a powerful politician who created an agency to investigate health-food advocates then pulled the plug when the panel uncovered evidence that I owned stock in a diabetes-medicine company over the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day and I can’t stay awake to watch quiz shows in every one of them.

Look, I’m a big “Jeopardy” fan despite my hatred for its smirking Canadian host. I also love the “Millionaire” program that comes on around lunchtime, though I have yet to figure out how my telephone knows to ring every time I try to catch an episode. And of course, there’s “Wheel of Fortune,” starring the two people with the most job security in show business.

But my Zenith has been on the fritz for the past week and the snow on the screen is no substitute for the soothing stylings of Vanna White. So to satisfy my hunger — no pun intended — for trivial pursuit I turned my attention to the information superhighway, which took another few days because my modem found new life as a candelabra back when my Prodigy trial ran out. Now comes the portion of the column where I copy and paste the goods I got from our pals at in order to meet my word count.

So put on your thinking cap and don’t think about touching that internet dial — because that would be cheating.

The Big Quizzer

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.

2. Which famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Only two types of vegetables can live to produce for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. Which fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine. Nothing has been cut. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters “dw” and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name six or more things that you can wear on your feet that begin with the letter “s.”

Okay, let’s see how you did.


1. Boxing.

2. Niagara Falls. The rim is worn down two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.

3. Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. Strawberry.

5. The pear grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

6. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle.

7. The 14 punctuation marks in English grammar are: period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, bracket, parenthesis, brace, and ellipsis.

8. Lettuce.

9. Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

Now if you’ll indulge me for another few-hundred words, you’ll never believe what happens next. Just kidding, corruption in Albany is nearly as old a story as that first section of the Bible. And if there is one thing today’s elected officials have learned from the scandals and arrests rocking smoke-filled rooms from Bay Ridge to Binghamton, it’s, “Don’t get caught.”

So as the news cycle shifts from a Malaysian Airlines tragedy to the fighting in Gaza and back again, it is important to remember to keep your ear to the ground and your eyes on the prize. And when I say the ground, of course I mean to the doors behind which government officials are making deals and rehearsing their talking points. And by the prize of course I mean money — where it is coming from and where it is going.

Then again, they say money is the root of all evil, but as somebody who has been staring at a mounting pile of bills for a root canal, I say I would rather have a mountain made of hundred-dollar bills.

Oh, and one more thing. Don’t send this quiz back to me. I have already failed it once.

Screech at you week!

Read Carmine's screech every Sunday on E-mail him at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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