Tough Trivia, 5/28/21

Acronymia. Acronyms are useful things. They make it much easier to say, for instance, SHIELD, rather than Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (though that’s a poor example, because I hate with a passion the contrived acronyms, most often used for government programs, that just happen to form words). At any rate, good acronyms are time-saving linguistic constructions, though often—through continual use—we come to forget what the letters in the acronym stand for (or that it was an acronym at all). Thus, your Tough Trivia question for today is to come up with the words from which these acronyms were formed:
ZIP Code
AM and PM


statuettes-Emmy-AwardYesterday’s question was: The EGOT is an entertainment awards grand-slam. To date, only 16 people have achieved an EGOT, winning at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award in competitive categories (and only one has a double EGOT: at least two of each of the awards). How many of the EGOT winners can you name?

In answer, here is a list of the EGOT winners (in chronological order by when they accomplished the feat), along with their ages when they won the fourth award (the dates are of the winner’s first win; they may have multiples of some awards)

Richard Rogers (composer), 59 years 10 months: Emmy 1962, Grammy 1960, Oscar 1945, and Tony 1950.

Helen Hayes (actor), 76 years 4 months: Emmy 1953, Grammy 1977, Oscar 1932, and Tony 1947.

grammyRita Moreno (actor/singer), 45 years 9 months: Emmy 1977, Grammy 1972, Oscar 1961, and Tony 1975.

John Gielgud (actor/director), 87 years 4 months: Emmy 1991, Grammy 1979, Oscar 1981, and Tony 1961.

Audrey Hepburn (actor), 63 years 8 months: Emmy 1993, Grammy 1994, Oscar 1953, and Tony 1954.

Academy_Award_trophyMarvin Hamlisch (composer), 51 years 3 months: Emmy 1995, Grammy 1974, Oscar 1973, and Tony 1976.

Jonathan Tunick (composer/conductor), 59 years 1 month: Emmy 1982 Grammy 1988, Oscar 1977, and Tony 1997.

Mel Brooks (writer/composer/actor), 74 years 11 moths: Emmy 1967 ,Grammy 1998, Oscar 1968, and Tony 2001.

Mike Nichols (director), 69 years 11 months: Emmy 2001, Grammy 1961, Oscar 1967, and Tony 1964.

Whoopi Goldberg (actor), 46 years 6 months: Emmy 2002, Grammy 1986, Oscar 1991, and Tony 2002.

b_Tony_Statuette_horiz.2e16d0ba.fill-1200x800Scott Rudin (producer), 53 years 6 months: Emmy 1984, Grammy 2012, Oscar 2008, and Tony 1994.

Robert Lopez (composer), 39 years: Emmy 2008, Grammy 2012, Oscar 2014, and Tony 2004 (Lopez has two Emmys, three Grammys, two Oscars, and three Tonys).

Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer/producer), 70 years 5 months: Emmy 2018, Grammy 1980, Oscar 1997, and Tony 1980.

Tim Rice (lyricist/producer), 73 years 9 months: Emmy 2018, Grammy 1980, Oscar 1993, and Tony 1980.

John Legend (singer/composer/producer), 39 years 8 months: Emmy 2018, Grammy 2006, Oscar 2015, and Tony 2017.

Alan Menken (composer/producer), 70 years 11 months: Emmy 2020, Grammy 1992, Oscar 1990, and Tony 2012.


Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?

And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.

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One thought on “Tough Trivia, 5/28/21

  1. ZIP = Zone Improvement Plan (or Program maybe? But I think it’s Plan)
    NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    scuba = self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
    UNESCO = I don’t know, but I think the first two letters are United Nations and it has something to do with education, so that’s maybe the third one…?
    AIDS = Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
    JPEG = I don’t know
    laser = I didn’t know this was an acronym, I thought it was just a word
    radar = sames
    ATM = I know this both as an Automated Teller Machine and as Asynchronous Transfer Mode
    PIN= Personal Identification Number (and it bugs me SO MUCH when people refer to their “PIN number”… gah, redundancies)
    AM and PM = ante and post meredieum, respectively. Both Latin, meaning before and after midday

    (quick q: why are some acronyms capitalized, such as ZIP and NASA, but sometimes not, like scuba, laser and radar?)


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