Tough Trivia, 6/23/21

Mensa has an annual team trivia competition called Culture Quest; a slew of questions on a variety of subjects, sometimes very interesting. However, the only question I remember is one that really ticked me off. A bunch of years ago, the question said “Define these three chemical laws: Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Cole’s Law.” Well, we had Boyles and Charles right off the bat (one of us was a chemist), but Coles? You’re probably guessing, and you’re probably right: the correct answer was “shredded cabbage salad.” Funny, sure, but telling us it was a “chemical law” was what annoyed me. So I always try to make sure I don’t do things like that when I’m writing questions.

However, that question has inspired today’s (and no, no cabbage salad answers): define the following named chemical laws: Avogadro’s Law, Boyle’s Law, Charles’s Law, Dalton’s Law, Faraday’s Law, Graham’s Law, Henry’s Law, and the Ideal Gas Law.


800px-GoudyOSPecimen.svgYesterday’s question: I have to admit, some of us pay a lot more attention to fonts than most of you. But fonts are important: is it easier to read a font with serifs or one without? A proportionally spaced font or a monospaced font? And so on and so forth. But even knowing the names of some fonts is a fairly new skill, which came into wide knowledge with the development of the home computer and home typesetting programs. So, here’s an alphabetical list of some of the fonts I use most frequently (you can see some of them on the covers of Fantastic Books books: a font helps convey the feeling of the book). Can you place them in the order of their invention? Hyper-bonus points if you know the names of their creators: Arial, Brush Script, Calibri, Cambria, Comic Sans, Courier, Futura, Goudy, Helvetica, Palatino, Papyrus, Times New Roman.

The answers:

800px-CambriaSpecimen.svgGoudy — created by Frederic W. Goudy in 1915.
Futura — designed by Paul Renner in 1927.
Times New Roman — commissioned by the Times of London in 1931.
Brush Script — designed by Robert E. Smith in 1942.
Palatino — designed by Hermann Zapf in 1949.
Courier — designed by Howard “Bud” Kettler in 1955 or 1956.
Helvetica — designed by Swiss designer Max Miedinger in 1957.
Arial — designed by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders in 1982.
Papyrus — designed by Chris Costello in 1982.
Comic Sans — designed by Vincent Connare in 1994.
Calibri — designed by Lucas “Luc” de Groot in 2002–2004.
Cambria — designed by Jelle Bosma in 2004.


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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