Thursday, 3 March 2011


Today is World Book Day and to mark this annual event, here's a little quiz to test your bookish knowledge. I filched the format from a charity quiz that I recently spent several days puzzling over!

Below are the initials of 50 book titles and their authors, the challenge is to see how many you can identify.

In my version, all the books (and there's also one or two plays, a long poem and collection of verses) have something in common: they are all about ANIMALS.

Some of these volumes were written for grown-ups many for children, some are factual but most of them are fictional.

As for the animals (and there are some birds and maybe even some fish) they may be real, mythical or utterly fanciful and several of them have been immortalised on film.

There are cats, dogs and horses, quite a few mice and – at the other end of the scale – a couple of elephants.

And that's all the help you're getting!

Good luck!

1) BB / AS

2) TSOB / JdB


4) KSR / KL

5) ROBW / GM

6) MD / HM

7) ABCP / MB

8) TSG / PG


10) WF /JL

11) TOTA / ERB

12) TG /THW

13) HHAW / DS

14) B (ALITW) / FS

15) TTOJP / BP

16) BF/ JA

17) TJB / RK

18) NV / EB

19) TPD / RA


21) TIJ / SB

22) AKFAK / BH

23) TWITW / KG

24) AATL / GBS


26) E / PS

27) TBBATGF / AA & WP (after WR)

28) LCH / EK

29) TG / JD

30) FMF / RD

31) TVR / MW

32) TDP / RJ

33) TS-P / DK-S

34) SL / EBW

35) TLU / PSB

36) TW / EB

37) ACGAS / JH

38) TCITS / GS


40) MFAOA / GD

41) THOTS / LC


43) WTWTA / MS


45) R / JRRT

46) AF / GO


48) WH / MM

49) TR / MS

50) EB / JHW

Answers later in the month.

Images: Pipe and books by Diana Bloomfield; engraving of a 18th Century French ornamental paper panel


SharonM said...

I was looking for TGWTDT/SL, but couldn't find it!

I was counting on at least getting that right.

Brian Sibley said...

It's not easy this, is it...?

Geno said...

oh boy!

Suzanne said...

At this time in the morning, I only recognise AF/GO! I was looking for TWITW but you seem to have omitted that one. I'll be back!

Sheila said...

Please may we have another clue - are the same authors used more than once?

Phil said...

Well, I've managed to get ONE. (No. 25, if anyone's interested.)

You've given us a helpful clue by including an apostrophe in an author's name. Unfortunately, it didn't help me a bit!

Brian Sibley said...

Geno - Was that an exclamation of excitement or desperation?

Suzanne – Well, if you've got AF/GO you're already one ahead of others! Two ahead, actually, because TWITW is there, at No. 23!

Sheila – Happy to oblige (and meant to say in the introduction): there are no repeated authors, playwrights or poets.

Phil – Well done with getting No. 25 (TOMATS/EH): one of the harder ones, I thought. As for the apostrophised author (47) this book (with a slightly different – and shorter – title) was made into an animated movie –– as were (a further clue for you) several others. Quite a few became live-action movies, too – oh, yes and, in a couple of cases, TV series as well!

Sharon – I've only got one to think about (your TGWTDT/SL) and I haven't a clue! :)

I'll give some more clues in a day or two...

SharonM said...

I've managed to identify 9 titles and one author WITHOUT going anywhere near Google etc - simply by thinking of animal-titled tomes.

Will need to give my little brain a rest before trying to identify any more.

As to the one I was looking for - it's not necessarily about animals, but has a mythical creature in its title.

Brian Sibley said...

Well done, Sharon! I've found (from struggling with a similar quiz) that if you come back to the list after a few hours/days, titles and authors that you couldn't even hope to identify previously suddenly leap out at you!

Eudora said...

Ooh,very difficult for me... no, impossible. I don't feel able to try. Good luck to everyone. (And Brian, your biscuits, that ones with chocolate... sorry, I couldn't resist tasted them...)

Suzanne said...

Flicking through the list again this morning, I puzzled out ROBW! How clever am I!

Good Dog said...

Back from a weekend away and hurrah, a new quiz! Except, I'm not sure I should be that happy because there's a lot of work waiting her for me but... I can't help it. Only ten so far... so probably not much sleep tonight!

Brian Sibley said...

Suzanne – Well done and one of the words in that answer (ROBW) is a word in another answer close by...

Good Dog – 10 already! Well done! I'm still puzzling over Sharon's question!

Good Dog said...

Only twelve left now, but I have to turn in for the night. The two EB writers had me stumped until I realized the one EB I was scratching my head over was in fact the other EB and then it made perfect sense. As did "(8) B / FS" because I expected it to be BALITW, which proves that I am a monumental pedant.

Good Dog said...

Oh, and number 20 is actually in the book pile on the side of my desk, which is strange.

Brian Sibley said...

Only 12 left?! That's good going Good Dog!

Yes, you are quite right about about B/FS: I'll add the sub-title now, though it may only confuse people – like you referring to it as No. 8 when it's actually No. 14!

Brian Sibley said...

PS: Of course, it ought to be: B,ELADW, but that would require everyone having a knowledge of Austrian! :)

Good Dog said...

Oh dear, why on earth did I say it was number 8? Proof that it was the tired talking. I did need that sleep. You're right about stepping away for a while. Before turning off the computer I scribbled the clues down on a note pad and both 24 and 25 popped into my head just before I nodded off.

Sheila said...

I'm wondering if it's significant that we've got 12 left too! Is this an impossible task meaning that we should now stop and get back to work?

Sheila said...

... and we've also spent time looking on the list for books that aren't there (though we have worked out Sharon's challenge), such as TOS/AG, TLATU/TC, TCIOTDITN/MH (too easy!) and TPR/LN.

And no hippos ... or have we missed one?

Brian Sibley said...

Sheila – I think you are playing catch up now, Good Dog seems to have knocked off another two!

A few are particularly difficult, I think: especially one of the two elephants, the birds of prey and and maybe some of the rodents...

Brian Sibley said...

Sheila – Now I've got to start trying to solve your questions! I think this comes under the heading of REVENGE!

Still, I've got TCIOTDITN/MH, so at least I've started...

Good Dog said...

Back on quiz duty... Nine left: 04, 16, 26, 27, 28, 32, 35, 40 and 50. I think having the animation background might have given me an edge on some of the really tricksy ones, as well as the mention that many have been adapted for cinema. I think a half hour banging my head on the desk trying to get this final handful makes for a good afternoon break.

Sheila said...

You're quite right - why should we struggle alone?!

And we've just got another two too!!

Brian Sibley said...

It must be almost neck and neck! The suspense is ELECTRIFYING!

And who knows what Dark Horses are out there also in the running. (I'm very surprised not to find that Gill - a veritable crossword-fiend - is puzzling over it!)

Incidentally, for anyone still not yet out of the gate, there's also a Dark Horse amongst those titles! But you all knew that!

Brian Sibley said...

Good Dog and Everyone...

As I've already hinted: if you have (5) look for the common word in (4) or vice versa.

Here are some more clues...

2's first language is French

There's a one-word-titled play

There's the book that spawned a number of films and TV series and named something found in can that is not for human consumption

There are two titles by zoologists, and one by a Lt-Col

Characters in one of the books live in Deptford

Insects in one title have 'a bit of do'

JA followed up BF with LF

Maybe it would be best NOT to let these dogs see the rabbits

Someone needed looking after

There are two (but not three) men in a boat

Enough! Now hurry up and finish it off!! :)

Sheila said...

Thanks for the clues - now we've got 8 left ... !

3 of which are on Good Dog's list: 28, 35, 50. Your animation background has helped you and our librarianship background (and having two of us working on this) has helped us - so what is making these three so tough?

Brian Sibley said...

Well, all I can say about 28 (in addition to last clue I gave you for it) is that it is particularly ironic that Good Dog hasn't got that one!

The animal in 35 would also feature (if it were on this list) in TLB/CSL!

As for 50: I've already given you at least two clues for this one, but suffice it to say that the first word is an animal the second a name.

Is anyone else struggling over particularly difficult clues?

Apart from me, that is, who's still grappling with Sharon and Sheila's titles! I thought I'd got TLATU but can't get 'TC', so probably haven't got it!!

Sheila said...


We now have 7 left - I'd got 50 down as EB/JH. Once I noticed my mistake, Roger had no trouble with JHW!!

Good Dog said...

Only three to go: 04, 27 & 28. Made all the more frustrating that I get the R of 04 but can't connect it to two other words; have (I think) three of 27's seven words, but not the all important remaining four; and to be told that I should get 28 but just can't see it. Still, on the bright side the internet connection here has stopped acting crazy... so I'll give it another half hour's thought...

Brian Sibley said...

Good Dog – More clues for everyone, possibly including some (but not all) of the ones you are looking for!

One of the fish isn't a fish although, at the time, the author was not aware of that fact.

There may not be a beetle in the title but there is definitely a Beatles connection.

Dickens wrote a book with an insect in the title - the same insect appears in one of the books on this list.

A five-word title when a book became a one-word title when it was made into a film.

You need to be very wise to solve one of the clues.

SharonM said...

Haven't had time to do any more on this, but for those of you who haven't got TGWTDT yet, here's a bit more help.

The first and third words are 'The' and 'With'.

Good Dog said...

Alrighty... one left: 27. When the penny finally dropped on 28 it was a real "Duh!" moment. 4 was... evil. I liked it!

Brian Sibley said...

I was going to include The Insect Play but ended up with the insects at play...

Good Dog said...

Oh, after that very generous hint... done. That final one was a book I'd never heard off. I think I missed out there. Working through them brought back a lot of memories of books that I should read again, so thank you for that Brian.

Brian Sibley said...

You're so young, Good Dog: it was a cult book in my youth – mainly because AA was one of the leading graphic artists of his time and famously contributed to The Illustrated Beatles Lyrics.

The competition remains open for Second and Third place winners and to torture folk just a little bit longer!

Just figured out Sharon's TGWTDT! Totally floored me because I was thinking 'too animal', I suppose. But rather embarassing as it was a clue (which I got) in the recent book quiz I did which formed the model for this one! Duh!

If you haven't got it yet, it is a little-known volume (obviously inspired by an incident in Alice's Adventures) entitled The Gryphon Who Tried Dating Turtles! :)

Sheila said...

Congratulations to the winner! I think we've reached the point of not being able to get any further without someone actually telling us the answers!

If you are trying to have a go at my challenge: one of them has the same animal as one of yours in the title, one of them was a landmark Carnegie-winning children's book of the late 60's and one of them has a large (almost hippo-ish) animal in the title.

Brian Sibley said...

Well done to Good Dog, who has sent me his list of 50 correct answers. Sheila and anyone else with partial lists, please send them in to me by 9:00 am Monday 14 March, in order to receive your official placement!

SharonM said...

Oops - It was actually The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - by Stig Larsson!

Brian Sibley said...

Yes, Sharon, I know!

The Gryphon Who Tried Dating Turtles was (or was meant to be!) a JOKE!

No wonder I never made it as a stand-up! :)

SharonM said...

On the other hand, maybe I'm just so knackered after the Scottish Association of Writers' Conference that was held this weekend that my little brain is even less functional than it has been of late!