# Can you solve it? The best pub quiz questions of all time | Mathematics

In the world of pub quizzes, Frank Paul is a legend. Today’s riddles are taken from the fabulously diabolical quiz he held at the Cambridge Mill and which appears in his latest book.

I chose questions that involve wordplay rather than general knowledge. Like all great pub quiz riddles, you can solve them if you think hard enough (and maybe ask a friend for help.)

Five rounds. Three questions per round. Go!

Round 1: Synonyms

Change one letter of each word to create pairs of synonyms. So “paid and dug” could be “pair and duo”

a) Mistress and tampon

b) Commit and become a young girl

c) Conscious and first

Round 2. Spoonerisms

The answer to these questions lies in spoonerisms, a repeated phrase with its initial sounds exchanged. Hence the answer to the question “What is the difference between a pretty glove and a quiet little cat”? is “One is one pretty mittenand one is one dumb kitten.”

What is the difference between:

a) a martial arts star and unwrapped French cheese?

b) an intrigued visitor to our shores and someone angrily investigating a death?

c) the jewels of Vermeer’s painted girl and an aristocratic voyeur?

Round 3: Roman numerals

The first part defines a word and a Roman numeral. When you add the letters of the Roman numeral to the word, you get the described word after the equal sign. You can add Roman numerals before, in the middle or after the word. So “objectively sentimental + 55 = a dozen” resolves as TWEE + LV = TWELVE

a) A growth that can form on the body + 151 = someone who propels a vehicle

b) Bambi, for example + 54 = carry or transfer to someone

c) A small bed + 2,001 = perpetrate

Round 4: Fish

a) What is the only underground station in London that does not contain any of the letters in the word “mackerel”?

b) What is the only American state that does not contain any of the letters in the word “mackerel”?

c) What is the only chemical element that does not contain any of the letters of the word “mackerel” (It is also the one with the shortest name)

Round 5: Mammals

Guess each pair of words. Each is spelled the same, except for the addition of the name of a mammal inserted inside or at one end of the second word. Thus “a filled pastry and a marauder” is “pie and pirate”

a) Fallen and part of a plant used to symbolize desolation or awkward silence.

b) Dishonest statements and events where winners are randomly selected from ticket holders

c) Agreed and elaborate or difficult