Answers to our occasional newsletter quizzes. Useful for frustrating your family and friends at social gatherings. With thanks to Patrick for compiling the questions.

September 2023

1 – Bodiam Castle was restored and renovated by two people. The first was a wealthy landowner, Squire of Brightling, MP (1780-1812), slave owner, and philanthropist. He bought the Castle for 3,000 guineas in 1828. The second was a travel writer, explorer, Viceroy of India (1899-1905) and Foreign Secretary (1919-1924). He acquired the Castle in 1917. What are their surnames? F (6 letters), C (6 letters)
John ‘Mad Jack’ FULLER (1757-1834), he preferred, ‘Honest Jack’.  Fuller watched his workmen restoring the Castle through a telescope from a tower (a folly) he built at Brightling.  George Nathaniel CURZON (1859-1925), 1st Marquess of Kedleston, lived at Bodiam Manor and left the Castle to the National Trust.

2 – Alan Turing spent his early years in St Leonards staying with an uncle’s family, the Wards, while his parents were in India. Decimus Burton built the Ward’s house, the Italianate-style Baston Lodge, in 1850 in Upper Maze Hill. Turing attended school from six-to-ten years old at nearby St Michael’s in 20 Charles Rd. It was at an American university (1936-38) that Turing’s genius flowered and from which he received his PhD. What’s its name. P (9 letters)
Estate: LEONARDSLEE. Family: LODER.  Sir Edmund Loder, 2nd Baronet (1849-1920) developed hydrid Loderi rhododendrons.  Fortunately, Leonardslee re-opened to the public is 2019.

3 – A house and magnificent 240 acre estate near Horsham famous for its gardens, woods, lakes, wallabies, and Rhododendrons – a species of which is named after the family who owned it for four generations (1889-2010). The gardens, started in 1801, are called ‘the finest woodland gardens in England’. What’s the estate’s name? L (10 letters). The family’s name? L (5 letters)
PRINCETON. Turing’s work greatly impressed John von Neumann, Albert Einstein, and others at Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Studies.  There’s a life-size statue of Turing at Princeton, and the Alumni have voted him their second most important student

4 – Able to relieve pain; mutually soothing. A (7 letters)
ANODYNE.  From the Greek anodunos ‘painless’.

5 – Person highly skilled in the technique of a fine art, especially music. V (8 letters)
VIRTUOSO. Italian, literally ‘learned, skilful’.

6 – Mammal’s back teeth used for chewing and grinding. M (5 letters)
MOLAR. From the Latin mola ‘millstone’.

7 – Trouble and annoy continually or repeatedly. H (6 letters)
HARASS.  From Old French harer ‘to set a dog on’.

8 – Over sentimental in music, drama, film, etc. S (8 letters)
SCHMALTZ. Yiddish from German schmalz (no ‘t’) ‘dripping lard’.

9 – Mental constitution, view or feeling, or mode of behaviour, peculiar to a person; anything highly individualized or eccentric. I (12 letters)

10 – System of ideas at the basis of an economic or political theory; the manner of thinking of a class or group. I (8 letters)

11 – Name of the Publisher that was effectively ‘made’ by the publication of J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel. B (10 letters)

12 – A large number of starlings in flight are known as a ‘gathering’ or a ‘murmuration’, what’s a gathering of pheasants in flight called? B (7 letters)

13 – The maxim that ‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong’. Two words. M (7 letters) L (3 letters)

14 – Name for a green woodpecker. Y (6 letters)
YAFFLE.  The green woodpecker was known as ‘the laughing bird’. ‘Yaffle’ was used as a verb ‘to sound like a green woodpecker’.

15 – Words that read the same backwards or forwards. P (11 letters)
PALINDROME. From the Greek palindromos ‘running back again’.

16 – Stage name of Frederick Austerlitz. A (7 letters)
Fred ASTAIRE (1899-1987).

17 – Branch of biology concerned with the study of fishes. I (11 letters)
ICHTHYOLOGY. From the Greek ichthus ‘fish’.

18 – Favouritism shown to relations in bestowing office or jobs. N (8 letters)
NEPOTISM. Based on the Italian nepote, nephew, originally used of illegitimate sons of Popes.

19 – The first five Books of the Bible. P (10 letters)

20 – A cave dweller. T (10 letters)
TROGLODYTE. After the Greek name of an Ethiopian people.

August 2023

1 – The name of the 220 acre estate and country house, five miles west of Battle; and the nickname of the 18th century landscape designer who created the lakes and grounds. A (10 letters), C (10 letters)
Ashburnham Place. The Ashburnham family have occupied the property almost continuously since the mid-12th century.  Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1715-83) got his nickname from telling clients that their properties had great ‘capabilities’. He designed the gardens at Blenheim, Chatsworth, Stowe, and many others.   Today, Ashburnham Christian Trust runs the estate and the grounds are often open to the public.  Brown’s Orangery (c.1757) – now a delightful Tea Room – contains the oldest camellia in England.

2 – Surname of the self-educated 19th century radical philosopher and founding father of British sociology who first used the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’. For a time, he lived at 5 The Mount, St Leonards. S (7 letters)
(Herbert) Spencer (1820-1903)

3 – The novelist George Eliot was in love with the above (2 – ‘S’), but was sadly rejected by him. She was extremely fond of St Leonards and said ‘the sea at St Leonards is like the Mediterranean’. Which of Eliot’s novels is acclaimed the greatest? M (11 letters)
Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life (1871 & 1872).  Many contend it’s the greatest English novel of the 19th century. Virginia Woolf famously called it ‘one of the few English novels written for grownup people’. George Eliot, nee Mary Ann (later Marian) Evans (1819-80) visited St Leonards in 1853 and 1861 for her husband, G. H. Lewes’s health. She greatly admired Dr Emil Grosslob who ran Spa Cottage in West Hill Road.  Grosslob had made St Leonards a Spa to rival Tunbridge Wells.

4 – The active masculine and light principle of Chinese philosophy. Y (4 letters)

5 – Bringing about an easy and gentle death. E (11 letters)

6 – Break or gap, especially in a series, account or proof. H (6 letters)

7 – Breaker of images; a person who attacks cherished beliefs. I (10 letters)

8 – A dismal prophet, a denouncer of the times. J (8 letters)

9 – Young hare, especially in its first year. L (7 letters)
Leveret. From Anglo-French literally ‘little hare’

10 – Low storey or floor between two others, usually between the ground and first floor. M (9 letters)
Mezzanine. From the Italian messanino, diminutive of mezzano ‘middle’

11 – Greek physician known as the father of medicine. H (11 letters)

12 – Freedom from the possibility of error or incapable of error. I (9 letters)

13 – Where would you find the tomb of the prophet Mohammed. M (6 letters)

14 – Greek Goddess of Retribution
Nemesis. From the Greek nemo ‘give what is due’

15 – Going out of use, discarded or antiquated. O (8 letters)

16 – Standard typewriter keyboard layout. Q (6 letters)

17 – Ruling house of Russia from 1613-1917. R (7 letters)

18 – Ancient and sacred language of India’s Hindus. S (8 letters)

19 – The study of trees. D (10 letters)

20 – Narrow piece of land connecting two larger bodies of land. I (7 letters)

June 2023

1 – In 1818, Decimus Burton (aged 18) designed a house in Regent’s Park popularly known as ‘The White House’. Currently it’s for sale and is the most expensive private house in the UK. What’s the house’s name and its price? [the] H (5 letters)
The Holme.  Decimus Burton designed the house for his father, James, who built it for the family. The Holme’s on the market for £250 million.  Architectural critic Ian Nairn wrote of the house, ‘If you want a definition of Western Civilization in a single view, then here it is’.

2 – Surname of the comedian whose ‘…in Town’ series on Radio 4 takes the micky out of the towns he visits. Recently visited Hastings and St Leonards and celebrated our eccentricities. S (5 letters)
Mark STEEL.  ‘Mark Steel’s in Town’ is on BBC Sounds – Hastings, Series 9.

3 – What word connects Hebrides, Mongolia and temple. I (6 letters)

4 – Public official appointed to hear citizens’ complaints. O (9 letters)
Ombudsman.  Modern usage of the term began in Norway followed by the institution of the Ombudsman, independent of the Executive Branch of Government, in Sweden (1809).

5 – Sensation of dizziness due to heights. V (7 letters)

6 – One of the three sisters whose look turned a person to stone. G (6 letters)

7 – The peninsula now comprising Spain and Portugal. I (7 letters)

8 – Eskimo one-person canoe. K (5 letters)

9 – Sycophant. T (5 letters)

10 – Using many more words than are needed. V (7 letters)

11 – Who is called the ‘father of English poetry’. C (7 letters)

12 – Study of coins and medals. N (11 letters)

13 – Figure of speech e.g. ‘she was pure gold’. M (8 letters)

14 – What word links the Netherlands’ ruling family, a French town and a South African river. O (6 letters)

15 – Room for preparations adjoining a church. V (6 letters) or S (8 letters)
Vestry or Sacristy

16 – Divide into two branches. B (9 letters)

17 – Of fever. F (7 letters)

18 – Scale for denoting the strength of earthquakes. R (7 letters)
Richter. The Richter Scale is named after C. F. Richter, American seismologist and famous naturist, 1900-85.

19 – A word, e.g. NATO, which is formed from the initial letters of other words. A (7 letters)

20 – What battle ended the Wars of the Roses and claimed the life of Richard III, and when? B (8 letters)
Battle of BOSWORTH, 1485. The victor, Henry Tudor, became Henry V11.

May 2023

1 – From where in the Hastings area can one often see France?
The top of Fairlight Church Tower – free to climb most weekends. One of finest panoramic views in the South East.

2 – When, and for how long, was Queen Victoria in St Leonards?
As Queen, alas never.  As Princess Victoria, she was in St Leonards for three months from Nov. 4 1834 to Jan.29 1835.  She stayed at Crown House, 57 Marina, the first house James Burton built in St Leonards.

3 – A Scottish poet wrote one of his best poems while at St Leonards. Who was he, and what is the poem?
Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) and ‘Lines on the view from St Leonards’ (1831).

4 – A collectivity of larks is an ‘exaltation’, and of crows is a ‘murder’, what is a group of wrens called? H (4 letters)
A ‘herd’.

5 – What word connects land, light and strong? H (4 letters)

6 – Which Gorgon was slain by Perseus? M (6 letters)

7 – Building containing a cycle-racing track. V (9 letters)

8 – Short sightedness. M (6 letters)

9 – Wooden patterned flooring. P (7 letters)

10 – French national flag. T (9 letters)

11 – Existence everywhere at the same time.  U (8 or 10 letters)
Ubiquity or Ubiquitous.

12 – Quarter of a circle’s circumference.  Q (8 letters)

13 – The male of the honey-bee. D (5 letters)

14 – Swampy region of Florida, USA.  E (10 letters)

15 – Resembling a bear.  U (6 letters)

16 – German brothers and fairy tale collectors. G (5 letters)

17 – Bird of the crow family & Cornwall’s emblem.  C (6 letters)
Chough. Choughs left Cornwall in 1973, and returned in 2001. Today, they can be seen early in the morning at the Lizard. Their presence is believed to be tied to Cornish prosperity.

18 – What was the legal marriageable age for females and males in the UK in 1929?
12 for females and 14 for males – unchanged from Hardwicke’s Marriage Act (1753).

19 – What is the moon of Pluto called?
Charon. Dwarf planet Pluto, discovered in 1930, ‘hid’ its closely circling large moon, Charon till 1978. Charon is about half Pluto’s diameter. Pluto has four smaller satellites called Hydra, Kerberos, Styx, and Nix.

20 – Betrayer of Samson. D (7 letters)