Ok, so I’m going to try this new thing each week where I answer a reader’s question (with permission) here on my blog. Let me know what you guys think!

So, to start things off, here’s a good question I received last week from someone who had read an article I wrote on learning how to guess the answer to questions:

“I enjoyed reading what you had to say about getting into the pyschology of the question setter. Do you have any other tips for doing this?”

I promised to answer this on my blog – so here goes! Let me use an example. Take a look at this quiz question:

“In a novel by Jane Austen, who is quoted as saying “One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other?”

(Great quote by the way!)

Now look carefully at the question: “In a novel by Jane Austen”

Why has the question setter CHOSEN to omit the name of the novel?

There are two hypothesis. smiley

– 1. The answer is one of Jane Austen’s most famous characters and by giving the name of the novel, the answer will be the most commonly-guessed answer. For example, if the novel is ‘Pride and Prejudice’, most people would guess ‘Mr Darcy’ – so the question-setter has chosen to remove the name of the novel to prevent this kind of guessing!


– 2. The answer is also the name of the novel. Now anyone who knows all of Jane Austen’s main novels (and quite frankly, all you budding quizzers should!) will know that the Austen novel which has a person’s name in the title is ‘Emma’!

So with these two hypotheses, you have a choice of guessing either Mr Darcy or Emma!

Those of you that choose to guess Emma would be CORRECT!

* Just as an aside, I was recently at a quiz where someone was asked what the full name of the Darcy character was in Pride and Prejudice. I liked her answer a lot: ‘Mister’! smiley

So, that’s my post for today. If you’re in the quizzing mood, don’t forget to check out the very latest quiz on my website: just go to Free Quiz Questions and Answers and get quizzing!

– Jamie