Prize Quiz: What’s the question?

Knowing the answer is one thing, but do you also know the question?!

One of the three ‘modes’ of spoken communication is the question and answer mode, or as we prefer, the question and response (Q&R) mode. We refer to it as this because not all questions can be answered, and if so, people either use ‘blocking’ (i.e. I know but I refuse to say) or the ‘don’t know’ response.

Q&R is generally agreed to be one of the most important modes when it comes to effective and persuasive communication, so we work a lot in this area with clients, helping them to handle the toughest questions they might get, in the best way possible.

But we also help our clients to ask questions more effectively, as in doing so the value of the responses is maximised, the relationships between businesses improve and thus the world spins a little bit more smoothly on its axis. For example, we explore the understanding of the Open and Closed forms of questions, when to use each, how to connect Open questions to create a probing series that quickly and painlessly lead to the discovery of some important information whilst building relationships. Coaching here includes our use of the game “What’s my Secret?” to develop these skills.

Hence, for this Christmas edition, we have decided to create a quiz about questions based on (and in honour of) the BBC TV comedy programme ‘Mock the Week’. In these programmes, one round of the show involves a slide going up on a screen showing a piece of information such as a number, and the panellists are asked to come up with funny questions that might produce that answer. The panellists’ suggestions are highly amusing and witty, often mocking politicians and celebrities, or even themselves.

For our quiz, we have supplied some answers and we ask you to send in the funniest questions that could produce each response; they don’t have to be the ‘correct’ question. The funniest set of questions as determined by the judges, whose decision is final, will win a bottle of single cask, cask strength Scotch Whisky or a non-alcoholic equivalent (if one exists…). Have a go with your family and friends over the Christmas break!

Early in 2022 we will publish a list of the funniest questions to each answer.

Here’s a worked example

Answer: 42

Question: What is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything? (from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy).

Funnier Question: How many runs does a typical England team score in a Ashes Test match?

Here are your answers for this quiz

1) 21 Seconds

2) 13.8 billion years

3) 46

4) 6

5) 1234

6) Quick, how much for the gourd?

7) 95 years

8) 27

9) 5.4 minutes

10) 2h 43m

11) 5.5

12) Over 18 miles

13) Sicily

14) Brummie

15) Sheffield

For your final one (possibly the decider), please make up an answer and its question.

Happy Christmas, or as we Scots prefer to say: Happy Hogmanay!

By Ewan Pearson


Here are the original questions for the answers featured in the quiz

1) What was the duration of Boris Johnson’s longest pause during his CBI speech on 22 Nov 2021?

2) What is the age of our Universe?

3) What is the number of USA Presidents, including the current one, Joe Biden?

4) How many wives did Henry VIII have?

5) When was Old St Mary’s Church, Hartley Wintney completed?

6) What was Brian’s opening line in the Monty Python ‘Life of Brian’ negotiation sketch?

7) How old is Queen Elizabeth II?

8) How many states are members of the EU (currently)?

9) What is the median average time that sex takes?

10) How long is the James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’?

11) How fast does the average person talk (syllables per second)?

12) How wide is the Grand Canyon at its widest point?

13) What is the largest island in the Mediterranean?

14) What is deemed to be the UK’s ugliest accent?

15) What city is home to the UK’s oldest surviving independent football team?


  1. Effective questions image:
  2. Merry Christmas Image: