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Noggin Hoggin' Challenge Starting on Monday November 21, 2016

Here are the past questions which were used in this Noggin Hoggin' Challenge, along with the answers we accepted and an explanation.


Bonus Question (Head Start Clue)

  1. This headstart question offers an awfully great advantage in the game.
  2. Never odd or even
  3. The Noggin Hoggin' Challenge has been around for centuries!
  4. The Internet is a sea of information.
  5. Welcome to another wonderfully witty round; we wish you well!
  6. Making sense of these clues is as simple as breathing.
  7. The clock is ticking... tick-tock!

Each of the statements above models a specific type of figure of speech or play on words. Associate each sentence with its proper literary term, noting the first letter of each term. Unscramble these first letters to form a word, which also happens to be the answer to the headstart clue.

Acceptable answers:


The corresponding literary terms for the statements above are:

  1. Oxymoron
  2. Palindrome
  3. Hyperbole
  4. Metaphor
  5. Alliteration
  6. Simile
  7. Onomatopeia

The first letters (OPHMASO), when unscrambled, spell the word SHAMPOO, which is the correct answer for this headstart clue.


Question for Monday November 21, 2016:

Many parents relay this universal message to their children: "You can do anything in life as long as you believe in yourself. The sky is the limit; you can excel in any career if you set your mind to it."

In the 1940s, a 16 year old runaway found himself contemplating his own life and options as he transitioned to a life away from home. He didn't know it then, but he would have many vocations in his remaining 44 years. Several roles would include college professor, surgeon, religious figure, and service in the military, among others.

He would move from job to job relatively quickly, especially considering the education, training, or other requirements normally associated with some of his chosen professions. Although he did some planning before each career change, his actions could be considered reckless. It would eventually be known that he was using corrupt means (along with an incredible memory) to gain and retain employment.

His most audacious feats averted sickness, and even death, for his injured comrades. These heroics were reported publicly, and eventually led to his undoing.

A best-selling book and movie would later follow, but first, in the early 1950s, he would sell his incredible life story to a weekly human-interest / entertainment magazine popular for it's many illustrations and photographs. In the edition his story was published in, list the first page number of the article that accompanies the subject featured on the front cover.

Acceptable answers:
sixty five


Most likely, you were able to discover the identity of Ferdinand Waldo Demara using the listed occupations as clues, paired with his questionable ethics. Thanks to a photographic memory and his ability to forge documents as needed, changing jobs and identities seemed effortless.

At the age of 16, Demera joined the Cisterian monks, where he stayed for several years before joining the US Army in 1941 at the age of 20.

In his first year with the Army, Demara slipped into the lifestyle that would make him famous. He decided he wanted out of the army, so he assumed the name of an army friend and went AWOL.

In the years that followed, he would continue his pattern of shifting identities and jobs, even faking his own suicide at one point.

Arguably his most impressive exploit occurred at a time when he was impersonating one Joseph Cyr, an old friend who also happened to be a surgeon. Demera joined the Navy using Cyr's identity, and set off on a Royal Canadian Navy Destroyer during the Korean war.

His first task aboard the ship was to help the captain, who suffered from a toothache. Demara stayed up all night reading up on dentistry and safely removed the captain's tooth the next morning. Soon after, he was somehow pulling off major surgeries and treating infection through the generous use of penicillin.

At one point, numerous Korean casualties were brought aboard the ship for treatment and Demera was the only "doctor" available. The soldiers were seriously injured and needed urgent medical care. Demera ordered they be prepped for surgery, and in the meantime, he found a quiet place to speed read through a medical textbook. He then went on to perform a series of surgeries, including major chest surgery, and all injured soldiers survived. The survival of one of the soldiers (due to Cyr's/Demera's efficient skill) made the news, and when the real Joseph Cyr's mother saw it, Demera was again exposed as a fraud.

Demera's true life escapades were so radical that he became notorious, and movie producers and authors alike found his story irresistible. Robert Crichton first told the story in a bestselling novel released in 1959. In 1961, a movie titled "The Great Imposter" was released with the tagline "The true life story of his escapades makes fiction seem tame!"

But before the fame that accompanies best-selling books and Holllywood movies, Demera sold his story to Life Magazine, and his tale was published on page 79 of the Jan 28, 1952 edition. This question, however, asks for the page number of the story about the person featured on the cover of the magazine, which is Phyllis Newell. Her story begins on page 65.


Question for Tuesday November 22, 2016:

"Teenage girl with her grandad
He takes her fishing but he feels bad
She can't take her eyes off that old Facebook page"

The Canadian artist who writes and performs these lyrics also recorded an original Christmas song and music video set in a picturesque East Coast town. 

In the music video, a well established business is highlighted. It has been a landmark business for well over 100 years.  Although this business began as an exporter, it now thrives on bringing another delicacy to market.  What is the Scientific classification Subclass of this delicacy?

Acceptable answers:


Dean Brody is a Canadian country music artist who released the song "Time" this week for Canadian country radio. It is part of his new album "Beautiful Freakshow". Dean Brody has produced 6 highly successful albums since 2009. His fifth album won the 2016 Juno Award for Country Album of the Year.

Dean Brody has made two original Christmas Song recordings: "The Woodshed is full" and "Coffee Shop Angel". The video (available on YouTube) of Coffee Shop Angel was shot in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. In one scene, about a minute into the video, you will see a storefront labeled with the names "Adams & Knickle Ltd. 170 Montague".

Adams & Knickle Ltd. was founded in 1897 as a fishing company located in Lunenburg, NS. Today they fish for Deep-sea Scallops.

Deep-sea Scallops are native to the western Atlantic Ocean. Their scientific classification subclass is Pteriomorphia. Pteriomorphia includes saltwater clams and bivalve mollusks.


Question for Wednesday November 23, 2016:


Check out this view! At one time it was the largest private home in Canada. Orange Blossoms bloomed here in the 1920s. Sonar for U-Boat detection was hidden here during World War II. Tom Cruise mixed his Cocktail here. Today you can attempt to escape, replicate the Queen's Coronation, or enjoy a feast and reception.

The first woman to live in this home served as the Chief Commissioner to an organization that now has a membership of over 90,000 in Canada. This organization has an annual fundraising tradition that began in Regina, Saskatchewan by a Dutch immigrant.  Which spice was employed in her original recipe?

Acceptable answers:
ground cardamom
ground cardamum
ground cardamon


Casa Loma is a museum and unique landmark in Toronto. It was built as a residence for Henry Pellatt and his wife Mary Pellatt. Mary Pellatt became the first Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada. She often invited Guides to Casa Loma to visit in the house and on the grounds. When Mary Pellatt died, she was buried in her Girl Guide uniform.

The Girl Guides of Canada was started in Ontario in 1910. When we think of Girl Guides, we can't help but think of cookies. The first Girl Guide cookies were baked by Guide Leader, Christina Reipsamen in Regina, SK in 1927. They were sold door-to-door for 10 cents/dozen. The special spice in these cookies was cardamom.

Christina Riespman's 1927 Girl Guide Cookie Recipe 


1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 Eggs
2 tablespoons cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
teaspoon ground cardamom
3 or more cups flour to make soft dough


Cream butter and sugar, Beat in eggs and cream
Combine salt, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and flour
Sift dry into wet ingredients and mix into dough.
Roll and cut, using a small floured glass or cookie cutter
Sprinkle with sugar, then bake at moderate heat, until done.


Question for Thursday November 24, 2016:

In 1990, love was in the air and an inaugural family photoshoot took place. Here are a few additional details:

  • Location: Outside
  • Background: Dark
  • Number of frames: 60
  • Angles: W and N
  • Number of subjects: 10, but only 7 showed up
  • Composition/Placement of subjects: Natural
  • Filters and editing required? Y
  • Assigned Photographer: V1
  • Director/Advocate: CS

This director also had a key role in an earlier project, although quite different in nature. In this earlier creation, he drew ideas from an event he attended, which took place at 40°44 34.089 N 73°50 43.842 W. 

This particular endeavour was released in 1977. One of his family members was commissioned to take part. How old was his relation at the time of the performance?

Acceptable answers:
6 years old


On February 14th, 1990, the first portrait of the solar system was captured by Voyager 1. Titled the "Family Portrait", it is composed of 60 frames, with 6 planets and the sun visible.

The director/advocate for this project, Carl Sagan, lobbied for years to have the photos taken, challenging critics who claimed photos and images of the solar system where childish and unnecessary.

Back when Carl was a child of only 4 years old, he attended the 1939 New York World's Fair. This became a turning point in his life as he developed an early interest in skyscrapers, science, space, the stars, and the Westinghouse time capsule that was buried on the grounds.

Sagan would later chair a committee tasked with selecting content to be included on a "Golden Record" to be attached to NASA's Voyager 1 (and 2) in 1977. It would be launched into space, intended to reach either future human beings or extraterrestrials. This gold-plated copper phonograph record would contain 116 images, music, natural sounds of earth, and greetings in 55 languages.

Sagan's own son, Nick, was selected to be part of the record; he recorded the greeting to represent the English language. His 6 year old voice declares: "Hello from the children of planet Earth."

In addition, his wife at the time, Linda Salzman Sagan, was also heavily involved in the production of the "golden record", so we accepted her age of 37 as well. Ann Druyan, who would later become his next wife, was also involved, both in the production, as well as by contributing a recording of her brainwaves. However, she was not yet a "family member" at that time, so she doesn't satisfy the requirements of the question.

Note: The Golden Record's contents are quite fascinating. To learn more, consult the book titled "Murmurs of Earth" by Carl Sagan, or visit http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/goldenrec_more.html.


Question for Friday November 25, 2016:

There is a novel in which one of the minor characters is an accomplished polyglot (who would certainly be beneficial to assist you in solving this question!), and which has the answer to this problem as one of its plot elements.  What is the name of the main protagonist of the novel?

Acceptable answers:
Arthur Dent
Arthur Philip Dent


In solving this question, one of the first things you will realize is this is an equation, using numbers written in many different forms. And many of the numbers are written in different "bases" according to the system used. Most of us are used to "base 10", meaning each digit in a number can have one of ten values. But this is actually arbitrary, doesn't have to be this way, and in some fields of study or cultures (primarily historically), humans have used different bases.

The first number is written in binary (designed by the subscript 2 afterwards, which designates base 2). In binary, each digit can have only one of 2 values - 0 or 1. And instead of the ones column, tens column, hundreds column, etc. that we have in our normal base ten counting system, base 2 (binary) numbers have a ones column, a twos column, a fours column (22), an eights column (23), etc. So 001010112 can be evaluated in base 10 by starting from the right and calculating:

1 × 1 + 1 × 2 + 0 × 22 + 1 × 23 + 0 × 24 + 1 × 25 = 43

The next number, 0x6D3F is written in hexadecimal (the 0x prefix is a common prefix used in computer programming to designate this). Hexadecimal is base 16. In this system, each digit can have one of 16 values. We use the normal digits 0–9 to represent the digits were are used to, but add the letters A–F to represent values of 10–15. So, calculated in the same manner, this number evaluates to:

15 × 1 + 3 × 16 + 13 × 162 + 6 × 163 = 27967

The next number is written how the Babylonians would have written it. Their number system uses an interesting mix of base 10 and base 60. Each 'digit' can have one of 60 values, where each digit is composed of symbols that look roughly like a 'Y' (representing 1) or like an eye (representing 10). So the first "digit" in this Babylonian number would be 2, and the second digit 10 + 9 = 19. As the digits are combined in base 60, this would make this number 2 × 60 + 19 = 139.

Compared to the past few numbers, the next one is easy to evaluate. The numerals are in Eastern Arabic, in common use in several countries in the Middle East. And since base 10 is used, it is a matter of just converting the symbols into the numerals that we are used to seeing. Doing so reveals the number 3864930.

The next number is in Roman numerals. Each letter represents a value as follows: C = 100, L = 50, X = 10, I = 1. If smaller denominations follow larger, values are added, but if a small denomination occurs just prior to a larger one, the small is subtracted from the larger. In other words, taking the Roman numeral in groups, we have:

CC = 100 + 100 = 200
LXXX = 50 + 10 + 10 + 10 = 80
IX = 10 – 1 = 9

Or, CCLXXXIX = 289

The next number shows how the Mayans counted. They used a base 20 counting system, where each digit was made up of dots (representing 1) and lines (representing 5). As well, they stacked their digits vertically, with the most significant digit at the top. So the first digit in the Mayan number is 3 × 5 = 15, and the next digit is 3 + 2 × 5 = 13. Since their numerals are in base 20, this means the number is 15 × 20 + 13 = 313.

On the bottom, you'll find Egyptian hieroglyphic numerals. As a base 10 system, decoding this number is fairly straightforward - the first symbol (coil of rope) denotes multiples of 100, the upside down 'U' (heel bone) denotes multiples of 10, and the vertical lines denote ones. So counting the symbols, we find the bottom number to represent 522.

The horizontal line represents a fraction - the top calculation is to be divided by the bottom. Or putting it all together:

(43 + 27967 × 139 – 3864930 – 289 – 313) / 522
= 42 (don't forget order of operations - BEDMAS!)

Douglas Adam's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series of books (also radio show, TV series, and movie) is a comedy science fiction work with a very unique and distinctive style. Originating with the BBC and prominent in British pop culture, it has attracted something of a cult following worldwide.

In it, one of the central plot elements include a supercomputer specially built to determine the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything". It took the computer 7.5 million years to determine the answer, which it finally announced with great fanfare to be "42". That this answer seemed to make no sense was because the computer was only instructed to determine the answer, not the actual Ultimate Question. To do that would require even a more powerful computer.

The number 42 in reference to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" is so entrenched that it is even a Google Easter Egg. If you do a search for "what is the answer to life the universe and everything" on Google, you will see the number 42 on their calculator, independent of search results.

In reference to one of the minor characters being an accomplished polyglot, one of the creatures in the series is a "Babel fish" - "small, yellow, leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the universe". The idea is if you stick one in your ear, it feeds on the brain wave energy of you and surrounding life forms and picks up on speech centers, effectively allowing you to understand anything said in any form of language.

As we mentioned, it is very unique series with a distinctive writing style!

In any case, the main protagonist in the novel is Arthur Dent, the last surviving man after Earth was destroyed.


Question for Saturday November 26, 2016:

Leonardo da Vinci would have enjoyed a "Cross-a-pix" puzzle such as the one depicted below, especially considering that he was a polymath.  Though it looks like the puzzle involves math and logic (which it does), the solution to this puzzle will reveal a symbol.  Though this symbol has been in common use for 2800 years, approximately 100 years ago, it first became associated with a concept sometimes used in art, architecture, and other fields, although the concept itself is almost as old as the symbol.

What is the name of one of the first people to use this concept, and for whom the symbol was chosen in his honour?

Acceptable answers:


In a Cross-a-pix puzzle, the number at the top of each column or to the left of each row shows how many squares should be filled in that column or row. In addition, every region contained within heavy lines has to have squares either all filled in or all empty. With these rules, and using some logic, you will reveal the symbol below:

Some detective work should lead you to discover that this is a symbol for the Greek letter Phi. There are different variants on writing Phi - either as shown, or as a circle with a vertical line, so you may have had to do a bit of digging. This is similar to how a small letter 'a' in typing usually looks different than how we print it by hand.

The clue of the symbol becoming in common use 2800 years ago may have helped you narrow down that this is a Greek letter, since the Greek alphabet came into common use in about 800 B.C.

In any case, doing more research of what the Greek letter 'Phi' can represent, you will find that it is now used commonly to represent the "golden ratio", a number often used in art, architecture, and other fields because proportions or ratios of it in general are considered "pleasing". Perhaps this is because it often, for reasons not completely understood, appears in nature, with examples to be found in foliage, sea shells, spiral galaxies, human faces, DNA, and even crystals at an atomic scale.

It is an interesting number mathematically as well. Equal to (1 + ) = 1.618033989... it also has the unique property that φ–1 = φ – 1.

In about 1909, Mark Barr suggested that φ be used to represent the "golden ratio", after Phidias, the Greek sculptor, who is one of the first artists believed to have employed it.