Any Questions #295 - "Famous Hoaxes"

Apr 22, 2017

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back, and that's no hoax.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name NOAH WEBSTER. Change one letter to a C, and you can rearrange the result to spell a five-letter word for things that most pine trees have and a six-letter word for something pine tree branches might be made into. What are the words?
Answer: If you change the B to a C, you can spell CONES and WREATH.

On-air questions: On April 21, 1934, the British tabloid the Daily Mail published what came to be known as the "Surgeon's photograph", reportedly the first photo taken of the head and neck of the Loch Ness Monster. Allegedly taken by a London doctor named Robert Wilson, the photograph has been the subject of controversy and debunking over the years. A 1999 book explained the supposed origin of the photo, which involved revenge on the Daily Mail (not by Wilson, who was merely the person who delivered the photos to the newspaper) and a toy submarine. We'll try not to deliberately mislead anyone this week with our questions about famous hoaxes.

1. A 1917 hoax article about the history of the bathtub chronicled how the fixture's introduction in the U.S. was opposed until 1850, when its use was more broadly accepted after Millard Fillmore installed one in what building?
2. The fact that he is barefoot on the cover of Abbey Road, cryptic lyrics and backwards messages in songs, and hundreds of other supposed clues led many people to believe a hoax that what musician had died and had been replaced by a lookalike in his band?
3. A fraternal organization known as the Priory of Sion was founded in the 1950s as part of a hoax. Over the years, conspiracy theorists have claimed to have evidence of the group's long-time existence and secrets. In the mid-2000s, the Priory was a major plot element of a book – and its subsequent movie adaptation – by what author?
4. Fabricated in the 1860s, the 10-foot Cardiff Giant was a supposed petrified man carved from a block of gypsum and buried on a farm in Cardiff, New York. It attracted large paying crowds, which prompted an offer to purchase the giant. The offer was refused, and the buyer commissioned a replica of the statue. When the replica started attracting crowds, one of the owners of the original statue commented, "There's a sucker born every minute." Who commissioned the replica of the Cardiff Giant?
5. Gaining widespread popularity in the 1990s via a student project on gullibility, the hoax surrounding a chemical known as dihydrogen monoxide has resurfaced multiple times over the years. The hoax claims, among other things, that DHMO (as it is sometimes known) contributes to the greenhouse effect, can cause severe burns, and is used as an industrial coolant. What is the much more common name for dihydrogen monoxide?

Extra credit
1. Derived from the name of the Greek goddess of agriculture, the word "cereologist" refers to someone who studies, investigates, or creates what objects, widely debunked as man-made hoaxes?
2. The Pacific Northwest tree octopus, a fictitious species created in 1998, was supposedly able to live on both land and water, spending most of its time in the Olympic National forest and nearby rivers. According to its official website, the major predator of the tree octopus was what other fictitious creature, which also supposedly dwells mainly in the Pacific Northwest?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase CARDIFF GIANT. Change one letter to a B and you can rearrange the result to spell a three-word phrase (two letters, three letters, seven letters) for where someone who is running late might be stuck. What is the phrase?

On-air questions

1. The White House
2. Paul McCartney
3. Dan Brown
4. P.T. Barnum
5. Water

Extra credit
1. Crop circles
2. Sasquatch