In which the new Book of the Moment is revealed

Welcome back to your weekly fix of Elm Tree quizzing. This week is another themed quiz: sleep and night-time. So find your slippers and a milky beverage or nightcap and settle down for an hour or so. But no dozing off at the back!

We are presently nearing the end of The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves. I am pleased to announce that the next Book of the Moment will be The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. It is not the longest book nor possibly the most intellectually stimulating.  However, it does have pictures (on which there may be questions). Moreover, they are pictures of rabbits, which is always a good thing. It is also out of copyright and therefore available on the Gutenberg project website if you don’t happen already to own a copy.

As you may be aware the pub’s garden area is now open. I will let you know more about the return of the quiz to its natural habitat in due course.

All the best


There are a lot of animals out there

Welcome to the 54th Elm Tree Quiz online.  Back to an old favourite of mine this week – an animal themed quiz. Then again, there are a lot of animals out there.

I am currently pondering the choice of next book of the moment.  We had an extensive consultation with teams in late 2019 which generated a long list of suggestions from which Candide and The Crow Trap respectively emerged as the latest two books.

I will ponder the other popular suggestions or I may even come up with a choice of my own.  I have not yet ruled out either The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle or Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Feel free to read them just in case.

Enjoy the quiz



Hi. It seems hard to believe, but it is now one day short of a year since the Elm Tree Quiz went online.  On 1 April 2020 we started posting a weekly quiz, which it seems now has a select but worldwide following. Thanks again to everyone who has helped in this endeavour, especially Roger Cornwell for creating the website and my wife Caroline for helping with its administration. Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I will keep you posted as to when the quiz will return to its natural environment.

Meanwhile, we are nearing the end of the current book of the moment, The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves. I will let you know the next one in a week or so.

All the best


Short and sweet

Hi. Welcome to another Wednesday and therefore to this week’s Elm Tree Quiz.  I’ll keep it short and sweet this week. The sun is shining in Durham. Hope you are all keeping well and enjoying the quiz.

All the best



Choose to Challenge

As you know, Monday this week was International Women’s Day, focusing on “Choose to Challenge” regarding gender bias. Tonight’s quiz accordingly chooses challenging questions that are, if not exclusively for women, certainly about women (with the odd man thrown in and, in the case of Clotworthy Skeffington, one very odd man).

It is a moot point as to whether in broad terms quizzes are gender neutral.  Search online and the lazy suggestion is that men much prefer sports questions and even more lazily, and more contentiously, that women prefer questions about soap operas. That is a lot of tosh and certainly not reflective of Elm Tree quizzers. Anyway, you are not getting many questions about soap operas in this quiz, whoever you are.

All that said, what is always challenging, irrespective of gender, is trying to strike the right balance between range of topics and degrees of difficulty. Or in Elm Tree-speak, between Wombles and Wittgenstein. Each has its place. I live in hope of one day formulating the perfect question combining both Orinoco and Ludwig.  Any feedback,  comments, suggestions or requests for any topics you’d like to see in the quiz are most welcome at .

Yours challengingly



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