The Inspector General and the District Recorder send all the Princes and their families their sincere wishes for a safe time during these unprecedented and ever changing times.........

It seems that Step 3 is to be implemented as planned next Monday so I shall make this the last Covid-era missive (barring any last-minute panics of course).  This means I should either not set any questions this time or find some other way to release the answers.  Not wishing to disappoint the usual responders, I shall respond individually to those who send me their answers giving them mine and distributing the solutions in due course.


Here are my answers to week 59’s questions:

  1. Victorinox makes “Swiss Army Knives” and was founded in 1884.  The knife has been made since 1891 by various manufacturers but the name Victorinox was coined in 1921 by Karl Elsenser, conflating his mother’s name Victoria with ‘inox’, an abbreviated French name for stainless steel.

  2. Tuel Lane Lock 3 (of 4) near Rochdale has the highest rise in the UK lock system at 6.0 metres.

  3. Nowadays, there are usually144 pieces in a Mah Jong set but numerous manufacturers have produced sets with up to 176 pieces.

  4. The highest ‘value’ banknote ever issued was the 100 million million million Hungarian pengö issued from 11th to the 31st July 1946 – this should have been 1 with 20 zeros but was actually printed (without any zeros) as “hundred million B.- pengö”.  The pengö was replaced on 1st August 1946 with the forint.  The largest number of zeros actually written on a banknote was the 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note (1 with 14 zeros) issued in Jan 2009.  It was worth, at the time, about US$300 but rapidly deteriorated.

  5. Some 30+ countries have used our Queen’s portrait on their bank notes and the first was Canada in 1935 using 8-year-old Princess Elizabeth’s portrait on its $20 note.  She still does feature on banknotes in many independent Commonwealth countries.

  6. The one female empress in Chinese imperial history was Wu Zetian who ruled from 683 to 704 AD as part of the late Tang and then Zhou dynasties.

  7. Mathematically, the priority of successive calculations should be “to the power of” followed by “times or divide” followed by “plus or minus” and then re-assembled; the correct answer is 108 (and not 1906624).

  8. Mary Mallon was known as “Typhoid Mary” because she was a typhoid carrier who infected over a hundred people of whom at least 3 died.  She was quarantined for over 20 years and died of pneumonia.

  9. By a decree passed by Congress in July 1976 (and signed by the President in 1978) George Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies in perpetuity.

  10. The current length of a parliament is determined by the Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2011 and so the next General Election will be on 2nd May 2024 (unless the law is changed, or other measures introduced).


Here are this week’s questions for your research:

  1. Where does St Luke say the Ascension happened?

  2.  What is unusual about most of Salvador Dali’s paintings of Jesus?

  3.  Which liturgical colour will be most evident between Easter and Ascension Day?

  4.  When was Ascension Island discovered and who by?

  5.  If a ray of light were to be routed around the Earth how long would it take to go round 15 times?

  6.  Who was translated to Heaven in a chariot of fire and who witnessed it?

  7. Which is thought to be the last of Shakespeare’s plays?

  8. Where might you find setae and spatulae?

  9. Why did the Babylonians develop a base-60 counting system?

  10. Who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944 and why might it have been awkward?


I am looking forward very much to socially distanced meetings again and hope to see you all soon.


Maintain the mantra even when we proceed to Step 3 - Hands, Face, Space, Fresh Air.


Best Wishes to all of you and your families.

Peter Harborne 33°


Inspector General