Junior High/Middle School Tossup Questions
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1 (5) The top-secret Manhattan Project was responsible for the development of what important strategic military weapon?
Ans. Atomic bomb
2 (10) What is litmus paper used for?
Ans. To test whether substances are acidic or alkaline.
3 (15) One of the most brilliant constellations of the night sky, its brightest stars are Rigel and Betelgeuse. In ancient times, people called it the Mighty Hunter. What do we call it?
4 (20) Japan signed World War II surrender terms in September, 1945, on board what American warship?
Ans. U.S.S. Missouri
5. (5) What machine using electromagnetic waves to transmit both sound and pictures was perfected in the 1950s?
6 (15) An assassination in Sarajevo led to what war?
Ans. World War I
7 (10) Vases of porcelain were popular in the ancient art of China. How do you spell PORCELAIN?
8 (15) Whose was the second party to reach the South Pole?
Ans. Captain Robert Scott's
9 (15) Crash, bang, and slurp, are all examples of words in which a sound is imitated. What is this literary device called?
10 (20) One of the most controversial figures in American politics, he became famous in the 1950's by charging that Communists had infiltrated the American government. Conference hearings of his accusations were nationally televised in 1954. Name this man.
Ans. Joseph McCarthy
11. (5) When is the sun highest in the sky?
Ans. 12:00 noon
12 (10) What biological term applies to the offspring of two organisms of different species or varieties that are crossbred?
13 (15) Who was the wife of Robert Browning? Give her full name.
Ans. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
14 (10) A man who had committed murder in a Jerusalem revolt was set free from prison by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus, who was condemned to death. Who was this fortunate criminal?
15 (10) Where is your uvula: middle ear, throat, bronchial tubes, knee, or stomach?
16 (10) Mark Twain was once the pilot of what sort of vessel?
Ans. A steamboat
17 (15) What's the name of the Redskin Chief's daughter in Never Never Land?
Ans. Tiger Lily
18 (10) All these words function as both nouns and verbs except: support, advocate, fix, construct, or inscribe?
19 (10) Lufthansa is the national airline carrier of what nation?
20. (5) A pound equals 16 ounces. Ten ounces is what fraction of a pound?
21 (15) Who wrote the novel Little Women?
Ans. Louisa May Alcott
22 (10) Uncle Sam was first drawn in 1852, when Frank Bellew showed him as a tall, gaunt man with top hat and striped pants. Later he was drawn with many of the features of one of our Presidents. Which one?
Ans. Abraham Lincoln
23 (15) Two Minnesota doctors gained worldwide fame for their skill in medicine. They established a famous clinic at Rochester, Minnesota. Name the brothers and you’ve named the clinic.
24 (10) Popular among geologists is the theory that the earth's huge land masses have been slowly moving during geologic time. What theory am I talking about?
Ans. Continental drift or plate tectonics
25. (5) Melanie weighed 135 pounds. By dieting she lost 10 1/2 pounds. How much did she weigh after the diet?
Ans. 124 1/2 pounds
26 (20) Edmond Dantes escapes from a dungeon by sewing himself in the burial sack that was meant for a dead prisoner. This weird escape happens in a famous novel by Alexandre Dumas. Do you know the title of this book? ?
Ans. The Count of Monte Cristo
27. (5) Who was Maid Marian's boyfriend?
Ans. Robin Hood
28 (20) If I mentioned Augustus, Nero, Hadrian, Tiberias, Caligula, and Claudius, what would I be talking about?
Ans. Roman Emperors
29. (5) What animals did the ancient Egyptians use to draw their chariots?
30 (15) Horses were introduced in the Western Hemisphere in 1519, by a famous Spanish conquistador. Who was he?
Ans. Hernando Cortez
31 (5) “When the going is tough, in a brawl or battle, there is no better fighting partner than a man from Down Under.” This remark, made by an American general during the Second World War, referred to soldiers from what country?
32 (10) The largest civil rights organization in the United States is the N.A.A.C.P. What do these letters stand for?
Ans. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
33 (15) What award is given each year to the nation's best college football lineman?
Ans. Outland Trophy
34 (10) “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” What is the source of this quotation?
Ans. The Bible (I Corinthians 15)
35 (15) How many cubic feet are there in a cubic yard?
36 (15) The fame of Sir Edmund Hillary rests on what feat?
Ans. He was the first to climb Mt. Everest.
37 (10) What portion of the Senate must approve any treaty before it can become binding?
38 (20) This method of map-making represents the earth's surface as a rectangle. What's the term?
Ans. Mercator Projection
39 (10) In the sentence, “The big boy carried a squawking goose,” which word is a participle?
40 (20) Man is a member of the biological kingdom of animals. To what biological ORDER does man belong?
41 (10) Blood groups are given letters. What is the commonest group of all: A, B, AB, or O?
42. (5) Find the product of .34 and 12.61.
43 (10) A large supply of water stored for a community's use is called a reservoir. How do you spell RESERVOIR?
44 (15) Tennis players vie for the Davis Cup. In Japan, what athletes compete for the Emperor's Cup five times a year?
Ans (Sumo) wrestlers
45. (5) What is a group of cattle called?
46. (5) On August 9, 1974, he became the first president not elected to the office or to the vice presidency. Name him.
Ans. Gerald Ford
47 (15) Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. Who was the second?
48. (5) Which ocean lies on the west side of North America?
49. (5) What is 2 cubed?
50 (20) Geoffrey Chaucer's characters made a pilgrimage to what town?
51. (5) How long is a decade?
Ans. Ten years
52. (5) A gigantic, destructive ocean wave is called what?
Ans. Tidal wave or tsunami
53. (5) According to a nursery rhyme that begins, “There was a crooked man,” how far did the man walk?
Ans. A (crooked) mile
54 (20) Quote the line from Hamlet that comes just before the words, “Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune . . . “
Ans. “To be or not to be: that is the question.”
55. (5) There are eleven men on a football team, nine on a baseball team. How many on an ice-hockey team?
56 (20) Figure out the total cost of 3 1/2 pounds of meat at $1.10 a pound and 20 oranges at $0.60 a dozen.
57 (10) Today, Olympic winners receive gold, silver, or bronze medals. What was presented to the winners of the original games in Greece?
Ans. Laurel or olive wreaths
58 (10) The act of “stealing” an idea from a literary source and presenting it as your own in a paper, is called what?
59 (15) How do you spell PLAGIARISM?
60. (5) What three-letter word means “the front of a ship”?
61 (15) Steam was one method of powering cars around 1900. Internal combustion was another. What was the third method of power used then?
62 (10) Mary Chase wrote a play about a middle-aged bachelor who meets and befriends a six-foot rabbit. Name the rabbit and you've named the play.
63 (10) If I mentioned Upper Volta, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, what would I be talking about?
Ans. African countries
64 (10) What was the original name of New York City?
Ans. New Amsterdam
65. (5) What products were manufactured by companies founded by Jame Ward Packard, Charles Nash, E.L. Cord, Ransom E. Olds, and David Dunbar Buick?
Ans. Automobiles (cars)
66 (10) What insect might eat your house?
67. (5) A sneaky person is said to be “sly as a . . . “ what?
Ans. A fox
68 (10) The most frequently visited museum in the United States is located in Washington, D.C. What is it called?
Ans. Smithsonian Institution
69. (10) What does antiquity mean?
Ans. Ancient times
70. (5) Cleopatra was a Greek by birth, but she is usually associated with what country?
71 (15) The Periodic Table of the Elements is the common way of displaying all the chemical elements on paper. The table was developed in 1869 by a Russian scientist. Who was he?
Ans. Dmitri Mendeleyev
72 (15) The same year that Robert F. Scott and four companions reached the South Pole, China became a republic and the Titanic went down. What was the year?
73 (15) An attack was led by John Brown on October 16, 1859. In what Virginia city (now West Virginia) did it take place?
Ans. Harpers Ferry
74 (20) What is the name of the imaginary, perfect land in James Hilton's book Lost Horizon?
75. (5) Human beings breathe with lungs. What do fish use to breathe?
76 (15) What are the first three letters of the Greek alphabet?
Ans. Alpha, beta, gamma
77 (10) “The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things, / Of shoes--and ships--and sealing wax-- / Of cabbages--and kings.” These nonsensical lines were written by Lewis Carroll in what poem?
Ans. “The Walrus and the Carpenter”
78 (20) What is the only crime mentioned in the U.S. Constitution?
79 (10) Natural gas is measured in cubic feet; gasoline, in gallons. What is crude oil measured in?
80 (15) Hg is the chemical symbol for what element?
81 (10) The “tears” of what creature represent insincere grief?
82 (10) What is the name of the Virginia town where General Lee surrendered to General Grant.
Ans. Appomattox Court House
83. (5) Who had a wife and couldn't keep her?
Ans. Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater
84. (5) One pound is equal to 0.45 kilograms. Find the weight in kilograms of a person who weighs 160 pounds.
Ans. 72 kilograms
85 (10) Tell me what these animals have in common: the Labrador duck, the passenger pigeon, the sabre-toothed tiger, and the great auk.
86 (15) Many African-Americans have made contributions to scientific knowledge. Name the botanist and chemist who found many new uses for the peanut.
Ans. George Washington Carver
87 (10) The English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, had many economic hardships, but it finally became prosperous. What crop accounted for its prosperity?
88. (5) What is the name of the colorless, poisonous substance found in tobacco leaves?
89. (5) How do you spell NICOTINE?
90 (20) Martha owns her own candy store. She sold 200 boxes of mints today. This is 4 more than twice the number she sold yesterday. How many did she sell yesterday?
91. (5) One of the remarkable aspects of Hannibal's strategy was the use of a number of large animals in his invasion of Rome. What animals?
92 (20) The amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water, one degree Fahrenheit, is called a BTU. What do the letters BTU stand for?
Ans. British Thermal Unit
93. (5) The cities are Enid, Lawton, Norman, Stillwater, and Tulsa. What is the state?
94 (10) Monocotyledons and dicotyledons are different classifications of: mammals, birds, insects, plants, or beds?
95 (15) 285 is 5% of what number?
96. (5) What is the name of Dorothy's dog in The Wizard of Oz?
97 (20) In 1951, the greatest percentage of immigrants coming into the United States were born in Poland. Today, the largest percentage of people immigrating into this country are from what nation?
98 (15) Matthew 5-7 includes the sayings of Jesus known as the Beatitudes, the Golden Rule, and the Lord's Prayer. What name is given to the speech in which these precepts are contained?
Ans. Sermon on the Mount
99 (10) Alaska was bought from Russia in 1867. From whom did we buy Florida in 1819?
100. (5) What war do you associate with the warning, “Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes”?
Ans. American Revolution
101 (10) An orthodontist treats what part of the body?
102 (10) He described his experience in the book The Silent World. He was among the first to use the bathyscaphe, and is noted as the inventor of the aqualung. Name this French underseas explorer.
Ans. Jacques-Yves Cousteau
103 (10) The famous white marble building built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his wife, located beside the Jumna River in Agra, India, is called what?
Ans. Taj Mahal
104. (5) Express this answer in lowest terms: 21 inches is what fraction of a yard?
105 (10) Name the forger of Jupiter's thunderbolts, considered the blacksmith of the gods.
106 (10) In what state was George Washington born?
107. (5) Who did Dr. Jekyll become, from time to time?
Ans. Mr. Hyde
108 (15) “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” Who wrote this sentence?
Ans. Karl Marx
109 (10) In the spring of 1970, students on many American college campuses protested U.S. military involvement in Cambodia. Student demonstrations on May 4 at what university resulted in the deaths of four Ohio students?
Ans. Kent State University
110. (5) Where is Plymouth Rock?
111 (15) As a part of the 19th century effort to get rid of slavery, freed slaves were sent back to Africa to set up a new free country. What was the country called?
112 (10) Almost all of your food is digested and absorbed in which organ of the digestive system: is it the stomach, the small intestine, or the large intestine?
Ans. Small intestine
113. (5) What animal is a master dam-builder?
114. (5) The brontosaurus, the diplodocus, and the brachiosaurus are all dinosaurs which had: tiny forelimbs, sails, horns, fins, or long necks?
Ans. Long necks
115 (10) In a sentence, what does a predicate do?
Ans. It describes the action of the subject.
116 (20) In 1929, Albert Fall, former Secretary of the Interior, was found guilty of accepting a bribe. This event in American history is known as what?
Ans. Teapot Dome Scandal
117 (15) What is NASA’s two-word term for weightlessness?
Ans. Zero gravity
118. (5) How many 1 1/2-pound loaves of bread can be made from 9 pounds of dough?
119 (5) What are candles made of?
120. (5) Name the two particles in the nucleus of an atom.
Ans. Proton and neutron
121 (15) “Give me a firm spot on which to stand and I will move the earth.” A famous Greek mathematician is reported to have uttered quotation about the lever. Name him.
122. (5) What is the product of 3/4 and 6/7?
123 (10) Define and spell MARTYR.
Ans. A martyr is somebody who dies for a cause.
124 (10) Thursday John drove 278.5 miles; Friday he drove 243.7 miles; Saturday, 386 miles; and Sunday, 291.8 miles. What total distance did he drive those four days?
Ans. 1,200 miles
125. (5) What is the mowed area on a golf course called that lies between the tee and the green?
126 (15) A catechism is a set of religious questions and answers. What is a cataclysm?
Ans. A disaster or catastrophe
127 (10) How do you spell CATASTROPHE?
128 (10) In what century was Hudson's Bay Company in North America founded?
129 (10) Alexander Hamilton was killed in a duel started after a political quarrel with what man?
Ans. Aaron Burr
130 (15) In Greek mythology, a man and his son were imprisoned by the King of Crete. To escape, they made two pairs of wings out of feathers and wax. They flew away, but the son fell into the sea when the sun melted the wax on his wings. Identify this famous pair.
Ans. Icarus and Daedalus
131 (10) Change 5 3/7 to an improper fraction.
132 (10) Mark Twain created Tom Sawyer. Who created Sherlock Holmes?
Ans. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
133. (5) How did Benjamin Franklin discover electricity?
Ans. He flew a kite in a lightning storm.
134 (20) The English language has many nouns used to describe groups of animals. For example, we speak of a pack of wolves. Now match these nouns--colony, bed, pride, covey--with these animals--clams, lions, ants, quail.
Ans. Clams--bed, lions--pride, ants--colony, quail--covey
135 (15) A narrow current of very fast winds follows an easterly path in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. These very high currents can reach speeds of more than 300 miles per hour. What are they called?
Ans. Jet streams
136. (5) In a speech at Fulton, Missouri, in 1946, he declared, “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” Name this famous British statesman.
Ans. Winston Churchill
137. (5) What word means to quit working when you reach a certain age?
138. (5) In which game do you have a racquet, a net, and a shuttlecock?
139 (5) Half-woman and half-fish makes what?
140 (10) What invention spelled the end of open-range cattle feeding in the American West: was it barbed wire, the telegraph, or the Conestoga Wagon?
Ans. Barbed wire
141. (5) The Battle of Gettysburg took place during which war?
Ans. Civil War
142 (10) How much is 30 divided by 1/3, plus 10?
143. (5) Which type of sentence is punctuated with a period at the end: declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, or imperative?
144 (10) The capital is Rabat. The largest city in Casablanca. What is the country?
145 (10) “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. / But I have promises to keep, / And miles to go before I sleep, / And miles to go before I sleep.” These lines are from the poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Who wrote it?
Ans. Robert Frost
146. (5) Name the capital of Virginia.
147 (15) In ancient civilization, this area was called “the land between the rivers.” It formed the northeastern half of the Fertile Crescent, and today the area is part of Iraq. What was it called?
148 (20) How do you spell MESOPOTAMIA?
149 (10) Diogenes was searching for an honest man. What was Ponce de Leon looking for?
Ans. Fountain of Youth
150. (5) Until Copernicus presented his revolutionary theories in the 16th century, most people believed that the third planet from the sun was the center of the universe. Name this planet.
151 (10) Who said, “There's a sucker born every minute”?
Ans. P. T. Barnum
152 (20) The television receiver picture tube, the oscilloscope tube, and the computer screen are all made in the same way--with a CRT. What is a CRT?
Ans. Cathode ray tube
153. (5) In Mexico, they say Adios. In France, they say Au revoir. What do we say?
154 (10) What is the volume of a cube with an edge of four centimeters?
Ans. 64 cubic centimeters
155. (5) The C.I.A. is the main spy agency of the United States. What were the initials of the Soviet Union's version of the C.I.A.?
156 (10) The United States government spends a lot of money, which it raises in two basic ways. One way is borrowing money. What is the other way?
Ans. Taxing individuals and businesses.
157 (15) How many separate sheets would you have to tear out if you wanted to remove the following pages from a book: pages 7, 8, 12, 13, 21, and 22.
158. (5) Which one of the following words is the synonym of hyperbole: (a) exaggeration, (b) climax, (c) curve, (d) understatement, (e) expansion?
Ans (a) exaggeration
159 (15) A devastating catastrophe in California in 1906 caused a loss of a thousand lives and a property loss of $400 million. What happened in what city?
Ans. San Francisco earthquake
160 (20) Match these grammatical terms with their grammatical properties. Terms: future perfect, nominative, passive, subjunctive. Properties: case, mood, tense, voice.
Ans. Future perfect tense, nominative case, passive voice, subjunctive mood
161 (10) How do you spell VACCINE?
162. (5) Track and field competition includes many different events. In which event does the athlete, after spinning his body to gain leverage, throw a smooth wooden platter having a metal rim?
Ans. Discus throw
163 (10) A clockwork machine with an upside-down pendulum beats time at a speed determined by the position of a sliding weight on the pendulum. The object is used in music to keep a regular tempo. What is it called?
164 (20) It has been said that the heart of the Christian faith is summed up in John 3:16. Give me the exact quotation of this verse.
Ans. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
165 (10) What name is given to the site of prehistoric monoliths located on Salisbury Plain in England?
166 (10) The population of Middletown was 16,000 in 1982. In one year the population increased by 800 people. The increase represents what percent of the previous year's population?
167 (20) Each time zone is centered on a meridian of longitude. How many degrees apart are they?
168 (10) Finish this famous sentence, “That's one small step for a man . . .”
Ans. “ . . . one giant leap for mankind.”
169 (20) A simple organism is made up of algae and fungi cells living together. It is found in arctic and tundra regions. Its main living spaces are rocks and trees. What is it called?
170. (5) Dutch gardeners produce 2,000 different varieties of what flower?
171 (20) In this medium of art, a picture is made up of scraps such as pieces of paper or cloth which are stuck to the canvas. What is it called?