Thursday, April 12, 2012


A hundred years ago today, at just about now in fact, Jack was standing on the bow of the Titanic with Rose, arms outstretched. It seems like yesterday, doesn't it? The iconic ocean liner was set to become the most celebrated shipwreck in history; and Jack and Rose the most famous lovers since Romeo and Juliet.

But for all the movies and the exhibitions and magazine articles about the Titanic, how much do you really know about her? Here’s a short quiz to test your TQ (Titanic Quotient.)

1. Where did the Titanic sail from?

(a) Liverpool
(b) Southampton
(c) Northampton
(d) Hollywood

2. The band kept playing as the ship went down. But what song?

(a) Nearer my God to Thee
(b) Autumn
(c) the theme from the Love Boat
(d) My Heart Will Go On

3. Why did the Titanic sink?

(a) it collided with the Carpathia
(b) it struck a reef
(c) it hit an iceberg
(d) the captain was Italian

4. What does Jack Dawson shout when he stands on the bow with Rose?

(a) I’m the King of the World!
(b) I’m the King of the Sea!
(c) I’m the King of the Ocean!
(d) If I push you off now there’ll be more room for me later on that door!

5. Finish this expression: ‘Women and .... first.’

(a) millionaires
(b) cross-dressers
c) Italian ship captains
(d) children

6. What was not actually on board the ship when she foundered?

(a) an ancient Egyptian mummy that cursed the ship
(b) a diamond called the Heart of the Ocean
(c) a jeweled copy of The Rubaiyat
(d) an Alexander III commemorative Faberge egg

7. There was no J. Dawson on the Titanic. True or false?

8. Jack tells Rose he used to go ice fishing on Lake Wissota as a boy. What’s wrong with this assertion?

(a) There was no Lake Wissota then
(b) There are no fish in Lake Wissota
(c) Lake Wissota is in Peru
(d) Lake Wissota is one of Beyonce’s back up singers

9. The day after Jack stops Rose from leaping into the water, they are walking along the promenade deck. What unlikely object can be seen in the background?

(a) an orange life preserver
(b) a jet airplane
(c) a hill
(d) Celine Dion lying on a sun lounger

10. If Rose loved Jack so much why didn’t she make space for him on the door? Write your answer as briefly as you can. Spare paper is available at the front desk if you need it.


1. Southampton. If you said Northampton go and stand in the corner.

2. You get a point for (a) or (b), though if I were to be really pedantic I would have to insist that none of the answers is correct. One passenger asserted that they were playing Nearer my God, but the passenger who recalled that particular hymn being played got away quite some time before the ship sank. So really, no one can be sure what they were playing when the ship broke up. All seven musicians perished.

3. The Titanic was struck by an iceberg. The time between the first sighting and the collision was around thirty seconds. 

a photograph of the actual iceberg taken several days later

4. I’m the king of the world

5. the answer is (d). If you answered (b) give yourself half a point. Two male gamblers, Doc Owen and Kid Homer, actually did dress up as women to gain access to a lifeboat. 

6. In fact (a), (b) and (d) were not on board. The Rubaiyat by the 11th-century Persian astronomer Omar Khayyam was the only truly rare item lost. The binding of this incredibly luxurious book contained fifteen hundred precious stones, each set in gold. It had been sold at auction in March 1912 to an American bidder for £405 - 15 years worth of wages for a junior crew member on the ship. The supposedly cursed mummy of Amen-Ra was not on board, as myth suggests, as it was on display at the British Museum at the time. The Heart of the Ocean is a fiction and no one knows what happened to the Faberge egg.

7. True. After he finished the script director James Cameron found there really was a J. Dawson on the Titanic. Gravestone #227 is the one most visited in the cemetery at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where most of the victims are buried. The grave actually belongs to Joseph Dawson, an Irishman who worked in Titanic's boiler room as a coal trimmer. Many filmgoers, moved by the story, left flowers and ticket stubs at Dawson's grave when the film was first released.

8. Lake Wissota is a reservoir in Chippewa County, Wisconsin. The lake was formed by the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Chippewa River, in 1917.

9. While Jack and Rose are walking on the promenade the day after he rescues her, a small hill with a building on it is visible over Jack's shoulder.

10. Sorry, I won’t accept any answer for this one. That’s a two person door if ever I saw one.

Just to finish, I found this little gem on the internet. It’s a Lego version of the Titanic. Warning: it contains spoilers.