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Here's a quiz that can get pretty hairy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 12:01 am

I was talking with some students about Longfellow's place of honor in the world of poetry and suddenly remembered the lines “Edith with golden hair.” That is from a favorite Longfellow poem.

And then I thought “hair” might make for an interesting quiz. So I thought about it and talked about it — and realized there could definitely be a quiz based on hair. Here it is. Good luck. Five points for each correct answer.

1. Stephen Foster wrote a lovely song about “Jeanie with the (blank) (blank) hair.” Fill in the blanks.

2. The Brothers Grimm gave us a maiden with hair so long her gentleman friend could use it to climb up to the tower where she was confined. What was her name?

3. One of O. Henry's short stories has to do with a young couple very much in love who sacrifice the only treasures they have to give gifts to each other. She sells her hair; he sells his gold watch. The name of this story, please.

4. Name the very popular musical showing opposition to the Vietnam war and at its end inviting members of the audience to come up on the stage to dance.

5. In this well-loved book the protagonist sells her luxuriant hair to give Marmee some very welcome money. Name the heroine.

6. For many years she has been the wife and mother with her husband and children in the popular comic strip by Chic Young. Her name, please.

7. “Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country's flag, she said,” is from a famous poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. Name this resident of Frederick, Md.

8. She takes a shower on stage and sings, “I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair.” The title of the very popular musical, please.

9. She is always associated with the three bears. Who is she?

10. So you know the poem by Longfellow talks about Edith with golden hair, one of three youngsters who come to “capture him in his fortress.” Now what is the name of the poem?

11. In the phrase, “a shave and a haircut,” how much are they?

12. What American playwright wrote “The Hairy Ape”?

13. What musical was a hit as a play and as a film. It was about a plump teenager — and John Travolta was one of the stars.

14. “Your locks were like the raven,” she says of her love, John Anderson, her Jo. Who was the poet who wrote about her?

15. What famous redhead, with blue eyes, was married to a Cuban and gave us years of fun in film and television?

16. A young orphan girl who faces a tyrannical Miss Hannigan and who has a mop of curly red hair, she started in a comic strip and went on to star in a very popular stage show. Who is she?

17. Who wrote “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”?

18. Who was known as the Blonde Bombshell back in Hollywood's earlier days?

19. Where do we first find, “A hair of the dog that bit us”?

20. Where do we find the phrase, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin”?

Bonus: What longtime favorite singer had a hit with “Red Headed Stranger”?

Answers: 1. light brown; 2. Rapunzel; 3. “Gift of the Magi”; 4. “Hair”; 5. Jo March; 6. Blondie; 7. Barbara Frietchie; 8. “South Pacific”; 9. Goldilocks; 10. “The Children's Hour”; 11. two bits; 12. Eugene O'Neill; 13. “Hairspray”; 14. Robert Burns; 15. Lucille Ball; 16. Little Orphan Annie; 17. Anita Loos; 18. Jean Harlow; 19. Proverbs; 20. Three Little Pigs; Bonus: Willie Nelson.

Do you know that in July 1941 the U.S. War Department issued a call for human hair, especially blonde females? That hair would be used for precision instruments, including — possibly — bomb sights. And surely you scored at least 75 on this quiz.

Betty E. Stein is a retired teacher.