How Would You Do On This “Ask the Children” Quiz?

Hotel Bradford home of WBZ
Station WBZ in Boston

You’re listening to Station WBZ, coming to you from our studios at the Hotel Bradford in Boston. Tonight’s program is “Ask the Children,” the quiz program that provides fun and knowledge for the entire family. 

Our Quiz Master is Mr. Selden M. Loring, a writer of children’s stories and son of the popular novelist, Emilie Loring.

Tonight’s contestants are all between twelve and fifteen years of age. Can you answer as well as they do? 

Points are awarded for every correct answer. Questions come rapidly, and the children answer most of them.

Asked for the modern names representing the historic terms of the Hellespont, Helvetia and Byzantium, they all put their hands up for the first and the last, but “Helvetia” perplexes them, until, suddenly, one of the boys recalls, “I know. We had it in Latin, in my second book of Caesar. It’s Switzerland!”

The Christian Science Monitor (2 Jan 1941)

After a short break, an adult member of the studio audience is invited to stand before the microphone and answer questions. It’s your turn. How will you do?

  • Name three prominent cats in fiction.

    Puss in Boots fairy tale
    Here’s a hint…
  • What was the first state added to the original thirteen?
  • In what state was our first President inaugurated, for the first time?
  • If you have a pile of little wooden blocks from which to carve the pieces to play chess, checkers, dominoes, and backgammon, how many pieces would be required for each game?

Nobody, however, guesses the answer to what sounds like the simplest question of all. “What two common fruits have the same letters making up their names?” Everybody, children and grown-ups, thinks and thinks and thinks, and gives it up. How everybody laughs at himself, though, when given the answer.

Answers are below, but don’t give up too soon!

Emilie Loring appeared as a contestant on a similar radio show, “9 O’Clock Scholars.” She successfully answered question after question about current events–where the Duchess of Windsor lost a tooth (Miami), who lost a fur coat to Hermann Goering (Lady Decies). But she didn’t know her sign of the Zodiac. Do you?



  • Some cats you may have remembered: Cheshire Cat, the cat in Hey Diddle Diddle, Puss in Boots, and for extra points: Cleopatra, in Emilie Loring’s Hilltops Clear
  • Vermont
  • New York
  • Checkers: 2 x 12 = 24; Chess: 2 x 16 = 32; Backgammon: 2 x 15 = 30; Dominoes: (Double sixes = 28; double nines = 55)
  • Virgo

And have you figured out “the simplest question?”

I’m writing away here, stopping just long enough to slip this out to you. I hope you’re having a lovely summer with plenty of Emilie Loring books to keep you company.  

Reading Emilie Loring
Happy landings!

8 thoughts on “How Would You Do On This “Ask the Children” Quiz?

  1. I got one cat, the 14th state, and the dominoes. I know my sign, too. AND, I did get the fruit question, yay!


    1. Good job! I figured out the checkers and chess from memory and got three cats. Another question from that show was to name three women who were famous in battle. Eeek. I was stuck there.


  2. I fell short on the various games. I have never played dominoes proper. I haven’t played backgammon in years. I wasn’t sure if the 14th state was OH, VT, or perhaps FL. Yes and lemon melon is so painfully obvious now! Live and learn. Lots of fun! Enjoy the remaining days of summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never played proper dominoes, either. I used them like mini building-blocks and made houses out of them. The streets in my town are named for the states and arranged in order of their admission, so that helped me. 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your summer, too!


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