Three weeks ago, son Henry -- away for his freshman year of college -- texted our family group chat.

"Who's up for a quick trivia quiz?" he asked. All five family members said yes.

Especially Lindy and me. With two of our three kids in college, we'll take any contact we can get.

Henry's quiz consisted of titles, and we had to guess, in this case: Kanye West Song or Maya Angelou Poem? (And you can see the quiz in last week's column).

When he tallied our scores, daughter Hadley had won.

Then Henry said "Let's do this every night. Hadley makes up the next quiz."

And so it has gone, every night for three weeks.

Simple but clever -- sometimes strange -- quizzes that we take turns making up.

Here's a sampling. Answers are below each, so you can play along.

QUIZ 1: Rochester, Which Is Which

1. Which lasted longer: Ardell Brede's mayoral reign in Rochester or Blackbeard’s Reign Of Terror?

2. Which is taller: Rochester's Ear of Corn Water Tower (including legs) or Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (including pedestal)?

3. What is greater: Population of Winona, Minn., or number of employees at Mayo Clinic-Rochester?

4. Who was born first: W.W. Mayo or Ulysses S. Grant?

5. Which is taller: Tallest building in Rochester or tallest statue in the world (statue only, not including base)?


1. Brede: 16 years, Blackbeard: 16 months.

2. Ear of Corn: 150 feet; Christ the Redeemer statue: 125 feet.

3. Employees at Mayo Clinic-Rochester in 2018: 33,000; population of Winona: 26,000.

4. W.W. Mayo was born in 1819; Grant was born in 1822.

5. Statue of Unity, India, 597 feet; Broadway Plaza, 342 feet.

QUIZ 2: Harry Potter Character or St. Olaf professor?

1. Alden Adolph

2. Elisabeth Alderks

3. Angelina Johnson

4. Emmeline Vance

5. Zacharias Smith

6. Tesfa Wondemagegnehu

7. Oliver Wood

8. Corliss Swain

9. Hannah Abbott

10. Nora Vosburg


1. St. Olaf; 2. St. Olaf; 3. Harry Potter; 4. Harry Potter; 5. Harry Potter; 6. St. Olaf; 7. Harry Potter; 8. St. Olaf; 9. Harry Potter; 10. St. Olaf

QUIZ 3: Which Are There More Of?

1. Lions or tigers?

2. Kangaroos or camels?

3. Black bears or brown bears?

4. Killer whales or humpback whales?

5. Giant pandas or silverback gorillas?

6. Hippos or rhinos?

7. Giant anteaters or cheetahs?

8. Elephants or orangutans?


1. Lions (20,000); tigers (3,890)

2. Kangaroo (45 million); camels (35 million)

3. Black bears (600,000); brown bears (200,000)

4. Humpbacks (80,000); killer whales (50,000)

5. Giant pandas (1864); silverback gorillas (880)

6. Hippos (130,000); rhinos (30,000)

7. Cheetahs (7,100); giant anteaters (5,000)

8. Orangutans (104,000); elephants (68,000)

We keep a running tally of winners, but that's irrelevant, really. It's more about checking in -- and a few quick stories from the kids in between the Qs and As.

Though I only say the winning or losing is "irrelevant" because, right now, I'm mired in fourth place overall.

Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.