Mental Floss

How Did You Know Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney?

David K. Israel

I'm happy to announce a winner to our last How Did You Know? 5-day trivia hunt. Please meet Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney from St. Louis., who now have $100 to spend in our store and will be entered into the drawing to win the HD Flip cam. They blazed through the final puzzle and got all the answers within 18 minutes of the gun! Considering how involved the final challenge was, that's pretty darn fast.

Dozens of you got all the answers correct, and I'll be sure to post the top 10 in the order we received them over on our Facebook page soon, as well as the Flip cam winner.

Meantime, our random winner this month is Sejal Vyas, who was one of the few people who saw the toy soldiers appearing and disappearing in the Sister Salad video for Catch-22. Of course, you didn't need to find all the clues to move ahead, but it was interesting to see who came up with what. For instance, very few people noticed the calendar set to July 4th in the Oliver Stone clue. Also, Lizz changed the color of her headband frequently, from red, to white, to blue, and so on. Furthermore, she covered up the word 'stone' on the Harry Potter book cover every time the large rock/stone dissappered. And I don't think anyone caught Alexandra's missing earring, which she 'Lost'! Anyway, thanks again to Sister Salad for all the hard work in the details.
See everyone back for another HDYK on the 25th of August, when Dawn and Patrick will be looking to defend the title. Meantime, let's meet our winners and review their answers:

[caption id="attachment_30647" align="alignleft" width="480" caption="Dawn Lester and Patrick Mooney"][/caption]

Dawn: I'm a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a bachelor's in biology (and a minor in Latin), and a master's in teaching. Currently I teach math and science at an alternative high school in St. Louis. In my spare time I like to sing, and watch reality television, and do puzzles, especially logic puzzles. I also go to trivia nights with my friends. Trivia nights are a St. Louis thing; they're like bar trivia, only there's an entrance fee and the games are 100 questions long. Patrick: I'm a high school math teacher (also a masters of teaching and a bachelor's in math from Wash. U.) and choreographer, the oldest of 5 siblings. I write trivia nights so I have a large amount of knowledge of lots of different subjects. I love doing puzzles, writing puzzles. They make a very useful tool in the classroom, to help students increase their mathematical ability. We divide the puzzles pretty evenly except for Camouflage which I am much, much better at. I think Will Shortz is the bomb.

Final Answer 74 (Joseph Stalin was 74 years old when he died.)

Day 1 In the background of the video there is a chalkboard with different numbers. I noticed right away since it seemed like there was an edit cut after every sentence, so I was looking for things to jump around. The numbers are 4, 8, 15, 16, and 42, from "Lost". Since I'm one of the people who played the lottery with those numbers after they aired, I would recognize those numbers anywhere :) The missing number is of course is 23. The four TV shows mashed up are "Happy Days", "Laverne and Shirley", "Mork and Mindy", and "Joanie Loves Chachi". I knew the first two, and googled "shazbot" to find "Mork and Mindy". The shows are all connected to "Happy Days" somehow; "Laverne and Shirley" and "Joanie Loves Chachi" are spin-offs, and the character of Mork was introduced on "Happy Days". Once I figured out they were all related to "Happy Days" I went to YouTube to listen to theme songs until I found "Joanie Loves Chachi" (also to confirm the other three). So the password is "chachi". When I saw the photo I wondered about the connection between those shows and human pyramids on water skis, but I had a hunch which I took to to confirm. Henry Winkler has appeared in every show, and he has also "jumped the shark", literally. On water skis.

Day 2 After yesterday's video I was on the lookout for random things in the background, so I spotted the stone that kept appearing and disappearing. I was watching the Harry Potter book, too, and the word "stone" on the cover was taped over and uncovered. So I got Oliver Stone from that. I had to watch a second time for a clue to the movie, and I noticed Lizz's headband had changed colors. It starts out red, then becomes white, and then blue. So from that I got "Born on the Fourth of July". (Or you could have done like Patrick did and saw the daily calendar that said "JULY 4" in big black letters. I like to make things difficult, apparently.) The circle code threw me for a minute, even though I figured it was an a=1, b=2 type of code, because I wasn't sure where to start or how to tell "1,12" from "11,2". Eventually I just started near the top and tested things. The first name I got was Stephen (actually I got "Tephen" but that was enough to tell me I needed to move back one). I guessed this was the Baldwin brothers and that helped me get Alec, William, and Daniel. I went to and found that Alec Baldwin was not in "Born on the Fourth of July".

Day 3 As the video goes on there's a rose in the background that appears and disappears, along with Alexandra's baseball cap. I put those two together and came up with Pete Rose, and then googled him to find his nickname of "Charlie Hustle". Patrick informs me the journalist he shares names with is Charlie Pete Rose, Jr. Your example really helped for the next puzzle. "Joltin' Joe" is a nickname of Joe DiMaggio, so I figured all the other names were baseball players' nicknames. Unfortunately they're not all baseball player nicknames, they're from different sports. Thank goodness for Wikipedia (List of sportspeople by nickname and List of baseball player nicknames). From the top: K

Day 4 In the background of the video, the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller flips around, upside down and backwards. I think one of the Nerdfighters quoted it. The main character's name is Yossarian. First I saw the symbol Prince had been going by, and then I saw the map of Arizona with Phoenix marked. I realized that the pictures must all be Harry Potter book titles. From the upper right: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (the guy surrounded by bars like a cage), Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (map of Arizona with Phoenix marked), Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (the two faces make a goblet), Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (the weight of 6.35 kg which equals one stone), Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (the silver man with the red chest markings is a comic book character named Chamber), Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (Prince symbol). The lower left is the Sorcerer's Stone. I had Patrick help me with Camoflauge. All the novels are from the 1960's. We used the Wikipedia page for help 1. Franny and Zoey - J.D. Salinger 2. Airport - Arthur Hailey 3. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee 4. Portnoy's Complaint - Philip Roth 5. The Godfather - Mario Puzo 6. The Chosen - Chaim Potok 7. Valley of the Dolls - Jacqueline Susann

Day 5 Latitude: Two of the shows ("Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley") are set in Milwaukee, which is area code 414. LeBron James was born in Akron, OH which is 330; that gives a latitude of 41 degrees, 43 minutes, 30 seconds. Longitude: A is 54 (the movie is "Car 54, Where Are You?" with Daniel). B is 8 ("8 Seconds", with Stephen). C is 2 ("2 Bits", with Alec). D is 3 ("Three of Hearts", with William). E is 3 (3 Baldwins were in the movie "Born on the Fourth of July"). Thanks to for that. So the equation is (54 * 8) + [2 * (3 + 3)] = 444 The book is Airport, and the plane is a Boeing 707. Add 20 to get 727; longitude is 44 degrees, 47 minutes, 27 seconds. The city is T'bilisi which is the capital of Georgia. Removing "age" leaves you with Gori, which is where Stalin was born. He was 74 when he died (Thanks Wikipedia)! I just have to say, I really enjoyed this round of HDYK? I never felt that anything was too hard or impossible without prior knowledge. And I very much liked the videos.