Following on from yesterday’s set of lists here are some challenges involving things that begin with the letter B (including countries, capital cities and chemical elements) or come second numerically (such as the second Pope and the second President of the USA). In each case you can test yourself first to see how many you can name. The answers appear at the end of this piece.
Challenge: Items beginning with B
Countries: there are 17 countries whose usual English name begins with B. How many can you name? [Hint: 4 in Europe, 4 in Africa, 5 in the Americas (including Caribbean island nations), 4 in Asia.]
[Note: this challenge has appeared as a jackpot round in the BBC1 quiz show “Who Dares Wins”. As I recall the couple managed to name 9 or 12 countries, to win either £15k or £25k. If they had been able to name 15, they would have won £50k.]
Capital cities: there are 27. (More capital cities begin with B than any other letter of the alphabet.) [2021 update: there are now 26; one of the capital cities has changed its name since this piece was originally published.]
Chemical Elements: there are 7 elements whose names begin with B (their symbols also begin with B).
UK #1 Chart Acts: over 70 different acts beginning with B have reached #1 in the UK charts. Well done if you can name 30 of them.
Songs beginning with B that have reached #1 in the UK Chart: there are over 80 of these, so again well done if you can name 30 of them.
Challenge: Second in a list
Can you name the following?
The second Pope (from around 64AD to around 76AD).
The second President of the USA (1797-1801).
The winner of Superbowl II (1968).
The second FIFA World Cup: year, host country and winner.
Answers: Items beginning with B
Countries (17): Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi.
[Burma could also be allowed, as an 18th country beginning with B. Its official name since 1989 has been Myanmar, recognized by the United Nations and by many countries including France and Japan, but not by the United States or the UK.]
Capital cities (27 when this piece was first published, 26 in 2021): Baghdad, Baku, Bamako, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Bangui, Banjul, Basseterre, Beijing, Beirut, Belgrade, Belmopan, Berlin, Bern, Bishkek, Bissau, Bloemfontein, Bogotá, Brasília, Bratislava, Brazzaville, Bridgetown, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Buenos Aires. [2021 update: Bujumbura, the former capital of Burundi, has been replaced by Gitega.]
[For the record, capital cities with country name in brackets: Baghdad (Iraq), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bamako (Mali), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei), Bangkok (Thailand), Bangui (Central African Republic), Banjul (Gambia), Basseterre (Saint Kitts and Nevis), Beijing (China), Beirut (Lebanon), Belgrade (Serbia), Belmopan (Belize), Berlin (Germany), Bern (Switzerland), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Bissau (Guinea-Bissau), Bloemfontein (judicial capital of South Africa), Bogotá (Colombia), Brasília (Brazil), Bratislava (Slovakia), Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), Bridgetown (Barbados), Brussels (Belgium), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Buenos Aires (Argentina),] / [Just to confirm, in 2021 Bujumbura is no longer the capital of Burundi.]
Chemical elements (7): barium (Ba), berkelium (Bk), beryllium (Be), bismuth (Bi), bohrium (Bh), boron (B), bromine (Br).
UK #1 Chart Acts: B*witched / B. Bumble & The Stingers / Baby D / Babylon Zoo / Baccara / Bachelors / Backstreet Boys / Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds / Band Aid / Band Aid 20 / Band Aid 30 / Band Aid II / Bangles / Barbra Streisand / Barry White / Basshunter featuring DJ Mental Theo’s Bazzheadz / Bay City Rollers / Baz Luhrmann / Beach Boys / Beatles / Beatles with Billy Preston / Beats International featuring Lindy Layton / Beautiful South / Bee Gees / Belinda Carlisle / Ben E. King / Ben Haenow / Benny Blanco, Halsey and Khalid / Benny Hill / Berlin / Beyonce / Beyonce & Shakira / Beyonce featuring Jay-Z / Bill Haley & His Comets / Billie / Billie Piper / Billy Connolly / Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas / Billy Joel / Billy Ocean / Bingo Players featuring Far East Movement / Black Box / Black Eyed Peas / Black Legend / Blazin’ Squad / Blondie / Blu Cantrell featuring Sean Paul / Blue / Blue featuring Elton John / Bluebells / Blur / BoB / Bob The Builder / Bobbie Gentry / Bobby Darin / Bombalurina / Boney M / Bonnie Tyler / Boomtown Rats / Boris Gardiner / Boy George / Boyz II Men / Boyzone / Brian & Michael / Brian McFadden / Brian Poole & The Tremeloes / Britney Spears / Bros / Brotherhood Of Man / Bruno Mars / Bryan Adams / Bucks Fizz / Buddy Holly / Buggles / Busted / Byrds.
Songs beginning with B that have reached #1 in the UK Chart: “Babe” / “Baby Come Back” / “Baby Jane” / “Baby Jump” / “Baby Love” / “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” / “Baby One More Time” / “Babycakes” / “Baby’s Coming Back” / “Back For Good” / “Back Home” / “Back To Life (How Ever Do You Want Me)” / “Bad Boys “ / “Bad Moon Rising” / “Bad Romance” / “Bad To Me” / “Bag It Up” / “Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde” / “Ballad Of John & Yoko” / “Band Of Gold” / “Bang Bang” / “Barbados” / “Barbie Girl” / “Be Faithful” / “Beat Again” / “Beat Surrender” / “Beautiful” / “Beautiful Day” / “Beautiful Girls” / “Beautiful Liar” / “Beautiful Monster” / “Because I Got High” / “Because We Want To” / “Beetlebum” / “Begin The Beguine” / “Being With You” / “Belfast Child” / “Believe” / “Beneath Your Beautiful” / “Billie Jean” / “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” / “Black Coffee” / “Black Magic” / “Black Or White” / “Blackberry Way” / “Blame” / “Blame It On The Weatherman” / “Bleeding Love” / “Block Rockin’ Beats” / “Blockbuster” / “Blood On The Dance Floor” / “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” / “Blue Moon” / “Blurred Lines” / “Bohemian Rhapsody” / “Bom Bom” / “Bonkers” / “Boom Boom Boom” / “Boom Boom Boom Boom” / “Boom Boom Pow” / “Boom! Shake The Room” / “Boombastic” / “Bootie Call” / “Born To Make You Happy” / “Bound 4 Da reload (Casualty)” / “Boys And Girls” / “Brass In Pocket” / “Break Your Heart “ / “Breakfast At Tiffanys” / “Breathe” / “Breathe” / “Breathless” / “Bridge over Troubled Water” / “Bright Eyes” / “Brimful Of Asha” / “Bring It All Back” / “Bring Me To Life” / “Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter” / “Broken Wings” / “Bulletproof” / “Burn” / “Butterfly” / “Bye Bye Baby”.
Answers: Second in a list
Second Pope: Linus (around 64AD to around 76AD).
Second President of the USA: John Adams (1797-1801).
The winner of Superbowl II: Green Bay Packers (1968, same as 1967).
The Second FIFA World Cup: 1934, hosted by Italy, won by Italy.