On “University Challenge” earlier this week there was a good set of questions whose answers all featured every vowel once and once only. There was something similar on a “Missing Vowels” round in “Only Connect” recently.
I have spent an hour coming up with more examples and offer them below. The answers to the 20 questions here are all nouns (although two of them are more commonly used as adjectives), and they each feature every vowel (A, E, I, O, U) exactly once. Questions 2, 4 and 5 are differently worded versions of the questions on “University Challenge” that prompted this piece.
1 A 7-letter word for a tree, a variety of redwood found in North America
2 East African country bordered by eSwatini, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with Maputo as its capital
3 Brand of orange-flavoured triple sec liqueur, included in the official International Bartenders Association recipes for many cocktails, including margaritas and cosmopolitans
4 Vegetable from the Brassica genus, known as choufleur in French
5 Chemical element, 106 in the Periodic Table, the first to be named after a living scientist
6 The “B” in ASBO
7 What we don’t need none of according to the opening words of Pink Floyd’s 1979 Christmas #1
8 US name for a prison, the first word of an Elvis Presley #1, the UK’s best-selling record of 1957
9 Someone attending hospital for treatment but not staying overnight
10 Percussion instrument that features in the title of the Byrds’ only UK #1 and in the chorus of Abba’s “Dancing Queen”
11 Jane Austen novel, first published posthumously in 1817
12 A form of electromagnetic radiation with wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays
13 Where the bodies are burnt, not buried
14 Administered into a vein
15 Chaos, uproar, disorder, from the Greek for “All the demons”, first recorded in Milton’s “Paradise Lost”
16 State of extreme physical or mental tiredness
17 Numerical notation using 12 as a base
18 Lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection
19 2+2=4, for example
20 A conversation between two or more people in a book, play, or film
There are plenty of adjectives that could be used for this question too, many of them with less-than-positive connotations (Vexatious, Mendacious, Nefarious, Unsportsmanlike), and you probably know that Abstemious and Facetious are the only words that have all 5 vowels in alphabetical order. There are also some rarely used adjectives like Unoriental and Subcontinental that have all 5 vowels in reverse alphabetical order, but I have stuck with nouns for the examples above.