Happy Towel Day, hoopy froods!

Happy Towel Day everyone!

In honour of this special day, I present the final dozen questions of the triva quiz I’ve made up for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The quiz is derived from the Primary and Secondary phases of the original radio show.

There are four parts to this quiz:

… and, just for fun, here are links to the companion quizzes for:

(Unless you have access to a hyperspatial field generator, these last links won’t take you anywhere useful… yet.)


Q31: What class of Frogstar Scout Robot is it that Zaphod asks Marvin to stop so he and Roosta can escape?

Q32: Who gets ‘married’ to Lintilla?

Q33: What thought went through the mind of the bowl of petunias?

Q34: What are the whatchamacallits of which the bird-people refuse to speak?

Q35: From where did Marvin fall to create the ‘deep, dark hole’?

Q36: Why did Marvin climb out of the deep, dark hole?

Q37: What was Zaphod Beeblebrox’s full title?

Q38: Where in the Guide can one find the phrase ‘expect the unexpected’?

Q39: What word is only ever used by loose-tongued people like Zaphod Beeblebrox in situations of dire provocation?

Q40: What did Marvin say he was doing for several million years outside Milliways?

Q41: What does the man in the shack call his cat?

And, finally:

Q42: What is the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything?


Note: I’ve attempted to hide the answers by making their text colour white. Click and drag your mouse (assuming you can) over the ‘A:’ lines to reveal the answers. I’ve also put links on most of the answers to places where you can find out more — except for a few where I couldn’t find anything definitive; for those, you’ll have to listen closely to the radio show if you want proof!

Attention dumbphone users: as your phone’s not smart enough… um… unless, apparently, you have it set on ‘Dark mode’… or, err… your ‘phone can actually highlight text (as my brother pointed out to me mine could!) to allow you to reveal the answers, I’ll be posting them all at this address tomorrow. That post will be password protected, and your last clue to that password is: “it’s a number, not a word”.

A31: Class D

A32: Allitnil

A33: “Oh, no, not again.”

A34: Shoes

A35: The Nutrimatic Cup (13 miles above the surface of the planet Brontitall)

A36: He started to like it too much

A37: President of the Imperial Galactic Government

A38: Page 7023

A39: Belgium

A40: Parking cars

A41: The Lord

A42: This is unknown, but some white mice will pay handsomely for the solution

Post your score in the comments :)

Share and enjoy!

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in Just for laughs, Phlyarology, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Happy Towel Day, hoopy froods!

  1. Not a one this week, but I enjoyed the top video. Happy Towel Day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Tom says:

    Happy Towel Day, Pendantry! Even with the answers I didn’t have a clue, but my score of zero is still better than minus two! Always find a positive!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rusty says:

    To address Q42, and try to claim the bounty being offered by the mice, I propose a heretofore untried perspective, to wit:
    Just as “42”, being THE answer, obviously (doh!), is revealed in the “Slartibartfast” phase of the story, it fits both in the framing, the context, its relevance, its poignancy and its obscurity that THE question would be secreted nearby…
    Therefore, it just may be that Slarti’s rhetorical comment IS the revelation of the question!
    “Where’s the sense in that?”
    It absolutely fits its descriptors: ‘Life’, ‘the Universe’, ‘Everything’, and, like a good mystery worthy of the art of Douglas Adams, its remaining hidden these past 42 years is no small wonder.

    I wish that this proposal be submitted to the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Professional Thinking Persons at their next convention where it may be promulgated to provide ‘000s of hours of chat-show entertainment for those still under lockdown.

    If the mice make good on their offer, I would like the reward for this discovery to be used to purchase and scuttle all the cruise ships that have plagued the oceans and harbours of the planet for decades. Gran can bake cookies and Gramps can go mow the lawn as befits their role in society. Leave the globetrotting to young folk who know how to get by on $0/day, like Douglas, and who can keep track of their towels, unlike Douglas.

    Gran. Gramps… relax and enjoy your orthopedic shoes, instead…

    Liked by 2 people

    • pendantry says:

      Hmm… “Where’s the sense in that?” “42.”
      Perfect nonsense.
      Gets my vote!

      Liked by 1 person

      • rusty says:

        Just to sheet this home, there is also the explicit statement about The Ultimate Question made by Marvin at a moment of crisis that caused his observation to be lost in the mayhem.

        Marvin stated: “It’s printed in the Earthman’s brainwave patterns, but I don’t suppose you’d be interested in knowing that.”

        What Marvin ‘saw’ in Arthur Dent’s internal brainwave patterns is the same as what is conveyed externally in almost all of the lines of poor, befuddled Arthur.

        What Marvin ‘saw’ must surely have been the endless and unachievable pursuit of comprehension playing out in Arthur’s mind as he tried to follow Kipling’s advice to “Keep his head when all about are losing theirs.”

        What Marvin ‘saw’ could only have been Arthur ‘looping’:
        “Where’s the sense in that?”

        10 million years of computation by the organic computer called Earth, and…


        Liked by 1 person

    • rusty says:

      Hoping to preempt objections to this proposal, I wish to draw attention to other references from the story:
      4.5 billion years of evolution, from the first forms of reproducing molecules to a level of development wherein one of the most taxing quandaries we face today being, “Where do we have lunch?”
      “Where’s the sense in that?”
      We’re born, we live a few decades fiddling with digital watches and trying to find happiness through “small, green pieces of paper”, then we die.
      “Where’s the sense in that?”
      One can establish oneself into a snug lifestyle in a small village, then some raving bureaucrat will decide to knock your house down to build a bypass.
      “Where’s the sense in that?”
      The answer is ‘forty-two’…
      “Where’s the sense in that?”

      Myriad other examples can be found just outside one’s front door…
      Go have a look…
      I’ll wait…

      Liked by 1 person

      • pendantry says:

        Hope you’ve enjoyed the wait, Rusty!

        Over the last year, I’ve had a look outside my front door, literally and metaphorically, as you’ve suggested, on numerous occasions; and I have encountered a phlyarological labyrinth. Indeed, it seems to be getting worse all the time.

        If I could find a way of getting in touch with Vroomfondel, Majikthise, or any other members of the AUPSLO(P)TP, I would second your proposal…

        … although I do find myself compelled to ask: “where’s the sense in that?” ;)

        PS Here’s hoping you have a great Towel Day tomorrow!
        PPS I cancelled my Instagram account a while back, so can no longer respond to you there.


  4. john zande says:

    And I have my ‘five novels in one outrageous volume’ sitting o my desk!

    Happy Towel Day fine people.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Balu Macko says:

    Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but to quote the mice: “It doesn’t fit the answer.” – also the question Marvin spotted in Arthur’s brainwaves is the wrong one caused by him being a descendant of the Golgafrinchams and is revealed by pulling scrabble letter from a bag to be “What do you get if you multiply six by nine”
    To those of you who can’t get most of the answers right, don’t panic, good few of these don’t appear in the books, only in the radio version. Which makes them a lot easier to remember if you can hear the voices in your head.
    Having listened to the radio version 20+ times I still missed a couple of questions, mostly names (way too many of them) and the section of the book with the quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rusty says:

    Oh, brother…
    “It doesn’t fit the answer”…
    You’re kidding, right?!
    This line of reasoning ‘fits’ the answer like a hole ‘fits’ the puddle it contains, if you’ll just take the time to examine the evidence!

    Slartibartfast, and his subconscious, would have been deeply familiar with the blueprints for “Earth Mk. I”? For him to design glaciers, the flow of which created coastlines worthy of a major of award, he would have been an expert on geology, meteorology, chemistry, thermodynamics, etc.; the gamut of what we refer to as the physical sciences. And, his brain had the same 10 million years to process its contents, 5 million of which were passed in a transcendental state…
    Deep Thought clearly stated that ‘The Earth’ would require 10 million years to run its program, so Deep Thought revealed that the program to find the question was “NP complete” and would terminate.
    “Where’s the sense in that?”, as revealed by ol’ Slarti, FITS not only in this situation, but it explains the roles in the universe of Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the old man and his cat… It explains ‘Life’. It explains ‘The Universe’. It explains ‘Everything’…

    “Where’s the sense in that?”
    Go read about quantum physics, ‘new age’ philosophies, any cosmology or theology that suggests the entire universe was created for us apes on one tiny planet in one tiny galaxy — or even any newspaper’s front page — and reflect for a while over a nice, hot, strong cup of tea for 5 minutes…

    It is inescapable that this IS the long sought-after question…

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      As I said, Rusty, you get my vote :D


    • Balu Macko says:

      Just for the sake of argument. Slartibartfast was an artist so set in his ways that he decided to do Africa with fjords because he thought they gave a nice baroque feel to a continent. He’s been doing fjords all his life so not much evolving or processing going on there. You’re also claiming that his single brain spending 10 million years on a problem that Deep Thought had to design an entire planet to work out is the equivalent of said planet spending 10 million years calculating? If that were true Deep Thought itself could’ve solved it before lunch. I think we have to just admit that Gag Halfrunt won before setting foot on the pitch because he got lucky. The Lord knows we should be doing this on the 5D TV lecture circuit and become reasonably rich men.

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. rusty says:


    To begin with, in assessing the venerable Slartibartfast, my opponent uses the phrase “so set in his ways” as if that were a bad thing. While modern geriatrics (as shown in recent coverage of disembarking cruise ship passengers) hardly inspire awe or admiration, our culture acknowledges that “elders of old” were the repositories of knowledge and dispensers of wisdom. It’s not revealed how many million years-old Slarti is, but he surely dates back to a time long before being old was common. (It’s a little like one comedian’s reflection on the relative decrease in airfares. “I wish airlines would raise the costs they’ve kept low, and get those people back on Greyhound where they belong!”)

    Factual error: Slarti was not, as Balu suggests, “doing fjords all his life”. He has been “doing coastlines”. That it took the towering human mathematical genius of Benoit Mmandelbrot to reveal to us apes the infinite diversity, self-similarity and fractal depth of coastlines, their ‘meta-design’ shouldn’t be sniffed at in a comment on a blog. Some respect, please! (By genetic analogy, Slarti wasn’t designing Audrey Hepburn (a beautiful woman, inside and out!); he would have designed her DNA, and/or that of all the generations that lead to her… Tough job, I’d say!)

    Balu’s “single brain” vs. “entire planet” argument is moot. Deep Blue beat Kasparov by brute force tree search, not inspired play. Garry K. drove home after the games. Deep Blue was dismantled and put in the back of a truck. AlphaGo may beat human Go players, but ask its opinion of “Game of Thrones” and the response will be something on the order of, “Eh? What??” That Deep Blue, AlphaGo and Deep Thought, and others, have laser focus on their objective is both their strength, but it is also very much, in the broader context of the real universe, their weakness, too…

    As to Balu’s comment, “Deep Thought itself could’ve solved [the quest for the question] before lunch,” … twaddle. Deep Thought was fine for its time, but was a machine of its time. I challenge Balu to load and ‘boot-up’ Windows 10 on a ‘286 PC… Go ahead ‘n’ try… I’ve got time…

    Finally, the ambition to “become reasonably rich men” is an expression of finding happiness in the movement (and control of) small, green pieces of paper; like disreputable spacecraft-thief Zaphod Beeblebrox envisioned… That goal has been shown time-and-again to be both superficial (like Zaphod) and detrimental to one’s mental health. Ask any billionaire if they’ve got enough and are ecstatic. My guess is they will reply, “No, not quite yet… Still need some more…” Pity…

    In summary, although it’s been fun, my opponent’s argument completely skirts the main issue of this debate without addressing it head-on. A fair jury must conclude that “Where’s the sense in that?” fills-the-bill of being the long sought-after Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

    I do not want any fame or fortune for this. All credit must flow, quite obviously, to our dearly departed [guru | oracle | prophet] Douglas Noel Adams; sorely missed.

    Relax and enjoy your shoes…

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. Herb says:

    I think I got four or five on this one. I don’t think I am quite fanatical enough to be in this comments section. But I will say that taking the answer on the talk-show circuit and using the question, “How many roads must a man walk down?” is pretty sharp thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

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