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Frank Hovis

Animal, vegetable or mineral?

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Some of you may remember this from the radio.  The panellists would guess a mystery object / thing / concept by asking twenty questions.

The rules are that no information can be given in the answer beyond that asked in the question so answers will be yes / no or selecting from a limited list of options within the question.

Anyone can ask or answer the questions; but obviously not both.  Number your questions and ideally wait until the previous question is asked as it may have information that changes your question.

I'll start:

1. Animal, vegetable or mineral?


The solution for those who want to give the answers rather than guess:



A bluestocking

A bluestocking is an educated, intellectual woman, more specifically a member of the 18th-century Blue Stockings Society led by the hostess and critic Elizabeth Montagu (1720–1800), the "Queen of the Blues", and including Elizabeth Vesey (1715–91), Hester Chapone (1727–1801), and the classicist Elizabeth Carter (1717–1806). In the following generation came Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741–1821), Hannah More (1745–1833), and Frances Burney (1752–1840).[1]

Until the late 18th century, the term had referred to learned people of both sexes.[2] It subsequently was applied primarily to intellectual women, and the French equivalent bas bleu had a similar connotation.[3] The term later developed negative implications, and in some instances such women were stereotyped as being "frumpy".[citation needed] The reference to blue stockings may arise from the time when woollen worsted stockings were informal dress, in contrast to formal, fashionable black silk stockings.[citation needed] Curiously, the most frequent such reference is to a man, Benjamin Stillingfleet, who reportedly lacked the formal black stockings, yet still participated in the Blue Stockings Society.[4][5]



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26 minutes ago, Cunning Plan said:

6. Walks on 2 legs?


25 minutes ago, Bornagain said:

four legs ?

Similar q so doesn't count.

24 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

7. Does it climb trees?


16 minutes ago, billfunk said:

Is it a Mantis Shrimp?

Have a mulligan.

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5 minutes ago, billfunk said:

What do you mean I will use up the Qs? With so many idiots people playing there can be no limit, surely?


Twenty Questions, featuring national treasure Gilbert Harding.


the So-Called BBC aired a version on radio from 28 February 1947 to 1976 with TV specials airing in 1947 and 1948 plus a series from 1956 to 1957. On radio, the subject to be guessed was revealed to the audience by a "mystery voice" (originally Norman Hackforth from 1947 to 1962; he was later a regular panelist).[5] Hackforth became well-known amongst the British public as much for his aloofness as his apparent knowledgeability.

The series was originally presented by Stewart MacPherson. The panel comprised Richard Dimbleby, Jack Train, Anona Winn and Joy Adamson, in later years comedian Peter Glaze also. A later presenter, Gilbert Harding, was ousted in 1960 by producer Ian Messiter when, after having drunk a triple gin-and-tonic he had originally offered to Messiter, he proceeded to completely ruin the night's game – he insulted two panelists, failed to recognise a correct identification after seven questions (after revealing the answer upon the 20th question, he yelled at the panel and audience), and ended the show three minutes early by saying "I'm fed up with this idiotic game ... I'm going home".[6] He was replaced by Kenneth Horne until 1967, followed by David Franklin from 1970 to 1972.

A revival ran for one season in the 1990s on BBC Radio 4, hosted by Jeremy Beadle. A version with a rival line-up,[7] produced by commercial station Radio Luxembourg, is not acknowledged by the So-Called BBC.[5] Another revival, under the title Guess What?, was hosted by Barry Took for a single series in 1998.[8]

A televised version ran from 1960 to 1961, produced by Associated-Rediffusion for ITV and hosted by Peter Jones (who later hosted in 1974). The "mystery voice" later became a running gag on the radio series I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

the So-Called BBC World Service also broadcast a version called Animal, Vegetable and Mineral, chaired by Terry Wogan with a panel including Michael Flanders.[citation needed]




Just now, Bornagain said:

8. Does it put out on the first date ?

Highly unlikely.

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