How Marcelle Solved the Puzzle
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Quiz #381 Results
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Answer to Quiz #381 - December 30, 2012
1.  What is unusual about the main character in this story?
2.  Who wrote the score for the movie?
3. What time of year is the theme song usually heard?
Happy Holidays to All Our Fans from Andy and Colleen
If you want some help, click here.
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Donna Jolley                Daniel Jolley
Jackie McCarty                Marcelle Comeau
John Pero                Rebecca Bare
Arthur Hartwell                Peter Norton
Tim Baily                Tony Knapp
Carol Farrant                Marilyn Hamill
Talea Jurrens                Jon Edens
Joshua Kreitzer                Margaret Paxton
Janice Sellers                Jim Kiser
    John Thatcher                Alan Lemm
Nelsen Spickard
Comments from Our Readers
I see it associated with Christmas, but nothing specific.  To my tin ear, I hear "We
wish you a Merrry Christmas and a Happy New Year".
Carol Farrant
The troika (dance) is usually heard at Christmas and scenes involving snow. Here is
Andre Previn and The Los Angeles Symphony performing

The motif has been used as the primary musical theme in Woody Allen's 1975 film
Love and Death.  It also forms the basis for Greg Lake's (of EL&P) I Believe in
Father Christmas, also covered by U2. Link

My first misstep in solving this quiz was looking at the Greek alphabet.  Then it
dawned on me that the letters were cyrillic.  Translating the Russian to English as well
as the literal "Poruchik Kizhe" led me to links concerning the 1934 film.
John Pero
Google's translations page has a Russian keyboard, so their alphabet can be entered
and translated. Surprising what a piece of paper can do. Kije went from Lieutenant to
General. He was married by proxy(away on Military business). The resulting child
was listed as his(Military business called and he couldn't be present at the birth).
When ordered to report to the Emperor he died[was murdered](reported as having
died) so he couldn't report as ordered. A rather interesting story.
Arthur Hartwell
I've been going to look up "Lt. Kijé" for ages, because I understood that there was
something odd about him but I had no idea what! Thanks for straightening me out!

I don't read Russian, but I have a nifty little program that makes it easy to find the
Cyrillic characters and place them one by one into a text document. From there it was
copy/paste into Google for a quick translation, and I knew immediately that it was
Prokofiev, but not the story. Now I'm quite curious, and will have to see if I can find
(some version of) the movie. As always, easy or hard, the quiz provides something
stimulating to my brain. Thank you!
Peter Norton
I did my google image, then I had to do some searching on the rest. It was pretty
  Jackie McCarty
The romance theme is similar to the hymn tune "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen".

For others who don't have access to the score, here is a very clean sounding
presentation of the "Troika" portion of the score:

Maybe it is only to my ear that GOD REST YE comes through.
Nelsen Spickard

N. B. Thanks for the link. I can't say that it sounds like God Rest Ye Merry
Gentlemen to me, but to each his own. - Q. Gen
This is totally a guess as the words don't seem to mean anything about the
Nutcracker.  I think the picture is a stage with stairs that lead down to the stage.  It
could be the top of the Nutcracker's hat that forms the stage.
If this is not it, I need some additional clues.
Judy Pfaff
Great fun! Now I want to listen to Prokofiev, have not listened to any of his music
for a long, long time!
Marcelle Comeau
Sergei Prokofiev - Troika/Romance (from Lieutenant Kije Suite, Op. 60)
Well, when I looked at the photo, I wondered if the chair was a prop.
And the first thing I recognized were the Cyrillic letters so I went to
Wikipedia for the
Cyrillic alphabet, copied each letter from the quiz
photo (title above the chair) and put them through
Google Translate.
The symbols were translated to “The Lieutenant Kije”.

I did not recognize that so I did a Google search using “The
Lieutenant Kije” as keywords.  Lots of wonderful articles popped up,
including one site with the actual movie! I watched it for a while and,
in the opening credits, the chair from the quiz appeared.

I love Prokofiev’s music but was not familiar with this score.  I will
probably buy it so I can listen to the whole thing!

Another wonderful quiz! Colleen, how do you come up with these?!?

Marcelle Comeau

N.B.  Google Translate has a virtual keyboard you can use to type in
foreign alphabets.

Once you choose the language you need to translate, just click on the
small typewriter in the lower left corner of the "Translate from" box.  
The appropriate keyboard will pop up, allowing you to type using the
letters of that language, including accents.  Some languages such as
Vietnamese and Armenian have more than one popular layout for local
keyboards.  Google Translate supports multiple keyboards, allowing
the user to switch among them using an arrow at the top ofthe on-
screen keyboard.

Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
Quizmaster General
1.  Lieutenant Kijé doesn't exist.  He is the result of a clerical error.
2.  Sergei Prokofiev
3.  Christmas time.
Lieutenant Kijé
Lieutenant Kijé or Kizhe (Russian:
Пору́чик Киже́ translit. Poruchik Kizhe),
originally Kizh (Киж), is the protagonist of
an anecdote going back to the time of
Emperor Paul I of Russia; the story was
used as the basis of a novella by Yury
Tynyanov published in 1927 and filmed in
1934 with music by Sergei Prokofiev. The
plot is a satire on bureaucracy.

The first appearance of the anecdote is in
Vladimir Dahl's "Rasskazy o vremenakh
Pavla I" ("Stories of the time of Paul I"), a
short piece published in the journal
Russkaya Starina in 1870; he reported it as
told by his father, Jochan Christian von
Dahl (1764-1821). In this original version, a clerk miswrites an order promoting several
ensigns (praporshchiki) to second lieutenants (podporuchiki): instead of "praporshchiki
zh ... - v podporuchiki" ("as to Ensigns (names), [they are promoted to] Second
Lieutenants", he writes "praporshchik Kizh, ... - v podporuchiki" ("Ensigns Kizh, (other
names) [are promoted to ] Second Lieutenants". The Emperor Paul decides to promote
the nonexistent Kizh to first lieutenant (poruchik); he quickly rises through the ranks to
staff captain and full captain, and when he is promoted to colonel the emperor
commands that Kizh appear before him. Of course no Kizh can be found; the military
bureaucrats go through the paper trail and discover the original mistake, but they decide
to tell the emperor that Kizh has died. "What a pity," the emperor says, "he was a good

Yury Tynyanov, who had been researching the period for his historical novels Kyukhlya
(1925) and Smert Vazir-mukhtara (The death of the ambassador plenipotentiary, 1928),
wrote a novella based on Dahl's story that was published in 1927. He considerably
expanded it, adding several characters (including the historical statesman Aleksey
Arakcheyev), and changed the imaginary officer's name from Kizh to Kizhe (using an
alternate form of the particle, zhe). In his version, along with the imaginary Kizhe there
is another mistake: a Lieutenant Sinyukhaev is wrongly marked as dead. Several
sections of the novella are devoted to Sinyukhaev's
fruitless attempts to get himself restored (he ends up
wandering the roads of Russia, living on the charity of

Tynyanov further complicates the story by adding a
lady-in-waiting who has had a brief affair with an
officer who shouts "Guard!" in the courtyard,
disturbing the emperor; when the offender cannot be
found, the emperor Paul is told that it was Kizhe, who
is accordingly flogged and sent to Siberia (the fact that
no actual person is there does not seem to bother
anyone). This upsets the lady-in-waiting, but when the
emperor changes his mind and has Kizhe returned to
the capital and promoted, the lady-in-waiting is able to
marry him (there is no groom at the ceremony but it
proceeds as scheduled, and she has a child from her
scenes involving snow. This motif from
the suite was also used in the song "I
Believe In Father Christmas" by the
English rock musician Greg Lake (which
was subsequently covered by U2), as well
as Helen Love's Christmas single "Happiest
Time of the Year". The pop group The
Free Design used the motif as the basis
for the song "Kije's Ouija", which appears
on their 1970 album
Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love. Additionally, the
troika motif is heard as the primary
musical theme in Woody Allen's 1975 film
Love and Death, which takes place in 19th
century Russia…”
brief encounter), and she quite happily lives in his quarters, carrying on affairs, while he
is supposedly in the field with his regiment. In the end the emperor, increasinging
paranoid and lonely, feels the need to have someone as dependable as Kizhe (who has
had a spotless career) near him, promotes him to general, and orders him brought to his
palace in Saint Petersburg. Since this is impossible, he is told that Kizhe has died, and
the general has a state funeral as the grieving emperor says "Sic transit gloria mundi."
The last line of the story reads "And Pavel Petrovich [the emperor Paul] died in March
of the same year as General Kizhe — according to official reports, from apoplexy." (In
fact, Paul was murdered by a group of dismissed officers.)

The story was made into the film Lieutenant Kijé, directed by Aleksandr Faintsimmer,
which is now remembered primarily for its soundtrack, the first instance of Prokofiev's
"new simplicity".

Sergei Prokofiev composed music to the film Lieutenant Kijé in 1933, and compiled a
suite from it as his Op. 60. It exists in two versions, one using a baritone voice and the
other using a saxophone. The music has also been used as the score for a ballet by the
Bolshoi Ballet company.

The troika is frequently used in films and documentaries for Christmas scenes and
Lieutenant Kizhe / Lieutenant Kije / Поручик Киже