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Titanic quiz: How much do you know about the doomed cruise?

April 13, 2012|By Catharine M. Hamm | Los Angeles Times Travel editor
(Chris Ison / EPA )

Friday the 13th seems to be a good day to write about the Titanic-- not just because we find the number 13 creepy but because the cruise was then underway, 100 years ago, with not a hint (at least, not to the passengers) of trouble in sight. It was the most luxurious ship of its day -- a fact that it certainly didn't try to hide. Indeed, some would say the boasting about the megaship -- remember, they said it was unsinkable -- may have tempted fate. Meanwhile, we'd like to tempt you to take this quiz and find out how much you really know about this maritime nightmare. There are 15 questions and a bonus. Bon voyage.

1.What was the nickname of the Titanic?

a. Bruiser

b. Millionaire's Special

c. The Drinking Man's Ship

d. Lots of Luxe

2. The Titanic had three letters in front of its name. What were the three letters and what did they stand for?

a. RMS Titanic--Royal Majesty’s Ship

b. RMS Titanic--Royal Mail Ship

c. MV Titanic—Majesty’s Valor

c. MV Titanic—Motorized Vessel

3. Who was the captain of the Titanic?

a. Edward J. Smith

b. Edward S. Jones

c. Edward J. Smith-Jones

d. Francesco Schettino

4. The Titanic was being constructed alongside another ship, a sister ship. What was the name of that ship?

a. The Olympic

b. The Carpathia

c. The Andrea Doria

d. The Lusitania

5. What was the capacity of the lifeboats on Titanic, which carried about 2,200 passengers and crew?

a. About 2,150

b. About 1,545

c. About 1,175

d. Nothing—there weren’t any lifeboats

6. Titanic was so large that, upon leaving Southampton, England, what happened?

a. It created such suction that the ship New York broke its moorings and almost rammed into it.

b. The heat from its four funnels was so intense it nearly set the Promenade Deck on fire and did melt an ice sculpture.

c. The crew realized that it took so much coal to power this sea monster that thermostats would have to be turned down to 62 degrees in the frigid North Atlantic so there would be enough coal for the journey.

d. With his first turn at the helm, the captain realized--correctly so--that the ship would be too wide to squeeze past Ellis Island when it arrived in New York unless the currents were just right.

7. Most of the passengers didn’t know it, but from the time Titanic left Southampton, it was:

a. On time — in fact, even ahead of schedule

b. On fire

c. Off course

d. In the wrong shipping lane

8. Soon after the captain arrived at the bridge after the iceberg had been struck, he called for the carpenter to “sound the ship.” But the carpenter never responded. Why?

a. He was busy trying to keep the ship from breaking in two.

b. He was reading and didn’t want to be disturbed.

c. He was asleep and didn’t know what was going on.

d. He was probably already dead. 

9. One of the ship’s private suites, which had its own promenade, sold for how much for that maiden voyage?

a. $12,450

b. $4,350

c. $11,235

d. $6,875

10. John Jacob Astor IV, quite probably the richest man on the Titanic, was traveling with his dog as well as his pregnant wife. What were their names (dog first, then person)?

a. Kitty and Madeleine

b. Madeleine and Kitty

c. Katie and Kitty

d. Miss Doggy and Madeline

11. John Jacob Astor IV was the great grandson of a man also named John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) who made much of his fortune in a company that was called the American (fill in the blank) Co. What was the company?

a. American Express Co.

b. American  Shipping Co.

c. American Fur Co.

d. American Distilled Spirits Co.

12. Isidor Straus also died in the Titanic disaster. Of what famous department store was he co-owner?

a. Gimbel’s

b. Macy’s

c. Bloomingdale’s

d. Big Lots

13. Margaret Tobin Brown, a native of Hannibal, Mo., was the Titanic survivor whose life was mythologized as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown.” After her successful rescue, she competed several times for what?

a. A seat in Congress

b. A film role

c. The Shrove Tuesday pancake team in Liberal, Kan.

d. First chair violin in the New York Symphony

14. In a cemetery in Halifax, Canada, is a grave marker for a Titanic victim named J. Dawson. Who was he?

a. Jack Dawson, the lover of Rose DeWitt Bukater.

b. Joseph Dawson, an Irish boiler-room worker

c. James Dawson, an author and journalist who wrote “War of the Roses.”

d. Jackson Dawson, a Civil War veteran  

15. American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim also died in the disaster.  How did his father make his millions?

a. Shipbuilding

b. Mining

c. Smuggling liquor

d. Pornography

Bonus question: J. Bruce Ismay, the director of White Star Line -- the parent company of the Titanic -- escaped from the sinking ship and survived. After the disaster and failure how did he spend his life?

a. In a monastery, praying for forgiveness

b. In the New York limelight, viewed as a man who dared to fail and did

c. In seclusion, labeled a coward and shunned by society

d. In Northern Ireland, working as an apprentice shipbuilder to try to figure out what went wrong. 


1. b

2. b

3. a

4. a

5. c



8. d

9. b

10. a

11. c

12. b

13. a

14. b

15. b

Bonus question: c

Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica; "A Night to Remember," by Walter Lord; "The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters," edited by Logan Marshall

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