I’m afraid this blogging-hiatus is likely to continue for another day or so. Or at least until the batch of plague from which I’m currently suffering moves on to victims new. Assuming it ever does…
Meanwhile, here are the answers to the 2010 edition of the Christmas Quiz:
CHRISTMAS QUIZ 2010 ANSWERS:
1. Where could you find a countryside poet, a TV doctor, a defeated Presidential candidate and an English detective?
These are all Irish counties: John Clare, Dr Kildare, John Kerry and Ruth Rendell’s Chief Inspector Wexford.
2. What didn’t happen in Berlin in 1916 or in Tokyo in 1940 or London in 1944?
The Summer Olympics were due to have been held in these cities in these years but were cancelled because of war.
3. An American cemetery, a British university and palace, a Glasgow music hall star’s valley and Henry II’s mistress are four fifths of what? And which member is missing?
Arlington cemetery, Buckingham palace and university, Harry Lauder is the music hall star so it’s Lauderdale and Henry II’s mistress was Rosamund Clifford. These were four of the five members of the CABAL ministry during Charles II’s reign and the missing member is therefore Ashley.
4. Columbia, Yale, Georgetown, Yale. What exclamation comes next in this sequence?
Barack Obama went to Columbia University, both Bushes to Yale and Bill Clinton to Georgetown. The answer, therefore, is Eureka – Eureka College being Ronald Reagan’s alma mater.
5. How are a capital Michael Frayn play and a dish of chicken and tomatoes connected? Similarly, what links a city in Ohio with a novel by Richard Adams?
The capital Frayn play is Copenhagen and the dish chicken Marengo. Copenhagen was the Duke of Wellington’s horse and Marengo Napoleon’s. Similarly Ulysses S Grant rode Cincinnati while Robert E Lee’s horse was called Traveller which is also the title of a Richard Adams novel. (Watership Down being a red herring here.)
6. An additional problem: start with a city in Utah and reach a Scottish mayor via Irish terrorists.
Begin in Provo, add a letter to get the Provos and another to get a Provost (this latter being the Scottish equivalent of mayor.)
7. On what kind of terrain might you encounter a Governor-General of Canada, an architect famous for his London churches and a highwayman re-imagined by Germans who sounds as though he hails from somewhere close to the first of these?
The most famous (in Britain) Canadian governor general is John Buchan, aka Lord Tweedsmuir. The architect is Hawksmoor and the highwayman Macheath (from the Beggars’ Opera and re-imagined by Brecht and Weil). Muir, Moor and Heath are essentially the same kind of terrain.
8. Italy is pink and France is yellow, so what colour is Spain?
Red. This is about cycling. The leader of the Giro d’Italia wears a pink jersey and the leader of the Tour de France a yellow one. The leader of the Vuelta Espana wears red.
9. Who was supplied by the Lone Ranger’s beast, seconded by the USS Enterprise’s doctor and staffed by, among others, a sightless bench?
Captain Flint who buried the treasure they sought in Treasure Island. Long John Silver (the Lone Ranger’s horse) was Flint’s quartermaster; Billy Bones his first-lietenant (and in Star Trek ‘Bones’ McCoy was Captain Kirk’s doctor) while one of the crew members was Blind Pew.
10. How should you rank Salisbury, Melbourne, Newcastle and Aberdeen?
All British Prime Ministers. In the hierarchy of the aristrocracy it is, in descending order of precedence, Duke of Newcastle, Marquess of Salisbury, Earl of Aberdeen and Viscount Melbourne.
11. How could changing at the Opera take you from the 32nd President of the United States to Uncle Joe’s greatest victory?
Stations on the Paris metro. You change at Opera if you want to travel from Franklin D Roosevelt to Stalingrad.
12. Explain how a father and son could be doubting and collecting taxes respectively while an unrelated American traitor now sounds rather Papal.
Doubting? That’s Thomas. Collecting taxes? That’s Matthew. The papal sounding traitor? That’s Benedict. Their common surname? Arnold.
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1968, Loretta Lynn in 1980, Virginia Woolf in 2002 and Edith Piaf in 2007. What?
Parts played by the winners of the Oscar for Best Actress in these years.
14. Bay, Nutmeg, Pine Tree, Ocean, Granite. Identify these five and the missing sixth.
New England states. Bay = Massachusetts, Nutmeg = Connecticut, Pine Tree = Maine, Ocean = Rhode Island, Granite = New Hampshire. The missing sixth is the Green Mountain state which is Vermont.
15. With what vital industry would you once have associated an untouchable Chicago agent who sounds thin or perpendicular, the location of a playwright’s unseemly death and a British Prime Minister’s peerage?
Shipbuilding. These are three Royal Dockyards that are now long-since closed. The Chicago agent is Elliot Ness and something that is sheer can be thin or perpendicular. So Sheerness. The playwright is Christopher Marlowe who was murdered in Deptford and Pitt the Elder became the Earl of Chatham.
16. How could pairing American Airlines with Two Fat Ladies be bad news? And who suffered most from doing so?
Poker. "American Airlines" is what holing Ace-Ace is called, while "Two Fat Ladies" is 8-8. Ever since Wild Bill Hickock was shot dead while holding this hand it has been known as the Dead Man’s Hand and is, hence, bad news.
17. The Confederate Capital, an uninhabited Scottish island, a Tory club in London and a tragic English motor-racing driver all play under the smallest constellation. Explain.
Confederate capital is Richmond, the island is St Kilda, the club us the Carlton and the motor-racing driver who died in a crash was Mike Hawthorn. These are also the names of Australian Rules Football teams. (The Southern Cross is the smallest constellation and, of course, on the Australian flag.)
18. How could you hear of, but not write about, Lady Agnew outranking a White Horse?
John Constable painted the White Horse and John Singer Sargent a famous portrait of Lady Agnew. A sergeant of course outranks a constable…
19. Where might you find a German newspaper publisher, Sheffield’s mad dog and Sherlock Holmes’s retirement location all working together?
The publisher is Axel Springer (of Bild, amongst much else), Sheffield’s mad dog is Joe Cocker. Holmes retired to Sussex. These are all types of Spaniel so you might find them working together in a field or during a shoot.
20. Explain how a dozen were unhappily sequestered; half as many sought their creator and half as many again pined in vain for Moscow.
The unhappy dozen are Twelve Angry Men, Pirandello wrote Six Characters in Search of an Author, while Chekhov’s Three Sisters spend much of their time dreaming of Moscow.
21. How might passing from north Dublin to Prague or from Edinburgh’s port to Malta seem familiar? In the same fashion, why might half of north London and the Argentine city of Avallaneda be on the same side?
Football. There’s a team in Dublin called Bohemians and also one in Prague by that name. Similarly, Hibernian in Edinburgh and Hibernians on Malta. The third pair are Arsenal and, well, Arsenal.
22. If 5 is home and 6 is overseas, what is 1 called today?
MI5 is home and MI6 is abroad. MI1 began as codes etc and is now known as GCHQ.
23. Bill Monroe’s sound, a Pickwick member, an English film-maker and a Florida golf course might all be considered varieties of a Danzig novelist. How so?
Bill Monroe pioneered Bluegrass music, Snodgrass was a member of the Pickwick Club, Paul Greengrass makes films and the golf course is the TPC at Sawgrass. All might therefore be varieties of Danzig’s Gunter Grass.
24. Whose multi-volume but still incomplete autobiography begins with retreat from Kabul and finishes by invading Abyssinia?
25. A French bastard’s triumph, an Irish emancipator, the Master of the Senate and a father less obsessed with marriage than his wife represent four who become one on the field. Who are they? And what position did they each hold?
William the Conqueror won at Hastings, the Irish emancipator is Daniel O’Connell, the Master of the Senate Lyndon Johnson and in Pride and Prejudice Mr Bennett is less obsessed with marriage than his wife. So you have a Scot (Gavin Hastings), an Irishman (Paul O’Connell), an Englishman (Martin Johnson) and a Welshman (Phil Bennett) each of whom have captained the British Lions rugby team.
26. Tuvalu did it in 2000, East Timor and Switzerland in 2002 and Montenegro was the most recent in 2006. Did what?
The most recent countries to join the United Nations.
27. When would you celebrate a 30 day Pontiff, a tough Liverpool obstacle, a British piece of armour and an Australian bubblegum band?
February 14th. These are all Valentine or Valentines. Pope Valentine, a fence at Aintree, a British tank (in WW2) and an Australian band.
28. Where might you find a daughter of Tyre, a son of Tros, a nymph and a Priestess together?
Moons of Jupiter. Io, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa,.
29. How might Ronald Reagan be said to have pitched for Tony Benn’s seat?
Tony Benn represented the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield in parliament; Ronald Reagan fronted an advertising campaign for Chesterfield Cigarettes.
30. Only four novelists have won the Booker Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature. Can you name them?
VS Naipaul, JM Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and William Golding.Tags: Trivia