That time of year again, I guess. Here is this blog’s fifth annual Christmas Quiz. I hope it has not been compiled in quite as absent-minded a fashion as last year’s effort and thus contains fewer errors that might both make it harder and more nonsensical than needs be the case. Anyway, as always, it’s just for fun and there are no prizes. Google might help you but only at the cost of your self-esteem. Answers will be published some time next week though you can ask for hints on Twitter where, highland internet access and time permitting, I’ll do my best to help.

1. How are hostages plus steps the answer to everything?

2. Where were a new Prince, the chief author of a good book’s vulgar version and a Munster hell-raiser accompanied by an American sour cherry?

3. Lord Pumice Stone survived it. So did The Uncrowned King of Scotland and so, most infamously, did The Great Moghul. Who are they and what?

4.  2-8-15 is to 7-23-2 as 18-13-14 was to 12-2-10. This being so, identify 21-19-7, 23-8-20 and 10-11-16.

5. The namesakes of a turbulent priest, a hunchback, a cold wind, a German land and, most recently, a generic Scottish mountain are members of an exclusive club. Who are they and what distinction do they share?

6. What links a “seditious Middle Temple lawyer”, a guardian of Scotland and a Frenchman temporarily exiled to England?

7. A shipwrecked man might want for a cow, a patterned sweater and one of the Friends. But where?

8. Who sport, respectively, a trio of pears, half a dozen martlets, a white horse and a daffodil?

9. What did A Silence in the Water become? Similarly, identify: The Last Man in Europe, The Sea-Cook, The Kingdom by the Sea, and finally, First Impressions.

10. What links a chap who said goodbye to Berlin, one who dashed to gold, one said to have declined a kingdom and another who played a great detective?

11. What could be said to be thunderous in London but grey and feminine in New York?

12. A dog named Fred, a town in Derbyshire, Lydia’s lover and an Irish gothic novelist might each be deemed unsuitable. For whom?

13. The first was Blessed, the second the Liberator and the third the Peacemaker. Who?

14. Where could you say Byron’s publisher, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer and a man who portrayed the Iron Horse run?

15. If a pop singer from the Kingdom, a Wigan great in the northern code and a dog that went viral are three of six can you identity these and name the other members of this English cluster?

16. Why might Clare suit the man who killed the King in the North and the first test centurion?

17. One lacked world and time enough, another did not wave and a third was notably inspired by a weekend train trip. Who are they and with which cultured city are they associated?

18. How would light blue and silver take you from the Pleiades to a home fit for the Robinsons?

19. What first happened in Vasteras in 1958, next happened in Dortmund in 1974 and last happened 15 years ago in Bordeaux?

20. A yodelling country star, a Welsh-born social reformer, Boston’s greatest hitter and Powell’s narrator seem like the people for a new party. How so?

21. What would you expect to be round in a city of gnomes but oval in Richard Arkwright’s home town?

22. Identify an Irish county, a brace of Empire State governors, a Texas university and one who hung from a London clock. Who is next in the sequence?

23. France, United States, England, United States, Turkey. Which island country provides the next setting in this novel sequence?

24. On which New York thoroughfare might you expect to find a man who felled the Greatest and a barrel-maker? What connects them with HG Well’s initial profession? And who, briefly and at some cost, partnered them?

25. Rhodesia and (among many others) South Africa used to; Hawaii, Manitoba, Fiji and New Zealand still do. What?

Tags: quiz, Trivia