Quiz of the year: 1998

1. "Believe me, it will be the envy of the world." What was the eighth wonder and who was hyping it?

2. Who said, "Alas, it does seem that the Minister without Portfolio and I had a doomed relationship"?

3. Who said that if he was starting out in politics, he wouldn't join the party he once led, prompting its present leader to call him "a sad figure locked in the past"?

4. "You're not talking about something from the DIY store which may collapse after a year or two." Who decided to bypass Homebase?

5. "We f***ed up, we f***ed up badly." Who was rueing the day, and why?

6. "I didn't just walk into an elephant trap. I jumped into it and danced around." Who was the Nellie in question?

7. Which hungry scamp wrote a poem entitled "I Am a Pizza", which included the lines, "I can be a delicious lunch, dinner, or breakfast, if you're weird/ I am a mouth's best friend"?

8. "The God in whom I believe does not care if I have breasts or not." Who was the flatly defiant speaker?

9. Who was unable to take the strain when her girth increased?

10. Why did the sale of eggs in Britain rise by 1.3 million a day from 14 October?

11. How did Kevin upset the public?

12. Of those that died this year:

a) what blue-eyed boy said, "You only live once. And the way I live, once is enough"?

b) what childcare guru said, "Babies are political. Babies are what politics is all about"?

c) who was accused of setting to music every "cross word and flying plate"?

d) who was once described as being "twice as clever as he looks, but only half as clever as he thinks"?

e) which Sixties singer turned Congressman was dubbed "the Forrest Gump of American politics"?

13. "I'm a bit wary of women at the moment." Who was fighting shy of the fairer sex, and why?

14. What production was hailed as a cure for an embarrassing problem?

15. Who was driven away by "degenerates dragging us through the mud"?

16. What links Pearl, Mississippi; West Paducah, Kentucky; Fayetteville, Tennessee; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Edinboro, Pennsylvania and Springfield, Oregon?

17. Who dampened John Prescott's spirits in February?

18. Which sinker swept the board in March?

19. What heavenly creature turned football supporter in May?

20. Why did 20 million people have trouble getting through in May?

21. Which saint had a pregnant pause this year?

22. Who regained what he described as his "freedom to imagine" after almost 10 years?

23. Which stony female lost her head this year, not for the first time?


a) Who was sent to the kennels for being "ill-trained"?

b) How was 30 reduced to one in Russia?

c) Whose hopes were skewered by a night on the town?

d) Who was shown the door because she needed "a breathing space"?

e) "I agree with the fact that I was sacked." Who lined up to apologise?

f) And who resigned, saying, "I'm willing to lead, but I'm not willing to preside over people who are cannibals"?

25. From which books, published this year, are the following first sentences or lines taken?

a) Where was it, in the Strand?

b) Legend has it that my father's family can be traced back to King Richard atte Hethe of Aveton Giffard in Devon in 1332.

c) Charlie Croker, astride his favorite Tennessee walking horse, pulled his shoulders back to make sure he was erect in the saddle and took a deep breath ...

d) "Ethel! For Heaven's sake! Where ARE you?"

e) The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10 years old (8 in Scotland).

f) Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with their backs to the February chill.

26. Who visited Buckingham Palace and left with an ashtray?

27. Who visited Buckingham Palace and left in an ambulance?

28. "I had one or two strong ones behind the chicken run at school." Who's the right royal rebel, and what was he confessing to?

29. Who claimed to be "far taller and more handsome than I appear on TV"?

30. President Suharto of Indonesia ordered 100 of what before resigning as leader?

31. Why were several thousand dangerous prisoners released to the Hampshire countryside in August?

32. Who found fame on the 137?

33. Who or what greets Professor Kevin Warwick when he arrives at work each morning?

34. What was Andrew Neil referring to when he said, "We are used to senior courtiers being regularly banished from the Court of the Sun King ... But nobody thought the Queen would ever end up in exile"?

35. "She is a goddess. I am in love with her." Who was speaking, and who was the object of his adulation?

36. "Living together can be a very healthy and good thing to do before marriage." Who is this champion of co-habitation?

37. Which octogenarian newly-wed said, "Late in life, I'm blooming like a flower because of the love and support she has given me"?

Answers on page 36


1. The Millennium Dome. Tony Blair was speaking in February.

2. Stephen Bayley, former creative director of the Dome, who walked out in January after rows with Peter Mandelson.

3. Sir Edward Heath.

4. Lord Irvine of Lairg, who chose instead to have his new chambers decorated with flock wallpaper costing pounds 59,000.

5. Richard Branson; Virgin trains to Blackpool during the Labour Party conference in September were badly delayed, making several MPs late to arrive.

6. Derek Draper, after mouthing off to journalists about his intimacy with the people "who count". The conversation was taped and reported.

7. Monica Lewinsky, at the age of nine.

8. Dana International, first transsexual winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, speaking in April.

9. Barbie, who snapped in two at the waist when her shapely measurements of 102-56-92mm were doubled to publicise Eating Disorder Week.

10. A new Delia Smith series, How to Cook, began the previous evening. The first programme was all about eggs.

11. By dying. Kevin the hamster's fictional demise in the Levi's television campaign elicited more complaints than any other advertisement this year.


a) Frank Sinatra

b) Dr Benjamin Spock

c) Tammy Wynette

d) Lord Rothermere

e) Sonny Bono

13. Geoffrey Boycott, after losing his appeal in November against his conviction of assault on Margaret Moore.

14. The Blue Room at the Donmar Warehouse - specifically, Nicole Kidman's performance, described by one critic as being "pure theatrical Viagra".

15. Michael Birkett, vice-consul of Ibiza, who quit his post because of the loutish behaviour of British holidaymakers on the island.

16. Pupils at high schools there shot and killed or injured fellow pupils or teachers this year.

17. Danbert Nobacon of Chumbawamba, who poured water over the Deputy Prime Minister at the Brit awards.

18. Titanic, which won 11 Oscars, although none for acting.

19. The Angel of the North, which football fans draped in a giant replica Newcastle United shirt in anticipation of the FA Cup Final against Arsenal.

20. They were trying to reach a hotline to buy tickets for the World Cup. The phone lines could only cope with 15,000 callers at a time.

21. All Saints' Melanie Blatt, who gave birth to a daughter in November.

22. Salman Rushdie, when the Iranian government lifted the fatwa on him.

23. The statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.


a) Lord Cranborne. William Hague compared his conduct to that of "an ill-trained spaniel" when he sacked him for negotiating with Blair over the House of Lords reform bill.

b) Boris Yeltsin sacked every member of his 29-strong cabinet in March.

c) Paul Gascoigne, who was left out of the England team soon after being photographed enjoying a post-pub kebab.

d) Harriet Harman, who lost her job as Social Security Secretary in the cabinet reshuffle in July.

e) Richard Bacon, the Blue Peter presenter sacked for taking cocaine.

f) Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House of Representatives.


a) Ted Hughes/ Birthday Letters

b) Edward Heath/ The Course of My Life

c) Tom Wolfe/ A Man in Full

d) Raymond Briggs/ Ethel & Ernest

e) Gitta Sereny/ Cries Unheard

f) Ian McEwan/ Amsterdam

26. Denise Van Outen, who stole the ashtray along with a velvet tissue box cover from the Palace.

27. Nicholas Howell. A piece of plaster fell from the ballroom ceiling on to his head while he was watching his father receive an OBE.

28. Prince Charles was revealing his brief flirtation with cigarettes at the age of 11.

29. Mohamed al-Fayed.

30. Viagra tablets.

31. Because the Animal Liberation Front set free 7,000 farmed mink.

32. Magnus Mills, the bus driver whose first novel, The Restraint of Beasts, was shortlisted for the Booker prize.

33. His computer. The silicon chip implanted in the professor's arm automatically activates his PC, which then issues a friendly greeting.

34. Rupert and Anna Murdoch's divorce.

35. Jeremy Paxman about Anne Widdecombe.

36. William Hague.

37. Nelson Mandela was talking about his wife, Graca Machel.

Bridge will return next week. Christmas Details is on page 35. The winners of Details 412 will be published next week.