Christmas quiz: The answers

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The decade

1. Big Brother

2. Liam Gallagher

3. A round of drinks, for everyone in Browns Club in London's Covent Garden, which included 40 bottles of Cristal champagne and 20 bottles of Bollinger

4. Cut his own throat on stage with what he thought was a fake knife, during a performance of Mary Stuart in Vienna

5. They're all towns that appear on maps but don't exist. Argleton was first noticed on Google Maps in September 2008. The others, probably inserted as pranks, appeared on the official 1978-79 state map of Michigan

6. Vincent van Gogh

7. Ugg boots

8. The first upload on to YouTube, by co-founder Jawed Karim, which features him at the elephant house at San Diego zoo

9. Pop Idol

10. Sudoku

11. Have civil partnership ceremonies, in Belfast

12. The first Twitter message. It read: "just setting up my twttr".

13 OJ Simpson, to promote the book If I Did It, which was also pulled. The interviewer was Judith Regan, the HarperCollins executive who lost her job over the matter

14. They stabbed themselves in the heart

15. Benefits supervisor, as in "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping", sold in May 2008 in Christie's, New York, for $33.6m, a record for a living artist. The buyer was the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich

16. Heather Mills McCartney, to her husband's divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton, in court in February 2008. She was throwing a jug of water over Shackleton at the time

17. Joe the Plumber: the "J" stands for Joseph

18. They're all inspired by 9/11

19. They're all errors that have appeared on Wikipedia, which launched in 2001

20. Swine flu is thought to have first appeared in the Mexican village

Pictures of the decade

1. Sada Wilkington, the first person voted off the initial British series of Big Brother, in 2000

2. Blake Aldridge, who criticised his diving partner Tom Daley following their poor performance in the 10m synchronised diving final at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The pair have since parted.

3. Jennifer Hudson, the singer who progressed from being a finalist in American Idol (coming seventh) to winning Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2007 for her feature-film debut in Dreamgirls

4. Lynndie England. In 2004, the US Army reservist was revealed to be one of 11 American military personnel eventually convicted by court martial in connection with the notorious instances of torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad

5. Rhona Martin, who skippered the British women's team to a gold medal in curling at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City

6. Sea the Stars, the champion Irish thoroughbred, who this year completed the rare flat-racing treble: winning the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby and the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe

7. Alison Lapper – the disabled artist was the subject of Marc Quinn's sculpture, which appeared on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square in 2005

8 Sars – the virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome – was detected in 2003 in Asia, causing alarm the world over at the prospect of a pandemic

9. Jeffrey Skilling, the former president of Enron. In 2001, the energy company declared bankruptcy. Skilling is currently serving a 24-year sentence relating to Enron's financial collapse

10. "The Thames Whale" was a five metre-long Northern bottle-nosed whale that swum up the Thames in 2006, where it sadly died shortly after it was rescued


1. Titian. A spat ensued when a Tory worker admitted altering the painter's Wikipedia entry

2. The Simpsons, which began in 1989

3. Phelps, who apologised for being photographed using a marijuana pipe but did not admit there was any marijuana in it; Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, while in his autobiography Open, Agassi confessed to having taken crystal meth

4. Muhammad Ali

5. Callan, starring Edward Woodward

6. They're the films alleged to have been watched by Richard Timney, husband of the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, on pay-per-view and charged to his wife's expenses

7. The BBC News 24 presenter revealed her £92,000 salary to the politician George Foulkes in May during a discussion about the MPs' expenses row

8. Bradford

9. They were first and last on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square

10. Swalec Stadium, for the first match of the Ashes, in July

11. They were fluorescent

12. The former England defender Sol Campbell. It was his only game for Notts County

13. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and Diana Princess of Wales, in the novel by the former French president, The Princess and The President, published in October

14. Professor David Nutt, in resigning from the Advisory Council after Prof Nutt was sacked by Alan Johnson for his remarks about cannabis

15. Kim Jong-Il, the leader of North Korea

16. Chas and Dave

17. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN

18. The Turner Prize

19. They're all vessels seized by Somali pirates this year. Lynn Rival is the yacht belonging to the kidnapped British couple Rachel and Paul Chandler

20. The Westway

Pictures of the year

1. Ruth Madoff – the wife of financial fiddler Bernard Madoff who, in March, pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients with a Ponzi scheme

2. Carl Fredericksen – he's the unlikely hero of Up, the Disney-Pixar animated film which opened in the UK in October. In a first for an animated film, Mr Fredericksen's movie opened the Cannes Film Festival and went on to take more than $500m (to date) at the box office.

3. Bo, the Obama's dog. The Portugese Water dog made his debut in April. He was chosen as the breed barely sheds fur, which is a benefit for Malia, the Obamas' eldest daughter, who suffers from allergies

4. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi – to widespread astonishment and argument, the convicted plotter of the Lockerbie bombing was released from prison in August on compassionate grounds and flown home to Libya

5. Elin Nordegren. Ms Nordegren must wish that December was cancelled. The revelations that her husband, Tiger Woods, has had multiple affairs were splashed around the world

6. Kim Clijsters. Against all odds and two years after her retirement from professional tennis, and a year-and-a-half after giving birth to her first baby, a girl, Clijsters entered the US Open championship as a wildcard in September and won

7. Charlotte Edwards. In July, Edwards led the British womens' cricket team as they drew with Australia in the final Test match of the Ashes, thus winning the series

8. Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III – the pilot who in January landed a US Airways plane in Hudson river after a flock of birds caused engine failure

9. Neda Agha-Soltan – the Iranian who was killed during the Iranian election protests in June. Her face became the iconic image of the reaction to the voting in of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

10. Simon Beaufoy – the Oscar and Bafta-winning screenwriter of Slumdog Millionaire, who picked up his awards in February


1. Francis Ford Coppola, about Apocalypse Now

2. A sense of smell, a condition known as anosmia

3. Edelweiss

4. The vice-presidency of the United States (he did eventually get the top job)

5. Gang of Four: She was the leader of the leftist faction who controlled the Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution; he's the singer in the leftist post-punk band

6. The footballer Roy Keane's

7. Princess Margaret and Tony Armstrong-Jones, or Lord Snowdon, as he became

8. The chorus of the New Zealand All Blacks' "Ka Mate" haka

9. Twister

10. Lord Nelson, Lord Beaverbrook (the Canadian of the bunch), Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Clement Attlee, Henry Cooper, Lady Diana and Maggie Thatcher

11. Constipation

12. Richard Burton

13. The Poet Laureate

14. Ben-Hur and Caligula (the latter was partly rewritten by the film's star, Malcolm McDowell)

15. Thriller (Michael Jackson, 1982), Back in Black (AC/DC, 1980), Their Greatest Hits 1971-75 (The Eagles, 1976), Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, 1973), Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (Bee Gees/various artists, 1977)

16. Chad, Cuba, Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Mali, Oman, Peru, Togo

17. A and C: North Pole and the Equator; B: Paris

18. They're both partners of the actress Tilda Swinton, though her relationship with Byrne, the father of her two children and with whom she lives, is now, apparently, platonic

19. Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe. Cooper died on stage, Morecambe shortly after coming off it

20. Compulsive nose-picking. Merry Christmas!