The weekend Christmas Quiz

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The Independent Online


1. The original fifth columnists date from which war?

2. Which American politician, on being set up to be photographed by Richard Avedon, said to him: "Be kind to me"?

3. How has the name of the man appointed as Soviet Foreign Minister in 1939 lived on?

4. Cardinal Manning, Thomas Arnold, Florence Nightingale, General Gordon. What's the connection?

5. In considering a 1903 case of negligence, Lord Bowen asked what whose opinion would be?


1. A literary contest in 2009 brought together Arvind Mehrotra and which two other writers?

2, "Never open a book with weather" is rule number one of which American crime writer's Rules of Writing?

3. The expression "enfant terrible" comes from the title of a book by which 20th-century author?

4. Sandy, Rose, Mary, Jenny, Monica and Eunice are all pupils of the title character of which celebrated 20th-century novel?

5. "The History of a Young Lady" is the usually overlooked part of the title of which 1748 novel?


1. Who is the only artist to be inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – as a member of two different bands, and as a solo artist?

2. Which Beatles track, on which John Lennon sang the lead vocal, was recorded when he had laryngitis?

3. In July this year Matthew Fisher won a protracted legal battle to prove his co-authorship of which song?

4. Which pop star, an honorary cultural ambassador for Barbados, was born Robyn Fenty?

5. Which is the first act and which the last to be listed in the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock'n'Roll?


1. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the world is the work of American sculptor Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941). Where can it be found?

2. South Africa has three capitals, one administrative, one legislative and one judicial. What are they?

3. Which historically significant river flows from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea through the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy?

4. Which is the largest of France's 22 mainland regions?

5. The Equator passes through Ecuador and which two other South American countries?


1. What word is given to a treaty to which the Pope is a signatory?

2. In Cockney Rhyming Slang, what does "Tom" refer to?

3. What word derives from a loud-voiced herald of the Greek forces during the Trojan War?

4. What adjective – much favoured in literary criticism – comes from the Italian for "rascal"?

5. What hitherto obscure verb meaning "to put into appropriate literary form; arrange, edit" gained widespread use in 2009?


1. Who is the only footballer to have been sent off twice for England?

2. Who recently scored the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket?

3. In what non-competitive environment did four members of the GB cycling squad perform in Manchester earlier this year?

4. There have been all-American men's singles finals at Wimbledon in the Open era (ie. since 1968) and all-Australian finals. Which is the only occasion another country has produced both finalists?

5. "I thought it was offside – but then I always do". Which footballer, speaking in 1991?


1. Which director (1900-1983) has a martini named after him in honour of his own unique method of preparation?

2. Ernest Borgnine, Diane Keaton, Peter O'Toole, Hilary Swank. What's the connection?

3. Which director owns a house called Milky Way?

4. What is the French equivalent of the American Academy Awards?

5. The oldest working cinema in the UK celebrated its centenary this year. In which city is it?

Secret Santa

1. Handel left the rights to 'The Messiah' to which London hospital?

2. The invention of what colour is credited to Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli in 1937?

3. The creation of some insipid verses for children by the 18th-century writer Ambrose Philips gave rise to what expression?

4. "Either he's dead or..." what, according to Groucho Marx in 'A Day at the Races'?

5. This celebrated English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy (1617-1692) lives on in the name of which museum?