The great Christmas Eve quiz
The presents are under the tree, which means that it's time to try your hand at Simon O'Hagan's fiendish brainteaser. If you dare...
1 Olya, Masha and Irina. Which play?
2 Who was the daughter of Oedipus and his mother Jocasta?
3 Which sibling pop act hailed from Gary, Indiana?
4 James Bond's family motto is also the title of a Bond movie. What is it?
5 Which pair of businessmen brothers bought the island of Brecqhou?
1 Shadowlands told the story of which 20th-century author?
2 John Williams made three appearances in the American Film Institute's list of top 25 film scores. For which films (made in 1975, 1977, and 1982)?
3 Pierre Boulle wrote the book in 1952. Five years later the film of it won seven Oscars (including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor). Which film?
4 He made his acting debut in What's New Pussycat? in 1965. His most recent appearance was in Scoop in 2006. Who?
5 Henry Fonda in 1939, Simon Ward in 1972. What's the connection?
1 In 1949, which leading British novelist pseudonymously entered a New Statesman competition that invited parodies of his own style, and won second prize?
2 The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992) were this American writer's first and second novels. What were his third (2001) and fourth (2010)?
3 Who is to chair the judging panel for the 2012 Booker Prize?
4 What distinction is claimed of the 17th-century novel Artamène, or Cyrus the Great, by siblings Madeleine and Georges de Scudéry?
5 Which bestselling author survived two plagiarism lawsuits – one in America in 2005 and one in the UK in 2006?
1 In 1957, which was the first alcoholic product to be advertised on British television?
2 Which beer was first brewed in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire in 1847?
3 In October 2004, why, in the western United States, did merlot sales drop by 2 per cent while pinot noir sales increased by 16 per cent?
4 In 2007, which leading Frenchman's reluctance to drink led to complaints from the wine industry that he was sending out a negative message?
5 William Hogarth's Gin Lane has a companion print depicting a thoroughfare called what?
1 Luath, Bodger and Tao go on which journey?
2 In 1869, the French Empress Eugenie, travelling in the Imperial yacht Aigle, was the first person to do what?
3 Cheriton and Coquelles. What's the connection?
4 What was invented by Keith Mills in 1988?
5 The ship was called The Fram and it set sail with 19 men and 97 dogs on board. Which voyage?
1 Which TV programme has been most often represented on the cover of The Radio Times?
2 Which broadcasting body was founded at a conference in Torquay in February 1950?
3 In 2008, which TV theme was voted the most recognisable piece of music in the UK?
4 Of the 40 series of University Challenge since the first in 1962, which university has more wins to its name – Oxford or Cambridge?
5 Jamie Oliver's first TV series was called what?
1 Which record label, prominent in the late 1970s, billed itself as "The World's Most Flexible Record Label"?
2 Aged 41 when the First World War broke out – and therefore free not to serve – which composer instead chose to enlist, enduring a gruelling time as a stretcher-bearer?
3 The chanter forms a part of which instrument?
4 Which songwriting duo, responsible for more than 30 albums since they started out in the late 1960s, never work in the same room?
5 Since the Mercury Prize was founded in 1992, the most nominated band is also a band that has never won it. Which band?
1 The Old Bailey, Arundel Castle, Hampton Court Palace. All said to be what?
2 Club founded by Francesco Bianco; record sleeve designed by Richard Hamilton; 1942 song by Irving Berlin. What's the connection?
3 Samuel Pepys attended a puppet show telling a story destined to become a popular pantomime. Which panto?
4 Jabberwocky, Napoleon and Sheepshead are all types of what?
5 Quentin Crisp delivered what broadcasting first in 1993?
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- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more