Whitaker's Almanack's quiz of the year
For nearly 150 years, Whitaker's Almanack has been the most comprehensive compendium of facts, trivia and ephemera in the English language. So who better than its team of expert compilers to test your knowledge of 2011?
Friday 30 December 2011
1. Which space shuttle landed for the final time at John F Kennedy Space Center in July?
2. How much did Barack Obama pay for a round of Guinness in an Irish pub in May?
3. Thomas Downey received a 16-month jail term for stealing what during the August riots?
4. What did the tweeter "ReallyVirtual" reveal unknowingly to the world in May?
5. Who was accused of being "the first mafia boss in history who did not know he was running a criminal enterprise"?
6. Whose songs were banned from Absolute 60s after the station decided his songs were not "cool enough" to make the cut?
7. Of which African country was Laurent Gbagbo president until his arrest in April?
8. The first artificial organ transplant took place in July. Which body part was involved?
9. The wreck of the British merchant ship SS Gairsoppa, discovered in September, was found to contain 150 tonnes of which metal?
10. The Nobel Peace Prize 2011 was awarded jointly to three women, one of whom is the president of which West African country?
11. How many heads of government at the G20 summit in Cannes in November were female?
12. What was the front-page headline of the last News of the World printed in July?
1. In Stephen King's latest novel published in November, which event is a time traveller attempting to prevent?
2. Who is the author of Whatever it is, I Don't Like it, a collection of opinionated columns from The Independent, published in September?
3. Which author became the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize in May?
4. Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche is the latest novel to feature which character?
5. Bring up the Bodies is the forthcoming sequel to which Booker Prize-winning novel?
6. Which city's biography was penned by Simon Sebag Montefiore earlier this year?
7. What is the name of the new website created by J K Rowling giving users a chance to explore the world of Harry Potter?
8. Which controversial writer gave a speech in defence of libraries in January, which rapidly became an internet sensation?
9. Frank Dikotter won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for his study of which 20th-century figure?
10. According to Forbes magazine, who in August was named the world's highest-paid author, having earned £50.9m in the past year?
11. Two actors from the US television series The Wire starred in which Shakespeare play at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield?
12. Which annual literary event united Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, David Guterson and Sebastian Barry in December?
13. Who became the seventh Children's Laureate in June?
Match the person to the length of time served in the post
1. Muammar Gaddafi, ruler of Libyan Republic
2. Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy
3. George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece
4. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund
5. Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt
6. Jean-Claude Trichet, chair of the European Central Bank
7. Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
8. Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence
9. Martin Johnson, England Rugby coach
10. Andy Coulson, Downing Street director of communications
A) 2 years, 1 month
B) 8 years
C) 3 years, 6 months
D) 1 year, 5 months
E) 8 months, 11 days
F) 2 years, 5 months
G) 29 years, 3 months
H) 3 years, 4 months
I) 34 years, 5 months
J) 9 years, 1 month
1. For how many successive months have interest rates been kept at 0.5 per cent?
2. For how much was Northern Rock soldto Virgin Money?
3. Which country joined the eurozone on 1 January 2011?
4. The Payments Council announced it was to delay the abolishment of which form of payment in July 2011?
5. Which country saw its credit rating downgraded for the first time ever from AAA to AA+ by Standard and Poor's credit agency in August 2011?
6. Which commodity reached record breaking prices of £979 an ounce in June 2011?
7. Which technology company revealed a 95 per cent year-on-year rise in profits in April 2011?
8. Which country surrendered its 42-year ranking as the world's second-largest economy to China in February?
9. Which major airline filed for bankruptcy protection on 29 November?
10. For which investment bank did the rogue trader Kweku Adoboli lose over $2bn in September?
A LITTLE BIRD TOLD US
Match the tweeter to the tweet
1. Jimmy Carr
2. Ricky Gervais
3. Sarah Brown
4. Joey Essex (from The Only Way is Essex)
5. Andy Murray
6. Joey Barton
7. Katy Perry
8. Richard Branson
A) Right am off to sleep now, enough comedy, wisdom, drivel and windup tactics from me for 1 night. Peace out home boys/girls, keep it real... ha
B) Dear fans Don't give the haters any attention. Those people aren't really offended by the things I say – they are offended by my success.
C) FINALLY! Beloved ENGLAND! 1st thing I did was stuff me gob w/some yorkshire puddings & meat pies from Silversmiths in Sheffield. Ah bless.
D) Just saw I have over 300 thousand followers! Thanks for following hope my tweets rnt as boring as my personality.
E) Celebrations marked the international recognition of a new country South Sudan. That'll put South Sudan on the map. Literally.
F) Not much sleep to be had last night. We all sat together & shared stories of the wonderful times we'd had in the house.
G) Daftly I just left my wallet AND phone in train loo – and a VERY nice woman guarded the door until I return to rescue them.
H) Omg... Just eated another whole chicken... U do relize iv had 6 whole chickens in 6 days from nando's... Is nandos open tomora? Hahaha!
1. Who interviewed Prince Philip for the BBC documentary The Duke at 90?
2. Which member of the royal family served as the Special Representative for Trade and Investment until July 2011?
3. What links the actors Nico Evers-Swindell and Camilla Luddington?
4. Zara Phillips married rugby player Mike Tindall in which city?
5. The two new aircraft carriers currently under construction will be named after which two members of the royal family?
6. What is the Duchess of Cambridge's middle name?
7. Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge and Earl of Strathearn on the occasion of his marriage; what was the third title conferred upon him?
8. Two world leaders didn't curtsy in front of the Queen this year. The first was Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland. Who was the second?
9. Prince Charles became the longest-serving heir apparent in British history in April, but who held the previous record?
10. Which royal set a new world record for the largest-ever single trade in the history of the foreign-currency market during a charity trading event, closing a deal worth £15.5bn?
'I BEG YOUR PARDON'
Match the person to the quote
1. David Cameron
2. Andy Gray
3. Sepp Blatter
4. Professor Jim Al-Khalili
5. Herman Cain (former Republican presidential candidate)
6. Tom Waits
7. Noel Gallagher
8. Jarvis Cocker
9. Steve Jobs
10. Alan Partridge
11. Ortis Deley
12. Silvio Berlusconi
A) "We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands.'
B) 'I'm a much more deliberate problem."
C) "I am not a saint, you've all understood that."
D) "We're quite a reserved lot,
the British. But when we go for it, we really go for it."
E) "Women don't know the offside rule."
F) "I am prepared to eat my shorts live on TV." [Clue: in regard to the CERN speed-of-light experiment]
G) "The odd thing about this life is always that you spend half your time trying to get people to listen to you and the rest of the time trying to get them to leave you the f**k alone."
H) "I'm inspired by the chord choices of Sting, the camera angles of Scorsese, a dog catching a frisbee, the satisfying gu-dum of a German-built car door shutting, the shimmy of Shakira's sweet ass."
I) "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."
J) "I was absolutely crestfallen when the phone-hacking scandal broke here in England and my name wasn't mentioned once."
K) "So, we have a gloriously sunny day here in the studio. Erm, we've seen some action this morning as well. Jessica Ennis. Good night."
L) "The BBC is the nearest I have got to any form of religious faith."
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
1. How did Ashley Cole land himself in trouble with the police in February during a training ground incident?
2. What goal-scoring milestone did Daniel Majstorovic achieve at Wembley stadium in November?
3. New Zealand beat France in the Rugby World Cup final in October by what score?
4. Which English club played the inaugural game at Italian giants Juventus's new stadium?
5. Who won their first golf major in July at the age of 42?
6. Which England cricketer accidentally smashed a window at Lord's in June, injuring a spectator?
7. Who defeated David Haye in the heavyweight unification bout in July?
8. India beat which team in the Cricket World Cup final in April?
9. World-record holder Usain Bolt was disqualified from the 100-metre final at the World Athletics Championships for a false start; what is the name of his fellow countryman who won the race?
10. Which two British athletes won gold medals at the World Athletics Championships?
(Match the figures to the correct description)
A. The number of no-confidence votes Silvio Berlusconi survived during his 17 years as Prime Minister of Italy.
B. Amount in US dollars that Tamara Ecclestone spent on a crystal bath tub.
C. The time it took, in minutes, for Fernando Torres to score his first goal for Chelsea.
D. The advance in pounds sterling Pippa Middleton received to write a book on being the perfect party hostess.
E. The number of votes Sepp Blatter received when, as the only candidate, he was re-elected as Fifa president.
F. The number of viewers of the Royal Wedding on UK terrestrial television.
G. The number of days the Libyan civil war lasted.
H. Dr Conrad Murray's monthly salary, in US dollars, while employed as Michael Jackson's private doctor.
I. The number of recorded crimes perpetrated in London during the August Riots.
J. The amount, in pounds, for the most expensive seat at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
SCREEN AND HEARD
1. Before The King's Speech, which was the last film to win both Best Picture and Best Actor at the Oscars?
2. In February, the BBC was forced to apologise to the ambassador of which country after offensive remarks were made about his country on Top Gear?
3. Barney Harwood replaced Joel Defries as a presenter of which long-running television programme?
4. In July it was announced that which long-serving character was to leave EastEnders?
5. From which prison was a special edition of Question Time broadcast in May?
6. Which show was aired for the final time on Channel 4 on 26 August?
7. Which television personality was announced as the new presenter of Countdown in November?
8. Which director was banned from the Cannes Film Festival for claiming he sympathised with Adolf Hitler?
9. Which Welsh actor was involved in a 72-hour long production of The Passion in his hometown of Port Talbot in April 2011?
10. Who was described as a "high priest [who] serves as an intermediary between the world of dead-end jobs and the sacred space of superstardom"?
11. In June, BBC 2 aired the controversial documentary Choosing to Die, which examined the topic of assisted suicide. Which well-known author presented the programme?
12. Which former boxer was approached in September to join the Indian version of Big Brother?
13. Which British actress won an Emmy for Best Actress for her performance as the late Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam?
AND THE BAND PLAYED ON
1. Which living artist became the first since the Beatles in 1964 to have two top-five singles and two top-five albums in the charts at the same time?
2. Which pop star was told to cover up by Bangor farmer Alan Green in September?
3. Which US rock band announced their split in September, after 31 years?
4. Which of the following did not perform as a headline act at the Glastonbury Festival in June?
b) Mumford and Sons
5. John Lewis' Christmas advert features a cover version of a song by which band?
6. This year's prom season saw the first ever Comedy Prom, hosted by which musical comedian?
7. Who won the International Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards in February?
8. Which British artist sang the first dance at the Royal Wedding?
9. Which heavy metal band announced they were reuniting in November?
10. Martin Scorsese's documentary film Living in the Material World was based on the life of which British musician?
WINNERS AND LOSERS
1. What was the name of the former defence secretary Liam Fox's friend and self-styled adviser?
2. Who beat Andy Murray in the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the French Open?
3. Julian Barnes won the Booker Prize this year for his novel The Sense of an Ending, but how many times had he previously been shortlisted for the award?
4. How many of the 129 Scottish Parliament seats did the SNP win in the May election?
5. Which footballer lost his privacy action in September over a kiss-and-tell story published in the Sunday Mirror?
6. Colin and Chris Weir won a record amount in the Euromillions draw in July; what was the value of their prize?
7. Which actor was awarded an honorary Oscar in London in November?
8. Which British newspaper's circulation figures went up from 110,684 in June 2010 to 356,194 in June 2011?
9. Elio di Rupo became the prime minister of which European country on 6 December?
10. Which businessman was sued in October for £3.2bn by his former business partner?
HATCHED, MATCHED AND DISPATCHED
1. Which British-American actress died in California in March aged 79?
2. Which former world heavyweight champion boxer lost his battle with cancer in November?
3. Sir Jimmy Savile died on 29 October at what age?
4. The actor Daniel Craig married which actress in a ceremony in New York in June?
5. The United Nations estimated that the global population reached 7 billion people on which date?
6. Which footballer who died this year was known in his home country as The Doctor?
7. David and Victoria Beckham's fourth child shares a name with which well-known American author?
8. Who did Charlene Wittstock, a former competitive swimmer for South Africa, marry in July?
9. The daughter of which businessman married James Stunt in a ceremony costing about $5m?
10. Agnes Lark is the name of the daughter born to which Oscar-winning American actress and British actor?
The team at Whitaker's Almanack set the quiz using their exhaustive array of facts, trivia and ephemera. Whitaker's Almanack 2012 is published by Bloomsbury at £50. To order for the special price of £40 (free P&P) call Independent Books Direct on 08430 600 030, or visit independent booksdirect.co.uk
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Whitaker's Almanack Quiz of the Year Answers
1. Atlantis, 2. €50, 3. A box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, 4. The operation to kill Osama bin Laden, 5. James Murdoch, 6. Cliff Richard, 7. Ivory Coast, 8. Windpipe, 9. Silver, 10. Liberia, 11. Four, 12. Thank You & Goodbye
1. The assassination of John F. Kennedy, 2. Howard Jacobson, 3. Philip Roth, 4. James Bond, 5. Wolf Hall, 6. Jerusalem, 7. Pottermore, 8. Philip Pullman, 9. Mao Zedong, 10. James Patterson, 11. Othello, 12. Bad Sex in Fiction Award, 13. Julia Donaldson
1. I (Muammar Gaddafi: 34 years, 1 month), 2. J (Silvio Berlusconi: 9 years, 1 month), 3. A (George Papandreou: 2 years, 1 month), 4. C (Dominique Strauss-Kahn: 3 years, 6 months), 5. G (Hosni Mubarak: 29 years, 3 months ), 6. B (Jean-Claude Trichet: 8 years), 7. F (Sir Paul Stephenson: 2 years, 5 months), 8. D (Liam Fox: 1 year, 5 months), 9. H (Martin Johnson: 3 years, 4 months), 10. E (Andy Coulson: 8 months, 11 days)
1. 34, 2. £747m, 3. Estonia, 4. Cheque, 5. USA, 6. Gold,7. Apple, 8. Japan, 9. American Airlines, 10 UBS
A little bird told us
1. Jimmy Carr (E), 2. Ricky Gervais (B), 3. Sarah Brown (G), 4. Joey Essex (from The Only Way is Essex) (H), 5. Andy Murray (D), 6. Joey Barton (A), 7. Katy Perry (C), 8. Richard Branson (F)
'I beg your pardon?'
1. David Cameron (D), 2. Andy Gray (E), 3. Sepp Blatter (A), 4. Prof. Jim Al-Khalili (F), 5. Herman Cain (B), 6. Tom Waits (G), 7. Noel Gallagher (J), 8. Jarvis Cocker (L),9. Steve Jobs (I), 10. Alan Partridge (H), 11. Ortis Deley (K), 12. Silvio Berlusconi (C)
1. Fiona Bruce, 2. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, 3. They played William and Kate in the film William and Kate, 4. Edinburgh, 5. The Queen and the Prince of Wales, 6. Elizabeth, 7. Baron Carrickfergus, 8. Julia Gillard (prime minister of Australia), 9. King Edward VII, 10. Prince Harry
The fast and the furious
1. He shot a work experience student with an air rifle, 2. He scored the 2,000th England goal – an own goal for Sweden, 3. 8–7, 4. Notts County, 5. Darren Clarke, 6. Matt Prior, 7. Wladimir Klitschko, 8. Sri Lanka, 9. Yohan Blake, 10. Mo Farah and Dai Greene
186 - The number of votes Sepp Blatter received when, as the only candidate, he was re-elected as FIFA president
732 - The time it took, in minutes, for Fernando Torres to score his first goal for Chelsea
24,500,000 - The number of viewers of the Royal Wedding on UK terrestrial television
53 - The number of no-confidence votes Silvio Berlusconi survived during his 17 years as prime minister of Italy
1,500,000 - Amount in US dollars that Tamara Ecclestone spent on a crystal bath tub
251 - The number of days the Libyan Civil War lasted
3,443 - The number of recorded crimes perpetrated in London during the August Riots
2,012 - The amount in pounds sterling for the most expensive seat at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games
400,000 - The advance in pounds sterling Pippa Middleton received to write a book on being the perfect party hostess
150,000 - Dr Conrad Murray's monthly salary, in US dollars, while employed as Michael Jackson's private doctor
And the band played on
1. Adele, 2. Rihanna, 3. REM, 4. b) Mumford and Sons, 5. The Smiths, 6. Tim Minchin, 7. Justin Bieber, 8. Ellie Goulding, 9. Black Sabbath, 10. George Harrison
Screen and heard
1. Gladiator, 2. Mexico, 3. Blue Peter, 4. Pat Evans, 5. Wormwood Scrubs, 6. Friends, 7. Nick Hewer, 8. Lars von Trier, 9. Michael Sheen, 10. Simon Cowell, 11. Terry Pratchett, 12. Mike Tyson, 13. Julie Walters
Winners and losers
1. Adam Werrity, 2. Rafael Nadal, 3. 3, 4. 69, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. £161m, 7. James Earl Jones, 8. The Financial Times, 9. Belgium, 10. Roman Abramovich
Hatched, matched and dispatched
1. Elizabeth Taylor, 2. Joe Frazier, 3. 84, 4. Rachel Weisz, 5. 31 October, 6. Socrates, 7. Harper Lee, 8. Prince Albert of Monaco, 9. Bernie Ecclestone, 10. Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth