Summer quiz: Test your knowledge with our exacting seasonal examination

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Summers gone by

1 On 2 July 1881 Charles Guiteau became the second man to commit what crime? (Two more men have done it since.)

2 On 1 July 1991, what officially came to an end at a meeting in Prague after 36 years?

3 In July 1979, the Queen attended the 1,000th annual outdoor sitting of which Parliament?

4 Funded by US Congress, what began broadcasting on Independence Day 1950?

5 In the early hours of 8 August 1963, what took place at Bridego Railway Bridge at Ledburn in Buckinghamshire?

6 After being closed for nearly eight years following the attacks on the World Trade Center, which lofty tourist destination reopened on 4 July 2009?

7 Just after midnight on 25 July 1978, Louise Brown was born at Oldham and District General Hospital. How was the happy event a world first?

8 On 8 August 1969, on a street in north London, Iain Macmillan was given 10 minutes to take a photograph for an album cover. Which album?

9 On 1 July 1987, Geoffrey Collier, formerly of Morgan Grenfell, underwent the first prosecution for what crime?

10 Charles and Diana married on 29 July 1981. But which wedding two days earlier gained higher ratings on ITV?

Summer pleasures

1 Where was 19-year-old Benjamin Grosvenor on the evening of 15 July?

2 What's the link between a festival in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, at the end of August, and a festival in Dundrennan, Scotland, held last weekend?

3 On 13 August 1876 in Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm, Dom Pedro II of Brazil and Friedrich Nietzsche were all present at the first what?

4 Golowan is a midsummer celebration, involving bonfires, fireworks and ancient rituals, all centred round Mazey Day. In which English county?

5 St John's Eve, the evening of 23 June, is celebrated in many cultures. In the 19th century Marie Laveau became famous for her celebrations in New Orleans. From what tradition did she come?

6 What resort was called Poulton-le-Fylde, but became known by the name of the bay on which it stands?

7 This English product was in danger of dying out: only 400 tons were produced in 2000, but thanks to the driest April in 100 years, the crop is expected to come in at more than 3,000 tons this summer. Which product?

8 Which flower, traditionally picked on Midsummer's Eve to maximise its potency, has anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties?

9 "The graciousness of civilisation here surely touches a peak where the arts of music, architecture and gardening combine for the delight of man." What annual summer event, which runs from May to August, was Vita Sackville-West writing about?

10 In 1970 it would have cost you £1. This year you would have had to pay £195. To do what?


1 When Boris Becker took the Wimbledon Men's Singles tournament in 1985, he was famously the youngest winner. What other two Wimbledon firsts did he establish?

2 In August 1975, which words led to the abandonment of the final Test of the Ashes series, at Headingley?

3 What did Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath all do within a few minutes of each other in Frankfurt this month?

4 How did Jorge Larrionda gain notoriety last year, among the English at least?

5 In July 1987, the radio station WFAN launched in New York as the first what?

6 In the post-war era, what distinguishes the Birmingham-born Ann Jones and Czech pair Martina Navratilova and this year's Wimbledon women's singles champion, Petra Kvitova?

7 Which sport in England and Wales switched from winter to summer in 1996?

8 Holywood and Dungannon: what's the current sporting link?

9 What recently linked Sir Viv Richards and Sir Gary Sobers – as well as every cricketer from England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka?

10 In this year's Tour de France, won by the Australian Cadel Evans, what linked Cap Frehel, Châteauroux, Lavaur, Montpellier and Paris?

This summer

1 Who did the builder and decorator Sam Cooper marry in June?

2 On 22 June, who reappeared after three months in prison, bailed thanks to "his good attitude in confessing his crimes"?

3 What event in July added 0.1 per cent to Scotland's GDP?

4 Who lost eight times but won?

5 Who was declared dead on Fox News's Twitter feed in July?

6 The Watsons manuscript went for £993,250 at Sotheby's. But who was it written by?

7 In a rare example of a star acting ethically, which rock god cancelled a concert in Kazakhstan in July in support of striking oil and gas workers?

8 "It means we are able to be called human beings with the rights of everyone else." To what was the New Yorker Debbie Strom referring?

9 "It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before..." What was the next word in this tweet, posted on 19 July?

10 "They were not turned away." Ruth Rogers denying which Twitter-led rumour?


1 "One swallow does notmake a summer." A famous quotation, which has been around since the fourth century. Who wrote it?

2 The source of this seasonal quote? "Summer lovin', had me a blast/ Summer lovin' happened so fast/ I met a girl, crazy for me/ I met a boy, cute as can be."

3 And this: "Out for summer, out till fall/ We might not come back at all."

4 Which film involved the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident, and spawned two sequels, the second of which went straight to DVD?

5 Name the songs. The first one's easy, but what about the second, from the same band? "Every summer we can rent a cottage on the Isle of Wight"; and "You came to me/One summer night/And from your beam you made my dream".

6 These are the last two lines of a sonnet: "So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee." What are the first two lines?

7 In which medieval song do bullocks start and goats fart?

8 "He bought her a diamond for her throat/He put her in a ranch house on a hill/She could see the valley barbecues/ From her window sill." The opening lines from the title track of which 1975 jazz-inflected album by a celebrated Canadian singer-songwriter?

9 "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." Which existentialist?

10 "Nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy and alcohol – c-c-c-cocaine." The lyrics to which 2000 hit by US rockers?


Summers gone by

1 He assassinated a US president, James Garfield (who eventually died on 19 September)

2 The Warsaw Pact

3 The Tynwald on the Isle of Man, which has sat every summer on Tynwald Hill since the ninth century

4 Radio Free Europe

5 The Great Train Robbery; £2.6m was stolen

6 The crown of the Statue of Liberty

7 She was the first "test-tube baby", conceived by artificial insemination

8 Abbey Road, by the Beatles

9 Insider dealing. He was given a 12-month suspended sentence and fined £25,000

10 Ken Barlow and Deirdre Langton

Summer pleasures

1 The pianist was in the Royal Albert Hall, becoming the youngest soloist to play at the First Night of the Proms

2 The Nevada event is the Burning Man Festival, at the end of which a large effigy is set on fire. The same thing happens at Dundrennan's Wickerman Festival, which is inspired by the Edward Woodward film

3 The first Bayreuth Festival

4 Cornwall, particularly the area around Penzance and Newlyn

5 She was a voodoo priestess

6 Morecambe

7 Cherries

8 Calendula, or pot marigold

9 The Glyndebourne Festival

10 To attend the Glastonbury Festival


1 The first German winner, and the first non-seed

2 "George Davis is innocent" – the words were daubed on the walls of the ground, while holes were dug and oil spilt on the pitch by protesters in support of the mini-cab driver jailed for armed robbery

3 They missed the US's first three penalties in the shoot-out against Japan in the Women's World Cup final

4 He was the referee who disallowed Frank Lampard's goal against Germany, incorrectly adjudging the ball not to have crossed the goal line

5 The first all-sports radio station

6 They're the only left-handed women's champions

7 Rugby league

8 Golf's last two major winners: Rory McIlroy, from Holywood in Northern Ireland, won the US Open in June; Darren Clarke, from Dungannon in Northern Ireland, won the Open Championship in July

9 They were omitted from the ICC all-time Test XI, as voted on by 250,000 visitors to the website of cricket's governing body, to mark the 2,000th Test match, England vs India at Lord's last week. There were four Indians, four Australians, two West Indians and a Pakistani voted into the team

10 They were the scenes of sprinter Mark Cavendish's five stage wins

This summer

1 Lily Allen

2 The Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, who had been arrested in April while at the airport on his way to Hong Kong and accused of tax evasion and deliberately destroying accounting documents

3 Christine and Colin Weir's Euromillions win. The couple from Largs in Ayrshire won £161,653,000.

4 Tom Pellereau, who was on the losing side eight times during the course of The Apprentice but was the overall winner

5 "BREAKING NEWS: @BarackObama assassinated, 2 gunshot wounds have proved too much". Hackers were blamed.

6 Jane Austen

7 Sting, in the second year of his Symphonicity tour

8 The state's legalisation of same-sex marriages

9 "#Splat"; it was posted by the activist and comedian Jonathan May-Bowles, or "Johnny Marbles", seconds before he hit Rupert Murdoch with a shaving-foam pie at the House of Commons

10 That Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks were denied a reservation at The River Café


1 Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics

2 "Summer Nights", from Grease

3 "School's Out", by Alice Cooper

4 I Know What You Did Last Summer, a huge hit in 1997. I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) and I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006) were less successful

5 The Beatles: "When I'm 64" from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and "Mr Moonlight" from Beatles For Sale

6 Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?/Thou art more lovely and more temperate..." Shakespeare's Sonnet No 18

7 Sumer is Icumen In: "Bulluc sterteth, bucke uerteth"

8 "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", by Joni Mitchell

9 Albert Camus

10 "Feelgood Hit of the Summer" by Queens of the Stone Age