Christmas quiz 95

About 170 chances to show how witty and well informed you are. Compiled by William Hartston. You can find the answers on page 36
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Month by month

1 Where did a reading of 7.2 cause devastation in January?

2 How did the number 888888 lead an institution into administration in February?

3 Who voted against the Government for the first time in a debate on European policy on the first of March?

4 Which American city was devastated by a bombing in April?

5 Which man, described as the 14th by another 14th, died in May?

6 Who resigned on 22 June only to find himself back in the same job a fortnight later?

7 Which private prison release in July caused disturbances the day before the previous answer got his job back?

8 Which head of state lost two daughters in August, but hoped they would soon return?

9 Which former Cabinet minister became a non-executive director of the NatWest Bank in September?

10 Why was there a power surge equivalent to 750,000 televisions being turned on at 1pm in New York City on 3 October?

11 Which country was expelled from the Commonwealth in November?

12 Who lost five stones in December? Famous for 15 minutes Can you match the following deeds with the names of their doers

1 The first Briton to walk in space. 2 The surgeon who performed an emergency in-flight operation using a wire coathanger. 3 He was born in Britain and died in the electric chair. 4 The teenager who fired a starting pistol at John Major. 5 He won the world Scrabble championship. 6 He won pounds 6.5million on the Lottery and was then jailed for handling stolen vehicles. 7 He earned a record advance for his novel The Horse Whisperer. 8 Sting's former accountant. 9 The Yorkshire water boss who said he hadn't had a bath in three months. 10 The Tory candidate who lost his deposit at the Islwyn bye-election. 11 The British winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who said: "No one has ever heard of me." 12 The National Grid chairman who transferred 59,000 shares into his wife's name for tax purposes.

a) Trevor Newton b) Mike Foale c) David Jefferies d) Angus Wallace e) Joseph Rotblat f) Nicholas Evans g) Robert Gipters h) Lee Ryan i) Robert Buckland j) Keith Moore k) David Boys l) Nick Ingram

Women in the news 1 She tried to slap a Wimbledon umpire after he had penalised her husband for a code violation. 2 She became the RAF's first female fighter pilot. 3 With an IQ of 152, she joined Mensa at the age of three. 4 She ceased to be editor of She magazine. 5 Also known as Divine Brown. 6 Nine-year-old Belfast girl who charmed President Clinton. 7 She claimed that a pounds 9million divorce settlement was not enough to live on. 8 The verger who alleged she had had an affair with the Dean of Lincoln. 9 She won a fight for compensation for unfair dismissal - for being pregnant - from the RAF. 10 The racehorse trainer's wife who dared to criticise Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai. 11 Athlete who successfully appealed against a drugs ban. 12 Brought about the carpeting of the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

a) Chantelle Coleman b) Linda Kelsey c) Natalie Cecil d) Diane Modahl e) Benedicte Tarango f) Stella Marie Thompson g) Verity Freestone h) Jo Salter i) Mary Ellen Synon j) Maya Flick k) Wendy Underwood l) Catherine Hamill

Politics 1 Which minister described himself as looking "particularly healthy, like a love god"? 2 Complete the following quotation by Ken Livingstone: "I can still remember the sense of awe and wonder when I saw my first ______." 3 Which fighter for freedom and justice said: "My wife long ago forgave me. I hope others will follow her example"? 4 Which transport minister said: "If God had wanted me to run, he would have given me the body to do it"? 5 Which female Conservative MP announced: "I don't go around sleeping with my constituents"? 6 Which MP chaired the Booker Prize committee? 7 Which vote was won by a margin of 9,114 out of a total of 1.6million? 8 Which Cabinet post was held by John Redwood before he resigned to challenge John Major? 9 Which minister was "overcome by emulsion", in the words of a party press officer? 10 Of which minister was a "senior civil servant" speaking when quoted in the Guardian as saying: "He thinks knowledge will only cloud his mind"? 11 Whose committee came out in favour of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership? 12 Who was runner-up in the French Presidential election?

Marital relations To whose wife, or ex-wife, were each of the following quotations attributed (match the quotes, 1 to 10, with (ex-)husbands a to j)

1 "I fear he has been caught up in forces beyond his control." 2 "She picked the wrong couple to do it with this time." 3 "I thought my husband didn't like me physically because he was trying to avoid me." 4 "His actions at the moment are speaking louder than his words." 5 "[My husband] has bought us chickens and a goat so that we can have free-range eggs and meat from the garden." 6 "I see my role as put up and shut up." 7 "I am not glued to anything ... except the ironing." 8 "My husband and I wanted to share everything together and thought that we were a very good team." 9 "We were married, we said our marriage vows, and we should stick by them. I want to." 10 "The brain is the central erogenous zone for me, and he's got a big one."

a) David Ashby b) Salman Rushdie c) The Princess of Wales d) John Redwood e) Stephen Hawking f) Imran Khan g) Will Carling h) Nick Leeson i) Nick Faldo j) Peter Lilley

We don't want to frighten you ... Can you fill in the missing words in the following headlines from the list provided?

1 Shot down ______ secret report. (Today) 2 Does London really give your child ______. (Evening Standard) 3 Can coffee give you ______. (Daily Mirror) 4 ______ found at the Commons. (The People) 5 ______: the virus that scares even scientists. (Independent on Sunday) 6 Under-fives suffer from ______. (The Times) 7 Top London school in ______ warning. (Evening Standard) 8 ______ scare over infected surgeon. (The Independent) 9 ______ safety net tightened. (Daily Mail) 10 ______ killed horse trainer. (The Independent)

a) Killer legion bug b) Desert fever c) Meningitis d) Mad cow disease e) Asthma f) Cancer g) Aids h) Ebola i) Anorexia j) Measles-type virus

Sport 1 Who won the World 100 metres championship? 2 What was unusual about the hole-in-one achieved by golfer Graham Salmon in a competition in a contest in July? 3 Why did the Peterborough Evening Telegraph have to annul its "Spot the ball" competition one week in February? 4 Who did Frank Bruno defeat to win his world heavyweight title? 5 In which sport did a British athlete break his own world record twice in consecutive attempts? 6 Which footballer was sentenced to three months' imprisonment for head-butting an opponent? 7 What are seagulls expecting if they follow trawlers? 8 Two players from Swaziland turned up for the world shove ha'penny championships in England in August. How many shove ha'penny tables are there in Swaziland? 9 Which sporting hero's obituaries were calculated to have covered 3,547 coulmn inches, compared with 2,554 for Kingsley Amis? 10 At Wimbledon, what did William Hill offer odds of 11-10 against Goran Ivanisevic doing on Centre Court? 11 Which heavyweight champion was described by his trainer, Don Turner, as "rich enough to air-condition hell"? 12 Billy-Jean King's most famous opponent died this year. Who was he? Sadly missed 1 For whom was it now the time to say goodbye? 2 Which comedienne finally lost her battle after describing chemotherapy as "a piece of cake after BBC coffee"? 3 Bachelor Lord, fomer Chairman of the Arts Council and adviser to Harold Wilson. 4 An actor, and star of lager commercials, who described himself as a bald little creep with a high-pitched voice. 5 Comic disc jockey born in Liverpool on Christmas Day 1944. 6 Bodyline bowler. 7 Millionaire socialist Lord of Manchester. 8 Lord born in Lithuania who was stripped of a knighthood, but not his raincoat, after a prison sentence. 9 The racing driver considered by many to be the greatest of all. 10 Woman novelist who wrote Baroque 'n' Roll and won the fight to put Public Lending Right on the statute books.

Money, money, money The following items were all offered for sale this year. Can you match each to the price paid for it?

1 The Channel Five television franchise. 2 Picasso's Le Miroir portrait of his mistress. 3 The Thunderbirds puppet of Lady Penelope. 4 Paul McCartney's hand-written lyrics for "Getting Better". 5 Donald Campbell's speedy bear "Mr Woppit". 6 The original manuscripts of four Haydn string quartets. 7 Lt Col Geoffrey Keyes's Victoria Cross. 8 A five-litre bottle of 1945 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. 9 Rudolf Nureyev's ballet tunic. 10 A collection of Chinese dinosaur droppings.

a) pounds 22million b) pounds 12.9million c) pounds 661,500 d) pounds 161,000 e) pounds 121,000 f) pounds 34,500 g) pounds 33,258 h) pounds 20,000 i) pounds 400 j) Unsold - failed to reach its estimate.

Numbers The answers to these ten questions are the numbers one to ten, but in what order?

1 The number of times Diana uttered the name "Charles" during her Panorama interview. 2 The hours late in arrival of the train from Euston to Wolverhampton that departed at 19.15 on Thursday, 16 February. 3 Stones in weight lost by Nigel Lawson on his much-publicised diet. 4 Platefuls eaten by each of three Middlesbrough students before they were thrown out of a Pizza Hut to end their pounds 3.99 "eat all you can" meal. 5 Goals scored by the winning side in the FA Cup Final. 6 "Last year you said you had ______ bastards in the Cabinet. I don't think you can count." (Dennis Skinner) 7 Companions of Alison Hargreaves, killed with her on her fateful attempt on K2. 8 Counts of murder on which Rosemary West was convicted. 9 Trillions of dollars in the US national debt to the nearest whole number. 10 The number of chess games Anand and Kasparov had to play before either of them managed to score a win.

Where in the universe?

1 Which island voted in a referendum to stay British? 2 German nick that Nick stayed in before his transfer to Singapore. 3 Who won the County Cricket Championship? 4 In which town in Ohio was the Bosnian peace deal hammered out? 5 English city that lost a television programme, because major celebrities didn't want to go there. 6 Scottish island with a bridge problem. 7 Midlands district where the local Labour group was expelled by the national party. 8 Country visited by Diana after her Panorama interview. 9 Location currently being visited by Galileo. 10 European city where Stephen Fry was first spotted after his disappearance. Miscellaneous 1 Which product was launched by sponsoring a single day's free issue of the Times newspaper? 2 Which Dead singer died in 1995? 3 Of which co-star did Helena Bonham Carter say: "He did not just keep his clothes on under the sheet, but he kept his shoes on too. When I asked him why, he said it was in case there was a fire." 4 What was like "a virgin being embraced by an old and proven rake" according to one of the "virgin's" shareholders? 5 What was the name of the Conservative MP who defected to Labour at Party Conference time? 6 Who expressed "profound remorse" before apparently changing his mind, then confirming, probably, that he had apologised after all? 7 Why did a pounds 3million grant of Lottery money to build a sports centre attract criticism? 8 Which family collected pounds 12.5million of Lottery money without even having to buy a ticket? 9 Which actor described which other actor as "an over-fat, flatulent 62-year-old windbag"? 10 The Queen was caught on the telephone by a hoaxer pretending to be the Canadian prime minister. Who is the Canadian prime minister? 11 Which eight were whipped again in April? 12 What do Michael Caine, Harold Pinter and Steven Berkoff have in common that was closed down this year? 13 Alexandra Manley married Prince Jopachim, youngest son of Queen Margrethe. Of what country is she now a Princess? 14 The State of Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution thereby abolishing ... what? 15 Who won pounds 20,000 by carving beef? 16 When did pounds 1 equal pounds 660million? 17 What does the J in OJ Simpson stand for? One tale, 45 voices This is a story made out of quotations, each is numbered. Answer 1 is Max Bygraves. What are the others? Solution page 36 I wanna tell you a story (1). Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (2), it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the spring of hope ... (3) It was a bright cold day in April and the clocks were striking 13 (4). April is the cruellest month (5), but it's Saturday night and I just got paid, fool about my money, don't mean to save (6). I was wearing my powder-blue suit, with dark blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief, black brogues, black wool socks ... I was neat, clean shaved and sober and I didn't care who kn ew it (7). The hills were alive with the sound of music (8). I met Murder in the way (9). "What's the matter with you?" (10) I asked. "What are you rebelling against?" "What have you got?" he replied (11). "Walk on by," (12) I told myself and heard his parting words: "Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it." (13) So mind how you go, and if you're on your bike, wear white." (14) I was on a road to nowhere (15), then there she was, just walkin' down the street (16). "Hello honky-tonk," (17) she said. "Are you the Bully, the Pride of t he School, or the Boy Who is Led Astray and Takes to Drink in Chapter Sixteen?" (18) "Come on!" (19) "What's it all about, Alfie?" (20) "How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people?" (21) "Beauty's in the eye of the beholder," (22) I replied. "You can call me Al." (23) She was the original good time that was had by all (24); she was common, flirty, she looked about 30 (25), but she gave me a look I could feel in my hip pocket (26). "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" (27) I asked. "I used to be Sn ow White ... but I drifted (28). First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and finally I did it for money." (29) I should have known better (30), but she was one of the early birds and I was one of the worms (31). She made me an offer I couldn't refuse (32). "Do it to me," she said, "do it to me now: everything you've always wanted to do to a woman." (33) "I want you, I need you, I love you (34), I murmured. "Love," she said "is just a burnt match skating on a urinal (35), it's two minutes thirty seconds of squishing noises." (36) "Oh," I said, "this doesn't sound like the usual mindless chit-chat." (37) "What we have here is a failure to communicate." (38) I could have been a contender (39), but I made my excuses and left (40). But there was still the great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer in my 30 years of research into the feminine soul: what does a woman want? (41) I'm a believer (42). The truth is out there (43), but frankly , my dear, I don't give a damn (44). And it is that word ... my darlings, that marks the first place where Tonstant Weader Fwowed Up (45) Jonathon Green