Prize competition: The great silly season quiz

It's been a vintage summer for trivial and ludicrous news stories. But how many have actually lodged themselves in your brain? Answer John Walsh's questions and you could win a Nintendo Wii
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General Knowledge

1. What was it that local pagans in Cerne Abbas, Dorset, described as "very disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing"?

a) A 180ft drawing of Homer Simpson wielding a doughnut

b) A rock opera devoted to the 17th-century priapic chalk giant

c) A satanic mass held at Cerne Abbey by local devil-worshippers

2. Why was L'Oréal lashed by the Advertising Standards Authority?

a) For claiming that their "Eugenie" anti-wrinkle cream eliminated crow's feet

b) For portraying a bare nipple on a TV commercial for body lotion

c) For boasting that their mascara could lengthen eyelashes, although their commercial featured Penelope Cruz wearing "falsies"

3. There many reported sightings of a 12ft great white shark off Cornwall, and a photo of a dorsal fin appeared in The Sun. What was the truth of the matter?

a) The shark was actually 25ft long and savaged two porpoises but no humans

b) No shark was ever found and the photographer admitted taking the picture off Cape Town

c) The "shark" was caught in Newquay and turned out to be a porbeagle

4. How did primary teacher Carolyn Banfield upset 400 schoolchildren in Midsomer Norton?

a) By insisting they "toughened up" emotionally by dissecting frogs in biology classes

b) By cancelling ball games anywhere in the playground

c) By reading them the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

5. Why did Jeromy Jackson sue McDonald's for $5m?

a) Because he was given a cheeseburger instead of a hamburger, and suffered a severe allergic reaction

b) Because he spilt scalding coffee over his lap, severely burning his groin

c) Because he claimed to have found a live cockroach in his onion rings


6. What was the only drawback in the time machine theoretically invented by Professor Amos Ori and published in Physical Review?

a) It can only go forward to the future

b) It can only go back a few minutes into the past

c) It would have no way of returning a traveller to the present

7. According to the journal Environmental Science and Technology, what everyday item can be just as risky to its user as smoking cigarettes?

a) The office printer

b) The rowing machine

c) The Gaggia coffee machine

8. According to the University of Louisville, Kentucky, which part (and hue) of the body is the most reliable index of human intelligence?

a) Blue eyes

b) Red hair

c) White fingernail moons


9. Why were there cries of "Foul!" when Rob Styles awarded Chelsea a penalty, allowing them to sneak a draw with Liverpool?

a) Because the infringement took place outside the penalty box

b) Because Styles's son plays in goal for Chelsea's under-18 squad

c) Because Styles's building firm was paid several thousand pounds to re-pave Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's driveway

10. What is the connection between George Best and Osama Bin Laden?

a) In the late 1980s, Bin Laden tried to buy Best's old club, Manchester United

b) Best's ex-girlfriend, Jane Felix-Brown, married Osama's son Omar

c) Both men are former judges of beauty contests, in London and Bahrain

11. What edible items caused a bad-tempered incident in the England vs India Test match, when they were scattered around the wicket during the innings of the hefty Zaheer Khan?

a) Jelly beans

b) Maltesers

c) Fruit pastilles


12. What was the score-settling reason for the execution of six mobsters by Mafia hitmen in Duisberg, Germany?

a) One of their family impregnated, but failed to marry, the sister of Pedro ("Poppy" )Stampenato in 2001

b) They were all related to a man who lobbed an egg at a Mafia boss during a carnival in San Luca in 1991

c) They were the gang who rubbed out Guiseppe ("Fingers") Calasso in 1998

13. Who was briefly thought to be the runaway earl, Lord Lucan?

a) Brian Westlake, 71, a retired estate agent in Tenerife with a pet llama

b) Barrington Worth, 69, old Etonian living in Cancun with 32 pet snakes

c) Roger Woodgate, 62, living in a Land-Rover in New Zealand with a pet possum, a goat and a cat

14. What penalty is likely to be levied on the impertinent pedestrian who goosed Channel 4 reporter Sue Turton on camera?

a) An £80 fine

b) 100 hours' community service

c) Three months in prison

15. Why was Stephen Belafonte, the film producer, wanted by New Jersey police?

a) For organising private viewings of his cannibalistic "snuff" movie, Midnight Feast

b) For bludgeoning a mallard duck to death with a brick

c) For attacking his wife, Spice Girl Mel B, with a "Lazy Susan" kitchen tray


16. What brought the 5ft 5in Xia Shujuan to the height of fame at the Genghis Khan holiday resort in Mongolia?

a) She won the first-ever series of Chinese Big Brother

b) She married Bao Xishun, the world's tallest man

c) She was announced as the new Bond girl in the forthcoming 007 film, Devil May Care

17. Why is "Bubba" Waring of Sydney popular?

a) He was winner of the all-comers' surfing gala at Byron Bay

b) He's promised to give away his A$34m inheritance to musicians and audience in the Opera House on his birthday, 30 August

c) He has 29 "friends" on the Facebook website, despite being a foetus

18. When Mark Bamber, 38, was buried in Wigan, how much did the coffin weigh?

a) Half a ton

b) 40 stone

c) 20 stone

19. Tony and Greta Dodd from Merseyside won £2.4m on the National Lottery. What did they plan to splash out on first?

a) A holiday in the Grand Canyon

b) An Aston Martin DB8

c) Two new pairs of knees

Animals Corner

20. What bizarre fate befell an unnamed 60-year-old housewife from Brisbane, Australia in August?

a) She suffered permanent hearing loss because of a squawking cockatoo

b) She was mauled to death by dingoes when she went to the aid of her dachshund, Rexie

c) She was sexually assaulted and crushed to death by a camel

21. What brought Vicky Morl of Maidenhead into alarmingly close contact with her boxer dog?

a) Her hand became trapped inside its mouth when she tried to extract a fishhook

b) She was forced by her husband to live in its kennel for three days

c) She allowed the dog to sleep in her bed while recovering from a bout of distemper

22. When Australian rancher David George was beseiged up a tree by man-eating crocodiles, how did he stop himself from falling?

a) By singing Tom Jones's "Delilah" for three days to keep himself awake

b) By tying himself to a branch with his stirrup leathers

c) By handcuffing his wrists around the tree trunk

23. How did a Tamworth piglet escape the slaughterhouse to which it was heading in an animal transporter?

a) She was rescued by masked members of the Animal Liberation Front

b) She attacked the driver in his cab and escaped across a field

c) She was born in the vehicle, fell out into the path of traffic, and was snatched to safety by a motorist who took her to an RSPCA centre


24. Which film character did Boris Johnson nominate as his political hero?

a) John Vernon, the corrupt mayor of LA in Dirty Harry

b) Joe Quimby, the pompous mayor of Springfield in The Simpsons

c) Larry Vaughn, the unscrupulous mayor of Amity in Jaws

25. Which vital Foreign Office job was filled by model Charlotte Meares, 22, but was criticised by some Tory MPs as a waste of taxpayers' money?

a) Organiser of chocolate snacks at ambassadorial receptions

b) Deviser of "The WAGs Guide to Travel" website

c) Official tourist guide to newly opened "The MI6 Experience"


26. Why did Nigerian tribal chief Jonathan Santos, named "Re-Maker of the World" in 2006, lose his title?

a) He married a white woman from Mozambique, in flagrant contravention of local laws

b) He was arrested for kerb-crawling in Northampton

c) He left the country to embark on a rap career in Detroit

27. What did we discover to be Prince Harry's nickname among his Chelsy set?

a) Harriet

b) Hal

c) Haz

28. What were revealed to be the fashion smash-hit of the summer, counting both Kate Middleton and George W Bush among their fans?

a) Crocs shoes

b) Pucci flip-flops

c) Police sunglasses

Your chance to win a Nintendo WII

We have 10 Nintendo Wiis, worth £180 each, to give away as prizes. Send your answer along with your name and contact details to: Nintendo Wii Competition, PO Box 55705, London, E14 1AQ. Please state your name and address (and email address if you have one) on the back of the envelope. Alternatively email your answer and details, to Entries must be received by Wednesday 28 August. Ten winners will be selected at random from the correct entries and notified in writing by Friday 7 September. Answers will be published in 'The Independent' by Wednesday 5 September.

Terms and Conditions: 1. Only one competition entry per email address. 2. If you are happy for Independent News and Media to contact you for research and commercial purposes, please let us know by putting 'yes' in the subject box of your email or printing 'YES' by your name and address on the back of your envelope. Independent News and Media will not pass your details on to any other companies. 3. No purchase necessary. 4. Standard Independent News and Media terms and conditions apply. See 5. The editor's decision is final