Fishing Lines: Angling for answers in sea of confusion

Those lazy columnists, too idle to search out a proper subject worthy of debate, tend to round off the year with a quiz. So here's mine...

1. What did Harold Degen of Ipswich, Australia, find on his front lawn after a shower of rain? A About 800 sardines. B The world's largest cane toad. C A fish head. D An antique carved ivory shark.

2. Which of these people is not an angler? A David Seaman. B Nick Faldo. C Dame Diana Rigg. D Ross Kemp.

3. What is the planned title of my book (assuming I ever get round to finishing it)? A The Best of Keith Elliott. B The Worst of Keith Elliott. C Sex and the Single Skate. D Lines from Keith Elliott.

4. How many times has Grahame King broken the British barbel record with the same fish? A Two. B Three. C Four. D Five.

5. What did Thomas Raynold claim he saw near Pendine, Carmarthenshire, in 1603? A A mermaid. B A sea monster. C A whale with legs. D The first recorded Welsh salmon.

6. Who has been appointed as the National Federation of Anglers' ambassador for angling? A David Seaman. B Dean Macey. C Roger Daltrey. D Ian Botham.

7. If the Latin name for a pollack is pollachius pollachius, a sole is solea solea and a huchen is hucho hucho, then what is the Latin name for a wahoo? A Wahoo wahoo. B Wahoo wahey. C Acanthocybium solandri. D Wahus wahus.

8. What is keen angler Chris Tarrant's favourite fish? A Trout. B Salmon. C Cod. D Carp.

9. Marine biologists have just discovered a new species of shark that: A Walks along the ocean floor on its fins. B Eats only plant-life. C Is totally blind. D Is smarter than the average primary school child.

10. What sort of fish is a Jenny Haniver? A A fake, made up by mutilating a ray to resemble a winged sea monster with a human head. B A Canadian species of trout. C A small, brightly coloured tropical species mainly found in South America. D A type of goldfish.

11. How many eggs does a large cod produce? A More than 500,000. B More than 1 million. C More than 11 million. D There aren't any large cod left, thanks to the EU fishery policy.

12. How many times did apprentices' contracts specify that they were forced to eat Thames salmon in the 1700s? A Twice a week. B It never happened. C Four times a week. D Six times a week.

13. What was Guillaume of Redditch's most famous invention? A A whistle that was supposed to attract fish. B A rod holder for one-armed fishermen. C A bicycle whose frame incorporated a complete fishing set. D A float with a flag that popped up when a fish grabbed the bait.

Answers: A; D; C; B (but an extra point for who cares?); A; B; C; D; A; A; C (half a point for D); B; C.

Your rating: 0-3, goldfish; 4-8, kipper; 9-11, salmon; 12 or more, you can do this quiz next year.

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