Due to a production error, one of the questions printed in the ever-popular yet ever-fiendish annual Christmas Quiz from The Last Word would have had you scratching your head for far longer than necessary – it was printed wrongly. Apologies. So here it is again in full. As ever, I am hugely grateful to master brewers Shepherd Neame, who have once again agreed to supply a fantastic prize, namely 365 bottles of Spitfire Ale, one for every day of 2011.
With such a wonderful prize at stake, and with those confounded internet search engines to body-swerve, I have set what I think is an unprecedentedly tough set of questions. Consequently, I don't expect anyone to get them all right, so do send in your answers even if you've had a few wild guesses.
You can email your answers to email@example.com. If they're coming by post, send them to me, c/o the Independent Sports Desk, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. You have until noon on Saturday 8 January. In the event of a tie, I will invite you to submit an original advertising slogan for Spitfire Ale (inspiration to be found at www.spitfireale.co.uk). And one more thing: one or two of the questions below might be construed, by the very pedantic, as ambiguous. But my judgement is final.
That's it. Have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy New Year.
1 The first eight in a notable sequence of 24 names are Charlie, David, Fred, Maurice, Joe, Joe, Frank and George. What are the last eight?
2 Three men have managed more than three current Premier League football clubs, although not necessarily in the Premier League. Sam Allardyce and Gary Megson are two of them. Who is the third?
3 Who, this year, failed to start his first match since 1992?
4 His first home in England, for five days in 1945, was Kempton Park racecourse. Who?
5 A Swiss football club, and a school on Merseyside, are among the institutions claiming historical credit for what famous sporting colours?
6 Who, this year, used his big night to campaign against the closure of an adventure playground in north-west London?
7 A qualified cattle inseminator, he decided to retire from his sport this year at the age of 34. Who?
8 Which Yorkshire junior school counts among its former pupils a former speaker of the House of Commons and a BBC commentator, once considered the "voice" of his sport?
9 Which future legend of the airwaves was rather condescendingly deemed at the start of his career to have a "vulgar voice" but a "compensatingly interesting mind" by the BBC's head of outside broadcasts?
10 Shilton, Madeley, Hughes, Bell, McFarland, Hunter, Currie, Channon, Chivers, Clarke and Peters lined up together only twice for England, once in a friendly. Who were the opposition on the other, rather more significant, occasion?
11 Only once, in the past 60 years, has a golfer scored more than 75 in one of the four rounds of the Open Championship, yet gone on to lift the Claret Jug. Who, when and where?
12 A celebrated Spaniard gave a pep talk to one team; Rooney gave an inspirational speech to the other. What, this year, was the occasion?
13 What connects Roman Abramovich and Rooney with the Kray twins?
14 Which world record has stood since 27 July 1993?
15 American-born, and named after a place in Antigua, he came to Britain and became a superstar. He died in 1986. Who was he?
16 The wife of a top tennis player, the child of a leading footballer, for the rest of us it's just a place: which place?
17 Barry Richards and Arthur Morris opened the batting, Sachin Tendulkar came in at No 4, Wally Hammond brought on the drinks. What was this notional cricket team?
18 In 1856, King Otto of Greece received a letter from a wealthy philanthropist, offering to fund the revival of what?
19 A defender, he signed for Hibernian in September 1952, and stayed there for 18 months without making a first-team appearance. He later played for Stirling Albion and Cowdenbeath. Who is his famous grandson?
20 Which celebrated speedmerchant owes his first two names to his father's admiration for an American athlete?
21 The highest recorded attendance is 31,090, for a third-round FA Cup tie with Liverpool more than 30 years ago. To almost everyone's astonishment, that match finished goalless. Which ground?
22 In what context, at Lord's in 1975, was an F used in the commentary box, when it should have been an S?
23 On being invited to choose a book on Desert Island Discs, which horseman laughed, and said he'd never read a book in his life?
24 What was remarkably timely about the 1999 wedding, in Lincolnshire, of Jo and Bobby Everitt?
25 McDonald had a 0 per cent record. Eight years later, Everest's record was 100 per cent. As what?
26 A little boy, watching the film ET: The Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, was inspired to take up the sport in which he would later become an Olympic champion. Who is he?
27 They numbered 74 in 1994-95, 175 in 1995-96 and 289, a record, in 2001-02. What did?
28 What was the singular and immortal achievement, in April 1923, of a man called Jack?
29 What world-famous race was once won by Father O'Flynn?
30 Which golfer held the rather unenviable record of appearing most times in the Open Championship without ever winning the thing?