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Here are the answers to this week's quiz...

'Dear Leader' sips cognac as nation starves

Hard information about North Korea is hard to come by, but in the last few weeks one thing has become increasingly certain: after two years of floods and economic stagnation, the country is on the verge of famine. An American congressman who visited this month saw peasants living off hot water and last year's cabbage leaves.

A great day dawned with brandy, but ended a wake

Nobody could have foreseen this: the one day of the year where sport permeates every household in Britain being so catastrophically disrupted by terrorist action. From schoolchildren with their love of horses, to office "sweeps", to housewives sticking a pin into the racing pages, the Grand National exerts a hold on our popular consciousness like no other event. The question everyone will now be asking is, can it ever be the same again?

Travel: True or false: The brandy barrel carried by St Bernards in the Alps is a myth

True, according to the monks who still keep a 900-year-old hospice running at the top of the 8,114-ft pass of the Col de Grand St-Bernard.

Gascony

This tranquil pocket of French countryside is a haven for jangled nerves.

Dance: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol, Northern Ballet Theatre, Grand Theatre, Leeds (0113 245 9351) 7 Dec, 2.30pm & 7.30pm, pounds 6-pounds 23, concessions availab le

Challenger for Hennessy

The Murphy's Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup double could be on the cards for Challenger Du Luc, who heads the betting for Saturday's race along with Big Matt.

BEVERAGE REPORT: THIS ROUND'S NOT ON ME

This is a message from your bank manager - if you're a fan of very old spirits, and you find yourself in the vicinity of Dukes Hotel, be careful. Dukes, London's most discreet five-star hotel, has a rather sumptuous list of ancient Cognac, Armagnac, single-malt and vintage port. And it also sells them at stupifyingly sumptuous prices.

The Knack: How to tell a joke

Keep it short and don't attempt accents, says Jenny Eclair

Letter: Political spice

Sir: Norma Major a saucy Worcester Woman? ("Cookie war", 11 September.) Quick! Hand me a large Cherie brandy before I collapse!

Davies stays in touch

Laura Davies needed 50 minutes less to trim six shots off her opening effort in the second round of the US Women's Open Championship here yesterday.

The end of life as I know it

A HOLE has opened up in my life. Do you want to hear about it? So you shall. It's a deep yawning hole. A deep yawning black hole. What you'd call a pit of melancholy, a chasm of accidie, a gulf of gloom. Do you begin to get the picture of this hole? Good.

Oh crumbs!

Food

Letter: Under the influence of brandy

IN ORDER to be able to celebrate the Millennium, some time ago I reserved a bottle of 10-year-old cider brandy for release on 1 January, 2000. I do not intend to be deprived of this anticipated pleasure by Scotch would-be monopolists ("Ciderman raises fighting spirit", 3 December).

Solo yachtswoman sails to record

IAN MacKINNON

Urgent fax to Daniel Day-Lewis

To the actor reported to have ended his long-standing relationship by fax: a lesson in how to let a lady down politely
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey fans rejoice, series five returns later this month
TV
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor