Travel: Those fiendish questions answered: The severity of our travel quiz meant that no one got it all right, but some came close, says Frank Barrett

'WHO on earth dreamt up these awful questions - but thanks anyway, we enjoyed it.' This was one verdict on our pre-Christmas travel quiz, an opinion that seemed to be shared by more than 100 readers who laboured long and hard to find answers to dozens of 'awful' questions.

The question that proved to be most taxing was why the airport code for Malaga is AGP. One entrant correctly explained that the reason it was not MAL was because this means 'bad' in Spanish. Explanations as to why it should be AGP were varied, and included: AG because of MalAGa, P because Picasso was born there. Other fanciful suggestions included: Andalucia Granada Province; Andalucian Gateway Port; Aeropuerto Garcianorato Picasso; and even Aeropuerto Grande de Picasso (a Big Picasso Airport conjures up a fascinating image - an airport from his blue period presumably?).

Several readers surmised that Gibraltarian Proximity explained the last two letters. The most inventive answer was that it referred to the three main Moorish citadels in Malaga: Alcazba, Gibralfaro and Pedrogaleja.

A certain amount of straw-clutching was evident in answers such as 'to avoid confusion with Agadir' and 'it was named after Garcia Morato', though his initials are clearly not AGP. Our winners found the answer by calling Malaga airport, where a perspicacious member of staff explained that it was chosen because of the city's ancient name of Agrippina.

The other stopper was which airline inspired the song 'I'm Mandy, fly me'. It was National Airlines which was subsequently taken over by Pan Am. An honourable mention to Anne-Marie Baker of west London, the highest-scorer to get National Airlines correct.

In his acceptance speech after the US election, President-Elect Bill Clinton did not believe in America, or even Camelot as some entrants thought, but Hope, his birthplace.

We apologise to the BBC at Pebble Mill who got fed up with people ringing to find out where Jack Woolley and Peggy of The Archers went on their honeymoon (a Caribbean cruise); and we crave forgiveness from Australia House which was plagued by inquiries as to the true location of Neighbours' Ramsey Street (it is Pin Oak Court in Melbourne).

After a marathon marking session, we were left with three entries that were most nearly correct but each with one missing answer. Our interest was aroused by the fact that each had the same answer missing (National Airlines) - and two of the three were sent from Exeter: a job for Inspector Morse.

After close questioning, Colin Barrington of Exeter coughed: he and his wife Ann were in league with the sender of the second entry, Australian Judy A'Hearn - whose boyfriend, Roger Coote, was the sender of the third.

Mr Barrington, a part-time teacher of English and drama, says they spent 'hours and hours' seeking answers in book shops and libraries. 'We are avid readers of the Saturday travel section, so straightaway we knew the answer to the Paul Simon question about Widnes railway station being where he wrote 'Homeward Bound' - we remembered it from the marvellous Rock Holidays series.' 'At the end of it all, we were punch drunk,' he said. Judy A'Hearn, who works for the Halifax Building Society, said they had all 'had a ball' answering the quiz. We decided that all four of them should share the prize, which is a weekend break with Virgin Holidays to New York, flying by award-winning and libel-case-winning Virgin Atlantic, with three nights' accommodation at the Radisson Empire hotel.

The 10 runners-up, who will each win a signed copy of the Independent Guide to Good Holidays (which will be available on 28 January from all good bookshops), are: Barrie MacDonald, London N6; Graeme Duckworth, London W3; Julia Fleminger, Stevenage; Danny Nemeth, Shoreham-by-Sea; Anne-Marie Baker, London W4; Roy Turner, Stockport; Peter McKay, Brentwood; Vicky Bird, New Malden; Andrew Charters, Manchester; Annette Abbott, Bungay. Congratulations to everybody who took part.

Primary School Musical Bumps

1. The Beatles on BOAC

2. Minneapolis

3. Milan

4. Status Quo

5. 'Airport'

6. 'Get Here' by Oleta Adams

7. 'I'm Mandy, fly me' by 10cc; National Airlines

8. 'Hotel California'

9. 'Y Viva Espana'

10. The Sex Pistols

11(a) New Jersey Turnpike (b) Widnes railway station (c) New York

12(a) Tulsa (b) Georgia (c) Georgia (d) New York City (e) Memphis, Tennessee (f) Albuquerque

Second Form Geography Test

1. Asuncion

2. Copper

3. Christianity

4. London Heathrow

5. Danube

6. Kilimanjaro

7. 70.7 per cent

8. Iceland

9. Belgium

10. Paraguay

GCSE level

1. United Arab Emirates

2. Egypt and Syria

3. Zanzibar

4(a) Malaria (b) Jet lag (c) Hepatitis

5. Australia

6(a) Edinburgh (b) Key West, Florida (c) St Petersburg, Russia

7(a) Orkney (b) Cuba

8(a) Birkenhead Park (b) Tate (c) Hope Street

9(a) Hope, Arkansas (b) Houston (c) Texarkana, between Arkansas and Texas

10. Vancouver, Vienna, Vladivostock

11. Kampala, Kisangani, Kaliningrad

12(a) Victoria Station, London (b) Victoria, British Columbia (c) Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

13(a) Dan-Air (b) Pan Am (c) Land Travel

14(a) Great Uncle Bulgaria (b) Tomsk (c) Orinoco

15(a) Colombia (b) Malaga; it has the code AGP from its ancient Roman name, Agrippina

A-level media studies

1. Cornwall

2. Melbourne (also Sydney)

3. On a Caribbean cruise

4. Pin Oak Court

5. Carnforth; Cecil Parkinson

6. Shaftesbury

7. Salisbury

8. The Big Wheel in Vienna's Prater fairground; The Third Man

9(a) Anne of Green Gables (b) Wuthering Heights

10. Casablanca

11. Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood's Llaregyb (roughly 'bugger all' spelt backwards)

12. Cadogan Hotel

13. John Betjeman, 'Back from Australia'

14. Antoine Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince

15. Bertrand Russell

Degree level

1. Pay a fare

2. The Blackpool tram

3. Yes - it is 2.45am 4(a) Guernsey (b) Leeds Castle, Kent (c) Bradford

5(a), (b), (c) Atlanta, Georgia

6. Glasgow, Dublin and Madrid

7(a) Venice (b) New York (c) Paris (d) Rome (e) Toronto (f) Jakarta (g) Sydney

8. Norwich

9. Bosflot

10. San Francisco

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