Diary: From archbishop to St Michael

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The Independent Online
ANSWERS

1 A Mormon missionary. 2 Baroness Thatcher. 3 Germaine Greer. 4 Salman Rushdie. 5 Official on Docklands Light Railway. 6 Sir Richard Body.

7 Mike Lawrence, head of news, LBC. 8 BBC World Service Television. 9 Tim Congdon, one of the Treasury's 'seven wise men'. 10 British Rail. 11 British Rail. 12 John Patten. 13 Jenny Abramsky.

14 Kenneth Clarke. 15 Surbiton. 16 New College. 17 David Blunkett. 18 The Downing Street Years. 19 Norman Lamont. 20 Paul Newall, Lord Mayor of London. 21 Virginia Bottomley. 22 London School of Economics. 23 Kenneth Clarke and John Patten. 24 John Prescott. 25 Robin Cook. 26 The Times. 27 Virginia Bottomley.

OVER the past 12 months the Diary has chronicled the sayings and doings of the rich, the poor, the famous and not so famous. Some may not wish to be reminded of them (particularly a female cabinet minister who enjoys solitary shopping, not to give too much away) and should look away now. For everyone else, here is a seasonal quiz.

Who said, or wrote, the following?

1. 'What church would that be, then?' (on being told by Lady Runcie that her husband had been Archbishop of Canterbury).

2. 'Good heavens] Not now' (misinterpreting an encouraging 'piece of cake' from an adviser before making a speech).

3. 'Look me up in Who's Who' (to a young man who told her: 'I don't know anything about you, dear. What do you do?').

4. 'You can dream a little/you can dream a lot/but the best dreams of all/are the ones you got/building in the Burnley' (lyric for building society advertisement).

5. 'They are not passengers, they are tourists.'

6. 'Until I started writing Muckspreader, nobody would believe what I was saying about the fiddles in agriculture. I was dismissed as barmy even then.'

It was a year of many howlers. Who was responsible for these?

7. Telling his journalists to check their facts, and then telling a radio audience that he had found Michael Jackson when all he had seen was a lookalike of the singer.

8. Missing the White House handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat because of a commercial break.

9. Investing in the LA Fitness Club before the Princess of Wales was secretly photographed in a leotard.

10. Captioning photographs of Oxford colleges in which Keble appeared as Keeble, Magdalen as Magdalene, and Christ Church as Christchurch College (the perpetrator was based in York).

11. Attributing the Wordsworthian lines 'A sight so touching in it's (sic) majesty' to Tennyson in 60,000 promotional leaflets.

12. Describing himself, in the foreword to a book on state schools, as 'commited' to more openness and accountability in education, adding that exam results and truancy rates would become 'publically' available.

13. Described herself as a football fan, then failed to recognise George Best and Terry Venables.

As well as the solecisms and cockups, we had the bizarre, the ironic, the anarchic, the anachronistic, the frivolous and the downright daft. Here is a sample.

14. Which British politician matches this description given by a French hotelier after the politician booked a room at his hotel: 'Big eyes, jolly, casual manner, a bit scruffy.'

15. Which English town prompted a Portuguese translator to ask: 'Could you please tell us if this is the name of anything that really exists?'

16. Which Oxford college decided to change the name of its junior common room from the Nelson Mandela Room to the Joanna Lumley Room?

17. Which Labour frontbencher campaigned against 'hi' as a form of greeting, preferring the more solid and meaningful 'hello'?

18. Which book was sandwiched between Bette Davis's biography, More Than A Woman, and Tolkien's Dragons and Monsters at Dillons, Chichester and was placed in the 'True Crimes' section at W H Smith, Waterloo station?

19. Which senior politician failed to turn up to a farewell dinner hosted by John Major for the former governor of the Bank of England, Lord Kingsdown, formerly Robin Leigh-Pemberton?

20. Who failed to receive the knighthood traditionally offered to the holder of this post?

21. Which cabinet minister resolved to follow Baroness Thatcher's example and include name of mother in next year's Who's Who entry?

22. Which educational establishment was given the following cost-cutting advice: 'Lick plates between courses. Don't wash up slightly soiled crockery and cutlery, re-use.'?

23. Which cabinet minister appeared not to want which other cabinet minister to sit opposite him on the train to their conference in Blackpool?

24. Which Labour frontbencher thought he was being stopped for speeding on the M1, only to be told: 'We just wanted to tell you your boot was open'?

25. Which Labour frontbencher protested about the editing of his newspaper racing column, which resulted in one tip being misnamed as a horse that 'trailed in a convincing last' and another being omitted altogether, one 'which, damnably, was the only tip to win on Saturday'?

26. Journalists from which newspaper had a punch-up on a bus during their Christmas revelries?

27. Which cabinet minister (she can look away again) asked Marks & Spencer to open its Oxford Street store for her alone?

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