1. Miscellaneous

    Mark Mason

    Answers to The Spectator Diary 2022 Quiz

    Answers to The Spectator Diary 2022 Quiz
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    1. Since 1924, ‘Swifter, Higher, Stronger’ has been the motto of which international organisation? – The International Olympic Committee
    2. On the day Prince Philip died, the historian Guy Walters tweeted: ‘If anybody else on this planet has met both Winston Churchill and Tom Cruise, apart from the Queen, then I’ll eat my hat.’ He received replies nominating several possible contenders. But only one was shown to have definitely met both Churchill and Cruise. The British man was — at the time of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death — 88 years old. The proof consisted of a photo of him with Cruise at the 2000 Academy Awards ceremony, and the following quote: ‘I was in a youth club when I was a boy and I was the head of a little drama group. I was about 14, and Winston Churchill was one of our patrons and used to come every year and have tea with us. I had tea with him about three times. He was lovely and very funny, and very nice to us.’ Who was that man? – Michael Caine
    3. Which British politician, appearing on Desert Island Discs in October 2010 (when he was leader of one of the three main British political parties), chose as his luxury ‘a stash of cigarettes’? – Nick Clegg
    4. A ‘knobbly monster’ is newspaper slang for that tricky second reference to something whose proper name you’ve already used. (The term comes from a Sun story in which a crocodile was described as ‘the knobbly monster’.) For what were these the knobbly monsters? a) ‘The divisive paste’ – Marmite b) ‘The trouser-bursting tablets’ – Viagra c) ‘The monochrome plague spreaders’ – Badgers
    5. The name of which US state ends with three vowels? – Hawaii
    6. In October 2020, a small town in the Canadian province of Quebec voted to change its name to Val-des-Sources (‘Valley of the Springs’). The old name was that of a mineral, the world’s largest open-pit mine, which was sited near the town. In recent decades the mineral’s reputation has suffered greatly. Which mineral? – Asbestos
    7. The fictional character Alistair Leslie Graham first appeared in a TV programme in 1998. How is he more popularly known? – Ali G
    8. Who is the only woman ever to both pose in Playboy and win an Academy Award? – Kim Basinger. She won Best Supporting Actress for LA Confidential
    9. Only one English city has a name with all its letters in the first half of the alphabet. And only one has a name with all its letters in the second half of the alphabet. Which cities? – Lichfield, Truro
    10. Elvis Presley disliked being called ‘the King’, because he felt the title belonged to someone else. Who? – Jesus Christ
    11. On 11 September 1978, Janet Parker of Birmingham was the last person in the world to die of which disease? – Smallpox. The last naturally occurring death had been in 1977. Parker worked at the University of Birmingham Medical School, which was growing the virus for research purposes. All known stocks of smallpox worldwide were subsequently destroyed or transferred to two WHO-designated reference laboratories
    12. Who became the youngest ever female cabinet minister (a record she still holds) when she was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Skills on December 2004, at the age of 36? – Ruth Kelly