Christopher Howse

Christmas Quiz | 10 December 2015

Set by Christopher Howse. Illustrated by Castro

Christmas Quiz | 10 December 2015
Text settings

On the record

In 2015, who said:

1. We must get the cow off the ice.

2. It’s decision time — that’s what pumps me up.

3. Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.

4. Let us build a kinder politics, a more caring society together.

5. Only a mad person or someone in a dream could think that Russia could one day attack Nato.

6. I find it hard to apologise for removing Saddam.

7. We must not pretend to know what we do not know.

8. Am I tough enough? Hell, yes.

9. If these exit polls are right, I’ll publicly eat my hat.

10. One can have a mental brain fade.

Animal magic

In 2015:

1. Reg Foggerdy, aged 62, lost for six days in the Australian outback while pursuing a camel, survived without water by eating which little creatures?

2. Anthony Ujah, when still playing for Cologne, apologised to the club’s mascot, Hennes, after grabbing it while celebrating a goal. What kind of animal was it?

3. Scientists in Norway blamed what mammals, in place of black rats, for spreading bubonic plague to medieval Europe?

4. In which county for several weeks did more than 300,000 households have to boil water lest it convey the parasitic protozoan cryptosporidium?

5. Dennis, a dog from Ohio, after being put on a diet by a new owner, managed to lose 44lb of his weight of 56lb, built up by eating hamburgers. What breed was he?

6. Asger Juhl, a radio presenter in Denmark, was criticised for killing a creature named Alan live on air by hitting it with a bicycle pump. What sort of animal was Alan?

7. A dog that won Britain’s Got Talent was found to have been substituted by another dog during a tightrope-walking display in the finals. After which artist was he named?

8. A species, Hypsosinga heri, not seen since 1912 and assumed extinct, was found in Dorset. What kind of animal was it?

9. The Turkish government underwrote insurance for beekeepers against depredations by what marauding creatures?

10. Sun rays shining through an empty jar of which popular spread were blamed by firemen for a first-floor fire in Twickenham that killed a Jack Russell called Chilli?

The coolest royal?

Right royal

1. In January, which Commonwealth country announced a knighthood for the Duke of Edinburgh, who was already a Knight of the Garter, a Knight of the Thistle and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire?

2. In March, Leicester cathedral received the bones of which king?

3. What name was given to the daughter born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, weighing 8lbs 3oz and becoming fourth in line to the throne?

4. A new biography revealed that which member of the royal family does not like overheated rooms?

5. What name did the Queen give a 3,600-passenger P&O ship when breaking a bottle of Sussex wine on her bows?

6. From whose farm in Gloucestershire was a two-hundredweight carved wooden carrot stolen at Halloween?

7. In which country did the Duchess of Cornwall wave an eight-inch knife at the Prince of Wales and say: ‘Behave yourself’?

8. In November, which Commonwealth country took down the portrait of the Queen in the lobby of its Department of Foreign Affairs?

9. From which country did the sculptor come who made a 44lb porcelain bust of the Queen which one art critic said has ‘ended up looking a bit like Tom Hanks’?

10. The Queen opened the Borders railway (on a route closed in 1969) on the November day that she surpassed whom?

A pop music quiz


In 2015:

1. If Jeremy Corbyn was 422,664, who was 18,857?

2. A new pound coin was unveiled, for use from 2017. How many sides does it have?

3. In the United Kingdom, what increased to 64,596,800?

4. A nude by whom sold for $170,405,000?

5. Looking out for which person was said to have cost the Metropolitan Police £12.6 million since 2012?

6. Which African country set about destroying 11 million illegally imported chicken eggs?

7. Which party’s candidates received 3,881,129 votes in the general election and won one seat?

8. Which BBC comedy pop music quiz was ended after 18 years?

9. With 1.97 million acres of vines, which country overtook France to become the country with the largest area of vineyards after Spain’s 2.52 million acres?

10. In which country did a magnetic levitation train reach a speed of 374mph?

Jobs creation scheme

At the pictures

1. In which animated film did Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust vie for the control of the mind of an 11-year-old girl?

2. Who played Riggan Thomson, a character who had played Birdman?

3. What Olympic sport was Foxcatcher about?

4. What kind of jazz instrumentalist was Whiplash about?

5. ‘What a frantically dull spectacle this vanity project is,’ said the New York Times in January of a film starring Johnny Depp. What was it called?

6. In 2013 a biopic about Steve Jobs was released called Jobs. What was the name of a biopic about Steve Jobs released in 2015?

7. What film told the story of Philippe -Petit’s tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center, which had been recounted in 2008 in the documentary Man on Wire?

8. Name the Peter Pan prequel widely panned by the critics.

9. In what interplanetary fiction was Channing Tatum half man, half dog, Mila Kunis a cleaning lady, and Eddie Redmayne a business mogul with headquarters in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot?

10. Which film set in a borough of New York was largely shot in Montreal?

Tiring of blind man’s buff/em>


Match these writers to the Christmassy quotations below:

Thomas Hood; Kenneth Grahame; Charles Dickens; W.S. Gilbert; John Evelyn; Robert Browning; Thomas Tusser; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; John Masefield; Max Beerbohm.

1. With trembling fingers did we weave

The holly round the Christmas hearth;

A rainy cloud possess’d the earth,

And sadly fell our Christmas-eve.

2. When they all tired of blind-man’s buff, there was a great game at snap-dragon, and when fingers enough were burned with that, and all the raisins were gone, they sat down by the huge fire of blazing logs to a substantial supper, and a mighty bowl of wassail, something smaller than an ordinary wash-house copper, in which the hot apples were hissing and bubbling with a rich look, and a jolly sound, that were perfectly irresistible.

3. At Christmas we banket, the rich with the poore.

Who then (but the miser) but openeth his doore?

At Christmas of Christ many Carols we sing,

And give many gifts in the joy of that King.

4. With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, ‘Now then, one, two, three!’ and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost.

5. These were men of high flight and above ordinances, and spake spiteful things of our Lord’s Nativity… As we went up to receive the Sacrament the miscreants held their muskets against us as if they would have shot us at the altar.

6. I very soon had enough of it.

The hot smell and the human noises,

And my neighbour’s coat, the greasy cuff of it,

Were a pebble-stone that a child’s hand poises,

Compared with the pig-of-lead-like pressure

Of the preaching man’s immense stupidity,

As he poured his doctrine forth, full measure,

To meet his audience’s avidity.

7. Then we let off paper crackers, each of which contained a motto,

And she listened while I read them, till her mother told her not to.

8. Treated like a welcome guest,

One of Nature’s social chain,

Seated, tended on, and press’d —

But when shall I be press’d again,

Twice to pudding, thrice to beef,

A dozen times to ale and beer?

9. Judlip’s voice clove the silence. ‘Wot are yer doin’ hup there?’ The person addressed came to the edge of the parapet. I saw then that he had a hoary white beard, a red ulster with the hood up, and what looked like a sack over his shoulder. He said something or other in a voice like a concertina that has been left out in the rain. ‘I dessay,’ answered my friend. ‘Just you come down, an’ we’ll see about that.’

10. The carved heads on the church looked down

On ‘Russell, Blacksmith of this Town’,

And all the graves of all the ghosts

Who rise on Christmas Eve in hosts

To dance and carol in festivity

For joy of Jesus Christ’s Nativity

(Bell-ringer Dawe and his two sons

Beheld ’em from the bell-tower once).

For the answers click here