1. Police discovered thousands of what kind of plant growing in a disused nuclear bunker in Wiltshire?
2. Cuban exiles complained about an Irish postage stamp commemorating whom?
3. Which supermarket chain apologised for an advertisement before Easter that said: ‘Great offers on beer and cider. Good Friday just got better’?
4. Upon opening its first store on the Isle of Wight, which supermarket chain put on sale 10,000 commemorative shopping bags bearing the legend ‘Isle of White’?
5. Cinemas in Kuwait were prohibited from screening which Disney live-action film because a character was depicted as gay?
6. Scientists detected chemical signs of 8,000-year-old wine, the oldest yet found, in pottery in which Black Sea country?
7. A police sniper accidentally shot a waiter and a railwayman in the leg during a speech by the head of state of which European country?
8. Which country issued an appeal for New Year restraint: ‘Let us enthusiastically take action by not setting off, or setting off fewer, fireworks.’
9. Which European politician tweeted: ‘It was Hitchcock who directed Brexit: first an earthquake and the tension rises.’
10. Which television presenter said it was ‘disgusting’ to keep a washing machine in the kitchen?
In 2017, who said:
1. ‘I have to confess, when me and my friend, sort of, used to run through the fields of wheat.’
2. ‘I definitely do the bins. I do the traditional boy jobs, by and large.’
3. ‘I know where you can put them to warm them up.’
4. ‘Do you want to have a handshake?’
5. ‘Rocket man is on a suicide mission.’
6. ‘I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations.’
7. ‘If I was sitting in Brussels and I was looking at you as the person I had to negotiate with, I’d think, she’s a blowhard who collapses at the first sign of gunfire.’
8. ‘Theresa May is a dead woman walking.’
9. ‘I would like to see some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly,’
10. ‘I regard Corbyn as a disaster.’ [In an artificial American accent.] ‘I think he should step down for the sake of the party.’
Happy and glorious
1. Who told Vanity Fair that she and Prince Harry were ‘two people who are really happy and in love’?
2. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were photographed at Windsor in front of portraits by Gainsborough of George III and Queen Charlotte (who were married for 57 years) to mark what wedding anniversary of their own?
3. During which king’s state visit did the Queen make a speech at Buckingham Palace reminding him that ‘Your great-grand-father, King Alfonso the 13th, met his future wife, Princess Victoria Eugenie, the grand-daughter of our Queen Victoria, in this very ballroom.’
4. What was unusual about the New Guard mounting guard at Buckingham Palace on 26 November?
5. In September the Prince of Wales had held his title for 59 years, one month and 15 days. Whom did he thus outdo?
6. What title did the Duchess of Cornwall use when she named HMS Prince of Wales, the aircraft carrier, at Rosyth in September?
7. Which country had given the Queen the cultured pearls that make up the four-strand choker that the Duchess of Cambridge borrowed for the Queen’s wedding anniversary dinner in November?
8. The heir to which Scandinavian throne was refused service at a bar in Brisbane because he didn’t have his driving licence with him?
9. Which member of the royal family told the Daily Telegraph: ‘I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions’?
10. At which school did Prince George of Cambridge spend his first day, when the Prince of Wales remarked sympathetically: ‘Poor old thing. He’s been left there to have to get on with it, when the parents go away. That’s the problem. It’s good for you in the end, I suppose. It’s character building, I suppose.’
Match one of these years with each trio of events below: 1984, 1966, 2001, 1953, 2013, 1963, 1956, 1976, 1997, 1988
1. The Queen launched the Royal Yacht Britannia; Tony Blair was born; Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
2. Labour won the election with Harold Wilson as Prime Minister; Evelyn Waugh died; Ian Paisley Jr was born.
3. Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ reached No. 1; more than ten million sheep and cattle were killed in an outbreak of foot and mouth disease; John Prescott punched a man who threw an egg at him.
4. Denis Howell was appointed Minister for Drought; Concorde made its first commercial flight; Brotherhood of Man won the Eurovision Song Contest for Britain with ‘Save Your Kisses for Me’.
5. The Suez debacle took place; Devon Loch collapsed 40 yards from the finish at the Grand National; Justin Welby, the future Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.
6. The Queen opened the Thames Barrier; WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead during a siege at the Libyan embassy; ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ reached No. 1.
7. China assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong; Mother Teresa and Jeffrey Bernard died; Teletubbies was first shown on television.
8. Prince George of Cambridge was born; Lady Thatcher died; same-sex marriage was legalised.
9. The Beatles released their first LP, Please Please Me; Sir Alec Douglas-Home became Prime Minister; President Charles de Gaulle said ‘Non’ to British membership of the European Economic Community.
10. The Bank of England pound note was withdrawn; Edwina Currie, the Health Minister said: ‘Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella’; Nigel Lawson cut the standard rate of income tax to 25p.
For art’s sake
1. A painting, ‘Salvator Mundi’, was sold this year for $450 million at Christie’s in New York. To whom was it attributed?
2. A picture, ‘Untitled’, depicting a skull, painted in 1982, was sold this year for $110.5 million at Sotheby’s. Who was its painter?
3. A €600 million outpost of the Louvre was built in which Middle Eastern city?
4. Of which painter’s house in Cheyne Walk (as noted by the National Gallery’s exhibition this year, Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites) did the artist Treffry Dunn remark: ‘Mirrors of all shapes, sizes and designs lined the wall, so that whichever way I gazed I saw myself looking at myself.’
5. What coloured geometric form painted by Kazimir Malevich figured in the National Gallery exhibition Monochrome in 2017?
6. This year at BBC Broadcasting House a bronze statue by Martin Jennings, the sculptor responsible for the statue of John Betjeman at St Pancras station, was unveiled. Who does it represent?
7. A bronze cast was made in 2017 from the original plaster model of the equestrian statue ‘Physical Energy’, first cast in 1902, and exhibited in the courtyard of the Royal Academy. Who was the sculptor?
8. This year the National Portrait Gallery held an exhibition called Absent Friends by a largely abstract English painter who died in March. Who was he?
9. Dulwich Picture Gallery held an exhibition this year of paintings by Virginia Woolf’s elder sister. Who was she?
10. The Pallant House Gallery in Chichester held an exhibition for the centenary of the birth of a painter who also designed covers for books, including The Spanish Temper by V.S. Pritchett and A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David. Who was he?
Christmas fact and fiction
Match these authors to the pieces below.Charles Dickens; Samuel Pepys: George Eliot; Nora, Lady Wigram; John Masefield; A.W.N. Pugin; Gerard Manley Hopkins; Anthony Trollope; A.E. Housman; Christopher Smart:
1. On the Christmas morning Mr Kennedy asked his brother-in-law to go to church. ‘It’s a kind of thing I never do,’ said Lord Chiltern. Mr Kennedy gave a little start, and looked a look of horror. Lady Laura showed that she was unhappy. Violet Effingham turned away her face, and smiled.
2. We had 2d vespers at 3, and then began the festivities at the house, much as I am opposed to the heartless parties of modern society I have a great deal of old English hospitality especially at this holy & joyful season — and I can assure you St Augustins never was so gay before. I had three tables in the dining room 2 filled by children of whom I had 16.
3. But when the snows at Christmas
On Bredon top were strown,
My love rose up so early
And stole out unbeknown
And went to church alone.
4. After dinner the four princes and the Duchess sang music hall songs in a low tone. The King, at the far end of the room, could not hear the words and said: ‘Listen to those children of mine — rather delightful with their Christmas carols.’
5. 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.
6. A neighbouring lake or llyn has been a sheet of very glassy ice and given very good skating, but I have let the opportunity slip. Now a thaw has set in. Yesterday I bathed in St Winefred’s Well, which, as it is always at the same temperature, was lukewarm and smoked in the frosty air.
7. This evening Mr Gauden sent me, against Christmas, a great chine of beef and three dozen of tongues. I did give 5s to the man that brought it and half-crown to the porters. This day also, the parish clerk brought the general bill of mortality, which cost me half-a-crown more.
8. Spinks and ouzles sing sublimely,
‘We too have a Saviour born;’
Whiter blossoms burst untimely
On the blest Mosaic thorn.
9. In the morning he looked out on the black frost that seemed to press cruelly on every blade of grass, while the half-icy red pool shivered under the bitter wind; but towards evening the snow began to fall, and curtained from him even that dreary outlook, shutting him close up with his narrow grief.
10. Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!
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