Christmas Quiz Questions

Gay giraffes and dead in ditches: The Spectator 2019 quiz

21 December 2019

9:00 AM

21 December 2019

9:00 AM

They said it

In 2019, who said:
1. ‘You have stolen my dreams and my childhood.’
2. ‘I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at.’
3. ‘Ninety per cent of giraffes are gay.’
4. ‘I have been wondering what the special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.’
5. ‘No clapping.’
6. ‘I’d rather be dead in a ditch.’
7. ‘Anyone who attempts to split any region from China will perish, with their bodies smashed and bones ground to powder.’
8. ‘I for one prefer the tried-and-tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view.’
9. ‘If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!).’
10. ‘Gove and Johnson knifed each other in an unintended suicide pact. Which left just Andrea Leadsom — who? — Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May in the running. And then Andrea Leadsom knifed herself in a private suicide pact and Theresa May inherited the prime ministership without anybody ever casting a single vote for anything.’

Crown me!

In 2019:
1. Angela Kelly, a dresser to the Queen, revealed that what kind of trim had been removed from the royal wardrobe?
2. Which royal couple met King Goodwill of the Zulus and one of his wives at an agricultural show at Llanelwedd, Radnorshire?
3. In October, the Queen wore the George IV diadem at the State Opening of Parliament instead of what?
4. The Duchess of Sussex gave birth to a boy weighing 7lb 3oz, the seventh in line to the throne. What is his name?
5. Whose canonisation did the Prince of Wales fly to Rome to witness?
6. Who said: ‘I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission’?
7. Who won an Oscar for Best Actress for playing Queen Anne?
8. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall made the first royal visit to which republic that is ‘guided by the ideology of José Martí, and the sociopolitical ideas of Marx, Engels, and Lenin’?
9. Transaid is a charity that seeks to solve transport problems in economically developing countries. Which royal patron attended its 20th anniversary celebration at Mail Rail — the 100-year-old Post Office underground railway?
10. In the Maundy money that the Queen gave to 93 men and 93 women, there was a £5 coin minted to mark the 200th anniversary of whose birth?


In 2019:
1. Which American singer withdrew a range of black shoes with blue eyes painted on them after some people angrily said they reminded them of blackface make-up?
2. A television advertisement for which brand of cheese was banned for containing ‘harmful gender stereotypes’?
3. A zoo in which capital city took away an egg from its only female king penguin, which was not looking after it properly, and gave it to a homosexual pair of penguins, 4. Skipper and Ping, to care for?
4. Which armed service is for the first time to allow recruits to wear beards?
5. Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of which capital city in the Americas, said that in schools from now on: ‘Boys can wear skirts if they want and girls can wear trousers if they want’?

6. Who, as housing secretary this year, was criticised by some for having four ovens in his kitchen?
7. Who is to feature on the reverse of the new plastic £50 note to be issued in 2021?
8. The leader of which political party had a £5.25 Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake thrown all over him as he walked about in Newcastle?
9. Which head of government apologised for blacking up on several occasions, saying, ‘I have to recognise that I let a lot of people down’?
10. Mattel put on sale a fashion doll of which brand, intended to resemble Rosa Parks?

Animal magic

In 2019:
1. Chinese breeders paid £1 million for a four-year-old Belgian bird called Armando. What kind of bird?
2. A 15-week-old Jack Russell-cross moved into 10 Downing Street. What was his name?
3. Which received more votes in the European Union elections, the Women’s Equality party or the Animal Welfare party?
4. A man was fined £8,800 after being caught smuggling 4,788 live animals from Russia to Canada in his hand-luggage. What were they?
5. The Indian army tweeted photographs of footprints of what creature in the snow?

6. Eighteen Scottish pine martens were released in which English forest?
7. What species of cetacean did Norwegian fishermen release from the harness it was wearing, which bore the words: ‘Equipment of St Petersburg’?
8. Orange slugs six inches long, of the species Arion vulgaris, alarmed Muscovites by appearing in large numbers. In which peninsula did they originate?
9. Firemen in Louvain battled against a plague of processionary caterpillars associated with which species of tree?
10. Bridget McKenzie, the Australian agriculture minister, called it potentially the worst animal health disease the world had seen. What farm animals were affected?

Good innings

From 2019, name:
1. The Chinese-American architect who designed the pyramid at the Louvre, and died aged 102.
2. The American novelist who wrote The Caine Mutiny, and died aged 103.
3. The drummer of Cream, who died aged 80.
4. The star of Calamity Jane (1953), who died aged 97.
5. The author of the The Tiger Who Came to Tea, who died aged 95.
6. The director of the film Romeo and Juliet (1968), who died aged 96.
7. The President of Zimbabwe from 1987 to 2017, who died aged 95.
8. The entrepreneur whose enterprise selling cheap washing machines collapsed in 1964, who died aged 87.
9. The political secretary to Harold Wilson, who died aged 86.
10. The politician and journalist who died aged 86 and had asked Margaret Thatcher in a television interview in 1989: ‘You come over as being someone who one of your backbenchers said is slightly off her trolley, authoritarian, domineering, refusing to listen to anybody else — why?’


In 2019:
1. Two Rembrandts were found in shrubbery after a thief had stolen them from which London gallery?
2. In Downton Abbey, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (born 1842) says: ‘Machiavelli is frequently underrated. He had many qualities.’ Who plays her?
3. Of which Spanish painter (born in 1863) exhibited at the National Gallery had the French critic Henri Rochefort said: ‘I do not know any brush that contains as much sun’?
4. What film did Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian call: ‘An Old Testament parable catapulted forward into the 23rd century, a primal scene in a pressurised cabin of sci-fi pessimism, suppressed horror and denied panic’?
5. The Royal Academy issued a warning at an exhibition of work by which sculptor: ‘If you are sensitive to enclosed spaces, one of the works may not be suitable for you to enter’?

6. Tom Hanks voiced Woody in the fourth of what series of films?
7. A treatise attributed to which Elizabethan miniaturist (whose work was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery) was published in print as The Arte of Limning in 1981?
8. Name the Martin Scorsese film in which Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran recalls the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa in 1975.
9. Whose Op Art black and white painting ‘Movement in Squares’, 1961, was on show at the Hayward in an exhibition devoted to her career?
10. Who won the Oscar for Best Actor?

Father and their fathers

Match these novels to the sentences that begin them: The Old Curiosity Shop; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Home; Roderick Random; Kidnapped; The Hole in the Wall; The Way of All Flesh; The Prime Minister; Japhet, in Search of a Father; The Wings of the Dove.

1. These two very old people are the father and mother of Mr Bucket.
2. My grandfather was a publican — and a sinner, as you will see.
3. ‘Home to stay, glory! Yes!’ her father said and her heart sank.
4. I was born in the northern part of this united kingdom, in the house of my grandfather, a gentleman of considerable fortune and influence, who had on many occasions signalised himself in behalf of his country; and was remarkable for his abilities in the law, which he exercised with great success in the station of a judge, particularly against beggars, for whom he had a singular aversion.
5. Although I am an old man, night is generally my time for walking.

6. It is certainly of service to a man to know who were his grandfathers and who were his grandmothers if he entertain an ambition to move in the upper circles of society, and also of service to be able to speak of them as of persons who were themselves somebodies in their time.
7. Those who may be pleased to honour these pages with a perusal, will not be detained with a long introductory history of my birth, parentage, and education.
8. I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father’s house.
9. When I was a small boy at the beginning of the century I remember an old man who wore knee-breeches and worsted stockings, and who used to hobble about the street of our village with the help of a stick.
10. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him.

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