Christmas Quiz 2020: Answers

Answers to the 2020 Christmas Quiz below. Feel free to report your scores in the comments if you wish!

Round 1: Link Round (10 points)

A nice gentle start this year with the below link round 

  1. Which artist drew the cartoons which appear in the opening credits of the sitcoms Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister?
    A: Gerald Scarfe
  2. Which character from literature was based on William Henley, a man described by Lloyd Osbourne as “a great, glowing, massive-shouldered fellow with a big red beard and a crutch; jovial, astoundingly clever, and with a laugh that rolled like music; he had an unimaginable fire and vitality; he swept one off one’s feet”?
    A: Long John Silver
  3. Which jazz musician was nicknamed “Bird”?
    A: Charlie Parker
  4. In Greek mythology, King Pellas ordered Jason and the Argonauts to acquire what item?
    A: Golden Fleece
  5. During which battle did the Charge of the Light Brigade take place?
    A: Balaklava
  6. And which member of the nobility led that charge?
    A: Lord Cardigan
  7. What was the nickname of English gangster Jack McVitie, murdered by Reggie Kray in 1967?
    A: The Hat
  8. What is the name of the award given to the goalkeeper in a Premier League season who has kept the most clean sheets?
    A: Golden Glove
  9. Which British sitcom, which ran from 1976 to 1971, was set in the close of the fictional St. Ogg’s Cathedral?
    A: All Gas and Gaiters
  10. Why would you be grateful for all or part of all of the above answers around this time of year?
    A: All refer to items of warm clothing (Scarf, Long johns, Parka, Fleece, Balaclava, Cardigan, Hat, Glove, Gaiters)

Round 2: Combination link round (13 points)

The answers to all or part of each of the first five questions can be combined with all or part of one of the answers in the second five questions to form a word (creating five words in total). These five words are linked.

  1. What is the chemical symbol of the second lightest metal element?
    A: Be (Beryllium)
  2. What name is shared by a Berkshire village famous for its windmill on which J.R.R. Tolkien based the Middle Earth settlement of Bree, and a Cornish village in the parish of Constantine?
    A: Brill
  3. Who was the president of Malawi from 1964-1994?
    A: Hastings Banda
  4. In Star Wars, which crime lord employed the bounty hunter Boba Fett to capture Han Solo?
    A: Jabba the Hutt
  5. What is the abbreviation for the room where the VAR team sits in a game of professional football?
    A: VOR (Video Operation Room)
  6. In which 2000 film does Brad Pitt play the character “One Punch” Mickey O’Neill?
    A: Snatch
  7. Recipients of which prizes have their acceptance speeches interrupted by a small girl who says “Please stop, I’m bored” if they go on too long?
    A: IgNobel Prizes
  8. What was the actual name of the first dog to play Lassie in film?
    A: Pal
  9. What kitchen implement is known as a kuo in Chinese, a penggorengan in Indonesia and a kuali in Malaysia? Its common English name comes from the Cantonese word for the item.
    A: Wok
  10. The Harrison Ford film Witness is set within which specific American community?
    A: Amish
  11. What are the five words that can be created by combining all or part of the first five answers with all or part of the second five?
    A: Beamish, Brillig, Bandersnatch, Vorpal, Jabberwock
  12. What is the link between the words?
    A: All made up words found in Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
  13. Which two additional theme words are still in use today?
    A: Chortle and Galumph (both words which were invented in the poem Jabberwocky, but went on to become real words found in the dictionary)

Round 3: Link Round (13 points)

  1. Where do Watford play their home games?
    A: Vicarage Road
  2. In 1991, Status Quo had none, in 2003, Jay-Z stopped just short of a century, while in 1997 The Notorious B.I.G. drew a positive correlation with increasing wealth. What am I referring to?
    A: Problems
  3. In The Crystal Maze, there were four kinds of games. What was the second alphabetically?
    A: Mystery
  4. What kind of building was the only Ancient Wonder of the World in Alexandria?
    A: Library (Great Library of Alexandria)
  5. In the Japanese punishment known as yubitsume, what part of the body is the affected?
    A: Finger (it is the practice of cutting off part of a finger to atone for mistakes)
  6. What does the A stand for in the abbreviation “TBA”?
    A: Announced
  7. Noisy Nora and Angelina Ballerina are both what kind of animal?
    A: Mice
  8. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in a room named after which object?
    A: Mirrors (The Hall of Mirrors)
  9. In which East Sussex town, once famous for its smuggling activities, would you find the Ypres Tower, built to defend against French invasion in 1249?
    A: Rye
  10. Samuel Gruber is an antiques dealer with a shop on the Portobello road. With which fictional animal does he take elevenses everyday?
    A: Paddington
  11. Which fictional character links all of the above words?
    A: Miss Marple (the words are the final words in the first 9 Miss Marple novels/short story collections by Agatha Christie)
  12. What was that character’s first name?
    A: Jane
  13. Give any other word which could continue the theme above (6 possible answers)
    A: Side, Mystery, Hotel, Nemesis, Murder, Cases

Round 4: Link Round (12 points)

  1. Which author, best known for his works set in North American wildernesses, was also a war correspondent who managed to get arrested three times by the Japanese military while covering the Russo-Japanese war?
    A: Jack London
  2. Which choreographer is the only person to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony in the same year (1973)? The Oscar was for the film Cabaret, where he won Best Director.
    A: Bob Fosse
  3. Which Shropshire village, forming a civil parish with Uppington, has at its centre St. Andrew’s Church, a Grade 1 Listed Building dating back to Saxon times?
    A: Wroxeter
  4. Who is New Zealand’s current test match wicketkeeper? He currently holds the record for most Test dismissals by a New Zealand wicketkeeper, and is currently the only New Zealand wicketkeeper to have scored a test double century.
    A: B.J. Watling
  5. In The Remorseful Day, the last episode of Inspector Morse, in which Oxford college does Morse die?
    A: Exeter
  6. What is the name of Gibraltar’s leading football team, 24-time winners of the Gibraltar National League? In 2014 they became the first team to represent the territory in the Champions League.
    A: Lincoln Red Imps
  7.  What name is commonly given to the stoat when in its white winter coat?
    A: Ermine
  8. What title is generally given to the second son of English monarchs?
    A: Duke of York
  9. What is the state capital of Delaware?
    A: Dover
  10. How do 3 of the above answers link the other 6?
    A: 3 answers refer to Roman Roads in Britain (Ermine St, Watling St, Fosse Way), the other answers are the towns linked by those roads (London to York, Ermine Street, Exeter to Lincoln, Fosse Way, Dover to Wroxeter, Watling Street)
  11. Fill in the blanks in the below diagram with the link words (diagram not to scale) (2 points)
    A: As below

Round 5: Link round (12 points)

  1. By what nickname was Francois Duvalier, President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971, commonly known?
    A: Papa Doc
  2. Which US Republican presidential nomination candidate in 2008 and 2016 has a daughter who served as Donald Trump’s White House Press Secretary from 2017 to 2019?
    A: Mike Huckabee
  3. Which architect is famous for designing many civic buildings in Brasilia when it was founded, and the United Nations headquarters in New York?
    A: Oscar Niemeyer
  4. What was the name the 1972 Genesis’ album which contained their longest ever track, the 23-minute epic “Supper’s Ready”?
    A: Foxtrot
  5. In which 1948 film does Humphrey Bogart appear as a desperate young man who goes to Mexico in search of gold? It was one of the first Hollywood films to be filmed on location outside of the United States.
    A: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  6. Which song, by which artist, contains the lyrics “The one you warned me about/ The one you said I could do without/ We’re in an awful mess”?
    A: Papa Don’t Preach, by Madonna
  7. What kind of radiation occurs when a helium nucleus is released by an atomic nucleus?
    A: Alpha
  8. Which country’s world heritage sites include The Sundarban National Park, Keoladeo National Park and the Red Fort complex?
    A: India
  9. Which song, by which band, starts with the lyrics “When I look into your eyes/I can see a love restrained/But darlin’ when I hold you/Don’t you know I feel the same”?
    A: November Rain, by Guns n’ Roses
  10. What is the link between all or part of the above 9 answers?
    A: All feature words in the NATO phonetic alphabet
  11. What question is posed by the link words in order?
    A: PM of Spain?
  12. What is the answer to that question? Please give your answer in the same style as the link words.
    A: Papa Echo Delta Romeo Oscar Sierra Alpha November Charlie Hotel Echo Zulu (Pedro Sanchez). Also have a point if you took “PM of Spain” to mean “Give the Spanish word for “afternoon”, in which case the answer would be Tango Alpha Romeo Delta Echo (Tarde)

Round 6: Link round (11 points)

  1. Which UK café chain was at the centre of an accounting fraud in summer 2019 which saw five people arrested after a 94 million pound hole was discovered in the accounts?
    A: Patisserie Valerie
  2. Which Liverpool band, championed by John Peel, achieved fame with the 1985 album Back in the D.H.S.S? Their hits often reference football, such as the overlooked classic All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit.
    A: Half-Man Half Biscuit
  3. Which 2004 film, directed by Matthew Vaughan, starred Daniel Craig as an unnamed cocaine dealer wishing to leave the drugs business?
    A: Layer Cake
  4. Sprinter Asuka Cambridge and judo expert Matthew Baker are Olympic medal winners from the 2016 Olympics. What nationality are they?
    A: Japanese
  5. Which 1980s classic song begins with the lyrics “We’re leavin’ together/ But it’s still farewell/ And maybe we’ll come back/ To Earth, who can tell”?
    A: The Final Countdown
  6. With what three word phrase did the Roman poet Juvenal characterize the Roman Empire’s way of placating the masses? (answer in English to fit with the link)
    A: Bread and Circuses (Panem et Circenses in Latin)
  7. By what name is the first Franco-Mexican war of 1838-39 War also known, after the profession of the Frenchman who demanded reparations for the looting of his shop, the initial cause of the conflict?
    A: The Pastry War
  8. Which part of a meal gets its name from a French verb meaning “to clear the table”?
    A: Dessert (from the verb “desservir”)
  9. Which English rock band from Brighton often had their name abbreviated to TEMBD?
    A: The Eighties Matchbox Beeline Disaster
  10. Which British soul band was formed by Errol Brown and Tony Wilson, and had their biggest hit in 1975 with “You Sexy Thing”, a song which later reached the charts again after it was used in The Full Monty?
    A: Hot Chocolate
  11. Where would you have found the above 10 answers in 2020?
    A: The Great British Bake Off – each answer is the name of a round in this week’s competition

Round 7: Picture round (11 points)

Each of the below rows of pictures has some kind of festive theme. Get the theme for 1 point. A black line around multiple pictures indicates that they refer to a single item.

  1. Final words in the first four lines of Clement Clarke Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”

2. Characters from “A Christmas Carol” (Marley, Tiny Tim, Fezziwig)

3. All forms of the word present (as in Christmas present) – saying “present” in a classroom, present as in making a presentation, present tense

4. Home Alone (Hoe and Sam Malone)

5. All items you might see on a snowman – carrot, coal, sticks (Jasper Carrott, Ashley Cole, River Styx)

6. All actors who have played Scrooge in Hollywood films (Jim Carrey, Michael Caine, Kelsey Grammar)

7. All insults thrown in the Christmas song “Fairytale of New York” (Bum, punk, maggot, faggot)

8. All characters in the Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Bailey, Potter, Clarence – George Bailey (main character), Mr Potter (bank manager), and Clarence Odbody (George Bailey’s guardian angel))

9. Characters in the Nativity (Gabriel (Byrne), Joseph (Stalin), Herod (Helium = He + Rod (Rod Stewart)), Casper (Schmeichel)

10. All sauces you might have with turkey – Gravy (Gray V), Bread, Cranberry (one of the Cranberries)

Round 8: Word pictures (14 points)

The twelve answers below all have the same number of letters. The twelve answers can also be formed into two symmetrical six pointed stars like the one below, with each word forming a “side” of the star.

  1. Which words precede “Husband” in the title of an 1895 play by Oscar Wilde?
    A: An Ideal
  2. New York’s Chrysler Building, for a short period in 1930 the tallest building in the world, is built in which architectural style?
    A: Art Deco
  3. What is the last word in the title of the first Sherlock Holmes novel?
    A: Scarlet
  4. What is the surname of the character played by Julie Walters in Acorn Antiques?
    A: Overall
  5. What name is given to the branch of physics which deals with the forces acting on stationary bodies?
    A: Statics
  6. What is the medical term for acute or chronic pain in the lower back?
    A: Lumbago
  7. The War of the Spanish Succession was ended in 1713 by a treaty named after which European city?
    A: Utrecht
  8. Of the four main islands of Japan, what is the smallest?
    A: Shikoku
  9. After which area of London is the decennial conference held by the bishops of the Anglican church named?
    A: Lambeth
  10. What is the name of the brand of Bluetooth headphones released by Apple in December 2016?
    A: AirPods
  11. Somali and Common are the two main species of what kind of bird?
    A: Ostrich
  12. Which Caribbean island has a cricket stadium named after one of its most notable cricketing sons, Daren Sammy?
    A: St. Lucia
  13. What two “word stars” can be made from the above answers? (2 points)

Round 9: Fill in the blanks (13 points)

Fill in the blanks with the names of London Underground stations. Wordplay ranges from poor to unforgiveable (half point each).

My daughter was playing with her dolls. She likes Sindy, but I’m not a fan – I think there’s so much Sindy can’t do that (1. Barbican (Barbie can)). She was engrossed, as were her (2. Seven Sisters). I was going to make the eight of them breakfast, but my cooking is very bad and tends to (3. Turnham Green), so instead I went out on the water with my Scottish friend, Rick. He has a very bouffant hairstyle, which he loves, though to me it seems like an impractically (4. High Barnet). On the lake, I navigated while the (5. Caledonian Road (Caledonian rowed)). We chatted about the state of the world, but he is very nihilistic about our future as a species. As I often tell him, (6. Rickmansworth (Rick, man’s worth) more than you give him credit for. 

On the way back I picked up a present for the local vicar; the (7. Cannon Street (Canon’s treat)) as my wife likes to call it. I probably shouldn’t favour him in this way, as it does make the (8. Parsons Green) with envy. But I think he deserves it, especially as he’s been busy all week painting the outside of our place of worship. I’ve no idea why he wanted a (9. Whitechapel), but it looks pretty good. 

I also visited the village farm. I poked my nose into the henhouse as the male has recently started taking in other animals and looking after them for a short time. It’s odd, but it’s as if the (10. Cockfosters) them. Another friend, Jill, was there, and I asked her to give me the bag of oats for the pigs, saying “Pass the (11. Grange Hill (Grain, Jill))”. I also asked her to give back the money she owed me, but she didn’t have it. “I hope (12. Mile End (my lend))ing you money isn’t going to spoil our friendship”, I warned. 

I went home the scenic route, which involved crossing a river. I told Jill to come with me, but she was too scared. “I (13. Woodford (would ford)), but I’m worried I might fall in”. I (14. Woodbridge – mea culpa, I don’t think this is an actual tube station. Whatever you put, give yourself the half point) the river, but I’m not sure if I can construct something sturdy enough. Anyway, we got over somehow and arrived at my house. I might have exaggerated the size to Jill and Rick, because they both said “That’s not a (15. Mansion House) would be more appropriate.” I do have large grounds though, so much so I have a naming system for different parts. We walked through the P Courtyard and the (16. Kew Gardens (Q Gardens)) on the way to the house. I had a bit of a set-to with Stanley the gardener on the way, about how much he should prune the ornamental topiary; “(17. Stanmore (Stan, more)) cutting, please” but in the end we agreed on how much he should trim. “That’s (18. Fairlop (Fair. Lop) off a branch or two and that’ll be job done”, I said. I also asked him to check the boundary topiary so I knew which was mine and which belonged to my neighbour, the famous golfing astronaut. I showed the gardener what to do. That’s (19. Shepherd’s Bush Market (Shepard’s bush. Mark it)) with an X. On the other hand, that’s mine – paint a Y on that one.

When we got in, the cricket was on the radio. England’s latest star batsman, Raymond (the descendant of a fellow famous for developing a way to represent propositions through diagrams), seemed to have been out slogging to the Koreans, as I heard “(20. Ravenscourt Park (Ray Venn’s caught Park)) for just 10” when I turned on the set. I hoped my celebrity betting friend Ms Paige hadn’t lost too much money on the result; she’s always been a bit of a (21. Chancery Lane (Chancer, Elaine)). She drinks a lot too; always beer. I think she must be (22. Maida Vale (Made of ale)). Oddly, she pretends to be from Lincolnshire; an affectation I call her (23. Boston Manor).

As the cricket wasn’t going too well, I turned over to a music station. They were playing the rock classic “(24. Morden (More than)) a Feeling”, one of my favourites. I was looking forward to our card game starting later in the evening; a (25. Knightsbridge (night’s bridge)) is always great fun. The dogs were (26. Barkingside) by side, and all was well with the world.

Round 10: Cryptic connections (18 points)

In the below questions, get each part of the connection and the connection itself for full marks.

  1. In which part of the United Kingdom would you find: (South-west England – 1 point)
  • A former records office; (Somerset House – half point)
  • The predecessors of the Inuit people; (Dorset people – half point)
  • 9-57 in 1994 (Devon Malcolm, who famously got figures of 9-57 vs South Africa in 1994 – half point) ; and
  • The heaviest man to have played test cricket (Rakheem Cornwall – Half point) (3 points)

2. In what sense might a gladiatorial musician be like a walking aid, but need the addition of a British island to get a Nobel Laureate and the further addition of a unit of force to get a notorious telegram? (3 points)

Gladiatorial musician (Hans Zimmer, composer of the Gladiator soundtrack – half point) has the same name as a walking aid (Zimmer frame – half point), but needs the addition of Man (as in Isle of Man, a British Island – half point) to get Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate – half point), and another N (Newton, the unit of force – half point) to get Zimmermann, (the name of an infamous telegram that got the US into the First World War – half point)

3. What kind of emoji links: (Smiley, as in George Smiley – half point) 

  • an elderly chap on the silver screen (Gary Oldman, who played George Smiley in the film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – half point)
  • a stout on the small screen (Guiness – as in Alec Guinness, who played George Smiley in the television adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – half point); and 
  • a Walford family on the radio? (Beale – as in Simon Russell Beale, who played George Smiley in the Radio 4 adaptations of all the John Le Carre works with George Smiley – half point) (2 points) 

4. In what kind of shop might you encounter (A coffee shop – half point):

  • A hooded one (Cappuccino – named after Capuchin monks, whose name means “hooded”, with the same root as English “cape” – half point);
  • A stained one (Macchiato, meaning “stained” – half point); and
  • One from Yemen (Mocha, named after Moka, a place in Yemen – half point)? (2 points total)

5. What language is shared by: (Portuguese, as all three items below refer to countries with Portuguese as their main language – half point)

  • St. Thomas and the Prince (Sao Tome and Principe – half point);
  • a kind of wood (Brazil – half point);
  • a repeated direction? (East Timor, which literally means East East – half point) (2 points)

6. In what geographical and alphabetical group would you find (US states whose names begin with N – half point)

  • A flying New Zealand comedian (Concord, state capital of New Hampshire – half point)
  • Modern Lindum (Lincoln, state capital of Nebraska – half point); and
  • An explorer released from prison to find El Dorado (Raleigh (Walter Raleigh), state capital of North Carolina – half point)? (2 points)

7. In what context would a severe medical issue be followed by two Marx Brothers films and a defunct red-top? (2 points)
The titles of Queen albums – Sheer Heart Attack, A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, News of the World (half point for each)

8. What links the confinement of: (all refer to people imprisoned on islands – half point)

  • A make of brandy (Napoleon, imprisoned on Elba and St Helena – half point. Mea culpa, this is more a “type” of brandy than a make – though in Japan there is a dreadful make of brandy called Napoleon, so this might just about be acceptable);
  • The star of Veep (Julia Louis Dreyfus, as in Alfred Dreyfus, imprisoned on Devil’s Island – half point); and
  • A town in Gloucestershire? (Stroud, as in Robert Stroud, also known as The Birdman of Alcatraz) (2 points)

Round 11: 1920 births pictures (10 points)

2020 has been a bit of a disappointment, as years go, so let’s focus on 1920 instead.

The people in the middle column below were all born in 1920. The people or items on the left share the first name of the person in the middle. The people or items in the column on the right share the surname of the person in the middle (there may be some spelling differences, and in some cases you will need to decide whether it is the person’s real name you need or that of the character they are playing). Get all three for a point, or any 2 for half a point.


  1. Clive Owen, Clive Dunn, Richard Dunne
  2. Alf Garnett, Alf Ramsey, Gordon Ramsay
  3. Frank Zappa, Frank Muir, John Muir
  4. Peggy Mitchell, Peggy Lee, Brett Lee
  5. Rosalind Ayres, Rosalind Franklin, Benjamin Frankiln
  6. Tom Hollander, Tom Moore, Bobby Moore
  7. Betty Grable, Betty Driver, Adam Driver
  8. Lewis Hamilton, Lewis Gilbert, Gilbert Grape
  9. Ray Charles, Ray Bradbury, Stephen Bradbury
  10. Jeal-Paul Gaultier, Jean-Paul II, George II

Round 12: Picture round (13 points)

In the below stills from films, one of the actors has had their faces inexpertly replaced with that of a sports star. The actor removed has the same initials as the sports star in each case, and the sport in question has been provided to help you. Name the film (half point) and the sports star (half point) in each case. Taking the initials of all the film stars/sports stars and rearranging them will give the name of a film which, despite its name, would likely not be considered very suitable for the time of year (1 point).

Answers: (the actor’s name is given for reference, but not required for the point)

  1. Airplane, Li Na (Leslie Nielsen)
  2. The Queen, Hermann Maier (Helen Mirren)
  3. Trainspotting, Eddy Merckx (Ewan McGregor)
  4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Mohammed Yousuf (Michelle Yeoh)
  5. The Theory of Everything, Efren Reyes (Eddie Redmayne)
  6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Sean Connery)
  7. The Deer Hunter, Caroline Wozniacki (Christopher Walken)
  8. The Sting, Ronnie Rosenthal (Robert Redford)
  9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Roy Evans (Rupert Everett)
  10. Notting Hill, Raymond Illingworth (Rhys Ifans)
  11. Running Man, Ayrton Senna (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
  12. Amelie, Andy Townsend (Audrey Tautou)

The film that can be made from these initials is

Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence


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