A Very Christmas Quiz


Thank you for your excellent responses:  some very good scores, particularly as several of you, I know, were relying on memory rather than Google.  The overall winner was Curls, ably assisted by Babs, and they win the trophy.   Other good scores came from Bill, Furby, Mick and Pat, and Eccles.  I must also give a mention to Teresa, who did the quiz without any inside knowledge, and achieved a highly competitive score, only to be disqualified under the usual rules for family and friends.  So here are the awards for the winners and the other top five finishers

Winners – Curls, with Babs




Mick and Pat



And here are the answers.


I.  Christmas Celebrations


1.  When and where was Christmas celebrated with an informal game of football, and an English barber cut a German’s hair? 


In the First World War, an informal truce saw a football game and other fraternisation in No Man’s Land on Christmas Day 1914


2.  Who described whose Christmas celebrations thus:

‘Let him in! It is a mercy he didn't shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper when he came. So did the plump sister when she came. So did every one when they came. Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!’

Charles Dickens describing Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas, at his nephew Fred’s, in A Christmas Carol

3.  When and where did the Christmas menu feature Consommé Seal and Buzzard’s Cake? 


Cape Evans in Antarctica during the last Scott Expedition, mid-winter’s day 1911, ie actually 22 June


4.  Who described his Christmas thus, and when (to the nearest decade)?  ‘We had to dinner, my wife and I, a fine turkey and a mince-pie, and dined in state, poor wretch, she and I; and have thus kept our Christmas together, all alone almost – having not once been out.’ 


Samuel Pepys, 31 December 1663


5.  Whose Christmas Day began with gifts of a coin, a chocolate frog, a sweater and a cloak, and who ended the day in a snowball fight?


Harry Potter, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; the Weasleys played snowballs


II.  Links


6.  What links the sky at night with the night before Christmas?


Clement Clarke Moore wrote the popular poem ‘Twas the night before Christmas, while Sir Patrick Moore presents the long-running television programme, The Sky At Night


7.  What, seasonally, links Premium Bonds with the hit parade?


The computer used to select the winning Premium Bond numbers is known as Ernie, and Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West) was a Christmas number one for Benny Hill in 1971


8.  What links the exchange of Christmas greetings with the fictional Potteries town of Bursley? 


The Christmas card, used to exchange greetings, and The Card by Arnold Bennett, whose eponymous hero, Denry Machin, becomes mayor of Bursley; also a made into a Pinewood film in 1952 starring Alec Guinness


9.  What links a Christmas cracker and a type of cured pork?


Bacon is the cured pork and gunpowder (used for the ‘crack’) was introduced to the Western world from China by the English monk and philosopher, Roger Bacon, in the 13th century


10.  What links the traditional Christmas dinner with a great conflagration?


The traditional Christmas dinner includes Christmas pudding; the Great Fire of London, 1666, began in a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane


III.  Trivia


11.  Who returned to which square on Christmas Day 1995?


Frank Butcher, to Albert Square in Eastenders


12.  Who discovered Christmas Island and when? 


Either Captain Cook in 1777 or Captain William Mynors in 1643 (There are two Christmas Islands, one in the Pacific discovered by Captain Cook, and the other in the Indian Ocean; I must admit that I had only heard of the first until your answers came rolling in, and obviously either wins the points)


13.  Which notable scientist was born on Christmas Day 1642?  Which other notable scientist died in the same year? 


Isaac Newton and Galileo


14.  Which famous novelist wrote a New Year letter to her niece, beginning ‘Ym raed Yssac, I hsiw uoy a yppah wen raey.  Ruoy xis snisuoc emac ereh yadretsey …’  What happened to her the following year?


Jane Austen, writing to her niece, Cassandra; she died the following year


15.  Who, for Christmas in which year, addressed his fans as follows:


‘Hello, this is John, speaking with his voice.  We're all very happy to be able to talk to you like this on this little bit of plastic.  This record reaches you at the end of a really gear year for us and it's all due to you.’


John Lennon, of the Beatles, on the Beatles Christmas record in 1963:  for seven years, starting in 1963, the Beatles released a special Christmas album only to members of their fan club


IV.  Anagrams


16.  GOD’S GLANCE WOKE SIN                                        GOOD KING WENCESLAS


17.  O SAD LADY, CRY IN EVICTION                               ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY






20.  MANY WEAR AGAIN                                                   AWAY IN A MANGER       


V.  Picture round


21.    Morecambe and Wise, famous for television Christmas shows


22.    King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, famous for the service of carols


23.    Manger Square, Bethlehem, birthplace of Christ


24.    St Nicholas, believed to be the original Santa Claus


25.    Trafalgar Square, with the Christmas tree donated by Norway




Quiz Answers