27 DECEMBER 1969, Page 10


The Spectator Christmas quiz


Our quiz this year is divided into ten groups of ten questions each, many of which are in turn divided into several parts, yielding 500 answers in all. The only thing the questions in each group have in common is a connec- tion with the number of that group. Clues for some of the harder questions appear on page 900, and the answers start on page 915. Pass mark: 150 correct answers; dis- tinction: 250. Use of the clues loses 15 points.


1. 'One is one and all alone': (a) which is the only bird solely indigenous to the British Isles?

(b) which is the only cathedral spire in England visible from the sea?

(c) which is the only verse in the Bible which begins and ends with the same word?

(d) who was the only British monarch who married his deceased brother's wife?

(e) of what does a monostich have only one?

2. 'We'll get 'em in singles'. Apocryphal or not, (a) who is supposed to have said it (b) where (c) how many did they have to get, and (d) how many did they in fact get in singles?

3. Whose mottoes are or were (a) One fot All and All for One?

(b) E Pluribus Unum?

(c) Tria functa in Uno?

4. What did 111 have in common with a 110, a 217 and an 88, that it did not have in common with a 109, a 190 and an 87?

5. When do three ones make seven?

6. (a) 'He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two'.

(b) 'One arm, one peeper, vain as pretty poll'.

Who is describing whom in each case?

7. Whose First Symphony was (a) the Classical?

(b) the Sea?

(c) the source of the Panorama signature tune?

(d) partly inspired by De Quincey's The Opium Eater?

(e) partly written when he was stationed as a naval officer at Gravesend?

(f) his second?

8. By what compass setting would you travel from the one-eyed yellow idol to Kat- mandu?

9. Whose wide walls, according to whom, en- compassed but one man?

10. Who was the first (a) Whig?

(b) Gentleman of Europe?

(c) and wisest of them all?

(d) of biographers? (e) in war, in peace and in the hearts of his fellow citizens?

(f) in the case of (a), (c) and (d), who so described them?


1. What is the connection between 222, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, St Peter, St Edward the Confessor and the Conservative Party?

2. Name the Two Gentlemen of Verona.

3. 'I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in twO minutes'.

To whom were these words addressed, after what occasion?

4. (a) What monarchs since the Conquest have been succeeded on the throne by two or more of their children?

(b) Who had two sons on the English throne but was never king himself?

5. Louis Dieudonne was born with two teeth already cut. What was he when he grew up?

6. Which countries in Europe touch only two others?

7. 'When I came last to Ludlow, amidst the moonlight pale, two friends kept step beside me, two honest lads and hale'. What were their names; where are they now?

8. What famous authors wrote (a) The Two Foscari?

(b) Two on a Tower?

(c) The Two Drovers?

(d) Two Years Ago?

(e) The Two Noble Kinsmen?

9. Why were the two lines=chosen as the mathematical symbol for 'equals', and roughly when?

10. 'Under all he standards of Western Europe, the two feeblest in body were the hunchbacked dwarf who urged forward the fiery onset of France and the asthmatic skeleton who covered the slow retreat of England'. (Macaulay).

Who were the dwarf and the skeleton, and what was the battle?


1. Three in One and One in Three: (a) Which of the football clubs at present in the First Division have been in the Third Division since the war, and vice versa?

(b) Which of the present government departments have been made up by the merger of three full ministries since 1964?

(c) Which of the following heresies were directly concerned with the relations between the Trinity: Donatism, Arianism, Sabellianism, Pelagianism, Socinianism, Nestorianism, Manichaeism, Jansenism?

2. Which three famous men died on 22 November 1963?

3. (a) What took three days to get from Pud- ding to Pie, taking in eighty-nine churches on the way? (13) What would the Ronians have found uni. que about the year when it happened?

4. Three cities with three names. What were their other names and when did they change, in each case?

(a) Leningrad (b) Volgograd (c) Istamboul.

5. What did these three have in common: John XXUI, Gregory XII, Benedict XIII?

6. (a) What happened to the three civil ser- vants who refused to fall down at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer and all kinds of music?

(b) What happened to them afterwards?

7. Which of the three orders of classical architecture are represented in

(a) Nelson's Column?

(b) the White House?

(c) the Parthenon?

(d) the front of Buckingham Palace?

(e) the Monument?

(f) the British Museum?

8. By what three signs might you know your true-love from another one?

9. Of which English county does the coat of arms bear

(a) three pears?

(b) three scimitars?

(c) three scimitars on a shield?

10. Which of the following - tildes melec meles, perdix perdix perdix, pica pica pita bufo bufo bufo, troglodytes troglodyte+ troglodytes, pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax py rhocorax-would you expect (or hope) to find

(a) in a hole?

(b) in a pear tree?

(c) in a sett?

(d) on a farthing?

(e) alongside one who gathers samphire?

(f) accompanied by another?


1. (a) What four American states have capitals named from Presidents?

(b) Which American President was elected with 444 electoral votes?

(c) What are the Four Freedoms and who proclaimed them?

2. 'Four grey walls and four grey to\\ ors'. Who lived inside?

3. (a) Where does 444 come between Linz and Prague, and who did most of the work?

4. Of the four emperors living or recently dead, which (a) was received on a visit to London by Lloyd George, as Prime Minister?

(b) lived in Bath?

(c) paid only one visit to the country which he was Emperor?

(d) was deposed by a popular vote of per cent?

5. Which of the four Gospels contains (a) the Wise Men?

(b) the Shepherds?

(c) the parable of the Prodigal Son?

(d) the shortest verse in the Bible?

(e) the phrase 'Suffer the little children come unto me'?

(f) the story of the woman taken in adultery (g) the Magnificat? (h) which begins with 'The beginning'?




6. What are the names of the four children whose mother was their grandmother?

7. What line follows: 'Form fours, right turn, how shall we spend the money we earn'?

8. With which of the four chief styles of mediaeval architecture do you particularly associate: (a) the Five Sisters, York?

(b) Long Melford?

(c) Kilpeck?

(d) the Angel Choir. Lincoln?

(e) St Bartholomew's, Smithfield?

(f) the cloisters at Gloucester?

9. In which four countries have the Olympic Games been held twice?

10. The following famous pictures all con- tain four characters. Which pictures are they, by what artists?

(a) From left to right, two wind gods, a god- dess, and a nymph holding up a patterned cloak.

(b) In the foreground, two men fully clothed and a naked girl. In the background, another girl in diaphanous garments crouches by a piece of water.

ic) In a wooded landscape stand two men holding staves. A third is crouched in front of a monument, the inscription of which he is deciphering. On the right, a lady stands with her hand on the shoulder of one of the men.

(d) The central figure, full face, is seated at a table laid for supper. Two men are seated on each side of him, the one on the left seen from over his right shoulder, the one on the right, grey haired and bearded, in profile. A serving boy standing behind him carries a dish of meat.

le) The central figure, full face, seated at a table laid for supper, with wine, bread, chicken and fruit, has his right arm extended forwards. Two men are seated one on each side of him, the one on the right has thrown his arms open wide, the one on the left is leaning forward in astonishment. A servant standing behind him is wearing a skullcap. (f) On the right of the picture, two men in conversation with a lady en décolletage, one with his arm around her. On the left. another lady seated,with two musical instruments.

(g) Two ladies seated, one in front of the other, the first holding a child in her lap who is stretching over towards another child on the right. The second lady, in the background,.is looking at the first, and has her left index finger raised heavenwards.

(h) How many of these pictures are in the National, Gallery?


1. Which of the original cinque ports are no longer on the sea?

2. What are the five colours of heraldry?

3. What were the professions of the Five Red Herrings?

4. Five men journeyed where, mistakenly, they thought no one had ever travelled before, and never returned. What were their names?

5. What is the quintessence?

6. What have these five countries in com- mon: America, Russia, Argentina, Nepal, Tanzania?

7. Who were the five brothers Jolyon?

8. There are five rivers in England called Stour. Which (a) flows past a cathedral town?

(b) is seen to advantage on the walls of the National Gallery?

(c) makes its debut by courtesy of an eigh- teenth century banker?

(d) flow into the Avon?

(e) would Dr Johnson have known at school?

9. Which of these five towns was Bennett's: Stoke, Hanley, Burslem, Turnhill, Longton?

10. If a man went for a walk and came back saying that he had found (a) a frog, a spider, a lizard, a monkey and some butterflies (b) a holly, a beech, an oak, a male and a lady (c) a willow, an apple, a palm tree, a reindeer and an elegant feather (d) a bird's nest, a parasol, an oyster, a wood hedgehog and some honey what would he, in each case, have been look- ing for?


I. Name the Six Counties.

2. What is the connection between 666 and logarithms?

3. (a) In which six of Shakespeare's plays does the title character (or one of them) speak first?

(b) which six begin with some form of chorus or prologue?

4. Which six of the Prime Ministers of this century were also at one time (a) Foreign Secretary?

(b) Chancellor of the Exchequer?

5. Which of the six rivers of hell was named after (a) Fire?

(b) Lamentation?

(c) Forgetfulness?

6. 'We are six ships of the line, can we fight with fifty-three?' Who was speaking?

7. How did Isaiah's angel employ his six wings, and in what Tear?

'Tell it like it isn't!'" 9. Who hit six sixes, against whom, and oft whom?

10. (i) Which of the six composers, Bach Handel. Haydn. Mozart. Beethoven am Schubert, did not compose (one in each case): (a) a mass (b) an opera (c) an organ work (d) a setting of a psalm (e) an oratorio (f) a choral work commemorating the death or birthday of a member of a royal family? (ii) Which famous work by one of the above was (a) commissioned as a cure for insomnia?

(b) given its premiere in Dublin?

(c) commissioned by a mining engineer?

(d) rewarded with a chocolate cake full of gold coins?

(e) commissioned by someone who wished to pass it off as his own?

(f) originally dedicated to a half-caste violinist with whom the composer later had an argument over a girl?


1. (a) Name the seven who stabbed Caesar. (b) Name the seven whose 'names, familiar in his mouth as household words' would be 'freshly remembered'.

2. What island belonged seven times to the French and seven times to the British?

3. Who lived at 7 Eccles Street?

4. Why should these seven people be listed under a different number : 11 Padre; La Madre; La Figliastra; 11 Figlio; 11 Giovinet- to; La Bambina; Madama Pace?

5. What were the names of Snow White's seven dwarfs?

6. Of which books are these the opening sentences?

(a) 'Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another ir. the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven'.

(b) 'An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful'.

(c) 'Some years ago in conversation with ar artist whose works, perhaps, alone, in the present day unite perfection of drawing witl resplendence of colour, the writer made some enquiry regarding the general means by which this latter quality was to be at- tained'.

7. What word, by replacing 'confides', saved seven hoists on what occasion?'

8. Of the seven original Wonders of the World, which (a) was the oldest?

(b) the tallest?

(c) was set up as a snub to Athens?

(d) is now (for the best remaining part) in London?

(e) stood for the shortest time? 8. Which six months of the Revolutionai calendar were named of old (a) after the weather?

(b) after the operations of agriculture? (f) still existed at the time of Christ?

(g) were still in existence at the time of the Norman Conquest?

9. Seven famous sevens. Who were: (a) Adrastus, Polynices, Tydeus, Capaneus, Hippomedon, Parthenopaeus, Amphiaraus?

(b) Sancroft, Turner, Lloyd, Ken, White, Lake, Trelawney?

(c) George, James, Patrick, Denis, David, Anthony, Andrew?

(d) Dexter, Bronson, Vaughan, Bucholtz, McQueen, Coburn, Brynner?

(e) Briggs, St Cyr, Dodds J., Dodds W., Hardin, Armstrong, Ory?

(f) Argos, Smyrna, Rhodes, Colophon, Chios, Salamis, Athens?

(g) Alcyone, Merope, Maia, Electra, Taygete Sterope, Celaene?

10. Who, in a space of seven years, left home when it burnt down, had an affair with a girl who committed suicide, went to hell, and started something which, according to another story, did not really begin until four hundred years later?


1. What was 'a piece of eight' eight pieces of, and what was its other name?

2. What was the last year in which it was thought there were only eight planets in the solar system?

3. Name the eight winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature from the British Isles.

4. In which college's eight did 'all row fast but none so fast as stroke'?

5. `For the stroke of eight is the stroke of fate, That makes a man accursed'.

(a) Who said it?

(b) What will fate use?

6. If you consumed an Octave of October, what would you have consumed?

7. (a) What have the following eight substances got,. in common : Fuller's Earth, Bath Stone, Whitby Jet, Kimeridge Coal, Purbeck Marble, Fletton Brick, Stonesfield Slate, Headington Rag?

(b) Which are not what they seem?

(c) Can you place them in order?

8. What time is eight bells?

9. 'At ten a sweet little boy was born and weighed 8 lbs. Mr Asquith, Home Secretary, came to see him'. Who was the 'sweet little boy', and in whose diary was this an entry?

10. What are the eight federations (lasting or not) which have been associated with the British empire and its dissolution?

IX 1. Which English county touches nine others?

2. What is (a) a nine-killer?

(b) a nine-eyes?

3. 'Nine worthies were they called, of different rites, Three Jews, three Pagans and three Christian Knights?'

Who were they?

4. What were the nine instruments of the Cornish Floral Dance?

5. What are the nicknames of the Nine of Diamonds, and whence (most probably) do they arise?

6. Put these nine places in order, from east to west: Edinburgh, Snowdon, Dublin, Swan- sea. the Scilly Isles, Inverness, Carlisle, Bel- fast, Exeter.

7. 'And these I do not sell for gold Or coin of silvery shine But for a copper halfpenny And that will purchase nine', Nine what?

8. Nine horses: to whom did they belong?

(a) Colonist II (b) Copenhagen (c) Black Agnes (d) Gra ni (e) Devon Loch (f) Rosinante (g) Tulyar (h) White Surrey (i) Persimmon 9. Which of the following would you (a) receive gladly?

(b) hope not to be pursued by (however well meaning)?

(c) be forced to accept?

Aglaia, Alecto, Atropos, Clotho, Euphrosyne, Lachesis, Megaera, Thalia, Tisiphone.

10. What were the nine public schools X

1. What were the ten chemical elements (out of 104) known to the Ancient World?

2. Who took ten (a) for ten?

(b) twice in a season?

(c) three times?

(d) most recently?

4. Who first spoke of 'the submerged tenth'?

4. What have the following ten letters in common, and which one has been left out: AHIMOTUVWY?

5. 'My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure'. Who?

6. Of the following ten familar features of the English countryside, how many would you have seen before the Romans came, and roughly when were the introductions in- troduced in each case?

Rabbit, horse chestnut, pheasant, falloNN deer, little owl, hops, mute swan, sycamore, black poplar, grey squirrel.

7. Of the Prime Ministers who have lived at 10 Downing Street, who :

(a) was the first?

(b) was the first to be officially described as Prime Minister?

(c) was there for the shortest time?

(d) was in and out of residence most of- ten?

(e) lived for the longest time afterwards?

(f) died while they were still in residence?

(g) were members of both the House of Commons and House of Lords while the were there?

(h) enjoyed the longest period between his first and last moving-in days?

8. What are the ten largest nations in the world

(a) in area?

(b) by population?

9. If you had decimated the Decemviri, hem many would have been left?

10. What have the following ten people in common?

Mark Twain, Tolstoy, Annigoni, Prof A. J. Ayer, Joyce Grenfell, Holman Hunt, Ulan- ova, Florence Nightingale, Jean Anouilh. Artie Shaw„

A few clues to some of the more difficult questions


1. (a) lagopus scoticus. (b) Rochester and Truro are on rivers, but it is between them, 3. (c) it's an order.

4. He, me and ju could almost get it between them.

5. Every schoolboy knows.

7. (d) fantastic! (e) the Russian Navy.

10. (a) he still is. (b) not Grant or Eisen- hower.

II 1. As easy as ABC.

3. Nineteenth century.

10. The dwarf was the same as the answer to question 5,


I. (a) six of one, three of the other. 8. Country matters?

10. Four fliers, including pie in the sky.

IV 2. Tennyson.

3. Also halfway between Haffner and Jupiter.

6. A classic situation for the psychoanalyst? 10. (a) Florentine. (b) French. (c) French. (d) Dutch (e) Italian (f) Dutch (a trick here- concentrate on one of the musical instru- ments). (g) Florentine.

V 3. Ask the Nine Tailors, 6. Aim high. VII 1. (b) Cry God for Larry. 3. Ask for Molly.

7. Hence flagday?

10. A pious sort of chap, for all that:

VIII 6. Pipe down.

7. (a) it's a matter of age.

10. Three on the left, three in the middle and two on the right.

X 1. Try your metals first.

10. With two comets, what would You expect?