Christmas Quiz Questions

2021 Christmas quiz

Set by Christopher Howse. Illustrated by Castro

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

18 December 2021

9:00 AM

Rather odd

In 2021:

  1. On which planet did Nasa fly a small helicopter called Ingenuity, bearing a fragment of the Wright brothers’ first aeroplane?
  2. A pair of trainers worn by which US basketball star during his first season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 went for $1.47 million at auction?
  3. Which bridge got stuck with its bascules up after opening to let a sailing ship through?
  4. Twelve women became drivers on which capital city’s metro after a ban imposed in the 1980s was lifted?
  5. What killed 16 people taking selfies on top of a watch-tower in Jaipur?
  6. Who had painted a picture sold by Angelina Jolie for £7 million at auction in London?
  7. In which country must sparkling wine sold as champagne, Shampanskoye, be produced, according to a law brought into force by President Vladimir Putin?
  8. Which department store in Princes Street, Edinburgh, founded in 1838, was vacated this year?
  9. In which country was a cluster of star sapphires, weighing more than half a ton and valued at $100 million, found when a well was being dug in a backyard?
  10. In September, which country became the first to make bitcoin legal tender?

Don’t quote me

In 2021, who said:

  1. ‘We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute vile… banana republic, vile, nasty, Etonian… piece of scum.’
  2. ‘The leading role my husband played, in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet, lives on through the work of our eldest son… We none of us will live forever.’
  3. ‘I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle.’
  4. ‘If we don’t go ahead now, then the question is, when would we go ahead?’
  5. ‘We only got him in there because we had to solve a certain problem, not because he was the right person to be running the country.’
  6. ‘There was one really tense hour where I did feel the weight of the world on my shoulders’ (with tears in his eyes).
  7. ‘One of the things about committing political suicide is that you always live to regret it.’
  8. ‘Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah.’
  9. ‘So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I love Pennsylvania Avenue. And we’re going to the Capitol.’
  10. ‘I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that’s happened of late.’

Heath_Quiz-2.jpgWe can all live a life of service. Service is universal


  1. What is the common name for Ursus americanus, a specimen of which unexpectedly bit a woman on the bottom while she was using an outdoor lavatory at Chilkat Lake, Alaska?
  2. For which viral disease did eight gorillas in San Diego Zoo, California, test positive?
  3. What is the common name for the marsupial Sarcophilus harrisii, accused of eating 3,000 pairs of penguins on Maria Island off Tasmania?
  4. What is the more common name for Maja brachydactyla, which in an effort to promote sales in Britain, the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation decided to rename Cornish king crab?
  5. What is the common name for Ailuropoda melanoleuca, whose numbers in the wild China said had reached 1,800, meaning the species was no longer endangered?
  6. What breed were President Joe Biden’s dogs, Major and Champ (who died June 2021), removed from the White House after Major bit a security agent?
  7. The Queen’s puppy Fergus died in May. It was a cross of which two breeds?
  8. In Colorado, a member of which species of the deer family was freed from the car tyre it had been carrying round its neck for two years, though only at the cost of losing its antlers?
  9. What is the common name of Todarodes pacificus, a 43ft statue of which the fishing town of Noto, in Japan, spent £164,700 of emergency Covid-19 relief on building, in the hope of reviving tourism?
  10. What is the common name of the species Odobenus rosmarus, one of which was spotted in Co. Kerry, Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and then Iceland?

Heath_Quiz-3.jpgRolling Stones drummer.

Royal standard

In 2021:

  1. Which royal couple brought back five or six cases of bottled Jordan water for future christenings?
  2. Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, a tequila brand ambassador, had a baby boy. What did they name him?
  3. Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, a property developer, had a baby girl. What did they name her?
  4. Accompanying the Queen on a visit to the Irn Bru factory in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, which member of the royal family said: ‘You can taste the girders in it’?
  5. Which royal couple released a statement saying: ‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal’?
  6. On whose television show did the Duchess of Sussex speak of Disney’s Little Mermaid, saying that, seeing it on television, she had exclaimed: ‘Oh my God, she falls in love with the prince and because of that she loses her voice.’
  7. Which member of the royal family came alone and left some daffodils at the bandstand on Clapham Common in memory of Sarah Everard?
  8. Which royal couple are to be depicted in sculptures in niches at the Royal Albert Hall, along with new sculptures of Victoria and Albert?
  9. Who delivered the Queen’s message to the General Synod of the Church of England in November?
  10. ‘Flowers of the Forest’ was played at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April by Pipe Major Colour Sergeant Peter Grant, of which regiment?

Heath_Quiz-4.jpgI saw Mrs Jamieson eating seed-cake


  1. What did Peter Corby, who died aged 97, invent?
  2. Name the drummer of the Rolling Stones, who died aged 80.
  3. What did Doreen Lofthouse, who died aged 91, take from Fleetwood to a worldwide market?
  4. With which singer-songwriter did Bunny Wailer, the reggae singer who died aged 73, perform?
  5. Which record producer died aged 81 while serving a prison sentence for the murder in 2003 of the actress Lana Clarkson?
  6. Which Canadian actor, who died aged 91, mimed ‘Edelweiss’ in the film of The Sound of Music to the singing voice of Bill Lee?
  7. Name the eccentric Palestinian-born publisher of Quartet Books and one-time backer of the Literary Review and the Oldie, who died aged 89.
  8. What was the title of the widow (who died aged 101) of Anthony Eden, prime minister 1955-57?
  9. Who died aged 90 and was the leader of a jazz band that recorded Sidney Bechet’s ‘Petite Fleur’, which stayed in the British singles charts for 24 weeks in 1959?
  10. Name the former Labour MP who became one of the four founders of the Social Democratic party in 1981 and died aged 90.


Another slice

Match the authors with the extracts from their novels: Jane Austen; Virginia Woolf; Daisy Ashford; Charles Dickens; Walter Scott; Elizabeth Gaskell; Aldous Huxley; Anthony Trollope; R.S. Surtees; H.G. Wells.

  1. I saw Mrs Jamieson eating seed-cake, slowly and considerately, as she did everything; and I was rather surprised, for I knew she had told us, on the occasion of her last party, that she never had it in her house, it reminded her so much of scented soap.
  2. Tea please Minnit crid Bernard Clark. With pleshure sir replied Minnit with a deep bow. A glorious tea then came in on a gold tray two kinds of bread and butter a lovly jam role and lots of sugar cakes. Ethels eyes began to sparkle and she made several remarks during the meal.
  3. Elizabeth rather wondered whether Miss Kilman could be hungry. It was her way of eating, eating with intensity, then looking, again and again, at a plate of sugared cakes on the table next them; then, when a lady and a child sat down and the child took the cake, could Miss Kilman really mind it? Yes, Miss Kilman did mind it. She had wanted that cake — the pink one.
  4. ‘Last week,’ Mr Wimbush went on softly and implacably, ‘we dug up fifty yards of oaken drain-pipes; just tree trunks with a hole bored through the middle. Very interesting indeed. Whether they were laid down by the monks in the fifteenth century, or whether…’ Denis listened gloomily. ‘Extraordinary!’ he said, when Mr Wimbush had finished; ‘quite extraordinary!’ He helped himself to another slice of cake. He didn’t even want to tell his tale about London now; he was damped.
  5. People could either have a complete tea, a complete tea with jam, cake and eggs, a kettle of boiling water and find the rest, or refreshments à la carte, as they chose. They sat about, but usually the boiling waterers had a delicacy about using the tables and grouped themselves humbly on the ground.
  6. There were various delicacies brought from foreign parts, and a quantity of rich pastry, as well as of the simnel-bread and wastle cakes.
  7. Four times during the two hours’ period of her conversazione tea and cake were to be handed round on salvers. It is astonishing how far a very little cake will go in this way, particularly if administered tolerably early after dinner. The men can’t eat it, and the women, having no plates and no table, are obliged to abstain. Mrs Jones knows that she cannot hold a piece of crumbly cake in her hand till it be consumed without doing serious injury to her best dress.
  8. The next variation which their visit afforded was produced by the entrance of servants with cold meat, cake, and a variety of all the finest fruits in season; but this did not take place till after many a significant look and smile from Mrs Annesley.
  9. A broken pane of glass in one of the dirty windows was papered and wafered over, but there was a little plate of hothouse nectarines on the table, and there was another of grapes, and another of sponge-cakes, and there was a bottle of light wine.
  10. Whatever deficiency there might be at dinner was amply atoned for at breakfast, which was both good and abundant; bread and cake of all sorts, eggs, muffins, toast, honey, jellies, and preserves without end. On the side-table was a dish of hot kidneys and a magnificent red home-fed ham.



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