Christmas general knowledge 6

From the Christmas quiz on 13/12/16.

  1. In football, what specific formation is commonly known as the Christmas Tree formation? 4-3-2-1

  2. In Tchaikovsky’s Christmas-themed ballet The Nutcracker, in which fictional land does the second of the two acts take place? Land of Sweets

  3. Christmas cake’ is a common British bingo call for which number? 38

  4. Which Communist president of a European country was executed by firing squad along with his wife on Christmas Day, 1989? Nicolae Ceauşescu

  5. The “Priest” They Called Him, an experimental 10-minute record from 1993 about a junkie attempting to score on Christmas Eve, was produced in collaboration between postmodernist writer William S. Burroughs and which American singer–guitarist? Kurt Cobain

  6. The song Frosty the Snowman was originally recorded in 1950 by which American singer and actor, who also wrote the song Here Comes Santa Claus in 1947 and had a hit with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1949? Gene Autry

  7. Which American author wrote the best-selling 2001 novel Skipping Christmas, which was later adapted into the 2004 film Christmas with the Kranks, starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis? John Grisham

  8. St Wenceslas I, who is immortalized in the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslas, was a 10th-century duke of which former kingdom of Central Europe? Bohemia

  9. In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, by what unconventional name are the chapters known? Staves

  10. The song Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was originally sung by Judy Garland in which musical film of 1944? Meet Me in St. Louis

Christmas general knowledge 5

From the Christmas quiz on 13/12/16.

  1. Which is the only one of the four Gospels that mentions the Three Wise Men? Matthew

  2. What name, perhaps from a Norman French word meaning “last day of the year”, is given in Scotland to New Year’s Eve and the accompanying celebrations? Hogmanay

  3. In the nursery rhyme Little Jack Horner, what does Jack pull out of the Christmas pie? Plum

  4. What is the name of the four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side that is used in various games during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah? Dreidel

  5. First broadcast on 17th December 1989 as a Christmas special, what is the title of the very first episode of The Simpsons? Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

  6. Risalamande, from the French for “rice with almonds”, is a rice-pudding dessert traditionally eaten at Christmas in which European country? Denmark

  7. Which Christmas carol do Charlie and his friends sing at the end of the 1965 special A Charlie Brown Christmas? Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

  8. In which European country is a witch named Befana said to deliver presents to children on Twelfth Night (5th January) in the same way Santa Claus does on Christmas Eve? Italy

  9. In the Low Countries, what is the name of Santa Claus’s Moorish companion, who has latterly been at the centre of many racism controversies? Zwarte Piet (Black Pete[r])

  10. In the Star Wars Holiday Special, what is the name of the triennial Wookiee holiday that Han Solo and Chewbacca travel to Kashyyyk to celebrate? Life Day

Musical excerpts (Christmas 2016)

From the Christmas quiz on 13/12/16. Download here.

  1. Kelly Clarkson – Underneath the Tree

  2. Elton John – Step into Christmas

  3. The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)

  4. Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas

  5. The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

  6. Kurtis Blow – Christmas Rappin’

  7. Morrissey – I Have Forgiven Jesus

  8. Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry

  9. Geraldine McQueen – Once Upon a Christmas Song

  10. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

Entertainment (Christmas 2016)

From the Christmas quiz on 13/12/16.

  1. Which Scottish actor plays the title character in Nagisa Ōshima’s 1983 film Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence starring David Bowie? Tom Conti

  2. Two short films both officially known as The Spirit of Christmas — but normally differentiated as Jesus vs Frosty (1992) and Jesus vs Santa (1995) — were the precursor to which animated TV series? South Park

  3. In 1994, 1995 and 1998, Christmas-themed level packs all called Holiday Hare were released for which series of platform games developed for MS-DOS and Windows by Epic MegaGames? Jazz Jackrabbit

  4. At the end of the Christmas special of The Office (UK), which two characters kiss then leave the Christmas party hand-in-hand while Only You by Yazoo plays in the background? Dawn and Tim

  5. In Home Alone 2, what new name is adopted by burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), who were known as the Wet Bandits before their imprisonment in the original Home Alone? Sticky Bandits

Christmas general knowledge 4

From the Christmas quiz on 13/12/16.

  1. In the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, what did “my true love give to me” on the sixth day? (Six) geese a-laying

  2. Created in 1987 by a German student at the University of Clausthal purportedly to send Christmas greetings to his friends, Christmas Tree EXEC was the first major example of what sort of computer program? Virus (specifically: a worm)

  3. Born on Christmas Day, 1761, Cornish clergyman William Gregor is best known for discovering which elemental metal with atomic number 22? Titanium

  4. In 1991, Queen had a UK Christmas number one with a double A-side of Bohemian Rhapsody and which other song? These Are the Days of Our Lives

  5. At the climax of which novel by Thomas Hardy does Sergeant Troy attempt to reclaim his wife Bathsheba Everdene at a party held on Christmas Eve, only for the host, William Boldwood, to shoot him dead? Far from the Madding Crowd

  6. Which Japanese emperor died on Christmas Day 1926, whereupon he was succeeded by his son Hirohito? Taishō (personal name: Yoshihito)

  7. According to Guinness World Records, whose rendition of which Christmas song is the best-selling single of all time? Bing Crosby – White Christmas

  8. Which British comedy troupe released the 1956 novelty single I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas? The Goons

  9. Arthur Conan Doyle’s début Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet was originally published in the 1887 edition of a Christmas annual founded by the husband, Samuel, of which noted writer? Isabella Beeton (Mrs Beeton)

  10. Which 1984 Christmas song is the biggest-selling single (in the UK) never to have reached number one on the UK singles chart? Wham! – Last Christmas

Christmas general knowledge 3

From the quiz on 15/12/15.

  1. Around Christmas 1914, large numbers of British and German soldiers on the Western Front participated in an unofficial ceasefire and reportedly played which sport in no man’s land? Football

  2. In the Harry Potter novels, what confection does Harry receive from Hermione for Christmas in his first year at Hogwarts? Chocolate Frogs

  3. Which Italian Catholic friar, founder of the Order of Friars Minor and patron saint of both animals and the environment is credited with creating the very first Christmas nativity scene in 1223? St Francis of Assisi

  4. Who is the antagonist of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas-themed ballet The Nutcracker, who appears with his army when the clock strikes midnight? Mouse King

  5. Which fruit is used to make a traditional Christingle, a candle used at special Advent services that symbolizes Christ as the light of the world? Orange

  6. What is the literal meaning of both the Greek-derived ‘Christ’ and Hebrew-derived ‘Messiah’? Anointed (one)

  7. In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, what is the name of the Grinch’s pet dog? Max

  8. Do They Know It’s Christmas? was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in response to a large-scale famine in which African country? Ethiopia (modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea)

  9. Which English author wrote the children’s Christmas-themed picture books Father Christmas and The Snowman? Raymond Briggs

  10. Lutefisk, a traditional Scandinavian Christmas dish, is made by boiling dried whitefish after it has been soaked in which alkaline solution? Lye (usually sodium or potassium hydroxide)

  11. Which Pope crowned Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, 800? Leo III

Science, nature & technology 20 (Christmas/2015)

From the quiz on 15/12/15. Download the image for Q6 here.

  1. In 1825, which English scientist founded the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and personally delivered 19 of them in his lifetime, including 10 in a row between 1851 and 1860? Michael Faraday

  2. Which British neurologist, who died in August 2015, was known for such books as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and was the subject of the 1990 film Awakenings, where he was played by Robin Williams? Oliver Sacks

  3. What is the common name for any plant of the genus Ilex, whose species are commonly used as Christmas decorations? Holly

  4. In July 2015, which NASA space probe, launched in 2006, completed a flyby of Pluto and returned the highest-resolution photographs ever taken of its surface and moons? New Horizons

  5. Born on Christmas Day 1906, German physicist Ernst Ruska received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics for designing the first instance of which type of microscope? Electron microscope

  6. [S] In May 2015, which tropical fish of the genus Lampris became the first fish discovered to be entirely endothermic (“warm-blooded”)? Opah (moonfish)

  7. In 1965, which Christmas carol became the first song broadcast from space when it was played aboard Gemini 6 as a joke by astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra? Jingle Bells

  8. In October 2015, which hurricane, the strongest ever observed with maximum sustained winds in excess of 200mph, made landfall in Mexico, causing hundreds of millions of US dollars in damage? Hurricane Patricia

  9. The vast majority of species grown as Christmas trees belong to which phylum of plants? Pinophyta (conifers)

  10. The 2015 Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to a team led by Colin Raston and Callum Ormonde for discovering how to chemically reverse which specific cooking process? Boiling an egg