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    The 12 days of Christmas quiz

    24 December 2020

    Sick of the usual questions at Christmas? ‘Where’s the sellotape?’ ‘How did you think a turkey that size was going to fit in the oven?’ ‘WHY did we include your mother in our bubble?’ Then you need our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ quiz, whose questions are based on events from those particular days in history. Organise your friends and family into teams and see who wins. Or slink off upstairs by yourself for some peace and see how many you can get right. Either way – happy quizzing!

    December 25

    Which British singer/songwriter, born December 25 1971, was christened Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong? Despite this, her parents always called her by another name, that of a queen from the ninth century BC. This was the name under which the singer achieved success.

    December 26

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    Which Beatles song, released in the US on December 26 1963, has a two-digit prime number as the fifth word of its lyrics?

    December 27

    The work of which French scientist, born December 27 1822, led to a process whose results you see to this day in the dairy aisle of your supermarket?

    December 28

    Which US state, admitted as the 29th state on December 28 1846, has a name containing four letters, three of which are vowels?

    December 29

    Delia Smith (Getty)

    William Gladstone, born December 29 1809, holds the record for the longest budget speech ever delivered (1853, 4 hours 45 minutes). During the speech he drank sherry mixed with which ingredient? Delia Smith has described the ingredient as ‘quite simply a work of art, a masterpiece of design and construction with, it has to be said, brilliant packaging’.

    December 30

    Between 1999 and 2011, Steve Williams was New Zealand’s highest-earning sports professional. He didn’t actually play a sport himself, but earned the title (and the money) because of his association with which American, born December 30 1975?

    December 31

    On December 31 1759 a businessman signed a 9,000-year lease on a property in Dublin. His company still occupies the property today. Which company?

    January 1

    Which current British national newspaper published its first edition on January 1 1788, having been in existence for the previous three years as the Daily Universal Register?

    January 2

    Which American politician, born January 2 1909, campaigned in the 1964 Presidential election with the slogan ‘Au H2O 1964’?

    January 3

    Who, born January 3 2003, is the youngest person ever to be made Time magazine’s Person of the Year?

    January 4

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    Which poet, who died on January 4 1965, once worked as an editor at Faber and Faber, where he rejected George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm?

    January 5

    Which British politician died on January 5 2003, his final words being ‘two eggs, please, lightly poached’? He had worked as a World War II codebreaker at Bletchley Park, and later served as Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chancellor of Oxford University.

    Answers

    December 25

    Dido. After the Queen of Carthage. The singer says that ‘to be called one thing and christened another is … one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me’.

    December 26

    ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. (The lyric being ‘Well she was just seventeen …’)

    December 27

    Louis Pasteur, after whom pasteurisation is named.

    December 28

    Iowa. Bad luck if you said Ohio.

    December 29

    Egg. A Chancellor delivering his budget is the only MP ever allowed to drink alcohol in the Commons chamber.

    December 30

    Tiger Woods. Williams was his caddy. Because caddies take a percentage of their player’s prize money, Williams’s earnings during the period were an estimated $12 million.

    December 31

    Guinness

    January 1

    The Times

    January 2

    Barry Goldwater.

    January 3

    Greta Thunberg. One of her middle names is Tintin.

    January 4

    T.S. Eliot

    January 5

    Roy Jenkins