The Big Irish Times Christmas quiz of 2012


Test your wits with the first part of our prize quiz, compiled by EOIN BUTLER

Here are your first 50 questions. Fifty more will appear in various editions of The Irish Times this week and next, with the final 10 on January 3rd.


1 Which legendary Hollywood star performed a double act with an empty chair at the Republican National Convention in Florida in August?

2 “He was very good at hiding in plain sight. He created a smokescreen comprised of the truth.” Which disgraced former BBC presenter was Graham Linehan discussing on Have I Got News For You in October?

3 In October, 15-year-old Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. In what type of vehicle was she travelling at the time?

4 In March, this embattled Middle Eastern dictator’s hacked emails revealed a fondness for the music of New Order, Right Said Fred and country singer Blake Shelton.

5 Over what issue did Australian prime minister Julia Gillard attack leader of the opposition Tony Abbott, in a speech that made headlines around the world in October?

6The Greek MP who punched a female politician on live TV in June was a member of which neo-Nazi political party?

7 According to RTÉ news subtitles, “Mohamed Morrissey” was elected president of which Middle Eastern country in June?

8 José Mujica, the world’s poorest head of state, lives in a tiny farmhouse and, in 2012, donated 90 per cent of his income to charity. Which South American country is he the president of?

9 What was the significant date on which the US Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and Ambassador J Christopher Stevens killed?

10 The marriage of North Korea’s most eligible bachelor, Kim Jong-un, was announced in July. Before the announcement, who did the Western media mistakenly identify his companion as: (a) a singer (b) an actress (c) stand-up comedian?


11 Which former Fianna Fáil party leader was expelled from the party in March, following publication of the Mahon Tribunal report?

12 In April, what did Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin identify as “the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country”?

13 Which American sportswear giant apologised after launching a “Black and Tan” shoe to mark St Patrick’s Day?

14 In July, All-Ireland winning managers Mickey Harte, Joe Kernan and Seán Boylan were among 4,000 who marched in support of beleaguered ex-billionaire Seán Quinn. In what town did the march take place?

15 Name the former Trotskyite who replaced Róisín Shortall as Minister of State for Primary Care in September.

16 In February, striking workers at the Vita Cortex plant in Cork received a supportive phone call from which Premiership football manager?

17 At the annual Béal na Bláth commemoration in August, Taoiseach Enda Kenny mistakenly credited Michael Collins with having brought which Russian revolutionary to Ireland?

18 In November, which sitting TD’s portrait was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in London?

19 Visiting Dublin in June, Yoko Ono paid her respects at the grave of which 19th-century Irish leader?

20 In October, naval ship the LÉ Róisín staged a “show of strength” around which tiny north Atlantic islet, whose sovereignty Ireland contests with Britain, Iceland and Denmark?


21 In May, whose 94th minute goal against Queen’s Park Rangers on the last day of the 2011/12 season clinched the Premiership title for Manchester City?

22 Name the Irish sports star granted a state funeral by the government of Victoria, Australia, in March.

23 In February, why was a Six Nations clash between France and Ireland at Stade de France called off at the last minute?

24 How many goals did Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland concede at Euro 2012?

25 While his Senegalese namesake sells watches in Lanzarote, which Gaelic football manager took up a new role with Celtic FC in November?

26 Who, in a “moment of high farce” lined out at left corner forward for Coill Dubh in the Kildare hurling championship in July? (He was substituted after 90 seconds.)

27 Name the Antrim golfer who triumphed at the British Amateur Championship in June.

28 For what reason was Rory McIlroy awarded the 2012 Vardon Trophy?

29 In October, which American cycling team was found to have run “the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen”?

30 Name the Irish jockey who became the highest-placed female finisher in the history of the English Grand National when she finished third in April.

Film and Television

31 In July, the affair between actress Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders scandalised Hollywood. The couple met on the set of which film?

32 When Lucasfilm was acquired by the Walt Disney Company in October, plans were announced for the production of how many new Star Wars films?

33 This American screenwriter, whose credits include When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, died in June. Who was she?

34 In July, 12 people at an opening weekend screening of which film were gunned down in Aurora, Colorado?

35 In November, the RTÉ crime drama Love/Hate returned for a third series. The show is written by which Irish playwright and screenwriter?

36 In December, Hugh Jackman followed in the footsteps of Liam Neeson, Gerard Depardieu and Jean-Paul Belmondo by playing which character?

37 Released in October, Lenny Abrahamson’s film What Richard Did is very loosely based on what novel?

38 When Homeland star Damien Lewis accepted the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series in September, what were many American fans of the show surprised to learn about the actor?

39 In television, the digital switchover took place in October. Name the seven basic channels available on Saorview?

40 Author and sometime screenwriter Gore Vidal, who died in July, often took credit for inserting a gay subtext into which multi-Academy Award winning film (without the knowledge of its star)?

Buzz Words: match the images A-J to the written clues 41-50


Binders of women


Women of a certain age




Angela Merkel thinks we’re at work


Agent ‘Shirtless’






Laser Radial


The Celtic Comeback


Pussy Riot

The prize VIP trip for two to Barcelona and winery

The winner of this year’s quiz will receive a fantastic weekend for two to Barcelona, including flights and accommodation, a Torres winery tour and wine tasting, plus two VIP tickets to watch FC Barcelona at Camp Nou stadium.

The Irish Times has teamed up with Torres, the largest European wine brand in Ireland, to offer the trip to visit the winery, which produces, among others, everyday favourites Vina Sol and Sangre de Toro; the new alcohol-free, low-calorie wine Natureo; Ibéricos from Rioja; and the iconic Mas La Plana.

To enter:

Fill in the answers to all 100 questions, plus other required details at, or Email the answers to all 100 questions, numbered 1 to 100, with your name, address and telephone number, to , or Complete the entry form in The Irish Times on January 3rd.

Closing date is noon on January 11th. Winners will be announced in The Irish Times on January 26th.

Entrants must be over 18. Prizes are nontransferable. The judges’ decision is final. Full terms and conditions on

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