Big Irish Times Christmas Quiz 2017: The solutions
All the solutions to The Big Irish Times Christmas Quiz 2017, plus the winners
Glenlo Abbey hotel in Galway
The winner of a Blue Book two-night stay for two people sharing in five-star Glenlo Abbey, Galway, with breakfast on both days and dinner on one night, goes to Maria Jennings, Dublin 6.
2nd prize: A case of 12 bottles of wine shipped directly by Whelehans Wines goes to Roisin Behan, Tramore, Co Waterford.
3rd prize: A case of 6 bottles of wine shipped directly by Whelehans Wines, goes to Yvonne Woods, Dublin 11.
Find the solutions under each of the questions below.
1. On New Year’s Night, which music diva’s performance in Times Square, New York was, by her own later admission, “a total chaotic mess”?
(b) Mariah Carey
(c) Britney Spears
(d) Barbara Streisand
2. In October, firefighters defended voters from police baton charges during a contentious independence referendum in which European region?
(d) South Ossetia
3. In April, presidential candidate Marine Le Pen temporarily stepped aside as leader of which French political party?
(b) Socialist Party
(c) Green Party
(d) National Front
4. In August, a Spanish stock image, titled Disloyal Man Walking With His Girlfriend and Looking Amazed at Another Seductive Girl, became which insanely popular internet meme?
(a) Distracted Boyfriend
(b) Bad Luck Brian
(c) Roll Safe
(d) Success Kid
5. In August, Donald Trump sparked international outrage over his reluctance to condemn neo-Nazi violence in which US city?
(a) Myrtle Beach, North Carolina
(b) Bowling Green, Kentucky
(c) Charlottesville, Virginia
(d) Chattanooga, Tennessee
6. In November, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned after allegedly being ‘kidnapped’ and detained by authorities in which country?
(b) United States
(c) Saudi Arabia
7. Pioneering war correspondent Clare Hollingsworth, who died in January aged 105, broke which major news story in 1939?
(a) The Hindenberg disaster
(b) The Nazi-Soviet Pact
(c) The resignation of Neville Chamberlain
(d) The German invasion of Poland
8. In October, 64-year-old Maha Vajiralongkorn became Thailand’s new king. What was the former Crown Prince previously best known for?
(a) Wearing crop tops, sporting tattoos and driving expensive sports cars
(b) Giving his pet dog a military rank and lavish funeral
(c) Jailing his ex-wife’s parents and siblings
(d) All of the above
9. In April, Borussia Dortmund’s team bus fell victim to a botched bomb attack en route to a Champions League game. What was the bomber’s reported motive?
(a) He supported a rival team
(b) He was protesting the club’s recent run of poor form
(c) He hoped to profit financially from a fall in the club’s share price
(d) He was an aspiring player whom the club had refused to offer a trial
10. At the Oscars in February, which Big Four accountancy firm accepted “full responsibility” when the Best Picture award was presented to the wrong film?
(b) PriceWaterhouse Cooper
(c) Ernst & Young
1. With knives out for his leadership in February, Taoiseach Enda Kenny was snapped, inadvertently, standing under a sign saying what?
(b) We Can Work It Out
(c) Come Together
(d) Let It Be
2. In April, DUP leader Arlene Foster surprised school teachers in Newry when she concluded a meeting using which Irish language phrase?
(a) Go raibh maith agat
(b) Conas atá tú?
(c) Ní thuigim
(d) An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?
3. In May, NASA published satellite images of which phenomenon, which it said had been creating “havoc across the island of Ireland for the better part of a month”?
(a) Gorse fires
(b) Coastal erosion
(d) Fidget spinners
4. In April, what did then Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar claim Irish people were using “make up and false beards” to do?
(a) Scam casinos
(b) Commit welfare fraud
(c) Stage local amateur dramatic productions
(d) Stand for the leadership of Fine Gael
5. In June, pro-choice Senator Catherine Noone was elected chair of which high profile Oireachtas committee?
(a) Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution
(b) Committee on Budgetary Oversight
(c) Aims and Policy Alignment Committee
(d) Future Planning Committee
6. In September, how many people marched in Dublin to demand abortion rights for Irish women?
7. In October, historian Catherine Corless received the Bar of Ireland’s Human Rights Award for uncovering evidence of a mass grave at a former mother-and-baby home where?
8. In March, trad musician Niamh Dunne was outed as the inspiration for Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl. Which liberty had the hit song taken with the truth?
(a) Dunne is happily married
(b) She isn’t from Galway
(c) She didn’t beat Sheeran at pool
(d) All of the above
9. Hailed by Vanity Fair as his style “accessory of the year”, what did Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau wear to a meeting with Enda Kenny in May?
(a) Star Wars socks
(b) Star Trek ears
(c) A Harry Potter cape
(d) A Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf hat
10. The category 3 hurricane that threatened Ireland in October was named after which Shakespearean character?
THE YEAR IN QUOTES
1. “Prejudice has no hold in this republic.” In May, Leo Varadkar celebrated victory over which candidate in Fine Gael’s leadership election?
(a) Simon Harris
(b) Simon Coveney
(c) Frances Fitzgerald
(d) Regina Doherty
2. In January, what Orwellian phrase did White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway use to defend Trump administration lies?
(a) “White lies”
(b) “Alternative facts”
(c) “Alternative realities”
(d) “Creative non-fiction”
3. “Finally the day when I can see the sky without bars...” In October, Irishman Ibrahim Halawa celebrated freedom after four years imprisoned where?
(a) Saudi Arabia
4. “The remarkable journey Martin McGuinness went on not only saved lives but made the lives of countless people better.” In January, who paid this warm tribute on McGuinness’ retirement from politics?
(a) Gerry Adams
(b) Michelle O’Neill
(c) Bertie Ahern
(d) Ian Paisley Jr.
5. “I said ‘Michael, you can’t say that to me’’” In October, theatre director Grace Dyas went public with claims of harassment against Michael Colgan. Where did Colgan serve as artistic director for thirty years?
(a) Abbey Theatre
(b) Gate Theatre
(c) Smock Alley Theatre
(d) The Helix
6. “The love and unity you’re displaying is the medicine the world needs right now.” In June, singer Ariana Grande made an emotional return to which British city?
7. “The gamekeepers’ union has announced a merger with the poachers alliance.” What was Fintan O’Toole reacting to in February?
(a) Rick Perry’s confirmation as US Energy Secretary
(b) Liam Gallagher duet with Chris Martin at One Love Manchester
(c) Stephen Donnelly TD’s decision to join Fianna Fáil
(d) Nemanja Matic’s transfer from Chelsea to Manchester United
8. “It means we’re finally getting a fraction of our rights in this country.” What was Saudi feminist activist Manal al-Sharif celebrating in September?
(a) The right to appear in public without a veil
(b) Open a bank account
(c) Drive a car
(d) Equal pay for equal work
9. “I waited on purpose to see, but nobody seems to have got up and walked out.” In September, the leader of Germany’s far-right AfD party Alice Weidel announced what?
(a) She is a lesbian
(b) She is converting to Islam
(c) She thinks Hitler wasn’t such a bad guy
(d) She likes pineapple as a pizza topping
10. “Robots are not taking over the world,” the head of the UN body on autonomous weapons, Amandeep Gill, assured us in November. But what did experts agree would soon exist?
(a) Killer robots
(b) Sassy robots
(c) Inappropriate robots
(d) Emotionally unavailable robots
1. In February, manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked by which club just 298 days after leading them to a Premier League title?
(b) Manchester United
(c) Leicester City
(d) Manchester City
2. In August, Ireland successfully hosted the Women’s Rugby World Cup. Which nation emerged victorious?
(b) New Zealand
3. In October, Mayo Gaelic football legend Cora Staunton surprised fans when she announced her intention to pursue a professional career in which sport?
(d) Australian Rules
4. In January, sprinter Usain Bolt was stripped of his 2008 Olympic 4 x 100m relay gold medal after which former team-mate tested positive for a banned substance?
(a) Nesta Carter
(b) Asafa Powell
(c) Michael Frater
(d) Yohan Blake
5. In April, the Irish women’s soccer team threatened to strike due to the squad being denied what by the FAI?
(b) Gym access
(c) Proper changing facilities
(d) All of the above
6. In January, tennis player Roger Federer won his first grand slam title in five years when after defeating which old rival in the final of the Australian Open?
(a) Marin Cilic
(b) Rafael Nadal
(c) Novak Djokovic
(d) Stan Wawrinka
7. In September, GAA wunderkind David Clifford scored 4-4 to help which county to victory in the All-Ireland minor football final?
8. In August, which 18-year-old Irish sprinter picked up a 100m gold medal at the European U-20 Championships in Italy?
(a) Gina Akpe-Moses
(b) Ciara Neville
(c) Elizabeth Morland
(d) Kate O’Connor
9. In February, Rory McIlroy faced criticism after accepting an invitation to play a round of golf with who?
(a) Donald Trump
(b) Conor McGregor
(c) Rodrigo Duterte
(d) Marine Le Pen
10. In November, Denmark’s Christian Eriksen scored a hat-trick to eliminate Ireland in a World Cup qualifier. But which footballing aristocrat scored the final goal to complete our 5-1 humiliation?
(a) Thomas Gravesen
(b) Daniel Agger
(c) Jon Dahl Tomasson
(d) Nicklas Bendtner
1. In March, it emerged that what had been over reported by almost one million in Ireland?
(a) Beds in the health care system
(b) Citizens signing on the live register
(c) Breathalyser tests carried out by gardai
(d) Vogue Williams TV documentaries currently in production
2. According to a New York Times report in February, why were Trump administration staff holding White House meetings in the dark?
(a) They feared snipers were lurking in the bushes outside
(b) They suspected meeting rooms contained hidden cameras
(c) They couldn’t locate the light switches
(d) They believe daylight has an anti-Trump bias
3. Unveiled in March, which sports star was this widely mocked statue supposed to honour?
(a) Niall Quinn
(b) Stanley Matthews
(c) Cristiano Ronaldo
(d) Colm Cooper
4. In October, British TV audiences were shocked to learn, apparently for the first time, about the Irish Famine via an episode of which show?
(a) PAW Patrol
(b) Strictly Come Dancing
(c) Blue Peter
5. In January, by his own later admission, FBI Director James Comey attempted to avoid Donald Trump at a White House gathering how?
(a) He wore a false moustache and glasses
(b) He hid behind a potted plant
(c) He wore a blue suit and stood in front of some blue curtains
(d) When Trump spotted him, he pretended his phone was ringing and ran away
6. In October, Theresa May’s Conservative Party conference speech was marred by what?
(a) She had a coughing fit
(b) She had a fit of the giggles
(c) The autocue malfunctioned
(d) She began her speech ‘My fellow Americans...’
7. In November, British bakery firm Greggs were forced to apologise after releasing an image of the nativity with what replacing the baby Jesus?
(a) A sausage roll
(b) A Rubik’s Cube
(c) Vladimir Putin
(d) A fidget spinner
8. In April, Pepsi withdrew a TV advert accused of trivialising the Black Lives Matter movement. Which reality TV personality starred in the ad?
(a) Lisa Vanderpump
(b) Tyra Banks
(c) Kendall Jenner
9. For their decisive World Cup play-off against New Zealand in November, what did hosts Peru do to unsettle their opponents?
(a) Fans set off fireworks late at night outside the visitors’ hotel
(b) The Peruvian air force staged a flyby of that same hotel
(c) Fans shone laser pointers in the New Zealand players’ eyes during the game
(d) All of the above
10. In April, United Airlines faced widespread criticism after footage emerged of what?
(a) A pilot consulting Google Maps midflight
(b) Flight attendants playing Twister in the aisles
(c) An old man being dragged off a flight by security
(d) An old lady being stuffed in the overhead bins
1. “They will be met with fire, fury and power, the like of which the world has never seen before.” What did Donald Trump threaten to destroy in August?
(b) The news media
(c) North Korea
(d) The cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s New Celebrity Apprentice
2. “More than the UK wanting to have its cake and eat it, [BREXIT]is an attempt to have its cake and eat ours.” Where did MEP Mairead McGuinness deliver these remarks in August?
(a) European Parliament in Strasbourg
(b) United Nations in New York
(c) Michael Collins commemoration in Beal na mBlath
(d) On the Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy
3. In April, which 1990s sitcom catchphrase did President Recep Tayyip Erdogan use to dismiss protests, after a referendum granting him sweeping new powers passed in Turkey?
(a) “Talk to the hand”
(b) “Say it, don’t spray it”
(c) “Could I.... be any more of a dictator?”
(d) “I know you are, but what am I?”
4. Which unusual phrase did British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson use to denounce Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in April?
(a) “A snot-nosed old scallywag”
(b) “A cotton-brained old codger”
(c) “A mutton-headed old mugwump”
(d) “Lily-livered old lickspittle”
5. “[BRAND NAME] has destroyed it’s USP [unique selling point]. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework.” In November, what did author JK Rowling take to Twitter to denounce?
(b) Pot Noodle
(c) The GAA football championship
6. “I don’t want to be on the same list as a killer... a pariah.” In November, who renounced their Freedom of Dublin in protest at Aung San Suu Kyi holding the same honour?
(b) Barack Obama
(c) Bill Clinton
(d) Bob Geldof
7. “I’d rather be a poor master than a rich servant.” In April, which high profile British actor outed themself as a Brexit supporter during an interview with Sky News?
(a) Helen Mirren
(b) Judi Dench
(c) Michael Cain
(d) Ian McKellan
8. “Someone is trying to sell naked photos of me to my fans. Save your money. Here it is for free.” Which female pop superstar turned the tables on the paparazzi by tweeting a photo of herself in November?
(d) Britney Spears
9. “I’m going to knock him out inside four rounds, mark my rounds.” In July, Conor McGregor made this (inaccurate) prediction about which opponent?
(a) Eddie Alvarez
(b) Floyd Mayweather
(c) Nate Diaz
(d) Jose Aldo
10. In September, what arcane epithet, meaning “an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile” did North Korean leader Kim Jong Un use to describe Donald Trump?
1. In January, what did Elton John, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks and Andrea Bocelli all reportedly refuse to do?
(a) Duet on U2’s Songs of Experience album
(b) Allow their music to be streamed on Spotify
(c) Write the theme tune for the next James Bond movie
(d) Perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration
2. Which veteran crooner came out as a gay man in April?
(a) Tom Jones
(b) Tony Bennett
(c) Barry Manilow
(d) Dickie Rock
3. Set in a rugby-obsessed boarding school, and starring Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine, this acclaimed Irish film, released in April, was named after which song by The Smiths?
(a) This Charming Man
(b) Handsome Devil
(c) The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
(d) Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now
4. On SNL in February, Melissa McCarthy debuted a hugely popular impression of which Trump administration official?
(a) Kellyanne Conway
(b) Ivanka Trump
(c) Sean Spicer
(d) Donald Trump
5. What happy news did both Amal Clooney and Beyonce separately announce this summer (in June and July respectively?)
(a) Both gave birth to twins
(b) Both launched new perfume lines
(c) Both signed on to star in Disney’s The Lion King remake
(d) Both successfully prosecuted war criminals at The Hague
6. In May, Bono revealed that U2’s new single You’re The Best Thing About Me had been inspired by a chance meeting with...?
(a) Anne Enright in a bookshop
(b) Eamon Dunphy in a pub
(c) Malala Yousafzai at the United Nations general assembly
(d) Bob Dylan in a cash and carry
7. At the joint funeral of actresses Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds in January, the former’s ashes were placed in an urn resembling what?
(a) A cigarette
(b) A Death Star
(c) A bottle of champagne
(d) A prozac pill
8. In February, Johnny Depp was alleged in court to have lavished money on which of the following extravagances?
(a) $30,000 a month on wine
(b) $200,000 a month on private jets
(c) $3m on a cannon
(d) All of the above
9. Who co-wrote and starred in RTE’s acclaimed comedy series Nowhere Fast, broadcast in November?
(a) Katherine Lynch
(b) Aisling Bea
(c) Alison Spittle
(d) Maeve Higgins
10. In January, name the Bruce Springsteen tribute act who dropped out of performing at a Donald Trump inauguration party after criticism from members of Springsteen’s actual band?
(a) Spruce Bingsteen
(b) The B-Street Band
(c) Born To Strum
(d) Horrible Bosses
ARTS & LITERATURE
1. In June, the National Gallery of Ireland reopened after six years. It’s first new exhibition featured ten paintings by which Dutch master?
(b) Johannes Vermeer
(c) Pieter Claesz
(d) Hans van Breukelen
2. Novelist Margaret Atwood was the toast of Tinseltown in September when a TV adaptation of which of her books won eight Emmy Awards?
(a) The Blind Assassin
(b) The Robber Bride
(c) The Handmaid’s Tale
(d) Cat’s Eye
3. In June, new Irish author Sally Rooney was hailed as “Salinger for the Snapchat generation”. What was the title of her debut novel?
(a) Words With Acquaintances
(b) Discussions With Associates
(c) Chats With Colleagues
(d) Conversations With Friends
4. In November, Christie’s of New York sold a painting titled Salvador Mundi at auction for a record $450m. Who was the artrist?
(a) Willem de Kooning
(b) Paul Cezanne
(c) Leonardo da Vinci
(d) Paul Gauguin
5. In May Tremble Tremble, by Irish artist and film-maker Jesse Jones, was exhibited at which major international art showcase?
(a) Venice Biennale
(c) The Whitney Biennial
(d) Carnegie International
6. In September, author J.P. Donleavy died at home in Co. Westmeath. Who was the rakish protagonist of his most famous book The Ginger Man?
(a) Sebastian Horsley
(b) Sebastian Dangerfield
(c) Rodney Dangerfield
(d) Rodney Trotter
7. In March, architect Grainne Hassett exhibited maps of which recently demolished refugee settlement at the Irish Museum of Modern Art?
(a) Jabalia camp, Gaza
(b) Kakuma, Kenya
(c) Calais jungle, France
(d) Mae La, Thailand
8. In August, a hard drive containing unfinished works by which deceased author was crushed by a steamroller on the author’s instructions?
(a) Steig Larsson
(b) Terry Pratchett
(c) Jackie Collins
(d) Tom Clancy
9. In June, Tate Britain exhibited work by Khadija Saye, following her death in the Grenfell Tower fire. In what medium had the talented 24-year-old artist worked?
10. In October, Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic portrait of which twentieth century revolutionary appeared on an An Post stamp?
(a) Michael Collins
(b) Rosa Luxemburg
(c) Leon Trotsky
(d) Che Guevara
1. In February, what truly bizarre fact did we learn about incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer?
(a) He regularly bathes in custard
(b) He commutes to work in a golf cart
(c) He chews and swallows 35 pieces of Orbit chewing gum per day
(d) He can recite pi to 2,300 places
2. In June, Transport Minister Shane Ross was photographed doing what on the Luas?
(a) Smoking a joint
(b) Holding a can of Dutch Gold
(c) Sitting in a seat reserved for pregnant women and commuters with special needs
(d) Tippexing his initials on a seat
3. In February, which RTE presenter was fooled into believing they had received a signed photo and handwritten letter from Julia Roberts?
(a) Miriam O’Callaghan
(b) Ryan Tubridy
(c) Sean O’Rourke
(d) Ronan Collins
4. In an appearance on the BBC’s One Show, in May, what did Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn admit to having a lifelong passion for?
(a) Stamp collecting
(b) Soap carving
(c) Fork bending
(d) Manhole covers
5. Once dubbed “the greatest show on earth”, what staged it’s final show in May after 146 years on the road?
(a) The Rolling Stones
(b) Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
(c) Les Miserables
6. In October, which Irish person, whose life was the subject of an acclaimed film, did actor Johnny Depp claim he would have “taken a bullet” for?
(a) Michael Collins
(b) Gerry Conlon
(c) Veronica Guerin
(d) Darby O’Gill
7. In January, which major European city passed a law intended to deter visitors, as tourist numbers had begun to overwhelm the city?
8. In February, reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was released by Sutton United after footage showed him doing what on the subs bench during the side’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal?
(b) Taking a selfie
(c) Mooning supporters
(d) Eating a pie
9. In September, a video went viral showing former Oasis frontman and rock wildman Liam Gallagher doing what?
(b) Bird watching
(c) Making a cup of tea
(d) Playing bridge
10. Due to a mix-up over dialling codes, residents in Westport, Co. Mayo were reportedly bombarded with phone calls intended for what in January?
(a) The Samaritans
(b) Joe Duffy’s Liveline
(c) A British adult TV station
(d) A Garda confidential tip-off line
1. Comedian Al Porter once penned a newspaper column titled ‘We need a modern Irish sex scandal.’ In November, he stepped aside from his Today FM radio show due to what?
(c) Management dispute
(d) A groping scandal
2. In August, UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel visited Israel on a family holiday. Which aspect of that trip would later prove controversial?
(a) Kayaking on the River Jordan
(b) Floating in the Dead Sea
(c) Shopping in Tel Aviv
(d) Holding a series of undisclosed meetings with senior Israeli politicians
3. In April, Barack Obama was photographed enjoying his retirement on a yacht in Tahiti with which three celebrities?
(a) Tom Cruise, Beyonce and Justin Bieber
(b) Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen
(c) Paul McCartney, Lionel Messi and Taylor Swift
(d) Rihanna, Jackie Chan and Cristiano Ronaldo
4. In September, Garda Comissioner Noirin O’Sullivan resigned following controversy over which issue?
(a) Inflated breathalyser test figures
(b) Mistreatment of Garda whistleblowers
(c) Financial mismanagement at Templemore Garda training college.
(d) All of the above
5. Two aging revolutionaries, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and President Robert of Zimbabwe, finally shuffled toward the exit in November. Which had occupied his position longer?
(c) It’s a dead heat
(d) Mr Adams now denies ever being a member of Sinn Fein
6. Broadcaster Dil Wickremasinghe was ousted from role at Newstalk in October, after taking issue with offensive comments by which of her fellow presenters?
(a) Ivan Yates
(b) Pat Kenny
(c) George Hook
(d) Chris Donoghue
7. The White House career of Anthony Scaramucci crashed and burned over six glorious days in July. By what nickname did the Communications Director refer to himself?
(a) The Hooch
(b) The Mooch
(c) The Pooch
(d) The Douche
8. In January, legendary comedian Mary Tyler Moore died aged 80. What was The Mary Tyler Moore Show’s famous opening song?
(a) Where Everybody Knows Your Name
(b) Thank You For Being A Friend
(c) Love Is All Around (You’re Gonna Make It After All)
(d) I’ll Be There For You
9. “I considered miming, just to be in front of you and be with you. But... it wouldn’t be the real me up there.” In June, who pulled out of two major Wembley Stadium shows hinting she might never tour again?
(b) Tina Turner
(d) Britney Spears
10. Which French phrase did Enda Kenny utter in February, when it became apparent he was being ousted as Fine Gael leader?
(a) Après moi le déluge
(b) Ça ne fait rien
(c) Sacré bleu
(d) C’est la vie