Sunday, 19 January 2014

Wizzard's festive hit I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday has never reached higher than number 4 on the UK singles chart

After a somewhat extended Christmas break, The Ones That Got Away is back! The doctor and I have safely returned to the Great White North - which has gotten rather more white (and a lot more chilly) in our absence - and with things settling down again it's time to return to our regularly scheduled blogular programming.

A trip to the UK obviously meant lots of quizzing, and what follows are dropped questions from not one, not two, but three nights of trivia funtimes. As you'll see, these form something of a Christmas Special, and what better time of year for one of them than most of the way through January? Only 338 days to go...

The attendees
1) Various, including the statistician, the doctor, the programmer, the misandrist, the saxophonist, and the publisher.

The ones that got away
Question 1!
1) Name the artist from a segment of one of their album covers (pictured).
2) In what year was the movie Home Alone released?
3) Which festive item was created by baker Tom Smith in London in 1847?
4) Which Christmas song is the best selling single of all time?
5) In what year was the first radio broadcast of the monarch's Christmas Message?
6) Very loosely related to Christmas, the predatory animal uncia uncia is better known by what name?
7) Other than Merry Xmas Everybody, how many UK number ones did Slade have?

One each of questions 8-10 contain 'elf', 'santa', or the name of one of Santa's reindeer. (These came from a larger connections round.)

8) Who plays Ahmed Ben Hassan in the 1921 silent movie The Sheik?
9) In what song does the singer request a light blue out of space convertible, a yacht, and the deed to a platinum mine?
10) Which TV series tells the story of 'mile-a-minute Harry' and his shopping empire?

The answers

Poll results: 16 votes with the average voter scoring just over 2/10!

The excuses

The alternative questions
1) To which 1997 James Bond film did Cheryl Crow provide the theme song?
2) Spell the full name (forename and surname) of the child star of Home Alone.
3) Try and answer this suspiciously topical Christmas Cracker style joke (courtesy of the Telegraph's '50 best Christmas cracker jokes ever'): What does Miley Cyrus have at Christmas?
4) The 1943 movie This is the Army, based on White Christmas composer Irving Berlin's 1942 musical of the same name, featured which future politician as Corporal Johnny Jones?
5) How many different British monarchs have delivered the Christmas Message since its introduction in 1932?
6) What name is given to the domesticated form of the European polecat?
7) Which is the only band to have held the UK Christmas number one spot twice with the same song, topping the charts in 1975 and 1991?
8) The names for Santa's eight reindeer (notably, not including Rudolph) are often cited as originating from which 1823 poem? (If you don't know the poem's actual name, its first five words form an acceptable alternative title.)
9) In Michael Bublé's 2011 version of 'Santa Baby', he repeatedly refers to Santa not as his 'baby', but as what moderately more masculine word beginning with B?
10) Maths! If Harry Selfridge really did move at a mile a minute, roughly how many times faster would he be travelling than Usain Bolt averaged over his current 100m world record? 1.5 times, 2.5 times, or 3.5 times?

The answers


  1. In his defence, there is some controversy over whether the snow leopard should be in its own genus or whether it should be stuck in Panthera with the rest of the big cats.

    1. Interesting! (Although he hasn't tried that excuse yet.)

      Also, belated well done for last week's UC - if it weren't enough fun to see my alma mater triumph (in some style, at that), it was extra special fun to see the evil Manchester lose >:D

    2. Obviously it only goes so far as an excuse, because tautonyms are awesome and therefore Uncia uncia is preferable by default. But still.

      And thanks. :D Manchester were actually quite nice and I found it very hard to remember that they were pure evil. But then they told us that UCL had lost last year's final and all was well.