The MSE Christmas pub quiz 2013 – Answers

The MSE Christmas pub quiz 2012

The MSE Christmas pub quiz 2013

Each year for the MSE team Christmas party we have a pub quiz. Last week I set you the questions (see the MSE Christmas pub quiz 2013 blog), but now it’s time for the answers.

Below are the questions and answers. However, just in case you want to play along for the first time, the answers are whited-out. You’ll need to highlight them with your mouse to read them.

Round 1: General knowledge

The key to this round is that I wrote every question without looking up the answer. Whether that helps or hinders you, who knows?

  1. In 1933, US President Franklin D Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 which banned US citizens from hoarding what?
  2. Not including the centre square, how many double word squares are there on a standard Scrabble board?
  3. A logophile is a lover of what?
  4. Dipsophobia is the abnormal fear of doing what?
  5. In the UK which three classic horse races make up the Triple Crown?
  6. Which was the first country outside the UK to screen the television series Doctor Who?
  7. What is the famous last line of the 1959 comedy film Some Like it Hot?
  8. Jirisan National Park lies in which Asian country?
  9. How many times did Silvio Berlusconi serve as prime minister of Italy?
  10. What is Cockney rhyming slang for the London Underground rail system?


  1. Gold.
  2. 16.
  3. Words.
  4. Drinking alcohol.
  5. 2000 Guineas, Derby, St Leger.
  6. New Zealand.
  7. "Well, nobody’s perfect."
  8. South Korea.
  9. Three.
  10. Oxo cube (Tube).

Round 2: The Martin round

The big clue here is I set all of the questions off the top of my head – generally on things I’m interested in.

  1. What century did the last ruling ‘Caesar’ die?
  2. Which TWO words aren’t allowed in UK Scrabble (Sowpods) from Ulu, Umu, Uvu, Utu, Zen, Color?
  3. In what year did Abba win the 1974 Eurovision song contest?
  4. Why was 46 BC a special YEAR?
  5. In the Big Bang Theory. Who is Sheldon’s sworn arch enemy (until they make up)?
  6. What two celebrations of geekdom do I have sitting in my office?
  7. How many lights are lit on Chanukah on the eighth and final day?
  8. George Bernard Shaw was involved in the founding of which university?
  9. Who died first; Thomas Cromwell, Thomas A Beckett, Thomas Cramner or Tommy Hilfiger?
  10. What century is Star Trek: The Next Generation set in?

PS. Question 3 is not a typo!


  1. 20th century. Both ‘Tzar’ and ‘Kaiser’ and ‘Caesar’ mean the same in their own respective languages, and in 1946 Tzar Simeon II of Bulgaria became the last Tzar to die. It all started with Julius Caesar in around 50 BC – his name became the title of the Roman Emperors.
  2. Uvu and Zen.
  3. 1974, of course!
  4. It was the longest calendar year there’s ever been, and it’s when the Julian calendar was introduced. The previous calendar had been lunar, which caused problems. So Caesar adopted the Egyptian solar year of 365.25 days instead, but introduced three leap MONTHS that year to put it back on track.
  5. Will Wheaton (Star Trek‘s Wesley Crusher).
  6. A Van de Graaf generator and a theremin – half a point each.
  7. 9 (one for each day, plus the central one – the shemash – to light the others).
  8. LSE – he was a member of the Fabians.
  9. A Beckett was murdered in 1170 by Henry II. Cromwell, the Earl of Essex, was Chamberlain to Henry VIII and died in the 16th century, as did Cramner who was archbishop at the same time during the Reformation. Tommy Hilfiger is alive and kicking, aged 62.
  10. 24th.

Round 3: Who and what?

In this round, I asked some well known people I bumped into in the two weeks before the quiz, including Phillip Schofield, Nadia Sawalha, Basil Brush, Rylan and John Pienaar to record questions. These were then played to the teams and they had to identify the voice as well as answer the question asked. As I didn’t ask the questioners if it’d be OK to publish them doing this, I’ve just listed the questions here.

  1. Which country has a bigger population: Nigeria or Indonesia?
  2. Who currently has more Twitter followers: BBC Breaking News or Emma Watson?
  3. What came first, the match or the lighter?
  4. Who had more number one hits: Westlife or Madonna?
  5. Which has currently aired more episodes: Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones?
  6. What has more calories, a Crème Egg or a standard size packet of Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps?
  7. Based on the 2011 census, which built-up area has the greater population: Nottingham or Sheffield?
  8. What month is the most popular for birthdays in England: November or September?
  9. Which country has the longer coast line: Canada or Norway?
  10. Who is older: Mick Jagger or David Dimbleby?


  1. Indonesia
  2. Emma Watson. At the time of the quiz, she had 11,129,257 followers to the BBC’s 8,017,732.
  3. The lighter was invented before the match. The modern matchbox was created by British chemist John Walker in the year 1827. The cigarette lighter was created 11 years before, in 1816, by German chemist JW Dobereiner.
  4. Westlife with 14. Madonna’s had 13.
  5. Downton Abbey, with 32 episodes. Game of Thrones has had 30 episodes aired.
  6. Salt & Vinegar crisps.
  7. Nottingham, with 729,977 people. Sheffield has 685,368.
  8. September.
  9. Canada (Norway has the 7th longest).
  10. Dimbleby, at 75. Jagger is 70.