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2023: The giant Xmas quiz

Gather the family around the tree and test your knowledge of the last 12 months

Suella Braverman makes her keynote speech at the National Conservatism Conference (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)


1) In January, how did Tory vice-chairman Lee Anderson prove that he was far more grown-up than “Stop Brexit man” Steve Bray?

2) What policy did the Daily Telegraph claim would prevent drivers from going uphill?

3) What unfortunate nickname was given to speakers at the National Conservatism Conference?

4) RAAC caused chaos in British schools. But what did it stand for?

5) What was made by Niesmann+Bischoff, cost £110,000 and helped to drive Operation Branchform?

6) What (not very snappy) new Conservative slogan was unveiled at their Manchester conference?

7) Which party leader lost his TV job for being sexist, denied being racist despite having been photographed wearing an afro wig and heavy fake tan and, most embarrassing of all, persuaded Andrew Bridgen to become his only MP?

8) Humza Yousaf surprised a group of Ukrainian women refugees in Edinburgh with what question?

9) A 25-year-old became Baby of the House when he was elected the new Labour MP for Selby and Ainsty. What was his party-appropriate first name?

10) Which serial lawbreaker was fined for failing to wear a seatbelt in the back of a moving car and then appeared to suggest he was taking his daughters (12 and 10) to see 15-rated Oppenheimer?


1) Which historic city banned tourists from dragging wheeled suitcases through its cobbled streets?

2) Paris held a referendum that voted in favour of banning trottinettes. But what are they?

3) In which country was the No 666 bus to Hel renumbered after complaints from religious groups?

4) Which city was terrorised by a supposed lioness that turned out to be a wild boar?

5) In July, tourists fled as wildfires devastated around 15% of the surface area of which Greek island?

6) Which city went viral because of a social media post showing a photo of a bus with the destination “Mystère”, which the post claimed was a council-run mystery tour for locals?

7) The governor of which country’s national bank defended its adoption of the euro on January 1 by quoting the Bob Dylan lyric, “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose”?

8) In which country did Hans Peter Doskozil serve as the leader of the Social Democratic Party for two days before it was realised his rival Andreas Babler had won the election instead?

9) In February, which country said it was being plagued by the arrivals of pregnant Russian women claiming to be tourists – over 5,000 in total, including 33 on a single flight?

10) In October, where did a train full of MEPs and their staff that left Brussels for Strasbourg unexpectedly stop instead?


1) Who called Rishi Sunak “Rashee Sanook” and “Mr President”?

2) Which Austrian’s quote “He alone, who OWNS the youth, GAINS the future” featured on the cover of the inaugural newsletter from Indiana conservative parenting group Moms for Liberty?

3) Who warned, “You should not gobblefunk around with words”? Why?

4) Who defended her husband by saying: “He was just in a little corner somewhere. He wasn’t in the middle of the chamber waving it around”?

5) Who bade Scotland’s leader a fond farewell with the words “Good riddance to failed woke extremist Nicola Sturgeon!”?

6) Who said: “These houses are really beautiful, high quality, welcoming and I quite like your interior designer. I need some advice myself”?

7) Who is quoted in Nadine Dorries’ book The Plot as saying: “I’m seething. I’m a caged beast. I’m a coiled mamba”?

8) What did fashion stylist Tom Stubbs assure us was perfectly normal, claiming: “The look says, ‘don’t worry I’m normal – but cool’”?

9) Who said: “I’ve taken the incarceration, but I’ve also taken the glory and if anything this made me a stronger, better man”?

10) Which Trump supporter was revealed to have written, following Joe Biden’s election in 2020, “We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait… I hate him passionately”?


1) What was Yaz Ashmawi’s shiny claim to fame?

2) Leonor de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Ortiz turned 18 in October. If things go to plan, what will be her job one day?

3) Bristol-based tourist Ivan Dimitrov apologised after carving “Ivan + Hayley 23” on to what?

4) Whose infant son rejoiced in the names Frank Alfred Odysseus?

5) Why did Ángeles Béjar lock herself in church?

6) After emerging from a cave in Granada where she broke a world record for isolation, Beatriz Flamini claimed: “When they came in to get me, I said: ‘Already? Surely not.’ I hadn’t finished my book.” How many days had she been alone underground?

7) Who died in June and has so far not been resurrected, despite once calling himself “the Jesus Christ of politics”?

8) On August 29, which Englishman posed for photographs while wearing lederhosen, eating white sausage and drinking beer?

9) What did Anne L’Huillier share with Pierre Agostini and Ferenc Krausz?

10) In September, Turkish cryptocurrency fraudster Faruk Fatih Ozer was jailed for 11,196 years. What was the good news for him?


1) Which blockbuster featured Norway’s Kylling Bridge – and a killing on a bridge in Venice?

2) After a five-year run-in, what happened – supposedly for the final time ever – in Stockholm on July 8?

3) Which Spanish Netflix hit (now featuring Paul Giamatti) centres on an exiled exorcist and the pieces of silver paid to Judas Iscariot?

4) The Hercule Poirot story Halloween Party was filmed under what more glamorous (and more European) title?

5) Which city (not in Ukraine) hosted Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine?

6) Norway’s Juvet Landscape Hotel featured as the base for tech firm GoJo’s annual retreat in which acclaimed TV show?

7) Which miniseries featured British actor Bel Powley as Miep Gies, whose family sheltered Anne Frank?

8) Which BBC show ended at the Fjellheisen cable car station in Oslo?

9) Why did director Martin McDonagh’s acceptance speech at the BAFTAs open with “Best ‘what’ award?”

10) Which film was ridiculed for dialogue including “destiny has brought me this lamb chop” and “you think you’re so great because you have boats”?


1) Why did Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen sport a large bandage on his hand during a diplomatic visit to Moldova?

2) What happened to a Spanish Navy ship given the job of updating nautical charts to make navigation safer?

3) What item did Latvia promise to send Ukraine two dozen of per week to help its war effort?

4) In October, the world’s oldest dog died in Portugal. Within three years, how old was Bobi?

5) Which channel broke news of the recapture of terrorist suspect Daniel Khalife like this: “First, it’s the news headlines… no it’s not… we’re going straight to me. This is breaking news… this is fast happening. Because as we just said, we… the terror man… fuck, it’s all gone wrong”?

6) Why was Napoli’s Serie A title win bad news for fan and fugitive Vincenzo La Porta?

7) What was the small problem with £230m worth of new commuter trains in Asturia and Cantabria, Spain?

8) What did French TV viewers note Emmanuel Macron discreetly removed during a live TV interview about raising the pension age?

9) What, bizarrely, stopped Irene Paredes from winning her 100th cap for Spain in November’s 7-1 rout of Switzerland?

10) Despite smelling awful and sounding dead rude, what drove 15,000 people to a botanical garden in Villers-lès-Nancy, on July 11?


1) Which politician launched their own 42% ABV gin, available in red, white and blue colours?

2) Which nepo baby-turned-social media chef was castigated by Italian chefs after telling followers the secret of a perfect ragù was adding a wine cork to the pan?

3) What do some Dutch people now wear on their heads every November 29 in tribute to the fictional Saint Pannekoek?

4) An outbreak of food poisoning linked to a Madrid restaurant led Spanish food expert María del Toro to accuse chefs of “Playing wheel of fortune with salmonella”. But which item was the culprit?

5) What controversial flavouring is used in a Starbucks Oleato, unveiled at their Milan branches in February and since rolled out across Europe?

6) Swiss and French cheesemakers were stunned when an American appeals court ruled that as long as sweet but slightly salty US cheese had holes and had been aged for 90 days, it could be branded what?

7) Michel Roux Jnr is closing London restaurant Le Gavroche, which has been open since 1967. But what in English is a gavroche?

8) During a fractious election campaign, what did Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party say Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform would force Poles to eat instead of chicken?

9) What foods that don’t go together were supposedly depicted on an uncovered 2,000-year-old fresco in Pompeii?

10) What did Lee Anderson ask co-host Michelle Dewberry to eat on his GB News show, causing her to respond: “You can bugger off, are you mental?”


1) Which cabinet colleagues are said to be not speaking after he broke off an affair with one of her best friends?

2) What insult (cribbed from a Sun front page) did Rishi Sunak use for Keir Starmer in April? And what did Starmer call Sunak when he toyed with him in September?

3) Which bank debanked Nigel Farage?

4) Which US politician claimed “laughing and singing too loud” got her ejected from a performance of musical Beetlejuice, although CCTV later showed it may have been for vaping and fondling her male companion’s crotch?

5) In an LBC interview, how long did it take between top author Nadine Dorries claiming “I’m never going to say” the real identity of shadowy No 10 fixer “Dr No” and her naming him as Dougie Smith?

6) Which British singer is being sued by Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni after calling her a “racist” and “fascist” onstage?

7) Marco Goecke, ballet choreographer at Hanover State Opera, was sacked for doing what to a journalist who gave him a bad review?

8) Who did Greta Thunberg instruct to email his complaints about her to

9) As well as a cage match fight, how else did Elon Musk suggest settling his beef with Mark Zuckerberg?

10) Which I’m a Celebrity… contestant correctly observed of Nigel Farage: “He never answers the questions. But do you know why? Because he’s talking bollocks.”



1) He stole his hat, then challenged him to a boxing match 2) Wales’ 20mph speed limit 3) Nat Cs 4) Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete 5) The motorhome which featured in a police investigation of SNP spending 6) “Long-term decisions for a brighter future” 7) Laurence Fox (Reclaim) 8) “Where are all the men?” The answer was fighting in Ukraine 9) Keir (Mather) 10) Rishi Sunak


1) Dubrovnik 2) E-scooters 3) Poland 4) Berlin 5) Rhodes 6) Brussels 7) Croatia 8) Austria 9) Argentina 10) Disneyland Paris


1) Joe Biden 2) Adolf Hitler 3) Rishi Sunak (well, his spokesperson) on the rewriting of Roald Dahl 4) Sue Parish, wife of disgraced tractor porn MP Neil 5) Donald Trump 6) Suella Braverman, in Rwanda 7) Boris Johnson 8) Rishi Sunak’s short-cut trousers 9) Boris Becker 10) Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson


1) Threw glitter over Keir Starmer at Labour’s conference 2) Queen regnant of Spain 3) The Colosseum 4) Boris and Carrie Johnson 5) In protest at the suspension of her son, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales for his unsolicited kissing of Jennifer Hermoso after their World Cup win 6) 500 7) Silvio Berlusconi 8) Harry Kane, now of Bayern Munich 9) The Nobel Prize for physics 10) The prosecution had asked for 40,562 years.


1) Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning 2) Elton John played a full live gig
3) 30 Coins 4) A Haunting In Venice 5) Liverpool 6) Succession 7) A Small Light 8) Celebrity Race Across The World 9) Irish film The Banshees of Inisherin had just won best British movie 10) Napoleon


1) He petted President Maia Sandu’s dog Codrut, which bit him 2) It lost its way and got stranded in shallows off Ibiza 3) The seized cars of drink-drivers 4) 31 years and 165 days 5) GB News 6) After 11 years on the run, he was filmed celebrating their victory in Corfu and caught days later 7) They were too wide for the tunnels 8) A £2,000 watch by Bell & Ross 9) A “computer error” meant the previous match’s team sheet was submitted in error and it could not be replaced 10) A plant known as Titan’s Penis and also, because of its smell, the “corpse bloom” flowered for only the fifth time in France since 1878


1) Nigel Farage 2) Brooklyn Beckham 3) Pancakes 4) A runny tortilla de patatas 5) Olive oil 6) Gruyère 7) An urchin 8) Worms 9) A pizza and a pineapple 10) Cat food


1) Michael Gove and Kemi Badenoch 2) Sir Softie and Inaction Man 3) Coutts 4) Lauren Boebert 5) 11 seconds 6) Brian Molko of Placebo 7) Smearing dog faeces on their face 8) Influencer Andrew Tate 9) “A literal dick-measuring contest” 10) Fred Sirieix

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See inside the Merry Crisis edition

“Former UK prime minister (3,5)” Photo: Carl Court/Getty

Cross words, Nat Cs and a tax attack: the best of your letters

For our final letters pages of 2023, a selection of our favourite missives of the year. Thank you to all who wrote in