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The Great European Christmas Quiz

Who is this Irish-British actor and comedian who was born in India in 2018? - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Stuck for something to do while the turkey cooks in the oven? Try The New European’s Christmas Quiz and share your score!

100 years ago

1 Which poet and soldier died on November 4, 1918, aged 25? His best-known works are Dulce et Decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth.

2 The premiere of which popular orchestral work took place at the Queen’s Hall, London, in September 1918, conducted by Adrian Boult?

3 In December 1918, Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to the British House of Commons. What party did she represent?

4 Which two Viennese artists died within months of each other in 1918?

5 Which English novelist and mystic was convicted under wartime legislation for hoarding food in January 1918? She is said to have been the inspiration for EF Benson’s comic creation Emmeline ‘Lucia’ Lucas in the Mapp and Lucia novels.

6 Which Irish-British actor and comedian was born in India in April 1918?

7 Architect Jorn Utzon, born in Copenhagen in April 1918, would go on to design one of the world’s most iconic buildings, but which one?

8 Where did the signing of the Armistice take place on November 11, 1918?

9 In April 1918, who was shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France?

10 Olga Khoklova, a dancer with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes married which Spanish artist in July 1918.

General knowledge

1 Which air disaster shocked the world on December 21, 1988?

2 Who did Ronnie Kray murder in the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel, London, in 1966?

3 Which yachtswoman was this month rescued by a cargo ship after her boat capsized during the Golden Globe Race.

4 The Great Spring Show was the forerunner of which annual event held in London in May?

5 Who was the leader of the 1981 hunger strike at the Maze Prison in County Down? He died aged 27 after 66 days on hunger strike.

6 Which grandmaster retained his title at the recent World Chess Championship, defeating Fabiano Caruana.

7 Who was the youngest daughter of Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I who came to England in 1501?

8 How did Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov hit the headlines this year?

9 What was the original name of the Golden Hind, renamed mid-voyage by Sir Francis Drake on his circumnavigation of the globe?

10 What is the name of the riot which took place in 1517 as a protest against foreigners living in London? They were blamed for the city’s economic woes, getting preferential treatment and stealing jobs.


1 What did Vincenzo Peruggia steal in 1911? He later claimed he wanted to return to his homeland, Italy

2 Claire is the alter-ego of which contemporary artist?

3 Which artist was given the same name as his brother who had died at birth?

4 The painting Arrangement in Grey and Black No 1 is better known by what name?

5 Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion is a seminal 1944 work by which Irish-born British artist?

6 Which artist challenged the art critic and novelist Louis Edmond Duranty to a duel in 1870?

7 An artwork featuring the words ‘more passion’ by which controversial artist was installed at Number 10 by former prime minister David Cameron?

8 Which painting by Carel Fabritius features in a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Donna Tartt?

9 Satan Devouring his Son is possibly the most famous of a group of 14 paintings collectively known by what name?

10 Which public artwork was commissioned as a result of a chance meeting, in a cloakroom in Davos, between Boris Johnson and the man who funded it?


1 Which 1991 Krzysztof Kieslowski film features a young Polish singer who collapses on stage and dies, and her double, a French music teacher?

2 In which film from 1978 does Ingrid Bergman, in her final role, play a celebrated classical pianist confronted by her neglected daughter?

3 For which film did Gary Oldman win an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony?

4 The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne, tells the life story of which painter, who successfully transitioned in 1930?

5 Katie Johnson plays the sweet, elderly landlady Mrs Louisa Wilberforce in which 1955 Ealing comedy?

6 Jeremie Renier plays twins Paul and Louis in which recent fim directed by Francois Ozon?

7 In which 1950s French classic does Maria Casares play the role of Death?

8 The Happy Prince, released earlier this year, was the directorial debut for which actor? He also wrote and starred in the film?

9 In which 1973 thriller directed by Nicolas Roeg does a married couple travel to Venice following the accidental death of their daughter?

10 Which Pedro Almodovar film’s plot take its starting point from Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix humaine (The Human Voice)?


1 Which major sporting event, subsequently held every year – except during the world wars – got under way outside a cafe on July 1, 1903?

2 Which driver is Formula One’s only-ever posthumous world champion, having been killed in a practice session at Monza with four races of the season remaining?

3 How many times has wheelchair athlete David Weir won the London Marathon?

4 Torvill and Dean used which piece of music in the free dance of their gold-medal winning routine at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984?

5 Maud Watson became the first female champion of which tournament, in 1884?

6 Which German footballer’s nickname was Der Bomber?

7 Who are the current rugby Super League champions?

8 British gymnast Max Whitlock won gold in which disciplines at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro?

9 In which event did Jarmila Kratochvilova set a world record in 1983, currently the longest-standing individual record in athletics?

10 Which legendary commentator said the following: ‘The atmosphere is so tense, if Elvis walked in with a portion of chips you could hear the vinegar sizzle on them?’


1 This year’s Man Booker prize was awarded to which author?

2 Which novel was first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir (New World)?

3 Which writer and Holocaust survivor died in 1987 after a fall from the landing of his third-floor apartment in Turin?

4 Marvin the Paranoid Android, who has a brain the size of a planet, is a character in which series of novels?

5 Which Shakespeare comedy features the clown Feste?

6 Who is the headmistress of the Marcia Blaine School in Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie?

7 Which series of novels follows the lives of Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo from childhood to old age?

8 Which Dutch novel from 1947 features office worker Frits who sometimes talks to a toy rabbit?

9 Which German author decided to become a writer after he was given a 25-year prison sentence for spying in the German Democratic Republic?

10 O’Brien is an agent of Thinkpol, the secret police of the superstate Oceania, in which novel?

TV and radio

1 Which Oscar-winning actress played Cleopatra in a sketch featured on The Morecambe and Wise Show in 1971?

2 Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams played which characters in the BBC radio programme Round the Horne?

3 Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham were the winners of which reality TV show in 2018?

4 Which political drama pits a hard-left Labour leader against the headmaster of a special school?

5 Ralf Lassgard, Krister Henriksson and Kenneth Branagh have all played which TV character?

6 Penfold is the faithful but nervous sidekick of which animated secret agent?

7 Who is replacing David Dimbleby as host of Question Time as he leaves the programme after 24 years?

8 Mimi, Fazio, Catarella and Livia all appear in which detective series?

9 Which news presenter was the first winner of Strictly Come Dancing with partner Brendan Cole?

10 Who once got barred from The Bull in The Archers because he was sick in the piano?

Famous faces

1 A statue commemorating which suffragist was unveiled this year, the first of a woman to be erected in Parliament Square?

2 Which French president vetoed the entry of Britain into the Common Market?

3 Who did Sigmund Freud call ‘his adopted eldest son, his crown prince and successor’?

4 Which footballer won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or award?

5 Which Polish friar volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp at Auschwitz?

6 Baroness Shirley Williams is the daughter of which nurse, writer, feminist and pacifist, whose 1933 memoir was Testament of Youth?

7 Which poet and playwright is said to have been executed by Nationalist militia in August 1936? His body has never been found.

8 Diarist, landowner, mountaineer and traveller Anne Lister is also known by which name?

9 Born in August 1856 in North Lanarkshire, who was a founder of the Labour Party and served as its first parliamentary leader from 1906 to 1908?

10 Remembered as the ‘Smiling Pope’, how long was the reign of John Paul I?


1 What is the name of the horse which Brunnhilde rides into the flames at the end of Gotterdammerung?

2 French singer, songwriter and producer Heloise Letissier is known professionally by which name?

3 A photo of which 1937 disaster features on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s debut album?

4 Name the operatic superstar who performed Barcelona with Freddie Mercury which featued at the 1992 Summer Olympics?

5 Euphemia Allen composed which much-played piece of piano music at the age of 16 using the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli.

6 Buffalo Stance was a 1988 hit for which hip hop artist?

7 Thomas Neuwirth came to international attention at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest using what name?

8 Dancefloor anthem ‘One of the Girls’ was the debut single of which Norwegian producer?

9 What is the connection between Mumford & Sons and William Shakespeare?

10 ‘You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ is the first line from which 1981 Christmas number one single.

Around Europe

1 If you come across the Twelve Bens (also Twelve Pins) where would you be?

2 Designed by Antonio de Ponte and completed in 1591, which bridge has become an architectural icon and top tourist attraction?

3 The Alfama is the oldest district in which capital city?

4 Which palace near Fussen in Germany was commissioned by Ludwig II (Mad King Ludwig) of Bavaria as a retreat and in honour of composer Richard Wagner?

5 The first ascent of which mountain was finally made in 1865 by a party led by Edward Whymper?

6 Which former temple still holds the record for having the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome?

7 In which country will you find the Jelling stones, massive carved runestones from the 10th century?

8 The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry is located in which European city?

9 What is the name of the longest river in Poland?

10 Where will you find a replica of the Amber Room, the original having been looyed during the Second World War?


100 years ago answers

1 Wilfred Owen

2 The Planets Suite by Gustav Holst

3 Sinn Fein. In line with the party’s other MPs, she did not take her seat

4 Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele

5 Marie Corelli

6 Spike Milligan.

7 The Sydney Opera House

8 Marshal Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne, north of Paris.

9 Baron Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron.

10 Pablo Picasso.

General knowledge answers

1 The Lockerbie bombing, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew on board Pan Am flight 103 and 11 people on the ground.

2 George Cornell.

3 Susie Goodall.

4 The Chelsea Flower Show.

5 Bobby Sands.

6 Magnus Carlsen.

7 Catherine of Aragon.

8 Russian nationals suspected of poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia with the Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury in March.

9 The Pelican.

10 Evil May Day.

Art answers

1 The Mona Lisa

2 Grayson Perry

3 Vincent Van Gogh

4 Whistler’s Mother

5 Francis Bacon

6 Edouard Manet

7 Tracey Emin

8 The Goldfinch

9 The Black Paintings by Francisco Goya

10 The ArcelorMittal Orbit, in East London

Film answers

1 The Double Life of Veronique

2 Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata

3 Darkest Hour

4 Lili Ilse Elvenes, better known as Lili Elbe

5 The Ladykillers

6 L’Amant Double

7 Orphee

8 Rupert Everett

9 Don’t Look Now

10 Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Sport answers

1 The Tour de France

2 Jochen Rindt of Austira, 1970.

3 Eight

4 Ravel’s Bolero

5 Wimbledon

6 Gerd Muller

7 Wigan Warriors

8 Floor and pommel horse

9 Women’s 800m

10 Sid Waddell

Literature answers

1 Anna Burns for Milkman.

2 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

3 Primo Levi.

4 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

5 Twelth Night.

6 Miss Mackay.

7 The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante.

8 The Evenings by Gerard Reve.

9 Walter Kempowski.

10 Geeorge Orwell.

TV and radio answers

1 Glenda Jackson.

2 Julian and Sandy.

3 Love Island.

4 GBH by Alan Bleasdale.

5 Inspector Kurt Wallander.

6 Danger Mouse.

7 Fiona Bruce.

8 Inspector Montalbano.

9 Natasha Kaplinsky.

10 Eddie Grundy.

Famous faces answers

1 Millicent Fawcett.

2 Charles de Gaulle.

3 Carl Jung.

4 Ada Hegerberg, who plays for Norway and Lyon.

5 Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

6 Vera Brittain.

7 Federico Garcia Lorca.

8 Gentleman Jack.

9 Keir Hardie.

10 33 days.

Music answers

1 Grane.

2 Christine and the Queens.

3 The Hindenburg disaster.

4 Montserrat Caballe.

5 Chopsticks.

6 Neneh Cherry.

7 Conchita Wurst.

8 Otha.

9 The song Sigh No More from Much Ado About Nothing.

10 Don’t You Want Me by the Human League.

Around Europe answers

1 Connemara National Park in County Galway, Ireland.

2 The Rialto Bridge in Venice.

3 Lisbon in Portugal.

4 Schloss Neuschwanstein.

5 The Matterhorn.

6 The Pantheon in Rome.

7 Denmark.

8 Bilbao in northern Spain.

9 River Vistula.

10 Catherine’s Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, near St Petersburg.

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