I've just been getting the Christmas Quiz ready for our social on Saturday. I notice I have a few quizzes tucked away on file. How about this one to test you?
1. It didn't write itself
Who wrote The Winter’s Tale?
(a) William Shakespeare (b) Charles Dickens (c) Daniel Defoe
[First published in the First Folio of 1623 it is listed there as a comedy though some modern editors want to call it a romance. It includes the famous stage direction Exit, pursued by a bear.]
2. Which animal?
Alistair MacClean wrote a novel which became a film, What was it called?
(a) Ice station panda (b) Ice station lemur (c) Ice station zebra
[Published in 1963 this thriller by Scots writer McClean was the last of his classic sequence of first person narratives. In 1968 it was adapted into a film of the same name.]
3. Downhill all the way
Where were modern skis invented?
(a) Norway (b) Switzerland (c) Austria
[Around 1850 the cambered ski was invented by woodcarvers in the province of Telemark. Before this, skis had to be thick to glide without bowing downward and sinking in the snow under the skier's weight, concentrated in the middle. Camber made possible a thinner, lighter ski that did not sink at the middle. In 1868 Sondre Norheim demonstrated the Telemark ski, the first with a sidecut that narrowed the ski underfoot while the tip and tail remained wider. Norheim and friends formed a small pioneer group of early skiers who improved the ski as they developed the first dynamic turns in downhill running, from 1850-1900.]
4. Good game good game
There is a Scottish game played on ice with large flat round stones what is it called?
(a) hurley (b) hurling (c) curling
[It is a team sport played by two teams of 4 on a rectangular sheet of carefully prepared ice. Teams take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones down the ice towards the target (house). Two sweepers with brooms accompany each rock and use timing equipment and best judgement, along with direction from their teammates, to help direct the stones home. The complex nature of stone placement and shot selection has led some to refer to curling as "chess on ice."]
5. A dangerous job
What was the communist leader Leon Trotsky killed by?
(a) a shovel (b) an ice-pick (c) a snow plough
[On August 20, 1940, Trotsky was successfully attacked in his home in Mexico City by a NKVD agent, Ramon Mercader, who drove the pick of an ice axe into Trotsky's skull. The blow was poorly delivered and failed to kill Trotsky instantly, as intended. Witnesses stated that Trotsky spat on Mercader and began struggling fiercely with him. Hearing the commotion, Trotsky's bodyguards burst into the room and nearly killed Mercader, but Trotsky stopped them, shouting, "Do not kill him! This man has a story to tell." Trotsky was taken to a hospital, operated on, and survived for more than a day, but died, aged 60, on August 21, 1940 as a result of severe brain damage.]
6. That sinking feeling
Why did the Titanic sink?
(a) It was hit by an ice-boat (b) It hit an iceberg c) It sunk under the weight of ice on its decks
[The RMS Titanic was an Olympic-class passenger liner owned by the White Star Line and built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. On the night of 14 April 1912, during her maiden voyage, she hit an iceberg, and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later, early on 15 April 1912. At the time she was the largest passenger steamship in the world.]
7. The hidden part
Approximately how much of an iceberg is above the surface?
(a) 1/10 (b) 5/10 (c) 7/10?
[An iceberg is a large piece of freshwater ice that has broken off from a snow-formed glacier or ice shelf and is floating in open water. Because of the lower density of pure ice as opposed to sea water, typically only one-tenth of the volume of an iceberg is above water. The shape of the remainder under the water can be difficult to surmise from looking at what is visible above the surface. Hence the expression “tip of the iceberg” generally applied to a problem or difficulty, meaning that the visible trouble is only a small manifestation of a larger problem.]
8. Blow the man down
On what scale is windforce measured?
(a) Richter (b) Beaufort (c) Windscale
[The scale was created in 1805 by Sir Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. The scale that carries his name had a long and complex evolution, from the previous work of others, to when Beaufort was a top administrator in the Royal Navy in the 1830s.]
9. Mr C and Mr F
When it is 0 degrees centigrade how many degrees fahrenheit is it?
(a) 23 (b) 32 (c) 51
[Fahrenheit is named after the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736), who proposed it in 1724. Celsius (also known as centigrade in some countries) is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius (1701–1744), who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death.]
10. How many each side
How many players (at a time) in an ice hockey team?
(a) six (b) seven (c) eight
[The modern game of hockey was first played in Montreal, Canada in 1875. During normal play, there are six players, including one goaltender, per side on the ice at any time, each of whom is on ice skates.]
11. A famous speech
Which Shakespeare character says Now is the winter of our discontent made summer by this sun of York?
(a) Richard II (b) Richard III (c) Henry V
[The phrase was coined by Shakespeare and put into print in Richard III, 1594. The 'sun of York' wasn't of course a comment on Yorkshire weather but on King Richard.]
12. A delightful tale
Who wrote the fairy tale The Snow Queen?
(a) The brothers Grimm (b) Roald Dahl (c) Hans Christian Anderson
[The fairy tale The Snow Queen (Sneedronningen) was written by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and first published in 1845. It centres on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by a little boy and girl, Kay and Gerda.]