The Gate        JON CARROLL -- The 14th Annual Xmas Quiz
Sunday, December 25, 1995
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle

YOU'VE JUST ABOUT had your fill of everything, either the celebration or your steadfast refusal to celebrate, and you need to settle down somewhere with a good bundle of odd questions and ponder the less-than-eternal verities. And, boy, do we have a few of those:

1. Who or what were the Tube Alloys?

2. Three motion pictures have won all five of the top categories in the Academy Awards -- best picture, best actor, best actress, best director and best screenplay. What are they?

3. ``Mother liquor'' is slang for what fluid?

4. Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Albert Einstein, Wallace Stevens -- what did they have in common?

5. What is the origin of the word ``ghetto?'' What language is it? What did it originally mean?

6. Where does ``Hamlet'' take place? Where does ``Twelfth Night'' take place? Where does ``The Taming of the Shrew'' take place? In what four cities does ``All's Well That Ends Well'' take place?

7. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams -- which one stole the most bases?

8. Complete the following titles: ``The Manchurian -- ''; ``The Gulag -- ''; ``The Eustace -- ''; the Deptford --; ``Psychotic Reactions and --.''

9. Place the following events in chronological order: Chaucer publishes ``Canterbury Tales,'' King Arthur of Britain is slain, Leif Eriksson reaches America, Leonardo da Vinci paints the Mona Lisa, Robin Hood dies, Genghis Khan extends his empire to its western extremity, the rifle is invented, Marco Polo dictates his memoirs.

10. WHO

wrote, ``We are cruel enough without meaning to be''? Who said, ``You're either part of the solution or part of the problem''? Who wrote, ``If you build it, he will come''?

11. Identify this in any manner you choose, taking care to speak in a clear voice and oh shut up: ``This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.''

12. WHAT

well-known American poet is named for an equally well-known Civil War general?

13. Who or what was Widmerpool?

14. Let us take a magic plane ride along the 20th parallel above the equator. It hits the western coast of Africa some 400 miles north of Dakar, Senegal. It passes through six countries, none of them Senegal, before it floats over the Red Sea and then through Saudi Arabia just south of Mecca. Name four of the six countries.

15. Oh, heck, let's do the same thing for the 20th parallel south of the equator, which passes through five African nations, one of them an island and none of them the Republic of South Africa. Name three of the five countries.

16. What are Sockdolager, Upset, Hance, Spectre and 110 Mile?

17. You may know about REOs because you're old enough to have seen one or because you have a deep understanding of inside facts about the group REO Speedwagon. But why REO?

18. Which was created first, the Frito or the Twinkie?

19. Where did Bullwinkle the Moose get his name? Not the moose part; the other part.

Thanks as always to the fabulosity of loyal readers such as Howard Junker and Alexander McIntire; to the many reference books that make this world such a great place in which to live; and to the little quizzes they put on the screen at the United Artists theaters between the movies.

©2000 San Francisco Chronicle   Page FP