The Gate        JON CARROLL -- The 15th Annual Xmas Quiz
Wednesday, December 25, 1996
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle

SO WE HAVE opened our little presents or we have finished fingering the presents we got last night or perhaps we are even obscurely grumpy because today is not a holiday that we choose to celebrate. Whatever our holidiac affiliation, we can with good cheer participate in a Christmas quiz. It goes like this:

1) In what country was coffee first cultivated? In what country was chocolate first cultivated?

2) Jonathan Pryce, Jon Lovitz, Herb Caen, Carol Kane, Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Belushi, Annie Potts, Mick Jagger and Roscoe Lee Browne -- all those names came together only once. In what film or stage production?

3) Arrange in hierarchical order: angels, archangels, cherubim, dominions, powers, principalities, seraphim, thrones, virtues.

4) Each of the following groups of words is related to a single thing. Your task is to name that thing: pronaos, acroterion, peristyle, entablature; rostrum, swimmerets, uropod, carapace; drupelet, receptacle, sepal, seed; briolette, baguette, scissors, brilliant.

5) Who was the last independent candidate for president to actually win electoral votes? (Ignore the odd unearned vote cast by rogue electors.)

6) What is Aelia Capitolina? For extra credit, what is Yathrib?

7) What is the oldest college founded to educate black men in this country? What is the oldest college founded to educate black women?

8) Let us select a date in the near future, say Jan. 1, 1997. At the first moment that this date appears somewhere on earth, start a stopwatch. At the moment there is no longer a January 1 anywhere on earth, stop the watch. For how long did the watch run?

9) THERE FOLLOWS a list of the 10 most populous cities (more precisely, metropolitan areas) in the world. Some names are missing; please supply them. 1. Mexico City;

2. ; 3. New York;
4. ; 5. Shanghai;

6. Buenos Aires;

7. ; 8. Tokyo;
9. ;
10. .

10) Speaking of population: The largest English- speaking city in 1800 was London. What was the second largest?

11) What is the birth name of the artist formerly known as Prince?

12) Rodgers and Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter -- they all wrote great American popular songs, but sometimes it's hard to remember who wrote what. But you can do it: ``They Can't Take That Away From Me''; ``The Lady Is a Tramp''; ``Anything Goes''; ``Just One of Those Things''; ``My Funny Valentine''; ``Someone to Watch Over Me.''

13) You are planning an automobile trip of the 48 contiguous states without visiting any state twice, and without traveling in Canada or Mexico. You quickly realize that you must begin or end your trip with one particular state. What's the state?

14) IN THE LATTER half of the 20th century, how did the Passions, the Warlocks and the Quarrymen influence American culture?

15) In the famous pose of Rodin's ``The Thinker,'' which hand is touching the face of the figure? On what does the elbow rest?

16) What American president married the daughter of an American president?

17) For truly extra credit, who or what or where is the Dunmow Flitch?

Thanks this year to Hank Basayne, Michael K. Stone, R. Glasson, Larry Dietz, Wallace Riley and Dan Asimov for helpful questions. All wrongness my responsibility. Merry whatever. Answers tomorrow.

Do not please mail with the answers to these questions. This is not a contest; no prizes are given; I am indifferent to how well you did, although of course I cherish your indomitable spirit.

©2000 San Francisco Chronicle   Page C14