The Gate        The 17th Annual Xmas Quiz
Friday, December 25, 1998
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle

TODAY IS A Friday, as you may have noticed, so after you have lazed about the house puzzling out the answers to this edition of the ever-exciting quiz, put this column in a safe place so you'll know what the questions were come Monday. OK? Begin.

1. Where are you going to put this column so you'll be able to find it on Monday?

2. In the history of TV, what is the significance of the phrase ``He stirs his tea anti-clockwise''?

3. Other than the fact that each only uses one vowel sound, what do these words have in common: cab, feed, high, noon and Gigi? Can you think of another word of a similar nature that has five letters? How about six letters?

4. A person has a five-story house. On the fifth floor is a lightbulb controlled by a switch on the first floor. The problem: There are three switches on the first floor. A person wants to find out which switch controls the lightbulb without many trips up and downstairs. How can she do it making just one trip from the first floor to the fifth floor?

5. John F. Kennedy had Addison's disease, a fact that was carefully kept from the public. What is Addison's disease? What positive side effect did it have?

6. Some assorted rose questions: In what poem by Gertrude Stein did the phrase ``Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose'' appear? To whom did it refer? What rose appears in the Song of Solomon? Whose fictional Rose led a double life in a mining town? With what natural disaster is ``Ring Around the Rosey'' (or, more accurately, ``ring a ring o' roses'') associated?

7. OK, freaks: What is the family relationship between Bilbo and Frodo in ``The Hobbit''?

8. WHAT COUNTRY has the highest low point? (Hint: It's on the same longitude as the only bridge to join two continents). And, while we're at it: What country has the lowest high point?

9. A couple was playing tennis. They played five sets, and each won three sets. How could this be?

10. What do these things have in common: Topmark, daymark, mooring chain, sinker? Hammer shank, catcher, jack spring, damper? Dew shield, azimuth clamp, star diagonal, fork?

11. Monet, Manet, Matisse -- three French painters. Which one lived the longest? Which one died the latest? Which one painted the naked ladies and fully clothed men having a picnic? Which one went to Rio to clear his head? Which one painted those water lilies? Which one designed the stained-glass windows at the chapel in Alpes-Maritimes? Which one inadvertently gave impressionism its name?

12. In what countries are these exotic locales: Samarkand, Timbuktu, Kandy, Hunza?

13. What was King George VI's first name?

14. IN EMERYVILLE, on the west side of San Pablo at Park Avenue, there now rises a large shopping center. What historic structure used to occupy that site?

15. What, according to the magazine Scientific American, is the loudest insect on earth?

16. What politician was first a senator from his home state, then secretary of state, then president, then congressman?

17. Atrus, Catherine, Sirrus, Achenar -- who are they and what do they have in common? Thomasina Coverly, Septimus Hodge, Bernard Nightingale and Jellaby -- who are they and what do they have in common? John Openshaw, Helen Stoner, Violet Hunter, Count Von Kramm -- who are they and what do they have in common?

18. The world capital with the lowest average annual temperature is (a) Helsinki, Finland (b) Ottawa, Canada (c) Moscow, Russia (d) Ulan Bator, Mongolia (e) Reykjavik, Iceland

Special thanks this year to Rick Pyle, Herb Majer, Alan Ritch, Click and Clack, J.V. Steele, Tom Cole, Jane Crane and of course all the little people without whom there'd be nobody to be taller than.

Special bonus question: Why is there human suffering on Earth?

The answer my friend is blowin' in the

The answer my friend is blowin' in the

©2000 San Francisco Chronicle   Page C28