The Gate        The 18th Annual Xmas Quiz Answers
Monday, December 27, 1999
©2000 San Francisco Chronicle

I HOPE YOU saved Friday's paper because these fine answers will make more sense if you know the questions. If not, said questions are still available at, a site of great charm.

1. A lahar is a collapsing volcano. Residents of Washington are worried that Mount Rainier might suddenly become a lahar, injuring many Microsoft employees.

2. Napoleon did indeed convert to Islam while in Egypt, although he had his fingers crossed at the time. The other two statements are false.

3. ``Do the Yam'' is not only a song, it's a dance much like the bunny hop, as demonstrated by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in ``Carefree.''

4. A latitudinal line drawn through the island of Guam passes south of the Mediterranean Sea, north of Caracas, south of Calcutta and south of Honolulu.

5. The Lincoln Memorial is on the back of the $5 bill, the U.S. Treasury on the back of the $10, the White House on the back of the $20, the U.S. Capitol on the back of the $50, and Independence Hall on the back of $100. The words over the pyramid are ``Annuit Coeptis.'' There are four automobiles, all in front of the Treasury. The word ``united'' appears four times on the $100, three times on the $5. Only Abraham Lincoln is bearded.

6. Bert and Ernie on ``Sesame Street'' were named for Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's ``It's a Wonderful Life.''

7. Baum was staring at his filing cabinet and saw one drawer labeled A-N and the other labeled O-Z. Hence, Oz.

8. Alnitak, Alinan and Mintaka are the stars on Orion's belt.

9. CHARLES Ives and Wallace Stevens both worked in the insurance industry. Jorge Luis Borges and Hector Berlioz both worked in libraries.

10. David Prowse was the guy in the Darth Vader suit. Legend has it that he didn't know his voice had been dubbed until he saw a screening of the movie.

11. The parachute was invented by French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard in 1785.

12. YKK is the world's largest maker of zippers; the letters stand for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha. 13. a) ``The Mauritius Command'' (books in the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian); b) Warren Spahn (career wins in baseball); c) ``Gumboots'' (songs in order on the Paul Simon album ``Graceland''); d) Edward VIII or George VI (reigning monarchs of England -- Edward was never crowned because of the nasty business with the Simpson woman, so either answer is correct).

14. They are all major state prisons.

15. Aluminum is heavier, 165 pounds per cubic foot versus 145. You don't think I'd ask the question if concrete were heavier, do you? But the numbers are interesting.

16. Pope Innocent III excommunicated King John of England (the Magna Carta guy) for refusing to recognize Stephen Langton as the archbishop of Canterbury.

17. They are all the names of streets on Treasure Island out there in San Francisco Bay.

18. THE next line is, ``I know you always say that you agree.''

19. Should you find yourself crossing the Wakhan Pass on the border between China and Afghanistan, going from the former to the latter, you'd want to set your watch back 3 1/2 hours. All Afghanistan is on Kabul time; all China is on Beijing time.

20. Nike is the Greek goddess of victory.

Stay tuned for obligatory corrections and amplifications column, coming soon. Thanks this year to Dave Barry, David Goldfarb, Ann Basart, Gil Friend, Tom Cole, Judith Rascoe and Dave Grenley.

All stand revealed within the narrow confines of this dead century.


The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the

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