advertisement | your ad here

29th Annual Xmas Quiz Answers

Jon Carroll

Monday, December 28, 2009

You have had an entire weekend to ponder and cross-examine and seek the far corners of your memory. You could, of course, have just used the Internet, but where would be the fun in that? It'd be like robbing an unguarded bank. So the waiting is over and the fun has just begun. See the quiz questions here.

1. Drumthwacket is the 174-year-old Greek Revival New Jersey governor's mansion, eschewed as a residence by most recent governors, perhaps because of crippling heating costs. You can take a tour, though.

2. Dennis Franz played Detective Andy Sipowicz. Jimmy Smits played Detective Bobby Simone. Kim Delaney played Detective Diane Russell. Gordon Clapp played Detective Greg Medavoy. Gail O'Grady played the delectable Donna Abandando.

3. A spooey, a stack, a double trumpet and a volleyball are all types of freeway interchanges.

4. A vacuole, a centriole, a lysosome, an endoplasmic reticulum and a Golgi apparatus are all organelles. Organelles are small thingies inside cells that are thought to act like organs inside the body. Feel free to spend hours researching this fascinating topic.

5. Santa Cruz means Sacred Cross, so the name does not refer to a person at all, not even St. John of the Cross. San Rafael was named after the mission that was established there, San Rafael Arcangel. Raphael was an archangel. Santa Clara was named after St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253), founder of the Order of Poor Ladies. Really.

6. Although there is some disagreement, Hayward was probably named after William Hayward, who started a hotel there in 1852. The town's name was briefly changed to "Haywood" when it was discovered that it was illegal to name a post office after a living person.

7. They are all professional golf caddies. Mike "Fluff" Cowan was Tiger Woods' first professional caddie and currently works for Jim Furyk; Jim "Bones" Mackay is Phil Mickelson's longtime caddy; Steve "Stevie" Williams is Woods' caddie and is, apparently, taking a little time off.

8. Grunt, Slump, Buckle and Sonker are (b) types of cobbler.

9. Theodore Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the 1905 Russo-Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson won the 1919 Peace Prize for founding the League of Nations, which the United States never joined. Former President Jimmy Carter won the 2002 Peace Prize for "untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts." Calvin Coolidge's vice president, Charles G. Dawes, shared the 1925 Peace Prize for his earlier work as chair of the Allied Reparations Commission and originator of the Dawes Plan for German payment of World War I debts. Former Vice President Al Gore shared the 2007 Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for, you know, that global warming stuff. Anyone missing?

10. This is easier: none. Ronald Reagan never won an Oscar, and the two Oscars for the 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth" went to director Davis Guggenheim and singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge.

11. The Jewish Autonomous Region is in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia, a lot nearer China than Moscow. Everything I said about it is true, except, alas, that travelers are not offered free haircuts. I know you may be skeptical, so I shall provide backup:

12. Blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, corn, sunflowers and peanuts all originated in the New World - although, candidly, it's just as old as the Old World.

13. They have all, alas or perhaps not alas, gone from our nation to that great remainder bin in the sky. They are no more. It's the economy.

14. Elbow and Eyeball is (c) a post office slang term meaning to open a mailbag to see if it is entirely empty.

15. The Vandellas were named for Detroit's Van Dyke Street and Martha Reeves' favorite singer, Della Reese.

16. The movie directors John Ford, Raoul Walsh, Nicholas Ray, Fritz Lang and André de Toth each had but one eye.

17. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, all those were the names of real kings except for James the Butterball and Henry the Midget. John the Posthumous (1316) was a real person, also known as John I of France, son of Louis the Quarrelsome (1314-1316). He was named king upon exiting the womb and lived only five days, murdered, it was rumored, by his uncle, the soon-to-be Philip the Tall (1316-1322). Being king in those days was not a job for someone who dreamed of a long and happy life.

Has the suspense been killing you? Gosh, I hope so. Finally, instant relief for all those nagging doubts and questions.

I won't die. Of that I am all but certain. My life is too contingent to lead to anything so absolute as death. No doubt I will eventually fade away and be lost in oblivion, as I would have done long ago if the poet hadn't summoned me into existence. Perhaps I will become a false dream clinging like a bat to the underside of the leaves of

This article appeared on page E - 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle