Quiz of the Year: 52 weeks 52 questions, part one

End of year quiz

'Tis the season to cast an eye back over the events of 2011. But how much do you remember? Test yourself with the Magazine's four-part compilation of the year's quizzes. Part one covers January to March, PLUS a special bonus question each day - see below for details.

52 weeks quiz


It's been a good year for Colin Firth, who won a hatful of awards for The King's Speech. Firth played King George VI - who took the throne in 1936 - and the film depicted his attempts to control his stutter.

Colin Firth with his Academy Award for best actor

1.) Multiple Choice Question

But which of these is the real King George VI?

Four men who might be king
  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Three
  4. Four

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Protests in Egypt against the 30-year-rule of President Hosni Mubarak focused on Cairo's Tahrir Square, or Midan Tahrir. Translated, it is known as...

Resting in the square
  1. People's Square
  2. Victory Square
  3. Liberation Square

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Belgium staged its own protests in February - dubbed the chip revolution - as it broke the world record for the longest time without a government. The previous record was 249 days, held by which country?

Chip revolution in Belgium
  1. Iraq
  2. Netherlands
  3. DR Congo

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Elizabeth Taylor died in March and her jewellery collection later sold. A key piece was La Peregrina, a gift from Richard Burton. Which couple is the pear-shaped pearl also linked to?

La Peregrina, a pearl, diamond and ruby necklace owned by Elizabeth Taylor
  1. Napoleon and Josephine
  2. Horatio Nelson and his mistress Emma Hamilton
  3. Spain's Philip II and England's Mary I


The Spanish king presented England's Mary I with the pear-shaped pearl in 1554. Burton bought it for his then-wife in 1969. She is pictured wearing the lavish necklace at a 2003 Aids benefit in Cannes, France.

Liz Taylor and Mary I

5.) Missing Word Question

Genghis Khan * tyrant in history

  1. youngest
  2. greenest
  3. most brutal

6.) Multiple Choice Question

A book dubbed the sequel to The Catcher in the Rye was banned in the US over copyright issues. It casts the Holden Caulfield character as what?

Catcher in the Rye
  1. Wall St banker
  2. Farmer
  3. In a retirement home

7.) Multiple Choice Question

The Sun unleashed a solar eruption that triggered a huge geomagnetic storm in January - its most powerful explosion in four years. What is the strongest type of solar flare classified as?

January's nearly simultaneous solar eruptions on opposite sides of the Sun
  1. X-flare
  2. Superflare
  3. Magnetic flare

8.) Multiple Choice Question

UK health experts began looking into the safety of fish pedicures in March after concerns it could spread infections. What are the tiny Garra Rufa fish also known as?

Fish pedicure
  1. Doctor fish
  2. Toothless piranha
  3. Toe fish

9.) Missing Word Question

* smuggled into football match in Colombia

  1. Cow
  2. Corpse
  3. Car

10.) Multiple Choice Question

China has long had a one-child policy. The city of Shanghai announced in February that it was introducing a new one-what policy?

Shanghai skyline
  1. Home
  2. Dog
  3. Car

11.) Multiple Choice Question

Jack LaLanne, the first TV fitness guru, died in January aged 96. Which one of these is NOT one of his catchphrases?

Jack LaLanne memorial
  1. Ten seconds on the lips, and a lifetime on the hips
  2. Feel the burn
  3. Eat right and you can't go wrong

12.) Multiple Choice Question

Lawmakers in New York hoped to crack down on pedestrians doing what as they cross the street?

Pedestrians cross a Manhatten street
  1. Skating
  2. Using phones
  3. Reading


  1. Three is George VI. Photo one is Lord Mountbatten, uncle of Prince Philip. Two is Edward VIII, the elder brother who abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson, and four is Stanley Baldwin, Prime Minister at the time of the abdication.
  2. Tahrir Square translates as Liberation Square. It was originally called Midan Ismailia, after a 19th Century ruler, but renamed after the Egyptian revolution in 1952 when the country became a republic.
  3. It's Iraq. It took until December for Belgium to form a government after a 541-day stalemate - more than double the previous European record of 208 days, set by the Netherlands in 1977.
  4. It was a wedding present from Philip to Mary. Taylor's ex-husband Burton was fond of historical pieces, and she had a necklace made to showcase the unusual pearl. It sold in December for $11.8m (£7.6m).
  5. It's greenest. Genghis Khan's military campaigns, which caused the deaths of 40 million people and wiped out civilisations, scrubbed about 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air, according to US research.
  6. He's in a retirement home, or at least escaping from one, in New York. Caulfield is aged 76 in the work by Fredrik Colting, called 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.
  7. It's X-flare. Solar flares are classified as A, B, C, M or X according to the peak flux.
  8. It's doctor fish. Pedicures using the toothless carp to nibble off dead skin are popular in Europe, Asia and parts of the US.
  9. It was a corpse. Cucuta Deportivo's fans brought in the coffin of Cristopher Alexander Jacome Sanguino, 17, who had supported the team. He'd been killed the day before the match.
  10. It's one dog. Officials said too many owners were abandoning their pets. Last year, more than 140,000 people told police they had been bitten by unlicensed dogs.
  11. It's "feel the burn", a catchphrase popularised by Jane Fonda.
  12. It's using phones. Democratic Senator Carl Kruger has been trying since 2007 to ban pedestrians from using mobile phones, iPods and other gadgets in major cities while crossing the street.

Your Score

0 - 5 : Don't walk away

6 - 10 : Walk this way

11 - 12 : Walking on sunshine

And now for that all-important bonus question.

Painting in a gallery with naked man and woman

In addition to the 12 questions above, we also pose a bonus question for each of the four parts of this quiz. That's how we reached the magic total of 52 questions.

With each part of the quiz we publish photographs - the first of which is on the right. We ask you what the link is between the images on the four days.

You can find part two of the quiz of the year here, with part three here and the final instalment - and answer to the bonus question - here.

For a complete archive of past quizzes and our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine page and scroll down.

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