UK

Boxing Day Family Puzzler 2011

Boxing Day Puzzler Image copyright Other

As Britain stumbles into Boxing Day, trying to focus and avoid the festive wreckage, what better way to clear fogged heads than with my annual family puzzler?

As regular readers will know, the quiz is unusual in that no-one is expected to know the answers. All the solutions are numbers and the idea is simply to see who gets closest. This gives all participants a chance to win, irrespective of age or festive state of repair.

The way I do it with my family is to divide the players into two or four teams depending on the size of the party. There are 20 questions and, to make it fair, each player/team should write their guesses down before revealing them. One mark for the closest answer and three if, by some fluke or genius, you get it spot on!

The questions are below; the answers are here and there is a version of both that is easier to print here.

Good luck and have a jolly Boxing Day!

1 The most sought after invitation this year was to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Of the 1,900 lucky people who got a ticket to Westminster Abbey, how many were also invited to the reception at Buckingham Palace?

2 What percentage of Englishwomen over 75 can boast having any of their own teeth, according to NHS statistics this year?

3 In the heady boom years of 2006-8, the value of the average British household's possessions (contents, cars etc) was £39,100. According to new official figures, what was the average value in the years 2008-10?

4 Downton Abbey has received four nominations for Golden Globe awards as the world goes mad for the upstairs-downstairs world of early 20th Century England. As of 22 December, how many people kept up to date with the latest news by following @DowntonAbbey on Twitter?

5 In 2007, the Children in Need appeal raised a record £19m. With Britain tightening its belts, how much did the charity manage to raise this year?

6 The singer Amy Winehouse, who died this year, once told the Gloucestershire Echo: "I'm not really that scary. I'm only little." How tall was she?

7 The first official well-being statistics published this year asked people how they rated their life satisfaction 0-10. Overall, Britain scored 7.4, but that figure hides some important differences. Teenagers said their life satisfaction was 7.8. What was the answer given by people in their late thirties?

8 England's test cricketers rose to number one in the world after thrashing India this summer. How many more runs did England score than India?

9 Figures out this year show that the life expectancy of a woman living in Kensington and Chelsea is 89.8 years. How long can a man living in central Glasgow expect to live?

10 The riots that exploded in some of England's inner cities in August were initially blamed on juvenile gangs. Figures later showed only 13% of those prosecuted for riot offences were involved in gangs and just 26% were juveniles. Of those 10-17-year-olds, what proportion had special educational needs?

11 The craze for illuminating your house with Christmas decorations has been taken to new heights this month with the news that David and Janean Richards from Canberra have set a new world record. How many lights are on their Australian home?

12 Royal wedding fever engulfed Britain in the Spring. According to the Local Government Association, how many road closures for street parties were requested?

13 The Great British Bake-Off competition on BBC Two saw more than five million people tune in to watch Jo Wheatley wow the judges with, among other offerings, her signature mille-feuille. The pastry for that dish contained 240g of unsalted butter. How many grams of plain flour were used?

14 In July, the News of the World bade farewell to its readers after 168 years with the words "Thank You & Goodbye". At its peak in 1951, the newspaper's huge circulation translated as one copy sold for how many people in the UK population?

15 Comedian David Walliams swam 140 miles of the Thames in just eight days to raise money for the Sport Relief charity. He endured a serious stomach upset and severe exhaustion - as well as finding time to rescue a drowning Labrador. How much did his swim raise?

16 In 1969, Richard Burton spent $37,000 on a necklace for Elizabeth Taylor that featured a pearl once owned by Mary Tudor. How much (in dollars) did the piece fetch at auction this year?

17 The world said goodbye this year to Steve Jobs, the genius behind Apple computers. Forbes magazine estimated his personal wealth at $8.3bn. How much was his annual salary as CEO of Apple Inc?

18 Teacher Gary Weddle finally removed his 15-inch beard this year having pledged, shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, not to shave until Osama bin Laden had been captured or killed. How many days' growth did he cut off?

19 Figures published by the NHS in England earlier this month reveal the highest obesity rate since records began. What percentage of Englishmen are described as clinically overweight or obese?

20 British singers have helped smash the Christmas carolling world record this month. Staged by a Christian radio station and with choirs in venues across the UK and in Geneva, Switzerland, how many people joined together in a rousing chorus of Hark The Herald Angels Sing?