52 weeks 52 questions, part one

Quiz of the year's news

'Tis the season to sit back and cast an eye over 2010. But how much do you remember? Test yourself with the Magazine's four-part compilation of the best of the year's quizzes. Here it's January - March. PLUS a special bonus question each day - see below for details.

Graphic of the number 52

1.) Multiple Choice Question

"Good morning. My day is turning out to be far more interesting then I had anticipated!" Whose January tweet heralded some unexpected news?

Steve Jobs, Kirk McCambley, Chris Evans, Jonathan Ross
  1. Steve Jobs, launching iPad
  2. Kirk McCambley, lover of Iris Robinson
  3. Chris Evans, Radio 2 return
  4. Jonathan Ross, quitting BBC

2.) Multiple Choice Question

January was also the month the Doomsday Clock - a barometer of nuclear danger for more than six decades - was moved... to what time?

  1. Three minutes to midnight
  2. Five minutes to midnight
  3. Six minutes to midnight


The clock, which began in 1947, has been adjusted 19 times. It has swung from two minutes to midnight in 1953, when the US and USSR tested nuclear missiles, to 17 minutes to midnight in 1991 when both countries signed an arms reduction treaty.

Doomsday clock

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The biggest man-made hole in Europe was put up for sale in January for £30,000. The old quarry in Aberdeen is 466ft deep and 394ft wide. It was filled with water when put up for sale, but what used to be in it?

  1. Granite
  2. Limestone
  3. Sandstone

4.) Multiple Choice Question

Alastair Campbell didn't spare the horses when it was his turn to give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry in January, criticising those he had little truck with. Who did he describe as "glib"?

Alastair Campbell
  1. Sir Christopher Meyer
  2. Clare Short
  3. Donald Rumsfeld
  4. The French


The Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war took evidence from some big names in 2010, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair. His appearance made headlines around the world. It will be holding a further round of public hearings in 2011, with Mr Blair and Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary, called back to give further evidence.

Tony Blair

5.) Missing Word Question

Mona Lisa had *

  1. rickets
  2. high cholesterol
  3. no teeth

6.) Multiple Choice Question

In February skeleton bob contestant Amy Williams won Britain's first gold medal in a Winter Olympics individual sport in, oooh, aeons. What was her winning sled called?

Amy Williams
  1. Ed the sled
  2. Slip
  3. Arthur
  4. Amy II


Held in Vancouver, Canada, the Games featured 2,500 athletes from 82 competing nations. But they began in the worst possible way with the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili. The 21-year-old was killed when his sled flipped and he hit a steel pole during a training run on the much criticised, high-speed Whistler Sliding Centre track.

Winter Olympics

7.) Multiple Choice Question

February was also the month iTunes sold its 10 billionth track. But what track was it?

  1. Johnny Cash's Guess Things Happen That Way
  2. Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling
  3. Michael Jackson's Thriller
  4. Lady Gaga's Poker Face

8.) Multiple Choice Question

Piigs. Yes, with a double "i". It was in the news in February, but what does it stand for?

  1. Progressive incentivised interest-bearing gilt-edged securities
  2. Nasa's new solar observatory to monitor the Sun
  3. Struggling Eurozone countries

9.) Multiple Choice Question

This was in the news in February. What is it?

  1. Metal shim to be fitted to Toyota accelerator pedals
  2. An ounce of gold - the price of which fell to a three-month low
  3. Component in Iranian missile

10.) Multiple Choice Question

The new UK Space Agency (UKSA) was launched in March, with a logo that was quickly compared to one in Doctor Who. Which is the official UKSA logo?

  1. Image 1
  2. Image 2
  3. Image 3
  4. Image 4

11.) Multiple Choice Question

Bananas were said in March to be the UK's most wasted food, according to research. Which was the second?

  1. Yoghurt
  2. Milk
  3. Bagged salad
  4. Ready meals

12.) Multiple Choice Question

Methadone. And mephedrone, the legal drug that faced calls in March for a ban. Similar names, but do the drugs have a similar effect?

Methadone and mephedrone
  1. Yes
  2. No - but they have a similar make-up
  3. No - methadone acts as depressant, mephedrone a stimulant


  1. It's Jonathan Ross. The presenter announced in January that he would not be renewing his BBC contract after 13 years and bowed out of his BBC One chat show and Radio 2 music show in July. Ross has announced he is to present an ITV chat show.
  2. It's six minutes to midnight. The clock, devised by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is essentially a barometer of how close the world is to global disaster. The January move was because of a more "hopeful state of world affairs".
  3. It was granite. Rubislaw Quarry was one of the sources that helped give Aberdeen its nickname of Granite City. It was eventually bought by two local businessmen, but the price they paid has never been revealed. Aberdonian granite was used in Waterloo Bridge in London and a host of other landmarks.
  4. It's Sir Christopher Meyer, the UK's then ambassador to the US. Campbell said: "I think Chris Meyer was really glib about the transatlantic relationship." He added that Short could not be trusted, while Rumsfeld was insensitive.
  5. It's high cholesterol. Dr Vito Franco, from Palermo University, said her face showed clear signs of a build-up of fatty acids under the skin, caused by too much cholesterol.
  6. It's Arthur. Williams, 27, was the first British gold medallist in an individual event at a Winter Olympics for 30 years. It was Britain's only medal of the Games and she was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.
  7. It was Johnny Cash's Guess Things Happen That Way. Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia, in the US, bought the 10 billionth track winning a $10,000 (£6,500) iTunes gift card. The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling was officially named the site's most downloaded track, with Lady Gaga's Poker Face second. Michael Jackson did not feature in the most-downloaded Top 10 at all.
  8. It's how financial markets referred to the troubled and heavily indebted countries of Europe - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain. The countries dominated the concerns of investors over 2010, to the point that some started to fear the break-up of the eurozone. The International Monetary Fund had to step in to bail out Greece and Ireland.
  9. It's the shim, to be fixed to Toyota cars to prevent the accelerator pedals sticking. The company had to recall thousands of vehicles worldwide to fix the problem. It's safe to say 2010 was not a good year for the car company. In January, 1.1m Toyotas had to be recalled in the US because of floormat problems. Then in February, 1.8m vehicles in Europe had to be recalled because of accelerator pedal problems. Cars were also recalled worldwide because of brake tube problems.
  10. It's image 4. Image 3 is the logo from the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who. Image 1 is the tail fin of the now defunct British European Airways. Image 2 is the logo of British Aerospace. Britain established the new executive space agency to put space policy in the hands of one co-ordinating authority. It took over responsibility for government policy and the key budgets for space.
  11. It was milk. And the worst food wastage culprits were found to be city-dwelling single men, aged 25 to 35, who bin an average of £17.43 worth of food a month, according to research by Retail Active.
  12. It's C. Methadone, like other opiates, acts as a depressant, while mephedrone is a stimulant. The latter hit the headlines when it was blamed for a number of deaths. Then a legal high, it could be bought easily over the internet. After coming under pressure, the government banned mephedrone in the UK in April.

Your Score

0 - 5 : January blues

6 - 10 : Ab-Fabruary

11 - 12 : Onward March

And now for that all-important bonus question.

Mystery pictures

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 are on the right. We ask you what the link is between the images on the four days. If you have a hunch, tell us using the comments form below.

You can find part two of the quiz of the year here and part three here.

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

It's early days - but any ideas about what the answer to the bonus question might be?

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