Boxing Day family puzzler 2019

  • Published
Mark Easton game image

Now in its 12th year, this is the festive quiz in which no-one is expected to know any of the answers, offering hope to those struggling to focus on this Boxing Day.

The questions relate to events in 2019 and all the solutions are numbers. Contestants must simply use wisdom and judgement to get as close to the right figure as they can.

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 luck, or genius, you get it spot on.

The answers can be found at the bottom of the page. Good luck!

Image source, BBC/Jamie Simmonds
Image caption,
He may be known as one of Rock's biggest stars, but over how many square metres does his other great passion - a model railway city - extend?

1. Rod Stewart gave an exclusive interview to Railway Modeller magazine this year, revealing details of the extraordinary model railway he has built in his Beverly Hills mansion. Over how many square metres does his construction extend?

2. The December 2019 general election was the darkest (in terms of actual light) in UK political history. For how many minutes of polling was the sun below the horizon at the most northerly island polling station on the island of Unst?

3. Research this year revealed there are 267 local authorities in England that have a Greggs, but not a Pret a Manger. How many have a Pret a Manger but no Greggs?

4. According to the head of the Civil Service, at the point the election was called, how many civil servants were dedicated to preparing Britain for a no-deal Brexit?

5. The result of the Eurovision Song contest was a bit of a "boom-bang-a-bang" this year with the Belarussian jury sacked and then their aggregated votes inadvertently given to the least popular songs. The UK still came last, but after the organisers amended the result, how many points did Britain's entry get from the 40 juries?

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
England cricketer Joe Root is among the world's top ranked batsmen, but for how many balls did his shots clear the boundary?

6. According to transparency data published by Facebook, how many fake accounts have they shut down this year?

7. In the Cricket World Cup, England captain Eoin Morgan hit a six on average every 15 balls. What is the number of balls for each six scored by England's most prolific batsman, Joe Root?

8. This year saw the UK's highest ever recorded temperature, 38.7°C on Thursday 25 July, measured at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. One hundred years previously, what was the average maximum July temperature in London?

9. The rise of companies like Uber and the decline in local bus services saw a record 362,000 taxis and private hire vehicles plying their trade in England this year. What proportion of the drivers are women?

10. The South African rugby team amassed a total of 262 points on their way to winning the Rugby World Cup this year. How many points did Canada's team score during the tournament?

Image source, Album/Entertaiment Pictures via ZUMA Press
Image caption,
Doris Day had a hit with the song Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), but at what age did she become the oldest artist to get into the UK top 10 with an album containing new songs?

11. There is increasing concern at the quantity of tiny plastic particles inhaled or ingested by people. According to a scientific report from the US this year, how many fragments of plastic end up inside the average person in a typical day?

12. In January this year, a stock picture of an egg was posted on Instagram with a caption saying: "Let's set a world record together". The record in question was the most liked Instagram image ever, then held by Kylie Jenner at 18 million. How many likes has the egg got now?

13. Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge made history this year by becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. To achieve his record, what was the average time he ran each 100m of the 26.2 miles (42.2 km)?

14. The actress and singer Doris Day died this year, aged 97. She holds the record for the oldest artist to get into the UK top 10 with an album containing new material. How old was she?

15. The Wimbledon tennis final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer this year was the longest in the tournament's 142 year history. The winner, Djokovic, won 204 points in the epic encounter. How many points did Federer win?

Image caption,
Climate activist Greta Thunberg takes her message to world leaders and schoolchildren alike, so how many towns and cities participated in her school strikes movement?

16. In 2015 the government was defeated twice in votes in the House of Commons. How many times was it defeated in 2019 (including on amendments and on votes under holding a General Election)?

17. The teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg this year inspired school-children around the world to go on strike to demand action on global warming. According to the 'Fridays for Future' movement she founded, how many towns and cities have participated?

18. Yorkshireman Graeme Watson of the Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society celebrated this year after producing the world's heaviest ever gooseberry. How much did it weigh in grams?

19. To how many digits did Emma Haruka Iwao calculate pi this year, a feat announced on March 14 (3.14), otherwise known as Pi Day.

20. In a 2019 survey of UK Christmas eating habits, people were asked to pick two elements they'd like to have on their plate. In the 18 to 24 age bracket, 20% picked Brussels sprouts. What proportion of the over 55s were sprout fans?

Image source, Heritage Images

The results:

1. 265

2. 553

3. 1

4. 15,500

5. 11

6. 5.4bn

7. 310

8. 18.7°C

9. 2%

10. 14

11. 329

12. 54m

13. 17.08 seconds

14. 87

15. 218

16. 35

17. 6,963

18. 64.56

19. 31,415,926,535,897

20. 48%