2016 Christmas Quiz – The Winners


Finally, we have got around to analysing the answers to the 2016 Christmas Quiz.

The way the questions were marked was basically one mark per question – except for the Denis Thatcher question (Q15) and the pram button question (Q18) where each of the two parts scored a point. On the platform question (Q21), just about everyone got platform 0 at King’s Cross so we simply awarded a point to those that were able to answer the second part about the non-existent platform A at Marylebone.

We weren’t sure how many entries to expect. Past experience suggested that they could well be in the hundreds. Our belief is that this time quite a lot of people were put off submitting their answers because they had a few questions that had stumped them and so thought that their entry was not a contender for being one of the best set of answers.

As it turned out, there were only 15 serious contenders with a wide spectrum of those having questions left blank. Most submissions scored between 11 and 19 points and the values were fairly evenly spread out. There were also some lesser scores. It must be emphasised that we appreciate all who took time to send in an answer. Even the lower scores help give us an idea of which questions people found most difficult.

For us, there was some satisfaction in that every question was successfully answered by someone, although this year no-one got all the answers correct. This suggests the quiz was very difficult but not impossible. The moral for future quizzes is to send in your answers if you can answer the majority of the questions as it is quite likely that no-one will get them all correct.

For Q10, concerning something with an answer of 17 miles 528 yards, we were surprised by how many people who answered (roughly half) thought this was the length of tunnel from Morden to Golders Green rather than East Finchley. Those people did not score the point.

For Q13, concerning pressing a button to exit on various TfL services we allowed 8, 9 or 10 (we took the definitive answer to be 9) if a number was all that was offered. If you listed the entries and they looked plausibly correct we gave you the mark.

The questions that turned out to be the hardest were Q15, Q18 and Q19. For Q15 (the aforementioned Denis Thatcher question) only two people managed to answer it sensibly – and in both cases got both parts correct.

Only one person got both parts of the pram button question (Q18) sufficiently correct to get both marks – and even then we were being slightly generous. A handful of people got either the first or second part correct, but not both. We were looking for something London (or at least UK) related and ideally looking for a comment to the effect that it was to inform the driver that you needed extra time to alight – and nothing more.

Only two people correctly identified Cannon Street as the station in Q19. Too many people seem to be convinced we had recycled an old question and answered Blackfriars, although other stations were suggested as well.

As in the past we will just identify winners with their initials. If you sent in the answers and the initials match you can be pretty sure it was you. If you would rather see your name published please send an email to [email protected].

By our reckoning the top five were:

JD – 19 points
DPA – 18 points
OO’B – 16 points
JW – 15 points
KZ – 14 points

A few honourable mentions:

  • Our top winner got both the Denis Thatcher and the Cannon Street question correct
  • DPA was the only person to get both parts of the pram button question correct. He also consistently supplied the most comprehensive answers to the questions.
  • JW correctly identified Cannon Street and got half the pram button question correct
  • PB (13 points) got the Denis Thatcher question correct
  • Timbeau deserved to do far better than the points he received suggested by including alternatives and so disqualifying the answer or so nearly, but not quite, getting answer correct or explaining the correct reasoning that got him so far but not quite to the answer.

With regards to prizes, we are collating these as we speak. So far we have a wide variety of books lined up, but we are always on the hunt for something else. We will send confirmation of the final prize list to our winners over email this month and solicit their addresses, and then publish details of what they won on the site shortly after.

Meanwhile, the pile of ideas for question for 2017 is slowly starting to grow – as always, thank you very much for taking part!

The LR Team
January 2017

Written by Pedantic of Purley