Friday, 23 August 2019

Time to tackle the newsquiz

Judging by the scores, last week's newsquiz was clearly a bit tougher than usual. The top solo scorer was Gavin Devine with 17, just ahead of Steve Silk and Liz Gerard who both got 16 and Toby Brown on 15. The top team score was Bruce and Sarah Hayward on 20.5. Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe scored 17 and my sons Jack and Thom Sands with Franki Appleton scored 15 in the Three Legs Brewery last Saturday night. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 



1. At a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested an alternative to the Irish border backstop could be found in how many days?
2. A cross-government study warning of the impact of a no-deal Brexit was leaked to which newspaper?
3. Responding to the leaked document, Cabinet minister Michael Gove said some of the concerns about a no-deal Brexit had been ‘exaggerated’ but added: 'It's certainly the case that there will be ___ ___ ___ ___, some element of disruption in the event of no-deal.’  What are the missing four words?
4. The Centre for Social Justice think-tank, headed by former Tory leader Iain Duncan-Smith, said the state pension age should rise to what by 2035?
5. Boris Johnson’s girlfriend Carrie Symonds was reported to have been denied a US visa because of a visit to where last year?
6. What did Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen describe as absurd?
7. What did French president, Emmanuel Macron call an 'international crisis’ which should be top of the agenda at the G7 summit?
8. What did Boris Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings describe as a 'disaster zone’?
9. Sir Elton John revealed he paid for a private jet for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to visit his £15million mansion in which city?
10. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children flew to Scotland on which budget airline for their annual holiday with the Queen?
11. He gained an Oscar nomination for his role in Ulee’s Gold but was best known as Captain America in a 1969 film. Who is he?
12. Police in which European city opened a murder invesigation after a waiter was shot dead by a customer apparently enraged at being made to wait too long for a sandwich?
13. John Humble, who police announced had died at the age of 63, sent police hoax letters and tapes in the 1970s was known by what nickname?
14. An 18-month-old girl is in a serious condition in hospital after falling from a second floor hotel window in which town?
15. Twitter agreed to meet Manchester United executives after which footballer was abused following the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Monday?
16. Why have homes and businesses in the Oxfordshire town of Wallingford been using ribbon to turn the town blue?
17. Which pub chain and brewer agreed to be bought by Hong Kong operator CKA for £2.7billion?
18. According to an email exchange between a US literary agent and author Evgeny Morozov, Prince Andrew was seen receiving what from a young woman in disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s New York apartment? 
19. More than 80 people were killed by an Islamic State suicide bomber at what event in Kabul? 
20. Eight thousand people were evacuated from their homes as a raging wildfire spread on which island?
21. Ben Unwin, whose body was found at the bottom of a waterfall, played Jesse McGregor in which soap opera?
22. Supermarket chain Morrisons announced it was raising the cost of plastic bags to how much each?
23. A 56-year-old HGV driver, a 28-year-old vet and a 20-year-old Durham University student were among those who signed up for what?
24. People who invested millions of pounds into whose eco-friendly housing ventures have been told they could face losing up to 97 per cent of their money?
25. What is the title of the 25th official James Bond movie that was revealed this week?

Answers here

Friday, 16 August 2019

Time to tackle the newsquiz

The top solo score in last week’s newsquiz was 18 by Andy Reed, just ahead of Toby Brown on 17.5. The top team was Bruce and Sarah Hayward with an impressive 20, ahead of the Roberts family on 17.5. Here’s this week’s quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week’s events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 



1. Former Conservative Nick Boles and three Tory MPs said they would be willing to enter talks with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to stop a no-deal Brexit. Name two of them. Half a point for each.
2. Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson suggested that Tory Ken Clarke and Labour's Harriet Harman should do what? 
3. The Centre for Social Justice urged Home Secretary Priti Patel to raise the minimum annual salary threshold for all new foreign workers to what amount after Brexit?
4. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker in the US House of Representatives, said this week: 'Whatever form it takes, Brexit cannot be allowed to imperil the ___ ___ ___ ‘. What are the three missing words?
5. Sue Hayman, the shadow environment secretary, called for a 'proper review' into what practice, that began on Monday, arguing there are viable alternatives?
6. Who did Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage describe as 'a slightly overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker’?
7. Chancellor Sajid Javid is drawing up plans to produce millions of what to commemorate the UK leaving the EU in October?
8. The Youth Select Committee, as part of its investigation into knife crime, warned that criminals, commonly known as what, are recruiting kids to deal drugs with the offer of free food?
9. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s estranged wife Marina Wheeler urged women to get tested for what type of cancer, after talking about her own diagnosis?
10. The body of 15-year-old Nora Quoirin was found after spending seven days in a jungle in which country?
11. Seven boys aged 14 to 17 were arrested on suspicion of murder after a man was stabbed to death with a screwdriver in a shopping centre in which city?
12. For the first time more females than males did what at A-level?
13. Why were two guards placed on leave and a warden temporarily reassigned at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York?
14. Why did Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac pull out of the first Premier League game in Newcastle?
15. Thousands of people in Manchester are taking part today (Friday) in a re-enactment of one of the defining moments in British political history. What was it?
16. Why were Britain's Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown disqualified from the World Triathlon Olympic qualification event in Tokyo?
17. Why was cricket umpire John Williams, 80, in the headlines?
18. What did 57-year-old Frenchman Alain Robert do to make 'an urgent appeal for peace and consultation between Hong Kong people and their government’?
19. A case involving Ashers Bakery in Belfast has been referred to the European Court of Human Rights. What did Ashers refuse to do that led to the case?
20. The Scottish government paid former first minister Alex Salmond how much to cover his legal costs after he won a court battle over its sexual misconduct investigation?
21. Who is to be charged after allegedly punching an elderly man at the Marble Arch pub in south Dublin?
22. Green Party MP Caroline Lucas reported political donor Arron Banks to Twitter for his ‘vile’ tweet that suggested what could happen in August? 
23. Channel 4 was criticised for showing a race row on its documentary The Reality Star Who Changed Britain. Who is the subject of the programme?
24. Television advertisements for which two brands were the first to be banned under new UK gender stereotyping rules? Half a point for each.
25. Why did Lord’s cricket ground turn red on the second day of the second Ashes test?

Answers here

Friday, 9 August 2019

It's newsquiz time: 25 questions about the week

The top solo score in last week’s newsquiz was 19 by both Liz Gerard and Andy Reed. The top team, Bruce and Sarah Hayward, also scored 19. Other notable scorers were my Three Legs drinking buddies on 17, the same score as Janet Boyle and Dave Bromage. Here’s this week’s quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 


Sunday's papers
1. Twenty-two people were killed and dozens more injured in a massacre at which supermarket in El Paso, Texas?
2. What is the name of the city in Ohio where Connor Betts shot dead nine people including his sister?
3. American Willam McNabb went viral when he joined the gun debate on Twitter by asking: 'How do I kill the 30-50 ___ ___ that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?’ What are the two missing words?
4. Who said: 'I want [criminals] to literally feel terror at the thought of committing offences.’?
5. Cabinet minister Michael Gove accused the EU of ‘intransigence’ saying: ‘They're not interested - they're simply saying 'no we don't want to talk. I think that's ___ and ___’? What are the two missing word?
6. Energy bills for 11 million British households will fall by how much (in pounds) this winter after Ofgem reduced its price cap on standard tariffs?
7. The body of British astrophysicist Natalie Christopher, 35, was found in a ravine on which Greek island?
8. Toni Morrison, who died age 88, was the first African American winner of what?
9. A 17-year-old boy appeared at Bromley Youth Court charged with attempted murder of a six-year-old who was pushed from the viewing balcony on which storey of the Tate Modern in London?
10. Which city banned wheeled suitcases and buggies being dragged down historic staircases, walking around bare-chested, singing on public transport and hanging laundry out between neighbouring buildings?
11. Name any two of the three players who scored centuries in the first Ashes test match at Edgbaston. Half a point for each.
12. A British Airways plane made an emergency landing at which city’s airport after smoke engulfed the cabin?
13. Dame Barbara Windsor called on Boris Johnson to start a £2.4billion dementia fund when she was announced as ambassador of the Alzheimer's Society on her birthday on Tuesday. How old is she?
14. Around 1,100 residents of Whaley Bridge, evacuated after a dam threatened to burst, were allowed to return after how many nights away from home?
15. Why was 28-year-old Stuart Outten in the headlines?
16. Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City for a world record fee for a defender. How much?
17. What is the name of the thousands of microscopic creatures now believed to be living on the moon after an Israeli spacecraft crash-landed?
18. Terry Brazier, 70, was awarded £20,000 in compensation after going to Leicester Royal Infirmary for a bladder operation but mistakenly undergoing what procedure?
19. A man who was filmed throwing a fridge off a cliff in southern Spain was fined €45,000 (£41,000) and given what other punishment?
20. Which state has been on lockdown with communication cut off since Article 370 - which gave it special dispensation to make its own laws - was revoked?
21. What is the name of the festival with headliners Wu-Tang Clan, Florence And The Machine and Foals that was called off hours before gates opened following a storm warning?
22. Wayne Rooney was criticised for agreeing to wear what shirt number when he moves to Derby County in January?
23. He appeared on Search For A Star in 1981, presented his own television programme, had three platinum albums, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Variety Club in 2007 and an MBE in 2012? Who is he?
24. What was recreated on its 50th anniversary at 11.38am on Thursday morning in London NW8?
25. What did researchers at the University of Exeter conclude was the best way to protect food from scavenging seagulls?


Answers here


Friday, 2 August 2019

Time to tackle the newsquiz

The top scorers in last week’s newsquiz were Jake Hurfurt and Toby Brown who both scored 20, narrowly ahead of Janet Boyle on 18. The Roberts Family were ’delirious’ after totting-up a record-equalling 23. A great score ... well done to them. Here is this week’s quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the events of the last seven days. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.


1. Who became the 13th sitting Liberal Democrat MP after winning the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election?
2. Six parties stood in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election but which one came last with 242 votes?
3. Chancellor Sajid Javid announced how much in extra money 'to help the country prepare for a no-deal Brexit'?
4. On his visit to Northern Ireland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was told by Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald that 'he needs to ensure he is not the DUP's ____'. What is the missing animal?
5. Prime Minister Boris Johnson posed clutching what when he visited a farm in Newport?
6. Who wrote a letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn saying: 'I see no strategy in place that remotely meets the electoral or policy challenges ahead. On the contrary, in so far as I ascertain a strategy at all, it is one that looks more designed to lose’? 
7. The chief executive of which car company reported falling profits of 29 per cent, warned a no-deal Brexit would be a 'lose-lose' scenario and offered to travel to the UK to deliver the message to Boris Johnson in person?
8. Which Cabinet minister was told by 10 Downing Street that his views, expressed in The Times, that sex crime suspects should remain anonymous until charged were 'not Government policy’? 
9. Around 6,500 people were evacuated from which town after the Toddbrook Reservoir dam was damaged in heavy rains?
10. The Met Office revealed that the UK’s ten hottest years on record all happened since what year?
11. Three people were killed and 15 injured by a gunman at a festival in California which was celebrating what food?
12. Egan Bernal, 22, became the first cyclist from which country to win the Tour de France?
13. According to P&O a 'mass brawl' which broke out on the Britannia cruise ship returning to Southampton from Norway was not caused by what?
14. Grant Thornton quit as auditors of which company following concerns over the disclosure of a €674million tax bill from the Belgian government?
15. At least 57 inmates, including 16 who were decapitated, died in a prison riot that broke out in which country?
16. To the nearest million how many old round £1 coins, which were replaced by the 12-sided version in 2017, are still in circulation, according to the Royal Mint?
17. Where were New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Hollywood actress Jane Fonda and 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg seen together?
18. Cambridge University student Alana Cutland fell to her death from a plane in which country?
19. How did 18-year-old jockey Khadijah Mellah make history at Goodwood?
20. According to research published in the British Medical Journal cases of which disease in the UK are forecast to be more than 8,000 ... three times higher than previous estimates?
21. Where did the phrase ‘not fit for purpose’ become not fit for purpose?
22. Why was 15-year-old Jaden Ashman from Hornchurch, London, in the headlines?
23. Which singer was ordered, by a US court, to pay gospel artist Flame $550,000 (£454,000) for copying one of his songs?
24. Former England goalkeeper David James said he was persuaded to do what by ex-swimmer Mark Foster?
25. The BBC revealed that which show had lost more than 780,000 listeners since January?

Answers here 

Friday, 26 July 2019

Test your news knowledge with this week's quiz

There were some good scores in last week's newsquiz. Pick of the bunch were Liz Gerard and Tom Savage who both scored 20, just ahead of Toby Brown and Gavin Devine on 19. Janet Boyle, Dora Allday and Andy Reed scored 18 and Andy Drinkwater 17. The top team was Bruce and Sarah Hayward with 21. Phil and Maura Parsons scored a PB with 20 and Brian and Liz Page, on their debut, recorded 19. Here is this week's quiz ... as usual 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Boris Johnson makes a splash: Wednesday's front pages

1. To the nearest thousand how many Tory party members voted for Boris Johnson in the leadership ballot?
2. In his acceptance speech Boris Johnson referred to the acronym DUDE. What did he say each of the letters stood for? You need all four for a point.
3. Who is the new leader of the House of Commons?
4. Grant Shapps was appointed to which Cabinet position under Boris Johnson?
5. Former Chancellor Philip Hammond announced he would resign from a Boris Johnson government live on which television programme?
6. Theresa May chose to go where rather than watch Boris Johnson’s first speech in the Commons as Prime Minister?
7. US President Donald Trump said of Boris Johnson: 'We have a really good man who’s going to be the Prime Minister of the UK now. He’s tough and he’s smart … they call him ____ ____ and people are saying that’s a good thing.’ What are the two missing words?
8. Jo Swinson became the first female and the youngest ever leader of the Liberal Democrats? How old is she?
9. Why was shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry taken to hospital?
10. Why was the Conservative whip withdrawn from Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover? 
11. Which European city saw temperatures reach 42.6c, breaking the previous high of 40.4c which was set 72 years ago in July 1947?
12. Why was Bosnian 'Tank' Sead Kolasinac in the headlines?
13. Which company announced it is to cut 12,500 jobs around the world, after a 94.5 per cent fall in profits for the first quarter of 2019?
14. Carl Beech, 51, who lied about a VIP paedophile ring in Westminster, was sentence to how many years after being found guilty of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice and one of fraud?
15. Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who died age 75, played android Roy Batty in Blade Runner and fronted the adverts for which beer in the 1990s?
16. British Airways suspended all flights to which city for seven days as a security precaution?
17. What is the name of the British-flagged tanker seized by Iran in the strait of Hormuz?
18. What did Lithuanian Edgaras ​Averbuchas do at Essex University that led to him being accused of ‘hijacking’ and ‘egotism’ on social media?
19. US President Donald Trump demanded which country release American rapper A$AP Rocky who has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm?
20. According to World Health Organisation research findings announced this week eating what at least three times a week can cut the risk of bowel cancer by up to 12 per cent?
21. What did Franky Zapata fail to do?
22. Who took the Claret Jug home to Clara?
23. A court in Rome heard that which 92-year-old Hollywood legend was conned out of millions of euros of assets and property by her manager?
24. What was the name of the 
chihuahua which, according to its owner, was carried off by a seagull in Paignton, Devon?
25. Motsi Mabuse was appointed to what role?

Answers here

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Typography - and why it still matters


My latest article in InPublishing magazine is about one of the great loves of my life ... typography. It deals with all the the sexy stuff such as fonts, x-heights, ascenders, descenders, beards, leading, picas, points, ems and ens - and argues that understanding typography is still a skill journalists need in the digital age. You can read it here.


Friday, 19 July 2019

The newsquiz - 25 questions about the week

The top solo score in last week’s newsquiz was Tom Savage with 18, narrowly ahead of Gavin Devine on 17.5. The top teams was the Roberts Family with 19.5, followed by Bruce and Sarah Hayward on 15. It was clearly trickier for most people though with newsquizzers, who usually record high scores, struggling to get more than 13. Here’s this week’s quiz - as usual there are 25 questions about the last seven days. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Selection of today's front pages

1. Tory leadership favourite Boris Johnson brandished what at the lectern during the final Tory leadership hustings in London this week?
2. Why was outgoing PM Theresa May disappointed by Cabinet ministers Philip Hammond, David Gauke, Rory Stewart and Greg Clark?
3. In her final major speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May said: 'This descent of our debate into rancour and ____ bitterness, and in some cases even vile abuse at a criminal level, is corrosive to the democratic values which we should all be seeking to uphold.’ What is the missing word?
4. Labour’s shadow Brexit minister Dianne Hayter was sacked after she likened the Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership to the last days of who?
5. More than 60 Labour peers put their names to an advert in which newspaper accusing Jeremy Corbyn of failing to tackle anti-Semitism?
6. Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, told the Durham Miners' Gala: 'I have a simple message for ____ ____ and his pals in the media: You should fucking well be ashamed of yourselves.’ Who was the message aimed at?
7. Who won the support of 383 MEPs to become the European Commission’s president, replacing Jean-Claude Juncker when he steps down on October 31?
8. In a series of Tweets US President Donald Trump suggested that ‘progressive’ Democratic congresswomen should go where?
9. Hashem Abedi, the brother of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, appeared in court in London after being extradited from which country?
10. Who bowled England’s super over against New Zealand which gave the team their first ever Cricket World Cup title?
11. The Government is to launch a review after it was revealed that 47 local authorities in the UK have started charging householders for what service?
12. Chloe Haines, whose alleged 'aggressive, abusive and dangerous’ behaviour on a flight to Turkey resulted in two RAF jets escorting the plane back to Stansted, was sent a bill for how much by Jet2
13. How many times has Novak Djokovic, who beat Roger Federer on Sunday, won the Wimbledon men’s title?
14. TV presenter and YouTuber Emily Hartridge was killed in a crash in Battersea, London, while riding what?
15. At least 33 people were killed and dozens injured after a suspected arson attack at an animation studio in which city?
16. Mexican drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was sentenced to life in prison plus how many years?
17. Which record-breaking Briton said: 'It is the greatest single moment of any athlete in the world to wave their flag as the number one or with gold or whatever it may be in their home country’?
18. Govia Thameslink Railway was fined £1million for health and safety breaches after a man died doing what?
19. Seventeen people were injured during a 'car cruise' event in which town?

20. One of 74 measures included in the Government's Road Safety Action Plan is to restrict new drivers from doing what?
21. A man in his 20s was arrested in Claverham, Somerset, after reports he had jumped out on a women while he was wearing what?
22. Why were two-year-old twins Safa and Marwa Ullah in the headlines?
23. Whose face will feature on the new design of the £50 note from 2021?
24. The licensing body PPL, which tracks all the music played on radio and television in the UK, revealed that what song was the most-played song on UK radio stations in the 21st century?
25. The US Postal Service will issue two 'forever stamps’ tomorrow (Saturday) to celebrate what event?

Answers here

Friday, 12 July 2019

Have a crack at the newsquiz

There were some strong scores in last week's newsquiz. Top solo spot went to Tom Savage and Mark Perkins who both scored 20, ahead of Janet Boyle, Andy Reed and Andy Drinkwater on 18 and Gavin Devine on 17.5. The top teams were The Roberts Family and The Penmans both with 19. The Roberts would have scored a record-equalling 23 if Jon Roberts hadn't overruled his youngest child four times! A lesson learned. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.


Today's front pages
1. Memos by Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the US, giving a candid assessment of Donald Trump’s administration were leaked to which British newspaper?
2. One of Sir Kim Darroch’s memos said: ’As seen from here, we really don’t believe that this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional, less unpredictable, less faction-riven, less diplomatically ____ and ____’. What are the two missing words? Half a point for each.
3. The Tory leadership debate was held in front of a studio audience in which city on Tuesday night?
4. In the televised Tory leadership debate Jeremy Hunt said his rival Boris Johnson was 'minimising the risk of a no-deal Brexit’ and peddling what?
5. What did Boris Johnson say, in the televised Tory leadership debate, was the quality he most admired about Jeremy Hunt?
6. MPs voted to permit what by 383 votes to 73?
7. What did Lord Triesman, Ara Darzi and Leslie Turnberg all do this week?
8. Six tourists were killed and at least 30 other people injured when gale-force winds, heavy rain and hailstorms hit which European country?
9. What was the name of the British oil tanker that was intercepted by Iranian boats in the Gulf - before they were chased off by a Royal Navy ship?
10. Broadcaster Sir David Attenborough told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee that to do what 'is an insult'?
11. Johanna Konta, after her defeat by Barbora Strycova in the Wimbledon singles quarter-final, asked a reporter to not do what to her?
12. Denise Nickerson, who died aged 62, was best known for playing which character in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?
13. Who won the Women's World Cup Golden Boot, for being top scorer, and the Golden Ball, awarded to the tournament's top player?
14. How long was the jail sentence given to former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson after he was found guilty of contempt of court at the Old Bailey?
15. Who was arrested when his private plane landed in New York and was then charged with running 'a vast network' of underage girls for sex?
16. The Information Commissioner’s Office used new powers for the first time to punish which two companies, with fines totalling almost £300million, for breaking laws protecting consumers’ data? Half a point for each.
17. An American toddler fell to her death from the deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in which island?
18. What is the name of the Texan billionaire who twice ran for US president as an independent and who died age 89 this week?
19. Egypt said it will instruct a law firm in the UK to file a civil suit over the sale of what artefact that was bought for £4.7million at Christie's auction house in London?
20. Why was 51-year-old mother Rachel Bailey of Dorking fined £120?
21. The Queen declared this week that she was still ‘perfectly capable’ of doing what?
22. England reached the Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand on Sunday by beating Australia by how many wickets?
23. What was described by an All England Club source as ‘a nightmare’, by media consultant Sally Jones as 'silly control freakery’ and by actress Tatum O’Neal as ‘tacky’?
24. Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of How to Train Your Dragon, was appointed to which role?
25. Who played a DJ set for the Love Island contestants at their own Ministry of Sound party on Sunday?


Answers here