Christmas Quiz XVII: Answers and Results

Christmas Quiz XVII answers and results are now available!

As always, if you enjoy what you read here, you can sign up free to receive an email update each time I post by entering your email address into the subscription form below.

This year was a cryptic quiz and the theme was ‘Science’, with individual rounds comprising Astronomy; Mathematics; Anatomy and Medicine; Chemistry; Physics and Engineering; Biology, Natural History and Ecology; Computer Science; False Science; Science Fiction; and Geology and Palaeontology.

This year, the winning team, with 99 points out of 100, was Alex Morris, Alex Craven and Friends!

The cut-off for the honour roll was 75 and the full honour roll can be found below:

1. Alex Morris, Alex Craven and friends: 99

2. Pellereau Family: 98.5

3. Julia, Iain, Owen and Gareth: 97.5

4. Dave Evan-Watkins, Laura Watkins, and family: 95.5

5. Spence-Fox: 93.5

=6. Kat, Christian and co: 90

=6. Harkers and friends: 90

8. Sequeiras: 89.5

9. Dave, Rich and Chris: 83.5

10. Norths: 81

11. Churchills: 80

12. Ros M: 79

Download the full answers here.

Question analysis and alternative answers

As always, some questions are easier than others. I was strict with questions 69 (Universal Serial Bus) and 77 (The Four Humours), awarding only half marks for answers that omittedd ‘universal’ or ‘four’; in both cases, I felt the full answer is both the better known form of the expression and was clearly clued for in the answer. The odd other half point was awarded where I felt the entry was almost there.

I accepted New Moon (instead of Neptune) for Question 4, as it works equally well, but not C+ for C++, as to the best of my knowledge the former doesn’t exist (or at the least is much less well known).

Every question was answered correctly by at least one team, something which is always pleasing. Based on analysis of the twelve teams to reach the honour roll, the hardest question, answered correctly by only 2 teams, was question 89 (Chappa’ai), the Goa’uld name for a Stargate in the Stargate series. Next hardest (answered correctly by 4 teams) was question 41 (Torque), which was probably not one of my best clues, and then (answered correctly by 5 teams) question 65 (CD-Rom), which I did not expect to be as difficult as it was.

After this, questions 20 (A simple pole in a complex plane), 81 (Warp) and 85 (Stillsuit) were answered correctly by 5.5 or 6 teams; while 3 (Andromeda), 12 (Contour Integral), 16 (Axiom of Choice), 46 (Electromagnetism) and 77 (Four Humours) were answered correctly by 7 or 8 teams. Collectively, these include the three questions which require knowledge of post-18 mathematics and a smattering of others, some of which I expected to be challenging and others didn’t.

And that’s it for another year!

To be sure you don’t miss next year’s quiz – and to be notified by email of any posts I make in the meantime – you can enter your email address in the box below.