Boxing Day Quiz – 2017: The Answers

Answers to end-of-year quiz

On Boxing Day we posted our annual end of year quiz, based mainly upon events in law and religion that featured in our posts during 2017. Since then, followers of our twitter accounts have been given a few clues, but for those that did not pick these up, here are all the answers:

1. Suggest a possible meaning for 20 + C + M + B + 18?

These letters and numbers are used in “Chalking the Door” – an Epiphany House Blessing. A traditional way of doing this is to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance, 20 + C + M + B + 18. The letters C, M, B have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the three magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.” The “+” signs represent the cross and 2018 is the year. A fuller explanation is here.

2. Where in the Cotswolds might you find the “Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria?

The church of St Edward, Stow-in-the-Wold, Gloucestershire,  was JRR Tolkien’s  inspiration for the “Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria.

3. What links the following: signposts in Kent; a dahlia; geese of ill-repute?

Bishops: “Bishops finger” was the name given to the signposts in Kent which pointed the way to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral [Used for a beer produced by Shepherd Neame]. The Bishop of Llandaff is the name given to a dahlia/ In 1161 the Henry, Bishop of Winchester was granted the power to license prostitutes and brothels in the Liberty of the Clink by King Henry II. The prostitutes were known as Winchester Geese, and many are buried in Cross Bones, an unconsecrated graveyard. To be “bitten by a Winchester goose” meant “to contract a venereal disease”, and “goose bumps” was slang for symptoms of venereal diseases.

4. What do the following parliamentarians have in common: Lord Dobbs; Caroline Flint; Lord Hariss of Harringay?

All are recorded in Hansard as using the expression “willy waving” – i.e. “acting in an excessively macho fashion”: first  Lord Hariss of Harringay, Serious Crimes Bill, 16 June 2014; then Lord Dobbs, Chilcot Inquiry debate, 3 November 2014; and most recently Caroline Flint, Enterprise Bill, (Fifth Sitting), 23 February 2016.

5. Connect: a song in Elvish, Robert Baden-Powell, and an Anglican Metropolitan.

Namárië is a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien written in Quenya [Elvish] and set to music by Donald Swann with the help of Tolkien. More well known is the Flanders and Swann composition “Mud, glorious mud” about hippopotami.

In Scouting for Boys Baden-Powell included a Zulu chant which he calls the Eengonyama chorus, “`He is a lion! Yes! He is better than that! He is a hippopotamus!’

This year we posted David Scrooby’s The Bishop of the River of Hippopotamuses and the Archbishop of Cape Town.

6.  Which Church Commissioner saved a shark and when?

Tony Baldry in 1992, when he was a Minister in the Department of the Environment, settled the long-standing planning dispute about the “Headington Shark“, a fibreglass shark that was fixed to the roof of a semi-detached house in Oxford. “The shark first appeared on 9 August 1986.

The headless sculpture, with the label “Untitled 1986” fixed to the gate to the house, was erected on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Created by the sculptor John Buckley, it is made of fibreglass, weighs four hundredweight, and is 25 feet long.

Further details of the planning dispute are here. These concluded when Tony Baldry, as he then was, assessed the case on planning grounds, and ruled that the shark would be allowed to remain as it did not result in harm to the visual amenity

7. Which was the first marriage to be granted the consent of the monarch under the Royal Marriages Act 1772 in which one of the parties was divorced with prior spouse still living?

George Lascelles, the seventh Earl of Harewood. He was also the first royal in modern times to obtain a divorce and then remarry with the necessary permission from the Queen under the Royal Marriages Act, 1772. He and Patricia finally married, in the US for reasons of legal convenience, in 1967, three years after the birth of their son Mark, and a few days after the divorce had come through.

With thanks to Daniel Hill. 

8. What links the following to the Cardiff LLM in Canon Law? Oscar Wilde, Lewis Gielgud, Lord Denning, T. E. Lawrence, Niall Ferguson, Kenneth Tynan, George Osborne?

All were demies of Magdalen College, Oxford, as was the Revd John Masding who died on Good Friday 2017. John, who was born in 1939, was one of the first graduates of the Cardiff LLM course in canon law; he was convener and genial host of the annual LLM reunion dinners at his college.

9. What is “like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say”. 

Fr Z’s description of his blog, though some would be less complementary.

10. What is the connection between lobsters and crimson string?

The different national colleges (where seminarians live) in Rome have distinctive cassocks. Those of the German/Teutonic College are: scarlet cassock, black fascia, scarlet soprana with pendant strings, and because of their cassock, Romans nicknamed them “lobsters”; those of the Collegio Seminario Minore (Vatican) are: dark purple cassock with crimson trim and buttons, one crimson string decorated with the papal arms, shoes with silver buckles.

With thanks to Fr Z.

11. In what arena might you find both a tug of war and table tennis played?

The Palace of Westminster, where “lutte a la corde” and “ping-pong” are both terms that have been used to describe the final stages of a Bill.  When a bill has passed through third reading in both Houses it is returned to the first House (where it started) for any amendments made by the second House to be considered. A bill may go back and forth between each House until both Houses reach agreement on the exact wording of the bill – this is now known as ‘ping pong’. Formerly it was known as lutte a la corde.

Twitter followers might also have spotted the Instagram of Lady Hale playing ping-pong (i.e. the game) in the Supreme Court  building.

12. Leporello’s “Catalogue Aria” commenced “In Italia seicento e quaranta [640]; In Alemagna duecento e trentuna [231], but where might  one find 629, 267, as well as  512, 308, 27, 14, 7, 5, and 12,220?

Listed churches in the UK, according to the National Churches Trust, belonging to:  Roman Catholic, 629; Baptist Union, 267; Methodist, 512; United Reformed Church, 308; Jewish, 27; Muslim, 14; Sikh, 7; Buddhist, 5, and the Church of England, 12,220.

13. Which relic is likely to have collected the most “Air Miles”

According to the Catholic Herald, the relic of St Serafim of Sarov had spent six months in space; Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov, who has returned to Earth after a mission on the International Space Station, said he had taken a relic of a Russian Orthodox saint with him. He told Russian news agencies that he would give the tiny relic of St Serafim of Sarov’s body, which he received from its home monastery last year, to an Orthodox church in Star City outside Moscow, home to the cosmonaut training centre.

14. Which Archbishop lead ordinands from gates of hell?

Ordinands in York Minster were given an unusual warm welcome. In the Report and Annual Accounts 2016, Dean Vivienne Faull comments:

“a consequence of the Mystery Plays was that the entire Nave space was filled with a stage and tiered seating with entrances and exits on several levels. The memory of the Archbishop leading ordinands onto the stage having emerged from the ‘gates of hell’ will remain with many of us for some time!”

15. What have Theresa May and Kenneth Baker in common, (apart from both being former Home Secretaries)?

They appear to have been the only two Home Secretaries to be found guilty of contempt of court,  here and here, although following closely behind is Amber Rudd. On Wednesday 23 August, 2017, A high court judge said she was “deeply concerned” about her behaviour for failing to release a survivor of torture from detention despite repeated court orders requiring her to do so.

16. Which Anglican theologian is quoted Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code?

The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, BA M.Ed PhD, 45th Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. “And everything you need to know about the Bible is summed up by the great canon doctor Martyn Percy”, Chapter 55. [At the time of the book’s publication, he was not Dean of Christ Church]

17. What have the following in common: a Buddhist monk; F.C.s; B.B.s; S.L.s; O.Q.s; D.L.s.?

Digitalnun’s classification of her readers, in 1500 Posts and Counting on July 13 which we referred to here, 2017, as: a Buddhist monk (i.e. a Buddhist monk); F.C.s, the frequent commenters B.B.s, the belligerent battleaxes S.L.s, the silent lurkers O.Q.s, the open questioners D.L.s, the dog-lovers.

18. Who was the last MP hostage to be taken hostage and detained at Buckingham Palace?

Chris Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, on 21 June 2017. It is customary for a Member of Parliament to be held “hostage” at Buckingham Palace whilst the monarch delivers the Queen’s Speech at the Palace of Westminster.

19. What links Bl. Dominic Barberi, an Italian theologian and a member of the Passionist Congregation, and Eric Treacy, former Bishop of Wakefield?

Both died at a railway station.

20. What do the following letters have in common: A, B, E, H, K, M, O, P, T, X, Y?

They are all shared between the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic alphabets.

21. Where, and under what circumstances does M=AB and N=CD?

When used in marriage banns in Scotland, read as a requirement for a marriage solemnized in England.

22. What two words were disallowed on marriage registration forms in England and wales from December 2005?

“Batchelor” and “Spinster”.

23. What links this somewhat eclectic, group of people?

[With thanks to Fergus Butler-Gallie] Mick Jagger; Grace Kelly; Bonnie & Clyde; John Lennon; Marvin Gaye; The Blessed Virgin Mary; Yoko Ono; Geno Washington; Chico Slimani; Jesus Christ; Grace Kelly; The Empress Josephine; Frank Sinatra; Charles Lewis Tiffany; John Denver’s wife; A dead Liverpudlian woman.

They are all referenced in songs that made no. 1 in the UK, here.

24. What links the following: Blue Rod; Purple Rod; Black Rod; and Gold stick? 

They are all posts that are now held by women.

25. Who said “We should not ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper, and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards…”?

David Davis, in the debate on Regional Assemblies (Preparations) Bill [26 Nov 2002] , HC Hansard 26 Nov 2002 Vol 395 (309) Col 202. This is worth quoting in full:

David Davis: There is a proper role for referendums in constitutional change, but only if done properly. If it is not done properly, it can be a dangerous tool. The Chairman of the Public Administration Committee, who is no longer in the Chamber, said that Clement Attlee—who is, I think, one of the Deputy Prime Minister’s heroes—famously described the referendum as the device of demagogues and dictators. We may not always go as far as he did, but what is certain is that pre-legislative referendums of the type the Deputy Prime Minister is proposing are the worst type of all.

Referendums should be held when the electorate are in the best possible position to make a judgment. They should be held when people can view all the arguments for and against and when those arguments have been rigorously tested. In short, referendums should be held when people know exactly what they are getting. So legislation should be debated by Members of Parliament on the Floor of the House, and then put to the electorate for the voters to judge.

We should not ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards. For referendums to be fair and compatible with our parliamentary process, we need the electors to be as well informed as possible and to know exactly what they are voting for. Referendums need to be treated as an addition to the parliamentary process, not as a substitute for it.

26. If some church buildings are described as “high” and others “low”, how many are “flat”?

The Church Buildings Excel file on “Ruined Churches” indicates that of the 279 sites identified as being within the faculty jurisdiction, 87 are classified as “flat”, 157 as “high” and 33 are “low”.

27. Who equated what to “cleaning the Sphinx with a toothbrush”?

Pope Francis in his Audience with the Roman Curia for the exchange of Christmas greetings, 21.12.2017, in which he said:

“Speaking of reform, I think of the amusing yet pointed remark of Archbishop Frédéric-François-Xavier de Mérode: “Making reforms in Rome is like cleaning the Sphinx with a toothbrush”. His mot points to the patience, tenacity and sensitivity needed to attain that goal. For the Curia is an ancient, complex and venerable institution made up of people of different cultures, languages and mindsets, and bound, intrinsically and from the outset, to the primatial office of the Bishop of Rome in the Church, that is, to the “sacred” office willed by Christ the Lord for the good of the entire Church (ad bonum totius corporis).

Potential questions for the 2018 Boxing Day Quiz are currently in preparation. 

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Boxing Day Quiz – 2017: The Answers" in Law & Religion UK, 13 January 2018,

2 thoughts on “Boxing Day Quiz – 2017: The Answers

  1. As to “What do the following letters have in common?”, one might dispute if the Latin H, P, X and Y are the same LETTERS (OED: a character or mark designed to represent one of the elementary sounds used in speech) as the Greek eta, rho, chi and upsilon – shared symbols maybe, but different sounds. I cannot speak for the Cyrillic versions.

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