This competition has now closed. See below for the answers and the winner.
Huge thanks to Jack Greenall from The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands for providing a generous prize for the annual Penny Post Christmas and New Year Quiz: a meal for two, a bottle of house wine, a room for the night in one of their beautiful bedrooms (which have been described as “immaculate and luxurious” by the The Sunday Telegraph) and breakfast the following day.
You’ll find below 19 questions. These are about 2020, the local area or The Pheasant (you may want to visit the pub’s website to answer these).
When you’ve answered the questions, take the first letter of each answer and re-arrange these to form a phrase which is relevant to the prize. To give you a bit of help, the questions are ordered alphabetically by their answers: so, if the answer to one of the questions was ‘aardvark’ (which it isn’t), that question would be at the top. Four of these initial letters appear three times and two appear twice.
All ready? Yearbooks and local gazetteers to hand? Pencil sharpened? A fresh sheet of paper in front of you? OK, let’s do this…
1 Which Steve has the chair at Shefford? Steve Ackrill is the Chair of the Parish Council of Great Shefford, the parish in which The Pheasant is located.
2 Where did JB beat DT by 10,457? Although Trump disputed this (and just about everything else), Joe Biden won Arizona by this many more votes than Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election.
3 Which David was fastest to a million in September? David Attenborough was the fastest person to a million Instagram followers in September 2020, in four hours 44 seconds (a record which has since been beaten).
4 Which Octavia designed The Pheasant’s private dining room? Octavia Dickinson
5 Argon tastes rearranged for this village. If you rearrange “Argon tastes” you get…well, quite a few things., actually. “Agnes Stator”, for instance, “Gerta Santos” or “Ganser Stoat.” They’re all great names for movie villains, but none of them are the names of local villages that I’m aware of. Another arrangement, however, is – “East Garston”.
6 What elegant white birds occasionally grace our local waterways? Egrets.
7 What is The Pheasant’s street? The Pheasant is situated on Ermin Street, which follows a Roman road that linked Gloucester and Silchester.
8 Which Dido is i/c T&T? Dido (Baroness) Harding was the head of the government’s Test and Trace programme when the competition was set and, at the time of writing, still is.
9 Which Kamala is the new number two? Kamala Harris is the new Vice-President of the USA following the 2020 election.
10 Where is Walbury the highest in the south-east? Walbury Hill in Inkpen is the highest natural point in south-east England.
11 Which Rafael accomplished his thirteenth in Paris? The tennis player Rafael Nadal won his 13th French Open title in 2020.
12 1643 and 1644 – but where? Newbury, where two battles were fought during the English Civil War.
13 Which county finished bottom in 2020 with 67 points? Nottinghamshire finished bottom of cricket’s County Championship division one in 2020, winning none and losing 10 of their 14 matches: it was relegation form (and they duly got relegated).
14 Who were undone by one of their own in Lisbon in August? Paris St Germain were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League final in the Portuguese capital. Bayern’s goal was scored by a Parisian, Kingley Conan.
15 Who paid for half our meals in August (and so we’re on first-name terms)? Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, who was responsible for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
16 Which Flora designed The Pheasant’s bedrooms? Flora Soames
17 Which Jones became late on 21/1? Terry Jones, formerly of Monty Python, died on 21 January 2020.
18 Reputedly the oldest in England, with straw and pork leg. Thatcham is reputedly the oldest continually inhabited town in Britain.
19 This can beat any suit (except in the USA in 2020). In whist and bridge, a card in the suit that’s been declared trumps will beat any other card in any other suit, even one of a higher value. As the 45th President discovered, however, this rule does not always translate into real life, regardless of your name…
If you take the initial letters (in bold in the answers above) and rearrange them, you’ll come up with “dinner at the Pheasant” which is, as I’m sure you’ll all agree, relevant to the prize.
Many thanks to all of you who entered and, in particular, to Jo Harbinson which was the first name out of the hat from among those with the correct answer.
How to enter
Please email the phrase (not the 19 individual answers) to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘PP 2020 Xmas quiz‘ by noon on Monday 15 February 2021.
Please be sure to add your name, where you live (the town or village name is fine) and your phone number (which we’ll only use if we need to contact you about this competition). Please also see the terms and conditions below.
Many thanks again to Jack Greenall, owner of The Pheasant, for donating this wonderful prize.
The terms & conditions
• The winner will be selected at random from the correct or most correct entries received and notified by email within 48 hours of the closing date (see above). Acceptance must be confirmed by email within 48 hours of the notification or we will select another winner to whom this condition will also apply. The judge’s decision in all matters will be final.
• If you’re not already a subscriber to Penny Post, by entering this competition you’re agreeing to have your email address added to our circulation list. We do not pass on information to third parties and you can opt out at any time.
• Only one entry can be accepted from any one email address.
• The winner will be put in touch with The Pheasant directly to make the arrangements for redeeming the prize.