Think literal, think lateral, then use google.


For the last 7 years on or around Christmas eve the annual cerebral challenge of the King William Quiz has begun.  For those unfamiliar with the quiz it is a general knowledge “exam” paper sat by the pupils of King William’s College on the Isle of Man and is published by the Guardian as a Christmas brain teaser. For years I had looked at it and after a few fleeting and perplexed moments had always given up.  It wasn’t until MrsAB and I had started seeing each other and my now father-in-law introduced me to the quiz proper that I took up the challenge.  Given the cryptic nature of the questions it is no wonder that the answers to the “Christmas” teaser are not revealed in the paper until at least February. Nor should it come as any surprise that, although the pupils undertake this as an exam (this I would pay good money to see!), research is essential. Given the internet MrsAB and I are able to do this from the comfort of the house and swap answers with the in-laws and it is something which can occupy the long January nights, sometimes until the small hours, but MrAB-in-law can recount hours sepnt trawling Manchester central library in search of some answers.  Its becoming a tradition and I’m both hooked and scuppered.

Therefore I’m putting out an appeal to link some minds (and computer power) to share in this task. If you do the quiz yourself or even are just curious to have a look please get in touch through the comments section and we’ll see if together we can’t crack this year’s quiz.  MrsAB has told me we have to beat her folks into completing sections 1 to 6 so there’s a collective challenge to you all.  Just to give you some clues:

  • Each section has a theme: some are obvious (sections 1 and 18), some are cryptic (section 3 is really stumping us this year!) and others are to be revealed by the answers.
  • The themes will help in finding the answers: section 7 this year is answers which incorporate Irish counties. I realised this after the first answer was Dominic Cork
  • You can use whatever means possible but don’t look up the other forums where others post answers, it spoils the fun and, hopefully, our debate here.

So, who’s with me and MrsAB this year?

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