End-of-year quiz

Questions to test your knowledge of the year’s events

America chooses

1. In what was by far the most expensive presidential campaign in history, President Obama and Mitt Romney each raised about $1 billion, and Super PACs, another $630 million. Within 50,000, how many TV commercials did all this money buy?

2. Who won by a greater margin in the popular vote—Obama in 2012, or George W. Bush in 2004?

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3. Of the 10 battleground states that were the key to the election, what was the only one won by Romney?

4. This Republican casino mogul, worth $25 billion, gave $55 million in publicly reported donations to Super PACs and candidates, and another $50 million to nonprofit advocacy groups that don’t have to disclose their donors.

5. During her successful Senate campaign in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren was nicknamed “Fauxcahontas,” after it emerged that she had once claimed Native American ancestry. To which tribe did Warren claim that a great-great-great-grandmother belonged?

6. Newt Gingrich attempted to appeal to voters in the Florida primary with a pledge to build what?

By the numbers

7. Within 2 percent, what percentage of U.S. marriages are now between members of different races, according to the U.S. Census Bureau?

8. Americans lost about $30 billion worth of these last year. What are they?

9. The U.S. just experienced its warmest year on record. In March, a particularly hot month, temperatures in the lower 48 states were how many degrees above the historic norm?

a. 2.4 degrees

b. 4.4 degrees

c. 8.6 degrees


10. Tens of thousands of Greeks suffering under austerity waved swastikas and wore Nazi uniforms to protest a visit by this European leader. Who was the subject of their ire?

11. This low-lying Pacific island nation, facing rising sea levels that are already beginning to wash over its flat coral atolls, announced that it was considering moving its population of 100,000 to Fiji.

12. In a characteristic publicity stunt, this world leader dressed in a bird costume and flew an ultralight aircraft to guide an endangered species of young cranes to their winter habitat.

13. Without realizing that The Onion is purely satirical, the People’s Daily of China reported breathlessly that the American newspaper had named this world leader as “the sexist man alive” and “every woman’s dream come true.”


14. A University of Pennsylvania study found that men who have this characteristic are perceived as being more dominant and stronger, and as possessing more leadership abilities.

15. Paleontologists have come to the conclusion that many dinosaurs developed feathers, but not to fly. What purpose did their colorful plumage originally serve?

16. Scientists this year established that each human being carries about 100 trillion of these, weighing a total of 6 pounds.

Strange but true

17. Michigan Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown was banned from speaking on the House floor in June by indignant male Republicans for uttering what word, during a debate on abortion?

18. In the meat industry, it was known as “lean finely textured beef,” and until this year, was routinely added to supermarket and fast-food hamburgers. What less appealing name did the media use to refer to this pureed amalgam of chemically disinfected cow trimmings and connective tissues?

19. True or false: There are more than three times as many federally licensed gun dealers in the U.S. as there are grocery stores.

Arts & Leisure

20. This year’s highest-grossing documentary was the biggest money-making political documentary since Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. What’s the film’s name?

21. A 1994 abstract painting by Gerhard Richter set a record for a work by a living artist when it sold at auction for $34 million. The buyer was unidentified, but the seller—who originally bought the painting for $3.2 million—is well known. Name him.

22. The literary world raised a fuss in April when the Pulitzer Prize panel appointed to select the past year’s best work of fiction made a surprise choice. What was it?

23. Salman Rushdie published his memoirs this year under the title Joseph Anton, his alias while in hiding from the Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa, and a reference to which of his two favorite authors?

24. The annual Coachella music festival in California featured a performance by a computer-generated hologram of which late artist?

25. South Korean rapper Psy’s unexpected hit “Gangnam Style” became the most-watched YouTube video ever this year, clocking up more than 900 million views. But what exactly is Gangnam?

Who tweeted it?

26. “Unbelievable jobs numbers, these Chicago guys will do anything...can’t debate so change numbers”

27. “Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?”

28. “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart”

They said it

29. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

30. “[Mitt Romney] is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y’all back in chains.”

31. “I have a job to do...If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”

ANSWERS America chooses 1. 1 million 2. Obama. He won the election by 3.6 percentage points, and 5 million votes. Bush won by 3 percentage points, and 3 million votes. 3. North Carolina 4. Sheldon Adelson 5. Cherokee 6. A moon base By the numbers 7. 10 percent 8. Cellphones 9. c. 8.6 degrees International 10. German Chancellor Angela Merkel 11. Kiribati 12. Vladimir Putin 13. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Findings 14. Totally bald heads 15. To attract mates 16. Bacteria Strange but true 17. “Vagina” 18. “Pink slime” 19. True. There are 129,817 gun dealers, and 36,569 grocery stores. Arts & Leisure 20. 2016: Obama’s America 21. Eric Clapton 22. They declined to make an award. 23. Conrad and Chekhov 24. Tupac Shakur 25. An affluent neighborhood of Seoul Who tweeted it? 26. Jack Welch 27. Rupert Murdoch 28. Pope Benedict XVI They said it 29. Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin 30. Vice President Joe Biden 31. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after Hurricane Sandy

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