The Week’s Christmas quiz: looking back on 2022

How much can you remember from the past 12 months?

Nasa’s Artemis 1 on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Nasa’s new Moon mission blasted off in November
(Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/AFP via Getty Images)

Literature and the arts

1. The opening scene of which Shakespeare play comprises just 61 words, the longest of them including “hurlyburly” and “graymalkin”?

2. Totem and Taboo and Civilisation and Its Discontents are 20th century works by which thinker?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

3. Name the British novels with the following first lines:

  • a) “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.”
  • b) “The story so far: in the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”
  • c) “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.”
  • d) “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

4. For between one and five points, depending on how closely you get them right, what are the famous first lines of:

  • a) Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
  • b) Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice?

5. Jackson Pollock was married to which abstract-expressionist painter?

6. Which plays contain the following lines?:

  • a) “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”
  • b) “There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.”
  • c) “The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility and all these petty squabbles.”

7. In which gallery would you find Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus? And were you to visit the refectory of the former Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie near Milan, what great work of art would you see?

8. Which author has set four works in the fictional Illinois town of Amgash?

9. Busytown is the setting for several children’s books by which well-loved American writer and illustrator?

10. Which literary character directed the Baker Street Irregulars?

11. A Story of Darkest Earl’s Court is the subtitle of which 1941 novel?

12. Night Mail, a 1936 documentary short by the General Post Office Film Unit, ends with a “verse commentary” set to a classical music score. Name the poet and the composer.

13. What animal is the main character in Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo?

14. In The Chronicles of Narnia, which book is set during the last few pages of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? And in which do the characters find themselves in the Wood between the Worlds?

A tile reading "how did you do, scroll down for the answers" illustrated with robins and a festive garland


1. Macbeth

2. Sigmund Freud

3. a) I Capture the Castle b) The Restaurant at the End of the Universe c) Middlemarch d) 100 Years of Solitude

4. a) “It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” b) “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

5. Lee Krasner

6. a) The Importance of Being Earnest b) Waiting for Godot c) Uncle Vanya

7.The Uffizi; Da Vinci’s The Last Supper

8. Elizabeth Strout

9. Richard Scarry

10. Sherlock Holmes

11. Hangover Square

12. W.H. Auden; Benjamin Britten

13. A little brown mouse

14. The Horse and His Boy; The Magician’s Nephew

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.