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Detectives, sea monsters and stupid dangerous stunts – take the Thursday quiz

A new year! 2022! A chance for a new beginning! A chance to leave everything behind! Everything has been renewed! But not here at the Thursday quiz, where it’s the same old gubbins as always, or as one excited commentator put it last week, “Sheesh Martin, the Sparks shoehorn? Another time?” In front of you are 15 topical and common knowledge questions, sprinkled with a generous helping of Ron from Sparks, a hidden Doctor Who reference, the amazing Kate Bush and all your favorites. It’s just for fun and there are no prizes , but let us know how it goes in the comments.

The Thursday quiz, no 37

1.WHO AM I? I am a hugely successful singer with many hits to my name over a long period of time, and in 2021 I sold more calendars than any other singer

2.LITERATURE: What was the name of the fictional detective created by PD James who first appeared in her 1962 novel Cover Her Face?

3.ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON: Speaking of fictional detectives, which of the four Arthur Conan Doyle novels starring Sherlock Holmes was published first?

4.ON THIS DAY: What changed in the US on January 6, 1973, and would it remain so until April 27, 1975?

5.GCSE SCIENCE CORNER: Biology this week, and we’re talking mitosis, the process by which a eukaryotic cell nucleus splits. At what stage of mitosis are the chromosomes and their copies pulled to different ends of the cell before splitting?

6.HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Sunday is the brilliant Nicola Coughlan’s birthday. Happy birthday, Nicholas! But which Derry Girl is she?

7.TRUE OF FALSE: Russ Abbott’s song Atmosphere topped the charts higher than Joy Division’s Atmosphere in the UK Singles Chart?

8.GAIN: That’s a 1974 song from Sparks where they could use a strong rear guard. But that’s not important now. Hadrian’s Wall is apparently celebrating its 1,900th anniversary this year, but how far does it go according to the English Heritage website?

9.FLAGS OF JOY: This is the flag of the Autonomous Community of Bougainville. Where is it?

10.YEAH YEAH INDUSTRIAL ESTATE: That’s a song from The Fall. But where is Thwaite Mills, an industrial museum of a fully restored working water-powered mill from the 1820s?

11.BLOW UP THINGS BUT AT SEA: What was the Caspian Sea Monster?

12.THE PLAY IS THE THING: Who wrote The Dumb Waiter, first performed in 1959, and seen here by Toby Jones and Jason Watkins in 2004?

13.CHEERS MY DEARS: The Cité du Vin Museum is the hilariously literal name of one of the most beautiful museums in France. But where is it located?

14.MUSIC: When Adele released her album last year, it was clear that everything was going to happen. But which of these women topped the UK No 1 album immediately prior to Adele’s 30?

15.STUPID CHALLENGES: Controversy arose after an Amazon Alexa device suggested a 10-year-old kid do what stupid stunt when asked for ‘a challenge’?

  • If you think a glaring mistake has crept into any of the questions or answers, please don’t hesitate to email martin.belam@theguardian.com, but remember, the quizmaster’s word is always final and his new year solution was to ignore all his work emails.