Quiz: Breaking stories

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 30, 2016

breaking news

Looking back at 2016

The year-end quiz. Please forgive if you feel important political and economic events have been ignored in favour of lighter fare. Trust me, you really don’t want to remember those.

1 Apparently, David Bowie passed away from liver cancer just two days after the release of his final album on his 69th birthday on January 9 this year. The album topped the British charts and also delighted his fans with the many hidden surprises in its cover and artwork. Name the album.

2 The Tata Tiago, endorsed by Leo Messi, was a minicar launched by Tata Motors with a lot of fanfare this year. What was it originally named?

3 When this gentleman produced the epic Mughal-e-Azam in the 1950s, little did he know that his son would be a protagonist in a real-life saga that came to public attention on October 24 this year. Just name both, if you know the son, you probably know the father!

4 This film was released on October 7 this year and is about a medieval warrior who fights for his women and then moves on to follow a stylish modern-day secret agent who successfully saves the Earth from aliens. Just name the film or its hero, who also directed this epic along with his daughter Honeypreet?

5 According to her, writing was not on her mind, but she managed to find enough time in 2016 to pen 12 short stories released as an anthology titled Sweet Dreams. Who is she?

6 Another goodbye. The last item of which specific product was manufactured by the Japanese firm Funai on July 22, 2016 before the production line finally closed down? Think 1980s.

7 Complete this list with just one more name. Ben Feringa, Jean Pierre Sauvage, Fraser Stoddart, Oliver Hart, Bengt R Holmström, Juan Manuel Santos, John M Kosterlitz, Duncan Haldane, David J Thouless, Yoshinori Ohsumi.

8 Where did Juno reach on July 5, 2016 after a five-year journey? The name is a giveaway

9 In August this year, what happened, or did not happen after a group of Americans left Brazilian sporting legend Thiago Pereira’s party?

10 For which specific reason did former England striker Gary Lineker present the television show Match of the Day in August this year dressed only in boxer shorts?

11 A fairly innovative way to stop cheating. This was what (below) candidates appearing in the army entrance exam were subjected to in February this year. In which state was this extreme step taken?

12 On December 7, the amazingly versatile Cho Ramaswamy passed away. Who used to write a column titled ‘Ennangal Silla’ for his magazine Tughlaq in the 1980s?

13 The Swahili word for communal labour, mentioned in a song by Rita Marley, became a household word in the US this year. What is the word, and what was the context?

14 Why were most people in Chicago strongly against Indians between October 25 and November 2 this year?

15 This cricketer played just one match for his State in 2000-2001 season against Jammu and Kashmir, and didn’t score in the seven balls he faced. What did he do in July 2016?

16 In November this year, a change in shape to limit its weight due to rising costs has caused an outcry among the fans of which iconic food product?

17 Between July 6 and 22, which company had a $16.8-billion rise in market capitalisation, and an immediate 18 per cent drop of $6.7 billion on July 25 when it publicly admitted that it did not produce or could benefit from the product launched under its banner? To make it even more confusing, the same product increased footfall in National Museums in the US by over 400 per cent over the same period.

18 On August 10, 2016, why did millions of Indians suddenly become aware of a former Russian sportsperson with the first name Yelena, who represented her country with distinction between 1995 and 2000?’

19 At a press conference in September, which ‘western’ product did these two gentlemen (below) promise to take on with their own swadeshi version?

20 In 2016, which consumer giant started giving its product names that described the user’s secret anxieties, with examples like ‘My Family Doesn’t Respect Me’ for a dress, ‘My Partner Snores’ for a convertible sofa bed and ‘He Doesn’t Text Back’ for a USB charger?

21 In 1984 she captivated the world, in 2002 the world discovered her real name, and in October 2016 she was arrested for living in a country using forged documents. Who is she?

22 On April 3 this year, what did this cricketer (below) do in the final over of a match played at the Eden Gardens?

23 “Shame on people for trolling _________________ non-stop. Have some compassion, she has only given me positivity.” This tweet on March 28 is the most retweeted and viewed Indian tweet of 2016. Whose tweet and what is the name in the blank?

24 If according to the Oxford English Dictionary, Brexiteer, Alt-Right, Adulting and Chatbot were among the losers, who or what was the winner?

25 For what reason was this lady (below) in the news in December this year? Her designation will do.


1. Blackstar

2. Tata Zika, which had to be changed once the virus started spreading around the world

3. Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry and his son Cyrus Mistry

4. MSG The Warrior Lion Heart, starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Highly recommended if you have run out of mood-altering substances!

5. Sunny Leone. According to her, the last thing she wrote seriously was her diary, which got her into a lot of trouble with her mother.

6. The video cassette recorder. The larger mystery is who was buying them in the last 15 years!

7. Bob Dylan. These were all the other Nobel Laureates for 2016.

8. Jupiter’s orbit. In Roman mythology, Jupiter was Juno’s wife and could always see through the clouds he used to veil his mischief.

9. American gold medallist Ryan Lochte claimed that he and three others had been robbed at gunpoint during the Rio Olympics. It later turned out that they actually had an altercation with a gas station guard after breaking a door.

10. Lineker had promised to do it in December last year if Leicester City miraculously managed to win the Premier League. Leicester duly won.

11. Bihar, in the Muzaffarpur centre. In Gujarat, mobile internet services are often blocked on the day of mass examinations for government jobs

12. Jayalalithaa, who passed away just a couple of days before him.

13. Harambe. It was the name of the Western Lowland gorilla in Cincinnati zoo who had to be put down after a three- year-old boy fell into his enclosure. It became the subject of many viral memes and two rappers sang songs named ‘Harambe’.

14. Because of The World Series Baseball finals. The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians and ended a 108-year trophy drought.

15. Anurag Thakur was elected as the second youngest BCCI President ever, taking over from Shashank Manohar.

16. Toblerone chocolates. There is now a much larger gap between the peaks. Ricky Gervais was among those who lamented the change.

17. Nintendo, after the launch of Pokemon Go.

18. Yelena invented the frighteningly difficult Produnova jump, which Dipa Karmakar performed in the finals of the women’s vault event and came fourth in the Rio Olympics.

19. Jeans. The jeans for women will be loose to comply with Indian cultural norms.

20. Ikea. According to the agency behind the marketing campaign, the names are based on the premise that Ikea’s products are “designed to solve everyday dilemmas”.

21. Sharbat Gul, known as the Afghan Girl after the iconic National Geographic cover picture by Steve McCurry. She was arrested in Pakistan and deported back to Afghanistan.

22. Carlos Braithwaite hit four sixes off four balls to win the World Cup T20 trophy for the West Indies.

23. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma.

24. Post-truth, for the Word of The Year. Merriam Webster went with ‘surreal’.

25. Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, German defence minister. She refused to wear a hijab on a State visit to Saudi Arabia.

Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster and Project Director, FIFA U-17 World Cup

Follow Joy on Twitter @joybhattacharj

Published on December 30, 2016
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