Everyone Else Gives You Nice Presents. We Give You Questions.

By John Kelly
Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas. Bored yet?

There comes a time every Christmas -- somewhere between the last present and the first cocktail -- when you're stuck for something to do. I'm here to help. Gather the family, split into teams and try your luck at this Washington-centric quiz.

This random assortment of trivia is truly general knowledge. Give yourself 5 points for each correct answer, 1 point apiece for correct answers on Questions 2 and 14. The answers are below.

1. How tall is the Washington Monument?

a. 555 feet b. 666 feet c. 760 feet d. 1,776 feet

2. Match the memorial with the year it was dedicated:

a. D.C. War Memorial (WWI), b. Jefferson Memorial, c. Korean War Veterans Memorial, d. Lincoln Memorial, e. National World War II Memorial, f. Washington Monument, g. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

i. 1885

ii. 1922

iii. 1931

iv. 1943

v. 1982

vi. 1995

vii. 2004

3. Which of these is not a planned community:

a. Columbia b. Reston c. Greenbelt d. Annandale

4. What word is missing from this quotation by Gore Vidal: "I date the end of the old republic and the birth of the empire to the invention, in the late thirties, of [?]. Before [?], Washington was deserted from mid-June to September."

5. What message did Samuel F.B. Morse send when he officially opened the first telegraph line, from Washington to Baltimore, in 1844?

a. "Let there be light."

b. "Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth."

c. "What hath God wrought?"

d. "Can you hear me now?"

6. Who said this of her sojourn in Washington: "I came there as prime steak and now I feel like low-grade hamburger"?

a. Fawn Hall b. Joycelyn Elders c. Clara Peller d. Monica Lewinsky

7. Which band was featured on the very first release by Dischord Records, Washington's seminal punk rock label?

a. Bad Brains b. Fugazi c. Minor Threat d. Teen Idles

8. How did "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown get his first guitar?

a. He traded five packs of cigarettes for it at Lorton prison.

b. His parents bought it at the Garysburg, N.C., Montgomery Ward's for $5.

c. He won it in a talent contest sponsored by RC Cola.

d. He made it in his high school shop class, losing his left pinkie in the process.

9. The George Washington Masonic Memorial was designed to resemble what wonder of the ancient world?

a. the Hanging Gardens of Babylon b. the lighthouse of Alexandria c. the sepulcher of Nebuchadnezzar d. the Templar Tower of Mombuey, France

10. Passengers who line up to catch rides into Washington with a driver hoping to use the HOV lanes are known as:

a. slugs b. sloths c. snipes d. zombies

11. Where did William Wilson Corcoran, Washington banker and philanthropist, spend the Civil War?

a. in President Abraham Lincoln's Cabinet b. in St. Elizabeths Hospital c. in Paris, France d. in Andersonville Prison

12. Silver Spring is named for mica that glittered in a burbling spring. Rockville probably got its name from its proximity to Rock Creek. How did Beltsville get its name?

a. The Capital Beltway bisects the town. b. In Victorian times, it was well known for its belt factory. c. It's a corruption of "bild," German for "picture." d. The railroad put a depot on land purchased from tobacco farmer Trueman Belt.

13. From 1911 to 1998, the U.S. Naval Academy had its own:

a. competitive marbles team b. brothel c. chandler d. dairy farm

14. Match the celebrity with the high school he or she attended (note: one celeb attended more than one school):

a. Sergey Brin

b. Dave Chappelle

c. Dave Grohl

d. Goldie Hawn

e. Spike Jonze

f. Julia Louis-Dreyfus

g. Jim Morrison

i. Annandale High School (Annandale)

ii. Bishop Ireton High School (Alexandria)

iii. Duke Ellington School of the Arts (Washington)

iv. Eleanor Roosevelt High School (Greenbelt)

v. George Washington High School (Alexandria)

vi. Holton-Arms School (Bethesda)

vii. Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring)

viii. Thomas Jefferson High School (Alexandria)

ix. Walt Whitman High School (Bethesda)

15. What does Nicolas Cage steal from the National Archives in the 2004 movie "National Treasure"?

a. the Declaration of Independence b. the Bill of Rights c. the U.S. Constitution d. Poor Richard's Almanack

16. What Washington Post headline inspired then-Georgetown University student William Peter Blatty to write the horror classic "The Exorcist"?

a. "Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held In Devil's Grip"

b. "Bladensburg Padre Stymies 'Voodoo' Curse"

c. "Satan-Bashers Convene at CU for Annual Confab"

d. "Pea Soup Spill Closes Wisc. Ave."

Extra Credit

There are barely two weeks left in this year's Children's Hospital campaign. To donate, write a check or money order payable to "Children's Hospital" and mail it to Washington Post Campaign, P.O. Box 17390, Baltimore, Md. 21297-1390.

To donate online using a credit card, go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/childrenshospital.

To contribute by phone using Visa or MasterCard, call 202-334-5100.

Answers to quiz: 1: a. 2: a, iii; b, iv; c, vi; d, ii; e, vii; f, i; g, v. 3: d. 4: "air-conditioning." 5: c. 6: b. 7: d. 8: a. 9: b. 10: a. 11: c. 12: d. 13: d. 14: a, iv; b, iii; c, i & ii & viii; d, vii; e, ix; f, vi; g, v. 15: a. 16: a.

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