PCNH Quiz 2018 – Answers

Section A

  1. As quick as a flash
  2. To jump the queue
  3. The sixty four thousand dollar question
  4. They dined on mince and slices of quince
  5. There’s nowt (or none) so queer as folk
  6. All Quiet on the Western Front
  7. To pick a quarrel
  8. You can’t fit a quart into a pint pot
  9. Quivering in anticipation. I would also allow quiver, quaking and quake.
  10. God Save our Gracious Queen


Section B

  1. Sweet sixteen and never been kissed
  2. Nineteen to the dozen. Quite a number of people had nine to the dozen for this. As far as I can tell this isn’t an expression in common use (if indeed it’s in use at all) and, unlike nineteen, I can’t see it having much practical application, so I would disallow it.
  3. The first seven years are the worst
  4. Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
  5. One over the eight
  6. Around the World in Eighty Days
  7. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  8. Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie
  9. Life begins at forty
  10. One, two, buckle my shoe. A few people had button my shoe. This sounds as though it may be a variation on the traditional line and I would therefore give it the benefit of the doubt.


Section C

  1. The one that got away
  2. Like a fish out of water
  3. Packed like sardines
  4. There are plenty more fish in the sea
  5. To slip through the net
  6. Hook, line and sinker
  7. To drink like a fish
  8. A sprat to catch a mackerel
  9. To have other fish to fry
  10. A bit green about the gills


Section D

  1. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend
  2. Arsenic and Old Lace
  3. That (or this) will put lead in your pencil
  4. The Emerald Isle
  5. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth
  6. To carry coals to Newcastle
  7. Any old iron?
  8. Where there’s muck there’s brass
  9. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
  10. To be as good as gold


Section E

  1. Far from the Madding Crowd
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo
  3. All Creatures Great and Small
  4. A Tale of Two Cities
  5. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  7. Murder at the Vicarage
  8. A Year in Provence
  9. Winnie the Pooh (I thought this one would catch people out but it didn’t seem to)
  10. The Lord of the Rings


Section F

  1. To score an own goal
  2. To throw in the towel
  3. To win hands down
  4. To hit someone (or somebody) for six
  5. To run a four minute mile
  6. Game, set and match
  7. To go for gold
  8. To score a hole in one
  9. He took the wind out of my sails
  10. To be in pole position. A few people had prime position, but I’m not sure that is a saying with a sporting origin. After some hesitation therefore I feel it should be disallowed.


Section G

  1. Laugh, and the World laughs with you
  2. Dirty work at the crossroads. Many people couldn’t get this one, and many had put down guesses for what the letters might stand for, some of them vaguely plausible and some downright bizarre. Enough people got it right to satisfy me that I had not chosen a saying that was unfairly obscure. Not myself being troubled by vampires, I take it on trust from the reference books that they should be buried at a crossroads, and no doubt burying them is a bit of a dirty job.
  3. A policeman’s lot is not a happy one. It was suggested to me by my brother (but luckily no one else) that this should really read a nappy one, to imitate the accent in which the words are usually sung. I don’t have the score of Pirates of Penzance so I’m not sure exactly what Gilbert wrote, but anyway, this question didn’t seem to cause many people any trouble.
  4. Elementary, my dear Watson! Of course Sherlock Holmes never actually says that in any of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories put people often think he does.
  5. The writing is on the wall
  6. Pop goes the weasel
  7. Dance of the sugar plum fairy
  8. The great wall of China
  9. Put your cards on the table
  10. A partridge in a pear tree


Many people assume I mark every entry, like a schoolmaster marking a test paper. This would take me months, In fact every entry is simply given a number or numbers, depending upon the amount of the donation received. All the numbers go into the proverbial hat and the winner is decided by drawing a number at random. If the entry bearing that number isn’t qualified to win the particular prize we are drawing for then we draw again until a number comes up which does correspond with an entry that qualifies to win. This enables the winners to be chosen without too much delay. Where we do have to check every entry is for the “Invent a proverb or saying” competition. This takes time, but the committee of the Friends of PCNH have now voted on which entries they think should win. The prize for the most believable entry goes to a competitor in Thames Ditton with the sentence: “Brexit comes off the table and we face another year’s chaos.” The prize for the most inventive or ludicrous entry goes to a competitor from Petworth with the sentence: “Be careful of temper tantrums as Wimbledon finalists always yell curses.

As usual, we had entries from far and wide, including some from as far away as New Zealand, but this year’s winners are from nearer home: two from Petersfield and one each from Petworth, a village near Petworth and Storrington.

It only remains to say thank you to all who took part. Every year we get a number of donations, some of them very generous ones, from people who missed the deadline but still want to contribute, so it is too early to say whether we have reached this year’s target of £25,000. What we do know is that it was another splendid result. You are wonderfully loyal supporters.