La Lune French Christmas Quiz 2013: the Answers

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed doing this year’s La Lune Christmas Quiz. The correct answers are highlighted in red below. I have to admit to having made a mistake on one of the questions when I set it but all will be revealed. And you won’t lose any points as a result. It’s all in fun, anyway, so please don’t write in asking for a recount.

1. What is the name of President Hollande’s partner?

a)    Valerie Rottweiler
b)    Valerie Trierweiler
c)    Valerie Budweiser

2. Which French political party changed its name to Rassemblement Bleu Marine in 2012?

a)    The UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire)
b)    The Front National: Marine le Pen being its current présidente.
c)    Modem

3. If someone offers you a bûche de Noël do you:

a)    Put it on the fire?
b)    Hang it on the end of your bed for Père Noël to put your presents in?
c)    Eat it. It’s the traditional cake in the shape of a log, filled with chestnut cream and iced with chocolate.

4. When did Corsica become part of France?

a)    1769 after the Battle of Ponte Nuovo. The Genoese had already ceded the island to France but the battle marked the definitive end of the short-lived Corsican republic.
b)    1812
c)    1918

5. What do the initials BCBG stand for?

a)    Bon chef, bon gourmand
b)    Bon chic, bon genre, i.e. upper middle class, a bit staid and traditionalist
c)    Bâtiment classé bien gouvernemental

6. Who is known as ‘l’homme aux 40 châteaux’ (the man with 40 chateaux)?

a)    Nicolas Sarkozy
b)    Dominique Strauss-Kahn
c)    Bernard Magrez, one of France’s top wine makers

7. Which French celebrity became a Russian citizen for tax reasons in 2013?

a)    Nicolas Sarkozy
b)    Gérard Dépardieu
c)    Jean-Paul Gaultier

8. Which famous British actress took part in the shooting of a film at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in 2013?

a)    Helen Mirren
b)    Judi Dench
c)    Keira Knightley

9. Outside Paris, which French city has the largest population? Sorry, I made a mistake when I posted the question – the result of too much pre-Christmas cheer. (c) should have read Marseille, not Bordeaux. The correct answer is, therefore, Marseille, whose municipal population intra-muros is 851,420 (2010) compared to Lyon – 474,946. However, if you count metropolitan area (aire urbaine), which includes satellite towns connected to the urban core in a socio-economic sense, greater Lyon (2,165,785) has a bigger population than Marseille-Aix-en-Provence (1,718, 281). In view of that, if you put Lyon from the choices I originally gave, you can have a point.

a)    Toulouse
b)    Lyon
c)    Bordeaux Marseille

10. Which French city was European Capital of Culture in 2013?

a)    Strasbourg
b)    Lille
c)    Marseille

11. What is ‘La Samaritaine’?

a)    The biggest military hospital in France
b)    A charity for the homeless
c)    A Paris department store, currently closed for extensive renovation work

12. What is a bastide?

a)    A person of dubious parentage
b)    The 13th-century equivalent of a new town
c)    A fortified house

13. What is the maximum height of the Viaduc (bridge) de Millau?

a)    277 metres
b)    343 metres
c)    452 metres

14. Which famous painter is associated with the Provençal town of Arles?

a)    Claude Monet
b)    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
c)    Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch painter who stayed in Arles for about 15 months, 1888-89.

15. What was mined extensively in the Quercy region during the late 19th century?

a)    Phosphates (used to make fertilisers) is the correct answer. Small coal mines existed in the Quercy but their exploitation couldn’t be called extensive. Silver was mined in the Rouergue, north of Villefranche-de-Rouergue but not in the Quercy, to my knowledge, and the seams were exhausted in the Middle Ages.
b)    Silver
c)    Coal

16. Which French king is reputed to have said he wanted every French peasant to have a chicken in the pot on Sundays?

a)    Louis XIV
b)    Henri IV
c)    François I

17. Which famous French product is said to risk being in short supply?

a)    Foie gras
b)    Wine. Haven’t noticed so far. Cheers.
c)    Croissants

18. Who were les Cathérinettes?

a)    The French equivalent of suffragettes
b)    Volunteer nurses during World War I
c)    Unmarried women aged 25+

19. Who said, ‘Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas’ (it’s just one step from the sublime to the ridiculous)?

a)    Napoléon Bonaparte
b)    Jean-Jacques Rousseau
c)    Charles de Gaulle

20. How much does the winner of the literary Prix Goncourt get in prize money?

a)    10,000 €
b)    1,000 €
c)    10 € It’s the glory that counts.

Score 1 point for each correct answer. Maximum points 20. No, you can’t have an extra point if you put both Lyon and Marseille for question 9.

16-20 points: Formidable
11-15 points: Passable
6-10 points: Lamentable
0-5 points: Exécrable

Bonne fin d’année!

Copyright © 2013 Life on La Lune, all rights reserved


  1. Not sure #2 is technically correct: the Front National still exists as such – the Rassemblement Bleu Marine is just a coalition group headed by Marine Le Pen.


    • Okay, thank you – point taken. Mind you, I think the FN and the very minor other parties that compose the RBM present themselves at elections under the coalition name so it’s a de facto change even if the parties themselves still exist in name.

      The hazards of setting any kind of quiz…Think this will be my last.


      • Sorry, had a doubt and asked my husband, who is French. They are sticklers for details. But the quiz was fun so kudos to you for trying it!


        • No, you’re right to raise it. I’m just a bit cross with myself for not being more precise. I did one in 2011 and 2012 as well and each year it gets more difficult to find questions that aren’t too hard but aren’t too easy, either. So perhaps I’ll look for another way to celebrate Christmas next year!


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