And Now, the Answers to Our 2013 News Quiz, Plus the Super Smart Contest Winner

Illustration by Fred Harper
This picture is a joke about Banksy, who was real big in 2013.
At the end of 2013, before our collective spirits had been broken by the endless Polar Vortexes inflicted upon us, we extended a challenge to you, our readers: show us what you remember about the past year in news. Our 2013 news quiz brought in lots and lots of people willing to take that challenge, and finally, we're ready to announce a winner. But first, an apology.

That quiz was hard. We didn't exactly mean to make it so hard, but some of the stuff we threw in there was just cruel. The bizarre species of cockroach found on the High Line? Which politicians were indicted for election fraud and which ones were merely divorced by their long-suffering spouses? Who even remembers this stuff?

A few things, though, everyone got right. Damn near all of you knew that Amanda Bynes was accused of throwing a bong out the window of her apartment (a charge that was dismissed not long ago). Most people remembered that Anthony Weiner was pursued by sexting buddy Sydney Leathers through a McDonalds on election night, although very few of you remembered that Leathers subsequently attempted to auction off her "excess" labia skin after a "rejuvenation" procedure.

The test was so hard, even the senior editor of another publication did, er, not very well, though he did manage to crack the top 20. It was so hard that one guy didn't answer a single question, but merely submitted his name and email address (although that might've been a technology issue, or a silent protest. Not sure).

But several people made it through, and in the end, after we went through a nightmarish quiz-grading process that involved Excel spreadsheets and color-coding and lots of crying, our lucky winner edged out her competition by one point. She is Laura Wang, a high school science teacher in the Bronx and extremely good sport, who came by the office on Friday to collect her prize.

"I'm actually pretty pumped about this!" she wrote, despite having forgotten that she'd taken the quiz. (Sorry. We took a really long time about this.) She attributes her win to "the power of education," so hopefully her students are paying attention.

Wang with her prize pile.
Laura's prize bag turned out to be pretty cool; as it happens, we have some pretty great stuff lying around in here (who knew?). She won three books: Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a Literary Twist by Tim Federle, All the Time in the World: A Book of Hours , by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, and the giant Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink by John F. Mariani. Since she's a teacher, we also threw in some Village Voice file folders and notepads, along with some non-name brand paper clips and binder clips. She also won a Voice tote bag and another extremely pretty bag with birds on it, donated by our art guy, Jesus Diaz, out of his personal supply. He also threw in arguably the best prize, a beautiful box set of a 1972 Grateful Dead concert. Finally, I gave her a tiny monster, who previously lived in my kitchen, but wanted to decamp to a more learned environment.

Congratulations, Laura! Thanks for playing, everybody. We'll make it less obnoxious next year, promise.

Click through for an answer key to the quiz and a picture of a tiny monster.

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