As noted in this introductory piece I start the New Year hoping to create a daily set of lists appropriate for the first weeks of 2019. Today’s lists are for things beginning with the letter A (including countries, capital cities and chemical elements) or first numerically (such as the first Pope and the first President of the USA). In each case you can test yourself first to see how many you can name. The answers appear at the end of this piece.
Challenge: Items beginning with A
Countries: there are 11 countries whose usual English name begins with A. How many can you name? [Hint: 5 in Europe, 2 in Africa, 2 in the Americas (including Caribbean island nations), 1 in Asia, 1 in Oceania.]
Capital cities: there are 16. [2021 update: there are now 15; one of the capital cities has changed its name since this piece was originally published.]
Chemical Elements: there are 7 elements whose names begin with A and 8 elements whose symbols begin with A.
UK #1 Chart Acts: 40 different acts beginning with A have reached #1 in the UK charts. Well done if you can name 20 of them.
Songs beginning with A that have reached #1 in the UK Chart: there are over 60, so again well done if you can name 20 of them.
Challenge: Firsts numerically
Can you name the following?
First Pope (from around 30AD to around 64AD).
First President of the USA (1789-1797).
First Superbowl winner (1967).
First FIFA World Cup: year, host country and winner.
Answers: Items beginning with A
Countries (11): Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan.
Capital cities (16 when this piece was first published, 15 in 2021): Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Amman, Amsterdam, Andorra la Vella, Ankara, Antananarivo, Apia, Ashgabat, Asmara, Asunción, Athens. [Astana is the former name of the capital of Kazakhstan; it has been renamed as Nur-Sultan, in honour of long-term President Nursultan Nazarbayev.]
Note: Abidjan is the former capital of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire); Yamoussoukro is currently the official capital.
[For the record, capital cities with country name in brackets: Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Abuja (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Algiers (Algeria), Amman (Jordan), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Andorra la Vella (Andorra), Ankara (Turkey), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Apia (Samoa), Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), Asmara (Eritrea), Asunción (Paraguay), Athens (Greece)].
Chemical elements by name (7): actinium (Ac), aluminium (Al), americium (Am), antimony (Sb), argon (Ar), arsenic (As), astatine (At).
Chemical elements by symbol (8): Ac (actinium), Ag (Silver), Al (aluminium), Am (americium), Ar (Argon), As (arsenic), At (astatine), Au (gold).
UK #1 Chart Acts: ATB, A1, Aaliyah, Abba, Ace Of Base, Adam & The Ants, Adam Ant, Adam Faith, Adamski, Adele, Afroman, A-Ha, Akon, Al Martino, Alexandra Burke, Alice Cooper, All Saints, Alma Cogan, Aloe Blacc, Althia & Donna, Alvin Stardust, Amen Corner, Andy Williams, Aneka, Animals, Anita Ward, Anne Shelton, Another Level, Anthony Newley, Aqua, Archies, Arctic Monkeys, Aretha Franklin & George Michael, Ariana Grande, Armand Van Helden, Art Garfunkel, Artists for Grenfell, Aswad, Atomic Kitten, Avicii.
Songs beginning with A that have reached #1 in the UK Chart: “A Bridge over You” / “A Different Beat” / “A Different Corner” / “A Fool Such As I” / “A Good Heart” / “A Groovy Kind Of Love” / “A Hard Day’s Night” / “A Little Bit More” / “A Little Less Conversation” / “A Little Peace” / “A Little Time” / “A Moment Like This” / “A Town Called Malice” / “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” / “A Woman In Love” / “Abba-Esque (EP)” / “About You Now” / “Against All Odds” / “Ain’t No Doubt” / “Ain’t Nobody” / “Airplanes” / “Albatross” / “All About That Bass” / “All About Tonight” / “All About You” / “All Around The World” / “All I Have To Do Is Dream” / “All I Need” / “All Kinds Of Everything” / “All Or Nothing” / “All Shook Up” / “All Summer Long” / “All That She Wants” / “All The Things She Said” / “All This Time” / “All Time Low” / “All You Need Is Love” / “Always On My Mind” / “Always Yours” / “Am I Wrong” / “Amazing Grace” / “America” / “American Boy” / “American Pie” / “Angel” / “Angel Fingers” / “Angelo” / “Animals” / “Annie’s Song” / “Another Brick In The Wall” / “Another Chance” / “Answer Me” / “Any Dream Will Do” / “Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)” / “Anyone Who Had A Heart” / “Anything Is Possible” / “Apache” / “Are Friends Electric?” / “Are You Lonesome Tonight” / “Are You Ready For Love” / “Are You with Me” / “As I Love You” / “Ashes To Ashes”.
Answers: Firsts numerically
First Pope: St Peter.
First President of the USA: George Washington.
First Superbowl winner: Green Bay Packers.
First FIFA World Cup: 1930, held in Uruguay, won by Uruguay.