My colleagues and I thought today would be a good day to remind you of some recent Times games — as well as an all-time classic — that you can play on your own or with friends and family.
We’ll start with our recent Faces quiz, in which we asked you to identify 52 people who made news in 2023. We are adding a bonus in today’s newsletter. At the end of the Faces quiz, we asked players to name somebody who they thought should have been included on our list and was not.
Below are the 12 most frequently mentioned people. We provide an answer key, with their names, at the bottom of today’s newsletter.
We also recommend you try this holiday-themed version of Flashback, The Times’s history quiz. It includes Stonehenge, holly, Rudolph and Mariah Carey. Both today’s Connections game and the Mini have holiday themes, too. And if you haven’t yet tried the Kiki-Bouba game, it’s quick and fun.
As for that all-time classic: Many people are spending today with a geographically diverse mix of relatives or friends. Such a gathering can be a great place to take The Times’s dialect quiz, released 10 years ago, and see what it tells you about the roots of your own speech pattern. The quiz remains one of the most widely read pieces of Times journalism in our long history. We have since developed a dialect quiz for Britain and Ireland, too.
Finally, I have a music recommendation, whether you’re spending the day celebrating Christmas, relaxing or working. My personal soundtrack during this time of year is the re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. It’s a delightful background music for any activity today.
You can listen to a performance by the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra on Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube. (The Ellington-Strayhorn Nutcracker starts with the sixth track, titled “Introduction.”) And here’s a recent Times article by Hugh Morris on other re-imaginations of “The Nutcracker.”
Whatever you’re doing, I hope you enjoy the day.
Programming note: This week, we will be using The Morning to highlight The Times’s best journalism of 2023, especially work that we think is worth revisiting. As always, The Morning will also provide you with a summary of the day’s news and links to full Times coverage.
THE LATEST NEWS
War in Ukraine
Circus stars: Mongolia produces some of the most coveted circus performers in the world despite a lack of training facilities and government support.
Red meat: Long the epitome of holiday luxury in America, prime rib’s place on the table has changed with tastes — and the economy.
Ask Vanessa: What does it mean to “dress your age”? Knowing what makes you feel good, says The Times’s chief fashion critic.
Out of thin air: Black holes were thought to arise from the collapse of dead stars. There might be an alternative way.
Metropolitan Diary: The best entry of 2023.
Lives Lived: Mildred Miller was a mezzo-soprano who spent 23 years at the Metropolitan Opera. She died at 98.
Sunday Night Football: The New England Patriots upset the Denver Broncos, 26-23.
Around the N.F.L.: The Detroit Lions clinched their first division title since 1993 with a win against the Minnesota Vikings. And the Miami Dolphins rallied to defeat the Dallas Cowboys, 22-20. See takeaways from Week 16.
Soccer: The owners of Manchester United announced that they sold a 25 percent stake in the team to a British petrochemical billionaire.
Beyond the glitz: Indian cinema is often equated with the glamour and noise of Bollywood, but in a nation of 1.4 billion, regional film industries are distinct as their languages. In the southern state of Kerala, home of Malayalam-language cinema, audiences are increasingly turning out for more nuanced and human-driven stories like the recent hit “Kaathal,” about a gay closeted politician.