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Five of the Magazine's best

Happy fifth birthday to the Magazine

The Magazine is five! And we bring you a charivari* of highlights from the past half-decade. Contained within is all manner of goodness. The best quizzes. The most-read features... and it's five of each, in honour of our age. There might even be cake.

... MOST-READ STORIES
The secret agent
Undercover with the people who sell houses, from 21 March 2006

... FIRST WEEK'S LEAD STORIES

... BEST READER RESPONSES
Molehusband rides agin
Plus your public information films, 3 March 2006

… FUNNIEST CAPTION COMP ENTRIES

Five of the best caption comp pics

1. "NOW it's extinct, yes."
Sarah, Trieste, Italy

2. BUSH: "Note to self: Have suit dry-cleaned."
CHIRAC: "Note to self: Wash hand immediately"
Peter Queck, Chicago

3. "The dangers of internet dating No 3."
Lee Pike

4. "God I'm an idiot"
Mat Jasper, England

5. BECKS: "Sprachen sie Deutsch?"
COLE: "No, I'm just resting my hand."
Andy Fisher, Coventry

... NAMES WHICH ARE...
Being Lisa Stansfield
From 15 July 2005

... MOST INSTRUCTIVE WHO WHAT WHYS

... WAYS WITH WORDS
Tiger Woods describes hiimself as a 'spaz'
From 12 April 2006

... HARDEST QUIZZES

... HEARTFELT R.I.P.s

R.I.P. Sudan's married goat
From 4 May 2007

... PITHY AD BREAKDOWNS

... POIGNANT STORIES
The Outsiders
Smoking in the rain, from 1 July 2007

... BEST READERS' COLUMNS
Why I own 80 pairs of shoes
Shoe fanatic, from 14 August 2006

... INVENTIVE LBQ ANSWERS

... YOUR UNITS OF MEASURE

"As self appointed guardian of Monitor Weights and Measures, it has come to my attention that the Routemaster bus will shortly be retired from service. We are therefore left with a void in our collection of measures for both height and length. Any suggestions for replacement objects would be most welcome."
Ray Lashley, Bristol, UK

"The simple matter of converting units of Routemasters into units of elephants (metaphorically of course) has been further complicated by meddling academics in Cardiff. The new subspecies of Bornean elephant now requires a conversion factor of x1.5 to be applied to align it with Indian elephants and x2.1 to align it with African elephants. For information, two and a half African elephants equate to approximately one Routemaster."
Chris, London

"Is there an indeterminate unit of time between a 'jiffy' and a 'while'? I'll put forward an answer in just a mo."
Alan Cotter, Bracknell

"In search of new measures, can I suggest the Hairdresser's Inch? This equates to two-and-a-quarter normal inches."
S Atkinson

"Perhaps we could now measure length in terms of Tory leadership contests. However, this unit would only be suitable for seemingly interminable objects whose ends are known well before they are finally reached."
Gus, London, UK

FINALLY, FIVE THINGS WE JUST LIKE
Crazy Frog sound
Who to blame, from 27 January 2005

*charivari, n. first used in the Magazine Monitor 31 October, 2005, to denote a noisy serenade.


Below is a selection of your comments. And you can catch up with what happened at the Magazine's live lunchtime letters party by clicking here .

This has brightened up an otherwise dull and boring day stuck at home with a bad back. Not only have I challenged my friends to match my 100% scores on the CV English and Latin quizzes, I've also been inspired to count the number of pairs of shoes I own (33 for the record, shamefully low for a woman). May the Magazine live on for many more years.
Ally, Leeds, UK

Happy Birthday! The trip down memory lane was only spoilt by a badly sited cycle-path.
Kieran Boyle, Oxford, England

Where are the limericks?
Norma Seal, Buffalo, New York, US

Should I be worried that I seem to remember every single one of these from the first time round?
Helen, London, England

Thank you for reminding me of my glory days. I was prompted to take my LBQ keyring from its locked display cabinet and dust it lovingly.
Mike, Newcastle upon Tyne

Lucky you. My LBQ key ring was never sent/arrived. And now to pour salt in the still oozing wound we have a smug owner's letter from you, a celebratory picture of one from Robin and some inventive LBQ answers. How much more of this teasing and taunting am I supposed to take? I'm beginning to think it's personal. Happy Birthday btw. If you bring anything back can it be the limericks? Maybe for a week?
Vicky, East London

I am one of those "foreign people" who bombard the poor Magazine staff with e-mails on all sorts of topics. Happy Birthday, and thanks for your seemingly endless patience. (By the way, Punch was originally subtitled The London Charivari - so I take it I am a bit slow, and the word charivari is intended to create an association with the now-defunct Punch - a worthy association, I think.)
D Fear, Heidelberg, Germany

Charivaris was what unmarried men did when they made a racket outside a newly-married couple's rooms on their first night. The custom survives in tying tin cans etc to the bridal car. Often charivaris was a violent, ugly affair, sometimes conducted in drag. Is there something you'd like to tell us at the Magazine?
The Don, London

I can't help thinking the Magazine has had a lot of makeovers and plastic surgery for a five-year-old. Thanks for the memories, sorry I missed your party.
HannaH, UK

Since the heady heights of my caption competition entries I have moved from Cardiff to Auckland. Yet I still feel an affinity with the BBC Magazine. I'm so glad the cap comp has returned too. Goodbye to PC nonsense and hello to fun times!
Lee Pike, Auckland, New Zealand

The R.I.P section is hysterical, well done.
Zohra, SA

Although I am aware this may not be an appropriate occasion to bring it up, I feel that Gill Sans is far better than any other font. See Helvetica at 50. Happy Birthday by the way - you should be proud of yourself.
Oscar, London



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