There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

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There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:03 pm

Thanks to all of you who played There Will Be Stock Clues. I hope you enjoyed the tournament. (Although I doubt you could have had half as much fun playing it as I did writing it!)

A big word of thanks to my co-writer, Max Schindler. From the moment that I conceived of this tournament, I knew that it must necessarily include a large chunk of questions on culinary matters beyond my ken. Max was always my first choice to fill this distribution. It is very rare in quizbowl that one gets to work with someone who is perfectly complementary with oneself knowledge-wise, and yet kindred enough style-wise to produce a coherent product. I could not have asked for a better partner for this project.

The meat of this tournament are the ingredient/dish common-links. (We might call these "pure" food tossups.) To my mind, these are the most straightforward and effective way to test the knowledge that culinary quizbowl questions should aim to reward. At the same time, I was aware that too high a proportion of these would produce a monotonous set to play, especially for those not naturally enthused by descriptions of dishes. Consequently, Max and I tried to counterbalance these with a large variety of other topics and approaches, but not so much as to deprive the culinarily inclined of a playing advantage. I hope we struck an agreeable balance.

In different ways, this was simultaneously the easiest and the most precarious quizbowl tournament to write that I've been involved with. Easy, because with the possible exception of classical music, there is no subject I know or love more dearly than that which this tournament concerns. So, generating ideas and finding clues were a cinch. But precarious, because I firmly believe that good quizbowl writing is audience-centric–-the writer knows whom he/she is writing for, and how best to pitch the balls so the players connect with them–-and I still don't know who did or will play this tournament, nor how much knowledge of food and drink is floating around in quizbowlers' heads. As a consequence, I pitched the difficulty rather blindly. And since stats are not up yet (and I shan't moderate a mirror for some weeks yet), I have no idea how it played. So, reports of your experiences are most welcome.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by armitage » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:57 pm

Thanks for writing the set, I thought it hit the balance you were looking for and I'm glad Aidan convinced me to play it by declaring that it would be "the highlight of [his] quiz bowl career." I'm pretty miffed that this set beat me to cluing mannish water in a tossup, which is great.

I'm not a "food player" or anything but I'll leave some comments on stuff I feel qualified to talk about:

I feel like I don't recall much mention of South Asian cuisine, and there also wasn't any Ethiopian cuisine, at least in the packets we played, which (if true) seems like an oversight.
It seemed like the German knives tossup had a sentence that dropped "Japan," where Japan could probably have been placed earlier in the clause to prevent undue negs with Japan.
I liked the Chinese food questions (I recall Shanghai and chicken, which was a great idea) but they struck me as more focused on stuff you find in restaurants than on what people normally eat (which seemed more represented in the other ingredient questions). I completely selfishly would have preferred another question with a banal answerline on e.g. literal meat and potatoes in Chinese food.
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:56 am

armitage wrote:Thanks for writing the set, I thought it hit the balance you were looking for and I'm glad Aidan convinced me to play it by declaring that it would be "the highlight of [his] quiz bowl career." I'm pretty miffed that this set beat me to cluing mannish water in a tossup, which is great.
I'm glad that it sounds like you enjoyed the set.
I feel like I don't recall much mention of South Asian cuisine [...]
There are three World tossups that are half South Asian and four general ingredient tossups that have a single South Asian clue. One reason that you might not have heard the latter clues is that they tend to be later in the tossups, because South Asian cuisine is so popular. However, I will admit that this is nonetheless probably an underrepresentation of South Asian cuisine, relative to certain other cuisines that featured more prominently but are less popular (e.g. Middle Eastern). One reason for this is that a high proportion of dishes in South Asian cuisine are literally named for the ingredient they contain or are preparations that can be applied to a wide variety of main ingredients, both of which I found quite constraining for cluing.
[...] there also wasn't any Ethiopian cuisine, at least in the packets we played, which (if true) seems like an oversight.
I don't know how many packets your site played. But this is not in fact the case. I won't spoil the later answer-line(s), in case you choose to play those packets in practice.
It seemed like the German knives tossup had a sentence that dropped "Japan," where Japan could probably have been placed earlier in the clause to prevent undue negs with Japan.
That's a good suggestion. Fixed.
I liked the Chinese food questions (I recall Shanghai and chicken, which was a great idea) but they struck me as more focused on stuff you find in restaurants than on what people normally eat (which seemed more represented in the other ingredient questions). I completely selfishly would have preferred another question with a banal answerline on e.g. literal meat and potatoes in Chinese food.
Yeah, that's probably a fair criticism. This is partly because--although my family eats home-cooked Chinese food on most weekdays--the dishes that we eat are mostly restaurant-style. (So, that division is not very strong for me.) And this is partly also because (again) restaurant-style dishes are more likely to have a memorable "title" that isn't just the name of the ingredients themselves.
John Lawrence
Yale University '12
King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

“I am not absentminded. It is the presence of mind that makes me unaware of everything else.” - G.K. Chesterton

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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by ErikC » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:11 am

Simply put, this event was amazing. I was excited just for the expected pure food questions but I didn't realize how good the trashy food questions would be. As a middle of the road player at the event I felt I was never "out" of any question.

Yeah, that's probably a fair criticism. This is partly because--although my family eats home-cooked Chinese food on most weekdays--the dishes that we eat are mostly restaurant-style. (So, that division is not very strong for me.) And this is partly also because (again) restaurant-style dishes are more likely to have a memorable "title" that isn't just the name of the ingredients themselves.
I think the alternative would be very hard to write consistently because of the issues regarding regional differences and old nonas you already identified in the blurb at the start. Using clues from restaurants is far more reliable in this way.
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by 15.366 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:55 pm

I greatly enjoyed this set, and thank John and Max for writing it.

Notes: on the vinegar question, apparently multiple rooms at VCU negged with "garlic" on hearing the clue "chicken adobo." I can't remember the wording of the clue, but that might have been a misleading setup.

i can tell you the items that went dead across six rounds in our room, although some of them would be because of negging out, but it would show that no one else knew it:

R1: chocolate (those were darned hard clues, and I say this as someone with professional experience)
R2: nothing, if my notes don't lie
R3: Austria (although I would have known it if a teammate didn't neg me out of it)
R4: Scott Conan, Marcel Vigneron
R5: Hiroyuki Sakai, Meyer
R6: there was a brouhaha at the 'baked alaska incident on the Great British Bake Off' with a player buzzing in early, describing the event, including, as I recall, the contestant involved but without naming the dessert, and insisting that "garbage bin incident" should be an acceptable answer; the player was prompted, but could not produce what the answer line was asking for; so I would suggest either revising the answer line to give more answer options, or giving guidelines to the moderator to ask "what is the food involved" or similar.
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by 15.366 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:59 pm

Actually, could you please post the "chocolate" tossup? I am now wondering why it was so difficult, but beyond early keywords and the answer line, I do not have notes.
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:38 pm

15.366 wrote: Notes: on the vinegar question, apparently multiple rooms at VCU negged with "garlic" on hearing the clue "chicken adobo." I can't remember the wording of the clue, but that might have been a misleading setup.
No, if anything the description was generous. My description mentions "soy sauce" and "this ingredient." But actually, the only required ingredient in an adobo marinade in Philippine cuisine is vinegar. One can make it without soy sauce, even, in some rarer variations. Garlic, pepper, etc. are all optional extras.
chocolate (those were darned hard clues, and I say this as someone with professional experience)


That's a tossup on a specific, popular Monty Python sketch about grossly flavored chocolates. One is not meant to get it off of chocolate experience (even professional experience) any more than one can get the tossup on Mrs. Lovett's pies off of pie (or corpse) consumption or Spongebob Squarepants jellyfish jelly experience from real-life encounters with jellyfish.
R6: there was a brouhaha at the 'baked alaska incident on the Great British Bake Off' with a player buzzing in early, describing the event, including, as I recall, the contestant involved but without naming the dessert, and insisting that "garbage bin incident" should be an acceptable answer; the player was prompted, but could not produce what the answer line was asking for; so I would suggest either revising the answer line to give more answer options, or giving guidelines to the moderator to ask "what is the food involved" or similar.
"Bincident" is one of several listed answers, along with the incident's other conventional titles. So, if the player said that, they should have gotten points. "Baked Alaska" is required only if one goes the descriptive route, rather than giving any of its conventional names. I'll edit the prompt instructions so that the moderator can specifically say "what dessert?" instead of just saying "prompt" again, if the players choose to be descriptive.

Aside from Austria, the rest of those are indeed some of the harder tossups in the set.
John Lawrence
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King's College London '13
University of Chicago '19

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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:44 pm

15.366 wrote:Actually, could you please post the "chocolate" tossup? I am now wondering why it was so difficult, but beyond early keywords and the answer line, I do not have notes.
Here is the actual tossup:
3. The filling for one of these food items is “emptied, steamed, flavored with sesame seeds, and whipped into a fondue.” The filling for another of these food items is “dew-picked and flown in from Iraq, cleansed in the finest quality spring water, and lightly killed.” In the stage version of a sketch about these food items, Terry Gilliam vomits into a helmet, which he is then required to put back on his head. One of these food items called (*) “spring surprise” contains actual metal springs that plunge through the cheeks of the eater, and another contains a ram’s bladder garnished with lark’s vomit. An inspector from the hygiene squad advises a man who makes these items to advertise that one contains a “raw, unboned, real, dead” amphibian. For 10 points, name these items that Terry Jones’s company manufactures in the Monty Python sketch “Crunchy Frog.”
ANSWER: chocolates [prompt on “candy,” “candies,” “confection,” or “confectionary”] [JL]
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by 15.366 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:42 pm

Spongebob Squarepants jellyfish jelly experience from real-life encounters with jellyfish.
And here I was cheerfully assuming that Tommy Casalaspi first-lined that tossup based on deep familiarity with Medusozoa-based edibles...
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by Sygyt/Kargyraa » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:41 pm

Hey I'm late to this discussion but this was the high point of my (admitted short) quizbowl career so far. Thank you SO MUCH to John and Max for writing this.

For what it's worth, my family is Shanghainese and both of the first two dishes that came up in that tossup were things that I'd eaten at home quite a lot growing up (and thus, as you might expect, I didn't hear the rest of that question).
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by armitage » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:01 pm

The Assoluta Voice in Opera, 1797-1847 wrote:Hey I'm late to this discussion but this was the high point of my (admitted short) quizbowl career so far. Thank you SO MUCH to John and Max for writing this.

For what it's worth, my family is Shanghainese and both of the first two dishes that came up in that tossup were things that I'd eaten at home quite a lot growing up (and thus, as you might expect, I didn't hear the rest of that question).
O
Good stuff then
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:22 pm

Was a tremendous fan of how trashy food, food in trash, and food based trash was integrated in spite of my inability to remember the names of iron chefs
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Re: There Will Be Stock Clues General Discussion

Post by otsasonr » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:32 pm

This was amazing, and made me very happy.

The only issue I can think of, that wasn't mentioned by anyone else, is that the tossup on cod mentioned the moratorium in the first line, which is extremely easy to anyone from Canada, and led to a bit of a buzzer race when we mirrored it here.
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