2018 ACF Regs Specific Questions and Errors

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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2018 ACF Regs Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:23 am

Post comments about specific questions here. I or my coeditors will post questions as requested, but please provide a brief reason (ie, don't just dump a list of ten tossups). We're aware of a litany of minor issues that we need to address before the set runs for the last time this weekend, and your feedback will be greatly useful for anything we might have missed!
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Milhouse » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:33 am

Could I see the tossup on Moby-Dick? I'd like to make note of what changes were made from my original version.

Also, could I see the tossup on Borges? I didn't recognize the first few clues, which I find surprising because I've read quite a bit of him. Thanks!
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:42 am

Tornrak wrote:Could I see the tossup on Moby-Dick? I'd like to make note of what changes were made from my original version.
10. This novel enjoins the reader to consult a “metaphysical professor” should they “ever be athirst in the great American desert,” since “as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” The narrator of this novel contrasts his quiet inclinations with the “philosophical flourish” with which “Cato throws himself upon his sword.” It opens with an “etymology” across thirteen languages for a word that appears in this novel’s full title, followed by a series of “extracts,” compiled by a “sub-sub-librarian,” of that word’s appearances in past literature. In its first numbered chapter, “Loomings,” the narrator confesses that “whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly, November in my soul… then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” For 10 points, name this novel that opens “Call me Ishmael,” written by Herman Melville.
ANSWER: Moby Dick; or, The Whale
<Long Fiction>
The spirit of your (excellent) submission themed around the first chapter of Moby Dick was preserved, but I added a few general-knowledge clues about the prefatory sections.
Also, could I see the tossup on Borges? I didn't recognize the first few clues, which I find surprising because I've read quite a bit of him. Thanks!
In a story by this author, after the painter Clara Glencairn dies of a stroke, a rival contemporary paints a portrait of her, then never paints again. A character created by this author has sex with a sailor from the Nordstjärnan (“nord-SHWAR-nahn”) in order to later convince the police that she was raped by the mill owner Aaron Loewenthal, whom she shoots in order to avenge the suicide of her father. This author wrote a story inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno Concluded that notes how “animals and beggars” now inhabit the “tattered ruins” of an object that remains the only “Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.” In a story by this author, Carlos Daneri attempts to write a poem describing every inch of Earth using the title point of space located in his cellar. For 10 points, name this author of “Emma Zunz,” “On Exactitude in Science,” and “The Aleph,” a blind Argentinian who also wrote “The Library of Babel.”
ANSWER: Jorge Luis Borges
<Short Fiction>
The first couple of clues are from "The Duel" and "Emma Zunz."
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Victor Prieto » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:36 am

There was a repeat on the bonus part of “gardens,” specifically Gethsemane.

The lead-in for equilibrium constant basically said “this quantity and chemical shift can be measured using 15N-1H heteronuclear single quantum coherence spectroscopy.” That statement doesn't really help point at equilibrium constant. Just by using a binding isotherm, you can calculate stoichiometric ratio and ∆G, and you could also measure kinetics using HSQC. I don't really see how you can fix this clue, maybe you could talk about microscopic vs. macroscopic binding constants instead? If you decide to keep it, I think it would be best to add a pronunciation guide or something that says “nitrogen 15 proton,” abbreviate that to HSQC, and add "NMR" before spectroscopy, scientists in the field often just say proton-nitrogen HSQC or nitrogen-proton HSQC.

Or, you know, you could just delete the first sentence, and the tossup would be completely fine.
Last edited by Victor Prieto on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by setophaga » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:45 am

Could I see the tossup on Mendelssohn? I don't remember the exact phrasing of the clue on major/minor symphonies (something threw me off when I heard it, but I could have misheard).
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:18 pm

Can I see the tossup on “two violins”? I’d like to see what works were clued. The tossup seemed hard for this level especially compared to the pretty standard regionals fare everything else was.

Can I see the Mendelssohn tossup for the same reason as above?

The bonus on ecological succession tripped me up because I thought the question already said “climax” before the bonus part on climax.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:00 pm

Maryland A + McGill B + UIUC A wrote:This group of instruments play in three grand “concertante” pieces by Charles Auguste de Bériot. This group of instruments are soloists in a D minor orchestral piece that opens with a four-voice fugue in Vivace tempo. This group of instruments play the non-bass parts in Pachelbel’s Musical Delight and in all 48 pieces from Corelli’s opus numbers one through four. This group of instruments comprise the [emphasize] highest members of an ensemble in which they were played by John Sherba and David Harrington; that ensemble commissioned many minimalist pieces and is called “Kronos.” The typical instrumentation for a trio sonata is continuo and this group of instruments. Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh played these instruments as soloists in a 1954 performance of J. S. Bach’s Double Concerto. For 10 points, a string quartet consists of a cello, a viola, and what group of instruments?
This was an editor tossup inspired by noting that we didn't have as much Baroque and chamber music as I wanted. The second clue is from the very widely played Bach Double Concerto, and the third clue refers to some of the most important pieces in the Baroque canon - particularly Corelli's trio sonatas. The next clue is the Kronos Quartet. This doesn't strike me as unreasonable, though people probably weren't expecting this answerline.

(As a side note, I got some comments saying that this tournament skimped on modern music. I cut that stuff because it sucks, but more importantly because common practice era music really is far more widely learned and far more popular in both the concert hall and on YouTube)
Delaware A + Kentucky A + Cambridge A wrote:The finale of a symphony by this composer begins with a decrescendo, followed by the flutes playing a melody marked leggiero (“lej-JEH-roh”) over eighth note string triplets. This man said that he created a “blue sky in A major” with a symphony that is the first in the standard repertoire to start in major, but end in a minor key. The Andante con moto second movement of that symphony by this composer, according to Ignaz Moscheles (“EEG-nots MOH-sheh-les”), draws on a Czech pilgrims’ song. To create an alternative third movement for his Symphony No. 1 in C minor, this composer orchestrated the scherzo (“SKAIRT-so”) of his E-flat string octet. The finale of this man’s Fourth Symphony includes a saltarello and tarantella, which are dances from the country that symphony is usually named after. For 10 points, name this composer of “Italian” and “Scottish” symphonies who wrote incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
(the second clue has been errata'd, a couple words were missing on the Saturday version)

This was edited from a submission on "Italy" into a tossup focusing mostly on Mendelssohn 4.

I apologize for not catching the garden repeat; the "Garden" part in in the Stations of the Cross bonus is now on Benedict XVI
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Aaron Manby (ironmaster) wrote:The bonus on ecological succession tripped me up because I thought the question already said “climax” before the bonus part on climax.
Although Frederic Clements only recognized the “climatic” form of this concept, later ecologists identified “edaphic,” “disturbance,” and “anthropogenic” varieties as well. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this steady-state community that supposedly forms at the end of ecological succession.
ANSWER: climax communities
[10] A “catastrophic” climax community, such as the vegetation in the chaparral of Southern California, is just as vulnerable as the initial community to this type of destructive event often triggered by lightning strikes of trees.
ANSWER: wildfire [or forest fire; or brush fire]
[10] Succession is often studied by collecting these sets of soil or other environmental samples, which are assumed to differ only in age.
ANSWER: chronosequences
I could see how the word "climatic" being read at game speed could trip you up. I'll reword the bonus leadin.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by AGoodMan » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:11 pm

Can I see the Pauline Epistles tossup? I remember being slightly thrown off near the beginning but I don't remember why specifically.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Milhouse » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:35 pm

Could I see the tossup on Al-Ghazali? I’m curious as to where the first sentence is from.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:52 pm

For the purpose of raising a larger point, I'd like to mention one question. And even though this is a music question, the point most commonly applies to history questions.

The first question in the Editors 1 packet has early clues asking what country Josquin Des Prez is from. There are few major composers whose origins are shrouded in as much as mystery as Josquin's are. He was probably ethnically French, but we're not sure; he was probably born in Hainault (now in Belgium), but we're not sure; and he called Condé-sur-L'Escaut home, when not abroad in Italy for much of his career. In case you don't know, both Hainault and Condé-sur-L'Escaut then belonged not to France but to the Burgundian Netherlands, the same polity that Jan van Eyck was from.

If you're keeping score, that means the question of "what modern-day country is Josquin from?" could be answered with: Belgium (by the modern-day location of his probable birthplace), France (by Josquin's probable ethnicity or the probable modern-day location of his home city), or The Netherlands (by the modern-day successor of the actual polity he belonged to). I have listed these in what I feel to be increasing order of correctness, but I would have trouble denying the protest of anyone who answered with the other two. Given this ambiguity, Josquin should probably be purged from the tossup.

The big lesson here: don't ask what modern-day country someone is from in situations where players cannot possibly know how you want to define "modern-day country" or "from."
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by west neg, new york » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:58 pm

Was the tossup on blood type unique for ABO typing? I negged with "Rhesus factor" (which I don't think fits the earlier clues) near the part about immunoglobulins crossing the placenta, but I'm curious as to exactly how wrong I was.

ETA:
ThisIsMyUsername wrote:For the purpose of raising a larger point, I'd like to mention one question. And even though this is a music question, the point most commonly applies to history questions.

The first question in the Editors 1 packet has early clues asking what country Josquin Des Prez is from. There are few major composers whose origins are shrouded in as much as mystery as Josquin's are. He was probably ethnically French, but we're not sure; he was probably born in Hainault (now in Belgium), but we're not sure; and he called Condé-sur-L'Escaut home, when not abroad in Italy for much of his career. In case you don't know, both Hainault and Condé-sur-L'Escaut then belonged not to France but to the Burgundian Netherlands, the same polity that Jan van Eyck was from.

If you're keeping score, that means the question of "what modern-day country is Josquin from?" could be answered with: Belgium (by the modern-day location of his probable birthplace), France (by Josquin's probable ethnicity or the probable modern-day location of his home city), or The Netherlands (by the modern-day successor of the actual polity he belonged to). I have listed these in what I feel to be increasing order of correctness, but I would have trouble denying the protest of anyone who answered with the other two. Given this ambiguity, Josquin should probably be purged from the tossup.

The big lesson here: don't ask what modern-day country someone is from in situations where players cannot possibly know how you want to define "modern-day country" or "from."
I was also confused by this question. Though I obviously don't have as much knowledge about Josquin's biography as John Lawrence, I'll say I was tempted to say something cheeky like "Franco-Flanders" because I've never really considered him a purely "French composer" per se.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Fucitol » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:05 pm

west neg, new york wrote:Was the tossup on blood type unique for ABO typing? I negged with "Rhesus factor" (which I don't think fits the earlier clues) near the part about immunoglobulins crossing the placenta, but I'm curious as to exactly how wrong I was.

I also was pretty sure that clue was describing (if not uniquely describing) Rh-factor but waited a line to see if it was just "blood types." If you describe a subtype of a thing in a question then you should at least (anti-)prompt on if not outright accept that thing.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:16 pm

I found the tossup on Whistler's nocturnes confusing by describing them as a "series." I realize that they're a series in the sense that they're a set of a type of painting all produced by the same artist, but I felt like the tossup would've been more clear by asking for "artist and type of painting," as I don't believe they were all painted to be displayed together or as a collected series (sorry if I'm wrong about this!).
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Auroni » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:45 pm

The P234S mutation in an enzyme that regulates this phenotype completely reverses its specificity. In humans, most genetic variation in this trait is found in the last exon on chromosome 9 at band 9q34.2. The most common allele controlling this phenotype has a guanine-261 deletion to cause a frameshift. In the most common variety of HDN, IgG antibodies cross the placenta and attack the products of the gene controlling this trait. After discovering polio, Karl Landsteiner figured out this phenotype’s molecular basis. The gene controlling this trait determines how the von Willebrand factor is post-translationally glycosylated. This phenotype is a classic example of co-dominance, since heterozygotes of its dominant allele do not agglutinate when challenged by either of two antigens. For 10 points, name this trait that in humans is usually classified as A, B, AB, or O.
ANSWER: blood type [or word forms; or any specific blood type like A, AB, B, or O until it is read]
<Biology>
This was mostly unaltered from Northwestern's submission. I have bolded the relevant sentence, which I wrote to replace a relatively played-out clue about the Bombay phenotype. The ABO variety of HDN is in fact now the most prevalent, even though Rhesus disease is better known to quizbowlers. However, the mechanism being described is common to all types of HDN, so I could see how it'd be frustrating to know about it but not how common the relative subtypes are, so I'll change the clue.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Pablo Picasso 2 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:14 pm

Can I see the tossup on freezing? The cryo-EM clue was a little confusing but the rest of the clues seemed to be fine. Also interested in seeing the bonus on perfect numbers, because I thought I heard the word "perfect" in the question.

Also, maybe I'm remembering wrong, or just missed it because of byes and unused packets, but there seems to be a refreshing lack of "this functional group" or "this reaction" tossups. (not really a complaint, just an observation)
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote: (As a side note, I got some comments saying that this tournament skimped on modern music. I cut that stuff because it sucks, but more importantly because common practice era music really is far more widely learned and far more popular in both the concert hall and on YouTube)
:sad:
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:25 pm

Thanks to John and Robert for bringing the France tossup to my attention. I did recognize the potential difficulties there and don't think I used a specific enough wording - if you're looking for a modern-day country, Josquin. I chose "modern-day country" because I thought that would offer the broadest answerspace, but upon further reflection, the phrasing I chose meant that both Belgium and France would be correct answers to the first few sentences (Netherlands, however, is wrong, as Flanders is notably not in the Netherlands - but the point about Josquin's origins being unsettled is taken).

Here is the revised tossup, with wording that I hope solves some of these ambiguities, and nonetheless lets me clue Machaut (EDIT: it was Machaut, previously said Dufay because I was being a Dufus), Josquin, and L'homme armee without dipping into the already-widely-used "mass" answerline covering this era:
Editors 1 wrote:A composer who spent most of his adult life working in this modern-day country wrote a piece based on the words lascia fare mi (“LAH-shah FAH-reh MEE”) using the soggetto cavato (“so-JET-oh kah-VAH-toh”) technique. Another composer who mostly worked in this country set many of his hundreds of poems, such as those from his collection Remedy of Ill Fortune, to music and wrote a double hocket titled “David.” While abroad, a composer who mostly worked in this country wrote a mass titled for “Duke Hercules,” referring to his patron Ercole d’Este (“AIR-ko-lay DESS-tay”). A song from this country, “The Armed Man,” is the cantus firmus for many masses. Styles called ars antica and ars nova flourished in a school named for one of this country’s churches. Noble courts in this country provided the main patronage of a loosely defined “school” of composers from Flanders. For 10 points, name this country home to the Notre Dame school.
ANSWER: France [or any historical incarnation of France, e.g. Kingdom of France; accept Franco-Flemish school]
EDIT: Re: Pauline epistles
Berkeley A + MIT B + Southampton A wrote:Most of the text of these works is preserved by Papyrus 46, which was given “Category I” (“category one”) classification by Kurt and Barbara Aland. The Epimenides paradox is referenced in one of these works when it refers to Cretans as “liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.” A passage from one of these works opens by comparing a piece of dough to the roots of an olive tree before analogizing new members of a community to branches “broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Fake examples of these texts were written for Seneca the Younger. A concept of “self-emptying” called kenosis is introduced in one of these works, three of which are grouped as “pastoral” ones. One of these works was used as textual evidence for the doctrine of sola fide, or justification by faith alone, by Martin Luther. For 10 points, name this group of books of the New Testament, including one to the Romans.
I think a lot of people were thrown off because this might have sounded like a philosophy question. I'll cop to this being deliberate - adding more explicit religious terminology might have made the tossup more transparent, i.e. "this group of Early Christian works" or what-have-you. For tougher answers I think it's nice to use some context clues, but for easy answers like this on answers that might otherwise be transparent, I thought the introduction of some opacity would be nice. For what it's worth, this was originally a submission on Romans - I reworked it because we already had one tossup on a book of the Bible (Ecclesiastes) and I think there's been plenty of tournaments with questions that go "which one of Paul's epistles is this?" So instead you got this question.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by t-bar » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:55 pm

geremy wrote:Can I see the tossup on freezing? The cryo-EM clue was a little confusing but the rest of the clues seemed to be fine. Also interested in seeing the bonus on perfect numbers, because I thought I heard the word "perfect" in the question.
Northwestern A + Maryland B + Oklahoma A wrote:This process occurs along either a horizontal or vertical gradient in a technique that produces III-V bulk materials. After being pipetted into a solution of immersion oil, samples undergoing nanoliter osmometry are subject to this process. A protein sample on a grid is plunged into vial of ethane, where it rapidly undergoes this process, in a form of transmission electron microscopy whose developers won the 2017 Nobel in Chemistry. Biological reagents are often subjected to this process, followed by lowering the pressure to “dry” them before shipping. A substance undergoing this process [emphasize] releases an amount of energy equal to its enthalpy of fusion. Because it disrupts hydrogen bonds when dissolved in water, ethylene glycol is used in additives named for being “anti” this process. For 10 points, name this phase transition that liquid water undergoes at 0 degrees Celsius to become ice.
ANSWER: freezing [or solidification; or crystallization; or ice formation until “ice” is read; or word forms of those answers; do not accept or prompt on “melting” at any point, since none of the clues apply to it]
OSU A + Wisconsin A + Cambridge B wrote:It is unknown whether any of these numbers are odd. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this class of integers that are equal to the sum of their proper divisors. The three smallest ones are 6, 28, and 496.
ANSWER: perfect numbers
[10] According to the Euclid–Euler theorem, every even perfect number equals “q times q-plus-1, all over 2,” where q is one of these numbers. These numbers are searched for by the GIMPS project, which found a 50th one of them in January 2018.
ANSWER: Mersenne primes [prompt on Mersenne numbers; prompt on prime numbers]
[10] Each term in this sequence is computed by adding up the proper divisors of the previous term. This sequence repeats with period 1 for perfect numbers, while numbers that repeat with period 2 are called amicable numbers.
ANSWER: aliquot sequence
I suppose it's possible that your moderator slipped up and accidentally said "perfect," or that you misheard "proper" as "perfect."
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by t-bar » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:05 pm

Tornrak wrote:Could I see the tossup on Al-Ghazali? I’m curious as to where the first sentence is from.
OSU A + Wisconsin A + Cambridge B wrote:A work by this thinker describes the trust in one’s legal advocate, the trust of a child in their mother, and the trust of a corpse in its washer as the three stages of trust in God. This thinker ended another work by analyzing the positions that the world is pre-eternal, that God does not know particulars, and that there is no bodily resurrection as examples of “unbelief.” This thinker’s major work targets writers who used logical sciences as “evidentiary proof for the truth of their metaphysical sciences,” and therefore fail the Ash‘arite standard of being able to prove that God exists. That work by this author of the Revival of the Religious Sciences prompted a cheekily-titled refutation by Averroes (“ah-ver-ROE-us”). For 10 points, name this thinker who attacked Aristotelian aspects of the falsafa tradition in The Incoherence of the Philosophers.
ANSWER: al-Ghazali [or Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī; accept Algazelus]
I'm having a little trouble definitively tracking down the citation for the first sentence, though this facebook post does offer one potential source: https://www.facebook.com/IAGhazali/post ... 7615075477.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Youngster Joey » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:06 pm

Can I see the TU on Three Kingdoms? If I recall correctly the TU mentioned that the repeating crossbow was invented during that time period (I assume by Zhuge Liang), but I believe there is archaeological evidence suggesting that earlier models exist as far back as the Warring States period.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:17 pm

Walter Zhao wrote:Can I see the TU on Three Kingdoms? If I recall correctly the TU mentioned that the repeating crossbow was invented during that time period (I assume by Zhuge Liang), but I believe there is archaeological evidence suggesting that earlier models exist as far back as the Warring States period.
Oh my mistake - you're right! It was originally in a sentence about a guy who "supposedly invented" the repeating crossbow, but I cut the sentence because the Zhuge Liang description seemed kind of transparent and thus left this imprecise tidbit.

Here is the full tossup (with the now-revised sentence highlighted).
Berkeley A + MIT B + Southampton wrote:A “record” titled for this time period gives the first account of tribute sent from abroad by the shaman queen Pimiko. A type of steamed bun whose name means “barbarian’s head” may be named for a “southern campaign” during this period to quell rebellion by the Southern Barbarians, or Nanman. Chen Shou (“chun shoh”) is best known for writing about this period, which is when the man traditionally held to have invented the repeating crossbow lived. Late in this period, a coup d’état was carried out at Gaoping Tombs by Sima Yi. This period is often said to begin after a rebellion led by followers of the Way of the Supreme Peace. This period began after the Yellow Turban Rebellion caused the Eastern Han to disintegrate. For 10 points, name this period of Chinese history, whose notables such as Cao Cao (“tsow tsow”) of Wei appear in Luo Guanzhong’s “Romance” about it.
As a side note, I say "often said to have begun" for the Yellow Turban Rebellion because there's no real clear definition of the Three Kingdoms period beginning, i.e. many say it's after the Yellow Turbans, some say it's when Shu Han claimed the mantle of Han legitimacy, etc.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by afriesacher » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:21 pm

Could I see the tossup on Hume?

I felt that "radius" should have been accepted or at least prompted on for "radial". I know that the question specified an adjective, but that seems a little arbitrary to me.

Also, one of my teammates got negged without prompt for answering "markov models" instead of "markov chains". The tournament director gave it to us on the challenge but it should be an alternate answer line.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:23 pm

Tornrak wrote:Could I see the tossup on Al-Ghazali? I’m curious as to where the first sentence is from.
It's from the Revival of the Religious Sciences.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:47 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Thanks to John and Robert for bringing the France tossup to my attention. I did recognize the potential difficulties there and don't think I used a specific enough wording - if you're looking for a modern-day country, Josquin. I chose "modern-day country" because I thought that would offer the broadest answerspace, but upon further reflection, the phrasing I chose meant that both Belgium and France would be correct answers to the first few sentences (Netherlands, however, is wrong, as Flanders is notably not in the Netherlands - but the point about Josquin's origins being unsettled is taken).

Here is the revised tossup, with wording that I hope solves some of these ambiguities, and nonetheless lets me clue Dufay, Josquin, and L'homme armee without dipping into the already-widely-used "mass" answerline covering this era:
Editors 1 wrote:A composer who spent most of his adult life working in this modern-day country wrote a piece based on the words lascia fare mi (“LAH-shah FAH-reh MEE”) using the soggetto cavato (“so-JET-oh kah-VAH-toh”) technique. Another composer who mostly worked in this country set many of his hundreds of poems, such as those from his collection Remedy of Ill Fortune, to music and wrote a double hocket titled “David.” While abroad, a composer who mostly worked in this country wrote a mass titled for “Duke Hercules,” referring to his patron Ercole d’Este (“AIR-ko-lay DESS-tay”). A song from this country, “The Armed Man,” is the cantus firmus for many masses. Styles called ars antica and ars nova flourished in a school named for one of this country’s churches. Noble courts in this country provided the main patronage of a loosely defined “school” of composers from Flanders. For 10 points, name this country home to the Notre Dame school.
ANSWER: France [or any historical incarnation of France, e.g. Kingdom of France; accept Franco-Flemish school]
No, this doesn't solve the problem.

(1) Your assertion that "Flanders is notably not in The Netherlands" is flat-out wrong when dealing with this time period. It was first a part of the Burgundian Netherlands and then part of the Hapsburg Netherlands. Please consult any map of political geography of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, if you don't believe me. Likewise, Condé-sur-Escaut was part of various of the iterations of The Netherlands, not France, until the mid-17th century.

(2) You're missing the main point of my critique (the one that goes beyond this question), which is that there are two competing definitions for what "in this modern-day country" means: the country that a particular geographical location (such as a city) would be in today, or the country that is the modern-day successor of the political state in which a person resided or action took place. Your phrasing in no way distinguishes between them, and the former definition is not some kind of within-quizbowl norm that you can expect players to rely upon. For future questions, I don't think the solution to this will generally be legalistic wording. I think the solution is to avoid examples where this ambiguity could cause problems in the first place.

(3) Josquin spent more time in Condé-sur-Escaut than in Italy, but it's a question of four decades vs. three decades. Why would you expect anyone in the field to know his biography that closely? (While I'm probably not the player in the field with the most Josquin knowledge, I had to look up the years just now to confirm this fact, which probably means this level of detail is not that common among music players.)
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:02 pm

(1) Your assertion that "Flanders is notably not in The Netherlands" is flat-out wrong when dealing with this time period. It was first a part of the Burgundian Netherlands and then part of the Hapsburg Netherlands. Please consult any map of political geography of the late 15th and early 16th centuries, if you don't believe me. Likewise, Condé-sur-Escaut was part of various of the iterations of The Netherlands, not France, until the mid-17th century.

(2) You're missing the main point of my critique (the one that goes beyond this question), which is that there are two competing definitions for what "in this modern-day country" means: the country that a particular geographical location (such as a city) would be in today, or the country that is the modern-day successor of the political state in which a person resided or action took place. Your phrasing in no way distinguishes between them, and the former definition is not some kind of within-quizbowl norm that you can expect players to rely upon. For future questions, I don't think the solution to this will generally be legalistic wording. I think the solution is to avoid examples where this ambiguity could cause problems in the first place.
With regards to 1) and 2) - I have indeed looked at many such maps! The various Habsburg-controlled "Netherlands" are not the same thing as the country we call "The Netherlands," which would (territory-wise) be equivalent to the areas of the seven provinces that formed the Dutch Republic. If we say "modern-day country" then we're talking modern borders or (within the loosest possible constraints) borders of the country founded in 1581 that became today's Netherlands, and Flanders is not within the borders of either of these, with the exception of a brief joint occupation with Britain during the War of Spanish Succession. Perhaps this is a case of unfortunate semantics due to the existence of the word "Netherlandish," which is an accurate description of Josquin's origins.

I agree with the substantive point of your critique about things being "from where." Also, (3) strikes me as a fairly valid assertion - we did briefly go over his biography in the history of music class I took, so thought that expectation wasn't super unreasonable, but I doubt this is true for much of the field. I'll think about the phrasing more closely or change the answerline.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Milhouse » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:03 pm

t-bar wrote:This thinker’s major work targets writers who used logical sciences as “evidentiary proof for the truth of their metaphysical sciences”
A minor quibble, but I’m not sure it makes sense to call The Incoherence of the Philosophers al-Ghazali’s single “major work.” It’s his best-known work in quizbowl and, I think, western philosophical circles, but the Revival of the Religious Sciences is both quite a bit longer and more significant to his legacy and reputation in the Muslim world. You could presumably just say “that work” instead since the previous sentence is also about the Incoherence.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by hydrocephalitic listlessness » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:12 pm

Tornrak wrote:
t-bar wrote:This thinker’s major work targets writers who used logical sciences as “evidentiary proof for the truth of their metaphysical sciences”
A minor quibble, but I’m not sure it makes sense to call The Incoherence of the Philosophers al-Ghazali’s single “major work.” It’s his best-known work in quizbowl and, I think, western philosophical circles, but the Revival of the Religious Sciences is both quite a bit longer and more significant to his legacy and reputation in the Muslim world. You could presumably just say “that work” instead since the previous sentence is also about the Incoherence.
Yes, that's absolutely right—this was a submitted tossup, and I didn't catch that particular issue with phrasing. Thanks for pointing it out!
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Cody » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:13 am

"Modern-day country" does not have the specific definition you have decided should be binding, Will. I find John's reading of "modern-day country" more plausible as a common usage of the term in quizbowl questions.

The Netherlands as we know it was formed over a century after des Prez's birth, and I can't see how the claim that it is a successor state to the Spanish Netherlands is implausible.

You are overly confident in your reading of the (original) question.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:50 pm

Cody wrote:The Netherlands as we know it was formed over a century after des Prez's birth, and I can't see how the claim that it is a successor state to the Spanish Netherlands is implausible.
It makes sense to grant some leeway (and improve the question accordingly) over the interpretation of "modern-day country" as it seems that term does not have the meaning I thought it does. However, for the record, it is worth noting that the Spanish Netherlands co-existed with "the Netherlands as we know it." So it seems odd to interpret it as a "successor state," rather than a "secession state" (if you will).

EDIT: I retract the last sentences of my previous statement upon looking up a more technical definition of "successor state."
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by a bird » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:23 pm

Could I see the quantum computing bonus? I was glad to see both the adiabatic algorithm and quantum annealing come up, but it seemed a little hard to figure out exactly what the last part was looking for. I really like the physics on the whole, this is just a minor quibble.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by t-bar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:56 pm

a bird wrote:Could I see the quantum computing bonus? I was glad to see both the adiabatic algorithm and quantum annealing come up, but it seemed a little hard to figure out exactly what the last part was looking for. I really like the physics on the whole, this is just a minor quibble.
Waterloo A + WUSTL A + Yale B wrote:Identify the following about the physics of building a quantum computer, for 10 points each.
[10] Quantum computers must avoid decoherence, in which their qubits (“q-bits”) lose this property of existing in a sum of different states. In general, this property is lost when a measurement collapses a system to a single state.
ANSWER: quantum superposition
[10] In a class of quantum computers based on this theorem, a system is initialized in its ground state, and then its Hamiltonian is perturbed. If the perturbation is slow enough, this theorem guarantees that the system will stay in its ground state.
ANSWER: adiabatic theorem [accept adiabatic quantum computation]
[10] The company D-Wave markets quantum computers to perform this optimization task, in which a system is initialized into a superposition of all possible states and evolves in time to locate the ground state.
ANSWER: quantum annealing
I think you're right that the last part could have been made clearer, perhaps by mentioning the analogy to classical simulated annealing, but I wanted to keep the question text to a manageable length and each of these parts was already pretty wordy.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Progcon » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:05 pm

Can I see the tossup on characteristics? I'd like to see if characteristic functions came up and I just forgot those existed. Seeing the tossup on "price discrimination" would be cool too. I want to look up the papers that were mentioned early in that tossup that made me neg with something stupid.

This tournament was really good overall but I thought a couple of tossups didn't play well like "2 Violins", "Endings", "Third" but overall the tournament seemed strong. My favorite tossup was the one that mentioned the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot and its fights. Mascots need to come up more.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:16 pm

Progcon wrote:This tournament was really good overall but I thought a couple of tossups didn't play well like "2 Violins", "Endings", "Third" but overall the tournament seemed strong.
Would you care to elaborate? A lot of people have complained about the "two violins" tossup but I haven't actually heard anyone articulate why it was problematic, so I'm very curious to hear why it was flawed. Same with the "third" tossup.

EDIT: Posting the "third" tossup and "price discrimination" tossups to aid discussion.
Yale A et al wrote:Larry Diamond postulated that a period of time denoted by this adjective beginning with Portugal’s Carnation Revolution may be “Over” in a 1996 paper. “Pluriversal studies” are advocated in a book about the “making and unmaking” of a place described by this adjective, written by Arturo Escobar. A “regional contingency factor” was key to bringing about a late 20th-century period of democratization described by this adjective, according to a book titled for it by Samuel Huntington. This adjective names the sequel to Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. The punk subculture Riot grrrl (“girl”) heralded an era of feminism denoted by this adjective. Sociologist Anthony Giddens is a major supporter of politics described as [this adjective] “Way,” which were advocated by Tony Blair. For 10 points, give this adjective that describes a less affluent “world” of non-Communist, non-NATO countries.
ANSWER: third [accept third wave or third world or Third Way; accept “Is the Third Wave Over?” or Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World or The Third Wave]
<Social Science>
Berkeley A et al wrote:Nancy Stokey found that an intertemporal form of this practice is unprofitable in the absence of production costs. A 1933 book by Joan Robinson created the categories of “strong” and “weak” markets to gauge the effects of this practice. Arthur Pigou distinguished between “complete,” “direct,” and “indirect” types of this practice in his Economics of Welfare. When there are no transaction costs, arbitrage is a possible risk involved with this practice. The Robinson–Patman Act was an early attempt to prohibit anti-competitive forms of this practice. Student discounts are an example of the third-degree type of this practice in which different consumer groups are offered different rates. For 10 points, name this economic strategy in which the same goods are sold at different prices in different markets.
ANSWER: price discrimination [accept more specific forms, such as third-degree price discrimination; prompt on discrimination]
<Social Science>
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by t-bar » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:21 pm

Progcon wrote:Can I see the tossup on characteristics? I'd like to see if characteristic functions came up and I just forgot those existed. Seeing the tossup on "price discrimination" would be cool too. I want to look up the papers that were mentioned early in that tossup that made me neg with something stupid.
Chicago A + Washington A + NYU A wrote:Any continuous positive definite function that maps 0 to 1 can serve as a function known by this word due to Bochner’s theorem. If this type of function converges pointwise, then considering its second Taylor coefficient and applying Lévy’s continuity theorem yields a proof of the central limit theorem. This word describes a function defined as the expectation value of e to the “i-t-X” that always exists, unlike the similar moment-generating function. Another construct known by this word gives zero when evaluated at the matrix that generated it, according to the Cayley–Hamilton theorem. This word also denotes a quantity equal to 2 for all convex polyhedra that is defined as the number of vertices, minus edges, plus faces. For 10 points, give the 14-letter word for that quantity named for Euler, which also names the polynomial whose roots are the eigenvalues of a given matrix.
ANSWER: characteristic [accept characteristic function or characteristic polynomial or Euler characteristic]
The first three sentences are about the characteristic function. Rather than giving the easiest clues about the characteristic function (Fourier transform of a probability distribution function; making it very explicit that we want a function that describes a probability distribution), I went on to describe other things in the second half of the tossup, so I can see how connecting the dots might have been a little harder.
Berkeley A + MIT B + Southampton A wrote:Nancy Stokey found that an intertemporal form of this practice is unprofitable in the absence of production costs. A 1933 book by Joan Robinson created the categories of “strong” and “weak” markets to gauge the effects of this practice. Arthur Pigou distinguished between “complete,” “direct,” and “indirect” types of this practice in his Economics of Welfare. When there are no transaction costs, arbitrage is a possible risk involved with this practice. The Robinson–Patman Act was an early attempt to prohibit anti-competitive forms of this practice. Student discounts are an example of the third-degree type of this practice in which different consumer groups are offered different rates. For 10 points, name this economic strategy in which the same goods are sold at different prices in different markets.
ANSWER: price discrimination [accept more specific forms, such as third-degree price discrimination; prompt on discrimination]
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Progcon » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:28 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Progcon wrote:This tournament was really good overall but I thought a couple of tossups didn't play well like "2 Violins", "Endings", "Third" but overall the tournament seemed strong.
Would you care to elaborate? A lot of people have complained about the "two violins" tossup but I haven't actually heard anyone articulate why it was problematic, so I'm very curious to hear why it was flawed. Same with the "third" tossup.
I was thinking like "string instruments" the entire time but the music player on our team, who played the violin in high school, buzzed "violins", got prompted and figured it out correctly. I just thought he would have buzzed earlier if you were just asking for _Violin_ (and I may very well be wrong about estimating when he would have buzzed). It's not a bad idea though because I know like "violin duos", "violin trios", etc. are a definite thing in music.

The _third_ tossup was hard for me to parse personally because I'm not very smart and didn't think the word "third" could be an adjective. Jakob negged with a word like "new" which I guess is a word in the title of one the groups described. I think all the things mentioned were worth asking about, and a member of our B team got it right after the feminism clue, so I might just be me not being very good at conceptualizing common link answerlilnes. My brain usually tries to eliminate possible guesses as new clues appear so it's hard to use that type of "Ansatz-based thinking" or whatever for a common link with a new type of answerline. Again, it wasn't a bad idea but it caused a strange neg--partially because of the pronoun "this adjective".
t-bar wrote:The first three sentences are about the characteristic function. Rather than giving the easiest clues about the characteristic function (Fourier transform of a probability distribution function; making it very explicit that we want a function that describes a probability distribution), I went on to describe other things in the second half of the tossup, so I can see how connecting the dots might have been a little harder.
It's all good I just forgot they existed despite looking at some article about them a few weeks ago. I'm just glad there were some probability theory stuff because that almost never comes up in quizbowl aside from lame questions on "this distribution".
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:48 pm

I was thinking like "string instruments" the entire time but the music player on our team, who played the violin in high school, buzzed "violins", got prompted and figured it out correctly. I just thought he would have buzzed earlier if you were just asking for _Violin_ (and I may very well be wrong about estimating when he would have buzzed). It's not a bad idea though because I know like "violin duos", "violin trios", etc. are a definite thing in music.
I think this may be a function of using a novel answerline, perhaps one that required more thought from the players than is typical. Asking for just "violin" seemed very guessable to people with limited knowledge given the clues I picked ("this instrument is common in chamber music, particularly in the Baroque era" uhhhh) and asking people to put together "the Kronos quartet" and "what are the highest pitched instruments in a string quartet" didn't seem like too difficult of a two-step process for a mid-late clue.

I reviewed the "Third" tossup with Auroni and he agreed that using "third" as "this adjective" was fine (not to speak for Will H-M but I'm guessing he did as well). In fact, he suggested it - I originally had a more convoluted and almost certainly worse answer identifier, which might have confused people too much. Political science is a hard category to ask about without using answers that fall into a limited answerspace ("Realism" etc.) and most of the relevant thinkers are a bit hard to toss up on their own, so this seemed like a good way to work in a lot of undeniably important material
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by yeah viv talk nah » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:18 pm

Could I see the bonus on lift / angle of attack / camber? I think the wording on the last part made me think it was an angle for some reason.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:32 pm

Progcon wrote: The _third_ tossup was hard for me to parse personally because I'm not very smart and didn't think the word "third" could be an adjective. Jakob negged with a word like "new" which I guess is a word in the title of one the groups described.
I negged with "wave" after the clue describing the third wave of democratization; this was a result of me being a dufus who forgot wave isn't an adjective and only knowing the Huntington thing as a theory of waves of democratization. Agree that this tossup could have been written either more clearly or on a different answerline though.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by everdiso » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:44 pm

Several players at our site also had problems with the "two violins" tossup, including excellent music players (of whom I am admittedly not one). The confusion seemed to stem from the fact that "this group of instruments" usually, and especially in the precise usage of quizbowl tossup pronunal phrases, refers to a specifically defined group - like, say, a string quartet, or a brass quintet, or a wind section, or something of that sort. People therefore spent the tossup thinking through those possibilities, not realising that it could be a very different kind of answerline, something with no official name. I think one player who knows very well what the Kronos quartet is was confused enough that he still didn't get it on that clue, but only on the Menuhin and Oistrakh mention that followed.

However, I don't want to sound like I didn't like the tossup. I actually quite did, and I liked the stuff being clued (particularly Bach's double violin concerto, which I've always enjoyed). I just think it needed slightly different phrasing to avoid confusion. Those of us at our site were generally in agreement that a phrasing of "this many of these instruments", with warning at the start saying "Number and type of instrument required", would have solved the problem. And with that, it would've been a good tossup, I think.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by CPiGuy » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:09 am

everdiso wrote:Several players at our site also had problems with the "two violins" tossup, including excellent music players (of whom I am admittedly not one). The confusion seemed to stem from the fact that "this group of instruments" usually, and especially in the precise usage of quizbowl tossup pronunal phrases, refers to a specifically defined group - like, say, a string quartet, or a brass quintet, or a wind section, or something of that sort. People therefore spent the tossup thinking through those possibilities, not realising that it could be a very different kind of answerline, something with no official name.
I think a good way to ensure that people don't spend time thinking it's a Named Thing is to put "description acceptable" at the beginning of the tossup.

I didn't like the tossup on "protesting the Vietnam War" because it was really hard to figure out what was going on. I knew one of the clues before the other team (which included considerably better players who probably have more knowledge than me) buzzed, as well as the clue they buzzed on, but didn't buzz because I didn't know what the question wanted. I think the answerline should have either been just "the Vietnam War" or "opposition to the Vietnam War" with a pronoun of "this cause".

Lastly, while I loved seeing Martin Gardner's april fools' joke mentioned, that four color theorem bonus will get 20'd by most rooms with any level of math knowledge whatsoever. I'd be surprised if that bonus got more than 2 or 3 tens -- the first and second parts were very comparable in difficulty.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:15 am

I don’t think saying “name and number of instruments” works because it could only plausibly be violins. I spent the entire tossup knowing it was some group of strings. I think having the answer line as 2 would have made more sense. I don’t think it’s a flawed question, just out of the blue eapecially for a tournament like this were you expect nothing unexpected.

Was folding at home the middle part of the bonus? I’d be curious to know how many people got that because of these forums and not actually knowing it.

Can I see the bonus part on Hungarian Rhapsody 2? I remember the clue just being a c# minor to c# major transition without much else, but it was another teams bonus and I probably zoned out.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by t-bar » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:42 am

Sokratis Papastathopoulos wrote:Could I see the bonus on lift / angle of attack / camber? I think the wording on the last part made me think it was an angle for some reason.
Chicago A + Washington A + NYU A wrote:Identify the following terms one might encounter while designing an aircraft that won’t stall mid-flight, for 10 points each.
[10] “Stalling” refers to a reduction in the amount of this force produced by an airfoil. This force, which is directed perpendicular to both the direction of airflow and the drag force, is what keeps an airplane in the air.
ANSWER: lift [accept lift coefficient]
[10] The lift coefficient is maximized at the critical value for this angle, above which stalling occurs. Denoted alpha, it is the angle of the aircraft’s wing with respect to the motion of the surrounding air.
ANSWER: angle of attack [prompt on alpha]
[10] This term describes the degree to which the upper surface of an airfoil is more convex than the lower surface. This feature reduces the risk of stalling by decreasing the leading edge pressure spike at high angles of attack.
ANSWER: camber
Aaron Manby (ironmaster) wrote:Can I see the bonus part on Hungarian Rhapsody 2? I remember the clue just being a c# minor to c# major transition without much else, but it was another teams bonus and I probably zoned out.
MSU A + Carleton University A + Rochester A wrote:[10] The lassan (“LAW-shawn”) section of this piano piece by Liszt begins in the tempo Lento a capriccio (“LEN-toh ah kah-PREE-cho”) with a C-sharp major chord, but rapidly establishes the main key of C-sharp minor.
ANSWER: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor [accept S. 244/2; prompt on Hungarian Rhapsodies]
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:15 am

Aaron Manby (ironmaster) wrote:I don’t think saying “name and number of instruments” works because it could only plausibly be violins. I spent the entire tossup knowing it was some group of strings. I think having the answer line as 2 would have made more sense. I don’t think it’s a flawed question, just out of the blue eapecially for a tournament like this were you expect nothing unexpected.
Well, how about doing that for an answer of "one trumpet" :razz:

Yeah - I think this is a sentiment a lot of people are expressing, that they wish this tournament had fewer "surprises" and were more standard. Maybe that's what future Regionals can do, and I think that's one valid model worth discussion. I interpreted the message of this year's Regionals as that it should be a real "level up" and "invitation to prepare for Nationals," especially since it's a Nats-qualifier tournament. And while you need to produce an engaging tournament that is not oppressively difficult, I think it can also be helpful to have an "alienation effect" and put people a bit out of their comfort zone while still presenting well-known, accessible material (another example might be the "Soviet Union and China" tossup, though that one was probably more straightforward to answer).

EDIT: I had qualms about the Vietnam war answerline, but the person who submitted it went out of their way to include alternate answers and a good answerline, and it struck me as something worth trying in the interest of submission fidelity. Maybe this confused people, but the clues were reasonably notable and using an answer of "Vietnam War" seemed a bit obvious.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Cody » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:59 am

"this group of instruments" is a completely fine (I would go so far as to say ideal) descriptor for the answerline of "two violins", which is itself a good idea for a tossup.

There is no reason to include "description acceptable" because there is no proper name for an answerline of "two violins".

An inability on some players's parts to think outside of quizbowl's box does not automatically make a question (or choice of answerline referent) bad, or suboptimal, or what-have-you.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by RexSueciae » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:18 pm

I enjoyed reading this set, and echo the general themes made in the general discussion thread. I would like to highlight two specific questions.

There is a bonus part in Editors 1 on "Orthodox Churches" whose third part asks for the Coptic Church, which is identified as an Orthodox Church. I don't remember the exact wording of the question, but it seems misleading -- even though the Copts identify theirs as an "Orthodox" church (just as many churches other than the Roman one identify theirs as a Catholic, or universal, church), the Copts are not affiliated with the more prominent (Eastern) Orthodox denomination which includes the Russian Orthodox Church (the answerline to the first bonus part). Maybe it would be better to ask for "this Oriental Orthodox denomination" (or whatever) for both the Copts and the Armenians (second bonus part)?

The second issue I have is with the Mongols tossup from packet E (Delaware A + Kentucky A + Cambridge A):
17. A ruler of this ethnicity aided peasants by establishing “charity granaries” and regularizing the tax burden levelled by traditional owners of appanages of land won in war, called khubi. That ruler of this ethnicity chose not to convert the use of farmland thanks to his Christian wife Chabi. A princess of this ethnicity who would only marry a man who beat her in a wrestling match purportedly fell in love with a ruler of this ethnicity named Ghazan, who converted to Islam. Rulers of this ethnicity were patrons of Rabban bar Sauma, one of many Nestorian Christians prominent in their court. The leader who unified these people had a wife who was kidnapped by a group of them, the Merkits. This ethnicity ruled the largest realm to elect leaders through a kuriltai assembly, and led the Golden Horde. For 10 points, name this people who ruled the largest contiguous empire in world history thanks to Genghis Khan.
Unless I am mistaken, the clue in the middle which I have bolded for visibility confuses the historical individuals Kököchin, identified as the wife of Ghazan by Marco Polo and Rashid al-Din Hamadani, and Khutulun, the warrior princess who went undefeated in wrestling and won a lot of horses.

I link to the Wikipedia articles because the Wikipedia article for Khutulun claims (without citation) that Rashid al-Din wrote that Khutulun married Ghazan. (When I get the chance, I will rectify this.) I do not presently have access to a full translation of Rashid al-Din's writings; most secondary sources that I have found identify Kököchin (Kākūjīn) as the wife of Ghazan, not Khutulun (and I'm pretty sure Kököchin wasn't big on wrestling). I believe the author of that clue consulted the Wikipedia article for Khutulun and not a reliable secondary source (or, for that matter, the Wikipedia articles for Kököchin or Ghazan, which include the correct information).

Still, those are two fairly minor (if important) quibbles with this set, which don't need very much in order to fix.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by RexSueciae » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:53 pm

As an addendum to my previous post, I ought to note that there were lots of cool ideas in submitted and editor-produced content. I liked, for example, the specific tossup on James Longstreet that focused on his Reconstruction career as a good example of military history (sorta) beyond the sort of "X's division zigged left and Y's brigade zagged right" nonsense that used to be common. I'm glad that this style of writing seems to have become much more prominent.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:01 pm

RexSueciae wrote:I enjoyed reading this set, and echo the general themes made in the general discussion thread. I would like to highlight two specific questions.

There is a bonus part in Editors 1 on "Orthodox Churches" whose third part asks for the Coptic Church, which is identified as an Orthodox Church. I don't remember the exact wording of the question, but it seems misleading -- even though the Copts identify theirs as an "Orthodox" church (just as many churches other than the Roman one identify theirs as a Catholic, or universal, church), the Copts are not affiliated with the more prominent (Eastern) Orthodox denomination which includes the Russian Orthodox Church (the answerline to the first bonus part). Maybe it would be better to ask for "this Oriental Orthodox denomination" (or whatever) for both the Copts and the Armenians (second bonus part)?

The second issue I have is with the Mongols tossup from packet E (Delaware A + Kentucky A + Cambridge A):
17. A ruler of this ethnicity aided peasants by establishing “charity granaries” and regularizing the tax burden levelled by traditional owners of appanages of land won in war, called khubi. That ruler of this ethnicity chose not to convert the use of farmland thanks to his Christian wife Chabi. A princess of this ethnicity who would only marry a man who beat her in a wrestling match purportedly fell in love with a ruler of this ethnicity named Ghazan, who converted to Islam. Rulers of this ethnicity were patrons of Rabban bar Sauma, one of many Nestorian Christians prominent in their court. The leader who unified these people had a wife who was kidnapped by a group of them, the Merkits. This ethnicity ruled the largest realm to elect leaders through a kuriltai assembly, and led the Golden Horde. For 10 points, name this people who ruled the largest contiguous empire in world history thanks to Genghis Khan.
Unless I am mistaken, the clue in the middle which I have bolded for visibility confuses the historical individuals Kököchin, identified as the wife of Ghazan by Marco Polo and Rashid al-Din Hamadani, and Khutulun, the warrior princess who went undefeated in wrestling and won a lot of horses.

I link to the Wikipedia articles because the Wikipedia article for Khutulun claims (without citation) that Rashid al-Din wrote that Khutulun married Ghazan. (When I get the chance, I will rectify this.) I do not presently have access to a full translation of Rashid al-Din's writings; most secondary sources that I have found identify Kököchin (Kākūjīn) as the wife of Ghazan, not Khutulun (and I'm pretty sure Kököchin wasn't big on wrestling). I believe the author of that clue consulted the Wikipedia article for Khutulun and not a reliable secondary source (or, for that matter, the Wikipedia articles for Kököchin or Ghazan, which include the correct information).

Still, those are two fairly minor (if important) quibbles with this set, which don't need very much in order to fix.
For the first one - yeah this is pretty minor. I don't really see how this could lead a player to the wrong answer, it's an easy part that gives you "Orthodox church" and the names of two prominent Egyptian leaders. The intention was not to imply that the Copts are an Eastern Orthodox branch - it was just meant to be an easy part fitting the theme of "contemporary Orthodox churches intersecting with politics." Russian seemed a more appropriate middle part that could be tested without allowing linguistic fraud, and Georgian was the hard part.

For the second - yeah, whoops, you got me, though since the Wikipedia article actually mentioned a specific author (as opposed to some random statement) I was okay with it. This was an editor tossup that came about due to needing to replace a tossup on the Ilkhanate, as most of the accessible Ilkhanate clues had been used elsewhere in the tournament. However, note that the bonus part doesn't imply that they got married, just that she "purportedly fell in love." So it seems plausible that Khutulun just failed to win out in this particular amatory saga.

EDIT: Upon further investigation, I have been vindicated - here is at least one secondary source that mentions that Khutulun considered marrying Ghazan. So, the phrasing and clue seem to be right after all ("purportedly" in particular).

In any case, I hope the Mongol question was able to shed light on some less-explored areas of Mongol history that are worth asking about!
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by kitakule » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:35 pm

Could I see the Wallace Stevens and A Christmas Carol tossups?
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by gettysburg11 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:54 pm

RexSueciae wrote:As an addendum to my previous post, I ought to note that there were lots of cool ideas in submitted and editor-produced content. I liked, for example, the specific tossup on James Longstreet that focused on his Reconstruction career as a good example of military history (sorta) beyond the sort of "X's division zigged left and Y's brigade zagged right" nonsense that used to be common. I'm glad that this style of writing seems to have become much more prominent.
Just wanted to also say that this tossup was good and cool and made me smile. My only concern was what its conversion rate would be but we'll see that soon enough.
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Re: Specific Questions and Errors

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:02 pm

gettysburg11 wrote:
RexSueciae wrote:As an addendum to my previous post, I ought to note that there were lots of cool ideas in submitted and editor-produced content. I liked, for example, the specific tossup on James Longstreet that focused on his Reconstruction career as a good example of military history (sorta) beyond the sort of "X's division zigged left and Y's brigade zagged right" nonsense that used to be common. I'm glad that this style of writing seems to have become much more prominent.
Just wanted to also say that this tossup was good and cool and made me smile. My only concern was what its conversion rate would be but we'll see that soon enough.
Thank Northwestern for this excellent submission! It was one of the choice tougher answerlines in the US history distribution (along with the Million Man March and, arguably, _Howe_) that I thought could stand on its own as an interesting topic that a number of people would be able to answer, even if the early clues might be a bit alien to the traditional canon (the Armenian-Americans question might be another example with an easier answerline). Longstreet is not a traditionally "easy" answer, but definitely an interesting and notable figure in US politics - and perhaps some of the lack of knowledge about Longstreet could be owed to past military history questions failing to engage players enough to make them want to learn more.
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