ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

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ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by magin » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:33 pm

Welcome to the discussion thread for ACF Fall 2017. I hope you all enjoyed playing the tournament; all the editors are looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts and reactions.

Our editors were:

Ryan Rosenberg: American literature, European literature, world/genre/other literature, social science, current events, and pop culture/other
Bruce Lou: history and Geography
Evan Lynch: British literature, chemistry, and painting
Jennie Yang: music, other fine arts, and 4/4 myth
Ashwin Ramaswami: biology, physics, other science, religion, and philosophy
Jason Cheng: 11/11 myth

Adam Silverman oversaw all of the science, and worked with Ashwin and Evan to make sure the clues and answers were well-chosen and appropriately difficult.

I'd also like to thank John Lawrence for looking over the fine arts, Ophir Lifshitz for looking over the music and other science, Joey Goldman for looking over the philosophy, and Marianna Zhang for looking over a lot of the social science and literature. Additionally, I want to thank Jordan Brownstein for writing a painting tossup, Matt Bollinger for looking over a few current events and literature questions, Sam Bailey for giving feedback on several economics tossups, Susan Ferrari and Bruce Arthur for looking over several religion questions, Nathan Weiser for looking over a film tossup, and Eddie Kim for looking over a myth tossup.

Jordan, Will Nediger, and Stephen Eltinge also helped proofread and packetize the set.

Richard will post the final set soon for people to download.

Finally, as the head editor, any problems with the final tournament are my fault, and should not be attributed to the editors, who worked extremely hard on all of their questions.

Discuss away!
Last edited by magin on Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by armitage » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:37 pm

If anyone reading this has the ability to transfer ownership of ACF Fall 2017's entry in the db to me, could you please do so? Thanks.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:49 pm

armitage wrote:If anyone reading this has the ability to transfer ownership of ACF Fall 2017's entry in the db to me, could you please do so? Thanks.
Done.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Jason Cheng » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:08 pm

I forgot to say something in the team Slack before this thread got posted, but Will Alston helped me out a lot on the myth I edited with difficulty/playability/general advice, which was very useful since myth was a new category for me
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by armitage » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:13 pm

Set is posted.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by jacke » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:31 pm

We had a great time playing this set. There were some questions that I know other players said they thought were a little easy (mostly bonuses), but for the most part it was well received from what I heard. I should mention though that one bonus erroneously referred to Victor Hugo as the author of the Count of Monte Cristo, though the answer was French so it wasn't a big deal
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by bradleykirksey » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:20 pm

That did happen.

I'm grateful to everyone who put time, energy, and effort into making quiz bowl happen. After all, I didn't do it.

But between that and (IIRC) a few occasions where the answer was given away in the bonus ("this logician..." logic is an answer to the middle part, "this novelist"... novel is the answer to the middle part), it felt like maybe it could have used an extra round of playtesting.

Again, I think the focus should be gratefulness that new people are stepping up to edit and that there's a tournament to play, but those sorts of things, to me, suggest that maybe it could used a once-over by a second set of eyes?
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:30 pm

I was happy to see some of Auburn's questions included on our first attempt at submitting. Thanks to the editors for putting this tournament together, even if it did have some flaws. Does ACF still do its writer feedback program?
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by magin » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:41 pm

cwest123 wrote:I was happy to see some of Auburn's questions included on our first attempt at submitting. Thanks to the editors for putting this tournament together, even if it did have some flaws. Does ACF still do its writer feedback program?
The editors will be providing feedback for submitted packets upon request. If your team is interested, please email fall17acf@gmail.com and let us know you'd like feedback on your packet.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by An Economic Ignoramus » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:53 pm

So things I noticed (this should all, of course, be prefaced with a big thanks to everyone involved for taking on such a huge project; I know it's not easy!):
-Whoever the "final eye" was did not do their job well enough. "Apollo and Daphne" were mentioned in the leadin of a bonus that asked for "Apollo" as the lover of Daphne in the middle part. I know that confused a lot of teams who believed Apollo could not be correct since he was mentioned earlier in the question. The word "Insular" was dropped somewhere in the third line of a question on islands. There were a lot of grammatical and typographical issues, to the point where one noticed readers delaying to parse what a sentence was supposed to say with varying degrees of success. Proofreading affects gameplay, and this set, while pretty solidly edited otherwise, did not have enough of it.
-The lit was in general excellent. The difficulty was calibrated well, real knowledge was rewarded, and a good time was had by all. Props to Ryan and Evan.
-My teammates noticed an overemphasis on a few pet topics in the science (lab techniques, fluid dynamics). Well it's all well and good to write about stuff that interests you, exclusively doing so can be a source of irritation to people who don't specialize in these things.
-This set definitely seemed to skew a lot easier than the last few iterations. I've heard from people that this largely marked a recalibration back to its pre-2014 difficulty level, but as someone who started playing fall in 2014 this was a bit of a shock.
-Very specific complaint: in the "Afghanistan" tossup, the pronoun was way, way, way too late. Like two lines of Retreat from Kabul clues were dropped before one was given. Not differentiating between people who know the name of the last man remaining from that retreat and people who know that it is a thing that took place isn't a good thing.
In general, this set was okay with the exception of one or two issues that would have been really easy to resolve.
Last edited by An Economic Ignoramus on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by setophaga » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:05 am

I also thought this was a very solid iteration of the tournament and, while certainly easier than last year, was still written with quality and with some good opening clues and bonus ideas. I can't speak for really anything but music, but I'd like to thank Jennie and the other music editors for making accessible answerlines, especially on the tossups, while still featuring quality and new leadins.

A couple things I noticed in the music:

Cambridge B packet, tossup 2
. 19th-century critics of a composer from this country derided him as “Haydn’s wife,” but he has since gained recognition for his twelve cello concertos. In a work by a composer from this country, an offstage trumpet plays during a movement depicting catacombs. That composer wrote tone poems depicting the festivals and fountains of a city in this country. An overture by a composer from this country ends with a raucous galop that was borrowed for the Lone Ranger theme. A composer from this country wrote the opera William Tell. For 10 points, name this country home to Luigi Boccherini, Ottorino Respighi, and Gioachino (Joh-KEE-no) Rossini.
ANSWER: Italy [or Italia]
The lead-in should be clarified as "born in this country," as Boccherini spent all of his career in Spain and is often considered one of the most important Spanish composers.

Cambridge A packet, tossup 12
12. The composer of this work portrayed the stillness along a riverbank at twilight in its adagio movement, which was originally titled “The Wide Spaces of Our Land.” Béla Bartók parodied a theme from this symphony’s first movement in the “Game of Pairs” section of his Concerto for Orchestra. That theme is a pastiche of a song from Franz Lehàr’s operetta The Merry Widow. One section of the first movement repeats its march-like theme twelve times with increasing volume. This symphony’s “invasion” theme represents a Nazi invasion of its composer’s native country. For 10 points, identify this Dmitri Shostakovich symphony named after a Soviet city.
ANSWER: Leningrad Symphony [or Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Opus 60; or Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony; accept just “Symphony No. 7” after “Shostakovich” is read]
The parody of the invasion theme is in the fourth movement of the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, not the second movement.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:06 am

Sit Room Guy wrote: -My teammates noticed an overemphasis on a few pet topics in the science (lab techniques, fluid dynamics). Well it's all well and good to write about stuff that interests you, exclusively doing so can be a source of irritation to people who don't specialize in these things.
-This set definitely seemed to skew a lot easier than the last few iterations. I've heard from people that this largely marked a recalibration back to its pre-2014 difficulty level, but as someone who started playing fall in 2014 this was a bit of a shock.
yo lab techniques are not something that I would consider a "pet topic" and may in fact be activities commonly done by scientists (who in turn probably deserve to buzz on science questions)
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:37 am

More minor issues:

The guy who co-wrote the book on voting was Donald Green, not David Green.
The Tugwell book clue in the Grover Cleveland TU should say "Honesty and Integrity," not "Integrity and Integrity."
The Strauss Sr. / Sousa / Gladiator March bonus has a screwed up intro.

Also, I agree with Jakob that the early clues of the biology question on "islands" seemed comically easy. However, most of the science seemed pretty strong.

Overall, the set seemed fine, although like most sets, it probably could have used a bit more proofreading and some more pronunciation guides.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by CPiGuy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:00 am

This was a really fun set. My biggest complaint was the existence of two tossups on "fire" from RMP, although this may have been magnified by the fact that they were read in consecutive rounds at our site.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:01 am

Yeah, I think this set could've done with another set of eyes, someone to catch the minor recurring issues like odd phrasings (my favorite was the assertion that Saturn "contains" two of its moons, entering a brave new world in both astronomy and quizbowlese), typos, dastardly Briticisms, and the like.

Minor readability issues aside, though, I think this set was generally very solid, and its editors' hard work definitely showed!
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:13 am

Agreed that, while rough around the edges, this set was generally a good one. (Aside from the issues people have pointed out, I will say that referring to a virus as an "organism" is misleading.) Although I wouldn't say the proofreading, pronunciation guides, and other reader aids were perfect, this set did attempt to offer readers more than tournaments typically do, and for that, I commend the editors (and regret that I was unable to help out with the effort when asked because of prior commitments). Readers (and players!) should expect that sets include features, such as pronunciation guides, that make the reader experience, and thus the playing experience, easier and more enjoyable, and seeing it at this version of Fall is a step in the right direction.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:30 am

I liked this set a decent amount; it had some pretty fun questions, and was pretty fair in its difficulty. I did have an issue with the Alfred the Great tossup mentioning the "griddle cakes" story, which I thought had been thankfully removed from quizbowl long ago. I also wish that there was more film. I only counted 1/1, and it was a mostly-Hitchcock tossup and a bonus on Citizen Kane (I guess you could count the McLuhan tossup too). I totally think that this is a category that could be expanded + increased at Fall difficulty. If you're ging to make me wait all day for some movies, at least do something different with the tossup!
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:39 am

The first clue to the tossup on artifical islands is neither artifical nor an island. Only game changing protest to an otherwise fine mirror we had up north. I would have preferred pdf packets and a few more pronounciation guides. Content was generally much better than last year.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by afriesacher » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:40 am

I really enjoyed playing this set and the only thing is have to add is a really specific issue. The bonus on Berkeley in the Cornell B/Michigan A/UBC/ TAMU misrepresents Berkeley and in one case the answer is wrong.

The second part says that Berkeley thought minds were the only thing that existed, and tells the reader to prompt on 'thoughts'. But Berkeley held the ideas existed and were distinct from minds, so saying "only these things exist" is wrong and not accepting/prompting on "ideas" is wrong. Some even more persnickety points on this question: Berkeley also held that spirits and God which were distinct - though he wasn't super clear about it - and the namesake dualism for Descartes' dualism isn't between minds and bodies, but between the substances mind and body.

To be even more persnickety, the lead-in says that Berkeley rejected some of Newton's ideas in De Motu, but he actually endorses Newton (or at least his interpretation of Newton). He argues that forces such as gravity don't truly exist, but isn't opposed to using them as models of the universe, which is what he thinks Newton is doing.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Fucitol » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:16 am

Borel hierarchy wrote:
Sit Room Guy wrote: -My teammates noticed an overemphasis on a few pet topics in the science (lab techniques, fluid dynamics). Well it's all well and good to write about stuff that interests you, exclusively doing so can be a source of irritation to people who don't specialize in these things.
-This set definitely seemed to skew a lot easier than the last few iterations. I've heard from people that this largely marked a recalibration back to its pre-2014 difficulty level, but as someone who started playing fall in 2014 this was a bit of a shock.
yo lab techniques are not something that I would consider a "pet topic" and may in fact be activities commonly done by scientists (who in turn probably deserve to buzz on science questions)
Yeah, this is something that I actively tried to include in WAO and EFT, and something that I would encourage other writers to include in their sets.
Auks Ran Ova wrote:(my favorite was the assertion that Saturn "contains" two of its moons, entering a brave new world in both astronomy and quizbowlese)
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Saltasassi » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:47 am

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for playing this year's edition of Fall. I apologize for any errors that appeared in my slice of the distribution (including the Concerto for Orchestra thing @Sameer and the bad lead-in for the march bonus @everyone). It's been my hardest academic quarter ever, by a long shot, so I struggled to find enough time to devote to writing and editing once the school year started. Regardless, I hope you found some things about the music/other FA that you enjoyed.

I made an effort to include a non-zero amount of content about female artists in my questions. At this difficulty, it's extremely easy not to include any women creators, especially women composers and musicians, and it's even easier to forgo them when you're not the one dictating most of the answerlines. But, I hope that I was able to do this without making my part of the set too hard.

A list of some of the women who came up in my part of the set, off the top of my head: Alisa Weilerstein and Jacqueline du Pre (cello), Lili and Nadia Boulanger (Prix de Rome bonus), Germaine Tailleferre (Les Six bonus), Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange (Great Depression in photography bonus), Maya Lin, Georgia O'Keeffe (Stieglitz bonus), Martha Graham (Copland ballets tossup), Bronislava Nijinska (Stravinsky ballets bonus), Misty Copeland (ballet technique bonus).

Giant thanks on my end to John Lawrence and Ophir Lifschitz, both of whom looked over a significant portion of my questions in the week preceding the tournament. Without them, there would have been even more silly things in my categories. Also, thanks to Nathan Weiser for assisting me with editing film submissions (sorry there weren't more, I didn't have many to work with) and Eddie Kim for his feedback on some of my Editor's questions in mythology (a category I had no prior writing experience in). I know these people have all been mentioned in the OP, but I just wanted to express my own gratitude personally and publicly.

Finally, I want to give a greatly-deserved shout out to Jonathan Magin and Adam Silverman for being so involved and patient throughout the entire editing process. Magin has been extremely hands-on since Day 1. He must have read over and suggested changes for all of my questions at least three times each over the past few months/weeks/week, and his suggestions for clues and phrasing have surely made my questions at least 100% better than they would have been. I've learned an incredible amount through this experience thanks to their attention and hard work, and I think all new editors would benefit from head editorship like what we had in producing this set. :party:
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by The Billiards Fool » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:48 am

Overall, as has been said earlier, this set was much easier than last year (I think that's good though). I'll echo a few of the complaints about some stuff needing brushing up, but I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the set.

I thought the literature was good for the most part, the only thing that struck me after the tournament was the difference between something like Genji/Japan/blank chapter and No Exit/Estelle/Newspaper. The former was 30able by anyone who played IS-sets in HS, the latter seems like something you'd need to read it for. For what its worth I enjoyed the latter bonus I was just surprised because it seemed like a step up in difficulty (and it seems no one at our site 30d it). This was moreso a reaction post-hearing it, and I enjoyed the literature overall.

I thought the history was good.

(Also I agree with Jacob about Afghanistan).

In general, I like the direction this set is going in in terms of providing a good introduction to quizbowl (we specifically waited until Fall to bring our new members). Thanks to all the editors for their work!
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by magin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:54 pm

I'm sorry for the proofreading errors which were in the final set--as a former professional proofreader, I'm pretty annoyed that I didn't fix them before the set went out. They should all be fixed in the final set now, but that's still too late.

I'd also like to talk more broadly about the goals the editors had for ACF Fall, and the measures we took to achieve them. I've seen a few comments in this thread about how Fall was easier compared to the last few years; this was by design. Since it's a novice tournament played by many people who have never played quizbowl before, it needs to be as accessible as possible while still being enjoyable for more experienced players. To that end, we spent a lot of time making tossups and bonuses more accessible, and erring on the side of easier answers rather than harder ones. For instance, I thought that many new teams would not be able to answer a bonus part on Pirandello, so we made Waiting for Godot the easy part instead. This may have made the overall bonus seem easy to players familiar with the college canon, but I'd rather have that than new teams zeroing a bonus on an author they've never heard of.

Secondly, we wanted to make sure that hard bonus parts and the first parts of tossups rewarded some kind of engagement with the answer line other than simply reading old packets. I don't think we were always successful, but we tried to make sure that our clues rewarded reading literature, learning about history, playing or listening to music, performing science experiments, looking at art, and so on.

Finally, we worked very hard on using plain, clear language and keeping tossup and bonus length down. I worked with all the editors on using strong, active verbs, replacing phrases of 5 or 6 words with one word, replacing jargon with plain English, and making sure tossups and bonuses had a natural flow.

I hope that we succeeded in all of these goals. Overall, we wanted new players to feel comfortable when playing Fall, and we tried to think of clues and bonus parts (like, for instance, Fun Home) that would make players happy when they were asked about.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Aaron's Rod » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:07 pm

I really enjoyed playing this set; thank you, editors!

For the "Eastern Orthodox" tossup, prompting on specific patriarchates doesn't seem like the right thing to do. If you're not going to accept one patriarchate outright, you should probably anti-prompt, as e.g. "Greek Orthodoxy" is a specific subset of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Also I loved the "regression" tossup, and am sad it was a tiebreaker that I didn't get to hear!

EDIT: Also also, you could get "Election of 1800" on the second clue based entirely on Hamilton knowledge (uh, hypothetically), which might not be ideal.
Last edited by Aaron's Rod on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by TylerV » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:57 pm

I only managed to hear a few of the packets but it was clear this was a much much better effort than last year. The questions were engaging and worked even for lower-level high school teams.

My only real issue, and this is a nit-picky single question concern, is the Berlin Airlift tossup, which I have included below.
The Gatow disaster exacerbated tensions prior to this event. Gail Halvorsen was given the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for delivering candy to children during this event. This event’s immediate cause was Ludwig Erhard’s replacement of the existing currency with the Deutsche Mark. Lucius Clay organized this event, which was codenamed Operation Vittles. At the height of this event, cargo planes landed at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes. This event was triggered by the closure of all land routes to its target city, an exclave located in Soviet-occupied territory. For 10 points, name this delivery effort that supplied the capital of West Germany during a Soviet blockade.
ANSWER: Berlin airlift [prompt on partial answer; prompt on Berlin blockade]

Am I incorrect in thinking that Berlin blockade should just be accepted before Lucius Clay is read? The first three clues don't create a dinstinction between the three events. Furthermore, I would argue that if a player buzzes on the Deutsche Mark clue, the Berlin blockade is the more correct answer.

Other than that, I would like to once again applaud the editors, this has been my favorite ACF Fall in recent memory.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by 100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:45 pm

TylerV wrote:I only managed to hear a few of the packets but it was clear this was a much much better effort than last year. The questions were engaging and worked even for lower-level high school teams.

My only real issue, and this is a nit-picky single question concern, is the Berlin Airlift tossup, which I have included below.
The Gatow disaster exacerbated tensions prior to this event. Gail Halvorsen was given the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for delivering candy to children during this event. This event’s immediate cause was Ludwig Erhard’s replacement of the existing currency with the Deutsche Mark. Lucius Clay organized this event, which was codenamed Operation Vittles. At the height of this event, cargo planes landed at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes. This event was triggered by the closure of all land routes to its target city, an exclave located in Soviet-occupied territory. For 10 points, name this delivery effort that supplied the capital of West Germany during a Soviet blockade.
ANSWER: Berlin airlift [prompt on partial answer; prompt on Berlin blockade]

Am I incorrect in thinking that Berlin blockade should just be accepted before Lucius Clay is read? The first three clues don't create a dinstinction between the three events. Furthermore, I would argue that if a player buzzes on the Deutsche Mark clue, the Berlin blockade is the more correct answer.

Other than that, I would like to once again applaud the editors, this has been my favorite ACF Fall in recent memory.
I am curious about this as well, as a denied protest on this decided one of our games.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by jmarvin_ » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:14 pm

Aaron's Rod wrote:For the "Eastern Orthodox" tossup, prompting on specific patriarchates doesn't seem like the right thing to do. If you're not going to accept one patriarchate outright, you should probably anti-prompt, as e.g. "Greek Orthodoxy" is a specific subset of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Yeah, the tossup was pretty good in principle, and I liked the clues it used, but in execution it has a few issues, one of which is the above noted thing about specific autocephalous churches. The first clue ("This denomination split into Old Calendarists and New Calendarists over whether to use the Julian calendar to schedule holidays.") is true only of the Greek Orthodox Church within Eastern Orthodoxy, and not true of most of the other churches. The Russian church still uses the old calendar for liturgical purposes and had no such split. Yet it should be anti-prompted for all further clues, which apply to the whole branch of Eastern Orthodoxy.

The other thing—and here comes the pedantry, be warned—is that to call an iconostasis "a wall containing portraits of saints" is not only inaccurate in spirit and connotation but inaccurate in fact. Iconostases can sometimes contain icons that depict whole scenes with saints, rather than portraits, for one. Secondly, every iconostasis contains an icon of Christ, who no Orthodox believer would think seemly to call "a saint," and almost all iconostases have two archangels, who, though they are titled "saint" out of respect, could hardly be numbered among the saints. The Rublev-style Trinity Icon depicts God in the appearance of angels, not saints, and appears on some iconostases, and some rare churches, most notably in Serbia, even feature icons of God himself in the "all-seeing" form. Also, some iconostases do not cause the "altars" to be "hidden from view," though this is admittedly a very modern development; besides, the altar is often deliberately viewable by the congregation at many points in the various liturgies, and is only hidden when the gates are closed. Finally, the very idea of iconography is that they aren't exactly "portraits" even when they depict a person from the chest up. An orthodox monk once told me that there is no art in Orthodox churches, only liturgical implements!

Now, of course none of the above minutiae of iconostases would probably detract from anyone's ability to buzz on that clue properly, but alas, accuracy is a good thing at least for all us here reflecting on the tossup. The more you know!
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by Knickerbocker glory » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:23 pm

TylerV wrote:I only managed to hear a few of the packets but it was clear this was a much much better effort than last year. The questions were engaging and worked even for lower-level high school teams.

My only real issue, and this is a nit-picky single question concern, is the Berlin Airlift tossup, which I have included below.
The Gatow disaster exacerbated tensions prior to this event. Gail Halvorsen was given the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for delivering candy to children during this event. This event’s immediate cause was Ludwig Erhard’s replacement of the existing currency with the Deutsche Mark. Lucius Clay organized this event, which was codenamed Operation Vittles. At the height of this event, cargo planes landed at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes. This event was triggered by the closure of all land routes to its target city, an exclave located in Soviet-occupied territory. For 10 points, name this delivery effort that supplied the capital of West Germany during a Soviet blockade.
ANSWER: Berlin airlift [prompt on partial answer; prompt on Berlin blockade]

Am I incorrect in thinking that Berlin blockade should just be accepted before Lucius Clay is read? The first three clues don't create a dinstinction between the three events. Furthermore, I would argue that if a player buzzes on the Deutsche Mark clue, the Berlin blockade is the more correct answer.

Other than that, I would like to once again applaud the editors, this has been my favorite ACF Fall in recent memory.
You and Chandler are correct. Berlin blockade should have been an acceptable answer.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by magin » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:58 pm

Here's some data for ACF Fall for your perusal:

ACF Fall Stats

Conversion Data for Maryland ACF Fall Site
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:15 pm

TylerV wrote:My only real issue, and this is a nit-picky single question concern, is the Berlin Airlift tossup, which I have included below.
The Gatow disaster exacerbated tensions prior to this event. Gail Halvorsen was given the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for delivering candy to children during this event. This event’s immediate cause was Ludwig Erhard’s replacement of the existing currency with the Deutsche Mark. Lucius Clay organized this event, which was codenamed Operation Vittles. At the height of this event, cargo planes landed at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes. This event was triggered by the closure of all land routes to its target city, an exclave located in Soviet-occupied territory. For 10 points, name this delivery effort that supplied the capital of West Germany during a Soviet blockade.
ANSWER: Berlin airlift [prompt on partial answer; prompt on Berlin blockade]

Am I incorrect in thinking that Berlin blockade should just be accepted before Lucius Clay is read? The first three clues don't create a dinstinction between the three events. Furthermore, I would argue that if a player buzzes on the Deutsche Mark clue, the Berlin blockade is the more correct answer.
Perhaps a larger problem with this question is that it refers to Berlin as the capital of West Germany.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by CPiGuy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:38 pm

1.82 wrote:
TylerV wrote:My only real issue, and this is a nit-picky single question concern, is the Berlin Airlift tossup, which I have included below.
The Gatow disaster exacerbated tensions prior to this event. Gail Halvorsen was given the nickname “Uncle Wiggly Wings” for delivering candy to children during this event. This event’s immediate cause was Ludwig Erhard’s replacement of the existing currency with the Deutsche Mark. Lucius Clay organized this event, which was codenamed Operation Vittles. At the height of this event, cargo planes landed at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes. This event was triggered by the closure of all land routes to its target city, an exclave located in Soviet-occupied territory. For 10 points, name this delivery effort that supplied the capital of West Germany during a Soviet blockade.
ANSWER: Berlin airlift [prompt on partial answer; prompt on Berlin blockade]

Am I incorrect in thinking that Berlin blockade should just be accepted before Lucius Clay is read? The first three clues don't create a dinstinction between the three events. Furthermore, I would argue that if a player buzzes on the Deutsche Mark clue, the Berlin blockade is the more correct answer.
Perhaps a larger problem with this question is that it refers to Berlin as the capital of West Germany.
Berlin was legally the capital of West Germany; the actual government was based in Bonn, but it is not incorrect to say that Berlin was the capital.
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Re: ACF Fall 2017 Thanks and Discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:28 pm

I want to start by extending a huge amount of thanks to Jonathan Magin; he put a ton of effort into this set and was extremely helpful in pushing me to find clearer wording, controlling difficulty, and finding new and interesting clues. I've become a much better writer and editor for having worked with Magin on this set, and any praise of the lit or social science is due in large part to his guidance. Thanks also to Marianna Zhang, Ophir, and Sam Bailey, whose experience in areas of social science in which I am less familiar was very helpful, and to Marianna for looking over a good bit of the lit.

My vision for the literature in this year for Fall was to have a set of answerlines that wouldn't be out of place in a regular-difficulty high school set, but to find deep and interesting lead-ins and bonus parts that would reward engagement with the texts. Overall, I'm happy with how that effort turned out. Some questions (Inferno, The Great Gatsby, and the Genji bonus mentioned above) probably ended up too easy, but throughout my day staffing, I saw people buzzing well on things that they knew and enjoyed. The questions that I thought did this best were: Morrison (Editors 2), "The Dead" (Illinois A), Rilke (Cam C), To Kill A Mockingbird (Editors 1), Harlem Renaissance (Editors 1), and Baldwin (Berkeley A).

For social science, there isn't the same sort of HS canon to draw from that there is in lit, or even any real baseline for what people are expected to know in SS. To work with that, I tried to focus on asking about concepts and major ideas in well-studied fields, rather than a reliance on certain named thinkers. I took cues from this year's ACF Nats (in style, not difficulty), which did a really good job of answer choice and clue selection to ask about social science as people learn about it. Questions that exemplify this approach are the prisons (Illinois), medicine (Cam C), memory (La Tech) and food (Gettysburg) tossups, and the PNW/gift-giving/ethnography (Illinois) and between-subjects design/longitudinal study/mean (Editors 2) bonuses. I don't think the execution on these was perfect; some questions, like the poverty tossup from the Carleton packet, ended up as transparent, and on others people seemed to have some difficulty finding the exact answer the question was looking for (which is especially a concern with novice players). Regardless, I think these questions showed that it is possible to write relevant social science, even at a low level. Social science is evolving tremendously as a category, and I hope these questions helped push it in a better direction.

Any feedback on the execution of either of these categories would be much appreciated. I'll have more theoretical things to say over in Will Alston's thread about visions of Fall.
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