Page 1 of 1

Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:23 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
I'll start us off:

Heidegger (maybe?)
Playboy of the Western World
magnetic monopoles
oil drop experiment

Surely there are more than four (else this tournament would have an appropriate tossup rate of 98.8%, wholly inconsistent with the hardest tournament Auroni's ever read for), but these are the four that came to mind fastest for me upon scanning the answer grid. Feel free to contribute more!

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:26 pm
by Auroni
Just off the top of my head: john osborne, peter carey, master and margarita, alcohols, transition metals

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:58 pm
by gyre and gimble
Are we taking into account the fact that some of these were in finals packets?

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:58 pm
by Kouign Amann
Richard Sheridan
Charles Ives

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:04 pm
by Auroni
gyre and gimble wrote:Are we taking into account the fact that some of these were in finals packets?
I'm not accepting as a basic truth that the finals tossups should be disproportionately harder than those from the rest of the set.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:09 pm
by gyre and gimble
every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:Are we taking into account the fact that some of these were in finals packets?
I'm not accepting as a basic truth that the finals tossups should be disproportionately harder than those from the rest of the set.
Sure, but even if it's not a basic truth, I don't see anything particularly wrong about making the finals harder than the rest of the set. Writing separate finals packets works under the assumption that the two best teams at the tournament will be playing those questions right?

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:42 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
We also provided a total of sixteen packets. Did your site need more than twelve rounds of pre-finals material, Auroni?

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:33 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:transition metals
Really?
One group of these elements includes the catalyst for the Kumada coupling and the Heck reaction; that element is also used along with finely divided carbon and hydrogen gas. One of these elements has ores including ilmenite and rutile, and another is used in the reduction of nitrogen oxides and the production of acetic acid in the Monsanto process. Compounds to the right of one group of these elements cannot form double bonds to oxygen; that group contains osmium, ruthenium, and iron. For 10 points, name these elements with partially filled d orbitals.
What about this is too difficult? It could use a more obvious giveaway, perhaps, but it names iron specifically.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:45 pm
by Auroni
95% of high schoolers don't know organic or transition metal chemistry, and the tossups that I singled out suppose that they do. I guess my objection to the transition metal tossup was in the basic convertibility of the answer line, but I definitely though that alcohols was too hard as written.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:46 pm
by Auroni
gyre and gimble wrote:
every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:Are we taking into account the fact that some of these were in finals packets?
I'm not accepting as a basic truth that the finals tossups should be disproportionately harder than those from the rest of the set.
Sure, but even if it's not a basic truth, I don't see anything particularly wrong about making the finals harder than the rest of the set. Writing separate finals packets works under the assumption that the two best teams at the tournament will be playing those questions right?
The rest of the set was difficult enough to distinguish between the top teams; having harder finals packets just makes it patchy and makes it come down to "who knows the most difficult stuff?" when crowning a champion even between LASA and 3/4 of State College.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:01 am
by Mechanical Beasts
Patchy how? Also,
makes it come down to "who knows the most difficult stuff?" when crowning a champion even between LASA and 3/4 of State College.
I think the finals of HFT were easier than the finals of NSC 2010. Do you agree with that assessment?

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:18 am
by Auroni
There's a range of difficulty that optimally distinguishes between two teams. Below that range, the team that wins is the team that wins the most buzzer races or best knows the particular leadin clues that came up in that round. Above that range, it's the team that has heard of the most answers (extreme case, not the case at HFT obviously) and the team that best swoops upon the marginally solidly core high school subjects better. Making the finals packet harder than the rest of the set, especially a set like HFT which already distinguishes between the top teams just fine, runs the risk of creating the second scenario. I'm not arguing that it happened here, but that's why I don't like the practice consciously writing harder finals packets, especially for high school tournaments.

As for "patchy," I mean difficulty variations such as tossups on Carey and Osborne in the same round that there's a second line clue that mentions Fermi's namesake "level," which most would agree is a misplaced clue for him there. In most cases when finals difficulty is raised, it is not raised uniformly and the effects are noticeable and possibly deleterious.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:07 pm
by Algeria
The bonuses which included Rauschenberg, Vigee Le Brun, and Duccio probably need to be toned down. Same goes for the tossup on Gluck.

Two factual errors from the set: the Lagrangian mechanics bonus part gave the wrong formula for the Lagrangian, and a bonus part on impulse called it the derivative of momentum (causing us to answer with force).

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:07 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
tossup on Gluck
Jesus Christ.

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:15 pm
by Auroni
I won't have Microsoft Office on this computer for a while. Since I intend to honor my commitment of pointing out just how large a chunk of the set was unreasonably hard, can I get access to the answer doc on Google Docs?

Re: Tossups that need to be toned down or replaced

Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:43 pm
by at your pleasure
Algeria wrote:The bonuses which included Rauschenberg, Vigee Le Brun, and Duccio probably need to be toned down.
What was the bonus part on Duccio? I'm curious.