Specific question requests and discussion

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Locked
Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:44 pm

Please post here if you want to discuss specific individual questions or small subsets of questions from the BHSAT 2014 set. If you need us to post a question for you to comment on it, you can make those requests here as well and we'll try to upload the version you played; that said, it'd be nice to have some heads-up about why you're making a given request (e.g.: "Can you post the tossup on fish? It seemed like one clue was actually about birds", rather than just "Can you post the tossup on fish?").
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

mushroom
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by mushroom » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:57 pm

Some specific thoughts:

For tossup 3 in Round 5, I answered "the Madonna" about halfway through. The listed answer was "Mary", and the moderator decided that was incorrect but changed his mind when the other team said it should be correct. It would be helpful to either list it as an alternate answer, indicate a prompt, or instruct the moderator to not accept it.

For the third part of the bonus on Chemical Equilibrium, either there is an error or we misheard/misunderstood the question. We heard something to the effect of, "Consider a reaction where two moles of gas X and one mole of gas Y react to form one mole of gas Z. If the pressure on the system is increased, in which direction does the equilibrium shift [as per Le Chatelier's Principle]?" The system would seek lower number of moles because of the pressure and shift "right", but the listed answer was "left". Please post that bonus so we can look at it again.
Stephen Badger
High Tech '14
UT Dallas '18

Northern Central Railway
Wakka
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:23 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Northern Central Railway » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:27 pm

Aside from grammar things, only two things jumped out at me yesterday.

Bonus 16 in Round 3 (the choreography of Swan Lake bonus) seems like a cool idea but I would guess did not work so well in execution. Every team I talked to 0'd it, and it seems like the kind of bonus that would end in either a 0 or a 30. I don't think there would be many situations where a team would know one of those terms but not the other two.

I know they're in different parts of the distribution, but it just seemed a little off to me that Round 9 had a tossup on the Challenger disaster as well as spaceships/satellites/rockets in general.
Andrew Ibendahl
Nashville (IL) '04
DePauw '08
Former Coach, Mountain Lakes (NJ)

User avatar
samus149
Wakka
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by samus149 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:18 pm

In the finals, my teammate answered "beaches" for "coastlines" and it wasn't accepted. From the clues in the question (at least till that point), I'm pretty sure that should have been acceptable.

In round 4, for the tossup on "suspension bridges", my teammate answered "train bridges" and was negged. I don't remember exactly which bridge was being mentioned, but if that bridge really is specifically for trains, that should probably be an alternative answer choice.

Also round 4, and you may have corrected it already, but the Punnet square bonus should have led in with "autosomal recessive" not "autosomal dominant" for the rest to be correct.
Sean M.
HTHS '14
Cornell University '18
UCSB '23

The opinions presented in this user's posts have not been approved by HTHS Quizbowl Team. Viewer discretion is advised. - Patrick LeBlanc, Captain

User avatar
Grace
Wakka
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:55 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Grace » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:52 pm

mushroom wrote:For tossup 3 in Round 5, I answered "the Madonna" about halfway through. The listed answer was "Mary", and the moderator decided that was incorrect but changed his mind when the other team said it should be correct. It would be helpful to either list it as an alternate answer, indicate a prompt, or instruct the moderator to not accept it.
The answerline has now been updated to include more alternate names for Mary. Thank you for pointing this out!
mushroom wrote:For the third part of the bonus on Chemical Equilibrium, either there is an error or we misheard/misunderstood the question. We heard something to the effect of, "Consider a reaction where two moles of gas X and one mole of gas Y react to form one mole of gas Z. If the pressure on the system is increased, in which direction does the equilibrium shift [as per Le Chatelier's Principle]?" The system would seek lower number of moles because of the pressure and shift "right", but the listed answer was "left". Please post that bonus so we can look at it again.
BHSAT Round 3 wrote:[10] Suppose that two moles of solid X and one mole of gaseous Y react to form two moles of gaseous Z. If the pressure on the system is increased, how will the position of equilibrium be altered?
ANSWER: it will shift to the left [or it will favor the reactants; accept any answer that mentions left or reactants] <JR>
The answer provided is correct because two moles of SOLID X and one mole of gaseous Y react to form two moles of gaseous Z. Because solids don't matter in chemical equilibrium pressure calculations, the number of moles of gaseous product is higher than the moles of gaseous reactant. Thus, the equilibrium will in fact shift left.
samus149 wrote:In the finals, my teammate answered "beaches" for "coastlines" and it wasn't accepted. From the clues in the question (at least till that point), I'm pretty sure that should have been acceptable.
BHSAT Round 12 wrote:To prevent these places from being reshaped, tetrapods can be deployed. Grass of genus Ammophila has historically been used to stabilize dunes in these places. This habitat is characterized by vertical zonation, and is where most limpets are found. Mandelbrot introduced the study of fractals in a paper about the length of one of these places. The movement of sediment at an angle relative to these places is called littoral drift, causes swash, and gives rise to spits and barrier islands, which serve as natural breakwaters. Beneath the high-water mark, these places may contain tide pools. For 10 points, name these sometimes-sandy locations where land meets sea.
ANSWER: coastlines [or seashores; or shorelines; or coastal zones; accept littoral zones before “littoral” is read; accept intertidal zones before “tide” is read and prompt afterwards; prompt on “beaches”] <AS>
While tetrapods are typically used on non-sandy shorelines (i.e. not "beaches" per se), we agree that the prompting was pretty ungenerous, and the answerline has now been updated to accept "beaches" outright. Many kudos to Rohan for an excellent buzz.
samus149 wrote:In round 4, for the tossup on "suspension bridges", my teammate answered "train bridges" and was negged. I don't remember exactly which bridge was being mentioned, but if that bridge really is specifically for trains, that should probably be an alternative answer choice.
BHSAT Round 4 wrote:New York’s DUMBO neighborhood is named for one of these structures. An early example of these things at Clifton was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The largest example of this type of structure, named Akashi Kaikyo, is a few miles from downtown Kobe, Japan. The son of John Roebling, a pioneer of these edifices, was injured while building one of their caissons. One of these in California is continually painted international orange; another, nicknamed Galloping Gertie, collapsed into Puget Sound. For 10 points, name this type of two-towered, gap-spanning structure supported by cables, whose examples span Tacoma Narrows and the Golden Gate.
ANSWER: suspension bridges [accept bridges, overpasses, or bridge overpasses before “Clifton” is read; prompt on “bridges”, “overpasses”, or “bridge overpasses” after “Clifton” is read] <JW>
Though I'm far from an expert on bridges, a cursory Google search tells me that the Manhattan Bridge carries both motor vehicles and trains, but nearly all the others mentioned in the tossup are auto-only. I suspect that "train bridge" should have been accepted or prompted before "Clifton," but we will bring this issue up with the author of the tossup.
samus149 wrote:Also round 4, and you may have corrected it already, but the Punnet square bonus should have led in with "autosomal recessive" not "autosomal dominant" for the rest to be correct.
This question was modified during editing, and we forgot to change the answerline. This was a pretty embarrassing error, and we apologize to all the teams for our mistake.
Northern Central Railway wrote:Aside from grammar things, only two things jumped out at me yesterday.

Bonus 16 in Round 3 (the choreography of Swan Lake bonus) seems like a cool idea but I would guess did not work so well in execution. Every team I talked to 0'd it, and it seems like the kind of bonus that would end in either a 0 or a 30. I don't think there would be many situations where a team would know one of those terms but not the other two.
BHSAT Round 3 wrote: Name these ballet terms used in Marius Petipa’s choreography for Swan Lake, for 10 points each.
[10] In much of her choreography, this technique is used by Odette, the white swan. It requires her to support her fully extended feet with the tips of her toes on special shoes.
ANSWER: dancing en pointe [or pointe work; or pointe technique; accept equivalents that mention “pointe”]
[10] Petipa crafted one of these dances for the black swan and Prince Siegfried in Act III. Like a duet for a female and a male dancer, this sequence for two includes an entrée, an adagio, a variation for each dancer, and a finale.
ANSWER: grand pas de deux
[10] At one point, the black swan does 32 of these movements “en tournant,” keeping one foot grounded and extending/retracting the other as she spins. Unlike a pirouette, the leg in this kind of turn moves between second and posse position.
ANSWER: fouetté turns [or fouetté rond de jamb en tournant] <GL>
Thanks for bearing with us through some of the rougher grammatical edges in this set. They will be fixed before our next mirror. We likely did have conversion problems with this bonus, and it will probably be edited down for future sites. Your input is much appreciated!
Northern Central Railway wrote:I know they're in different parts of the distribution, but it just seemed a little off to me that Round 9 had a tossup on the Challenger disaster as well as spaceships/satellites/rockets in general.
We'll keep this in mind as we correct some "bad packet fengshui." Thank you!
Grace Liu
MIT (no graduation because hahaha what a joke)
Yale University '16
High Technology High School '12

Banana Stand
Wakka
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Banana Stand » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:53 pm

On the Richard Wright bonus, our reader said "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and not "Uncle Tom's Children". While I'm 99% sure this was simply an autopilot reading mistake, I just thought I'd check to make sure.

Also, I'm personally not a huge fan of the "USA" answerline trend I've been seeing, even though I understand why it can be useful at "regular" difficulty high school tournaments. It seems to confuse most people and I find it unnecessary most times it is used.
Jack Mehr
St. Joe's NJ '14
UVA '19

mushroom
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by mushroom » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:06 pm

Banana Stand wrote:On the Richard Wright bonus, our reader said "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and not "Uncle Tom's Children". While I'm 99% sure this was simply an autopilot reading mistake, I just thought I'd check to make sure.
Our reader made the same mistake and corrected himself, so I think it's correct in the packet and both readers just skimmed over it.
Stephen Badger
High Tech '14
UT Dallas '18

User avatar
vinteuil
Auron
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:53 pm

Banana Stand wrote:Also, I'm personally not a huge fan of the "USA" answerline trend I've been seeing, even though I understand why it can be useful at "regular" difficulty high school tournaments. It seems to confuse most people and I find it unnecessary most times it is used.
What would you have suggested replacing it with?
Jacob Reed
Chicago ~'25
Yale '17, '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from...the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens

User avatar
samus149
Wakka
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:36 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by samus149 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:21 am

That tossup, if I remember correctly, talked a lot about American pragmatists (Richard Rorty, William James, etc.), so maybe pragmatism could have been a possible answerline.
Sean M.
HTHS '14
Cornell University '18
UCSB '23

The opinions presented in this user's posts have not been approved by HTHS Quizbowl Team. Viewer discretion is advised. - Patrick LeBlanc, Captain

Banana Stand
Wakka
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Banana Stand » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:10 am

If you want to ask about Richard Rorty, you can write a tossup about pragmatism or write a bonus where he is presumably the hard part. I feel like making the answerline "United States" is almost taking the easy way out, but like I said, I see how it can be useful at this level.
Jack Mehr
St. Joe's NJ '14
UVA '19

mushroom
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by mushroom » Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:52 pm

Ivar the Boneless wrote:
mushroom wrote:For the third part of the bonus on Chemical Equilibrium, either there is an error or we misheard/misunderstood the question. We heard something to the effect of, "Consider a reaction where two moles of gas X and one mole of gas Y react to form one mole of gas Z. If the pressure on the system is increased, in which direction does the equilibrium shift [as per Le Chatelier's Principle]?" The system would seek lower number of moles because of the pressure and shift "right", but the listed answer was "left". Please post that bonus so we can look at it again.
BHSAT Round 3 wrote:[10] Suppose that two moles of solid X and one mole of gaseous Y react to form two moles of gaseous Z. If the pressure on the system is increased, how will the position of equilibrium be altered?
ANSWER: it will shift to the left [or it will favor the reactants; accept any answer that mentions left or reactants] <JR>
The answer provided is correct because two moles of SOLID X and one mole of gaseous Y react to form two moles of gaseous Z. Because solids don't matter in chemical equilibrium pressure calculations, the number of moles of gaseous product is higher than the moles of gaseous reactant. Thus, the equilibrium will in fact shift left.
Yup sounds good, we just misheard him. This leads into the question of the "pencil and paper" computation-related questions; I remember three in the set (Punnett square, Lorentz Factor, and this). It's not that they were bad per se, but they did catch us completely off-guard. After skimming last year's set I can see one computation-ish bonus (on angular momentum from Round 7) so it's not completely unprecedented, but it would be helpful to let teams know ahead of time to bring paper and pencils.
Ivar the Boneless wrote:
BHSAT Round 3 wrote: Name these ballet terms used in Marius Petipa’s choreography for Swan Lake, for 10 points each.
[10] In much of her choreography, this technique is used by Odette, the white swan. It requires her to support her fully extended feet with the tips of her toes on special shoes.
ANSWER: dancing en pointe [or pointe work; or pointe technique; accept equivalents that mention “pointe”]
[10] Petipa crafted one of these dances for the black swan and Prince Siegfried in Act III. Like a duet for a female and a male dancer, this sequence for two includes an entrée, an adagio, a variation for each dancer, and a finale.
ANSWER: grand pas de deux
[10] At one point, the black swan does 32 of these movements “en tournant,” keeping one foot grounded and extending/retracting the other as she spins. Unlike a pirouette, the leg in this kind of turn moves between second and posse position.
ANSWER: fouetté turns [or fouetté rond de jamb en tournant] <GL>
Thanks for bearing with us through some of the rougher grammatical edges in this set. They will be fixed before our next mirror. We likely did have conversion problems with this bonus, and it will probably be edited down for future sites. Your input is much appreciated!
I'm not sure how legit this is or if I'm just justifying my answer post facto, but from my limited ballet knowledge I answered "arabesque" for "pointe". I don't know how heavily arabesques are used in Swan Lake (although I imagine they are), but it's a position (from my understanding, positions are a subset of techniques) that is usually performed en pointe, so during an arabesque she would "support her fully extended feet with the tips of her toes on special shoes" - that is, pointe shoes. Whether or not arabesques were used in Swan Lake or positions are techniques, saying "on its namesake shoes" would bar out the possibility of someone answering with a specific application of the pointe technique.
Stephen Badger
High Tech '14
UT Dallas '18

User avatar
pleasewalkforward
Wakka
Posts: 145
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:43 pm
Contact:

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by pleasewalkforward » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:02 pm

Ivar the Boneless wrote:
samus149 wrote:In round 4, for the tossup on "suspension bridges", my teammate answered "train bridges" and was negged. I don't remember exactly which bridge was being mentioned, but if that bridge really is specifically for trains, that should probably be an alternative answer choice.
BHSAT Round 4 wrote:New York’s DUMBO neighborhood is named for one of these structures. An early example of these things at Clifton was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The largest example of this type of structure, named Akashi Kaikyo, is a few miles from downtown Kobe, Japan. The son of John Roebling, a pioneer of these edifices, was injured while building one of their caissons. One of these in California is continually painted international orange; another, nicknamed Galloping Gertie, collapsed into Puget Sound. For 10 points, name this type of two-towered, gap-spanning structure supported by cables, whose examples span Tacoma Narrows and the Golden Gate.
ANSWER: suspension bridges [accept bridges, overpasses, or bridge overpasses before “Clifton” is read; prompt on “bridges”, “overpasses”, or “bridge overpasses” after “Clifton” is read] <JW>
Though I'm far from an expert on bridges, a cursory Google search tells me that the Manhattan Bridge carries both motor vehicles and trains, but nearly all the others mentioned in the tossup are auto-only. I suspect that "train bridge" should have been accepted or prompted before "Clifton," but we will bring this issue up with the author of the tossup.
Everything after the first clue are solely road bridges. The answer line is being corrected to accept train bridges and road bridges on the first clue and prompt on the latter thereafter. Thanks for the catch.
Jacob Lawrence Wasserman
Saint Anselm's Abbey School, '12
Yale University, '16
University of California, Los Angeles, '19
Former Treasurer and Member, Yale Student Academic Competitions
Former Secretary, Staff Recruitment Volunteer, and Member, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence

User avatar
Grace
Wakka
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:55 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Grace » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Banana Stand wrote:On the Richard Wright bonus, our reader said "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and not "Uncle Tom's Children". While I'm 99% sure this was simply an autopilot reading mistake, I just thought I'd check to make sure.
BHSAT Round 5 wrote:[10] This American author of Black Boy wrote Native Son. He also wrote a collection of short stories about being black in America entitled Uncle Tom’s Children.
ANSWER: Richard Wright <HX>
The bonus is indeed correct.
Banana Stand wrote:Also, I'm personally not a huge fan of the "USA" answerline trend I've been seeing, even though I understand why it can be useful at "regular" difficulty high school tournaments. It seems to confuse most people and I find it unnecessary most times it is used.
BHSAT Round 11 wrote:A feminist lecture in this country argued that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Another thinker from here tried to dissolve the mind-body problem as a "pseudoproblem" in Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Audre Lorde and Richard Rorty challenged academic norms in this country, where "live" and "dead" options for belief were discussed in "The Will to Believe." An experimental "lab school" was founded in this country by the author of Democracy and Education, John Dewey. For 10 points, name this home country of pragmatism, where William James taught philosophy at Harvard.
ANSWER: United States of America [accept either underlined part; or U.S.A.] <MJ>
I would hesitate to call Audre Lorde a pragmatist and was personally delighted to see her in a tossup, so I think that a broader answerline often gives us an opportunity to clue important people who would be too difficult on their own. That said, you'll probably get a clearer response from Matt Jackson, the author of this tossup.
mushroom wrote:This leads into the question of the "pencil and paper" computation-related questions; I remember three in the set (Punnett square, Lorentz Factor, and this). It's not that they were bad per se, but they did catch us completely off-guard. After skimming last year's set I can see one computation-ish bonus (on angular momentum from Round 7) so it's not completely unprecedented, but it would be helpful to let teams know ahead of time to bring paper and pencils.
We actually intended to eliminate pencil and paper questions altogether this year, but our head science editor forgot about this. The bonus parts in question will almost certainly be edited to require no pencil and paper work.
mushroom wrote:
Ivar the Boneless wrote:
BHSAT Round 3 wrote: Name these ballet terms used in Marius Petipa’s choreography for Swan Lake, for 10 points each.
[10] In much of her choreography, this technique is used by Odette, the white swan. It requires her to support her fully extended feet with the tips of her toes on special shoes.
ANSWER: dancing en pointe [or pointe work; or pointe technique; accept equivalents that mention “pointe”]
[10] Petipa crafted one of these dances for the black swan and Prince Siegfried in Act III. Like a duet for a female and a male dancer, this sequence for two includes an entrée, an adagio, a variation for each dancer, and a finale.
ANSWER: grand pas de deux
[10] At one point, the black swan does 32 of these movements “en tournant,” keeping one foot grounded and extending/retracting the other as she spins. Unlike a pirouette, the leg in this kind of turn moves between second and posse position.
ANSWER: fouetté turns [or fouetté rond de jamb en tournant] <GL>
Thanks for bearing with us through some of the rougher grammatical edges in this set. They will be fixed before our next mirror. We likely did have conversion problems with this bonus, and it will probably be edited down for future sites. Your input is much appreciated!
I'm not sure how legit this is or if I'm just justifying my answer post facto, but from my limited ballet knowledge I answered "arabesque" for "pointe". I don't know how heavily arabesques are used in Swan Lake (although I imagine they are), but it's a position (from my understanding, positions are a subset of techniques) that is usually performed en pointe, so during an arabesque she would "support her fully extended feet with the tips of her toes on special shoes" - that is, pointe shoes. Whether or not arabesques were used in Swan Lake or positions are techniques, saying "on its namesake shoes" would bar out the possibility of someone answering with a specific application of the pointe technique.
We were initially afraid that using the clue "namesake shoes" would be too transparent, but the conversion on this question seems to suggest that it could use all the helpful clues we can get. Arabesques are used in Swan Lake (see the final pose in the grand pas de deux of Act III). This question will likely be edited down, with en pointe as the middle part.
Grace Liu
MIT (no graduation because hahaha what a joke)
Yale University '16
High Technology High School '12

Banana Stand
Wakka
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:38 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Banana Stand » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:18 pm

I forgot the lead-in to that tossup which changes my perception of it. I didn't think it was a bad tossup in the slightest; I was just pointing out something I think is happening too often.
Jack Mehr
St. Joe's NJ '14
UVA '19

mushroom
Lulu
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:29 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by mushroom » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:57 pm

Why did "extrema" cease to be acceptable for "maxes and mins" halfway through TU 19 in Round 11? It was prompted - I assumed you were looking for either global or local but then my teammate answered "maxes and mins" and it was taken. The mod said extrema was acceptable up to a point; why not to the end, and can we see the tossup?
Stephen Badger
High Tech '14
UT Dallas '18

User avatar
vinteuil
Auron
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by vinteuil » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:54 am

mushroom wrote:Why did "extrema" cease to be acceptable for "maxes and mins" halfway through TU 19 in Round 11? It was prompted - I assumed you were looking for either global or local but then my teammate answered "maxes and mins" and it was taken. The mod said extrema was acceptable up to a point; why not to the end, and can we see the tossup?
It was because the question included mention of the "Extreme Value Theorem."
Jacob Reed
Chicago ~'25
Yale '17, '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from...the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by adamsil » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:58 pm

Overall I did enjoy this set, though it wasn't as good as last year's. Here's my nitpicking. Mostly chemistry because I'm a chemistry snob.

The only outright factual error that I remember from the set today was the one on ideal gases that said that the van der Waals equation applies to them--a completely false statement, the van der Waals equation applies to non-ideal gases. That's bad.

The bonus part on molar _concentration_ was confusing to me. Molar concentration is the same thing as molarity which was only prompted in the answerline, and which is also equal to moles of solute divided by liters solution, not liters solvent. It confused teams in my room. Just accept molarity.

The tossup on invading India was a terrible idea which led to some confusing protests in my room. Just change it to a tossup on India in the future, I think. There were a few common link tossups in this set that did not work at all in practice. Houses in literature was bad. Luck in literature was really, really bad.

The answerline on "ocean floors" was probably not a great idea and I thought it got easy really quickly, but nobody buzzed because they thought there was a specific term being sought.

I don't know what the "clue" in this Ursula Le Guin bonus part on "human child" was, unless you've read this specific short story? It seemed really hard to me.
You need to reword this leadin on the Golgi; glycosylation is also very common in the ER.
I know it's not quite right, but a lot of people are going to neg this tossup on the anode by thinking galvanization in the leadin. I also think tossups on anodes are a not-good-idea.

HSers are incapable of answering tossups on the menstrual cycle without giggling, and really, I don't think endometrium belongs in the second line. It seemed like everyone was afraid to buzz in because guessing the right answer and being wrong would have been, well, awkward.
One team complained, and I agree, that saying "non-straight" author on the Whitman tossup was offensive and completely unnecessary. Say gay or leave it out.
Does the bonus that goes Jeeves/Dahl/Saki have an easy part?
I see what you're doing on this nun tossup, but surely people other than myself would have negged the first clue about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz with "poet"? Maybe you should clarify that.
Sunrise confused a lot of people and was not a good idea.
Kinetic also seemed to confuse a lot of people and also was not a good idea (what is the second clue going for? kinetic theory of gases?)
Nasal spray should not be that early in a flu tossup--because people get flu vaccines every year, right?

I don't like this clue about Henderson-Hasselbalch in the pH tossup (I actually hate all clues about the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, but that's a different issue entirely). Henderson-Hasselbalch can give you pH, sure, but like any equation, it could also give you pKa, or ratio of conjugate base to acid concentration, or what have you. You should clarify by saying something like "this quantity equals pKa + log(A-/HA)" or something. In my experience, it's mostly used to calculate the ratio of conjugate base to acid concentration given pH of a buffer.
Is there an actual clue in the liquid nitrogen bonus part other than "this is cold"?
Nitpicky perhaps, but you should clarify in the VSEPR bonus that it's the _central_ atom that has 0 lone pairs...because CO2 has lone pairs on its oxygens.
You expect HSers to know minor characters in War and Peace? That's rough.

The leadin on diffusion is not unique--essentially you're saying it's something that happens in a fluid. Most things depend on kinematic viscosity.
I thought _cyclic_ was a terrible idea for a tossup--if you're gonna write an orgo tossup, this isn't it, HSers didn't know the word "cyclic" and ended up getting it in the end by guessing "ring".
I thought this bonus on crucibles was, frankly, idiotic, and not at all chemistry.
The boiling point tossup got easy way too fast (distillation in the third line?). The leadin is not very clear at all. Positive and negative azeotropes are probably better classified based on enthalpy of mixing/intermolecular forces; the whole "greater than individual boiling points or less than individual boiling points" is more of a consequence of that, than the cause.

The bonus on triglycerides doesn't really rule out phospholipids, or diglycerides, or monoglycerides, or really any substituted glycerol.
I have no idea what source you're using that says that 0.4 is a dividing line for electronegativity between polar and nonpolar, but it's not a "common rule of thumb". I've seen 0.5 used too, and this is just not a good idea for a bonus part at all, if you're asking for a specific number but then giving leeway because the answer isn't exact.
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:14 pm

Thanks for your detailed commentary, Adam. I'll leave responses on the science stuff to the sciencers, since I didn't have much role in constructing science questions for this set, but I'll reply to some stuff here until they're available.
adamsil wrote:The tossup on invading India was a terrible idea which led to some confusing protests in my room. Just change it to a tossup on India in the future, I think.
Are there any specifics you can give (feel free to withhold the names of the teams involved) about what answers teams offered for this tossup? That might help me figure out what went wrong, and whether it's salvageable (it may not be, since the clues are rather diffuse and refer to the Indian subcontinent rather than the modern Republic of India.
There were a few common link tossups in this set that did not work at all in practice. Houses in literature was bad. Luck in literature was really, really bad.
By this, do you mean they just made teams cringe a bit and go "wow, it's only on that?", or were they actively confusing/unworkable in terms of clue structure and selection? Again, if specific clues were misleading, let me know.
I don't know what the "clue" in this Ursula Le Guin bonus part on "human child" was, unless you've read this specific short story? It seemed really hard to me.
I decided to let in a bit of borderline lit in this set, and "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" is (at least in my experience) a relatively famous sci-fi story; beyond that, the basic idea is a pretty common trolley-esque case study for ethics types (would you be able to live in a city where everything is perfect except for one person, who has to suffer forever on everyone else's behalf?). That said, the question probably makes teams jump through too many hoops by forcing people to know the origins of the thought experiment by author AND a pretty intensive detail about it as framed by that story; I'll probably just change this to a part on "LeGuin" from her more utopian work for future sites.
One team complained, and I agree, that saying "non-straight" author on the Whitman tossup was offensive and completely unnecessary. Say gay or leave it out.
I guess this was me being excessively pedantic; I worded it this way because it's hard for us to back-project terms such as "homosexual" or "gay" onto people who lived before those terms were coined. We know Whitman was attracted to men, and are less sure if he was also romantically interested in women, so I thought that was earnestly the least incorrect wording to use, but you're right that "non-straight" can sound like I was making jab at Whitman for having a non-normative sexuality, which I certainly didn't intend. (The opposite, in fact!) I'll change the wording. The fact that Whitman was attracted to men, though, is salient enough and knowable enough that it will still be conveyed at future sites.
Does the bonus that goes Jeeves/Dahl/Saki have an easy part?
Hm, probably not. Suggestions welcome. Worse come to worst, we can stoop to "United Kingdom."
I see what you're doing on this nun tossup, but surely people other than myself would have negged the first clue about Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz with "poet"? Maybe you should clarify that.
Would changing the second sentence to "A poet with this vocation..." help?
Sunrise confused a lot of people and was not a good idea.
We'll think of possible fixes; suggestions (and more details) welcome.
You expect HSers to know minor characters in War and Peace? That's rough.
Platon is pretty important to the end of the book, but is pretty rough below NSC level. I'll think of a more forgiving hard part.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

adamsil
Wakka
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:20 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by adamsil » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:44 pm

Mostly on the common links, it was people not knowing what answerline was going for.

On invading India, I got "invading a foreign country". I prompted, they said "invading lands on other continents", I asked which country, they said India, the other team protested that the prompting was too excessive. I am very pro-common link, but this was one was too contrived for me.

Luck was actively confusing. I don't know why this wasn't just a tossup on Luck of Roaring Camp; it seemed like two short stories that were haphazardly linked together were stuck into this tossup for no good reason. Especially since you have 2 lines on "The Rocking Horse Winner", a short story that HSers probably aren't that familiar with, and one that you'd have to know pretty well to remember about the significance of the word "luck". Houses--this was more of a case of people not knowing if the question was asking for something more specific, and I felt like it was just an attempt to ask about A House for Mr. Biswas in a tournament where such a tossup is too hard. I think a straight tossup on The House of Mango Street would have been more appropriate. It essentially boiled down to being, "For ten points, name these places where people live". That's dumb.

I can easily believe that the Le Guin story is famous; I've never read her and don't make a habit of reading sci-fi, but I was wondering if this was the intended easy part of the bonus so that people could lateral from "a creature making an English sounding-noise" to "humans", which was unsuccessful if so. As long as it's the hard part, it's probably okay...though toning it down might be a decent idea.

You could just kiddie-lit Dahl up to being an easy part. I was happy to see all 3 authors represented in the tournament, at any rate. Dahl's short stories are terrific.

Adding the word "poet" to the tossup would probably work better.

The sunrise tossup seemed like two excessively difficult clues, and then clumsily hinting at Impression Sunrise. And the giveaway was pretty awful, if I remember correctly. I wonder if you could even write a tossup on Impression Sunrise, but I think it'd be a better idea than the tossup in its current form.
Adam Silverman
Georgia Tech 2012-2016
Northwestern 2016-

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:55 pm

Per Sean's request in the other thread:
BHSAT 2014, packet 12, original version wrote:17. This group's first EP was Polly Wog Stew. One album by them includes the lyric "Peepin' out the colors, I be buggin' on Cezanne," and an earlier one opens with a Led Zeppelin drum sample before declaring "Mutiny on the Bounty's what we're all about." This group behind the album Paul's Boutique described a morning when "you wake up late for school, man, you don't wanna go" on License to Ill, and its member Adam Yauch, also called MCA, died of cancer in 2012. This group also sang to "brass monkey, that funky monkey." For 10 points, name this white hip-hop trio heind "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," who reminded listeners that "you gotta fight for your right to party."
ANSWER: The Beastie Boys <LL>
We cut that question for reasons of difficulty and replaced it with:
BHSAT 2014, packet 12, updated version wrote:17. In a 2014 film, this character brags "First try!" after hurling several projectiles at a red light to turn it green. This figure wrote the words "black hole…curtains drawn" for "Untitled Self-Portrait," a song in which he growls a list starting with "Darkness…no parents". Will Arnett voiced this man, who drives his girlfriend Wyldstyle ("wild style") and Emmett up a rainbow to Cloud Cuckoo Land to meet the Master Builders. In live-action films, he uses a vision-inducing blue flower in Tibet and flies off with a weaponized fusion reactor after Talia al-Ghul's death. For 10 points, name this character in The Lego Movie, the rival of Bane in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
ANSWER: Batman [accept either underlined name of Bruce Wayne; accept "LEGO Batman"] <MJ>
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

Urech hydantoin synthesis
Tidus
Posts: 523
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:35 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:10 pm

Did you cut out the word "dunes" in the second sentence of the coastline tossup? Northmont buzzed somewhere around there, and negged with "dunes", but I can't remember exactly.
Could I see the interphase tossup in round 12? I was unsure if it was looking for "G2" or something else when it mentioned maturation promoting factor increases in concentration at the end of this phase.
Ben Zhang

Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell '23
Columbia University '18
Ladue Horton Watkins HS '14

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:13 pm

adamsil wrote: I can easily believe that the Le Guin story is famous; I've never read her and don't make a habit of reading sci-fi, but I was wondering if this was the intended easy part of the bonus so that people could lateral from "a creature making an English sounding-noise" to "humans", which was unsuccessful if so. As long as it's the hard part, it's probably okay...though toning it down might be a decent idea.
Yeah, this will become a hard part on LeGuin for future mirrors.
Adding the word "poet" to the tossup would probably work better.
Done.
The sunrise tossup seemed like two excessively difficult clues, and then clumsily hinting at Impression Sunrise. And the giveaway was pretty awful, if I remember correctly. I wonder if you could even write a tossup on Impression Sunrise, but I think it'd be a better idea than the tossup in its current form.
Jacob R. will be replacing this with a painting tossup on "the sun" for future sites. We got feedback that this question was rather iffy after the main site, and it definitely merits changing since it seems to be a structurally unfixable question.
dunes?
Here's the question as it was read to you:
BHSAT 2014, Round 12 wrote:11. To prevent these places from being reshaped, tetrapods can be deployed. Ammophila grass has historically been used to stabilize certain fluvial structures in these places. This habitat is characterized by vertical zonation, and is where most limpets are found. Mandelbrot introduced the study of fractals in a paper about the length of one of these places. The movement of sediment at an angle relative to these places is called littoral drift, causes swash, and gives rise to spits and barrier islands, which serve as natural breakwaters. Beneath the high-water mark, these places may contain tide pools. For 10 points, name these sometimes-sandy locations where land meets sea.
ANSWER: coastlines [or seashores; or shorelines; or coastal zones; accept beaches; accept littoral zones before "littoral" is read; accept intertidal zones before "tide" is read and prompt afterwards] <AS>
Yes; for the main site this question had the word "dunes" in the second line and didn't accept "beaches" (due to tetrapods stabilizing non-beach coastlines too a lot of the time); for this past week's sites we added "beaches" as an acceptable answer but cut the word "dunes" so as to preserve the intended pyramidality. I suppose this could use some more thought.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

User avatar
Sniper, No Sniping!
Tidus
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: Pickerington, OH

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:14 am

The Rimbaud bonus was considerably hard. A 0 or 30 deal I thought. Where was the easy part?

To echo Adam Silverman, what was up with the American dystopia bonus? The Ursula K. LeGuin part was hard (having the answer line notes to the moderator indicate "babies" wasn't an acceptable answer choice made that part extremely difficult).

In round 10, there is a math bonus where the third part says "recursive" in the question, and then "recursive" is the answer? This was read in the final in our tournament and this didn't make any sense.

The bonus part that has "eye washing station" was troublesome for us. We knew the idea is to have your eyes washed out in the event foreign materials get in, our answer was to the effect of "eye washing shower" and wasn't taken. Is the 'station' part really necessary for the answer? I know "things have names" but in cases like this, colloquialisms get tricky for what some teachers call their stuff.

I don't know about other sites, but the tournament we played at used paper packets. I'm not sure whose fault this is, but there were a good deal of tossups that began on page n, and ended on page n+1. Likewise with bonuses. This wasn't a totally great thing.

We especially enjoyed the tossups on "spider", "charity", and "the pope".

Edit: we negged seafloors with "thermal vents". Anyone else do this?
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

User avatar
vinteuil
Auron
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:50 am

Mr. Scogan wrote:The Rimbaud bonus was considerably hard. A 0 or 30 deal I thought. Where was the easy part?
I think my part on vowels had the words "contrasted with consonants" in it.
Jacob Reed
Chicago ~'25
Yale '17, '19
East Chapel Hill '13
"...distant bayings from...the musicological mafia"―Denis Stevens

User avatar
Sniper, No Sniping!
Tidus
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: Pickerington, OH

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:04 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Mr. Scogan wrote:The Rimbaud bonus was considerably hard. A 0 or 30 deal I thought. Where was the easy part?
I think my part on vowels had the words "contrasted with consonants" in it.
I don't think there was a part on "vowels" in the bonus, but maybe I overlooked it. It seemed to run Rimbaud/title of work/title of work.
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018

User avatar
pajaro bobo
Wakka
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:12 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by pajaro bobo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:26 pm

vinteuil wrote:I think my part on vowels had the words "contrasted with consonants" in it.
This is what I read from the packets that Grace sent me on Friday:
BHSAT 2014 Packet 2, Bonus 19 wrote:[10] Rimbaud also wrote a poem linking this set of letters with colors. For example, he described O as the "Violet ray of [her] eyes."
ANSWER: vowels [or "Voyelles"]
The team I was reading this bonus to managed to guess "vowels" after hearing "O", and I assumed teams were supposed to figure it out without any further clues. I guess I was wrong?
Alex Liu
Georgia Tech '1X
Chattahoochee '13

Charbroil
Auron
Posts: 1145
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:52 am
Location: St. Charles, MO

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Charbroil » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:34 pm

Mr. Scogan wrote:
The bonus part that has "eye washing station" was troublesome for us. We knew the idea is to have your eyes washed out in the event foreign materials get in, our answer was to the effect of "eye washing shower" and wasn't taken. Is the 'station' part really necessary for the answer? I know "things have names" but in cases like this, colloquialisms get tricky for what some teachers call their stuff.
"Station' isn't underlined in my copy of the set, but I agree that this bonus part has the problem of people having idiosyncratic names for the answer line (for example, a team in my room answered "eyeflush station" because that's apparently what they're called at their school). Wouldn't it work to just make the answer "eye" and talk about a station that washes "this body part?"
Charles Hang
Francis Howell Central '09
St. Charles Community College '14
Washington University in St. Louis '19 (President, 2017-19)

Owner, Olympia Academic Competition Questions, LLC
Question Writer, National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC and National History Bee and Bowl

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:05 pm

The bonus part reads as follows:
BHSAT 2014, round 7 wrote:[10] If you, like Carol, fail to wear your safety goggles, you might find yourself in need of this piece of lab safety equipment, which pelts your eyes with water to remove hazardous chemicals.
ANSWER: eyewash station <AS>
As currently worded, a bonus part on 'eye' isn't really doable, but some thing may occur here to make it better.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

Adventure Temple Trail
Auron
Posts: 2616
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Re: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:13 pm

adamsil wrote:On invading India, I got "invading a foreign country".
In keeping with the hot new writing trend of pre-question warnings of various sorts, I have added a note for future sites preceding the tossup, which indicates that the correct answer to this tossup contains a geographic location. We'll see how that affects the way it plays.
Matt J.
ex-Georgetown Day HS, ex-Yale
member emeritus, ACF

Try my original crossword puzzles

Locked