HFT Discussion

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:05 pm

Things to do before posting: look at the set so I don't sound like an idiot! The Cesaire Africa flip flop was a result of the poetry course I took last trimester where we grouped him with African poets.

I agree with Daichi on the common link thing. Both archaeology and historians were laterable and quartz seemed to be pretty easy as well.

There were definitely "country lit" tossups on Japan and China. I know there were more, but I can't remember them and don't want to look through every tossup.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:05 pm

In the tournament at Georgia, the bonus answers were Carey, Oscar and Lucinda, and The True History of the Kelley Gang. This was in some round with Chris Paul and Henry I as TU answers that, I think, generated the lowest scores of the entire tournament (this packet was read in the prelims and the finals easier, imo).
Wow. This packet is wholly inappropriate and any bonus where Oscar and Lucinda, Peter Carey, and The True History of the Kelley Gang simply has no place in high school at all. To clarify something - this set is much harder than the 2008 PACE NSC.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:06 pm

DumbJaques wrote:It seems utterly silly to me to actually spend all the time and effort required to write two different versions of a set so that you can change Humbert Humbert questions to Lolita questions, then have bonuses in the easy one (or, the hard one, for that matter) where you ask for Barthes and S/Z or Death of the Author or whatever. Seriously, people seem to journey vast distances to attend this tournament and it seems like it has major issues with something like this every year; I find it somewhat unbelievable that there's nobody at Harvard who can look at a set and note that you should not be having Roland Barthes bonuses or tossups on van der weyden at high school tournaments.
You're totally right as to your first point; writing the harder playoff packets turned out to be less useful for differentiating between the top bracket than I thought it would be. But I think that should be looked at as a separate problem from that of idiotic mistakes with bonus difficulty, since it's not like we actively attempted to write inaccessible bonuses for our hard and less hard tossups both. They were both mediocre ideas that combined for synchronized badness, but they weren't a grand, unified terrible idea.

As to the former, the Barthes bonus was a last-minute fix to the set, so while people at Harvard (essentially everyone, including an awake version of myself) could say that Barthes is obviously whacko, they didn't get a chance to.

Van der Weyden was in the finals. Was it converted at the Illinois site? Because I know it was at Harvard and I think it was at VCU.

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:09 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:Daichi's mentioning the common link TUs reminded me of the Russian spies TU. I really thought it was just plain bad. I was thinking "suspected communists" off pumpkin papers, and Greg negged with American communists not too long after that. There wasn't really a way to figure out what the question was going for until way late.
Yeah, that was kind of weird. So were the ones on money and "distance to a star".

Also, the mentioning of the Venona seemed like it came a bit early for that TU, though it might just be my interest in it because it involved one Harry D. White.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:11 pm

Van Der Weyden was not converted at VCU. Daichi negged and we were unable to convert it as a result of me combining two people mentioned in my history class last year and giving the wrong one.

Another thing about the historians TU: I was in a bye and I'm glad I was, because the only ones I heard were Roman writers, and I would have negged early either with epicists (as the Annales and the other one mentioned with it are technically historical epics), or Roman writers. There may have been a non-Roman in there that I missed due to not paying close attention, but if there wasn't, there should have been something more specific as to what the answer wanted (mentioning the word genre, say).
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by TheKingInYellow » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:13 pm

I'd just like to say that as liberal arts player who zones out during science questions, the playoffs and particularly the final round were all great fun, and generally not so difficult as to ruin the game: as long as reasonable competition is possible, I don't think teams should obsess too much about a drop in PPG
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:16 pm

hwhite wrote:
MLWGS-Gir wrote:Daichi's mentioning the common link TUs reminded me of the Russian spies TU. I really thought it was just plain bad. I was thinking "suspected communists" off pumpkin papers, and Greg negged with American communists not too long after that. There wasn't really a way to figure out what the question was going for until way late.
Yeah, that was kind of weird. So were the ones on money and "distance to a star".

Also, the mentioning of the Venona seemed like it came a bit early for that TU, though it might just be my interest in it because it involved one Harry D. White.
Actually I thought the distance one was pretty good and money was OK. Historians and Soviet Spies were pretty terrible and the literature question on China may have been worse for being kind of a hose with Russia on Diary of a Madman.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:16 pm

HFT wrote:12. One early author of this type spoke Oscan and wrote his Annales in Saturnian meter, while another feuded with Metelli and wrote the Bellum Poenicum. In addition to Ennius and Naevius, they included one who discussed the Catalinian conspiracy, Sallust, as well as Suetonius. One noted writer of this type wrote of the reigns from Augustus to Domitian, while another compiled 142 books starting with Romulus and ending with the death of Drusus the Elder. FTP, name this profession of Polybius, Tacitus, and Livy, who were later counterparts of Herodotus.
ANSWER: Roman historians (accept chroniclers)
You should've been fine, because it is about Romans.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:18 pm

Oh yeah I just wanted to point out that on the whole the tossups for this tournament were pretty well written and usually accessible and a lot of the bonuses were fine. This tournament was definately good and probably a lot more rewarding for the really elite teams than a more regular one.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:18 pm

la2pgh wrote:
HFT wrote:12. One early author of this type spoke Oscan and wrote his Annales in Saturnian meter, while another feuded with Metelli and wrote the Bellum Poenicum. In addition to Ennius and Naevius, they included one who discussed the Catalinian conspiracy, Sallust, as well as Suetonius. One noted writer of this type wrote of the reigns from Augustus to Domitian, while another compiled 142 books starting with Romulus and ending with the death of Drusus the Elder. FTP, name this profession of Polybius, Tacitus, and Livy, who were later counterparts of Herodotus.
ANSWER: Roman historians (accept chroniclers)
You should've been fine, because it is about Romans.
What Sarah's saying, legitimately, is that epicists should maybe be acceptable, and writers at least promptable (though "of this type," if not great, does technically indicate that the tossup wants something more specific than "Roman writers").
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:20 pm

la2pgh wrote:
HFT wrote:12. One early author of this type spoke Oscan and wrote his Annales in Saturnian meter, while another feuded with Metelli and wrote the Bellum Poenicum. In addition to Ennius and Naevius, they included one who discussed the Catalinian conspiracy, Sallust, as well as Suetonius. One noted writer of this type wrote of the reigns from Augustus to Domitian, while another compiled 142 books starting with Romulus and ending with the death of Drusus the Elder. FTP, name this profession of Polybius, Tacitus, and Livy, who were later counterparts of Herodotus.
ANSWER: Roman historians (accept chroniclers)
You should've been fine, because it is about Romans.
Epicists should be acceptable until Catalinian, IMO. I'm glad I had a bye, though. If I was prompted off "Roman writers," I would have said epicists. I didn't realize "Roman" was in the answer line, though, I saw just "historians" taken. In that case it's less bad.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:23 pm

Since I've been mostly negative so far, I'd like to clarify that most of the non-science/common link TUs were good, and I really liked the Aeneas TU aside from the random Greek names. Seeing Virgil done well always makes me happy. For that matter, the Eclogues bonus was pretty good as well.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by JackGlerum » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:27 pm

everyday847 wrote:[Van der Weyden was in the finals. Was it converted at the Illinois site?
We never got to the two championship rounds. We played rounds 1-5 before lunch and rounds 7-11 after lunch. Carbondale went 5-0 in those rounds, so they were crowned champions after round 11. I doubt that anyone would have converted Van der Weyden anyways, but who knows.

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:32 pm

One final point: The Oe question mentioned the fact that Oe's Aghwee the Sky Monster was a variation on James' Turn of the Screw. I've looked into this before and I'm pretty sure the only place this "fact" appears is from Brown's submission to 2007 ACF Nationals, and the only possible place I can find for their source is the somewhat dubious claim from this website (http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/oe.htm) that Aghwee the Skymonster is a "subtle variation" on Turn of the Screw. Obviously I could be mistaken with any of these assumptions and this one point isn't a serious deal. My point is that people should be careful with taken clues from other packets without checking and making sure these are really valid.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Siverus Snape » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:36 pm

I think Michael Jiang or I would have converted Van der Weyden because our AP Euro teacher really liked him; he had at least three Van der Weyden works up in our room last year. Have we ever seen him come up in quiz bowl? That's a different story.

I suppose the biggest problem I had with the set was the bonus difficulty variability. In really close matches on hard tossups (that won't be converted 100%), bonus variations can be killer; it's sort of a genetic drift effect.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:54 pm

To add to the list of very hard bonuses: Ives, Rhiannon, pragmatic linguistics, and Pathetique. Pathetique could maybe pass for an easy part if the question gave more than just musical clues.

Overall, though, this was a good set. For our site, it would have worked better if the non-difficult Rounds 7-11 had been easier, since there was a decent drop off after the top five teams, who were playing the difficult rounds. However, it sounds like that would have been bad for the VCU site. This was a good experience for my team.

Also, the Orthogonal question was a hose. I have two students on my team that will take Linear Algebra next semester but none who know it now, so we didn't have a chance at the first half of the question, which is kind of bad but reasonable (since I don't know how many schools have any knowledge of Linear Algebra on their teams at this point in the season). So, my team buzzed off of the Precalculus clues in the second half of the question with Perpendicular, which is what I would expect any high school team to do.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:02 am

Shcool wrote:To add to the list of very hard bonuses: Ives, Rhiannon, pragmatic linguistics, and Pathetique. Pathetique could maybe pass for an easy part if the question gave more than just musical clues.
Of those, I thought Ives was pretty okay. You're right about the others.
Also, the Orthogonal question was a hose. I have two students on my team that will take Linear Algebra next semester but none who know it now, so we didn't have a chance at the first half of the question, which is kind of bad but reasonable (since I don't know how many schools have any knowledge of Linear Algebra on their teams at this point in the season). So, my team buzzed off of the Precalculus clues in the second half of the question with Perpendicular, which is what I would expect any high school team to do.
The answer line accepted "perpendicular" once it gets to the precalculus clues.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Deviant Insider » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:17 am

Then that one was Laird's fault. No big deal.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:32 am

I thought the finals packet was fine, except for maybe few tossups and that weird science bonus on wells. It was very fun to play on, and it also differentiated the top teams pretty well.

In general (i.e. I'm not just talking about HFT), though, it seems like a bad idea for writers to listen to elite high school teams. It's pretty selfish to demand "difficult" bonus parts when you are obviously one of the upper outliers at any tournament. This may sound arrogant, stupid, and obvious at the same time but I have to say it: high school bonuses are not going to be challenging for people who have mastered - although there are obviously different degrees to it - the high school canon. If you want to be challenged, go to college tournaments instead of implicitly claiming that tournaments should be written for the sake of the top 15% at the expense of the other 85%.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:35 am

You're totally right as to your first point; writing the harder playoff packets turned out to be less useful for differentiating between the top bracket than I thought it would be. But I think that should be looked at as a separate problem from that of idiotic mistakes with bonus difficulty, since it's not like we actively attempted to write inaccessible bonuses for our hard and less hard tossups both. They were both mediocre ideas that combined for synchronized badness, but they weren't a grand, unified terrible idea.
Well, what I'm saying is that if you don't have enough editing and polishing time to prevent letting a full demonic legion of way too hard answers into the tournament, spending time making an extra half set is a very bad idea. It's perfectly understandable that your ability to evaluate difficulty has some gaps - but last time I checked, Harvard had someone who was playing high level quiz bowl as a high schooler last year, a guy who's been playing quizbowl for almost ten years, a guy who's a major PACE editor, and all points in between. Presumably you also have younger players for whom you can playtest questions. So there are two reasons I see for these questions appearing: Either there wasn't time to have multiple people review and playtest them (in which case I point to my original statement about wasting time with the split set), or that kind of review and playtesting just wasn't done, which I'm submitting is a pretty big problem and should be addressed. If Bruce, Ted, you, Dallas, Kyle, and everyone else who's got lots of experience on the Harvard squad is sitting around and just giving thumbs up to questions on Roland Barthes and bonuses where Peter Carey is the easy part, then I'd say you just need to get together and decide to shoot for an easier tournament next year, and perhaps you'll hit the intended difficulty.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:43 am

DumbJaques wrote:Well, what I'm saying is that if you don't have enough editing and polishing time to prevent letting a full demonic legion of way too hard answers into the tournament, spending time making an extra half set is a very bad idea.
Yes, you're right: if lack of time is the big problem, then the synergistic effects emerge.
Harvard had someone who was playing high level quiz bowl as a high schooler last year, a guy who's been playing quizbowl for almost ten years, a guy who's a major PACE editor, and all points in between. Presumably you also have younger players for whom you can playtest questions.
I mean, Dallas wrote the Carey bonus, and it's not like this was a LOL ACF IS IMPOSSIBLE moment, since he played HFT last year. He was wrong; next time he will be right. Ted wrote some too-hard stuff too. The more we write things that are too hard, the less we will do it in the future.

Playtesting was a problem; we playtested four rounds and then everyone left. And the parts of the set that were done were only in playtestable shape kind of late in the game, which is on us, certainly, so yes--that is a large problem.
I'd say you just need to get together and decide to shoot for an easier tournament next year, and perhaps you'll hit the intended difficulty.
I created the Google doc for next year's. That's exactly what we're doing. Also, we want to be done by the end of the summer with writing, which is completely unrealistic but a fair goal to have. By those powers combined, there's no reason we should have problems unless I somehow learn from zero of my mistakes.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:55 am

For full disclosure, Dallas asserts that he doubts that he wrote the Carey bonus. So I have no idea who did; my next best guess is Adam, but whatever. At some point, I think Ted saw all the lit bonuses save those written the night before (most of which were not too too bad in terms of difficulty), so perhaps he can explain his rationale. It's still my fault it was in the set, but I do need at some time to figure out how to judge difficulty in subjects I know nothing about (i.e. I have a vague impression that Australians have written books).
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:56 am

I also meant to add that I think the degree to which Andy has been responsive to the criticism of the set (and, indeed, encouraged that criticism) is laudable - it's all too rare the high school discussion section gets a productive work out. This is still now two consecutive years of a high school event with questions on Darwish, but still, good on you, dude.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:59 am

DumbJaques wrote:I also meant to add that I think the degree to which Andy has been responsive to the criticism of the set (and, indeed, encouraged that criticism) is laudable - it's all too rare the high school discussion section gets a productive work out. This is still now two consecutive years of a high school event with questions on Darwish, but still, good on you, dude.
Thank you, sir.

But you know what? Maybe if I make it three straight years, then before I get a graduate degree I'll be able to accept a freelance tossup from Kyle on noted Darwish poem "al-Nasheed al-jasadi." No? Really?
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:51 am

I am going to make a series of posts about the issues at this tournament. First I want to thank a few people for help.

First I want to thank Auroni Gupta for writing a few last minute European literaure tossups. I havenothing but good things to say about his submissions. He wrote some absolutely excellent tossups, and I think he should be considered as an editor for ACF Fall next year.

Andy deserves a lot of praise because he wrote over half this tournament. In addition to writing most of the science he literally wrote many questions in every category.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:39 am

Magister Ludi wrote:Andy deserves a lot of praise because he wrote over half this tournament. In addition to writing most of the science he literally wrote many questions in every category.
Though I appreciate it, don't be too swift to praise me; it's not necessarily appropriate (for example, if all my bonuses were, like, "cities" / "Middletown" / Jane Jacobs, then I should be shot, not praised). The ability to write many difficulty-appropriate and consistent questions in a short period of time is a skill I apparently lack in both hilarious and tragic ways; my ability to produce volume takes second billing to that deficiency.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:04 pm

I am going to be more honest than usual in this post because I think it is important to discuss what went wrong with this set, and to show why this tournament will be much improved for next year.

I want to apologize for not spending much time on this set. With ACF Fall the week before, I was exhausted and had little time to work on it. I only wrote/edited the literature tossups, American lit bonuses, British lit bonuses, and music bonuses. Unfortunately I did not have the time to even touch social science, European lit, world lit bonuses, music tossups, art, or RMP. Next year this will not be the case. I did not write or edit the following lit tossups: windmills, Don Quixote, Amanda Wingfield, When Lilacs Last in the dooryard bloomed, Whitman, Tennessee Williams, Spain, Fielding, Japan, China, Cherry Orchard, Dr. Frankenstein.

First of all the foolish idea of split brackets will be abandoned. This caused many problems in the tournament. First it slowed down the tournament and made us lose any opportunity to playtest. I had to spend my time writing more lit tossups instead of having a chance to overlook bonuses and other areas. Second, it caused a lot of country tossups in literature. I edited a Water Margin question for the upper bracket, so this forced Kyle to write a China tossup for the lower bracket. Third it made us lose editorial oversight. For example I edited a good Oe question for the upper bracket, and wanted a shorter version of the Oe tossup to be used in the lower bracket. Then I find out now a mediocre Japan tossup replaced the Oe tossup. Also many of my questions were shortened in surprising ways. The Humber Humbert tossup was longer and had more middle clues originally.

Next year I promise to take personal responsibility for the humanities questions. I will oversee all humanities and make sure that no bonuses on the works of Roland Barthes slip through the cracks. Some of the bonus problems in this set resulted from forcing Andy to write in categories he is not familiar with. Andy maybe isn't the best judge of appropriate high school difficulty and wrote a few questionable bonuses. This is not his fault, it is mine. I should have allowed myself the time to write/edit those questions.

However, I do think some of the comments in this thread are over reactions. I personally felt that this was a very well-written tournament (in my biased opinion this was one of the best written high school tournament so far this year). Comments like the one made in Chris’ post are much more helpful than the twentieth comment about the Peter Carey bonus. We are aware that the Carey bonus was ill advised. If you have any substantial criticisms of the literature questions that I edited, please feel free to email me.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:22 pm

I am going to respond to a couple of specific criticisms of the set.

Humber Humbert: Originally my tossup was a long and half longer with more middle clues, but it still did not mention Claire Quilty. I stongly disagree with an argument that any good Humbert Humbert tossup inherently needs to mention Quilty. I think my original tossup had many middle clues and suceeded in successfully differentiated between teams.
Japan/China: I did not write either of these tossups. I am sorry if there was a factual error.
Pathetique: When I originally edited the Tchaikovsky bonus I had these answers for the two versions: Easy (Pathetique/Tchaikovsky/Little Rusian ) and Hard (Pathetique/Little Russian/Winter Dreams). However in the text for the Pathetique bonus part I said this was Tchaikovsky sixth and final symphony. I consider that non-musical clue to be easy enough that someone without musical knowledge of the symphony could be capable of answering it.
Billiards at Half Past Nine: I disagree with Evan's assertion that this was too hard for the finals packet. The idea of the finals packet was to ask about slightly more difficult things that are both interesting and challenging for high school's top players, yet were still convertible. I think just the response in this thread shows that it was in fact a fine idea for a tossup.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:35 pm

Magister Ludi wrote:Humber Humbert: Originally my tossup was a long and half longer with more middle clues, but it still did not mention Claire Quilty. I stongly disagree with an argument that any good Humbert Humbert tossup inherently needs to mention Quilty. I think my original tossup had many middle clues and suceeded in successfully differentiated between teams.
Our goal of keeping the tossups to PACE NSC length required us me to remove the clues I thought most redundant. Once I'm on my old computer, we'll compare them. I've read the book more than once, and there were some clues that seemed roughly as buzzable as others, so once I couldn't compress verbiage any more, I removed one or two. I think we still kept it a line longer than our length limit (six lines of 10pt TNR versus five), actually, but I don't remember. If my editing really damaged the tossup, I apologize, but we'll see what people think later.

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:33 pm

Other thoughts: Some of the tossups with more reasonable answer choices resulted in extreme difficulty cliffs. In the finals packet, this was the case with the Mediterranean Sea and Billiards at Half-Past Nine tossups. There was also a poor blackbody tossup mentioning ultraviolet catastrophe in the second clue.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:05 pm

JelloBiafra wrote:There was also a poor blackbody tossup mentioning ultraviolet catastrophe in the second clue.
That was my attempt to write a tossup with mostly easy clues (all things I would have buzzed on early on in high school). Consequently, I guess I did a poor job of ordering them. Since that's mostly, like, a reason why we know that law x is bad and law y is good, I wasn't sure if it was taught as much as actual astro things are. My bad.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:30 pm

Hey, Ted, sorry for agreeing with someone's criticism of the Humbert Humbert TU without going off to read it first. Now that I am less exhausted I recognize that as having been a stupid idea. Most of the lit was really good, I thought.

I'm curious as to whether playing the different sets of packets caused the difference in opinion between VCU and Harvard itself, as it seems Ben and Guy really enjoyed the set. I think playing the "hard" packets and having some idea what to expect might have produced less frustration, but unfortunately we had to play the easy packets to run a round robin in a small field. I think the way those sets were advertised as opposed to the way they turned out contributed to at least some of the frustration at the VCU site, particularly in going straight from one of the "easy" packets to the finals.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by byoung » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:32 pm

MLWGS-Gir wrote:One thing in particular I found strange:

I probably shouldn't have let the Aeneas TU get past Anna, but since I did, I heard "Hera" mentioned and got a little confused. It didn't stop me, because I'm fairly certain Achaemenides is unique to the Aeneid, but I think it's a bit odd to use a Greek name for a goddess when the answer is a character from a Roman epic. I realize Aeneas appears in the Iliad as well, but the clue I have issue with is unique to the Aeneid.
Hi, Sarah, is it possible you were the victim of a misread?
HFT round 1, question 20 wrote:Some accounts say he was visited by his former lover’s sister, Anna, who drowned while escaping his jealous second wife. He had earlier escaped peril with the help of the stranger Achaemenides despite that man’s confession that he had been on Odysseus’s crew. Only the intervention of the gods saved him from Diomedes, and in later war he defeated Turnus. Having descended through Avernus with the Cumaean Sibyl, he was instructed to “spare the vanquished” by the shade of his father, whom he had carried on his shoulders from their destroyed city. FTP, name this Trojan prince who spurned Dido to settle in Italy and found the Roman people, the subject of a work by Virgil.
ANSWER: Aeneas
"Hera" for "peril" seems likely. (The tossup, before shortening, read "escaped a peril," which might've made it clearer.)
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:57 pm

I think that is exactly what happened. Either that or my hearing has deteriorated further. I remembered thinking that Achaemenides had nothing to do with Hera as I buzzed, too. I'm glad it didn't stop me. The full TU is awesome, BTW, and thanks very much for the clarification.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by JackGlerum » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:05 pm

I thoroughly enjoyed this tournament. The questions were fabulous and I am willing to make the sacrifice of easy or "regular" questions for tougher ones in order to expand the canon, which is needed in Illinois.

The playoffs were challenging, but I think enough people have commented on that already. My team buzzed mostly at or after the "FTP" during the playoffs and we zeroed most of the science.

The only factual error I caught was in the Chicago architecture tossup. Robie House is down in Hyde Park at U of C, not in Oak Park, a suburb. I only know because I went on a field trip there once.

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Diplomacy Guy » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:27 pm

everyday847 wrote:For full disclosure, Dallas asserts that he doubts that he wrote the Carey bonus. So I have no idea who did; my next best guess is Adam, but whatever.
Just to put this on the record - I did write the Carey bonus, which in its original (upper-bracket) version was "Peter Carey" / "Ned Kelly" / "Oscar and Lucinda" with Kelly as the easy part ("Carey won the Booker Prize in 2001 for a historical novel called the True History of this man and his gang, real-life bandits in 1870s colonial Australia"). Apparently that got changed somewhere along the way. Just asking for Kelly, as opposed to the title, does sort of make it a history question, but as Andy and others have indicated the world lit canon is not terribly large...

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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:50 pm

Diplomacy Guy wrote:
everyday847 wrote:For full disclosure, Dallas asserts that he doubts that he wrote the Carey bonus. So I have no idea who did; my next best guess is Adam, but whatever.
Just to put this on the record - I did write the Carey bonus, which in its original (upper-bracket) version was "Peter Carey" / "Ned Kelly" / "Oscar and Lucinda" with Kelly as the easy part ("Carey won the Booker Prize in 2001 for a historical novel called the True History of this man and his gang, real-life bandits in 1870s colonial Australia"). Apparently that got changed somewhere along the way. Just asking for Kelly, as opposed to the title, does sort of make it a history question, but as Andy and others have indicated the world lit canon is not terribly large...
It's definitely not history if it has two literature parts, and really, if there ever was an appropriate Peter Carey bonus for high school, Ned Kelly would be just fine.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by STPickrell » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:23 am

aestheteboy wrote:In general (i.e. I'm not just talking about HFT), though, it seems like a bad idea for writers to listen to elite high school teams. It's pretty selfish to demand "difficult" bonus parts when you are obviously one of the upper outliers at any tournament. This may sound arrogant, stupid, and obvious at the same time but I have to say it: high school bonuses are not going to be challenging for people who have mastered - although there are obviously different degrees to it - the high school canon. If you want to be challenged, go to college tournaments instead of implicitly claiming that tournaments should be written for the sake of the top 15% at the expense of the other 85%.
I am in full agreement with this statement. Elite HS teams are best challenged at college tournaments, IMO. Perhaps when staffing and other issues permit, the elite teams could split their top 6 players into 3 teams instead of 2. I'm not sure if that would give better practice for the elite, or if non-elite teams would feel worse losing to Maggie Walker 1-man 300-100 instead of Maggie Walker A 500-20 (if the non-elite teams don't bother to practice or go to tournaments, the usual caveats of non-sympathy apply.)

I like the work in Illinois where tournament difficulty is advertised in advance. I think in states with highly developed weekend circuits, this would be a very useful thing.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:49 am

Perhaps when staffing and other issues permit, the elite teams could split their top 6 players into 3 teams instead of 2
W-HAT, dude!
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by STPickrell » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:22 am

DumbJaques wrote:
Perhaps when staffing and other issues permit, the elite teams could split their top 6 players into 3 teams instead of 2
W-HAT, dude!
One and two-man teams were not that unusual at the college level when I played-- from brief perusal of the college stats, it seems undermanned teams are still not unusual.

My point is that it might be better for the elite teams to split their top 8 players into four 2-man teams instead of two 4-man teams.

Of course staffing issues with the host may prevent this, and I have not fully thought through the implications this has on team play for the elite teams -- would this move for local tournaments prevent them from being more competitive at nationals? If so, it must be consigned into the 'nice idea, but unworkable' bin. If not, it might be something to consider when only high school tournaments are available on a given weekend.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:40 am

If teams feel that it's in their best interests to play two-man teams, more power to them. But if it's not, there's really no reason to suggest that they should do that, especially if there are consequences to team chemistry that would hurt their nationals chances.

Either way, I think it's probably best to consign this to the "over-complicated solutions to nonexistent problems" bin.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:46 am

theMoMA wrote:If teams feel that it's in their best interests to play two-man teams, more power to them. But if it's not, there's really no reason to suggest that they should do that, especially if there are consequences to team chemistry that would hurt their nationals chances.

Either way, I think it's probably best to consign this to the "over-complicated solutions to nonexistent problems" bin.
I agree. This really would only have the slightest attractive potential to teams consisting of four generalists whose really deep knowledge areas complement and who would want to enhance the areas where they're decent but shallow. Otherwise, putting your science dude and your history dude on one team and your lit dude and your arts dude on another really doesn't do anything useful for the nationals configuration of those teams. All it does is prevent those teams from winning games, which is no goal in itself.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Ike » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:31 am

Hey I'm going through the set, and why is there a question directly ripped from Ted's lit singles tournament as a tiebreaker? The Notre Dame thingy. It was marked KHF in the Wallace Stevens thing...but I'm just pointing it out.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:34 am

Ike wrote:Hey I'm going through the set, and why is there a question directly ripped from Ted's lit singles tournament as a tiebreaker? The Notre Dame thingy. It was marked KHF in the Wallace Stevens thing...but I'm just pointing it out.
Kyle handled tiebreakers; I don't know about them.
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Re: HFT Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:32 am

This was just a miscommunication. Notre Dame was a tossup written initially for HFT 2007, but went unused. I later used it for WoQ Lit Singles. When I was editing the lit for HFT there were about thirty submitted tossups of which I cut ten, and later sent the edited versions back to Kyle without rationale for why I cut various questions. One of those cut tossups was the Notre Dame question, which was submitted because Kyle probably did not realize I had used it elsewhere. While writing tiebreaker tossups presumably Kyle did not know I cut the Notre Dame tossup because it was a repeat, and assumed I had cut it for other reasons. Subsequently it was used for a tie-breaker. Kyle, please correct me if I am wrong about this situation.
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