NNT Discussion

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
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NNT Discussion

Post by ieppler » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:59 pm

Since the Rancho Bernardo mirror was canceled, the set can be publicly discussed. It is available at http://quizbowlpackets.com/archive/nnt2008.zip. The set is slightly different from the version played at the DC site; some issues with acceptable answers have been fixed, some questions were edited for clarity, and the repeats have been removed (I hope!)

Substantive problems that were brought to my attention at the tournament:
Some of the science was too hard (I'll let Shantanu address this, but DLVO theory stands out)
The Arnolfini Wedding tossup was terrible
Some literature and history third parts were too hard (i.e. Edwidge Danticat, Free Officers Movement)

I appreciate your feedback.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:47 pm

With respect to the Arnolfini wedding tossup, I would like to submit that every possibe aspect of that painting has been used as a clue. In other words, the problem is that the Arnolfini wedding has been tossed up one too many times.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by ClemsonQB » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:55 pm

Hopper wrote:Since the Rancho Bernardo mirror was canceled, the set can be publicly discussed. It is available at http://quizbowlpackets.com/archive/nnt2008.zip. The set is slightly different from the version played at the DC site; some issues with acceptable answers have been fixed, some questions were edited for clarity, and the repeats have been removed (I hope!)

Substantive problems that were brought to my attention at the tournament:
Some of the science was too hard (I'll let Shantanu address this, but DLVO theory stands out)
The Arnolfini Wedding tossup was terrible
Some literature and history third parts were too hard (i.e. Edwidge Danticat, Free Officers Movement)

I appreciate your feedback.
In defense of whoever wrote the Arnolfini tossup, its extremely hard to write good tossups on such well known paintings.

Is the Free Officers Movement really that hard? I certainly didn't think so.

The Battle of Breitenfeld shouldn't be the lead-in of a 30 Years War tossup.

I don't know much about opera, but Papageno is too early in the Magic Flute tossup.

The lead-in of the Spain tossup is not uniquely identifying, as Spain, France and Morocco each fought in at least one of the Rif Wars.

Another issue I've found, upon briefly looking over the set, is poor packet randomization.

Overall, the set seems pretty solid.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:01 pm

Free Officers movement is in fact pretty hard, although I would agree that it is certainly easier than, say, Danicat. The Arnolfini Wedding is a subject that presents a kind of backwards bond that you almost never hear. Given the output of Jan van Eyck, I think it actually makes much more sense to write a tossup with him as the answer than with Arnolfini, and you almost never hear about something where the work is harder to write on well than the painter. Until Arnolfini cycles back out of the canon, which I doubt will ever happen, I would encourage everyone to write van Eyck tossups instead.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by BuzzerZen » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:07 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:With respect to the Arnolfini wedding tossup, I would like to submit that every possibe aspect of that painting has been used as a clue. In other words, the problem is that the Arnolfini wedding has been tossed up one hundred million too many times.
Fixed. But otherwise, you're exactly right.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:19 pm

ClemsonQB wrote:The lead-in of the Spain tossup is not uniquely identifying, as Spain, France and Morocco each fought in at least one of the Rif Wars.
Tell me about it bro, I went for it with Morocco and got negged. But, Ian this was a damn good set. Sure, there were a few small things, but overall this was damn good.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:20 pm

The tossup on "The Waste Land"--while I support an ever-increasing amount of Eliot in any and all high school sets--seems a little weak. The presence of Tiresias is certainly better known than the name "The Fire Sermon," and the symbol of "Unreal City" is probably less immediately recognizable than either, probably less recognizable than the chant "shantih, shantih, shantih." I'm also pretty sure that Madame Sosotris has been a bonus part at the novice or high school level, so it might be a little early for her to show up--though I've personally never thought her name ought to be as well known as it is, since it's not terribly important to the poem (and so in an ideal world I'd do something similar to where you put it, there) I do think that her name is well known enough because it's been asked.

Actually, one other comment I'd really like to hear people's thoughts about. When I write about poems, I try to include as many quotes as possible when I can use the language of the poem to convey a clue, i.e. I'd try to give the Stetson clue by saying that the persona asks Stetson "that corpse you planted last year in your garden, / has it begun to sprout" instead of saying Stetson is asked if "a corpse planted in his garden has begun to sprout." It does take more words, but I think it's important to mimic the language of a poem precisely or else you lose some of it (and people who have read it certainly lose a bit of an advantage that I think they deserve). What do other people think?

Overall, though, I think this is a great set; looking at least at the first packet, Shantanu's difficulty-related science sins seem like nothing in comparison to my own. Great job.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by ClemsonQB » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:26 pm

everyday847 wrote:Overall, though, I think this is a great set; looking at least at the first packet, Shantanu's difficulty-related science sins seem like nothing in comparison to my own. Great job.
Yeah, I agree; or at least, I think that Shantanu took a lot more flak than he deserved. I looked through the whole set (well, all the tossups) and didn't see anything I hadn't heard as a tossup answer before in high school, but I wasn't paying too close attention to the science.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:27 pm

Until Arnolfini cycles back out of the canon, which I doubt will ever happen, I would encourage everyone to write van Eyck tossups instead.
Also, Ghent altarpiece tossups might not be a bad idea, as it would probably take quite some time to exhaust that painting's potential.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:29 pm

This looks like a really good set to me; difficulty in terms of tossups and bonus conversion targets looks pretty solid. I don't think judging a tournament by its three or four hardest bonus answers is very productive; systematically, this was a good event.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by grashid » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:29 pm

The only major things that caught my eye in the first packet were putting Cumean sybil and f/64 in the first lines of their respective questions (The Wasteland, Ansel Adams). Those clues seemed more familiar than some of the following ones.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:49 am

everyday847 wrote:The tossup on "The Waste Land"--while I support an ever-increasing amount of Eliot in any and all high school sets--seems a little weak. The presence of Tiresias is certainly better known than the name "The Fire Sermon," and the symbol of "Unreal City" is probably less immediately recognizable than either, probably less recognizable than the chant "shantih, shantih, shantih." I'm also pretty sure that Madame Sosotris has been a bonus part at the novice or high school level, so it might be a little early for her to show up--though I've personally never thought her name ought to be as well known as it is, since it's not terribly important to the poem (and so in an ideal world I'd do something similar to where you put it, there) I do think that her name is well known enough because it's been asked.
I'm not really sure what you're saying here. "The Fire Sermon" is the name of one of the sections; it's really famous. Tiresias is an important personage, sure, but it's not like he's one of the section names or something.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am

everyday847 wrote:The tossup on "The Waste Land"--while I support an ever-increasing amount of Eliot in any and all high school sets--seems a little weak. The presence of Tiresias is certainly better known than the name "The Fire Sermon," and the symbol of "Unreal City" is probably less immediately recognizable than either, probably less recognizable than the chant "shantih, shantih, shantih." I'm also pretty sure that Madame Sosotris has been a bonus part at the novice or high school level, so it might be a little early for her to show up--though I've personally never thought her name ought to be as well known as it is, since it's not terribly important to the poem (and so in an ideal world I'd do something similar to where you put it, there) I do think that her name is well known enough because it's been asked.
Very little in the above paragraph is correct.

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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:44 am

Okay, I'll qualify my statement: I'm inferring what a high school student is likely to know about "The Waste Land" mostly based on the three months I spent studying basically it and "Gerontion." So I guess I'm wrong to infer that most high school students will be buzzing early on a tossup on "The Waste Land" because they're read it, and the gradations coming from how many times / how long they spent analyzing it--or that their knowledge will come in the same order as someone buzzing for that reason. But I know that I'm right to say that Madame Sosotris has been a high school bonus part and probably should come a little later.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:47 pm

Oh, you made those incorrect statements based on your notoriously accurate faculty of predicting what high schoolers know! Okay, sorry; argument won!

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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:57 pm

So, in the context of "what"s actually central to the poem", not necessarily "what comes up in quizbowl", Andrew's 100 percent right. Tiresias is basically the main character, if there can be said to be one. What he sees is the substance of the poem, after all. And Madame Sosostris is well known because she has a funny name, but isn't actually all that important.

And I would be shocked if "Unreal City" is more recognizable then "shantih shantih shantih".
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:10 pm

Captain Scipio wrote:Oh, you made those incorrect statements based on your notoriously accurate faculty of predicting what high schoolers know! Okay, sorry; argument won!
Dude, I acknowledge my faults in predicting what high schoolers know. In this instance, it's not a question of expecting them to buzz on the adjective "apeneck" with "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," since obviously they've probably never read that poem, and it's likely that they've never heard of it. It's a question of whether they acquire really really important things with very memorable names before or after moderately insignificant things with incrementally more memorable names. I believe you by merit of your greater experience, even if you don't say why you know what you know; you deserve that respect and more. I just don't know how I can develop an intuition for these things besides taking my intuition and inverting it.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:35 pm

And I would be shocked if "Unreal City" is more recognizable then "shantih shantih shantih".
What?
Also, I've read the Wasteland and seen high schoolers play many a tossup on the Wasteland and I think Madame Sosotris is plenty difficult for a high school leadin, regardless of whether you've happened to see a hard part of a bonus about her (which would be an insanely hard part indeed).
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:40 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:
And I would be shocked if "Unreal City" is more recognizable then "shantih shantih shantih".
What?
Also, I've read the Wasteland and seen high schoolers play many a tossup on the Wasteland and I think Madame Sosotris is plenty difficult for a high school leadin, regardless of whether you've happened to see a hard part of a bonus about her (which would be an insanely hard part indeed).
I agree with you on the first part--they're probably going to be about as recognizable as each other. I just thought "shantih shantih shantih" was a little bit more recognizable, as I said.

I totally agree with you re: Madame Sosotris; what I said about that clue was my concession to judging what high schoolers ought to know by what comes up; I suppose I didn't pull that off well either. Oh well!
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:01 pm

No guys, there is no way on earth that the most recognizable feature of that poem is on any level of similarity with the difficulty of the clue "Unreal City." That clue should not be going anywhere near the end of a high school tossup on the Wasteland.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:44 pm

Oh, hey, now Chris White is adding his notably impeccable understanding of literary criticism to the Thalabian forces arrayed on Andy's side! Argument doubly conceded!

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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Magister Ludi » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:09 pm

It's time to set some things straight. In a quizbowl context the clues mentioned in this thread go in this order: Madame Sosotris>Unreal City>Shantih>Tiresias>Section titles. Sosotris is a stock clue and off the top of my head I can remember getting at least three tossups in high school off that clue, so I think Charlie is wrong in his assertion that she makes a good leadin, but I certainly agree with Charlie that she would be a bad idea for a third part of a bonus.

The real problem with the actual question is mentioning section titles too early. Here is what it says "A woman frets about her husband Albert in “A Game of Chess”, and Phlebas the Phoenician drowns in “Death by Water”. This poem’s last section, “What the Thunder Said”, interprets the Hindu word “Da” three times and ends by repeating the word “Shantih” three times." This would be infinitely improved by excising the section names, and moving Unreal City before "shantih."

I may make a thread talking about writing poetry questions later, but I think it's never a good idea to use an epigraphs of poems as a leadin. This rewards someone who only read the first page of a poem.The leadin about the Sibyl is both too well known for a leadin and doesn't reward someone, who had read the poem in depth. I think it is really important to pick something from the middle of the poem as a leadin to really differentiate between people who have done close readings of a poem.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:17 pm

I wrote the "Spain" tossup. It originally had a uniquely identifying lead-in. This lead-in had to be removed because I remembered that I had also used it as the lead-in of an ACF Fall tossup I wrote.

Hilariously, the ACF Fall tossup with that clue was not even used in the ACF Fall set, but this was all before ACF Fall happened.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:35 pm

Magister Ludi wrote:It's time to set some things straight. In a quizbowl context the clues mentioned in this thread go in this order: Madame Sosotris>Unreal City>Shantih>Tiresias>Section titles.
So this, I think, is pretty much what I said except that you have section titles going later, which I can certainly get on board with. I'd have mentioned the epigraph leadin too, but I knew I was on (and apparently crossed) the line past which people would lump that in with the various other things I don't understand about high schoolers (ha! ha! he thinks they know about the epigraph!) and so I erred on the side of mentioning slightly less.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:50 pm

everyday847 wrote:
Magister Ludi wrote:It's time to set some things straight. In a quizbowl context the clues mentioned in this thread go in this order: Madame Sosotris>Unreal City>Shantih>Tiresias>Section titles.
So this, I think, is pretty much what I said except that you have section titles going later, which I can certainly get on board with. I'd have mentioned the epigraph leadin too, but I knew I was on (and apparently crossed) the line past which people would lump that in with the various other things I don't understand about high schoolers (ha! ha! he thinks they know about the epigraph!) and so I erred on the side of mentioning slightly less.
This high schooler agrees that the epigraph was a bad idea.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:16 pm

What does DVLO stand for?
No guys, there is no way on earth that the most recognizable feature of that poem is on any level of similarity with the difficulty of the clue "Unreal City." That clue should not be going anywhere near the end of a high school tossup on the Wasteland.
I suppose that could have been an attempt to talk about Elliot's evocation of London, which occupies enough of the poem to go later on in the tossup. But yeah, that line is obscure, and if you really want it in there, it makes more sense to put it next to the clue on Stetson.
Moving on:
I thought that the creator tossups(paticuarly in the visual arts) were a tad exessive. Aside from the imfamous Arnolfini wedding tossup(henforth the excluisve province of lazy question writers), however, the questions were well-written. My only other issues with specific tossups are that Straits of Tiran might be a little early in a Six-Day War tossup, and that tossup could have used a clue or two on the major manuvers.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by vandyhawk » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:18 pm

Anti-Climacus wrote:What does DVLO stand for?
Four guys who came up with a theory on colloid behavior. I wrote a tossup on it for a finals round of CO this year (hardest round ever made?), so given that, I'd say it has zero business appearing in a high school set except as a leadin to a tossup on colloids or something.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:21 pm

Thanks.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by cdcarter » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:15 am

Although I am all over Jean Genet coming up in high school, he's probably a little too hard, especially if The Screens or The Balcony isn't given. However, this looks like it was a really good (albeit hard) set, that probably hit it's conversion numbers pretty good. you did some great work Ian!
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:22 am

Hi. I'm posting to say that I wrote both the Arnolfini Wedding tossup and the Waste Land tossup; I apologize for the issues with them. I'll try to make sure similar issues don't happen in my future question writing.

Re: Arnolfini Wedding: Now that I think about it, there is probably no good leadin for it at the high-school level, and everything else about it is either stock or easy. I'll be taking a break from writing tossups about this painting for a while, and Doug is probably right in encouraging others to take similar breaks from doing so.

Re: The Waste Land: Yes, there were a lot of misplaced clues in this tossup. I probably wasn't familiar enough with the poem as I wrote, and was not a good judge of obscurity for that reason. That epigraph definitely didn't make a good leadin either.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:53 pm

vandyhawk wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:What does DVLO stand for?
Four guys who came up with a theory on colloid behavior. I wrote a tossup on it for a finals round of CO this year (hardest round ever made?), so given that, I'd say it has zero business appearing in a high school set except as a leadin to a tossup on colloids or something.
Dude, DLVO showed up in this set? Now I can truly understand how crazy the difficulty was.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Megalomaniacal Panda on Absinthe » Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:38 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
vandyhawk wrote:
Anti-Climacus wrote:What does DVLO stand for?
Four guys who came up with a theory on colloid behavior. I wrote a tossup on it for a finals round of CO this year (hardest round ever made?), so given that, I'd say it has zero business appearing in a high school set except as a leadin to a tossup on colloids or something.
Dude, DLVO showed up in this set? Now I can truly understand how crazy the difficulty was.
It was one of a couple major outliers of note. Its presence is not representative of the flaws and fluctuations in difficulty that were present. I'm not quite sure why that was there; when I reedited the science, I immediately changed it to steric forces. For multifarious reasons I didn't get a chance to send Bryce the second version, so no one had a chance to play those questions.
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by AlphaQuizBowler » Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:58 pm

This was overall a great set, and it was enjoyable to read on the long Thanksgiving break drive up to New York. There were only a few issues I noticed:
I thought the Red priest came too early in the Vivaldi TU.
The bonus difficulty was variable at some points, most notably in this pair of lit bonuses: One bonus was Paton, Coetzee, Gordimer; the other was Naipaul, Walcott, Danticat. Also, one history bonus was War of 1812, Treaty of Ghent, Battle of New Orleans, which seemed really easy for this set. And this bonus was really hard: Symphonie fantastique (without mentioning Berlioz), Symphonie espagnole, Turangalila-symphonie.
This is probably more an aesthetic point, but I at least prefer that the bonuses put the harder clues first: for example, put The Chairs before Bald Soprano in the Ionesco bonus so people hear the whole bonus and don't just zone out after Bald Soprano.
Was there a repeat of Duomo di Milan?
Monte Carlo is not the capital of Monaco; in fact, Monaco is the capital of Monaco.
William
Alpharetta High School '11
Harvard '15

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at your pleasure
Auron
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:46 pm

I don't remember any Milan Cathedral questions, but I have trouble remember what has come up unless it comes up fairly often. Are you sure that one of the questions you have in mind wasn't the Florence Cathedral bonus?
Speaking of which, there were two issues with that question. Santa Maria del Fiore should not be describe as the largest cathedral in Florence, since there is only one cathedral in Florence. Also, the third part is not specific enough since Ghiberti cast both the north and the east doors of the bapistry.
Douglas Graebner, Walt Whitman HS 10, Uchicago 14
"... imagination acts upon man as really as does gravitation, and may kill him as certainly as a dose of prussic acid."-Sir James Frazer,The Golden Bough

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Joshua Rutsky
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Re: NNT Discussion

Post by Joshua Rutsky » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:13 pm

Did anyone else notice the archived packet has two Packet 5's instead of a Packet 4? The file is named correctly, but has incorrect content.

Thanks to anyone who can correct this, or can e-mail Packet 5 to me at mr.rutsky(REMOVE THIS)atgmail.com
Joshua Rutsky
President, Alabama Scholastic Competition Association
Hoover HS Coach, 2007-2019
Member of the Qwiz Team!

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