MAGNI Question Discussion

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MAGNI Question Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:04 pm

In order to avoid clogging up the more general thread(s) with requests to see one question or discussion of clue placement in one specific question, please request that individual questions be posted and/or discuss specifics of a given individual question here.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by jmannor2 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:53 pm

The clue about "tonight I can write the saddest lines" seemed to come up way too early in the Neruda tossup, unless it was already close to the end by then; it didn't feel like it.

Although I am not that big on anime, the Ruroni Kenshin tossup was pretty awesome.

The casual sex bonus was way too easy.
Last edited by jmannor2 on Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:58 pm

MAGNI, Round 9 wrote:17. In one work by this poet, the speaker wishes he could go “through the streets with a green knife / shouting until I died of cold.” That poem begins with the declaration, “It happens that I am tired of being a man.” In another poem, the lines “The night is shattered / and the blue stars shiver in the distance” serve as evidence of the opening declaration, “Tonight I can write the saddest lines.” This poet of “Walking Around” wrote a collection of Elemental Odes, as well as a poem that expresses the desire to “scrape the innards” of the title location “until I touch mankind.” The speaker of that poem urges, “Rise up to be born with me, my brother” For 10 points, name this Chilean poet of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, and “The Heights of Machu Picchu,” which appears in Canto General.
ANSWER: Pablo Neruda
The clue appears in the exact middle of the tossup. (Hm, it seems as though this is missing Neruda's birth name as an acceptable answer, which we will fix.)
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:20 am

There were a few questions I had minor issues with (particularly in the areas of science I know best).

1-That search algorithm tossup seems to be halfway between what search tossups have looked like over the past few years and where they need to go. Specifically I'm talking about the Grover's Algorithm clue. This has been the lead-in to most search tossups lately. It's the sort of clue that I would expect a non-CS quizbowl player to know more about than a random competent computer scientist. I'm not saying that it's not important, but its quizbowl importance has become an order of magnitude larger than its real world importance. It has thus become a sort of anti-"anti-canon" clue (or just a canon clue for those who prefer logical naming). I say this tossup is halfway there in at least it doesn't mention it by name.

2-That Raoult’s Law tossup needs some work. You start with clues that pretty much anybody whose taken college level chemistry will know and then talk about the Köhler equation which I doubt many people playing this tournament have heard of it. It just seems anti-pyramidal.

3- In the same packet, that RSA tossup uses a lot of clues that aren't really specific to RSA but apply to many algorithms/schemes that require the hardness of factorization or finding large prime numbers. It would be like if I wrote a tossup on the French Revolution and used lots of clues to the effect of "this event happened because people were unhappy" but only a few clues about why people were disgruntled or how that anger played out.

4-This next one isn't so much a complaint as an observation. Jerry, you really like writing questions on magnetic fields in space. Like from the past year alone, I recall like 4 tossups you have written on the subject.

Looking over the packets, most of my other complaints from the tournament appear to be me not properly understanding what the moderator said.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:21 pm

The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:2-That Raoult’s Law tossup needs some work. You start with clues that pretty much anybody whose taken college level chemistry will know and then talk about the Köhler equation which I doubt many people playing this tournament have heard of it. It just seems anti-pyramidal.
Yeah, this was a little difficult to research and find enough clues for to fill out a tossup with. I do get your point though, that will be changed.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:23 pm

The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:1-That search algorithm tossup seems to be halfway between what search tossups have looked like over the past few years and where they need to go. Specifically I'm talking about the Grover's Algorithm clue. This has been the lead-in to most search tossups lately. It's the sort of clue that I would expect a non-CS quizbowl player to know more about than a random competent computer scientist. I'm not saying that it's not important, but its quizbowl importance has become an order of magnitude larger than its real world importance. It has thus become a sort of anti-"anti-canon" clue (or just a canon clue for those who prefer logical naming). I say this tossup is halfway there in at least it doesn't mention it by name.
I haven't heard that many tossups on "search" lately, but if you say so, I defer to your judgment here.
In the same packet, that RSA tossup uses a lot of clues that aren't really specific to RSA but apply to many algorithms/schemes that require the hardness of factorization or finding large prime numbers. It would be like if I wrote a tossup on the French Revolution and used lots of clues to the effect of "this event happened because people were unhappy" but only a few clues about why people were disgruntled or how that anger played out.
Could you be more specific about this? Every clue I used in this question was taken from a cryptography textbook.
This next one isn't so much a complaint as an observation. Jerry, you really like writing questions on magnetic fields in space. Like from the past year alone, I recall like 4 tossups you have written on the subject.
Magnetic fields are everywhere. I didn't really set out to write this purposefully, but looking through my sources I felt like I could write a good question on planetary magnetospheres.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by The Toad to Wigan Pier » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:41 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
In the same packet, that RSA tossup uses a lot of clues that aren't really specific to RSA but apply to many algorithms/schemes that require the hardness of factorization or finding large prime numbers. It would be like if I wrote a tossup on the French Revolution and used lots of clues to the effect of "this event happened because people were unhappy" but only a few clues about why people were disgruntled or how that anger played out.
Could you be more specific about this? Every clue I used in this question was taken from a cryptography textbook.
Okay take for example the first sentence, "To ensure the correctness of one of the inputs to this procedure, the Miller-Rabin or Solovay-Strassen tests were used, though they have recently been superseded by the AKS criterion." This literally applies to pretty much any algorithm that uses prime numbers since all this clue says is that we are talking about a procedure that has a input that needs to be prime. Many hash functions use primality tests and prime number sieves to ensure their distribution properties. In addition, there are many other crypto-systems that aren't RSA that also need a prime number input, such as Diffie–Hellman. As the particular primality tests the question mentions aren't specific to RSA, the algorithms mentioned in the question text are also commonly used to verify input correctness in non-RSA cryptographic scheme that also need prime numbers.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:09 am

The Toad to Wigan Pier wrote:Okay take for example the first sentence, "To ensure the correctness of one of the inputs to this procedure, the Miller-Rabin or Solovay-Strassen tests were used, though they have recently been superseded by the AKS criterion." This literally applies to pretty much any algorithm that uses prime numbers since all this clue says is that we are talking about a procedure that has a input that needs to be prime. Many hash functions use primality tests and prime number sieves to ensure their distribution properties. In addition, there are many other crypto-systems that aren't RSA that also need a prime number input, such as Diffie–Hellman. As the particular primality tests the question mentions aren't specific to RSA, the algorithms mentioned in the question text are also commonly used to verify input correctness in non-RSA cryptographic scheme that also need prime numbers.
Fair enough, thanks. Sorry for the ambiguity.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:12 am

For what it's worth, I also wrote 4/4 each of the religion and philosophy, as well as the 1/1 basketball in the set.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza » Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:28 pm

For curiosity sake, why does the North Vietnam toss-up not prompt on Vietnam, at least through "Prior to unification"? Though I realize the first clue only applies to North Vietnam (Or at least I assume it does, since it refers to a specific country. Wikipedia's never heard of Operation Back to Reality nor its Vietnamese equivalent, and googling that is utterly useless.), but it seems that someone with enough knowledge to say Vietnam knows sufficient information to warrant at least a prompt, at least through the aforementioned point. Like, Will and I both said Vietnam in round and his moderator misread and prompted, whereas mine didn't. Not complaining, moreso just wondering why.

Also, the "This team was one pitch away from the World Series in 1986" clue made me sad when I negged it with Astros. Turns out they lost the 1986 NLCS in Game 6, though.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:38 pm

Superb_starling wrote:For curiosity sake, why does the North Vietnam toss-up not prompt on Vietnam, at least through "Prior to unification"?
I wrote this question. My reasoning was that "Vietnam" denoted the country pre-1954 partition and post-1976 reunification, and that there wasn't really a "Vietnam" in between those two time points (and all the clues were set during that time period anyway).
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by An Intergalactic Puzzlepalooza » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:59 pm

Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote:
Superb_starling wrote:For curiosity sake, why does the North Vietnam toss-up not prompt on Vietnam, at least through "Prior to unification"?
I wrote this question. My reasoning was that "Vietnam" denoted the country pre-1954 partition and post-1976 reunification, and that there wasn't really a "Vietnam" in between those two time points (and all the clues were set during that time period anyway).
I feel like, though, that this would be approximately like taking a tossup on 1960's Ceylon and not accepting Sri Lanka. Which, I suppose, is totally reasonable, but I feel like it would cause a lot of misses on account of knowing the information but misunderstanding what the question was looking for.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:50 pm

Superb_starling wrote:
Blanford's Fringe-fingered Lizard wrote:
Superb_starling wrote:For curiosity sake, why does the North Vietnam toss-up not prompt on Vietnam, at least through "Prior to unification"?
I wrote this question. My reasoning was that "Vietnam" denoted the country pre-1954 partition and post-1976 reunification, and that there wasn't really a "Vietnam" in between those two time points (and all the clues were set during that time period anyway).
I feel like, though, that this would be approximately like taking a tossup on 1960's Ceylon and not accepting Sri Lanka. Which, I suppose, is totally reasonable, but I feel like it would cause a lot of misses on account of knowing the information but misunderstanding what the question was looking for.
Well there is a difference: Ceylon underwent a name change but not really a drastic regime or head of state or style of government or territory change. North Vietnam absolutely did. I'll talk more with Matt to figure out what to do, but I'm leaning toward not giving people points just for saying the first answer they can think of.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:02 am

North Vietnam was very much a separate government; I think it's somewhat analogous to not accepting "Czech Republic" if the answer is "Czechosolvakia."
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:30 pm

Some of the geography tossups were rather lacking. I admit I'm not an expert on this category, but I don't really know what the point of say tossing up Cape Verde satisfies. The tossup on Washington featured very easy lead-in clues--Mt. Olympus, the fact that there's salmon fisheries, and rain forests--you were really narrowing it down to the Pacific Northwest early. There were some decent ideas in the current events and some not so decent ideas. I thought asking for Operation TWO Fast TOO Furious was not the best idea in the world.

Music questions definitely rewarded real knowledge, but the lead-in clues seemed top heavy more than a few times.

I usually don't have this problem so it's the only reason I bring it up, but I felt pronoun usage was a little lax at times. Maybe it was me being tired or not being able to follow the moderators, but more than usual I felt myself trying to remember or figure out what a pronoun was in these questions. I realize this isn't a novice tournament, but a tournament being pushed for a wide audience, it also wouldn't hurt for slightly unconventional answerline questions to do a better job spelling out and reminding what pronoun is needed (might be nitpicky here, but I always seem to note that newer or middling teams have a hard time figuring out the __works_ by _composer_ answerlines for some reason).

There were some very good ideas within the categories I have the most knowledge. I thought the history and American lit were pretty solid and the few "creative" answerlines were interesting and enjoyable (such as textile mills).

Apropos of nothing, the trash was seemingly written by a kindred spirit who does not like the stuff the kids today are interested in. I approve. The Dead Parrot sketch, Newman, Grinch, and Daaaavid Robinson were very fun. Of course the tossup on Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story made me vomit all over your set.

This is kind of rambling, so I'll stop for now. This was a good set and I had fun.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:32 am

As mentioned by Mike Cheyne, that Washington TU was not very good. With the caveat that I am terrible at geography, I thought Mount Olympus was pretty well-known and the next two sentences after that are basically just waiting for someone to take the plunge and say Washington. While I think it's a great idea to use those kinds of clues, I don't think it worked out very well here.

I found several clues in that flip-flop question extremely confusing; though one sentence in particular threw me off. "In one type of this device, the switching logic is controlled by the truth table of its two data inputs," - what does this mean? Is this supposed to refer to a JK flip flop or an SR latch or something? Am I just parsing the phrasing wrong here because I feel like this applies to any logic gate with two inputs. "while another type of this device lacks any data inputs at all." - what is this even supposed to mean? How in the world can you transition to another state if you don't have some sort of input? Are you trying to refer to the D flip flop here or what because I've never heard of anything like this and over half my digital logic design class was on flip-flops.

I felt the description of the Walker Circulation was at best subpar and possibly even wrong. From my understanding, it is basically the equivalent of a Hadley cell except flipped upside down, rotated 90 degrees and located only over the Pacific ocean. (Moist air goes west along the surface of the Pacific, rises up releasing moisture and goes back east as dry air in atmosphere, sinks, etc. etc.). I'm pretty sure "a vertical water exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere" is just called like air-sea exchange or ocean-atmospheric coupling.

I feel like the antenna question could have had a much easier giveaway for people who don't know anything about antennas.

Edit: Also, while apparently Maitreya is a bodhisattva, isn't he a future Buddha, which makes the clue referring to him kind of confusing since it specifies a future one of these?
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:06 am

SirT wrote:I found several clues in that flip-flop question extremely confusing; though one sentence in particular threw me off. "In one type of this device, the switching logic is controlled by the truth table of its two data inputs," - what does this mean? Is this supposed to refer to a JK flip flop or an SR latch or something?
It's a description of the JK flip-flop, yes. I was trying to explain how the output is controlled by the two (J and K) inputs, in the sense that the input values dictate what the gate actually does (set, reset, or toggle).
Am I just parsing the phrasing wrong here because I feel like this applies to any logic gate with two inputs.
I was trying to describe how the inputs actually control the operation of the flip-flop (which wouldn't be true for a basic logic gate). I guess there's some sense in which a flip-flop is a logic gate, and perhaps that should be promptable here. Sorry if that was confusing.
"while another type of this device lacks any data inputs at all." - what is this even supposed to mean? How in the world can you transition to another state if you don't have some sort of input? Are you trying to refer to the D flip flop here or what because I've never heard of anything like this and over half my digital logic design class was on flip-flops.
That's a T-type (toggle) flip-flop. All it does is change state on triggering the clock. I was trying to distinguish between clock and data inputs, and maybe I should have been less coy doing so.
I felt the description of the Walker Circulation was at best subpar and possibly even wrong. From my understanding, it is basically the equivalent of a Hadley cell except flipped upside down, rotated 90 degrees and located only over the Pacific ocean. (Moist air goes west along the surface of the Pacific, rises up releasing moisture and goes back east as dry air in atmosphere, sinks, etc. etc.). I'm pretty sure "a vertical water exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere" is just called like air-sea exchange or ocean-atmospheric coupling.
I'm not really sure how what you're saying above is different from "vertical water exchange." Anyway, if you like, I can give you the book cite from where I got the information; it's a book on atmospheric physics which describes the Walker circulation as essentially a vertical exchange, via the mechanism you're talking about. I just didn't want the clue to be 4 lines long to completely describe it (it has two different modes depending of whether the temperature anomaly goes hot or cold). Again, sorry if that was suboptimal.
I feel like the antenna question could have had a much easier giveaway for people who don't know anything about antennas.
I mean, I didn't say "this thing on your car." Yeah, it's pretty easy; I wanted people to be able to get it at the giveaway without making it an ass-finding expedition.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:21 am

grapesmoker wrote:That's a T-type (toggle) flip-flop. All it does is change state on triggering the clock. I was trying to distinguish between clock and data inputs, and maybe I should have been less coy doing so.
Are you sure about this? From what I remember, there is an input T and a clock input. The next state is the current state if T is 0 and q' if T is 1. We never really used these in anything, so I could be misremembering though.

Edit: My DLD book confirms: the next state is equal to T xor'ed with the current state.
grapesmoker wrote:I'm not really sure how what you're saying above is different from "vertical water exchange." Anyway, if you like, I can give you the book cite from where I got the information; it's a book on atmospheric physics which describes the Walker circulation as essentially a vertical exchange, via the mechanism you're talking about. I just didn't want the clue to be 4 lines long to completely describe it (it has two different modes depending of whether the temperature anomaly goes hot or cold). Again, sorry if that was suboptimal.
I mean, I certainly believe you if you say you got this out of a book, I don't need you to cite it! I've just never heard it described as that.
grapesmoker wrote:I mean, I didn't say "this thing on your car." Yeah, it's pretty easy; I wanted people to be able to get it at the giveaway without making it an ass-finding expedition.
Well, I wasn't trying to say it had to be an ass-finding expedition or something, but several other questions at least allowed you to logic it out at the giveaway based on things like naming two galaxies that people know are going to collide in however-many billion years or whatever. The giveaway for this seemed oddly hard in comparison to several others.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:10 am

SirT wrote:Edit: Also, while apparently Maitreya is a bodhisattva, isn't he a future Buddha, which makes the clue referring to him kind of confusing since it specifies a future one of these?
I don't know anything about this, but one of my teammates negged with Buddhas there and was really upset because he said he learned that in a philosophy class.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:32 am

Cheynem wrote: Music questions definitely rewarded real knowledge, but the lead-in clues seemed top heavy more than a few times.
Am curious to hear specific examples, if you can think of any off the top of your head, or once you have the set.
Apropos of nothing, the trash was seemingly written by a kindred spirit who does not like the stuff the kids today are interested in. I approve. The Dead Parrot sketch, Newman, Grinch...
Those three (and the sauce tossup I co-wrote with Kevin) are my trash tossups for this tournament. Glad you liked them.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:26 pm

SirT wrote:Are you sure about this? From what I remember, there is an input T and a clock input. The next state is the current state if T is 0 and q' if T is 1. We never really used these in anything, so I could be misremembering though.

Edit: My DLD book confirms: the next state is equal to T xor'ed with the current state.
Yeah, you're right. I just rechecked my source again and found that I'd misread the diagram that I was looking at. My apologies.
Well, I wasn't trying to say it had to be an ass-finding expedition or something, but several other questions at least allowed you to logic it out at the giveaway based on things like naming two galaxies that people know are going to collide in however-many billion years or whatever. The giveaway for this seemed oddly hard in comparison to several others.
Sorry, this is what I get for responding late at night with not all neurons firing; I thought for some reason that you said the giveaway was easier in comparison with the others. You're right, it's a little harder than some of the rest, but I'm not sure there's a more straightforward definition of "antenna" than "a thing used to receive and transmit electromagnetic radiation." It did require people to do some thinking at the end, but I'm fine with that in this case; most of the questions I wrote were, I think, reasonably kind to non-experts.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Ringil » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:37 pm

One thing I remember vividly is that the Spherical Coordinates tossup had a leadin to the effect of "Solutions to the Helmholtz equation in these coordinates involve Bessel functions of the first and second kind."

However, this is pretty deceptive as solutions to the Helmholtz equation in cylindrical coordinates notably use Bessel functions of the first and second kind... While Bessel functions may be used in solving the Helmholtz equation in Spherical Coordinates, I believe those Bessel function are spherical Bessel functions, which are a bit different. Either way, I felt this was a trap.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:32 pm

Ringil wrote:One thing I remember vividly is that the Spherical Coordinates tossup had a leadin to the effect of "Solutions to the Helmholtz equation in these coordinates involve Bessel functions of the first and second kind."

However, this is pretty deceptive as solutions to the Helmholtz equation in cylindrical coordinates notably use Bessel functions of the first and second kind... While Bessel functions may be used in solving the Helmholtz equation in Spherical Coordinates, I believe those Bessel function are spherical Bessel functions, which are a bit different. Either way, I felt this was a trap.
In this coordinate system, the complete solution to the Helmholtz differential equation is a linear combination of half-integral order Bessel functions of the first and second kinds.
The operative term here is "half-integral." The spherical Bessel function is in fact just the half-integral Bessel function of the same order, normalized. This was not a trap.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by cchiego » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:56 pm

Some of the geography tossups were rather lacking. I admit I'm not an expert on this category, but I don't really know what the point of say tossing up Cape Verde satisfies. The tossup on Washington featured very easy lead-in clues--Mt. Olympus, the fact that there's salmon fisheries, and rain forests--you were really narrowing it down to the Pacific Northwest early. There were some decent ideas in the current events and some not so decent ideas. I thought asking for Operation TWO Fast TOO Furious was not the best idea in the world.
I didn't write the Washington TU and I put a note in there that Olympus was far too early in the question, but perhaps an older version of that question got in the set? I knew Cape Verde would be tough, but it's got interesting ecology and I thought was worthy of inclusion.

Curious what you thought was wrong the Operation Fast and Furious TU? It's an interesting, relevant topic that's not another election or random world leader.

Also, this is from the other thread, but someone mentioned they disliked the IR tossups (I think only 2 made it into the final packets) so any specifics on those would be ideal.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:04 pm

I thought Operation Fast Five was a good idea but perhaps too hard (at least I could not remember the name of the operation and neither could many teams at our site). I admit it's not something I know a lot about, but I thought perhaps making an easier answerline might have been the better idea.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:38 pm

For the tossup on the Munich Massacre, Operation Spring of Youth and Operation Wrath of God came up too early, I thought. They're pretty notable - especially the latter - and should've come later than the second (?) line.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:13 pm

Cheynem wrote:I thought Operation Fast Five was a good idea but perhaps too hard (at least I could not remember the name of the operation and neither could many teams at our site). I admit it's not something I know a lot about, but I thought perhaps making an easier answerline might have been the better idea.
Is there some reason it couldn't be written on the Bureau of ATF? I knew what was going on at some point in that tossup but I never heard the name of the operation on the radio or whatever.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by cchiego » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:23 pm

theMoMA wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I thought Operation Fast Five was a good idea but perhaps too hard (at least I could not remember the name of the operation and neither could many teams at our site). I admit it's not something I know a lot about, but I thought perhaps making an easier answerline might have been the better idea.
Is there some reason it couldn't be written on the Bureau of ATF? I knew what was going on at some point in that tossup but I never heard the name of the operation on the radio or whatever.
I was considering the ATF as well, but that would've required a bit of shoehorning; there's not much else notable going on at the ATF so I could've filled in the first few lines with really random stuff nobody would know or write the question mostly on OFaF and then end by asking for the ATF. Neither seemed like particularly appealing options, so I kept the original answer line. There's really not a canon for current events, but Cabinet-level positions seem to be fair game so perhaps a TU on Eric Holder would've worked better there. That said, I like having a few TUs on specific events/actions like this (esp. if they have a clear name) as a complement to more general ones like the Florida TU that cover several different events in one place or by one person.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:58 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
Cheynem wrote: Music questions definitely rewarded real knowledge, but the lead-in clues seemed top heavy more than a few times.
Am curious to hear specific examples, if you can think of any off the top of your head, or once you have the set.
I didn't want to pile on, but I sort of see where he's coming from. Let's take the tossup on "symphonies of Haydn." It drops from the title "The Bear" to a description of the Drumroll Symphony (which is probably near the end of the top 10 most famous Haydn symphonies, I guess) to a really basic description of the Surprise Symphony that many teams know. That did seem a bit top-heavy to me. I do have to say that I found a lot of your music questions cool and I thought the answerlines were sufficiently easy enough that I didn't complain while we were writing the set.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:15 pm

I admit that the Berlioz tossup is top-heavy. But I'm very surprised that you think the Haydn symphonies tossup is. Based on the real-world fame of the pieces clued, this struck me as the least top-heavy thing Kevin wrote. I frankly don't understand where you're coming from. Are you saying that people can't buzz before the description of the Surprise symphony?
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:19 pm

cchiego wrote:I was considering the ATF as well, but that would've required a bit of shoehorning; there's not much else notable going on at the ATF
Allow me to introduce you to my friends Waco and Ruby Ridge.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:22 pm

Not really current events.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:23 pm

Cheynem wrote:Not really current events.
Even so, I wouldn't have minded a current events question with those things as clues.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:24 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:Are you saying that people can't buzz before the description of the Surprise symphony?
No, I'm saying that there's a decent sized cliff between the descriptions of Drumroll and Surprise. I don't doubt that people with knowledge will convert it way before that.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:30 pm

cchiego wrote:
theMoMA wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I thought Operation Fast Five was a good idea but perhaps too hard (at least I could not remember the name of the operation and neither could many teams at our site). I admit it's not something I know a lot about, but I thought perhaps making an easier answerline might have been the better idea.
Is there some reason it couldn't be written on the Bureau of ATF? I knew what was going on at some point in that tossup but I never heard the name of the operation on the radio or whatever.
I was considering the ATF as well, but that would've required a bit of shoehorning; there's not much else notable going on at the ATF so I could've filled in the first few lines with really random stuff nobody would know or write the question mostly on OFaF and then end by asking for the ATF. Neither seemed like particularly appealing options, so I kept the original answer line. There's really not a canon for current events, but Cabinet-level positions seem to be fair game so perhaps a TU on Eric Holder would've worked better there. That said, I like having a few TUs on specific events/actions like this (esp. if they have a clear name) as a complement to more general ones like the Florida TU that cover several different events in one place or by one person.
The idea that a tossup on the BATF would have to include clues on non Fast-and-Furious clues is the mindset that leads to people writing tossups on hard-to-answer things. You can write a tossup on BATF from clues that refer only to its dealings with that particular Operation, and it will be a lot more answerable than writing on the name of the operation itself (for example, I've seen the current ATF acting director, B. Todd Jones, speak about Fast and Furious, but he never called it by the name, so I couldn't answer that question).

More generally, you can write a tossup on anything using clues from only one particular angle (example: a tossup on Milton could refer only to clues from Paradise Lost). People who are thinking about writing on something that is on the border of toohardland should consider whether essentially the same tossup could be written on an easier answer using essentially the exact same clues with slightly different pronouns.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:43 pm

I think expecting people to come up with the answer line "kings of Scotland named James" is unrealistic and also needless. Why not just write it on "kings with this name...." and use only Scotland clues?
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:25 pm

I actually thought the Operation Fast and Furious was really cool and was happy to see a current events TU that wasn't just another politician or polity. Perhaps Kings of Scotland named James is more like what I was thinking of as being hard to figure out what it wanted than "science" - you knew what it was talking about, but you don't want to buzz in and say "people who were the King of Scotland and whose name was James."

Also, on an unrelated note, I thought the work tossup shouldn't have had that it's the integral of PVdV as the lead-in. Isn't that talked about in intro physics classes?
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:40 pm

Plan Rubber wrote:Also, on an unrelated note, I thought the work tossup shouldn't have had that it's the integral of PVdV as the lead-in. Isn't that talked about in intro physics classes?
No. Also, the number of people in quizbowl taking intro physics (or any physics at all) is quite low. It's fine for this tournament.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:44 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Plan Rubber wrote:Also, on an unrelated note, I thought the work tossup shouldn't have had that it's the integral of PVdV as the lead-in. Isn't that talked about in intro physics classes?
No. Also, the number of people in quizbowl taking intro physics (or any physics at all) is quite low. It's fine for this tournament.
OK. We talked about it in my AP Physics class, so I assumed it would be talked about in college classes too.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:35 am

I was really happy to hear the blues bonus, because I feel like jazz always gets more respect than blues for no good reason, although Tommy Johnson sold his soul to the devil more than Robert, although song titles make Robert obviously the answer to the second part.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:43 am

Any chance someone could send me a copy of the questions so I can find some specific things I don't quite remember?
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:46 am

Plan Rubber wrote:OK. We talked about it in my AP Physics class, so I assumed it would be talked about in college classes too.
Your luck, I suppose. It was not covered in my AP Physics class, or any of my college classes until I got to stat mech.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Gaterion » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:17 pm

Could you post the bonus about designer shoes? I'm pretty sure I saw something strange there, but I want to make sure.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:19 pm

Answer these questions about designer shoes, for 10 points each.
[10] Shoe designers such as Jimmy Choo gained fame by being featured on this HBO show, in which Carrie Bradshaw has torrid affairs with Mr. Big and talks with her friends Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha.
ANSWER: Sex and the City
[10] Carrie’s favorite designer is this real-life Spaniard, who designed the blue satin pumps that Carrie wore to wed Mr. Big in the first Sex and the City movie. In another episode his d’Orsay pumps were stolen from a baby shower.
ANSWER: Manolo Blahnik [or Manuel Blahnik Rodriguez]
[10] French shoe designer Christian Louboutin uses a lacquer of this color on the soles of all of his stiletto heels.
ANSWER: red
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:40 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
Ringil wrote:One thing I remember vividly is that the Spherical Coordinates tossup had a leadin to the effect of "Solutions to the Helmholtz equation in these coordinates involve Bessel functions of the first and second kind."

However, this is pretty deceptive as solutions to the Helmholtz equation in cylindrical coordinates notably use Bessel functions of the first and second kind... While Bessel functions may be used in solving the Helmholtz equation in Spherical Coordinates, I believe those Bessel function are spherical Bessel functions, which are a bit different. Either way, I felt this was a trap.
In this coordinate system, the complete solution to the Helmholtz differential equation is a linear combination of half-integral order Bessel functions of the first and second kinds.
The operative term here is "half-integral." The spherical Bessel function is in fact just the half-integral Bessel function of the same order, normalized. This was not a trap.
Do you think that this mentions coordinate systems too early because just saying that, people without much knowledge of it could hazard a guess and get it right.

Also, I'm not sure about this, but for the pendulum bonus, part c was double pendulum. Would complex pendulum have been promptable?

EDIT: Words are hard
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:49 pm

Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:Do you think that this mentions coordinate systems too early because just saying that, people without much knowledge of it could hazard a guess and get it right.
No, not really. I mean, here are some possible answers from that clue: Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, polar, elliptical, hyperbolic. Just from knowing that it's a coordinate system doesn't give you a whole lot to work with.
Also, I'm not sure about this, but for the pendulum bonus, part c was double pendulum. Would complex pendulum have been promptable?
I would prompt on "complex," sure. It didn't occur to me to list that because I didn't remember that particular terminology.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:25 am

grapesmoker wrote:
Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:Do you think that this mentions coordinate systems too early because just saying that, people without much knowledge of it could hazard a guess and get it right.
No, not really. I mean, here are some possible answers from that clue: Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, polar, elliptical, hyperbolic. Just from knowing that it's a coordinate system doesn't give you a whole lot to work with.
Also, I'm not sure about this, but for the pendulum bonus, part c was double pendulum. Would complex pendulum have been promptable?
I would prompt on "complex," sure. It didn't occur to me to list that because I didn't remember that particular terminology.
Yeah I said complex, but wasn't prompted, although there was no way I would have come up with double pendulum. Just thought about mentioning it in case that occurs as another mirror
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Black-throated Antshrike » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:45 pm

Packet 1: For "Flip/Flops", shouldn't it prompt on logic gate?

Packet 3: For "Deterrence", is it just me, or does this hose for "brinksmanship" pretty early?

Packet 4: For "shockwave", I'm not sure, but this sounded a lot like Cherenkov radiation, as they are both are results of going really fast in a given medium.

Packet 5: For the "Malta" bonus, in part b, wouldn't "Knights of Saint John" be acceptable without the "of Jerusalem" part?

Packet 6: "Andy Sandberg" question should read "who did a cut"
"VSEPR" bonus: is it me or is there no real hard/medium parts in this? I could be very wrong about this though.

Packet 7: "changing sex: tossup: I really liked this question, but I got hosed on the Loki part, saying having sex with. I don't know how much of a problem this is, but it might be useful to word it so it puts more emphasis on changing sex and not Loki having sex with the horse.
"Rouroni Kenshin": I don't know how much of a problem this is, but I read and watch A LOT of manga and anime, and when you said "this manga" as opposed to "the manga of this anime" made me start to think of mangas that had no anime associated with it. This may just be because I watch so much anime that this happened, but I think it would be prudent to mention this so people with superior knowledge don't get confused. I do really appreciate the inclusion of anime and manga in tournaments, so this was quite awesome

Packet 9: For the tiebreaker on "Freyr":
Due to his loss of his sword, this son of Njord kills the frost giant Beli with a ripped-off antler. This figure owns a ship that always has favorable wind and can be folded up for storage when not in use, which is called Skidbladnir. This employer of Skirnir trades golden apples and that sword, which could fight on its own, for his wife Gerd.

this needs some changing. The wedding is pretty famous and you mention his sword to early. Also, Skirnir is not that famous and should be mentioned earlier

Overall, this was an extremely good set and I really enjoyed playing it.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Auroni » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:55 pm

"VSEPR" bonus: is it me or is there no real hard/medium parts in this? I could be very wrong about this though.
19. A larger basis set is used in the Coulson-Fischer method that underpins the “modern” form of this theory. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this theory that is distinct from molecular orbital theory. It postulates that atomic orbitals combine to form bonds and states that hybridization can occur.
ANSWER: valence bond theory
[10] Valence bond theory was postulated by Heitler and this guy, who developed equations for the Meissner effect. He described how correlated movements in electrons create a weak intermolecular interaction.
ANSWER: Fritz Wolfgang London
[10] Another molecular theory is this one, which classifies molecules into shapes such as see-saw, square planar, and tetrahedral.
ANSWER: VSEPR (“vesper”) [ or valence shell electron pair repulsion theory; or Gillespie-Nyholm theory]

I can guarantee you that no more than a couple of teams got the first part. I wanted people who knew their stuff from class to be able to 20 it, hence the second and third parts.
"Rouroni Kenshin": I don't know how much of a problem this is, but I read and watch A LOT of manga and anime, and when you said "this manga" as opposed to "the manga of this anime" made me start to think of mangas that had no anime associated with it. This may just be because I watch so much anime that this happened, but I think it would be prudent to mention this so people with superior knowledge don't get confused.
At least two people with superior knowledge got this early. I'm not really sympathetic to you for not knowing that this series was both a manga and an anime.
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Re: Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:14 pm

Andrew Jackson's Compatriot wrote:"Rouroni Kenshin": I don't know how much of a problem this is, but I read and watch A LOT of manga and anime, and when you said "this manga" as opposed to "the manga of this anime" made me start to think of mangas that had no anime associated with it. This may just be because I watch so much anime that this happened, but I think it would be prudent to mention this so people with superior knowledge don't get confused. I do really appreciate the inclusion of anime and manga in tournaments, so this was quite awesome
This is ludicrous. The first two clues apply to a sizable story arc which constitutes the final third or so of the Rurouni Kenshin manga and does not appear at all in the anime. If you watched the anime and didn't read/know the plot of the manga, you didn't actually have "superior knowledge" because you didn't have enough knowledge to answer a question on this particular manga within the first two clues of the question. If you thought the term "manga" excludes things with anime adaptations, that's not a problem with you knowing more about completely different works, it's a problem with your own flawed logical reasoning (after all, what you're arguing is essentially logically equivalent to prefacing every lit tossup with "The book of this film" if it has a film adaptation, JUST IN CASE). Quizbowl works a certain way; Deal With It.

I'm glad you appreciated the idea, though.
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