Question Specific Discussion

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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:19 am

Ike wrote:
I would call this, The Decameron, and The Arabian Nights short story collections because, even though they have frame stories, they are primarily made up of lots of separate stories.
When I was reading through most of the categories in the week before the tournament, I found a recurring problem of writers using wonky pronouns for whatever reason. The tossup on Circe before I commented on it, used the phrase "this goddess" through out the entire tossup, which is not cool, especially for the lower level teams.

In this case here, you are just being misleading. I took an entire class on The Canterbury Tales and it most certainly isn't a short story collection. The concept of a short story did not even begin to take form until the 18th century, along with the rise of the novel. Furthermore, more than 1/3 of the text of the Canterbury Tales is about the pilgrim's lives and beliefs, only 2/3 of the text is actually about what you are calling "stories," it is not a short story collection even by modern standards. Furthermore, the entire thing is written in verse, what other short story collection is written in - or let alone, verse?. Less-misleading pronouns to use include "This book," "This collection," "This work," or even "This tome" if you're feeling playful, so that anyone who knows about the Canterbury Tales is not even remotely confused.
Sure, calling this a book is probably better, though in the original wording I used "collection" rather than "short story collection" which I don't think is terribly misleading since you can't really tell me that it's not a "collection"
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:55 am

Responding to both of your points:

I think the parsability of the question text (not really a word, but you know what I mean) is the bigger issue I have with the question.

As to the other issue about CSG's and CFG's - you are correct. A CFG without an empty string as part of its language is a CSG automatically. However, my main point in bringing that up is that people are going to buzz on that sentence (given they parsed what you say) because they know that "epsilon transitions" and "cycles" are things you would talk about when discussing any grammar, not because that they actually know what a "proper grammar" is. Given that you recognize that, it really isn't a valid argument that the term "proper" only applies to CSG's and not PDA's to deny Sam's point - he probably inferred that since you're talking about epsilon transitions, we are talking about some type of state machine, and that's really the most of what you can expect players to know from the clues given, therefore arguing that a "proper grammar" exists but a "proper PDA" doesn't exist is not good.

In case it isn't clear, or if you are someone who isn't know CS let me just flow chart my argument for my second paragraph:

1.) You are way more likely to infer the answer of grammar from the second sentence "epsilon" and "cycles" because these are widely used terms in the context of grammars and PDA's, not from the fact that there exists a "proper grammar." If you agree with this premise, proceed to point 2, otherwise go to point 3.

2.) If you accept the above, then you can't knock anyone for saying PDA's, as the answer makes perfect sense given the context. Therefore you are using an obscure technicality to try to deny points to someone who made a good buzz and gave a good answer given the clues that are possibly knowable. An extremely hypothetical analogy of this would be to write a tossup saying "Using the example of a ghost, this book advocated deconstructionism" and having the answer line being Spectres of Marx instead of Of Grammatology, then pointing out that there are no ghosts in Of Grammatology. (This is a made example, maybe there are ghosts.)

3.) Your expectation that a player knows what a proper grammar is way too high. If it were appropriate to make a "proper grammar" a lead-in level clue, by dropping "epsilon" and "cycles" you used terminology that is so familiar that you just caused the player to fall off a difficulty cliff.

Re: Canterbury Tales, If it were the case you said "This collection" you did nothing wrong.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by sbraunfeld » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:07 am

sbraunfeld wrote:
Ras superfamily wrote:
sbraunfeld wrote:I would have to see the question to be sure, but I believe the leadin to the "grammars" tossup applied equally to "pushdown automata", since they are equivalent to context-free grammars in expressive power.
Penn Bowl wrote:The “proper” distinction can be applied to one type of these systems if it has no cycles or epsilon productions, in addition to two other requirements;


I've never heard of a "proper" pushdown automaton and I don't think that this clue makes sense for a pushdown automaton but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong
I guess it was the next line, which I recall being something like "a canonical one of these describes the language of matching parentheses". This would apply to pushdown automata for the reason mentioned before, although I may be missing some distinguishing detail from the clue.

Also, I haven't heard of proper pushdown automata either, but cycles and epsilon transitions certainly are certainly things a pushdown automaton can have.
I misheard, and misread, "espilon productions" as "epsilon transitions". The leadin does indeed only make sense for grammars, and not PDAs. However, I still think the next clue about the language of matching parentheses was ambiguous. Whether this would need to be fixed, given that the leadin only makes sense for grammars, is a more subtle question.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:13 pm

Ike wrote:I think the parsability of the question text (not really a word, but you know what I mean) is the bigger issue I have with the question.

As to the other issue about CSG's and CFG's - you are correct. A CFG without an empty string as part of its language is a CSG automatically. However, my main point in bringing that up is that people are going to buzz on that sentence (given they parsed what you say) because they know that "epsilon transitions" and "cycles" are things you would talk about when discussing any grammar, not because that they actually know what a "proper grammar" is. Given that you recognize that, it really isn't a valid argument that the term "proper" only applies to CSG's and not PDA's to deny Sam's point - he probably inferred that since you're talking about epsilon transitions, we are talking about some type of state machine, and that's really the most of what you can expect players to know from the clues given, therefore arguing that a "proper grammar" exists but a "proper PDA" doesn't exist is not good.
I did not talk about "epsilon transitions" which would be misleading. Epsilon productions are a feature of grammars only, as far as I know.
Ike wrote:1.) You are way more likely to infer the answer of grammar from the second sentence "epsilon" and "cycles" because these are widely used terms in the context of grammars and PDA's, not from the fact that there exists a "proper grammar." If you agree with this premise, proceed to point 2, otherwise go to point 3.

2.) If you accept the above, then you can't knock anyone for saying PDA's, as the answer makes perfect sense given the context. Therefore you are using an obscure technicality to try to deny points to someone who made a good buzz and gave a good answer given the clues that are possibly knowable. An extremely hypothetical analogy of this would be to write a tossup saying "Using the example of a ghost, this book advocated deconstructionism" and having the answer line being Spectres of Marx instead of Of Grammatology, then pointing out that there are no ghosts in Of Grammatology. (This is a made example, maybe there are ghosts.)

3.) Your expectation that a player knows what a proper grammar is way too high. If it were appropriate to make a "proper grammar" a lead-in level clue, by dropping "epsilon" and "cycles" you used terminology that is so familiar that you just caused the player to fall off a difficulty cliff.
The ability to buzz on the leadin does not really depend on knowledge of what a "proper" context-free grammar is, though you could certainly be more confident if you had such knowledge. I think the fundamental difference between our perspectives, besides the misunderstanding about transitions vs productions, is that you think people should not be expected to buzz on knowledge of what epsilon productions are. I am perfectly happy giving 15 points to someone who knows that epsilon productions are a feature of grammars (and not PDAs, DFAs, Turing machines) and is willing to buzz on that knowledge. Otherwise, some people may know what proper CFGs are and will definitely get points for that knowledge.

I don't think you addressed the ability of players to understand the clue. Again, if the clue is hard to understand then I can replace it but that hasn't really been discussed.
sbraunfeld wrote:I misheard, and misread, "espilon productions" as "epsilon transitions". The leadin does indeed only make sense for grammars, and not PDAs. However, I still think the next clue about the language of matching parentheses was ambiguous. Whether this would need to be fixed, given that the leadin only makes sense for grammars, is a more subtle question.
I agree that this is ambiguous, so I will change the parenthesis clue
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Red Panda Cub » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:19 pm

This is a pretty minor complaint about what was otherwise a good question, but, as I recall, the lead in to the free will tossup said that Schopenhauer posited three types of freedom in his analysis of it. You probably don't want to drop the word freedom in the first line of a free will tossup.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:11 pm

Could I see the question on "Also Sprach Zarathustra"?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:33 pm

vinteuil wrote:Could I see the question on "Also Sprach Zarathustra"?
Penn Bowl wrote:A 3/4-time section of this work begins with clarinets and flutes alternately playing groups of sixteenth notes over another theme that alternates between the trumpet and violin parts; that section features a prominent violin solo. The opening theme of this work is heard in alternate measures in the low voices while the winds play B major chords at the ending of the final section. This piece includes a 12/8 rhythm of forte notes for the timpani to separate three repetitions of a (*) fanfare. This work includes sections like “Dance Song” and ends with the “Song of the Night Wanderer,” and its opening theme is played by the trumpets on the notes C, G, C, and is called the “Sunrise” theme. For 10 points, name this work by Richard Strauss who found inspiration in a text by Nietzsche.
ANSWER: Also sprach Zarathustra [or Thus Spake Zarathustra; or Thus Spoke Zarathustra]
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Ras superfamily wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Could I see the question on "Also Sprach Zarathustra"?
Penn Bowl wrote:A 3/4-time section of this work begins with clarinets and flutes alternately playing groups of sixteenth notes over another theme that alternates between the trumpet and violin parts; that section features a prominent violin solo. The opening theme of this work is heard in alternate measures in the low voices while the winds play B major chords at the ending of the final section. This piece includes a 12/8 rhythm of forte notes for the timpani to separate three repetitions of a (*) fanfare. This work includes sections like “Dance Song” and ends with the “Song of the Night Wanderer,” and its opening theme is played by the trumpets on the notes C, G, C, and is called the “Sunrise” theme. For 10 points, name this work by Richard Strauss who found inspiration in a text by Nietzsche.
ANSWER: Also sprach Zarathustra [or Thus Spake Zarathustra; or Thus Spoke Zarathustra]
"Song of the Night Wanderer"—where did you get that translation? It looks like someone misread "Lied der Nachwandler" as "Lied der Nachtwanderer."
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:14 pm

vinteuil wrote:"Song of the Night Wanderer"—where did you get that translation? It looks like someone misread "Lied der Nachwandler" as "Lied der Nachtwanderer."
These three sites seem to all agree with me
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:17 pm

I did not talk about "epsilon transitions" which would be misleading. Epsilon productions are a feature of grammars only, as far as I know.
The “proper” distinction can be applied to one type of these systems if it has no cycles or epsilon productions, in addition to two other requirements;
Okay, so I thought what you were doing here is that transitions and productions can be used interchangeably, I'm hesitant to prove it, but I think you can show that there is a 1:1 correspondence between transitions and productions for DFA's and their corresponding restricted grammar. Applying a production rule is basically using moving from one state of a DFA to another in some bizarre sense.
The ability to buzz on the leadin does not really depend on knowledge of what a "proper" context-free grammar is, though you could certainly be more confident if you had such knowledge. I think the fundamental difference between our perspectives, besides the misunderstanding about transitions vs productions, is that you think people should not be expected to buzz on knowledge of what epsilon productions are. I am perfectly happy giving 15 points to someone who knows that epsilon productions are a feature of grammars (and not PDAs, DFAs, Turing machines) and is willing to buzz on that knowledge. Otherwise, some people may know what proper CFGs are and will definitely get points for that knowledge.
Warning, this post is CS intensive. My point here is that, no matter what way you look at the lead-in, the question isn't good. If you're trying to reward people for knowing what a proper grammar is, you're doing it wrong since you drop "epsilon" so fast. If you're trying to reward people for knowing what an epsilon production is, your question still sucks because the basic definition of any type of grammar I can think of makes use of "productions." I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you were trying to test people's knowledge of proper grammars, but just ended up doing so poorly. The fact that you were trying to test people's knowledge of "epsilon productions" but did so by dropping arguably the most defining characteristic of a grammar is way more mystifying.

Second point: For every reasonable model of computation (DFA, PDA, Turing Machine, LBA) there is an associated grammar that makes the same language one of those machines can accept. For a DFA, it's an restricted grammar, for a PDA it's a CFG, for a LBA it's a CSG, and a for a Turing Machine it's an unrestricted grammar. The fact that you, as a computer theoretician, think that there is a big distinction between grammars and every thing else is bizarre, they are equivalent in so many ways - and by extension share many of the same properties and terminology.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:36 pm

Ike wrote:Okay, so I thought what you were doing here is that transitions and productions can be used interchangeably, I'm hesitant to prove it, but I think you can show that there is a 1:1 correspondence between transitions and productions for DFA's and their corresponding restricted grammar. Applying a production rule is basically using moving from one state of a DFA to another in some bizarre sense.
Are you sure you know what an epsilon production is? It is not a production that "shifts state" on epsilon input. It is a production rule that generates epsilon from some valid input string (i.e. replaces the input string with epsilon). That is very different than a transition that takes epsilon input.
Ike wrote:Warning, this post is CS intensive. My point here is that, no matter what way you look at the lead-in, the question isn't good. If you're trying to reward people for knowing what a proper grammar is, you're doing it wrong since you drop "epsilon" so fast. If you're trying to reward people for knowing what an epsilon production is, your question still sucks because the basic definition of any type of grammar I can think of makes use of "productions." I was giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you were trying to test people's knowledge of proper grammars, but just ended up doing so poorly. The fact that you were trying to test people's knowledge of "epsilon productions" but did so by dropping arguably the most defining characteristic of a grammar is way more mystifying.

Second point: For every reasonable model of computation (DFA, PDA, Turing Machine, LBA) there is an associated grammar that makes the same language one of those machines can accept. For a DFA, it's an restricted grammar, for a PDA it's a CFG, for a LBA it's a CSG, and a for a Turing Machine it's an unrestricted grammar. The fact that you, as a computer theoretician, think that there is a big distinction between grammars and every thing else is bizarre, they are equivalent in so many ways - and by extension share many of the same properties and terminology.
You are making a mistake to assume that I was testing knowledge of productions. If someone knows that productions are part of grammars then he can take a risk and hope that the thing I described was a grammar and not something else (since by your own argument we can't expect him to have negative knowledge that ONLY grammars have productions). Otherwise, if he has knowledge of the thing being described then he can buzz with confidence and get points for sure.

Also, you are correct that these things are related, but if you think they are the same then you are mistaken. I don't think you are suggesting that I just accept any response that is related to the actual answer for my other questions, so you should still agree that players should know what I'm describing before buzzing. Now that I've replaced the parentheses clue, none of the clues in this question applies to machines, so it is not a valid argument to say that it's misleading or somehow points to automata. However, if you made a different argument again, I may be inclined to agree with you. For example, if you wanted to argue that I shouldn't say productions at the beginning of a grammars tossup because someone with knowledge of grammars might know that then that's a subjective point that we could discuss.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:30 pm

Did this tournament classify Javert, clued from the Les Miserables musical/movie, as Other Arts? I love Les Miz, the musical, but I'd severely hesitate to toss up aspects of it in a tournament with no trash.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ras superfamily » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:06 pm

RyuAqua wrote:Did this tournament classify Javert, clued from the Les Miserables musical/movie, as Other Arts? I love Les Miz, the musical, but I'd severely hesitate to toss up aspects of it in a tournament with no trash.
Yes, Javert was in Other Arts
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:11 pm

Requiring Chuck Yeager's name for the breaking the sound barrier question seemed superfluous--why not just "breaking the sound barrier for the first time"?

The bonus that asks you to name the character who visits Stanley and Stella's apartment in Streetcar is a bit ambiguous. I'm not sure if it confused anyone, but couldn't you say almost every character in the play?

The All My Sons tossup seemed very wonky. Not only did it keep saying "sons" throughout, but the wording made it seem like Larry killed himself because he realized Joe was his father. A couple lit bonuses had similarly wonky descriptions--does Neddy Merrill really "time travel" in The Swimmer? Septimus doesn't JUST kill himself in Mrs. Dalloway to "avoid seeing a doctor."

The election of 1852 was a questionable idea poorly executed, for instance--it just basically invited memorization of third party and vice presidential candidates.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:11 am

It's often referred to in the academic literature SOLELY as Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. It's definitely promptable.
I've read "Deep Play," other Geertz, and various works about Geertz, and I've never heard just "Notes on the Balinese Cockfight." But look: This argument doesn't have to be settled by two people saying things at each other. Your tuition pays for an academic subscription to most major journals. Use it. I'm not going to claim that I'm entirely right here, but you have given us no reason to believe you are.

Can I see the tossup on falsification in one of the earlier rounds? Or at least, I said falsification; Max at first seemed hesitant to accept it, so I don't know what the real answer line was.

EDIT: I don't know who decided a tossup on the Lenski experiment was a good idea, but I'm really liking this trend of using clues from things that happened at Michigan State. Keep it up guys! (I know, not constructive...)
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:47 am

I've read As You Like It within the past month-and-a-half, recognized that the All the World's a Stage tossup was a speech from the play within the first 2-3 lines, and still couldn't convert the question.

One of my teammates mentioned that she thought the Javert tossup used clues from "Stars" in power, and that was kind of early.

Also, could you post the tossup on Ghosts? Austin and I were talking about it today, and we both were confused at the lack of context some of the early clues had (I buzzed in around the clue about Oswald passing out after asking for morphine)

I'll also look over my notes and post my thoughts later.
Last edited by 1992 in spaceflight on Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:04 am

I thought, while being very tough to power, the As You Like It tossup was fine; the answerline was pretty generous with descriptions of what's going on and it's a very notable speech.

The Javert tossup did use clues from "Stars" in power, but I don't know how many people know that song cold (the title "Stars" is right out of power too).
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Ringil » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:32 pm

Maybe it's been changed, but I just was glancing over the questions and Tang Taizong was clearly not the person to grant Song Jiang and his buddies amnesty, given that Water Margin was set in the SONG dynasty.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:34 pm

Can someone post the zebrafish tossup for me? If I remember correctly the leadin basically consisted of saying this is a model organism with a name that starts with the letter z
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:19 pm

Ringil wrote:Maybe it's been changed, but I just was glancing over the questions and Tang Taizong was clearly not the person to grant Song Jiang and his buddies amnesty, given that Water Margin was set in the SONG dynasty.
This was fixed for mirrors this weekend.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:55 pm

So, music cluing…

The score clues in this tournament were generally extremely unhelpful. In this post, I'm going to go through quite a few of them in some detail. I'm doing this not in the spirit of complaining about all the early buzzes I could have had, had things been written better, but rather in the hopes that this will be helpful for any of you who choose to include score clues in some of your music-question writing, or for any of you who ever need to edit music questions for a packet-submission tournament. (Even if you are a music editor who prefers to use comparatively few score clues, you should know how to deal with them when they arise in submissions.)

Actually, the first thing that I should say applies to writing questions in general. We have a habit of calling unhelpful lead-ins "vague". But I think there are actually several forms of vagueness that get conflated here, and it's good to untangle them:

1. Inaccuracy: Quite obviously, the worst form of lead-in is one where the information is unhelpful because it is not technically correct. It's quite possible for the clue itself to be a well-moment; perhaps the clue even causes a player to think of the correct work, but the inaccuracy causes him to hesitate from buzzing.
2. Unimportance/Unmemorability: Probably the second worst kind of lead-in is a moment that is simply unimportant to the work being clued. But there is a second kind of clue that is pervasive, and I'm sure you all recognize it when I describe it: the lead-in that you could never buzz-in, but which you are instantly able to recognize retrospectively. These lead-ins are therefore a problem of clue selection, rather than of clue execution. These moments should simply not be clued.
3. Lack of Detail/Context: These, on the other hand, are clues that fail in execution. It could be that not enough information is given to make the clue uniquely identifiable, but the really common problem is that not enough information is given to trigger a buzz. Or it may not even be a lack of information, so much as an emphasis on the wrong information.

The quality that I believe is possessed by all good early clues is "evocativeness", i.e. the ability to evoke a memory. An evocative clue cannot have any of the above-stated three problems: it must be accurate, important, and detailed. The question then is how do we make score clues evocative? I would now like to talk about why the music clues in this tournament failed to be evocative, and I will try to offer suggestions (where possible) of how they could have been improved, so that editors who receive questions like these can know how to edit them accordingly.

Packet 1
This piece’s first section is a grave sinfonia that repeats a dotted quarter – eighth motif; that section is followed by two recitatives for tenor.
As Jacob pointed out, the first part of this clue is non-uniquely identifying: it would apply to literally any Baroque piece that possesses an overture. Lesson one: perform reverse clue lookup if you are using a score clue. But, lesson two: even if this didn't refer to every single Baroque overture, it should obviously raise a red flag; how could an extremely common tempo marking and rhythm amount to an evocative clue? The last part of this clue is simply inaccurate. That section is followed by one recitative and one aria for tenor. When hearing this, I refrained from buzzing with Messiah (I had been sitting on it because the first clue suggested something British, and I now suspected that it has to be a Baroque piece with an overture), because I knew that the second major thing after the overture is definitely not a recitative.

Packet 2
another of his works begins with a pp descending quarter, dotted-eighth, sixteenth motif in the violas and cellos, which are soon joined by the violins.
How is anyone supposed to buzz on this? Completely un-evocative: just a dynamic marking and a common rhythm. I guess I know that this piece begins quietly and has strings now, but that's it.

Packet 3
At the beginning of one of the tracks on this album, the ensemble alternates between B-flat minor seventh chords and E-flat minor chords; the saxophone soloist then enters with a melody that features a rising dotted-eighth, sixteenth motif.
Arranging the chords in pyramidal order rather than the order in which they appeared prevented me from buzzing. I thought was looking for a piece in B-flat minor that was alternating between i7 and iv, when I should have been looking for a piece that alternates between i and v7. I most certainly would have buzzed had I attempted to hear this with E-flat minor as the tonic.

Look at how useless these rhythm clues are: the clue in this tossup is "rising dotted-eighth, sixteenth motif" and the clue in the previous tossups was "descending quarter, dotted-eighth, sixteenth motif", and the clue in the previous is "dotted quarter - eighth". Lesson: never clue a motif from its rhythm unless you have a good reason to believe that the rhythm is unique or important. In general, a true statement about something in the score is not automatically a clue; it might just be a piece of description that provides little to no vita information.
The first piece of that “collection of 12 impressions” is an A minor “Evocation,”
Nope. That's in A-flat minor. Were you for some reason listening/reading the orchestral transcription instead? Or did you just miss the key signature? Regardless, lesson: pieces get re-arranged all the time. If you're cluing from the score, make sure it's the original version.

Packet 4
Inspector Javert
Did you seriously count this as Fine Arts rather than Trash? Are you kidding me? In a broader cultural sense, you could not pick a better example of a musical that exists purely as a pop cultural phenomenon, rather than as a part of fine arts. But limiting ourselves to quizbowl critera, what on earth made you think this should be considered anything other than Trash?
One work by this composer introduces two harp parts in the 3/8 second movement, in which they enter after some string tremolos by playing rising triplet sixteenths on the F major triad.
I personally was not able to buzz on this, though this is probably the best of these score clues so far. But, let us say that this was a clue in a tossup submitted to me. What would I do? First, I would check the score to see if it's accurate. I would find that it is slightly misleading: it suggests that both harps enter after the string tremolos, both playing a rising F major triad. This is not the case: they enter one at a time, only one of them playing the F major arpeggios.

I now want to assess the importance of the information: is the fact the rhythm is triplet sixteenths or the fact that the chord is F major remotely helpful? The answer to that is clearly "no", and so I would eliminate that. What's important is that this second movement opens with string tremolos and then rising harp arpeggios, and that the two harps are appearing for the first time in this movement.

Now, I want to consider what details/context are needed to make this evocative. Is the mere mention of this feature enough to trigger buzzes: maybe some. How can I improve upon this, though? The way I can do so is by providing the player with a foothold. Right now, if you were trying to "figure out" this score clue, it's not clear what piece of information you would use as your entry point. Do you first consider pieces with harps, and the try and thinks which one of them has a second movement in 3/8? That would be difficult. No, to make this more buzzable I want to contextualize this within a larger genre. I have two options: the piece is a symphony and the movement is a waltz.

Let's say that I take the first option. I then rewrite this clue as: "The second movement of a symphony by this composer opens with string tremolos followed by rising arpeggios in two harps, marking the harps' first appearance in the work."

Let's say that I take the second option. I then rewrite this clue as: "A waltz movement in 3/8 time by this composer opens with string tremolos followed by rising arpeggios in two harps, marking the harps' first appearance in the larger work to which the movement belongs."

Note that I included the time signature in the second clue. Most waltzes are in 3/4, so telling a player that this waltz is in 3/8 should help them immediately start narrowing their thought process to waltzes not in 3/4. On the other hand, there's nothing inherently attention-grabbing about a second movement in 3/8. Note also that I said "waltz movement" to steer a player away from looking for stand-alone waltzes. I would not want to begin "The second movement of a symphony by this composer is a waltz…" because that makes it too easy.

Of these two options, I think the first is an easier clue. But which I'd choose would entirely depend on the depth of lead-in I had chosen in other tossups.

Packet 5
This composer wrote a piece whose first section begins in 6/4 but switches to 6/8 before a solo flute introduces the melody in sixteenth triplets; the third section of that work is marked “lively and tumultuous” and begins with trills on C for the timpani.
First, of all: stop describing movements as sections! Terminological vagueness makes things harder. Is the first clue supposed to be the opening movement of La Mer? If so, what solo flute melody are you talking about? Also, there's no such thing as a timpani trill.
The fourth and last section of a piano suite by this composer is in F sharp minor and begins with many bars of staccato arpeggios in the left hand; that is the (*) “Passepied” of a suite that begins with a “Prelude” and “Menuet.”


"Begins with many bars of staccato arpeggios in the left hand" is not a helpful clue, especially when by "many" you apparently mean "two".

Packet 6
This piece’s F minor fourth movement begins with two bars of tremolo Ds in the low strings before the second violin enters with a series of pianissimo staccato eighths
Were this clue true, it might be helpful, as starting a piece in F minor on a D tremolo would be odd (even so, the not super-uncommon phenomenon of contrasting tremolo and staccato eighths is not exactly going to set me buzzing). Of course, this clue is not true because the piece starts on a D-flat.

Packet 7
The prelude to this opera begins with a three beat pickup as the double reeds and strings play a slow A flat arpeggio to begin the love feast motif.
In a gusty move, I buzzed on this even before the words "love feast", though the prelude does not begin with a three-beat pickup. Don't use technical terms like "pickup" unless they actually apply.

Packet 9
One work by this composer begins with single tone eighth notes before adding a second, third, and fourth tone to the eighth notes on the bass clef; that piece starts with an Allegro vivace (quasi presto) section in 3/8.
Unbuzzable gobbledygook. It took my looking at the beginning of every piece mentioned in the tossup to figure out that this is supposed to be the opening of the Mephisto Waltz. Not until I saw the score did I have any idea what you were trying to say. Even had you phrased it perfectly (and I don't know how you could have), this cannot possibly be a useful clue.
In this opera, two characters decide to marry in a song beginning, “there is beauty in the belly of the beast.”
The quote is "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast". How you managed to get two of the three key words of the title wrong is beyond me. At this point, I was jaded enough by this tournament's lead-ins that I buzzed anyway.

Packet 11
The nobilmente e semplice first movement of one work by this composer has a long thematic introduction in A flat, but then shifts to D minor; that is this composer’s Symphony No. 1, one of very few symphonies in A flat major.
Will Nediger and I buzzer-raced on the twelfth word of this tossup. Not a smart choice of lead-in clue.

This a lot of problems for tossups in one category of a single tournament. I hope you correct these before any future mirrors. And I hope my extended commentary on the things like the Berlioz question and my prefatory comments are helpful to you and to other music writers/editors, so these kinds of clues can be avoided in future.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:08 pm

Maybe this is different for the arts, but I'm okay, say, in history or literature for certain things to very occasionally appear that are wandering more towards the pop culture end of the distro, especially in a tournament without a trash distribution. For instance, a tossup on "Billy the Kid" or "Walter Winchell" or "John Dillinger," which are more important for their cultural impact and representation in the popular mind than any serious academic study. I would put Javert in this category as well, something along the lines of being good for one question or so a tournament.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Windmill Tump » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:14 pm

In the Cromwell tossup from Round 11, the guy who wrote Instrument of Government was named John Lambert, not James Lambert.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:15 pm

Martha Dreyer wrote:Can someone post the zebrafish tossup for me? If I remember correctly the leadin basically consisted of saying this is a model organism with a name that starts with the letter z
The leadin was, in fact, about the IgZ isotype of antibodies, but I don't see how that's immediately a link to zebrafish. There exist IgA, M, D, G, E, Y (in chickens), X (some amphibians), P (some amphibians), etc, etc; this may be something that only seems obvious in retrospect. Anyway, here's the question:
Danilova’s study of this organism discovered a new immunoglobulin isotype, dubbed IgZ. This organism’s montalcino, yquem, and dracula mutants are models of various types of porphyria. The Tol2 transposon is often used in transgenesis experiments in this organism, and mutagenesis is usually performed in these organisms using ENU. Mutations in SLC24A5 in this organism cause its skin to turn gold. The KDM6B.1 histone demethylase is required for regeneration in this organism, which has a notable “Casper” strain that is 100% transparent. It’s not Drosophila, but Christine (*) Nusslein-Volhard works with this organism, which was the subject of the large scale Tubigen/Boston forward screen. This member of family Cyprinidae gets its name for the large stripes on its flank. For 10 points, name this aquatic model organism.
ANSWER: zebrafish [or Danio rerio or D. rerio]
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:11 pm

Can I see the convergence bonus (I think it was from round 2 or 3)?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:55 pm

Cheynem wrote:I thought, while being very tough to power, the As You Like It tossup was fine; the answerline was pretty generous with descriptions of what's going on and it's a very notable speech.

The Javert tossup did use clues from "Stars" in power, but I don't know how many people know that song cold (the title "Stars" is right out of power too).
Yeah, I was more angry with myself for not remembering the name of the speech. Even though I recognized where it was from.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:16 am

So I have my notebook, and I'm going to make some general observations about the 10 rounds that I played. I thought the tournament did a good job in rewarding knowledge, but it had some rough edges.

First,
tiwonge wrote:Speaking as a player on a lower-tier team, I was a bit disappointed at first in the difficulty. It was advertised as Penn-ance level difficulty (and that's what I told my teammates), but I think it overshot that.
I was also really disappointed in this.

Round 1: Askia Mohammed/Tandebi/Mali-Tandebi seems really hard to me, although I could be wrong.

The Furies/3 Studies at the Base of a Crucifixion/Velazquez bonus was a cool idea (although I played this bonus like shit).

The Adam tossup using clues from Islam was pretty neat.

Round 2: Riot at the Premiere of the Playboy of the Western World-why didn't this just accept the Premier of the Playboy? I knew what it was talking about, but was confused when I was prompted after I said "premier of the playboy of the western world." Also, I think the clues said a riot had happened there.

Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.

Round 3: The Zebra Fish tossup has been mentioned already.

I'm not sure what to make of the Liquid-liquid extraction tossup. We had no idea what was going on (we were also without our chem player, though).

This Dynasty of Tamerlane question was really confusing to me. Maybe I just didn't know that he founded a dynasty, but I recognized fairly early it was a dynasty featuring Tamerlane.

Round 4: What is the Hartree-Fock (equation? Relation?) tossup, and why was it in this set.

Round 5: I've mentioned this already, but this Ghosts tossup could have used some context in the leadin clue.

Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).

Round 7: I was not a fan of the tossup on the Second Treatise of Government. It seems like it might have tripped someone over if they read the Two Treatises of Government together in one volume.

Round 8: Umberto I/Victor Emmanuel II/Charles Albert-very good bonus (uses the unifier and first king of Italy, his father who tried to unify Italy as well, and his not as well known but still important successor). I liked this one.

May I see the tossup on the Black Plague hitting London?

My teammate was confused that compiling was all they wanted for the compiling tossup (he might have just been overthinking it, though. I'm not a computer scientist).

Round 9: So I think I might have been screwed on this Romanian Revolution tossup. I buzzed, said "the 1989 rebellion that overthrew the Romanian Communist Government," and was negged. Did the answerline say to accept stuff like that?

Round 10: Could I see the Gorky tossup?

The Fronde tossup was a cool idea.
Last edited by 1992 in spaceflight on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:52 am

I think this point merits repeating: It doesn't do much good to complain about a question unless you can give some kind of reasoning. For example,
I was not a fan of the tossup on the Second Treatise of Government.
Why not? All this tells me is "Jacob didn't like a tossup," but that isn't the kind of fact that anybody can act on.
This Dynasty of Tamerlane question was really confusing to me. Maybe I just didn't know that he founded a dynasty, but I recognized fairly early it was a dynasty featuring Tamerlane.
Similarly, all this tells me is "Jacob didn't know the subject of this question." That's fine, I have no intention of putting down your knowledge, and I'm no history player myself. But difficulty aside, is there any reason why the Timurid dynasty is an illegitimate subject for a tossup? EDIT: Does Doug's post accurately capture your complaint? If so, I guess that's reasonable.
Last edited by Muriel Axon on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:06 am

There seems to be a lot of talk about the Timurid Dynasty question so I will make the following comments: The Timurids are a named thing and a dynasty of considerable importance to the history of the Islamic world and Central Asia and widely studied, usually studied as a discrete thing, has named things that can be specifically associated with it("One ruler of this dynasty was named Baysunghur" blah blah blah other clues I am too lazy to look up now) and so on, so in principle a tossup on the Timurid Dynasty seems quite reasonable assuming it is sufficiently gettable for the field. Having said that, it sounds like this specific tossup was rather poorly executed, which seems to account for most of the fustration("They wouldn't make it this obvious that we're talking about descendants of Timur in a tossup on the Timurids would they?").
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:37 am

Muriel Axon wrote:I think this point merits repeating: It doesn't do much good to complain about a question unless you can give some kind of reasoning. For example,
I was not a fan of the tossup on the Second Treatise of Government.
Why not? All this tells me is "Jacob didn't like a tossup," but that isn't the kind of fact that anybody can act on.
This Dynasty of Tamerlane question was really confusing to me. Maybe I just didn't know that he founded a dynasty, but I recognized fairly early it was a dynasty featuring Tamerlane.
Similarly, all this tells me is "Jacob didn't know the subject of this question." That's fine, I have no intention of putting down your knowledge, and I'm no history player myself. But difficulty aside, is there any reason why the Timurid dynasty is an illegitimate subject for a tossup? EDIT: Does Doug's post accurately capture your complaint? If so, I guess that's reasonable.
The Second Treatise of Government thing: Yeah, I don't really know philosophy. I was prompted on "Two Treatises" and took a guess, so I was figuring that could have potentially tripped up people (I seem to remember this being discussed in an ACF Regionals thread recently). I could probably have done a much better job stating what I didn't think was ideal about that question.

The Timurid Dynasty question: I don't remember if it said something like "description acceptable," but that might have helped it. Doug's post does a much better job of stating my opinion than I ever could. Also, I guess I didn't realize he was the namesake of a dynasty, for some reason (I'm not good at Islamic/Middle Eastern history, because I've taken no classes on those subjects; I did recognize clues that pertained to Tamerlane early on in the question, though).

In general, though, I do agree with you, Shan. Which is why I try and back up my complaints about a set as much as possible.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:11 am

My small complaint about the Two Treatises question is that I recognized it was the Two Treatises, but had no idea it wanted one or the other--I proceeded to guess, wrongly. If I'd known it was looking for one or the other, I wouldn't have buzzed, because I knew I didn't know. I don't see a non-transparent way of making it clear you want a smaller work, but surely transparency is better than leading some people into negs when they might not have otherwise. There's also a high possibility that the question did preclude one work over the other with a clue that I just didn't recognize b/c I didn't know the topic well enough--in which case, I recant everything.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:59 am

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 1: Askia Mohammed/Tandebi/Mali-Tandebi seems really hard to me, although I could be wrong.
This seemed both very straightforward medium-easy-hard AND incredibly stock to me, i.e. it seems to me that Tondibi is an exceedingly common hard part for Songhai bonuses. A quick search on the packet archive for "Tondibi" gives me three pages of results.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.
I had this impression as well, but according to Patrick and others, Timoleon is well known.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).
Akechi Mitsuhide to Honno-ji is basically like John Wilkes Booth to Assassination of Lincoln, i.e. it's the thing he's far and away best known for. It's not like this question was asking about the Battle of Yamazaki or something like that.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:16 am

gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.
I had this impression as well, but according to Patrick and others, Timoleon is well known.
Well, he would say that! I think your initial impression is more correct.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:14 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:There's also a high possibility that the question did preclude one work over the other with a clue that I just didn't recognize b/c I didn't know the topic well enough--in which case, I recant everything.
There was at least one such clue that I remember, but it was in the middle of the tossup. It said that it was a follow-up to a work countering Robert Filmer, which was the First Treatise. There may have been other distinguishing clues I don't remember. (clarification: "distinguishing" being between "Second Treatise" and "Two Treatises")
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:50 am

Ukonvasara wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.
I had this impression as well, but according to Patrick and others, Timoleon is well known.
Well, he would say that! I think your initial impression is more correct.
I'm inclined to believe other history players' perception of relative difficulty, especially in areas that they're good at. I haven't heard of this guy before, but my knowledge of classics that don't have to do with Alexander, the Diadochi, barbarians, or the Nabataean kingdom is not very good, so I don't have an enormous problem with that. That being said, if others also felt this way, I guess I can feel a bit better about getting 10 on that.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:11 am

Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County wrote:Having said that, it sounds like this specific tossup was rather poorly executed, which seems to account for most of the fustration("They wouldn't make it this obvious that we're talking about descendants of Timur in a tossup on the Timurids would they?").
One member of this dynasty sent an embassy including the diarist Ghiyath al-din Naqqash to the Yongle Emperor. The death of that member of this dynasty allowed Jihan Shah to declare independence for the White Sheep Turkomans. Another ruler of this dynasty founded and is sometimes the namesake of the Gurkhani Zij, a large observatory. One ruler of this dynasty enlisted the scribe Omar Aqta to inscribe the entire Qu’ran on a ring and used flaming (*) camels to defeat the war elephants of the leader of the Tugluq dynasty in one battle. This dynasty’s founder hails from Transoxania and defeated Tokhtamysh, the leader of the Golden Horde. 10 points, name this dynasty whose members include Ulugh Beg and Shah Rukh, whose namesake founder sacked Delhi and brought a bunch of treasure back to his capital at Samarkand.
ANSWER: Timurid dynasty [accept answers like Tamerlane’s family, etc]
Can people be more specific about what's wrong with this question?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:40 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:
Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County wrote:Having said that, it sounds like this specific tossup was rather poorly executed, which seems to account for most of the fustration("They wouldn't make it this obvious that we're talking about descendants of Timur in a tossup on the Timurids would they?").
One member of this dynasty sent an embassy including the diarist Ghiyath al-din Naqqash to the Yongle Emperor. The death of that member of this dynasty allowed Jihan Shah to declare independence for the White Sheep Turkomans.
ANSWER: Timurid dynasty [accept answers like Tamerlane’s family, etc]
Can people be more specific about what's wrong with this question?
So I didn't play this, but I think what happened is that people heard Yongle Emperor and some combination of vaguely Islamic-sounding names and "White Sheep Turkomans", realized it was a tossup on a 15th century Persian/Central Asian Islamic dynasty(which limits the possibilities to a fairly small handful of things), and immediately got confused and went "they couldn't possibly make it this obvious that we're talking about descendants of Timur, and also is that a Named Dynasty[which it is]?". Ancedotally, I suspect that saying Aq Qoyunlu instead of White Sheep Turkomans or replacing the clue on the Yongle Emperor or both would likely have fixed most of the problems.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:53 am

gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 1: Askia Mohammed/Tandebi/Mali-Tandebi seems really hard to me, although I could be wrong.
This seemed both very straightforward medium-easy-hard AND incredibly stock to me, i.e. it seems to me that Tondibi is an exceedingly common hard part for Songhai bonuses. A quick search on the packet archive for "Tondibi" gives me three pages of results.
Ah. I guess that's just something my professor didn't think was important when we went over the Songhai Empire, then.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.
I had this impression as well, but according to Patrick and others, Timoleon is well known.
Rob basically stated what everyone needs to know about this.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).
Akechi Mitsuhide to Honno-ji is basically like John Wilkes Booth to Assassination of Lincoln, i.e. it's the thing he's far and away best known for. It's not like this question was asking about the Battle of Yamazaki or something like that.
This is probably just a knowledge gap on my part, then.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:49 pm

Kuandian Manchu Autonomous County wrote:
One member of this dynasty sent an embassy including the diarist Ghiyath al-din Naqqash to the Yongle Emperor. The death of that member of this dynasty allowed Jihan Shah to declare independence for the White Sheep Turkomans.
ANSWER: Timurid dynasty [accept answers like Tamerlane’s family, etc]
So I didn't play this, but I think what happened is that people heard Yongle Emperor and some combination of vaguely Islamic-sounding names and "White Sheep Turkomans", realized it was a tossup on a 15th century Persian/Central Asian Islamic dynasty(which limits the possibilities to a fairly small handful of things), and immediately got confused and went "they couldn't possibly make it this obvious that we're talking about descendants of Timur, and also is that a Named Dynasty[which it is]?". Ancedotally, I suspect that saying Aq Qoyunlu instead of White Sheep Turkomans or replacing the clue on the Yongle Emperor or both would likely have fixed most of the problems.
I agree with this suggestion; while I'm usually not in favor of giving away geography with language-specific names, it's been done already here and not everybody's gonna know that Aq Qoyunlu refers to a group of Turkomans (or that it's a Turkic phrase, for that matter). I think the Yongle emperor clue is fine but should be moved later because it is a fairly easy giveaway for the time period, which is ill-advised for a dynasty tossup.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:09 pm

So as the person who wrote the controversial tossup on Two Treatises of Government for ACF Regionals 2012, let me just share what the unanimous negative reaction I experienced was. The second treatise is far, far more likely to be encountered or read in philosophy, history, or even basic writing classes than the first. Moreover, many of the precepts of the second reprise key arguments of the first (such as God giving Adam authority over the world), and the essay itself summarizes the attack on Filmer from the first. Therefore, writing on the second instead of on the collection was the correct choice.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:46 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:Can I see the convergence bonus (I think it was from round 2 or 3)?
Also the tossups on interpolation and uniform distribution, please.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:57 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:My small complaint about the Two Treatises question is that I recognized it was the Two Treatises, but had no idea it wanted one or the other--I proceeded to guess, wrongly. If I'd known it was looking for one or the other, I wouldn't have buzzed, because I knew I didn't know. I don't see a non-transparent way of making it clear you want a smaller work, but surely transparency is better than leading some people into negs when they might not have otherwise. There's also a high possibility that the question did preclude one work over the other with a clue that I just didn't recognize b/c I didn't know the topic well enough--in which case, I recant everything.
While I sympathize with the confusing feeling an unexpected prompt elicits, in this case, the prompt would have been entirely clear to someone with sufficient knowledge of the Treatises. As Auroni points out downthread, the Second Treatise is far, far more commonly studied, and far more highly regarded, than the First - given that the latter is basically a point by point refutation of Filmer's Patriarcha (*), a work that elicits little attention from anyone. Virtually all of the "major" points covered in Two Treatises tossups that have previously existed - man's essential freedom in nature, the origin of property and money, the need for a contractarian government, etc... - are all from the Second Treatise.

(*) The only person I know who has read this is Ike, who did so for reasons that are between him and the ghosts of philosophy past.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:02 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:
Mewto55555 wrote:Can I see the convergence bonus (I think it was from round 2 or 3)?
Also the tossups on interpolation and uniform distribution, please.
13. Every Cauchy sequence within a metric space has this property. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this property which, for a series, means that the sum is finite. The harmonic series lacks this property, but the geometric series has it as long as the ratio between successive terms is between negative 1 and 1.
ANSWER: convergence [accept word forms]
[10] This test for convergence takes two sequences, a sub n and b sub n, and determines the limit of the ratio of a sub n and b sub n. If the limit is a positive constant, then either both series converge or both diverge.
ANSWER: limit comparison test [or LCT; prompt on “comparison test”, do NOT accept “direct comparison test”]
[10] According to this extension of the comparison test, if a series of complex-valued functions is dominated by some convergent series of positive numbers, then the series of functions converges uniformly.
ANSWER: Weierstrass M-test [accept either underlined portion]

Shepard’s method is a multivariate form of this technique which uses inverse-distance weighting. Band-limited functions can be constructed as a sum of sinc (“sink”) functions using the Whittaker-Shannon formula for doing this. Hermite’s method of doing this incorporates derivatives. Chebyshev nodes are used alongside one method of doing this, which suffers from an oscillatory phenomenon around the interval (*) endpoints; that is Runge’s phenomenon. That occurs when using polynomials for this purpose, but can be avoided by using piecewise functions with smooth knots, known as splines. For 10 points, name this mathematical technique in which additional points are created inside the bounds of a known set of data points, often contrasted with extrapolation.
ANSWER: interpolation [prompt on “approximation” or “approximating a function”]

The expected value for the kth order statistic for this distribution is equal to k divided by quantity n plus one. The problem of estimating an extremum of this distribution using sampling is called the German Tank problem. This distribution is the maximal entropy one among all that are supported within a particular interval. The Pareto distribution is the conjugate prior of this distribution. If the null hypothesis is true for a continuous test statistic, the (*) p value follows this distribution. The variance of this distribution is equal to one-twelfth times the square of the quantity b minus a, and its probability density function is equal to one over the length of the interval within the interval and zero outside of it. For 10 points, name this distribution followed by a single dice roll or coin flip, in which every value within the range is equally likely.
ANSWER: uniform distribution
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:44 pm

gamegeek2 wrote: Also, from my understanding, banzai charges were not used at Peleliu (as you mentioned) or Okinawa, and one was only made at the end of the battle at Tarawa.

EDIT: I just played the pike/caracole/Scotland bonus, which was exactly what I was talking about. Props for that.
I edited the Iwo Jima question so that it was clear that it applied the lessons of the recent battle at Peleliu. I'm glad you liked the pike/caracole/Scotland bonus; that was a pretty neat one.
kroeajueluo wrote: Edit #2: Admittedly, some of the commentary on certain questions isn't particularly helpful, but I felt that it's good for writers to know that at least some people appreciated certain tossups, especially ones that have already been criticized (such as the Carter-Reagan debate or War or Austrian ultimatum).

I also think my commentary on the Sun Yatsen, Austria-Hungary, Heian Period, China (economic history), and what not were perfectly justified.
I edited the Sun Yatsen and Austria-Hungary tossups largely per your suggestions.

I haven't heard any criticism on the ultimatum to Serbia tossup (I did stats at the Penn site) and would like to hear some. The stats showed that it was converted by teams, though with a lot of negs: It went 0/5/6 in 12 rooms, with an even distribution between brackets: Top: 0/2/2, Middle: 0/2/2, Lower: 0/1/2.

I would like to know exactly what was wrong with this question. The ultimatum is literally the most important diplomatic document during the outbreak of the First World War, and it gets mentioned in any history class (including high school classes!) that touches on the war. To get points, you just had to say one of the two countries (Austria-Hungary and Serbia) and "ultimatum". Every single clue I used unambiguously referred to the ultimatum in question, so that shouldn't be an issue. Were people buzzing in and saying stuff like "ultimatum that led to the First World War" and getting negged? I think requiring one of the two countries is a must, because the July Crisis involved several other ultimatums (e.g. German to Russia, German to France, Germany to Belgium, Great Britain to Germany, etc.). I would like to hear other people's thoughts, though.
Cheynem wrote:Requiring Chuck Yeager's name for the breaking the sound barrier question seemed superfluous--why not just "breaking the sound barrier for the first time"?
As long as it's made clear that it was the first time the sound barrier was broken, it should be fine. I had to deny a protest from someone who repeatedly said "breaking the sound barrier" with no further qualifications.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Also, could you post the tossup on Ghosts? Austin and I were talking about it today, and we both were confused at the lack of context some of the early clues had (I buzzed in around the clue about Oswald passing out after asking for morphine)
Round 5 wrote:8. A female in this play explains a central metaphor in a speech about “ideas, and lifeless old beliefs” that “have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off.” Another character in this play requests to be administered morphine before becoming unresponsive to his mother; that scene occurs during the sunrise at the end of this play. To avoid negative public opinion, one character in this work agrees to fund a (*) sailors’ home; that agreement follows from a discussion about the lack of insurance for a certain building. The illegitimate nature of Johanna’s pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of Regina, is revealed to Pastor Manders, who is afraid of being accused of burning down an orphanage in this play. For 10 points, name this play about Helen and Oswald Alving by Henrik Ibsen.
ANSWER: Ghosts [or Gengangere]
RyuAqua wrote:Did this tournament classify Javert, clued from the Les Miserables musical/movie, as Other Arts? I love Les Miz, the musical, but I'd severely hesitate to toss up aspects of it in a tournament with no trash.
There were no clues that were unique to the movie (i.e. I didn't talk about Russell Crowe prancing on Parisian rooftops near the Notre Dame or pinning the Legion of Honour on Gavroche's corpse). The first clue is on a line that's not in the movie or even in all versions of Les Miz. Similarly, the second clue about Javert singing in counterpoint to a louder character is that point in "Confrontation" when Valjean is singing the far more memorable "There is power in me yet". Despite the recent movie, Les Miz is an award-winning musical and one of the longest running musicals in Broadway and the West End, so I think it's at least borderline acceptable as Fine Arts.
Cheynem wrote:The Javert tossup did use clues from "Stars" in power, but I don't know how many people know that song cold (the title "Stars" is right out of power too).
Ignoring the debate if Javert should be in FA, I think this is fine. The lines I used arguably weren't even the most famous lines from that (e.g. "silent sentinels", "keeping watch in the night", "you know your place in the sky").
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: Packet 4
Inspector Javert
Did you seriously count this as Fine Arts rather than Trash? Are you kidding me? In a broader cultural sense, you could not pick a better example of a musical that exists purely as a pop cultural phenomenon, rather than as a part of fine arts. But limiting ourselves to quizbowl critera, what on earth made you think this should be considered anything other than Trash?
So I wrote this (Saajid ok'ed it), and I outlined my thinking above. I hope that your statement that it "exists purely as a pop cultural phenomenon" isn't solely based on the recent movie since by this definition, you could argue that tossups on the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Anna Karenina, and Abraham Lincoln are also trash because incredibly popular movies based on them came out around the same time.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: Packet 9
In this opera, two characters decide to marry in a song beginning, “there is beauty in the belly of the beast.”
The quote is "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast". How you managed to get two of the three key words of the title wrong is beyond me. At this point, I was jaded enough by this tournament's lead-ins that I buzzed anyway.
This one is my fault. This was originally taken from my unused CO submission packet and was a tossup on Ko-Ko. When I wrote a new tossup on the Mikado using the old tossup, I stupidly managed to get the name wrong. Although as you said, there's enough context for a good player to get it there, I should have been more diligent, and I'm sorry that this happened.
Cheynem wrote:Maybe this is different for the arts, but I'm okay, say, in history or literature for certain things to very occasionally appear that are wandering more towards the pop culture end of the distro, especially in a tournament without a trash distribution. For instance, a tossup on "Billy the Kid" or "Walter Winchell" or "John Dillinger," which are more important for their cultural impact and representation in the popular mind than any serious academic study. I would put Javert in this category as well, something along the lines of being good for one question or so a tournament.
This is basically my (and I guess Saajid's) rationale for putting this in "Other Arts".
Seram Friarbird wrote:In the Cromwell tossup from Round 11, the guy who wrote Instrument of Government was named John Lambert, not James Lambert.
This is fixed.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 1: Askia Mohammed/Tandebi/Mali-Tandebi seems really hard to me, although I could be wrong.

As described by other people, Askia/Tondibi/Mali is perfectly fine and pretty stock (sorry!). I'm not sure about Tondibi, but Askia led the Songhai Empire to its greatest extent and is pretty important to Songhai history. I recommend that if you're going to criticize questions, you should at least look it up, learn what they are, and spell things correctly when you post!
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 8:
May I see the tossup on the Black Plague hitting London?
Packet 8 wrote:11. This event began in the suburb of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. Nathaniel Hodges published an account of this event called Loimologia. John Gaunt studied this event, during which William, Lord Craven and the Duke of Albemarle directed policy. John Lawrence was mayor at the beginning of this event. One chronicler noted that “I have never so lived so merrily…as I have done [during this event]”; that chronicler was Samuel (*) Pepys. A fictionalized journal set during this event was published in 1722 by Daniel Defoe. The end of this event is traditionally attributed to the Great Fire of September 1666. For 10 points, name this event when the capital of England was struck by the Black Death.
ANSWER: Great Plague of London [or the London plague; or Great Plague of 1665-66; accept Plague Year; prompt on “plague”]
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 9: So I think I might have been screwed on this Romanian Revolution tossup. I buzzed, said "the 1989 rebellion that overthrew the Romanian Communist Government," and was negged. Did the answerline say to accept stuff like that?
Packet 9 wrote:ANSWER: 1989 _Romanian Revolution_ [accept things like _Overthrow of Ceausescu_ before his name is mentioned; or 1989 _Revolutia Romana_]
I think your answer is fine since it shows clear knowledge.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 10: Could I see the Gorky tossup?
Packet 10 wrote: 7. This author wrote a play in which a man starts a fight over another man having beaten his sister, but the fight is interrupted by a character who gets on top of a stove and starts yawning; that character had earlier declared that “all are equal” after another man stated, “We’re all of us… nothing but the bare naked man.” This author created a character who fasts for eight days in prison after being insulted in jail and participates in banned-book-reading sessions in Pavel’s house that eventually lead to Pavel’s arrest, which saddens (*) Pelegaya. This author wrote a play in which the Actor hangs himself after spending some time in Vassilissa and Kostilyoff’s house with a thief, a gambler, and Luka. This author of The Mother used the socialist-realist style of literature in a work about a poor house. For 10 points, name this Russian author of The Lower Depths.
ANSWER: Maxim Gorky [or Alexei Maximovich Peshkov]
gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).
Akechi Mitsuhide to Honno-ji is basically like John Wilkes Booth to Assassination of Lincoln, i.e. it's the thing he's far and away best known for. It's not like this question was asking about the Battle of Yamazaki or something like that.
Will is right on this one.
gamegeek2 wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Syracuse/Timolian/Hymerae-Timolian and Hymerae strike me as two hard parts at regular difficulty, not middle parts.
I had this impression as well, but according to Patrick and others, Timoleon is well known.
Well, he would say that! I think your initial impression is more correct.
I'm inclined to believe other history players' perception of relative difficulty, especially in areas that they're good at. I haven't heard of this guy before, but my knowledge of classics that don't have to do with Alexander, the Diadochi, barbarians, or the Nabataean kingdom is not very good, so I don't have an enormous problem with that. That being said, if others also felt this way, I guess I can feel a bit better about getting 10 on that.
I'll admit that I was wrong, and this will be edited for future mirrors.
Last edited by Masked Canadian History Bandit on Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:47 pm

Did you have to say "ultimatum" in the WWI tossup?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:04 pm

Cheynem wrote:Did you have to say "ultimatum" in the WWI tossup?
Yes. I've added prompts on "demand", "telegram", but it's overwhelming referred to as an ultimatum. Did this trip people up?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:11 pm

Somebody said "telegram from Austria-Hungary to Serbia" and I gave it to them.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:12 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Also, could you post the tossup on Ghosts? Austin and I were talking about it today, and we both were confused at the lack of context some of the early clues had (I buzzed in around the clue about Oswald passing out after asking for morphine)
Round 5 wrote:8. A female in this play explains a central metaphor in a speech about “ideas, and lifeless old beliefs” that “have no vitality, but they cling to us all the same, and we cannot shake them off.” Another character in this play requests to be administered morphine before becoming unresponsive to his mother; that scene occurs during the sunrise at the end of this play. To avoid negative public opinion, one character in this work agrees to fund a (*) sailors’ home; that agreement follows from a discussion about the lack of insurance for a certain building. The illegitimate nature of Johanna’s pregnancy, which resulted in the birth of Regina, is revealed to Pastor Manders, who is afraid of being accused of burning down an orphanage in this play. For 10 points, name this play about Helen and Oswald Alving by Henrik Ibsen.
ANSWER: Ghosts [or Gengangere]
Oh hey, that leadin clue comes from a very important speech in Ghosts. I don't really have anything on this tossup, then.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 1: Askia Mohammed/Tandebi/Mali-Tandebi seems really hard to me, although I could be wrong.

As described by other people, Askia/Tondibi/Mali is perfectly fine and pretty stock (sorry!). I'm not sure about Tondibi, but Askia led the Songhai Empire to its greatest extent and is pretty important to Songhai history. I recommend that if you're going to criticize questions, you should at least look it up, learn what they are, and spell things correctly when you post!
I didn't say anything about Askia. Askia is indeed very important and fine as a middle part at this level. I'll gladly concede this point.
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote: Round 8:
May I see the tossup on the Black Plague hitting London?
Packet 8 wrote:11. This event began in the suburb of St. Giles-in-the-Fields. Nathaniel Hodges published an account of this event called Loimologia. John Gaunt studied this event, during which William, Lord Craven and the Duke of Albemarle directed policy. John Lawrence was mayor at the beginning of this event. One chronicler noted that “I have never so lived so merrily…as I have done [during this event]”; that chronicler was Samuel (*) Pepys. A fictionalized journal set during this event was published in 1722 by Daniel Defoe. The end of this event is traditionally attributed to the Great Fire of September 1666. For 10 points, name this event when the capital of England was struck by the Black Death.
ANSWER: Great Plague of London [or the London plague; or Great Plague of 1665-66; accept Plague Year; prompt on “plague”]
Ok, I just made a moronic decision with the buzz I made. My fault.
gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).
Akechi Mitsuhide to Honno-ji is basically like John Wilkes Booth to Assassination of Lincoln, i.e. it's the thing he's far and away best known for. It's not like this question was asking about the Battle of Yamazaki or something like that.
Will is right on this one.
Will's explanation makes sense for this, then. Guess I learned more than a few new things on Saturday.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:20 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:
The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Round 6: Honno-Ji/Oda Nobunaga/Eko-eki-I think this would have been better converted if the first part had been changed to Mitsuhide (who notably forced Nobunaga to commit suidice).
Akechi Mitsuhide to Honno-ji is basically like John Wilkes Booth to Assassination of Lincoln, i.e. it's the thing he's far and away best known for. It's not like this question was asking about the Battle of Yamazaki or something like that.
Will is right on this one.
Will's explanation makes sense for this, then. Guess I learned more than a few new things on Saturday.
To be clear, this is still a relatively hard bonus; it's just that switching Honno-ji for Akechi wouldn't really change that.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:03 pm

Masked Canadian History Bandit wrote: Despite the recent movie, Les Miz is an award-winning musical and one of the longest running musicals in Broadway and the West End, so I think it's at least borderline acceptable as Fine Arts.
Yes, it ran for a long time on Broadway and won a Tony award. What does any of this have to do with whether something is Fine Arts or not? Even in the many other bad threads on this board where people try to sneak pop culture into the arts distribution, I have not yet heard an argument this flimsy.
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: Packet 4
Inspector Javert
Did you seriously count this as Fine Arts rather than Trash? Are you kidding me? In a broader cultural sense, you could not pick a better example of a musical that exists purely as a pop cultural phenomenon, rather than as a part of fine arts. But limiting ourselves to quizbowl critera, what on earth made you think this should be considered anything other than Trash?
So I wrote this (Saajid ok'ed it), and I outlined my thinking above. I hope that your statement that it "exists purely as a pop cultural phenomenon" isn't solely based on the recent movie since by this definition, you could argue that tossups on the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Anna Karenina, and Abraham Lincoln are also trash because incredibly popular movies based on them came out around the same time.
Why the hell would you assume that this has something to do with it being a film? Why are you arguing against asinine straw men that no intelligent person would ever suggest?
ThisIsMyUsername wrote: Packet 9
In this opera, two characters decide to marry in a song beginning, “there is beauty in the belly of the beast.”
The quote is "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast". How you managed to get two of the three key words of the title wrong is beyond me. At this point, I was jaded enough by this tournament's lead-ins that I buzzed anyway.
This one is my fault. This was originally taken from my unused CO submission packet and was a tossup on Ko-Ko. When I wrote a new tossup on the Mikado using the old tossup, I stupidly managed to get the name wrong. Although as you said, there's enough context for a good player to get it there, I should have been more diligent, and I'm sorry that this happened.
What post are you reading, Patrick? I never said anything about there being enough context for buzzing, or anything even remotely like that. As a matter of fact, the lead-in goes: "In this opera, two characters decide to marry in a song beginning, “there is beauty in the belly of the beast.”" This is basically no context at all. (Pretty much every comic opera is about people getting married, and contains a song about it!) What I said is that your lead-in clue is wrong, but I was so jaded by how bad the music lead-ins were, that I decided to buzz anyway, under the assumption that you somehow replaced two words with two other words that start with the same letter.
Cheynem wrote:Maybe this is different for the arts, but I'm okay, say, in history or literature for certain things to very occasionally appear that are wandering more towards the pop culture end of the distro, especially in a tournament without a trash distribution. For instance, a tossup on "Billy the Kid" or "Walter Winchell" or "John Dillinger," which are more important for their cultural impact and representation in the popular mind than any serious academic study. I would put Javert in this category as well, something along the lines of being good for one question or so a tournament.
This is basically my (and I guess Saajid's) rationale for putting this in "Other Arts".
This is not an argument for why Les Miserables is Fine Arts. All this says is that in tournaments with no trash, it's okay for some of the questions in purportedly academic categories to be actually trash, and what makes this okay is that lots of people have exposure to pop culture. I should not have to explain why this is not a serious argument.
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