Question-Specific Discussion

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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by MorganV » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:55 pm

RyuAqua wrote:-Catholics: Does this part on "real presence" do enough to disambiguate it well enough from "transubstantiation"? I'll readily admit to being uninformed if it does. If someone posts it, I'd be glad to be schooled in some Catholic doctrine.
[10] Impanation argues that this doctrine is incorrect: Christ’s body is made of bread, so bread is transformed into a piece of Christ during the Eucharist. The Marburg Colloquy was a debate between Luther and Zwingli over this doctrine.
The clue about the Marburg Colloquy definitely rules out transubstantiation: Luther and Zwingli both rejected the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the sticking point in their debate was that Luther believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (that the body of Christ is spiritually present but that the bread and wine is still bread and wine, not transubstantiated flesh) whereas Zwingli rejected the idea that Christ was present in the Eucharist and viewed the sacrament as purely symbolic.

However, the first sentence seems confusing to me. Impanation is the doctrine that God is incarnated as the bread of the Eucharist, but the Eucharist is still bread. Thus it does not imply that real presence is incorrect (As in this view, God would be present in the Eucharist) but it does imply that transubstantiation is incorrect, since, in this view, the bread does not physically become flesh.

Full disclosure: the first sentence confused me enough that I said transubstantiation though the Marburg Colloquy clue rules it out.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:00 pm

Thanks for playing guys. I'll respond to some comments here.
Round 1: the game theory bonus part on "mixed strategies" should also have accepted "random" or "randomizing" strategies, which are the same thing.

Round 6: The question on "small world" social networks was a very interesting idea but should have just been "social networks." I am about as knowledgeable about modeling social networks as any economist besides Extremely Famous Economics Professor Matt Jackson and his coauthors (I have a paper that uses his model to predict the geography of international immigration), and I did not know to say "small world" when prompted. In those models, certain key parameters govern the degree distribution of the network, but I've never seen polar cases referred to as "small world" specifically. Yet that seemed to be what the question was implying.
Yes, it should also accept randomizing strategies, as that is essentially what you are doing. But, I don't have the set here, so as long as "randomzing" isn't in the question.

As to the small world social networks question, the lead-in specifically refers to the method of generating small-world social networks via the (Watts-Strogatz) model, and not just social networks in general. If everyone who does academic work with this can't parse this clue or feels that the granularity of the question content was too fine, I apologize.
AlexLiu wrote:
bag-of-worms wrote:There were no instructions to prompt on just The Picture of Dorian Gray. I didn't write this question, but an editor may have no sympathy for a person who gives a novel when the pronoun is "this work of criticism."
Oh right, forgot about "this work of criticism". Thanks!
Right, the pronoun is "This work of criticism" and I say "it concludes..." Both of those pronouns should rule out the novel itself.
I wasn't trying to assert that clues from things I've read that I don't remember are too hard (and I apologize if I gave off that vibe in my comments). I just thought Stag Hunt and Ibn Kaldun might be outside the range of regular difficulty (Points which I'm more than happy to concede).
Stag hunt is a harder question - I don't mind throwing in a few of these to keep all teams honest. I didn't see the Khaldun tossup, but that does seem pretty brutal, but it's probably fine if it is one of those "harder questions."
The tossup on The History of the Peloponnesian War probably should have been written as one on "Thucydides" instead given the large number of titles under which the book has been published. I was negged for saying "Thucydides" followed by "Thucydides' History" even though "Thucydides" is the title of an edition of a major (Benjamin Jowett's) translation (in fact, that translation has itself appeared under various titles). I thought the content of the tossup itself was interesting, though.
I don't agree with your first normative statement, rather the answer line should be just revised. That's an oversight on our part. I will say that I don't like the trend of just accepting "Suetonius" or "Polybius" if the tossup is one this work. I understand that in the vernacular a professor might tell his student to pull out your "Cassius Dio" but if it's a major issue in general that needs more discussion, please say so.
-The Synod of Whitby tossup has the same problem as the Mukden tossup - it compensates for its answerline with very easy cluing. Once you realize it's a non-military event in Anglo-Saxon England, the reasonable answerspace becomes very small, especially if you know that Iona is notable for its monks.
Well yeah, the point here isn't to make the hard tossups have hilariously hard lead-ins. And honestly, it's not like troves of quizbowlers are lugging around their knowledge of Iona monks! I agree that the answer line space is small, but it's an important event in British religious history.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:15 pm

Ibn Khaldun was a bonus part, I thought.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:24 pm

Cheynem wrote:Ibn Khaldun was a bonus part, I thought.
I didn't make that clear in my earlier post in the thread. My bad.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:29 pm

-I don't like the clues used in the fossils question, since the clue about superposition gives away that it's something you find buried in the earth pretty early.

So, the fossils tossup is what I consider an "obviously bad" question, a number of which appeared across this set. I don't think there was any unifying trend, but any competent person should've told you it was a bad idea (Wasteland) or that all your clues are way too easy or figure-out-able (fossils, affirmative action, quite a few others). The tossup on fossils was extremely bad because it told you right away it was something buried in the earth used to date things, and only got worse from there (culminating with like index fossils still in power). It was extremely frustrating to play a majority of good questions a round with some really-quite-bad questions thrown in.
I will say that I took it upon me to right earth science that wasn’t the usual glacier nonsense by actually looking at a real earth science textbook. There are many things in the earth used to date things, fossils being only one of a multitude. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geochronology) I didn’t power mark any of my questions, but I probably would not have put index fossils in power. But, I’m just saying that if I write a tossup on something else in a similar field in the future, I could use much of the same sounding clues, and the answer might still smell like fossils, but I assure you, guessing will only work part of the time.
The etic/emic distinction does not point specifically to "culture," or even to ways of analyzing "culture" alone. The dichotomy refers to ways in which anthropologists study and/or report on, well, anything - from the insider perspective or a more impartial outside stance - and while I suppose anything which could be studied in an etic or emic fashion is technically a "cultural" phenomenon of some kind, I don't foresee people making that judgment in such a way that they'll come to the answer the question wants (as opposed to saying something like "anthropology/anthropological study," "ethnography," or "fieldwork"). Is this salvageable in some way?
I’m sorry about this – I’ll try to patch this up for next week.
-This part on "critical theory" was pretty hard to figure out, in part because the label is rather nebulous and not everyone who uses it is concerned with the "relation between" social SCIENCES and society. Many of the Frankfurt School critical theorists and their successors USED a lot of social science and things which used to count as social science (such as Marxist social anlysis) in the methods that got grouped under "critical theory", to analyze, among other things, the objects of knowledge among people in society, and society itself. But I don't know what it means for "objects of knowledge" to "emerge" "between" social science and society, as this bonus part claimed, or what source that formulation came from. Is there a more exact formula that you attempted to paraphrase? At any rate, a more salient feature of "critical theory" as opposed to other philosophy/theory, if I can venture to draw on Academic Work that I'm doing in Real Life literally right now, is that it uses a blend of social science and German philosophy to try and assess the intellectual tensions or crises of the present, and more uniquely the potential for big "transformative" or "emancipatory" changes in the immediate future.
Heh, this type of response would have made Habermaas proud. I pulled it from a general reference, the Dictionary of Cultural Theory, or something akin to that. I have no problem changing it if you were unable to get it – if there is a definition that you can supply that you are sure others would get, I’m more than happy to hear about it.

Okay so in response to the Wasteland tossup, if that tossup annoys you, I apologize for it not playing out the way I wanted it to play out. But I pulled all of it from Chretien and the Post-Vulgate cycle. I don’t have the tossup, but I’ll try to respond to it from my memory of what the tossup says. The leadin specifically refers to a story within the Post-Vulgate cycle in which the broken sword is re-mended in an attempt to turn the Wasteland back into its flourishing kingdom. Perceval’s failure to ask the Fisher King about the grail is what perpetuates the wasteland. All of the content alluded to in the question is essential to the grail story, as well as to understanding the poem The Wasteland. I’m at a loss as to how you can understand the poem The Wasteland without knowing the simple backstory. I can understand Matt’s critique of the pronoun usage, but if you don’t know the question content, then I don’t mind telling its critics to consider learning more about it.
-'Seven deadly sins' should figure out how to prompt on 'sins' or 'vices', since a character encountering vices is also a trope of medieval morality plays. Also, it straight up says "their opposites, the virtues"
Oops, sorry. Thanks, that’s a derp.

- How many layperson's terms for negative emotions ought to be promptable for the yeah-i-know-it's-scientifically-specific term "aggression"? If someone answers with "anger" or "rage" or "frustration" before it's mentioned, is it the right call to neg them outright for not knowing the term that psychologists use, and would it help if the first line said "This psychology term"?

I personally propose negging them and seeing their reaction to determine if frustration is an equivalent to rage. More seriously, I do like the use of "this psychology term" at the beginning, I'll throw that in there.
I guess I sound like I'm contradicting myself.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by touchpack » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:37 pm

Ike wrote:
-I don't like the clues used in the fossils question, since the clue about superposition gives away that it's something you find buried in the earth pretty early.

So, the fossils tossup is what I consider an "obviously bad" question, a number of which appeared across this set. I don't think there was any unifying trend, but any competent person should've told you it was a bad idea (Wasteland) or that all your clues are way too easy or figure-out-able (fossils, affirmative action, quite a few others). The tossup on fossils was extremely bad because it told you right away it was something buried in the earth used to date things, and only got worse from there (culminating with like index fossils still in power). It was extremely frustrating to play a majority of good questions a round with some really-quite-bad questions thrown in.
I will say that I took it upon me to right earth science that wasn’t the usual glacier nonsense by actually looking at a real earth science textbook. There are many things in the earth used to date things, fossils being only one of a multitude. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geochronology) I didn’t power mark any of my questions, but I probably would not have put index fossils in power. But, I’m just saying that if I write a tossup on something else in a similar field in the future, I could use much of the same sounding clues, and the answer might still smell like fossils, but I assure you, guessing will only work part of the time.
Additionally, index fossils was NOT in power--it was the first two words out of power. That sounds a moderator mistake at the VT site.

Text of the tossup:

9. The zombie effect must be accounted for when studying the remanie or derived types of these objects. William Smith pioneered the identification of strata using them, whose namesake principle of succession is essentially an application of the principle of superposition. The field of taphonomy is the historical study of these items. The (*) index type of these items are useful in dating since they are limited to a small region within the geological time scale. George Cuvier formulated his theory of catastrophism by examining these items. Types of these items include gastroliths and coprolites, the latter of which is solidified feces. For 10 points, name these remains of prehistoric life, which are studied by paleontologists.
ANSWER: fossils

(Yes, we see the dangling modifier in the 2nd sentence--it will be fixed by next week's mirror)
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:53 pm

If someone posts the "culture" tossup, I can help in determining how the full answer line ought to read - or alternately, how the question can be modified to uniquely point to "culture." Matt is right in that the etic/emic distinction points to multiple answer lines (I was thinking "ethnography" or "anthropology" there) but it would help for me to see the wording of the question, since maybe I just missed some crucial demonstrative.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:19 pm

13. Raymond Williams stated that this concept is “ordinary” in a book that links the structure of the family with the organization of production. The “honeymoon phase” and “negotiation phase” are two parts of a four-stage model about how this phenomenon affects a foreigner. The etic approach to this idea objectively analyzes it using a universal framework and stands in contrast to the emic approach. It is defined as (*) “personality-writ large” in a book that analyzes the Dobu, Kwakiutl and Zuni using the concepts of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Regions wherein this concept remains homogenous were put into namesake areas in a model developed by Alfred Kroeber. A book about its patterns that champions relativism was written by Ruth Benedict. For 10 points, name this concept, the set of values a civilization possesses.
ANSWER: culture [accept “culture shock”]
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Auroni » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:34 pm

Ike wrote:I’m at a loss as to how you can understand the poem The Wasteland without knowing the simple backstory. I can understand Matt’s critique of the pronoun usage, but if you don’t know the question content, then I don’t mind telling its critics to consider learning more about it.
That might all be true, but it doesn't change the fact that it was far too hard for the audience of this regular-difficulty college tournament.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm

I don't want to say a ton because it's not my area, but I also think even knowing the backstory could still cause people not to get the question out of sheer confusion with what the question is looking for. I'm not sure how generous the answerlines were.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:13 pm

Martha Dreyer wrote:
13. Raymond Williams stated that this concept is “ordinary” in a book that links the structure of the family with the organization of production. The “honeymoon phase” and “negotiation phase” are two parts of a four-stage model about how this phenomenon affects a foreigner. The etic approach to this idea objectively analyzes it using a universal framework and stands in contrast to the emic approach. It is defined as (*) “personality-writ large” in a book that analyzes the Dobu, Kwakiutl and Zuni using the concepts of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Regions wherein this concept remains homogenous were put into namesake areas in a model developed by Alfred Kroeber. A book about its patterns that champions relativism was written by Ruth Benedict. For 10 points, name this concept, the set of values a civilization possesses.
ANSWER: culture [accept “culture shock”]
I would be satisfied if this were changed to "the etic approach to studying these phenomena [or "this phenomenon"] objectively analyzes them [or "it"]..." It is possible to consider ethnography or anthropology an idea, but using "phenomenon" rules those answers out, and it was used perfectly well in the previous sentence. (I used "entities" in my own VCU Closed tossup on "cultures"; in restrospect, this might have been a poor choice.)

Matt is right that you can talk about the emic/etic distinction with regard to any particular thing anthropologists study, but most anthropologists accept that the domain of what anthropologists study is culture, even if they can't define what that is. The emic/etic distinction is probably introduced to most people as ways of looking at culture, in general, and not, say, marriage among the Hadza, in particular.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Chimango Caracara » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:44 pm

touchpack wrote:9. The zombie effect must be accounted for when studying the remanie or derived types of these objects. William Smith pioneered the identification of strata using them, whose namesake principle of succession is essentially an application of the principle of superposition. The field of taphonomy is the historical study of these items. The (*) index type of these items are useful in dating since they are limited to a small region within the geological time scale. George Cuvier formulated his theory of catastrophism by examining these items. Types of these items include gastroliths and coprolites, the latter of which is solidified feces. For 10 points, name these remains of prehistoric life, which are studied by paleontologists.
ANSWER: fossils
I think this is an interesting idea, but it does say "strata" in the second line, which tells you that it is something used to date rocks. Given that this tossup is looking for "objects," the answer is probably not going to be "radioactive isotopes," so I don't really see many alternatives.

Also, I would not really define taphonomy as the "historical study of fossils." I would say it's more like the "study of dead organisms." So something like the decomposition of a corpse would fall within the realm of taphonomy (in fact, that clue seems to point directly to "corpses" or "carcasses"). Taphonomy would also be related to explaining why things don't become fossilized, which makes that clue seem additionally confusing. I think a more useful and accurate clue might be something like, "Biases in the composition of these objects caused by the conditions that lead to their formation and preservation are studied by taphonomists." I would still include a prompt on "remains," "carcasses, "corpses" or other things like that though. And my proposed clue is still pretty transparent (in my opinion). I'm not sure this tossup is really workable as is (although lots this material would be great in bonuses).
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:05 pm

I'd like to point out some flaws in the Japanese painting tossup. My reference will be A History of Far Eastern Art by Sherman Lee, which is a well-regarded textbook.
Packet 11 Tossup 19 wrote:One artist from this country created every one of his paintings by imagining that paper and ink were at war with each other, much like two armies. Another artist from this country used the “ink wash” style to create four landscapes of the seasons that can be found on his Long Scroll. James Whistler’s Princess from a Land of (*) Porcelain was inspired by a series of artworks from this country. Van Gogh copied a series of prints he found in this country that were used as packing material, which depict a blooming plum tree. A man working on a big barrel as well as a giant wave can be seen in a series that depicts this country’s tallest mountain. Many artists from here depicted the “Floating World.” For 10 points, name this country home to Hokusai.
ANSWER: Japan [or Nihon; or Nippon]
I negged this question with China at "ink wash" because I didn't recognize the lead-in and the ink wash style was first developed in China. I looked through Lee's book and did some internet searching, and I still couldn't find the painter referenced in the first sentence. (I have a sneaking suspicion that he is Ike no Taiga, especially since it seemed to be a running in-joke throughout the tournament to include Ike's name in as many questions as possible. Anyone else notice this?) So that lead-in is really obscure, but to me it is definitely giving off a "do you hear the grasshopper at your feet" Far Eastern metaphysics vibe. At regular difficulty, that means we're down to China and Japan after one clue, so I really don't like the lead-in.

The very next clue is "ink wash," which is both a Chinese and a Japanese thing, except it actually started in China, so it is not only ambiguous but also neg bait for people who have studied Far Eastern art. Moreover, it's a pretty general term that just means monochrome (the term used in my reference textbook - "ink wash painting" is the literal translation of shui mo hua), which is characteristic of Far Eastern art in general. There are many better clues that could have been used concerning one of that style's many subcategories. For example, Sesshu Toyo, the artist who did the Sansui Chokan aka Long Landscape Scroll, has several famous paintings in two different styles: "lyric" and "splashed ink." The Long Scroll belongs to the former, which once again was originally developed in China, not to mention "scroll" is another giant arrow pointing strongly yet ambiguously to either China or Japan, so I really don't like the second sentence either.

The next two sentences are about Westerners inspired by art from another country - these are unambiguous clues about Japanese painting, but really, do you have to refer back to the West for a big chunk of the one question on non-Western painting in the whole tournament? There are plenty of cool Japanese paintings that you could talk about instead here, especially the ukiyo-e woodblocks of Ando Hiroshige and Hokusai which are familiar to many people not otherwise knowledgeable about Japanese art. Those clues take up the last three sentences, but could easily be expanded to include the rest of the question past the powermark.

Sorry if this seems like a really long rant about one thing, but I am a big fan of Far Eastern art and was very disappointed to neg the one question about it because of poor writing. I would have just written a full-length example of "this is what the question could have been like" if I had known how much analysis I was going to do.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:21 pm

When I get back home tonight, I'll respond to your criticisms of the Japanese painting tossup, I have to look at my source before continuing.
Response:
I negged this question with China at "ink wash" because I didn't recognize the lead-in and the ink wash style was first developed in China. I looked through Lee's book and did some internet searching, and I still couldn't find the painter referenced in the first sentence. (I have a sneaking suspicion that he is Ike no Taiga, especially since it seemed to be a running in-joke throughout the tournament to include Ike's name in as many questions as possible. Anyone else notice this?) So that lead-in is really obscure, but to me it is definitely giving off a "do you hear the grasshopper at your feet" Far Eastern metaphysics vibe. At regular difficulty, that means we're down to China and Japan after one clue, so I really don't like the lead-in.
Yeah that sucks. Looking back at my book, I was referring to the paintings of Musashi, who espoused that philosophy. My original line of thinking was that if I made the clue super coy, the clue is absolutely worthless. I figured since it sounded metaphysical, it could either be China, India, Japan or Korea, and since the quote sounded kind of insane, the answer could conceivably be Persia or Iran, where you had mad artists and caliphs. I don't know how many Ike references this tournament had, but if there were a lot I apologize.
The very next clue is "ink wash," which is both a Chinese and a Japanese thing, except it actually started in China, so it is not only ambiguous but also neg bait for people who have studied Far Eastern art. Moreover, it's a pretty general term that just means monochrome (the term used in my reference textbook - "ink wash painting" is the literal translation of shui mo hua), which is characteristic of Far Eastern art in general.
Well the tossup, doesn't explicitly say that it started in this country, only that it was used to create landscapes by the artist of the long scroll. I understand the impulse buzz, and I sympathize - I will be looking to changing the wording / perhaps the clue outright. But I will say, there are many situations in quizbowl where you'll narrow down the answer to one or two things based on the "buzz word" but unfortunately the rest of the clause narrows out your answer. If you protested on the grounds that you buzzed at ink-wash and said China right away, you might not win that protest.
There are many better clues that could have been used concerning one of that style's many subcategories. For example, Sesshu Toyo, the artist who did the Sansui Chokan aka Long Landscape Scroll, has several famous paintings in two different styles: "lyric" and "splashed ink." The Long Scroll belongs to the former, which once again was originally developed in China, not to mention "scroll" is another giant arrow pointing strongly yet ambiguously to either China or Japan, so I really don't like the second sentence either.
I probably will go and insert a more unique style clue. Okay, so by the time you get to scroll, you have the answer to one of 2 or 3 possible answers. I was conscious of this at this point, but my choice here is to 1.) abandon the idea of tossing up this type of material completely, as I couldn't think of another great way of asking about the material (even bonuses are ridiculously hard) or 2.) just roll with it and hope that teams understand that buzzing and guessing like this in the long run doesn't pay off or work.
The next two sentences are about Westerners inspired by art from another country - these are unambiguous clues about Japanese painting, but really, do you have to refer back to the West for a big chunk of the one question on non-Western painting in the whole tournament? There are plenty of cool Japanese paintings that you could talk about instead here, especially the ukiyo-e woodblocks of Ando Hiroshige and Hokusai which are familiar to many people not otherwise knowledgeable about Japanese art. Those clues take up the last three sentences, but could easily be expanded to include the rest of the question past the powermark.
Well, yes, now you see what I was trying to do. I wanted some of this material in the tournament, because people do actually study it, but if I did actually devote the entire question to purely Japanese artists, the question turns into a really massive game of roll the die or flip the coin. The Whistler clue and Van Gogh's work that basically kickstarted Japonisme are ways of working in material that a player conceivably knows into a tossup that (ideally) would please some specialists.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:36 pm

Ike wrote:Well yeah, the point here isn't to make the hard tossups have hilariously hard lead-ins. And honestly, it's not like troves of quizbowlers are lugging around their knowledge of Iona monks! I agree that the answer line space is small, but it's an important event in British religious history.
I believe I posted this above, but in case anyone missed it: the information you'd get from reading the first line of the Wikipedia article on the Synod of Whitby was in power for this tossup. That's the big problem I have here. I agree that the event is important and worth asking about, but this seems like an awfully low standard for getting a 15, and I'm not sure if that's a good way to compensate for a hard answerline.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:55 pm

Can someone please post the Safavids tossup? Round 10 I think.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:02 pm

DRAGOON Packet 10 wrote:4. One leader of this dynasty built the palace of Chehel Sotoun, and the traveller Jean Chardin published an account of the coronation of another leader of this dynasty. This dynasty traced its origins to a mystic order based in the town of Ardabil, which was led by such men as Joynad and Haydar. The Portuguese captured the island of Hormuz from this dynasty. The (*) English travelers Robert and Anthony Shirley trained this dynasty’s army according to English methods. The Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim defeated this dynasty at the Battle of Chaldiran, where they were led by Shah Ismail I. Reaching its apex under Abbas I, for 10 points, name this Shi’ite dynasty which ruled Persia from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
ANSWER: Safavid Empire or dynasty
For some reason, the sentence about Chaldiran cut off abruptly in the saturday packets. I believe we fixed it for Sunday.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by madviking » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:24 pm

The tossup on Meditations on First Philosophy had an incorrect clue in the tossup. The tossup refers to the Meditations as being written in "geometrical order" which my teammate buzzed on and said Spinoza's Ethics (which IS written in geometrical order, unlike the Meditations). All the other clues were referring to the Meditations, but having that error was pretty egregious, in my opinion.

Otherwise, I though the tournament was well written and was definitely better than Quark last year. Thanks to Illinois for writing the tournament.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:03 am

t-bar wrote:
DRAGOON Packet 4 wrote:12. One of the most celebrated results of this field is the Whitney Embedding Theorem, which states that any object with n dimensions can be embedded in a space with 2n + 1 dimensions. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this discipline of mathematics whose branches include geometry. It is loosely defined as the study of spaces, and objects studied in this discipline include Klein bottles and Möbius strips.
ANSWER: topology
[10] A set theory definition of topology defines a set of points X and a subset of X with this property. Those subsets of X with this property must also retain it under finite intersection and finite union.
ANSWER: openness
[10] A topological space has this property if for any infinite sequence of points within the set, it will converge to a point within the set. The product of two topological spaces will have it if its individual components also possess it according to Tychonoff’s theorem.
ANSWER: compactness
To be That Guy: yeah, the last two bonus parts are incorrect. Openness is retained under finite intersection and arbitrary union (finite, countably infinite, or uncountably infinite). Similarly, Tychonoff's theorem states that any product of compact topological spaces is compact, whether a finite product, countably infinite product, or uncountably infinite product. I doubt either of those errors would confuse someone who knew what the prompts meant, but they should probably be changed for accuracy's sake.
As this bonus stands you would have had to have also accepted _closed_ as an answer because a topology can also be defined in terms of closed sets. However in the case of closed sets, those subsets of X with the closed property must also retain it under arbitrary intersection and finite union, so the distinction is important.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:21 am

madviking wrote:The tossup on Meditations on First Philosophy had an incorrect clue in the tossup. The tossup refers to the Meditations as being written in "geometrical order" which my teammate buzzed on and said Spinoza's Ethics (which IS written in geometrical order, unlike the Meditations). All the other clues were referring to the Meditations, but having that error was pretty egregious, in my opinion.

Otherwise, I though the tournament was well written and was definitely better than Quark last year. Thanks to Illinois for writing the tournament.
What are you talking about? The tossup says "Its opening letter states its author will use (*) geometric methods to prove the existence of God." Spinoza's Ethics doesn't have an introductory letter that is appended to it any standard edition, nor does it say anywhere that it uses geometry to prove the existence of God. On the other hand, Descartes's opening letter to the theologians of Paris states that it will use the methods of Pappus and Apollonius to prove the existence of god. This is a case where the context of the clue is all-important.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by madviking » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:22 am

Ike wrote:
madviking wrote:The tossup on Meditations on First Philosophy had an incorrect clue in the tossup. The tossup refers to the Meditations as being written in "geometrical order" which my teammate buzzed on and said Spinoza's Ethics (which IS written in geometrical order, unlike the Meditations). All the other clues were referring to the Meditations, but having that error was pretty egregious, in my opinion.

Otherwise, I though the tournament was well written and was definitely better than Quark last year. Thanks to Illinois for writing the tournament.
What are you talking about? The tossup says "Its opening letter states its author will use (*) geometric methods to prove the existence of God." Spinoza's Ethics doesn't have an introductory letter that is appended to it any standard edition, nor does it say anywhere that it uses geometry to prove the existence of God. On the other hand, Descartes's opening letter to the theologians of Paris states that it will use the methods of Pappus and Apollonius to prove the existence of god. This is a case where the context of the clue is all-important.
Ah I'm sorry... that makes sense. I just heard the word "geometric" in the tossup and thought that was a error, since I assumed it was referring to the subtitle of the Ethics, and I didn't hear about the introduction. My b.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:32 am

I believe I posted this above, but in case anyone missed it: the information you'd get from reading the first line of the Wikipedia article on the Synod of Whitby was in power for this tossup. That's the big problem I have here. I agree that the event is important and worth asking about, but this seems like an awfully low standard for getting a 15, and I'm not sure if that's a good way to compensate for a hard answerline.
I'm pretty sure a lot of people missed it.

Wikipedia is not a good metric by any means of judging clue obscurity. By that token, the lead-in to the tossup on Gravity's Rainbow is bad, and I should go find a new one. More importantly, I think the tossup is hard enough as it stands, again I will repeat, there aren't troves of quizbowlers learning much about Anglo-Saxon history, and there certainly aren't troves of quizbowlers learning that there are monks at Iona. (Although now that they have read this post, that may be true.)
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:26 am

Ike wrote:
madviking wrote:The tossup on Meditations on First Philosophy had an incorrect clue in the tossup. The tossup refers to the Meditations as being written in "geometrical order" which my teammate buzzed on and said Spinoza's Ethics (which IS written in geometrical order, unlike the Meditations). All the other clues were referring to the Meditations, but having that error was pretty egregious, in my opinion.

Otherwise, I though the tournament was well written and was definitely better than Quark last year. Thanks to Illinois for writing the tournament.
What are you talking about? The tossup says "Its opening letter states its author will use (*) geometric methods to prove the existence of God." Spinoza's Ethics doesn't have an introductory letter that is appended to it any standard edition, nor does it say anywhere that it uses geometry to prove the existence of God. On the other hand, Descartes's opening letter to the theologians of Paris states that it will use the methods of Pappus and Apollonius to prove the existence of god. This is a case where the context of the clue is all-important.
That's in the letter to the Sorbonne, I take it? In this case, a more exact description may be better, in part because the letter admits his work isn't exactly like geometry (cf. paragraph 5). Something like "It opens with a letter addressed to a faculty of scholars, stating that its will use methods 'equal or even superior to the geometrical' to prove the existence of God" might work better and aggravate fewer people.

Also, since you asked, I'll take crack at a "critical theory" reword, assuming we're asking people to think about the early, Frankfurt School-era use of the term. My instinct is that the phrase has been defined so expansively to mean "any relatively lefty, politically-conscious European academic effort" that you may just have an easier time replacing the part outright with a part on the Frankfurt school or another Habermas contribution, but here's a dashed-off attempt:

[10] This two-word English phrase describes a form of academic inquiry done by Habermas and his Frankfurt School teachers. It blends insights from social science, philosophy, and Marxism to analyze social tensions and point towards what Horkheimer called an "emancipatory" resolution in the future.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:02 am

Thanks for the detailed response, Ike. I definitely understand the difficulty of writing on Japanese art without making it incredibly obvious that it's Japanese. I don't have time now, but I plan to edit this post today or tomorrow to include my attempt at writing a regular-difficulty tossup on that subject. EDIT: I decided to give that attempt its own post, which will be up shortly.

I thought the Ike thing was funny, and no one else seems to have noticed it (I don't think it was more than a handful of questions), so no worries there.

Here are two other things I noticed reading through the set:
Packet 6 Tossup 6 wrote:ANSWER: Tibetan Buddhism [prompt on “Buddhism,” “Mahayana Buddhism,” or “Vajrayana Buddhism”]
Tibetan Buddhism is part of Vajrayana, which is (EDIT: somewhat different) from Mahayana, so "Mahayana Buddhism" (EDIT: is OK but kind of awkward to prompt). I think "Tantric Buddhism" should be promptable as well, since that's the common English name for Vajrayana. Thanks to Libo for setting me straight on this.
Packet 11 Tossup 7 wrote:One dude who encounters one of these creatures steps onto a huge pile of meat (*) and is transported by one out of a valley where diamonds line its base like a carpet does.
This is factually inaccurate as well - it is an eagle, not a rukh, that transports Sindbad out of the Valley of Diamonds. Replacing the second "one" removes this issue, but makes the sentence refer generically to any creature encountered by Sindbad at some point, so it also needs a reworking for clarity. EDIT: I forgot to name my reference - it is the recent Penguin Classics translation by Malcolm C. Lyons.
Last edited by Galadedrid Damodred on Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Ringil » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:44 pm

Galadedrid Damodred wrote:
Packet 6 Tossup 6 wrote:ANSWER: Tibetan Buddhism [prompt on “Buddhism,” “Mahayana Buddhism,” or “Vajrayana Buddhism”]
Tibetan Buddhism is part of Vajrayana, which is totally separate from Mahayana, so "Mahayana Buddhism" should not be promptable. I think "Tantric Buddhism" should be promptable instead, since that's the common English name for Vajrayana.
Uh what, Tibetan Buddhism is often considered a branch of Mahayana (as is Vajrayana). Though obviously Tantric Buddhism should be promptable. Here are some sources: http://tinyurl.com/m66pvy9, http://tinyurl.com/lu94ace, http://tinyurl.com/kfupfut.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:50 pm

Could someone post the time derivative question? As a reader, I remember thinking tossups whose alternate answerlines require nearly as much text as the question itself might not be a good idea.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:15 pm

Ringil wrote:
Galadedrid Damodred wrote:
Packet 6 Tossup 6 wrote:ANSWER: Tibetan Buddhism [prompt on “Buddhism,” “Mahayana Buddhism,” or “Vajrayana Buddhism”]
Tibetan Buddhism is part of Vajrayana, which is totally separate from Mahayana, so "Mahayana Buddhism" should not be promptable. I think "Tantric Buddhism" should be promptable instead, since that's the common English name for Vajrayana.
Uh what, Tibetan Buddhism is often considered a branch of Mahayana (as is Vajrayana). Though obviously Tantric Buddhism should be promptable. Here are some sources: http://tinyurl.com/m66pvy9, http://tinyurl.com/lu94ace, http://tinyurl.com/kfupfut.
I learned differently, but after looking at your sources, I'll retract that statement about it being "totally separate." I also found this:
Wikipedia wrote:In some classifications, Vajrayana—practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia, and adjacent parts of China and Russia—is recognized as a third branch, while others classify it as a part of Mahayana.
So given the scholarly differences in classification, we're basically both correct and having that prompt is OK. I think it's a bit generous to always prompt on "Mahayana" in "name this kind of Buddhism" questions where the answer isn't Theravada, since sects like Chan and Tientai have very little in common with Tibetan Buddhism or random esoteric teachings. But I guess it's better to err on the side of leniency in this case.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:15 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:
Martha Dreyer wrote:
13. Raymond Williams stated that this concept is “ordinary” in a book that links the structure of the family with the organization of production. The “honeymoon phase” and “negotiation phase” are two parts of a four-stage model about how this phenomenon affects a foreigner. The etic approach to this idea objectively analyzes it using a universal framework and stands in contrast to the emic approach. It is defined as (*) “personality-writ large” in a book that analyzes the Dobu, Kwakiutl and Zuni using the concepts of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Regions wherein this concept remains homogenous were put into namesake areas in a model developed by Alfred Kroeber. A book about its patterns that champions relativism was written by Ruth Benedict. For 10 points, name this concept, the set of values a civilization possesses.
ANSWER: culture [accept “culture shock”]
I would be satisfied if this were changed to "the etic approach to studying these phenomena [or "this phenomenon"] objectively analyzes them [or "it"]..." It is possible to consider ethnography or anthropology an idea, but using "phenomenon" rules those answers out, and it was used perfectly well in the previous sentence. (I used "entities" in my own VCU Closed tossup on "cultures"; in restrospect, this might have been a poor choice.)

Matt is right that you can talk about the emic/etic distinction with regard to any particular thing anthropologists study, but most anthropologists accept that the domain of what anthropologists study is culture, even if they can't define what that is. The emic/etic distinction is probably introduced to most people as ways of looking at culture, in general, and not, say, marriage among the Hadza, in particular.
No, the revision you suggest does little to nothing to make this clue more buzzable. If anything, it makes it harder to buzz on because you've now described culture as a phenomenon, which is even more bizarre and unclear. The emic/etic distinction is a broad social scientific dichotomy that could applied to the study of almost any phenomenon within the realm of human interactions. In fact, it applies most broadly to human behavior in general even if the behaviors are not being studied (specifically) as examples of cultural practice, though anthropologists naturally choose to focus on it as a means of understanding culture, since culture is their object of study. There is no reason to privilege one mainstream anthropological use of these terms, as the emic/etic distinction comes originally from linguistics (rather than pure anthropology) and is now used most of the social sciences.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by touchpack » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:19 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:Could someone post the time derivative question? As a reader, I remember thinking tossups whose alternate answerlines require nearly as much text as the question itself might not be a good idea.
The problem is the leadin (and the leadin only) could have potentially applied to the material derivative, which has a billion and a half names. The vast majority of the answerline doesn't matter unless someone buzzes in on the leadin--a buzz of an operation only seen in fluid dynamics when you're talking about electromagnetism is definitely flat-out wrong.

Here's the TU anyway though:

12. NOTE to moderator: If someone buzzes in on the first sentence, make sure you read the answerline carefully!
The value of this operation applied to some flow property is related to integrals involving that flow property throughout the control volume by the Reynolds transport theorem. Performing a gauge fixing of the scalar potential is done by subtracting from the scalar potential this operation applied to the gauge function. This operation is applied to Hamilton’s principal function in the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and to the (*) conjugate momenta in the Euler-Lagrange equations. This operation is applied to the action to give the Lagrangian, to the angular momentum to give torque, and to energy to give power. For 10 points, name this operation which is applied to velocity to give acceleration and to position to give velocity, symbolized d/dt. (dee by dee tee)
ANSWER: time derivative [or “derivative with respect to time,” prompt on just “derivative,” prompt on “d/dt,” BEFORE the words “gauge fixing,” prompt on “D/Dt,” (capital dee by capital dee tee) accept any of the following answers: material derivative, total derivative, convective derivative, advective derivative, substantive derivative, substantial derivative, Lagrangian derivative, Stokes derivative, particle derivative, hydrodynamic derivative, derivative following the motion, if they buzz after “gauge fixing” with any of those answers, neg them]

So it really can't be helped. Blame the textbooks for having a billion names for the material derivative.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Galadedrid Damodred » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:44 pm

Here's that tossup I promised earlier. I'd like to make it clear that I wrote this question not out of spite, but out of a desire to show that it is possible to have a good regular-difficulty tossup that uniquely references Japanese painting. Of course, it's up to other people to decide whether it is (a) good and/or (b) regular-difficulty.

In one painting from this country, a man shows his own severed arm to a seated man in white who looks away. One artist from this country painted a bizarre political satire that includes two men playing tug-of-war with their heads, a rabbit riding a deer, and a monkey kneeling in front of a frog. A man on horseback chases a flying house supported only by a golden bowl in a work from this country’s school of “men’s painting.” A girl with a leashed turtle watches workers at a water mill and fishermen cower before a giant (*) wave in a series that shows thirty-six views of this country’s tallest mountain. Many of its artists depicted the “floating world” in woodblock prints during the Edo Period. For 10 points, name this country home to the ukiyo-e master Hokusai.
ANSWER: Japan [or Nihon; or Nippon]
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:43 pm

I might have more to say later; briefly: the beginning of the tossup on "pressure" states "this quantity equals two-fifths times the density times the Fermi energy". You should probably specify that you're talking about a "number density", since "density" unqualified typically refers to "mass density", which was confusing to me, because no useful quantity has units of mass density times energy.

It is strange that in the bonus part on "fine structure constant" you have a prompt on "1/137". Not only can I not imagine anyone ever saying this, if someone were to say this, they would be incorrect.

There were some keming issues in the bonus on Karna / Indra / Vyasa, stemming from the fact that "Karna" and "Kama" look incredibly similar in Times New Roman at standard screen resolutions. I'm not sure what should really be done about this (besides sticking with sans serif fonts for college tournaments [which are likely to be read on screen, rather than on paper] in general), but something ought to be.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:37 pm

I thought this tournament, aside from the aforementioned issues with pronouns and sometimes problematic grammar, was pretty good, including most of the music—I will say that some of the questions were vague or hard to process. Examples:
The period instrument ensemble Il Giardino Armonico has received acclaim for their recordings of this man’s double and triple concertos on their album Il Proteo.
I'm not entirely convinced by the idea of citing specific recordings of pieces if there's not a one-to-one correspondence of artist-composer (which there almost never is: Il Giardino Armonico did one of my favorite recordings of the Brandenburgs as well as oodles of recordings of obscure Italian composers), but I guess this isn't that much of an issue in a bonus leadin. What do other people think about clues like this?

A joke clue like "this French guitarist" (he was better at flute anyways—and he could actually be described accurately as a conductor or music critic) for Berlioz doesn't really help anyone, and, for all I know, could have confused some teams.
Donald Tovey criticized the composer of these works for misconceiving the opening tutti in the first two of them, and Owen Jander wrote a book-length study of the fourth of them. The second movement of the fourth of these works was compared to Orpheus taming the Furies, and Claudio Arrau recorded a complete cycle of these works with the Staatskapelle Dresden. The last of these works was premiered by (*) Friedrich Schneider, and the fourth was the first in its genre ever to open with the soloist playing unaccompanied. The fifth and last of these works is in E-flat major and opens with a cadenza punctuated by three tutti chords from the orchestra, and was dedicated to Archduke Rudolf. For 10 points, name these five works for a soloist and orchestra, the fifth of which is called the ‘Emperor.’
So the first clue gives away the fact that these are concerti and not much else (having actually read enough Tovey to presumably know better, I would have been at best guessing off of his general opinion that early Beethoven is not very good formally, if I'd buzzed there). I have the same problem with the Arrau clue as with the Il Giardino Armonico clue above: yes, I like those recordings, but, unless I know Claudio Arrau's discography by heart, how am I supposed to establish a one-to-one correspondence? I'm not going to buzz on this and then have it turn out that he actually recorded all of the Chopin or Brahms concerti with the Dresden Staatskapelle too.
I guess my biggest point about this is that this is a question about the reception history of the Beethoven piano concerti and not really about them (e.g. nobody cares that Friedrich Schneider, a very minor figure, probably premiered the Emperor concerto) until the real clues (not that Jander book...and I was under the impression that people don't take that book that seriously?) on the fourth concerto. I'm also not sure how it helps people that Archduke Rudolf was the dedicatee of the Emperor Concerto (among so many other works...) so much more than "E-Flat Major" or even "fifth and last."

Similarly
The second movement of this piece quotes a Jewish theme from the composer’s second piano trio. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this C-minor piece whose five movements are all played attaca. It was written over the course of three days while the composer was staying in Dresden to write the score for the film “Five Days - Five Nights.”
Either you know Shostakovich biography, know not-famous Shostakovich film scores, or you can guess that this is the eighth string quartet from "C minor" and "five movements played attaca." If you've played, analyzed, listened to this piece? Good chance you're not getting this.

Do Kalevala clues really belong in Sibelius tossups? I'm not sure I agree with giving myth players points in music for knowing mythology and the nationality of a composer as opposed to actually knowing that composer's music. I'd also like to here what people have to say on these kind of clues.

Only perfect authentic cadence is underlined in my copy, as opposed to both words, which is the actual name of the entity. I'd also be interested to see a definition that doesn't include the tonic in the soprano in the final chord.

Again, I'm just not sure how it's useful to include vague, unremarkable clues like "uses muted strings throughout and was compared by the composer to a moonlit night" after dropping "Romanze. Larghetto" and "concerto."

The Weber question overall was pretty good, but the cluing of different "movements" of the Konzertstück is awfully confusing (and this isn't the most famous "Larghetto affetuoso"—without "f minor," that would be the Devil's Trill sonata...).

tl;dr: soliciting opinions on performer clues, Kalevala clues
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:46 pm

I admit to not knowing anything about music, but Sibelius' nationality is well...very important to his music. More important than a lot of composers. The fact that he is using stuff like the Kalevala goes along with that fact, I think, in the same way that you can't just ignore the fact that Paton wrote about apartheid or Kawabata wrote about Japanese hot springs. Obviously you have to structure the questions in a way that will reward deeper knowledge first, but these are important parts of these guys' work as artists--no music study of Sibelius would overlook his nationality and cultural influences.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:48 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote:There were some keMing issues in the bonus on Karna / Indra / Vyasa, stemming from the fact that "Karna" and "Kama" look incredibly similar in Times New Roman at standard screen resolutions.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Auroni » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:04 pm

vinteuil wrote:So the first clue gives away the fact that these are concerti and not much else (having actually read enough Tovey to presumably know better, I would have been at best guessing off of his general opinion that early Beethoven is not very good formally, if I'd buzzed there).
There's no way that this is true for anyone other than yourself and John Lawrence.
I'm also not sure how it helps people that Archduke Rudolf was the dedicatee of the Emperor Concerto (among so many other works...) so much more than "E-Flat Major" or even "fifth and last."
This is also wrong. That's definitely helpful for tons of people like me who have some passing familiarity with the piece but don't know intimate score details.

On that note, I thought that the eighth string quartet bonus part was pretty hard and might have been better served by being placed after Shostakovich had already been given.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Auroni » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:04 pm

vinteuil wrote:So the first clue gives away the fact that these are concerti and not much else (having actually read enough Tovey to presumably know better, I would have been at best guessing off of his general opinion that early Beethoven is not very good formally, if I'd buzzed there).
There's no way that this is true for anyone other than yourself and John Lawrence.
I'm also not sure how it helps people that Archduke Rudolf was the dedicatee of the Emperor Concerto (among so many other works...) so much more than "E-Flat Major" or even "fifth and last."
This is also wrong. That's definitely helpful for tons of people like me who have some passing familiarity with the piece but don't know intimate score details.

On that note, I thought that the eighth string quartet bonus part was pretty hard and might have been better served by being placed after Shostakovich had already been given.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Cody » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:10 pm

I think you're missing the real criticism there, Auroni. (I mostly agree with Jacob's post, fwiw, aside from the Sibelius thing and a few other small details). It isn't that it tells you it's a set of concerti (which is a fine thing to signal at any point), but that there's no way to glean anything from that clue aside from that they're concerti - Tovey wrote so much [his Essays In Musical Analysis cover six volumes and some hundred+ works, though obviously the concerti selection is much smaller] that there's really no way to get back to Beethoven (or even piano concerti) from that. It's the same for the Claudio Arrau clue - sure, it tells you that they're piano concerti, but the dude has like a hundred recordings, and plenty of "complete x" recordings, so how are you supposed to get back to Beethoven from that?

Performer clues are pretty hard to use correctly, and I think there are usually better ways to signal things like instrumentation without using recording clues.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:13 pm

vinteuil wrote:A joke clue like "this French guitarist" (he was better at flute anyways—and he could actually be described accurately as a conductor or music critic) for Berlioz doesn't really help anyone, and, for all I know, could have confused some teams.
How is this clue a joke? All the information in there is correct. To some degree this is an aesthetic choice: the easy part that gives only the necessary clues vs. the easy part that gives extra information to enhance the learning experience (Yaphe-style vs. McKenzie-style, they once called it). I tend to agree with the latter, as long as it's not overdone.

The Beethoven piano concertos tossup was the probably the hardest in the set for me to write. I chose to include a lot of performance and history clues in that question because, after researching and researching them, I concluded that there just weren't enough evocative notation clues to fill the early material. I checked various websites for recommended listening lists of the Beethoven concertos, and the Arrau recording kept coming up. But if that clue's not helpful, then it's not helpful. I'll try other methods next time. Likewise with Tovey (although that opening sentence does not 'give away' the fact that these are concerti unless you have some familiarity with concerto form).
vinteuil wrote:Either you know Shostakovich biography, know not-famous Shostakovich film scores, or you can guess that this is the eighth string quartet from "C minor" and "five movements played attaca." If you've played, analyzed, listened to this piece? Good chance you're not getting this.
This is reasonable. For the Sunday mirror, I ratcheted it down by describing the quartet specifically as a 'Chamber Piece.' But FWIW, I have analyzed that piece for class, and I would have known it off the lead-in.
vinteuil wrote:Only perfect authentic cadence is underlined in my copy, as opposed to both words, which is the actual name of the entity. I'd also be interested to see a definition that doesn't include the tonic in the soprano in the final chord.
I thought the same, actually. But when double-checking the clues, I came across this:
Grove Music, emphasis mine wrote:Perfect cadence [authentic cadence; final cadence; full cadence; full close]

A CADENCE consisting of a dominant chord followed by a tonic chord (V–I), normally both in root position. In some theoretical writings the term is extended to cover any cadence ending on the tonic, thus including the plagal form (IV–I) as well as the ‘authentic’ form; particularly in American writings, it is sometimes specified that a cadence is not ‘perfect’ unless the uppermost voice sounds the tonic note in the final chord.
EDIT: Britons and Canadians: can you speak to this?
And during playtesting, someone said 'Perfect cadence', so I thought it would be excessive to underline authentic.
vinteuil wrote:Again, I'm just not sure how it's useful to include vague, unremarkable clues like "uses muted strings throughout and was compared by the composer to a moonlit night" after dropping "Romanze. Larghetto" and "concerto."

The Weber question overall was pretty good, but the cluing of different "movements" of the Konzertstück is awfully confusing (and this isn't the most famous "Larghetto affetuoso"—without "f minor," that would be the Devil's Trill sonata...).
These comments seem fair.
Cheynem wrote:Sibelius' nationality is well...very important to his music. More important than a lot of composers. The fact that he is using stuff like the Kalevala goes along with that fact, I think, in the same way that you can't just ignore the fact that Paton wrote about apartheid or Kawabata wrote about Japanese hot springs. Obviously you have to structure the questions in a way that will reward deeper knowledge first, but these are important parts of these guys' work as artists--no music study of Sibelius would overlook his nationality and cultural influences.
What he said.

I'll change Karna to a different font.
Last edited by Lagotto Romagnolo on Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:30 pm

The Superfluous Man wrote:
vinteuil wrote:A joke clue like "this French guitarist" (he was better at flute anyways—and he could actually be described accurately as a conductor or music critic) for Berlioz doesn't really help anyone, and, for all I know, could have confused some teams.
How is this clue a joke? All the information in there is correct. To some degree this is an aesthetic choice: the easy part that gives only the necessary clues vs. the easy part that gives extra information to enhance the learning experience (Yaphe-style vs. McKenzie-style, they once called it). I tend to agree with the latter, as long as it's not overdone.
OK, so if you read Berlioz's Memoirs, it's incredibly obvious that he has his tongue majorly in his cheek when he's talking about his early musical training with Imbault and others, including his so-called prowess on guitar and flute. There is absolutely no context in which Berlioz's guitar playing is important. This isn't like saying "He also wrote the chorus "Complices de sa Gloire" in one of his operas," which is an unnecessarily difficult but reasonably important clue—it's like saying "his father complained that he could name all of the islands of the East Indies but not the departments of France"—unhelpful and potentially misleading in addition to being obscure.
The Superfluous Man wrote: The Beethoven piano concertos tossup was the probably the hardest in the set for me to write. I chose to include a lot of performance and history clues in that question because, after researching and researching them, I concluded that there just weren't enough evocative notation clues to fill the early material. I checked various websites for recommended listening lists of the Beethoven concertos, and the Arrau recording kept coming up. But if that clue's not helpful, then it's not helpful. I'll try other methods next time. Likewise with Tovey (although that opening sentence does not 'give away' the fact that these are concerti unless you have some familiarity with concerto form).
I understand that this kind of question really is hard to write, but I have to disagree with the assertion that there aren't evocative notation clues. Take the fourth concerto: for a "score" clue, you could talk about the orchestra's entrance on a B (!!) Major chord in the first movement, the third movement's beginning in C Major not G or its solo 'cello part, the scoring/rhythm/structure of the second movement (that might be hard to turn into a clue). Similarly, the transition to the third movement in the Emperor concerto also seems like a reasonable early clue. I think even a description of the first theme of the first movement of the first piano concerto would be gettable as a first line (how many themes just go up and down an octave like that?)—the point is that there's a wealth of these kinds of clues available.
The Superfluous Man wrote:But FWIW, I have analyzed that piece for class, and I would have known it off the lead-in.
Yeah, sorry, I should have explicitly said "analyzed only in terms of how the music relates to itself not other pieces by the same composer."
Cheynem wrote:I admit to not knowing anything about music, but Sibelius' nationality is well...very important to his music. More important than a lot of composers. The fact that he is using stuff like the Kalevala goes along with that fact, I think, in the same way that you can't just ignore the fact that Paton wrote about apartheid or Kawabata wrote about Japanese hot springs. Obviously you have to structure the questions in a way that will reward deeper knowledge first, but these are important parts of these guys' work as artists--no music study of Sibelius would overlook his nationality and cultural influences.
So I totally get that nationalist composers are importantly influenced by their cultures, and also totally agree that questions should acknowledge that. That being said, I'm not quite sure that I would be happy with a Kawabata question including some deep clue on the tea ceremony that would reward someone who knows only things about that and not him with points—or a question that dropped some historical fact about apartheid that's incorporated into a Paton novel, allowing history players who only know that he wrote about apartheid to buzz. This is exacerbated in the case of Sibelius, because at a difficulty where Rautavaara, Magnus Lindberg, Saariaho, and Sallinen aren't tossupable, a Kalevala clue for a composer means Sibelius and Sibelius only.

—maybe I should rephrase to "Kalevala clues shouldn't be early for Sibelius" then—again, a question on Paton wouldn't clue apartheid stuff until near the end.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:27 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:No, the revision you suggest does little to nothing to make this clue more buzzable. If anything, it makes it harder to buzz on because you've now described culture as a phenomenon, which is even more bizarre and unclear. The emic/etic distinction is a broad social scientific dichotomy that could applied to the study of almost any phenomenon within the realm of human interactions. In fact, it applies most broadly to human behavior in general even if the behaviors are not being studied (specifically) as examples of cultural practice, though anthropologists naturally choose to focus on it as a means of understanding culture, since culture is their object of study. There is no reason to privilege one mainstream anthropological use of these terms, as the emic/etic distinction comes originally from linguistics (rather than pure anthropology) and is now used most of the social sciences.
How is it misleading or unclear to describe culture as a phenomenon? I hear it described as such all the time, and certainly it's more clear than "idea." Hell, the question writer used "phenomenon" in the previous sentence! In any case, the key point of my revision is that by saying that the etic/emic distinction applies to "studying this idea/phenomenon" instead of "this idea/phenomenon" is that now you can no longer neg with a discipline, which already makes it much more clear. But I'll admit my ignorance that the etic/emic description originated in linguistics, and that it is occasionally used in other social sciences, so if any actual people would be confused by that, then by all means let the entire clue be changed.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:47 pm

In response to Jacob:

I am a fan of recording clues, partially out of self-interest, because I am a huge recording collector/nerd and I tend to buzz on most of these clues. But I think it is defensible on the grounds that music is a performing art, and significant performances become embedded in the work as either part of its cultural history or as the means of transmission by which we continue to experience it. All of that being said, one has to be careful choosing recordings. Not every work is the Goldberg Variations, where there's the Glenn Gould recordings to hold up as touchstones. I have definitely seen a couple of recording clues where it looks like the writer just picked his favorite recording or looked for one of the top hits on Amazon.

I would say that the Arrau clue represents about the lower limit of fame for a good recording clue: the Arrau Beethoven concerto recordings are not necessarily a cultural touchstone set of recordings, but they are a popular set, still lauded by critics and audiences alike. Had I not buzzed on the second clue, I could have buzzed on this Arrau clue, but that's only because I've heard (and/or own) all of Arrau's other major concerto recordings, and I therefore know that none of his other major concerto recordings were made with the Dresden Staatskapelle. Were I editing this tossup, I would have added the year and the conductor's name (especially since the conductor is the famous Sir Colin Davis) to increase buzzability, precisely to help to overcoming the kind of fears Jacob describes (wondering whether there is some other Dresden set). For recording clues, unless information like this adds some sort of dangerous transparency (which is infrequent), I think it always pays to add it for greater context.

Also, yes that Tovey clue was exactly the kind of musicological clue I consider useless: it expresses no distinct/memorable content of his argument (if his argument even had content beyond a dismissal of Beethoven's tuttis); it is not a famous enough claims of Tovey's that a Tovey fan should know it; it is not a famous enough scholarly commentary on Beethoven's Piano Concertos that someone studying Beethoven's Piano Concertos should know it.

The other team got the Mozart bonus with perfect authentic cadence as the hard part, so I didn't have to contend with it. Indeed, I was surprised to hear it use British terminology. In American terminology, a V-I cadence is by definition authentic, and the root must be present in the uppermost voice for it to be perfect. So, for American audiences, the correct answer to that bonus should be: perfect authentic cadence (with only authentic underlined).
Muriel Axon wrote: How is it misleading or unclear to describe culture as a phenomenon? I hear it described as such all the time, and certainly it's more clear than "idea." Hell, the question writer used "phenomenon" in the previous sentence! In any case, the key point of my revision is that by saying that the etic/emic distinction applies to "studying this idea/phenomenon" instead of "this idea/phenomenon" is that now you can no longer neg with a discipline, which already makes it much more clear. But I'll admit my ignorance that the etic/emic description originated in linguistics, and that it is occasionally used in other social sciences, so if any actual people would be confused by that, then by all means let the entire clue be changed.
Well, I somehow missed the original writer's use of phenomenon. Sorry about that. This still strikes me as misleading because a phenomenon, by definition, is a fact or occurrence perceived by the senses, and is therefore an odd term to use to describe an abstract broad conceptual category like culture (as opposed to some iteration of culture or cultural practice). But I don't really want to argue about whether "phenomenon" could be potentially construed as an accurate descriptor for the category of things to which "culture" belongs. (And I wouldn't have complained about that on the forums on that basis alone.) My point is that even in a world in which no one found that term confusing, the use of the word "phenomenon" may let one know that you're looking for an object of study rather than the discipline that does the studying (so you don't guess "anthropology" instead of "culture"), but one can still neg the question with any discipline's object of study (e.g. one may no longer justifiably neg with "linguistics", but one can still neg with "language"), so this is not a real fix, and the clue should probably be removed outright.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by touchpack » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:24 pm

Shan wrote:Quick note: I think the fertilization/gastrula/archenteron question referred to a "haploid zygote." I have no idea if such a thing exists, but I suspect the question was meant to read "diploid zygote."
Noted.
Eric wrote:I see my standard critiquing style has been skewered. I'll try to post more thoughts later, but while I'm reading these packets I wanted t point out one error. The bonus part on "dynamic instability" isn't quite right
[10] This term refers to the sudden switching between polymerization and depolymerization in a microtubule due to GTP and GDP bound tubulin having different affinities for it. It was discovered by Mitchison and Kirchner
I interpreted that bonus as talking about the actual switch from polymerization TO depolymerization, so I answered "catastrophe". There's a better way to phrase this part to get the answer you're looking for.
Noted.
DRAGOON Packet 11 wrote:This is the lightest particle to be an eigenstate of the G-parity operator but not the charge conjugation operator. The decay of the phi meson into three of these particles is suppressed since the Feynman diagram can be cut in two while cutting only internal gluon lines according to the OZI rule. Since the kaon can decay into either two or three of these particles, the kaon was originally thought to be two particles: the tau and the theta. The primary decay mode for the (*) neutral version of this particle is into two photons, while charged versions will decay into a muon and a muon neutrino. The exchange of one of these particles between two nucleons was predicted by Hideki Yukawa to mediate the strong force. For 10 points, and up or down quark and an up or down antiquark compose what lightest meson?
ANSWER: pion [or pi meson, accept more specific answers like pi+ or pi- or pi0]
I guess you can prompt on "meson" on a buzz before the clues about the pion's decay modes despite the fact that the word "meson" is used in the question (I could see someone buzzing in on the kaon decay clue and saying that if they weren't paying enough attention for example), but all the clues are specific to the pi. After power though, I would absolutely not prompt.
Eric wrote:-This keratin tossup suffers from a few too obscure leadins, in my opinion. Despite searching and searching I can't figure out what IRS cells are, and the leadin about keratinocytes isn't unique (any protein produced by keratinocytes could be the answer; I had to wait till later to figure out which protein you mean)
IRS cells are "inner root sheath" cells--three words I deemed too easy/transparent for the 2nd line of a regular difficulty tossup. I figured trichohyalin was the meat of the clue anyway. Noted about the wording of the first clue though.
Eric wrote:-To me, this nebula bonus has two hard parts (dark nebula and pillars of creation). This was not a systemic problem with th set, though it did occur occasionally
-In the Poisson equation, isn't it the Laplacian of the [scalar] potential, not the voltage (which is a difference of scalar potentials)?
I believe Ike intended "dark nebula" to be the medium part. Regarding voltage vs potential, I've always used the terms interchangeably and was taught they are the same thing. (So like, Ohm's Law should actually say "delta V = IR." Looking around the internet, I see people that call them the same thing, people that refer to voltage as a difference in potential, and people that think the term voltage should go die in a fire and that you should use the term emf. If that bonus (or my other fluid mech bonus that went velocity/(scalar) potentials/stream function) confused anyone let me know.
Eric wrote:-Cameron Orth did something very nice while reading this bonus part on cis-acting elements - he emphasized the word "same". Italicizing that word would be immensely helpful for comprehension, because otherwise all you're hearing is that this is a category of things involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation.
Noted.
Eric wrote:-This bonus part on difference equations seems poorly chosen. Not only are the terms "recurrence relation" and "difference equation" often outright interchangeable, you don't really describe what a difference equation in the strict sense is.
Considering that was supposed to be a hard part, a description of what a recurrence relation is might make it too easy. Looking around the internet, this seems like a "do you know this specific term that your professor/textbook may or may not have even used" bonus part. I've played with the bonus a little and have produced this bonus, which is admittedly easier than the previous incarnation.
DRAGOON Packet 3 wrote:13. Applying this operation to 1 yields the result 1/s. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this mathematical operation which can transform differential equations into algebraic equations. It converts a function expressed in the time domain into its moments.
ANSWER: Laplace transform
[10] While the Laplace transform is useful for dealing with continuous signals, the z-transform is more commonly used on signals with this property, which is contrasted with continuity.
ANSWER: discreteness
[10] In working up to the general technique of his namesake transform, Laplace applied a Mellin integral to this type of equation in an attempt to find a general solution for it. These equations can be solved by unrolling or by applying a z-transform .
ANSWER: difference equation [accept “recurrence relation.” Do not accept any other answers.]
Eric wrote:-This morpholinos bonus part is insufficiently clear. The only thing distinguishing them from siRNAs is the name of the guy who invented them. The whole point of using morpholinos (which are incidentally overasked) is that you get steric hindrance and blocked translation instead of straight-up degradation of the product. Tldr this is accomplished because they have a phosphorodiamidate linkage instead of the standard phosphate linkage /Tldr. Either of these things would have made that bonus part gettable.
The point of giving you the name of the guy who invented them was to tell you that these are synthetic molecules (unlike siRNAs), with the added bonus of hey, maybe someone in qb has had a professor that worked with him once or something, you never know. I'll just explicitly call them synthetic. Here's the bonus part you played:
DRAGOON Packet 4 wrote:9. Designed by James Summerton, these molecules are a commonly used tool to facilitate gene knockdown. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these antisense oligomers which bind to a target site on RNA, blocking cellular processes from acting on the target site.
ANSWER: morpholinos
Which I think IS explicitly unique (I did use the word "blocking") but the bonus part is rather short, and if you didn't hear one or two keywords correctly, I can see how this would be frustrating to play. I'll beef this up a little.

Incidentally, why are these overasked? I've never seen a question explicitly ask them before--I've only seen them used as a clue occasionally (mostly in zebrafish tossups) so I figured this would be a new/creative way of asking about something that only comes up a little bit to begin with. I know that I strive to ask about underasked things as much as possible, and while I can do this well in chemistry and physics because I have so much varied classwork to draw on, I struggle when I try to do this for biology. Sometimes it literally comes down to something like "Gautam Kandlikar brought this thing up once and it has never come up in quiz bowl since but the internet is telling me this is important, time to incorporate it into one of my questions." If you could let me know what bonus parts/clues you thought in the bio for DRAGOON are over/underasked material, I'd greatly appreciate it. I definitely don't want to do the biology equivalent of writing a tossup on the Casimir effect or a bonus that goes Michael addition / aldol condensation / Robinson annulation.
Stephen wrote:To be That Guy: yeah, the last two bonus parts are incorrect. Openness is retained under finite intersection and arbitrary union (finite, countably infinite, or uncountably infinite). Similarly, Tychonoff's theorem states that any product of compact topological spaces is compact, whether a finite product, countably infinite product, or uncountably infinite product. I doubt either of those errors would confuse someone who knew what the prompts meant, but they should probably be changed for accuracy's sake.
Noted.
Ashvin wrote:I might have more to say later; briefly: the beginning of the tossup on "pressure" states "this quantity equals two-fifths times the density times the Fermi energy". You should probably specify that you're talking about a "number density", since "density" unqualified typically refers to "mass density", which was confusing to me, because no useful quantity has units of mass density times energy.

It is strange that in the bonus part on "fine structure constant" you have a prompt on "1/137". Not only can I not imagine anyone ever saying this, if someone were to say this, they would be incorrect.
Although I could argue that there's no way something called the "free-electron model" would concern itself with a "mass density," it's completely unreasonable to expect a player to parse that and you're absolutely right.

Yeah, I guess that's technically true (since obviously alpha is not exactly 1/137) I probably added that in my zeal to make sure no one got screwed by any of my bonuses.
Eric wrote:-This reduction potential tossup is the first of several in the chemistry distribution (including catalysts, fluorescence, etc) that took a very simple answerline and elegantly wrote a deep, rewarding tossup on it. This set did that with the science better than any other in recent memory and should be commended for it.
I'm glad you liked this--and this was entirely by design. This tournament didn't have many hard answerlines in the chem/physics (the hardest answerlines were like, nucleophillicity, chemical potential, pion, etc.) because I wanted to write hard tossups on easy answers. A lot of this came from often I would pick the clues before picking the answerline. (for example, we talked about the importance of magnetic pressure in my fusion class, so that became a tossup on pressure (I think this is generally a way better way to pick things to write about than saying "ok let's write a tossup on the Nernst equation" or whatever). Fluorescence was considered biology and written by Andrew, however.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by minusfive » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:59 pm

If I'm repeating any criticisms, my apologies, but I don't seem to have seen these specific issues discussed yet:

The question on the Safavid dynasty may have been misread at the site I played at, but I am 99.9% sure it said "The longest-ruling ruler of this dynasty, Selim the Grim" which caused me to neg with "Ottomans." Did anybody else notice this? I get the impression most teams just let that clue slide by before buzzing on a legitimate one...
Since I'm on the pack I liked less than others, I will go ahead and say in my (uneducated) opinion, if one is going to give a giveaway based on what's in planetary rings, "debris" has to be at least promptable. There's other things than dust in rings, even if it's just, well, bigger dust (but also ice?).

And while I'm whining because I'm pathetic, I think it's a bit of a shank to describe The Canterbury Tales as "this book." I buzzed in to say the right answer, second-guessed myself on "book" and negged with The Decameron. Me being an idiot doesn't necessarily make that a good clue, since Chaucer was not publishing it, although I guess it comes in book form. Maybe I am being pedantic, or maybe I am being wrong.

"Honeyed cat" (Gattamelata) is a clue for equestrian statues in power? Probably a little too early?

The Butt Fumble TU was THE BEST THING EVER.

I'm not quite clear on why ShamWow was a joke TU. Was there something to this? All it did for me was make me disappointed I didn't get 10 points.

All in all, a very enjoyable set. Thank you.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:26 pm

Hello.

There were some questions at this tournament that I got. They were good questions, because I got them. I especially thought the question on She Stoops to Conquer was good, because I powered it. This tournament adequately rewarded my knowledge in most aspects, and so I liked it. It was a quality tournament in that regard.

I negged the tossup on Bettelheim, even though I have looked up Bruno Bettelheim in the past. It was not a good question because of this.

I thought the tossup on Gravity's Rainbow dropped Morituri absurdly early, because it was a thing I knew. While I normally like it when things I know are dropped early in a question, this particular clue bothered me and it should not be that early. Do not reward my knowledge on this particular subject so early.

In conclusion, I would appreciate it if tournament editors in the future more carefully considered my knowledge and habits when writing questions. This will produce better questions.
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Re: Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:12 pm

minusfive wrote:If I'm repeating any criticisms, my apologies...The question on the Safavid dynasty may have been misread at the site I played at, but I am 99.9% sure it said "The longest-ruling ruler of this dynasty, Selim the Grim" which caused me to neg with "Ottomans." Did anybody else notice this?
I believe Aaron admitted earlier that this sentence was erroneously cut short when copy/pasting and has been fixed.
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