2015 ACF Fall general discussion

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2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by armitage » Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:43 pm

Hi all,

I'm sure people have plenty of thoughts about this year's ACF Fall set, and I'd be happy to hear them. I'm aware that the set had major TU difficulty (particularly Euro lit, philosophy), bonus variance, and repeat issues. The short answer is that I underestimated the amount of work needed, and I'm sorry for that. These issues were pretty much all directly or indirectly due to me, and should not be attributed to Gaurav, who was an invaluable teammate, or the subject editors, who did a lot of hard work. I hope clubs were still able to get some enjoyment from the set.

Anyway, here is the editing breakdown:

Eddie - music, mythology, auditory OFA
Dylan - European history, other science, religion
Ryan - world lit, "any" lit, social science, geography
Andrew - science
Nathan - American lit, American history, World history, "any" history, trash/CE/other

John Lawrence and Gautam Kandlikar also gave us a great deal of help with proofreading.

I think we used 43 out of the 89 half-packets received. I was pretty pleased with overall submission quality.

Gaurav or I will post the set tomorrow.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:41 pm

Hey everyone,

I don't really do a lot of writing/editing so I'd appreciate any feedback in bio/chem/physics.

I'd also like to thank Richard and Gaurav for providing a lot of really helpful comments, and also Gaurav for writing a couple bio questions.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by gettysburg11 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:33 am

Our team had a good time playing this set. The only thing I remember offhand was that I thought the Underground Railroad tossup was kind of wonky. I don't know what the correct noun to use would be, but describing it as "this organization" just didn't feel right to me.

I'll take a look through the packets we played when they're posted to see if there's anything else I feel should be noted.

Also, whoever wrote the soccer managers bonus and the ant tossup with that Giovinco clue as the first line, you made my day. :grin:
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by vengefulsweatermensch » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:00 am

Black Miao wrote:Hey everyone,

I don't really do a lot of writing/editing so I'd appreciate any feedback in bio/chem/physics.
Hey, me too! Except, duh, for my categories. Feel free to PM or email me if you don't want to post publicly.

I'd like to thank Gaurav and Richard for stewarding me, an insecure and inexperienced writer of quizbowl questions, through the editing process and for trusting me to embrace the responsibility of editorship in the first place. My fellow subject editors gave me many helpful suggestions and were very easy to work with. Mike Cheyne guest-edited a baseball bonus, saving the quizbowl-playing universe from what would have been the worst sports bonus of all time. A few of my teammates and good friends - in particular, I recall Alex Freed, Benji Nguyen and Arnav Sastry - generously agreed to playtest my questions. Accidental discovery of the year: people who play quizbowl are actually pretty good at taking care of each other. Weird.
gettysburg11 wrote: The only thing I remember offhand was that I thought the Underground Railroad tossup was kind of wonky. I don't know what the correct noun to use would be, but describing it as "this organization" just didn't feel right to me.
My understanding is that the term "Underground Railroad" described both the physical network/route of escaped slaves and the informal group of abolitionists who facilitated the network. So while I think the pronoun "organization" is an accurate designator for the second definition, I'll concede that it doesn't really jell with the first. I'm sorry if this confused people.
gettysburg11 wrote: Also, whoever wrote the soccer managers bonus and the ant tossup with that Giovinco clue as the first line, you made my day. :grin:
Yay, I did something right! Two things right!
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:10 am

Richard mentioned this already, but I definitely heard many complaints throughout the day of this tournament seeming very inconsistent in difficulty, giving the impression that the editors "missed a spot" an awful lot of times. It seemed unclear overall whether the editors aimed for this set to be more like last year's (with a clear aim to ask harder material to give teams a proper introduction to college quizbowl while not overwhelming them) or whether the intent was more traditional view. Andrew's categories, plus computer science, mythology, and US history, seemed to be the most consistent and well-executed categories to the best of my recollection.

The behaviorism tossup said "this school" throughout such that a player could buzz with the university a particular psychologist worked at, be negged for doing so, and initially seem quite confused (this happened in a game I moderated).

There was a factual error in the Catholic Church tossup - Oscar Romero is from El Salvador, not Honduras. This didn't really affect the clue itself or gameplay, though.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Guile Island » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:11 am

So, this was my first major writing and editing project ever. Because of that there were a few things that I definitely could fix but overall I'm really eager to hear what people thought of the set, especially my categories. I was generally very cautious when it came to difficulty, especially for tossup answerlines, so this may have resulted in some overly easy 30's/leadins on occasion.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:15 am

For the Australia PM tossup, John Howard shamefully did not apologize to the stolen generation.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:27 am

I'll echo Andrew, Nathan, and Dylan; this was my first time editing a college set, and I'd welcome any and all feedback on my questions. Thanks a ton to Richard and Gaurav for helping me and the other editors through this. They did much of the logistical work necessary to make ACF Fall possible, and gave great feedback.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:10 am

I was a big fan of most of the science in this tournament: it was quite "fresh"/"real" while still hewing close to things that beginning college players are likely to know (including standard quizbowl clues).

[EDIT: FUNKY-FRESH N REAL]
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Evan Lynch » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:34 am

The difficulty was inconsistent in parts, and I'll talk about more specific questions later, but in my opinion 'reaction rates' was a god-awful tossup, and I'm pretty sure that the first two clues also refer to 'rate constant' (which wasn't accepted or prompted) and that means the TU is non-specific up until 'namesake constant of proportionality', by which point most self-respecting chemists would have already negged.

Overall I think it was an *okay* set, it definitely felt easier than 2014 Fall (which may have been the intention), but I had a lot of fun playing it, and I'll also point out the really good questions (of which there were many) when I get chance to look at the set properly.

Thanks for a good tournament - there were just a couple of niggles stopping it from being a *great* tournament.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:18 pm

Evan Lynch wrote:The difficulty was inconsistent in parts, and I'll talk about more specific questions later, but in my opinion 'reaction rates' was a god-awful tossup, and I'm pretty sure that the first two clues also refer to 'rate constant' (which wasn't accepted or prompted) and that means the TU is non-specific up until 'namesake constant of proportionality', by which point most self-respecting chemists would have already negged.
Hey, I'm sorry about that tossup. From what I could tell RRK and RRKM theories (which are what's referred to in the leadins) are specifically used to calculate reaction rates, but it was sloppy of me to not include a prompt or something for the clue involving the kinetic isotope effect, especially since that's how you formally define it.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Evan Lynch » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:35 pm

Black Miao wrote:
Evan Lynch wrote:The difficulty was inconsistent in parts, and I'll talk about more specific questions later, but in my opinion 'reaction rates' was a god-awful tossup, and I'm pretty sure that the first two clues also refer to 'rate constant' (which wasn't accepted or prompted) and that means the TU is non-specific up until 'namesake constant of proportionality', by which point most self-respecting chemists would have already negged.
Hey, I'm sorry about that tossup. From what I could tell RRK and RRKM theories (which are what's referred to in the leadins) are specifically used to calculate reaction rates, but it was sloppy of me to not include a prompt or something for the clue involving the kinetic isotope effect, especially since that's how you formally define it.
No worries - it just seems to be a recurring theme for writers to tossup either 'reaction rate' or 'rate constant' without accepting/prompting on the other, and the lead-in just wasn't specific enough here. For reference, here's a calculator for RRKM theory which specifically refers to it being used to calculate a rate constant k. http://phd.marginean.net/rrkm.html
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Khanate » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:22 pm

Evan Lynch wrote:The difficulty was inconsistent in parts, and I'll talk about more specific questions later, but in my opinion 'reaction rates' was a god-awful tossup, and I'm pretty sure that the first two clues also refer to 'rate constant' (which wasn't accepted or prompted) and that means the TU is non-specific up until 'namesake constant of proportionality', by which point most self-respecting chemists would have already negged.
One tossup that immediately comes to mind for inconsistency is the tossup on "linear". The opening line of the tossup was a very fundamental (and not particularly difficult) concept of linear algebra.

It also seemed like the physics skewed heavily towards the quantum side over classical electrostatics and mechanics, though I may just be remembering incorrectly.

Otherwise, I liked the science in the set.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:30 pm

This set was decent. Most of the questions were pretty cool, solid answer choices and difficulty was alright. Nothing really out of left field. There were a few things that I thought were kinda weird - there were some repeats, if I'm remembering correctly (and even when an answerline is used in two different categories, it's jarring to hear it the second time). I'm pretty sure Napoleon came up at least twice. I'm certain that American Civil War was tossed up twice. I was amused to hear tossups on both "labor" and "Labour" in the same round. There was also an...interesting tendency of asking about multiple really closely related things or really similar aspects of the same thing, like tossups on both Triassic and Jurassic--don't know if this was part of a larger writing philosophy or just a coincidence.

On the topic of specific questions, apparently the tossup on "sons of Jacob" didn't include "sons of Israel" as an acceptable (or even promptable) answerline? I was also very sad that some of my favorite poets didn't get asked. I was very happy that E. A. Robinson was tossed up, but the other team got it and something died in my heart.
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Uh. I don't know what this was edited into, but when I submitted this I definitely never mentioned John Howard. In fact, I neglected to mention any specific PM by name except for Abbott, who got ousted sometime after our packet went through.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Guile Island » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:45 pm

The Civil War came up as both a Literature and History tossup, and Napoleon I believe was a bonus part in separate Art and History bonuses. People are free to disagree with me on this, but I think hugely important things like the US Civil War and Napoleon Bonaparte are totally ok to come up in two hugely different categories, especially in a 17-packet, difficulty controlled tournament like this one.

The Howard thing was also my mistake: the main thing I did when editing that solid Australian PM's TU was to add some more names than Abbot, since names are important, buzzable clues. I'm guessing I just assumed Howard was the guy who apologized for the Stolen Generations due to National Sorry Day starting during his premiership.

The leadin to "linear" was also a big whiff on my part. I even learned about linear independence like my second or third week of a very basic LinAlg-based engineering class, so I should've caught that as misplaced earlier.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:46 pm

Khanate wrote:
It also seemed like the physics skewed heavily towards the quantum side over classical electrostatics and mechanics, though I may just be remembering incorrectly.
Looks like it did have somewhat of a skew. Sorry if this affected anyone negatively! Most of the submissions ended up being on crap like circuit elements, or elementary particles (with a couple tossups on mechanical quantities that already had some overlap) and most of the more useable stuff leaned towards QM.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Gautam » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:57 pm

I think Richard is being too hard on himself. I heard about 2/3rds of the set and it came out pretty well, and everyone who worked on it should feel proud of his work.

Re: repeats between categories, this is sort of a by product of how categories get split up between editors. This is definitely one of the points for discussion that Gaurav has brought up in the internal post-mortem for Fall. Just a note that this problem is not unique to this year; from Fall '14:
I found the fact that we heard three tossups on colors, two on "red" and one on "blue," pretty gimmicky. They were from different angles, which was interesting, but especially tossing up the same color twice seemed like an odd choice.
I will note that there were four different tossups on gold (including the one on gold leaf in art); and even though they were in separate categories, I definitely held off on buzzing in with gold more with each subsequent tossup. There was, I think, also a bonus part on gold
To which I had replied:
Different people worked on the questions - Max on the lit "Red", Jacob on the fashion "red", Jacob on the painting "blue", Ben on the science "green." I also believe all of these were centrally written questions and showed some creativeness.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:28 pm

Yeah, I don't think repeats across categories really matter at all. (Except at extremes -- see the packet at the first mirrors of MUT that had four questions on Mexico.) The best set of adjacent questions was where there was a question on David Foster Wallace that led in with "This is Water," and then a question on water.

This question set was fine, and like Gautam, I don't think the problems were as severe as Richard made them out to be. I wasn't paying close attention to individual questions while reading, but multiple players at the MN site made a point to mention that they liked the set.

I would have liked to see better proofreading of substantive clues so I wouldn't have to correct for things like "Gilford Pinchot" and "Walter Percy."
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:35 pm

By and large, I thought this set fell into the "good but not revolutionarily so" category. There were some pretty big science clunkers, of which the most egregious, "linear" having already been mentioned. By and large (and I think the stats will bear me out on this), I think the bonuses might have skewed too easy, with a number having no distinguishable hard part (Cat's Cradle/Vonnegut/feet for example). However, I want to laud the editors for not falling into the trap of using the country of origin of a novel/author for a bonus part. Prior to this tournament, I went through the past few ACF Falls going back to 2008 and was annoyed by how often things like "Both author X and author Y are from this country" came up. This always sort of struck me as lazy question writing (though I have been guilty of it myself) and I'm glad to see it wasn't as prevalent here.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:04 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:By and large, I thought this set fell into the "good but not revolutionarily so" category. There were some pretty big science clunkers, of which the most egregious, "linear" having already been mentioned. By and large (and I think the stats will bear me out on this), I think the bonuses might have skewed too easy, with a number having no distinguishable hard part (Cat's Cradle/Vonnegut/feet for example). However, I want to laud the editors for not falling into the trap of using the country of origin of a novel/author for a bonus part. Prior to this tournament, I went through the past few ACF Falls going back to 2008 and was annoyed by how often things like "Both author X and author Y are from this country" came up. This always sort of struck me as lazy question writing (though I have been guilty of it myself) and I'm glad to see it wasn't as prevalent here.
Wrong on all counts.

I have no idea how or why you thought the Cat's Cradle bonus was too easy, but I assure you that this bonus is perfectly fine difficulty wise. The people in my room 10'd it for example.

I actually thought the science was the strongest part of the set. It was the most difficulty controlled and tested concepts that people care about. I agree that the linear tossup probably could have used one more clue, but generally speaking it wasn't the science that has plagued other ACF Falls.

The lit in the area is where I want to see a bit of an improvement actually. The South Africa tossup that used non-deep clues is a perfect example - is anyone here really knowing anything about Breyten Breytenbach outside of those who have been with QB for a while?

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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:28 pm

Ike wrote: The South Africa tossup that used non-deep clues is a perfect example - is anyone here really knowing anything about Breyten Breytenbach outside of those who have been with QB for a while?
According to the TV show Spitting Image, Breyten Breytenbach is the only person who could've been called a "nice South African" during the apartheid era.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by kdroge » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:34 pm

At least for the Louisville location, this set did a really good job in terms of overall playability and topic coverage for the full spectrum of teams at the site. I liked that the answer line difficulty control for tossups seemed to ensure that only one of two questions would go dead per round in the vast majority of rooms, and for bonuses most had accessible 30s and true easy parts (I think the Vonnegut bonus, just as an offhand example, is totally fine in precisely these respects).

From a moderator's perspective though, there were some things that could have been cleaned up- use / absence of pronunciation guides was pretty random, and the bullet points in between syllables looked a lot like periods in the pdf I was reading from so that was confusing; several bonuses had one word lead-ins; a bonus that went "surprisingly, xxx became more interesting after converting to Christianity" struck me as a bit unprofessional (though maybe the last two issues are just me).
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Gautam » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:40 pm

Yeah, I don't know why Cats CRadle is being called super easy. I thought it was perfectly fine. I'm ambivalent about the 'county third part' that Nolan talks about; there was a good reason I used these in the Falls I worked on. I was also happy to see that the editors had tried something different with this incarnation.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Corry » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:18 pm

In our game against MIT B, there was a tiebreaker question on "oscillations" that was variously described by observers as "dumb" and "the worst thing ever." I do not actually know anything about science, but I felt this was worth noting.

Overall, I thought the set was okay, although with some noticeable repeats and difficulty swings here and there. Examples off the top of my head: Leontief Paradox came up twice, St. Paul's Cathedral showed up twice in one packet, bonus that went Snow/Pamuk/something else not easy, etc.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by orenji » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:58 pm

In response to Corry's post about the MIT B complaint.

I believe the problem with the oscillations question was that it did not accept or prompt on simple harmonic oscillator. (I think that was the answer that they gave, though it may have been simple harmonic motion. I never saw or heard the question myself, so this is all from what I can recall from my conversation with MIT B after their game.)
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Halved Xenon Stinging » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:06 pm

I was negged first line on the jazz piano tossup for buzzing with "double bass" on the clue "this instrument opens So What". I believe notes from the double bass open the song rather than notes from the piano.

Edit for typo
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:09 pm

orenji wrote:In response to Corry's post about the MIT B complaint.

I believe the problem with the oscillations question was that it did not accept or prompt on simple harmonic oscillator. (I think that was the answer that they gave, though it may have been simple harmonic motion. I never saw or heard the question myself, so this is all from what I can recall from my conversation with MIT B after their game.)
As someone who had to read this tossup as well, it prompted on simple harmonic motion, and I accepted simple harmonic oscillator - pretty sure that it said to accept it, though, it is possible that I may have accepted the answer (correctly) if it wasn't on the page.

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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:12 pm

Halved Xenon Stinging wrote:I was negged first line on the jazz piano tossup for buzzing on the clue "this instrument opens So What". However, I believe notes from the double bass open the song rather than notes from the piano.
Yeah, sounds like the first two upbeat notes are a bass, even though the most prominent voice in that opening is the piano.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Eddie » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:42 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:
Halved Xenon Stinging wrote:I was negged first line on the jazz piano tossup for buzzing on the clue "this instrument opens So What". However, I believe notes from the double bass open the song rather than notes from the piano.
Yeah, sounds like the first two upbeat notes are a bass, even though the most prominent voice in that opening is the piano.
Yes, this was a factual error on my part - my sincerest apologies.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:34 pm

ANSWER: oscillation [accept more specific answers; accept vibration; prompt on “simple harmonic motion” or “complex harmonic motion” or “damped harmonic motion” before mention of “simple harmonic motion”]

Sorry if the prompt line didn't have a thing for the phrase simple harmonic oscillator (was assuming people would know that a system isn't a behavior)
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by ryanrosenberg » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:40 pm

My apologies about the behaviorism tossup -- I should have made it clear that the question was not looking for a particular institution.

Re: Ike's point about the lit, while I agree with his vision for what Fall literature should look like, I don't think his characterization of the set is accurate. I made a point of having my questions draw from works that players were likely to have encountered (e.g. the Tagore and Genji tossups, the bonuses on Satanic Verses and "The Library of Babel" with hard parts from the texts), and I think the lit as a whole did a good job of that. The South Africa question is non-ideal, to be sure; I had initially edited it to mostly draw from Master Harold, and I'm not sure why it was changed.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Guile Island » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:14 pm

I think that while it may have been more guessable than intended, I generally agree with Ike and co. that knowing non-trivial details about Bokononism should absolutely earn you a 30 at ACF Fall.

From an editors' perspective I generally think the lit was pretty well-written, it just tended to skew harder than the rest of the set. In addition to the things mentioned we had a tossup on The Mayor of Casterbridge which would've probably flown at Regs. And while I totally agree that Tagore is a good thing to ask about at Fall, a tossup on Gitanjali just strikes me as too darn hard. This probably in part was due to us losing a lit editor a few weeks into submissions coming in and isn't really anybody's fault.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Evan Lynch » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:39 pm

I noticed that a significant portion of the world lit tossups had an answerline of 'this country' - examples including South Africa, Australia, Cuba etc. I actually thought this was a pretty good way to get a lot of authors into the lit distribution, though there was also a tossup on Gordimer later and I'm still bitter about Cuban lit because I negged it after deciding earlier in the day that Jose Marti was possibly a bit obscure to tossup at Fall. :)
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Knickerbocker glory » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:39 pm

Can the tossup on Richard Nixon be posted? I think I got hosed by the tossup. The first line mentioning "this man" quoting Teddy Roosevelt's line "The light has gone out of our lives" pretty much triggered an instantaneous buzz from me with Jawaharlal Nehru, who made an extremely famous speech with that line after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps the wording was off, but I think by far the most famous use of that line (or variants) was by Nehru, not by Nixon, and thus a phrase saying "He's not Nehru, but..." would've been helpful.

Also, I got a kick out of the bonus about Cal football and The Play. Literally the only sports knowledge I have.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:02 pm

GOODCOMPANY88 wrote:Can the tossup on Richard Nixon be posted? I think I got hosed by the tossup. The first line mentioning "this man" quoting Teddy Roosevelt's line "The light has gone out of our lives" pretty much triggered an instantaneous buzz from me with Jawaharlal Nehru, who made an extremely famous speech with that line after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps the wording was off, but I think by far the most famous use of that line (or variants) was by Nehru, not by Nixon, and thus a phrase saying "He's not Nehru, but..." would've been helpful.

Also, I got a kick out of the bonus about Cal football and The Play. Literally the only sports knowledge I have.
This politician quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s diary entry “the light has gone out in my life” during a farewell speech to his staff.
Looks like the quote is similar but not quite the same (nor the context)
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by vengefulsweatermensch » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:07 pm

GOODCOMPANY88 wrote:Can the tossup on Richard Nixon be posted? I think I got hosed by the tossup. The first line mentioning "this man" quoting Teddy Roosevelt's line "The light has gone out of our lives" pretty much triggered an instantaneous buzz from me with Jawaharlal Nehru, who made an extremely famous speech with that line after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps the wording was off, but I think by far the most famous use of that line (or variants) was by Nehru, not by Nixon, and thus a phrase saying "He's not Nehru, but..." would've been helpful.
packet by University of Central Oklahoma, Rutgers, and Iowa State B wrote: 15. This politician quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s diary entry “the light has gone out in my life” during a farewell speech to his staff. In another speech, he asserted that his wife wore a “respectable Republican cloth coat.” He stated that the media would not have him “to kick around anymore” after losing a 1962 gubernatorial election to Pat Brown. This politician dismissed accusations that he had accepted illicit gifts in a campaign speech that defended his taking of a cocker spaniel named Checkers. During a press conference, this President dubiously claimed that “I am not a crook.” For 10 points, name this President who resigned due to the Watergate Scandal.
ANSWER: Richard Nixon [or Richard Milhous Nixon]
In retrospect, this tossup's first sentence should have began "During a farewell speech to his staff..." I apologize for that - while Nehru definitely isn't referencing Roosevelt in the Gandhi speech, you're right that the Nehru line is wayyy more famous and I should have anticipated confusion. Rereading the Nixon speech now, it also looks like I quoted him incorrectly:
Nixon, quoting T. Roosevelt wrote: "And when my heart's dearest died, the light went from my life forever."
It sounds like my questions in particular were riddled with small, mostly-insubstantial goofs like this one - I'm responsible for "Walter Percy" and "Gilford Pinchot," not to mention the whole "Oscar Romero is from Honduras" thing. These kinds of errors are annoying and unprofessional, and I'm sorry to have made a fair number of them.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Schroeder » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:35 pm

The tossup on The Mayor of Casterbridge (Louisiana Tech A + Dartmouth A) said that "Donald Farfrae remarries with Elizabeth-Jane, who the title character had drunkenly sold." I think it's a pretty significant plot point in the novel that the Elizabeth-Jane that appears in most of the book (and whom Farfrae marries at the end) is notably *not* the same Elizabeth-Jane that Henchard sells in chapter 1.

Also, the tossup on The Sound and the Fury said that Benjy associates the smell of rain with Caddy, but Benjy always says that she smells like trees (until she gets married, at least, when he says that she doesn't smell like trees). Versh smells like rain at one point.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by That DCC guy » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:37 pm

I was negged first line on the jazz piano tossup for buzzing with "double bass" on the clue "this instrument opens So What". I believe notes from the double bass open the song rather than notes from the piano.
My teammate Dillon was negged on the exact same thing in a somewhat pivotal game.

And for what Bruce Lou was talking about I totally agree. I was very close to buzzing on the "light" quote and saying Nehru as well
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:39 am

Overall I rather enjoyed the science; it had a lot of interesting early clues that I hadn't really heard often. I did notice that some of the bonuses tended towards the hard side (what is with the steadily decreasing difficulty of pipe roughness?!), but I feel like I'm biased as I tend to compare it to questions where I know the answers and come away with a flawed picture of the overall difficulty.

There was a question in particular that I felt could use some tweaking: the tossup on exoplanets used a first-line clue on the presence of methane in their IR spectrum, which is something that occurs in all large gas giant-sized objects that have not undergone nuclear fusion i.e. both exoplanets and brown dwarves. It is also notable for being a stock clue for brown dwarves that has appeared in almost literally every college question on them since 2009.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:40 am

Black Miao wrote:
GOODCOMPANY88 wrote:Can the tossup on Richard Nixon be posted? I think I got hosed by the tossup. The first line mentioning "this man" quoting Teddy Roosevelt's line "The light has gone out of our lives" pretty much triggered an instantaneous buzz from me with Jawaharlal Nehru, who made an extremely famous speech with that line after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Perhaps the wording was off, but I think by far the most famous use of that line (or variants) was by Nehru, not by Nixon, and thus a phrase saying "He's not Nehru, but..." would've been helpful.

Also, I got a kick out of the bonus about Cal football and The Play. Literally the only sports knowledge I have.
This politician quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s diary entry “the light has gone out in my life” during a farewell speech to his staff.
Looks like the quote is similar but not quite the same (nor the context)
Yeah I made the same mistake. I agree that a clue providing more context or something along the lines of "This person who is not Jawaharlal Nehru..." would be ideal.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by armitage » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:10 am

The set is uploaded here. Thanks for your patience.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by gaurav.kandlikar » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:49 pm

Hi folks-

Thanks for the feedback so far. I apologize for the mechanical and factual errors- I bear the responsibility for these as much as (or indeed, more than) any of the other editors. On the other hand, I am happy to hear that teams generally enjoyed the set. Future head-editors, keep in mind the solid questions these guys put out on their first go at a collegiate set when you are looking for teammates. I welcome more feedback, especially from players for who have recently entered this world.

In terms of question specifics, I took charge of most of the visual fine arts and a chunk of the euro+brit lit in this set. I'd love to hear how they played in general, and if any questions stood out. I understand that some of the euro lit questions tended to be too difficult- sorry about that.

I also want to take this opportunity to say that ACF will be running an Open Call for Fall editors in 2016- so if you think you would like to contribute to the community by editing, do submit an application when it goes live in April of next year. Feel free to get in touch if you want to know what editing ACF Fall entails- and I am sure that the editors would be happy to share their experiences.


And finally, a general point- it seems like many difficulty-controlled events that put out a large number of packets are followed by complaints that certain answerlines appeared more than once in separate categories. As far as I know- and correct me if I am wrong - very few set editors are going to chuck a solid painting bonus part on Napoleon just because he's been asked about in European History elsewhere in the set. The reasons for this are outlined by Gautam and Dylan above, and by Mike Cheyne in this post. So players, don't shy away from buzzing in with George Washington on an American History tossup simply because he was the third part of an arts bonus already.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:13 pm

Granny Soberer wrote: Re: Ike's point about the lit, while I agree with his vision for what Fall literature should look like, I don't think his characterization of the set is accurate. I made a point of having my questions draw from works that players were likely to have encountered (e.g. the Tagore and Genji tossups, the bonuses on Satanic Verses and "The Library of Babel" with hard parts from the texts), and I think the lit as a whole did a good job of that. The South Africa question is non-ideal, to be sure; I had initially edited it to mostly draw from Master Harold, and I'm not sure why it was changed.
In case it isn't clear, I really don't know if it was you, or one of your co-editors that handled the lit - and quite frankly I don't care since I'm not trying to blame anyone. But you can't just point to two tossups--one of which is not difficulty appropriate for this tournament--and say my claims are inaccurate. For every tossup in the set that was on something standard like Genji, you had a bonus where the easy part was Calvino...and you had to name a relatively marginal short story collection by him*. I think this plagued the world and Euro lit more - asking players to name a short story from Interpreter of Maladies strikes me as a bit too hard for ACF Fall, and I certainly don't think Lahiri is an easy part at this level - 0'd in my room as a single data point. The lit generally needed to be toned down, and I think it would have helped to focus on "easier" topics. (note I'm not using the word "core" since I despise people who appropriate that word.)

*At least by ACF Fall standards. Naming Cosmicomics or Sexy for ACF Regionals is uncontroversial.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Tupac Amaru IV » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:29 pm

Overall, 2015 ACF Fall was a great set. I had just one little problem though:
The Hindu mythology bonus answer line, Kartikeya, only accepted the names Kartikeya or Skanda. It should also accept Murugan or Subramaniya, as those are also names commonly used to refer to him.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Evan Lynch » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:52 pm

Upon reviewing the set, I discovered that these tossups of mine made it in - I would welcome feedback on them (though I think the editors did a great job with these compared to my original submissions).

Lit: Candide, Ben Jonson, Rubaiyat
History: Boston, Ferdinand Magellan
Science: Cretaceous period, Diffusion, translation
FIne Arts: Tosca
Religion: Shintoism
Trash: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I also wrote bonuses on the following:

Lit: The Lady of Shalott/Tennyson/Crossing the Bar
History: Zheng He
Myth: Deucalion
Social Science: Utility/indifference curves/Edgeworth box
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Tupac Amaru IV » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:17 pm

Oh, one more issue I had.
Effusion should have been accepted for Diffusion at the Graham's law clue (I understand now that the question said to prompt effusion - my annoyance at this tossup is partially due to the fact that the moderator messed up and gave me -5 instead of prompting). Anyways, correct me if I'm wrong but diffusion and effusion are not quite the same thing.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by setophaga » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:55 am

Hi all,
I thought the music questions were particularly well edited, with good opening and second clues (Mahler 1 horns for example) and balanced, particularly for this level.
I did neg on a geography question in the Oxford B & UGA C packet, and looked it up to find a very minor error but crucial error in the question.
4. This country’s city of Helwan was created as an industrial center. This country’s Qattara Depression contains the lowest point in Africa. A holiday on April 25th marks the return of a landmass to this country, whose highest point is Mount Catherine. Its capital contains the Khan el-Khalili market, and this country’s local name for itself is Misr. In 1956, this country removed a statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps in its city of Port Said [“poor sa-eed”], which is situated on the Mediterranean Sea. Israel forms the eastern border of its Sinai Peninsula. This country is home to the northern parts of Lake Nasser. For 10 points, name this country that contains the Nile delta and whose capital is Cairo.
ANSWER: Arab Republic of Egypt
The lowest point in Africa is Lake Assal in Djibouti, at 155 metres below sea level--the Qattara depression is the second lowest point in Africa, with its lowest point at 133 metres below sea level. I realize that the Qattara depression was mentioned before the buzzword, but I would like to contend that the inclusion of the buzz-phrase "lowest point in Africa" was enough to trigger a neg with Djibouti, as it did for me.

Otherwise, I thought the questions were structured very well, and especially in categories of science and arts, very appropriate for ACF fall level.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Santa Claus » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:02 am

Tupac Amaru IV wrote:diffusion and effusion are not quite the same thing.
Effusion is a gas entering an evacuated chamber through a small hole that only allows single molecules through; it obeys the same principles as diffusion but is simpler, allowing for Graham's law to be applied.

There's a lot of precedent saying that you shouldn't outright accept an answer at a given point unless it's right for all the previous clues, too; since only the Graham's law clue explicitly refers to effusion, it makes sense that the question prompted on it. Shame that you got negged, though.
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by MorganV » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:09 am

minor issue I had while reading: the Iliad bonus says "Chryses" (the priest) when it meant "Chryseis" (his daughter and Agamemnon's war prize at the beginning of the Iliad)
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Re: 2015 ACF Fall general discussion

Post by Picasso's Middle Name » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:44 am

The following questions of mine were selected for the set in the Rutgers A/ Central OK/ Iowa State B packet:

Tossups-

Literature: Herman Melville, Anne Bradstreet, Eugene Ionesco
History: Etruscans
Philosophy: France

Bonuses-

Religion: Baha'i/Haifa/Iran
Science: Theorems Bonus, Sharks bonus
History: Portugal/Braganza/Macau
Fine Arts: Bar at the Folies-Bergere/Manet/Horses, Tchaikovsky/1812 Overture/Pathetique
Mythology: Hoder/Loki/Snorri Sturluson

The editors did a great job with the questions that I had originally submitted, and I have no complaints about how my questions turned out. I am just curious how people felt about these questions and answer lines.
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