2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

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2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

This thread is for discussing specific questions and errata for 2020 ACF Regionals. General discussion of the set should go here.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

First, an error on my end: Packet D’s authors should have included Michigan A. This error will be fixed in the version of the packets uploaded to the archive.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Votre Kickstarter Est Nul »

I don't have much to say—I did stats all day and haven't read through a ton of the set yet—but a few questions I remember thinking were very cool (of the maybe two packets I saw or internalized at all): the makeup/drag bonus, the India fashion TU, and the Chicago Tribune TU all had very cool clues.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by SortesVirgilianae »

Considerable confusion was caused at the British site by mentioning the "Canterbury Plain" as a clue on the Stonehenge bonus part. Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain.

(On a sidenote, does anyone know when the packets will be available online?)
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by vinteuil »

Could you please post the question on "healing"? Aside from the eyeroll-y content, I wasn't able to deduce from the question until quite late that it didn't want some much more specific answer.

And what was the logic behind calling bebop a "genre"?
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

SortesVirgilianae wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:53 pm
Considerable confusion was caused at the British site by mentioning the "Canterbury Plain" as a clue on the Stonehenge bonus part. Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain.

(On a sidenote, does anyone know when the packets will be available online?)

This error was caught during one of the mirrors and has been corrected in the packets, as has the name of “Anthony Scargill” rather than “Arthur Scargill.”

My aim is to have packets posted within the week.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Mike Bentley »

The Cyprus question had the wrong date for the coup overthrowing Archbishop Makarios III.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Agreed with Jacob on the confusion about calling bebop a "genre" - I think "style" is a better referent there.

While there was in general a commendably thorough effort made to add many prompts to answerlines, there were a few issues that fell through:
  • In the bonus part on the "Hundred World Eulogy," there were apparently not many alternative answers listed, such that other reasonable translations of the Chinese title (which according to one Mandarin-speaking teammate, literally translates as "Hundred Character Praise") could not be taken
  • The bonus part on courtesans from the Chikamatsu bonus asked for "one of these specific people," which caused us to think they were looking for some more specific description of Azuma and give a guess of "beautiful woman." In general, I'm not sure "these specific people" in a bonus part like that is even uniquely identifying, let alone likely to help people get to the correct answer instead of mislead them
  • I'm really not sure why the tossup on nuns couldn't have outright taken saints, especially because a bunch of the people being clued were, in fact, saints (with the caveat that some of these Things Have Names i.e. "crowned nuns"). The directed prompt on "earthly vocation" was very welcome here, though, and props to the editors for in general using directed prompts extremely well, as this let us get to the answer.
  • The tossup on particle accelerators should just have accepted accelerators since, at least according to former CERN scientist Rafael, they're always called that by people who actually work with particle accelerators
I will end this post by noting my immense appreciation that the Yama tossup accepted "dharma," which was not true of many past tossups on Yama even though he's called "Lord Dharma" all the time

EDIT: Jacob Reed has pointed out that I misremembered what my teammate said, and the name reads "Hundred Word Praise." As such my comment above has been revised, though I stand by the substance.
Last edited by naan/steak-holding toll on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Smuttynose Island »

Seemed a bit silly having "contrast" as an answerline twice with pretty much exactly the same sentence as a "giveaway." There's definitely no problem with having repeating answerlines in different subjects, but it felt strange to see the same clue used.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by ArnavS »

I think phonons were a tad over-represented in the set. Rooms I was reading for had audible groans whenever they came up.

Edit: Also, I thought some of the quantitative questions were a bit weird. For ex., asking for a "magic angle" of 1.05 degrees, or the precise number of bandits in a Chinese gang (118? forget the exact question. but maybe that one is OK, if it's well-known.) There seemed to be a few questions which were inaccessible to those who hadn't read a specific Nature paper.

Edit 2: Someone knowledgeable buzzed in early on the question on Tamils with Dalits. And apparently this was correct? I didn't resolve it since the protest didn't end up mattering, but figured it would be worth noting.
Last edited by ArnavS on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by ArnavS »

SortesVirgilianae wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:53 pm
Considerable confusion was caused at the British site by mentioning the "Canterbury Plain" as a clue on the Stonehenge bonus part. Stonehenge is located on the Salisbury Plain.

(On a sidenote, does anyone know when the packets will be available online?)
I remember reading this question, and it definitely said Salisbury plain.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

ArnavS wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:21 pm

Edit: Also, I thought some of the quantitative questions were a bit weird. For ex., asking for a "magic angle" of 1.05 degrees, or the precise number of bandits in a Chinese gang (118? forget the exact question. but maybe that one is OK, if it's well-known.) There seemed to be a few questions which were inaccessible to those who hadn't read a specific Nature paper.
The number 108 is considered sacred by the Dharmic Religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

Hinduism
In Hindu tradition, the Mukhya Shivaganas (attendants of Shiva) are 108 in number and hence Shaiva religions, particularly Lingayats, use malas of 108 beads for prayer and meditation.

Similarly, in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Lord Krishna in Brindavan had 108 followers known as gopis. Recital of their names, often accompanied by the counting of a 108-beaded mala, is often done during religious ceremonies.

The Sri Vaishnavite Tradition has 108 Divya Desams (temples of Vishnu) that are revered by the 12 Alvars in the Divya Prabandha, a collection of 4,000 Tamil verses. There are also 108 pithas (sacred places).[citation needed]

Buddhism
In Buddhism, according to Bhante Gunaratana[3] this number is reached by multiplying the senses smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, and consciousness by whether they are painful, pleasant or neutral, and then again by whether these are internally generated or externally occurring, and yet again by past, present and future, finally we get 108 feelings. 6 × 3 × 2 × 3 = 108.

Tibetan Buddhist malas or rosaries (Tib. ཕྲེང་བ Wyl. phreng ba, "Trengwa") are usually 108 beads;[4] sometimes 111 including the guru bead(s), reflecting the words of the Buddha called in Tibetan the Kangyur (Wylie: Bka'-'gyur) in 108 volumes. Zen priests wear juzu (a ring of prayer beads) around their wrists, which consists of 108 beads.[5]


Japa mala, or japa beads, made from tulasi wood, consisting of 108 beads plus the head bead.
The Lankavatara Sutra has a section where the Bodhisattva Mahamati asks Buddha 108 questions[6] and another section where Buddha lists 108 statements of negation in the form of "A statement concerning X is not a statement concerning X."[7] In a footnote, D.T. Suzuki explains that the Sanskrit word translated as "statement" is pada which can also mean "foot-step" or "a position." This confusion over the word "pada" explains why some have mistakenly held that the reference to 108 statements in the Lankavatara refer to the 108 steps that many temples have.[8]

In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times in Buddhist temples to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations (Bonnō) a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.

Martial arts
Many East Asian martial arts trace their roots back to Buddhism, specifically, to the Buddhist Shaolin Temple. Because of their ties to Buddhism, 108 has become an important symbolic number in a number of martial arts styles.

According to Marma Adi and Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body, where consciousness and flesh intersect to give life to the living being.[10]
The Chinese school of martial arts agrees with the South Indian school of martial arts on the principle of 108 pressure points.[11][12]
108 number figures prominently in the symbolism associated with karate, particularly the Gōjū-ryū discipline. The ultimate Gōjū-ryū kata, Suparinpei, literally translates to 108. Suparinpei is the Chinese pronunciation of the number 108, while gojūshi of Gojūshiho is the Japanese pronunciation of the number 54. The other Gōjū-ryū kata, Sanseru (meaning "36") and Seipai ("18") are factors of the number 108.[5]
The 108 moves of the Yang Taijiquan long form and 108 moves in the Wing Chun wooden dummy form, taught by Ip Man, are noted in this regard.[8]
The Eagle Claw Kung Fu style has a form known as the 108 Locking Hand Techniques.[13] This form is considered the essence of the style, consisting of an encyclopedia of Chin Na techniques, and is said to be passed down from the founder General Yue Fei.[13]
Paek Pal Ki Hyung, the 7th form taught in the art of Kuk Sool Won, translates literally to "108 technique" form. It is also frequently referred to as the "eliminate 108 torments" form. Each motion corresponds with one of the 108 Buddhist torments or defilements.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

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The tossup on auroras (which generally described them as "this phenomenon") had a sentence that I remember saying something to the effect of "Homer used the phrase 'rosy-fingered' to describe a god whose Roman equivalent names these phenomena." This seems like a not insubstantial hose for dawn or sunrise (which are totally phenomena) if you buzzed anticipating that the sentence would be 'Homer used the phrase 'rosy-fingered' to describe this phenomenon,' that could be solved by saying that you're talking about Roman equivalent before giving the clue about Eos.

Also, while I really liked the tossup on recorders, I don't remember if there was a clarification that the desired answer was a wind instrument that would make the clue about it being used in Schulwerk not apply to xylophones or drums.
Last edited by a named reaction on Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by ganman0305 »

I wanted to throw out there that I really appreciated the increased number of directed prompts in this set. One of the most frustrating things in the world is being prompted around a difficult answerline that you actually know.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Daedalus »

I think the question on the "oxide" anion was rather confusing, given that the majority of the question was on the formation and usage of silica, a covalent compound. The question would have been clearer as a tossup on just "oxygen" (as "this element").
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

Daedalus wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:10 pm
I think the question on the "oxide" anion was rather confusing, given that the majority of the question was on the formation and usage of silica, a covalent compound. The question would have been clearer as a tossup on just "oxygen" (as "this element").
We had the same confusion - think this would be a good improvement as well.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Woodward-Eschenmoser »

ArnavS wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:21 pm
Edit: Also, I thought some of the quantitative questions were a bit weird. For ex., asking for a "magic angle" of 1.05 degrees, or the precise number of bandits in a Chinese gang (118? forget the exact question. but maybe that one is OK, if it's well-known.) There seemed to be a few questions which were inaccessible to those who hadn't read a specific Nature paper.
Like most scientific discoveries, the importance of graphene's magic angle goes far far beyond the specific paper in which it was discovered in; because of the papers, there is now a significant amount of contemporary research dedicated to the phenomenon. The specific value of the magic angle itself is also quite memorable, the fact that it is really small is necessary for Moire patterns to emerge. With that being said, I think this bonus part, and most of the other bonus parts I wrote/edited tended to play somewhat harder than I'd have liked to, which I apologize for.
Daedalus wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:10 pm
I think the question on the "oxide" anion was rather confusing, given that the majority of the question was on the formation and usage of silica, a covalent compound. The question would have been clearer as a tossup on just "oxygen" (as "this element").
This was my mistake, sorry about that.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

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vinteuil wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:58 pm
Could you please post the question on "healing"? Aside from the eyeroll-y content, I wasn't able to deduce from the question until quite late that it didn't want some much more specific answer.
I would very much like to second this request. I think one of the earlier clues mentioned 1 Corinthians 12, but the chapter is known for discussing a bunch of spiritual gifts. Trying to figure out which one is nigh impossible.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Wartortullian »

Iamteehee wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:38 pm
ArnavS wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:21 pm
Edit: Also, I thought some of the quantitative questions were a bit weird. For ex., asking for a "magic angle" of 1.05 degrees, or the precise number of bandits in a Chinese gang (118? forget the exact question. but maybe that one is OK, if it's well-known.) There seemed to be a few questions which were inaccessible to those who hadn't read a specific Nature paper.
Like most scientific discoveries, the importance of graphene's magic angle goes far far beyond the specific paper in which it was discovered in; because of the papers, there is now a significant amount of contemporary research dedicated to the phenomenon. The specific value of the magic angle itself is also quite memorable, the fact that it is really small is necessary for Moire patterns to emerge. With that being said, I think this bonus part, and most of the other bonus parts I wrote/edited tended to play somewhat harder than I'd have liked to, which I apologize for.
As someone whose seen talks on the research in question, I think the bonus was extremely difficulty-appropriate, and it was great to see this come up. In general, this tournament did a great job of cluing current research, which is often difficult to do well.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by floorsweeper »

Would it be possible to see the bonus on Classic of Mountains and Seas? I heard it describing the monster Xingtian as using his navel as his eye, but his navel is actually his mouth.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Zealots of Stockholm »

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:09 pm
[*] I'm really not sure why the tossup on nuns couldn't have outright taken saints, especially because a bunch of the people being clued were, in fact, saints (with the caveat that some of these Things Have Names i.e. "crowned nuns"). The directed prompt on "earthly vocation" was very welcome here, though, and props to the editors for in general using directed prompts extremely well, as this let us get to the answer.
This tossup was definitely my most frustrating neg of the day, as it was incredibly annoying to buzz on a description of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa in a tossup on "this profession," say "saint," and not get points. I probably should have been able to get to nun with the prompt, but I sorta panicked when I got prompted.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by singlet oxygen »

Can I see the tossup on slavery from the Bible? I buzzed on the clue about the Sabbath year with something about forgiving debts
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Majin Buu Roi »

A rather major error (ok, maybe I'm being a tad cartoonishly over-invested in my niche interests here in calling it "major) I noticed was in the religion question on Iran (I think it was a religion question). While I was over the freaking moon to hear a clue on Ibn al-Rawandi/Book of the Emerald come up, to describe Ibn al-Rawandi as being from Iran ("this modern day country") is simply inaccurate. There isn't total consensus over where he was born, but modern Iran is not a candidate, with the main actual candidates being Afghanistan or Iraq. He was also based in modern Iraq for his entire recorded career as far as I can find.

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ebn-ravandi
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by TaylorH »

vinteuil wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:58 pm
And what was the logic behind calling bebop a "genre"?
This was certainly not the ideal indicator here. As Will said, 'style' would have been more appropriate. My apologizes for any confusion this caused.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Slightly Less British »

The first clue of the Hans Zimmer tossup in Packet B was mostly wrong. The opening suite is specifically a collaboration between Zimmer and James Newton Howard, and while it was based around two notes it certainly doesn’t only consist of those two.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Evan Lynch »

Daedalus wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:10 pm
I think the question on the "oxide" anion was rather confusing, given that the majority of the question was on the formation and usage of silica, a covalent compound. The question would have been clearer as a tossup on just "oxygen" (as "this element").
I'll add to this (having not seen the question text back) with the note that my colleague uses the Pechini method in synthesis of perovskites, so that immediately caused some confusion. This was compounded by the clue claiming that "this ion is the most common anion in perovskites"; which on the face of it is true, but since perovskites are generally named in reference to the compound "titanate" anion this seemed like a suboptimal way of thinking about it.

Regarding the graphene magic angle bonus, I thought this was superbly executed - it's something that was covered very widely in the media in addition to being extremely cool research, and I was very pleased to hear it come up.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Theodore »

There were two questions I heard during my games that were very similar to questions I submitted. They were the tossup on Portuguese poetry in packet L, and the bonus that went Brian Mulroney/Quebec/Joe Turner in Packet J.

In general, I believe the customary (and best) practice in this situation is to remove both instances of the repeat questions. I'm not sure if the editors simply missed the two questions above, or deemed the questions to be insufficiently similar, but I'd just like to bring this to your attention.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

Theodore wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:17 pm
There were two questions I heard during my games that were very similar to questions I submitted. They were the tossup on Portuguese poetry in packet L, and the bonus that went Brian Mulroney/Quebec/Joe Turner in Packet J.

In general, I believe the customary (and best) practice in this situation is to remove both instances of the repeat questions. I'm not sure if the editors simply missed the two questions above, or deemed the questions to be insufficiently similar, but I'd just like to bring this to your attention.
I’m sorry if this caused you any confusion, but this is not standard practice and would be extremely hard to implement giving the number of similar, often overlapping, questions, and would result in a great number of questions being thrown out for little reason. Combining overlapping submissions often can’t be done for logistical reasons.

Part of packet submission is recognizing that some of your questions may not get used for sub-distributional reasons, and some may have substantial overlap with other questions. Especially at the difficulties below nationals, the canon is limited, and overlaps are frequent; even at higher difficulties, it happens! Just last year I was patting myself on the back for writing a creative philosophy tossup on (romantic) love, and then Florida submitted a philosophy tossup on the same answerline (with completely different clues).
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Cody »

100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:17 pm
This tossup was definitely my most frustrating neg of the day, as it was incredibly annoying to buzz on a description of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa in a tossup on "this profession," say "saint," and not get points. I probably should have been able to get to nun with the prompt, but I sorta panicked when I got prompted.
I don't see the problem. "Saint" is not a profession, so it was very generous of the editors to even give that prompt in the first place.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Smuttynose Island »

A Very Long Math Tossup wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:06 pm
Iamteehee wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:38 pm
ArnavS wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:21 pm
Edit: Also, I thought some of the quantitative questions were a bit weird. For ex., asking for a "magic angle" of 1.05 degrees, or the precise number of bandits in a Chinese gang (118? forget the exact question. but maybe that one is OK, if it's well-known.) There seemed to be a few questions which were inaccessible to those who hadn't read a specific Nature paper.
Like most scientific discoveries, the importance of graphene's magic angle goes far far beyond the specific paper in which it was discovered in; because of the papers, there is now a significant amount of contemporary research dedicated to the phenomenon. The specific value of the magic angle itself is also quite memorable, the fact that it is really small is necessary for Moire patterns to emerge. With that being said, I think this bonus part, and most of the other bonus parts I wrote/edited tended to play somewhat harder than I'd have liked to, which I apologize for.
As someone whose seen talks on the research in question, I think the bonus was extremely difficulty-appropriate, and it was great to see this come up. In general, this tournament did a great job of cluing current research, which is often difficult to do well.
Why not just ask for "magic angle?"
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by ArnavS »

Another small quibble: The question about General Meade introduced the NSA far too early.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by CPiGuy »

jinah wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:38 pm
First, an error on my end: Packet D’s authors should have included Michigan A. This error will be fixed in the version of the packets uploaded to the archive.
Vikshar from Washington (who also submitted their packet late) said on Discord that he had a similar concern about, I think, the Octavio Paz literature bonus, although in that case, unlike with Michigan's bonus, not all three parts were the same. Given that this has already happened once with a late-submitting team having one question added to fill a hole and not having their names added to the packet, it'd be good for the editors to check whether there was another instance of this.

I brought this directly to the attention of the editors last night as soon as I realized what happened with our submission; a bonus I wrote was used in a packet that did not have our name on it, and we played this packet. The other team received the bonus and I wasn't paying enough attention to it to realize at the time that it was my submission, which thankfully meant it didn't affect gameplay, since that was the only question used and none of us noticed (if we had, we would have of course immediately alerted the tournament director).

It is, however, deeply concerning to me that ACF was not able to fulfill what seems to me to be the most basic possible responsibility for the editors of a packet-submission tournament -- correctly labeling each packet with the teams who wrote the questions contained in it. It should be easy to see how this error has the capacity to cause extremely substantial and potentially catastrophic impacts on the integrity of the tournament, not to mention the scheduling. At the very least, I think the editors ought to do a careful check of the questions to make sure that Michigan's submission had the only uncredited used question -- and rectify any other issues that might be found. I think ACF should also make sure to explicitly review this *before* sending out the packets to hosts in the future, and not trust themselves to have gotten it right when assembling the packets, because they clearly did not this time.

I want to be clear that I'm not commenting on this further to try to, like, shame ACF/the editors or rub their faces in it or anything. They clearly worked very hard on this set and produced what was otherwise a very good set which I enjoyed playing! I just think it's a Serious Problem that warrants serious consideration about how to avoid its happening again, plus I want to make sure there weren't other instances of it that get written off by the submitters as coincidences.

---

In terms of comments on other questions, my only major complaint is that the bonus part on "space-filling curves" should accept "plane-filling curves", and probably "plane-filling functions", which is what MathWorld refers to them as. The clue specifically called them out as having Hausdorff dimension 2, so making only the more general term acceptable is kind of silly in my opinion.

Some assorted questions I really enjoyed: bonus on Glooskap, tossup on Blake from art, magic in religion, CBP, wind speed, Haile Selassie, atomic clocks, book of invasions myth bonus. Idk if I have more enlightening positive feedback than "these questions were really interesting and I enjoyed hearing them", but they were really interesting and I enjoyed hearing them.
Last edited by CPiGuy on Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

CPiGuy wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:17 pm
jinah wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:38 pm
First, an error on my end: Packet D’s authors should have included Michigan A. This error will be fixed in the version of the packets uploaded to the archive.
Vikshar from Washington (who also submitted their packet late) said on Discord that he had a similar concern about, I think, the Octavio Paz literature bonus, although in that case, unlike with Michigan's bonus, not all three parts were the same. Given that this has already happened once with a late-submitting team having one question added to fill a hole and not having their names added to the packet, it'd be good for the editors to check whether there was another instance of this.

I brought this directly to the attention of the editors last night as soon as I realized what happened with our submission; a bonus I wrote was used in a packet that did not have our name on it, and we played this packet. The other team received the bonus and I wasn't paying enough attention to it to realize at the time that it was my submission, which thankfully meant it didn't affect gameplay, since that was the only question used and none of us noticed (if we had, we would have of course immediately alerted the tournament director).

It is, however, deeply concerning to me that ACF was not able to fulfill what seems to be to be the most basic possible responsibility for the editors of a packet-submission tournament -- correctly labeling each packet with the teams who wrote the questions contained in it. It should be easy to see how this error has the capacity to cause extremely substantial and potentially catastrophic impacts on the integrity of the tournament, not to mention the scheduling. At the very least, I think the editors ought to do a careful check of the questions to make sure that Michigan's submission had the only uncredited used question -- and rectify any other issues that might be found. I think ACF should also make sure to explicitly review this *before* sending out the packets to hosts in the future, and not trust themselves to have gotten it right when assembling the packets, because they clearly did not this time.

I want to be clear that I'm not commenting on this further to try to, like, shame ACF/the editors or rub their faces in it or anything. They clearly worked very hard on this set and produced what was otherwise a very good set which I enjoyed playing! I just think it's a Serious Problem that warrants serious consideration about how to avoid its happening again, plus I want to make sure there weren't other instances of it that get written off by the submitters as coincidences.
Again, I truly apologize for what happened; this was 100% my error. For context, Michigan's packet was added to a different packet to fill out a distributional gap. There is only one other packet where this occurred, and I have already confirmed that their name is included in their packet. Thanks for bringing the original issue to my attention.

RE: Washington's submission, I have already discussed this issue with Vikshar privately. He submitted a bonus that, coincidentally, discussed the relationship between Octavio Paz and Sor Juana. I verified that the editor's question on the same connection was entered in to the documents nearly a month before Washington submitted their packet. Especially in conjunction with what happened with Michigan, I understand if people had concerns; I do feel confident, however, that there are no similar errors. If anyone has further questions about question overlap, please email [email protected].
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by csa2125 »

Cody wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:31 pm
100% Clean Comedian Dan Nainan wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:17 pm
This tossup was definitely my most frustrating neg of the day, as it was incredibly annoying to buzz on a description of The Ecstasy of St. Theresa in a tossup on "this profession," say "saint," and not get points. I probably should have been able to get to nun with the prompt, but I sorta panicked when I got prompted.
I don't see the problem. "Saint" is not a profession, so it was very generous of the editors to even give that prompt in the first place.
My site complained that “profession” is an inaccurate term for this question, among others asking about a _non-paid_ occupation (seeing as nuns traditionally take vows of poverty, of course barring some technicalities about some modern nuns donating their whole “salary” to the church). This inexactitude likely caused similar confusion; “job,” “post,” and “occupation,” among others, would have avoided this problem.

Someone in the General Discussion thread brought up an example of “bait,” which was disappointingly more widespread than one question. Off the top of my head, the E minor question had a sentence along the lines of, if I recall correctly, “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto in this key inspired Dvorak’s concerto in B minor”—less than ideal not only for baiting one into saying the key of Dvorak’s concerto (maybe you could say that’s early, but it’s best just not to bait at all), but for the confusing construction “second cello concerto in this key,” which can confusingly refer to “the second of 2+ cello concertos in this key by Victor Herbert” or “the second numbered cello concerto by Herbert, which is in this key.” The “bait” is more a problem, I think, but both of these lead to gameplay problems: I would have preferred something like “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, which is in this key, inspired the B minor cello concerto by Dvorak,” or even “Dvorak’s B minor cello concerto was inspired by a concerto in this other key, namely the second by Victor Herbert.”
I also generally question the wisdom of key questions, in particular as tossups: unless a piece is known by its key (Mass in B minor, Prelude in C# minor), or is a key that “really means something” in context (C minor in Beethoven, Elgar’s first symphony being in the rare key of Ab major, the emotional associations of a key and the piece [possibly the “dark” Bb minor of Chopin’s funeral march), it seems to “artificially” limit the number of people who can buzz on a given clue, esp. given how “non-musicians” rarely tend to know the key of most pieces excepting the above reasons (same idea as limiting the amount of “score clues”/note strings [and very much so when given without a tempo]). What would have been lost if this question asked for “cello concerto” or even “cello” with the same clues?
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by celsius273 »

The science in this set was my favorite of the regionals I've played ('18, '19, '20). To add to the discussion about bait, my one gripe is with the "protein" question in packet E (Central Florida A et. al.) I buzzed and answered "protease" when I heard "MEROPS" (I did not get a chance to hear the back half of the clue specifying that the question wanted the substrate of proteases) and was extremely miffed to hear that "protease" was explicitly unpromptable. What was the rationale for theme-ing the question about proteases (clues I can recall: MEROPS, oxyanion hole, papain) instead of making the answer protease? One of my teammates pointed out afterwards that technically, proteases themselves can be the target of other proteases (e.g. TEV protease loses activity over time because it gets cleaved by neighboring proteases) making the "do not accept or prompt" incorrect.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by cwasims »

csa2125 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:47 pm
Someone in the General Discussion thread brought up an example of “bait,” which was disappointingly more widespread than one question. Off the top of my head, the E minor question had a sentence along the lines of, if I recall correctly, “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto in this key inspired Dvorak’s concerto in B minor”—less than ideal not only for baiting one into saying the key of Dvorak’s concerto (maybe you could say that’s early, but it’s best just not to bait at all), but for the confusing construction “second cello concerto in this key,” which can confusingly refer to “the second of 2+ cello concertos in this key by Victor Herbert” or “the second numbered cello concerto by Herbert, which is in this key.” The “bait” is more a problem, I think, but both of these lead to gameplay problems: I would have preferred something like “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, which is in this key, inspired the B minor cello concerto by Dvorak,” or even “Dvorak’s B minor cello concerto was inspired by a concerto in this other key, namely the second by Victor Herbert.”
I also generally question the wisdom of key questions, in particular as tossups: unless a piece is known by its key (Mass in B minor, Prelude in C# minor), or is a key that “really means something” in context (C minor in Beethoven, Elgar’s first symphony being in the rare key of Ab major, the emotional associations of a key and the piece [possibly the “dark” Bb minor of Chopin’s funeral march), it seems to “artificially” limit the number of people who can buzz on a given clue, esp. given how “non-musicians” rarely tend to know the key of most pieces excepting the above reasons (same idea as limiting the amount of “score clues”/note strings [and very much so when given without a tempo]). What would have been lost if this question asked for “cello concerto” or even “cello” with the same clues?
I agree that the question was phrased poorly - I was buzzing in with B minor, heard B minor mentioned, and thankfully managed to come with E minor as the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link. I'm not sure I'd agree with regards to key tossups - lots of pieces are very closely associated with a certain key, particularly concertos, and I don't think it's any less obviously meaningful than a lot of other common links people can and do come up with (first names, etc.). I didn't mind the note string clues since most of them were fairly notable melodies, although I don't think that type of cluing works as well for a piece like Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra as, say, Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto.

I'd have to see the tossup to comment more fully, but I was annoyed to neg government spending with "taxes", especially since Ricardian Equivalence is a result much more strongly associated with taxes than government spending in my experience. I'm sure the clue did point to government spending, but it's difficult to parse those kinds of nuances at game speed.

One small thing: I don't think it's great to voluntarily add extra information to a clue that will actually make people more confused and less likely to buzz - for instance, while it's interesting that Jains control a large portion of the Antwerp diamond trade, it would have been nice to throw in "European city" or the like so people aren't thrown wildly off-course by the clue. I, for one, would likely have buzzed there had it not been for that mention.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by jinah »

cwasims wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:07 pm
I'd have to see the tossup to comment more fully, but I was annoyed to neg government spending with "taxes", especially since Ricardian Equivalence is a result much more strongly associated with taxes than government spending in my experience. I'm sure the clue did point to government spending, but it's difficult to parse those kinds of nuances at game speed.
That was a bad addition on my part -- I added it in because I needed another middle clue, but at game speed it's hard to make the logical jumps necessary to go from Ricardian equivalence = tax cuts now mean tax hikes later to "tax rates will even out over time because government spending stays the same." I should also have made clearer that tax cuts were not what was being asked about -- I emphasized quantity because I don't consider tax rates to be a quantity, but I should have fleshed it out further.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by 5 Fingaz to the Male Gaze »

csa2125 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:47 pm
Someone in the General Discussion thread brought up an example of “bait,” which was disappointingly more widespread than one question. Off the top of my head, the E minor question had a sentence along the lines of, if I recall correctly, “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto in this key inspired Dvorak’s concerto in B minor”—less than ideal not only for baiting one into saying the key of Dvorak’s concerto (maybe you could say that’s early, but it’s best just not to bait at all), but for the confusing construction “second cello concerto in this key,” which can confusingly refer to “the second of 2+ cello concertos in this key by Victor Herbert” or “the second numbered cello concerto by Herbert, which is in this key.” The “bait” is more a problem, I think, but both of these lead to gameplay problems: I would have preferred something like “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, which is in this key, inspired the B minor cello concerto by Dvorak,” or even “Dvorak’s B minor cello concerto was inspired by a concerto in this other key, namely the second by Victor Herbert.”

I also generally question the wisdom of key questions, in particular as tossups: unless a piece is known by its key (Mass in B minor, Prelude in C# minor), or is a key that “really means something” in context (C minor in Beethoven, Elgar’s first symphony being in the rare key of Ab major, the emotional associations of a key and the piece [possibly the “dark” Bb minor of Chopin’s funeral march), it seems to “artificially” limit the number of people who can buzz on a given clue, esp. given how “non-musicians” rarely tend to know the key of most pieces excepting the above reasons (same idea as limiting the amount of “score clues”/note strings [and very much so when given without a tempo]). What would have been lost if this question asked for “cello concerto” or even “cello” with the same clues?
cwasims wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:07 pm
I agree that the question was phrased poorly - I was buzzing in with B minor, heard B minor mentioned, and thankfully managed to come with E minor as the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link. I'm not sure I'd agree with regards to key tossups - lots of pieces are very closely associated with a certain key, particularly concertos, and I don't think it's any less obviously meaningful than a lot of other common links people can and do come up with (first names, etc.).
My apologies for the unfortunate wording in this tossup -- it's definitely something I should've been more cognizant of. That being said, I agree with Chris that key tossups can be treated similarly to other common links and that, if there is a meaningful connection between the clues, I don't see why common linking keys is any less valid, especially at this difficulty. The key of a piece is important information for music players to know and I'm inclined to reward players with a more robust understanding of that than players who lack it.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by csa2125 »

cwasims wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:07 pm
csa2125 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:47 pm
Someone in the General Discussion thread brought up an example of “bait,” which was disappointingly more widespread than one question. Off the top of my head, the E minor question had a sentence along the lines of, if I recall correctly, “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto in this key inspired Dvorak’s concerto in B minor”—less than ideal not only for baiting one into saying the key of Dvorak’s concerto (maybe you could say that’s early, but it’s best just not to bait at all), but for the confusing construction “second cello concerto in this key,” which can confusingly refer to “the second of 2+ cello concertos in this key by Victor Herbert” or “the second numbered cello concerto by Herbert, which is in this key.” The “bait” is more a problem, I think, but both of these lead to gameplay problems: I would have preferred something like “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, which is in this key, inspired the B minor cello concerto by Dvorak,” or even “Dvorak’s B minor cello concerto was inspired by a concerto in this other key, namely the second by Victor Herbert.”
I also generally question the wisdom of key questions, in particular as tossups: unless a piece is known by its key (Mass in B minor, Prelude in C# minor), or is a key that “really means something” in context (C minor in Beethoven, Elgar’s first symphony being in the rare key of Ab major, the emotional associations of a key and the piece [possibly the “dark” Bb minor of Chopin’s funeral march), it seems to “artificially” limit the number of people who can buzz on a given clue, esp. given how “non-musicians” rarely tend to know the key of most pieces excepting the above reasons (same idea as limiting the amount of “score clues”/note strings [and very much so when given without a tempo]). What would have been lost if this question asked for “cello concerto” or even “cello” with the same clues?
I agree that the question was phrased poorly - I was buzzing in with B minor, heard B minor mentioned, and thankfully managed to come with E minor as the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link. I'm not sure I'd agree with regards to key tossups - lots of pieces are very closely associated with a certain key, particularly concertos, and I don't think it's any less obviously meaningful than a lot of other common links people can and do come up with (first names, etc.). I didn't mind the note string clues since most of them were fairly notable melodies, although I don't think that type of cluing works as well for a piece like Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra as, say, Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto.
To clarify, I believe Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor is a piece “known by its key”; I wouldn’t extend the same with the same certainty to Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto, and definitely not to the barely-known Herbert Second Cello Concerto (I found a peak of 11K listens to this on Spotify, and around 15K and 18K for the top two YouTube results [to be clear, the problem is more having a middle-ish clue on _the key_ of such a relatively unpopular piece than on asking about an influential (at least to Dvorak) concerto by a less-known composer]. If I must confess, I was frustrated by being able to identify the composer, dedicatee, title, etc. of the Symphony-Concerto but not its key because I didn’t quizbowlify every single aspect of the piece. However, it doesn’t seem in the spirit of quiz bowl to get a question because it’s “the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link,” as it isn’t to get a common link on contemporary British novelists named Smith because “it’s the obvious surname for a modern British novelist common-link.” I’m still not seeing “what is added” by asking the key instead of the genre in this instance, aside from unjustified difficulty—not teaching players these concerti are in E minor in a way that can’t be done by asking “cello concerto” or “cello”; nor have I yet found anything suggesting that one “doesn’t know” the Prokofiev or Herbert concerti if they don’t know their keys, in the way that one “doesn’t know” Elgar’s concerto if they don’t know it’s in E minor, or the same of one who forgets the key of the Rachmaninoff Prelude or Mass in B minor.

I’m also not opposed to note strings that are _notable_ melodies or motifs, but to ones that are nigh unbuzzable without a tempo / other sufficient information (or, if read too quickly b/c there was no “read slowly” prompt) or by carding the note sequences that make up the X most common pieces’ melodies out of context, since the problem is what happens at game speed. It can lead to the same issue as quoting Nerval as quoted in “The Waste Land” in a question on the latter, among other problems (e.g., being unparseable or unbuzzable). Again, there are better times and better pieces to clue in this way than others.

Moreover, I think the “baiting” is a more general issue than asking for keys when maybe not the absolutely gold-standard way to write certain music TUs.
I'd have to see the tossup to comment more fully, but I was annoyed to neg government spending with "taxes", especially since Ricardian Equivalence is a result much more strongly associated with taxes than government spending in my experience. I'm sure the clue did point to government spending, but it's difficult to parse those kinds of nuances at game speed.
Though some of the Econ in this set was very good, I concur this clue wasn’t my favorite; it’s obvious in retrospect that you want “the other side of taxation” when saying “it’s not taxation, but [Ricardian equivalence],” but that doesn’t fix that the clue was mystifying or illogical at game speed.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by cwasims »

csa2125 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:55 pm
cwasims wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:07 pm
csa2125 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:47 pm
Someone in the General Discussion thread brought up an example of “bait,” which was disappointingly more widespread than one question. Off the top of my head, the E minor question had a sentence along the lines of, if I recall correctly, “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto in this key inspired Dvorak’s concerto in B minor”—less than ideal not only for baiting one into saying the key of Dvorak’s concerto (maybe you could say that’s early, but it’s best just not to bait at all), but for the confusing construction “second cello concerto in this key,” which can confusingly refer to “the second of 2+ cello concertos in this key by Victor Herbert” or “the second numbered cello concerto by Herbert, which is in this key.” The “bait” is more a problem, I think, but both of these lead to gameplay problems: I would have preferred something like “Victor Herbert’s second cello concerto, which is in this key, inspired the B minor cello concerto by Dvorak,” or even “Dvorak’s B minor cello concerto was inspired by a concerto in this other key, namely the second by Victor Herbert.”
I also generally question the wisdom of key questions, in particular as tossups: unless a piece is known by its key (Mass in B minor, Prelude in C# minor), or is a key that “really means something” in context (C minor in Beethoven, Elgar’s first symphony being in the rare key of Ab major, the emotional associations of a key and the piece [possibly the “dark” Bb minor of Chopin’s funeral march), it seems to “artificially” limit the number of people who can buzz on a given clue, esp. given how “non-musicians” rarely tend to know the key of most pieces excepting the above reasons (same idea as limiting the amount of “score clues”/note strings [and very much so when given without a tempo]). What would have been lost if this question asked for “cello concerto” or even “cello” with the same clues?
I agree that the question was phrased poorly - I was buzzing in with B minor, heard B minor mentioned, and thankfully managed to come with E minor as the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link. I'm not sure I'd agree with regards to key tossups - lots of pieces are very closely associated with a certain key, particularly concertos, and I don't think it's any less obviously meaningful than a lot of other common links people can and do come up with (first names, etc.). I didn't mind the note string clues since most of them were fairly notable melodies, although I don't think that type of cluing works as well for a piece like Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra as, say, Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto.
To clarify, I believe Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor is a piece “known by its key”; I wouldn’t extend the same with the same certainty to Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto, and definitely not to the barely-known Herbert Second Cello Concerto (I found a peak of 11K listens to this on Spotify, and around 15K and 18K for the top two YouTube results [to be clear, the problem is more having a middle-ish clue on _the key_ of such a relatively unpopular piece than on asking about an influential (at least to Dvorak) concerto by a less-known composer]. If I must confess, I was frustrated by being able to identify the composer, dedicatee, title, etc. of the Symphony-Concerto but not its key because I didn’t quizbowlify every single aspect of the piece. However, it doesn’t seem in the spirit of quiz bowl to get a question because it’s “the obvious key for a cello concerto common-link,” as it isn’t to get a common link on contemporary British novelists named Smith because “it’s the obvious surname for a modern British novelist common-link.” I’m still not seeing “what is added” by asking the key instead of the genre in this instance, aside from unjustified difficulty—not teaching players these concerti are in E minor in a way that can’t be done by asking “cello concerto” or “cello”; nor have I yet found anything suggesting that one “doesn’t know” the Prokofiev or Herbert concerti if they don’t know their keys, in the way that one “doesn’t know” Elgar’s concerto if they don’t know it’s in E minor, or the same of one who forgets the key of the Rachmaninoff Prelude or Mass in B minor.

I’m also not opposed to note strings that are _notable_ melodies or motifs, but to ones that are nigh unbuzzable without a tempo / other sufficient information (or, if read too quickly b/c there was no “read slowly” prompt) or by carding the note sequences that make up the X most common pieces’ melodies out of context, since the problem is what happens at game speed. It can lead to the same issue as quoting Nerval as quoted in “The Waste Land” in a question on the latter, among other problems (e.g., being unparseable or unbuzzable). Again, there are better times and better pieces to clue in this way than others.

Moreover, I think the “baiting” is a more general issue than asking for keys when maybe not the absolutely gold-standard way to write certain music TUs.
To be more clear (I realize I wasn't before), I did think the first clue was referring to Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto, which I also thought was in E minor, although I wasn't certain enough of either to buzz. But that, combined with assuming the later clues would be on Elgar, made me figure that E minor was the obvious guess at the point when I did buzz.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by vinteuil »

Could I also see the bonus on Mengzi? I recall the hard part on yi connecting it to the anecdote of the child in the well. But in the text (2A.6), the story about the child is connected to "commiseration"—not any of the sprouts precisely, but certainly closer to ren than to yi. (Actually, this translation uses "commiseration" for both the relevant phrase and to translate ren.)
Last edited by vinteuil on Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Sam »

AGoodMan wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:41 pm
I would very much like to second this request. I think one of the earlier clues mentioned 1 Corinthians 12, but the chapter is known for discussing a bunch of spiritual gifts. Trying to figure out which one is nigh impossible.
Sort of related to this: many of the religion questions directly tied together religious practices with related scripture, which I think is a great idea and mostly worked very well. There did seem to be more specific verse clues than there normally are, and some of them felt pretty deep. I wonder if providing more context about where the verses fall, rather than just the number, would be more useful. The tradition I'm most familiar with isn't as Bible-focused as other denominations, though, so I may be underestimating how well known these are. I'd be curious if others found them more helpful.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Auroni »

Milhouse wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:43 pm
This seems like a not insubstantial hose for dawn or sunrise (which are totally phenomena) if you buzzed anticipating that the sentence would be 'Homer used the phrase 'rosy-fingered' to describe this phenomenon,' that could be solved by saying that you're talking about Roman equivalent before giving the clue about Eos.
A minor thing along the same lines was the current events tossup on South Korea and Japan, which included a clue about the mnemonic song from Parasite that took the form (paraphrased, since I don't have the questions) "The Jessica, Illinois, Chicago song from Parasite... is based on a song about a dispute between these two countries." Because the relationship between North and South Korea is explicitly an element of the film (albeit one that has nothing to do with the clued scene), I vulched (after a neg on the same clue) with that before getting to the referent in the question. Reworking the sentence so that it starts with "A territory disputed between these two countries" would likely make the question play just slightly better.

I wasn't a fan of the referent "these objects" to refer to "the sun and the moon" in the myth tossup in one of the Finals packets, since as it's generally used in myth questions, "these objects" refer to a general class of items rather than a limited set of specific objects. Though I do understand that there aren't a lot of options here that wouldn't make the tossup immediately obvious.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

celsius273 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:05 pm
The science in this set was my favorite of the regionals I've played ('18, '19, '20). To add to the discussion about bait, my one gripe is with the "protein" question in packet E (Central Florida A et. al.) I buzzed and answered "protease" when I heard "MEROPS" (I did not get a chance to hear the back half of the clue specifying that the question wanted the substrate of proteases) and was extremely miffed to hear that "protease" was explicitly unpromptable. What was the rationale for theme-ing the question about proteases (clues I can recall: MEROPS, oxyanion hole, papain) instead of making the answer protease? One of my teammates pointed out afterwards that technically, proteases themselves can be the target of other proteases (e.g. TEV protease loses activity over time because it gets cleaved by neighboring proteases) making the "do not accept or prompt" incorrect.
Bro sometimes when you play the game you gotta play by the rules. If you reflex buzz on the first word the 2nd sentence and give the wrong answer that's your onus for buzzing before hearing the whole clue and not the editor's. (Presumably the answerline was just proteins/peptides for conversion purposes although there was some pretty awkward wording as a result). It's pretty unreasonable to prompt on proteases just because they can be the target of other proteases because that would justify prompting on literally any protein family or superfamily that is known to be enzymatically degraded.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Bensonfan23 »

Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:06 am
celsius273 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:05 pm
The science in this set was my favorite of the regionals I've played ('18, '19, '20). To add to the discussion about bait, my one gripe is with the "protein" question in packet E (Central Florida A et. al.) I buzzed and answered "protease" when I heard "MEROPS" (I did not get a chance to hear the back half of the clue specifying that the question wanted the substrate of proteases) and was extremely miffed to hear that "protease" was explicitly unpromptable. What was the rationale for theme-ing the question about proteases (clues I can recall: MEROPS, oxyanion hole, papain) instead of making the answer protease? One of my teammates pointed out afterwards that technically, proteases themselves can be the target of other proteases (e.g. TEV protease loses activity over time because it gets cleaved by neighboring proteases) making the "do not accept or prompt" incorrect.
Bro sometimes when you play the game you gotta play by the rules. If you reflex buzz on the first word the 2nd sentence and give the wrong answer that's your onus for buzzing before hearing the whole clue and not the editor's. (Presumably the answerline was just proteins/peptides for conversion purposes although there was some pretty awkward wording as a result). It's pretty unreasonable to prompt on proteases just because they can be the target of other proteases because that would justify prompting on literally any protein family or superfamily that is known to be enzymatically degraded.
While I tend to agree with Andrew that prompting on proteases probably isn't the right thing to do with the way this tossup is currently written, I also want to say how much I did not like the pronoun for this tossup being "these molecules". Maybe this isn't the case for everyone, but this pronoun just made this question incredibly confusing to play for me, and in my opinion just making this a tossup on proteases would have been the far better decision (and still a difficulty appropriate one).

Also, in a different round I remember there was a history bonus part about Arabs in Spain, and we were surprised to give the answer "Moors" and not have that be accepted or even prompted given the context of how it was asked (and apparently several rooms at our site did end up prompting or just taking this, but ours did not). Adding something about this in the answerline would seem like a good idea.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Abdon Ubidia »

I didn't get points for saying "the prologue to Hopscotch" for the bonus part on the Table of Instructions. Was this a moderator error (possibly because of a long or complicated answerline) or was this a genuine omission by the packet? If the latter, I think the answer line should be expanded to include such answers.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Chimango Caracara »

jasongg17 wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:01 pm
A rather major error (ok, maybe I'm being a tad cartoonishly over-invested in my niche interests here in calling it "major) I noticed was in the religion question on Iran (I think it was a religion question). While I was over the freaking moon to hear a clue on Ibn al-Rawandi/Book of the Emerald come up, to describe Ibn al-Rawandi as being from Iran ("this modern day country") is simply inaccurate. There isn't total consensus over where he was born, but modern Iran is not a candidate, with the main actual candidates being Afghanistan or Iraq. He was also based in modern Iraq for his entire recorded career as far as I can find.

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ebn-ravandi
Jason, I'm very sorry about that clue, and I'm glad you knew enough to avoid negging on that sentence. I first read about Ibn al-Rawandi in an article that called him "the first Persian atheist" or something similar, so I wrote a note in my spreadsheet of question ideas like "Ibn al-Rawandi- Zumurrud- Persian proto-atheist." Then, when I was researching this question, I actually saw that Encyclopedia Iranica article and assumed it was referring to Iran's Khorasan Province, since I already thought of him as Persian (especially since it said 'he "secretly returned to Persia" after living in Baghdad). I should have been more careful given that Greater Khorasan extended past Iran's current boundaries.

I think I committed a similar error (using an ambiguous clue about a historical region that overlaps multiple countries) with the Slovakia tossup. A few people negged on the clue about the Lemko/Rusyn people with "Poland." I thought that the Rusyns were more famously Slovakian since the majority live there (with smaller numbers in Poland and Ukraine). But, although the clue was specifically about the Slovakian Rusyn-Americans portrayed in Out of This Furnace, it should have been less equivocal (in particular, I should not have used the Polish name "Lemko," which I thought would help people know which ethnic group it was, but really does seem to point toward Poland).
AGoodMan wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:41 pm
vinteuil wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:58 pm
Could you please post the question on "healing"? Aside from the eyeroll-y content, I wasn't able to deduce from the question until quite late that it didn't want some much more specific answer.
I would very much like to second this request. I think one of the earlier clues mentioned 1 Corinthians 12, but the chapter is known for discussing a bunch of spiritual gifts. Trying to figure out which one is nigh impossible.
8. Edzard Ernst traced this kind of practice to First Corinthians 12:9 (“chapter 12, verse 9”) and evaluated if it’s “hype or harm.” Choa Kok Sui and Mokichi Okada taught the “pranic” and Johrei forms of this kind of practice, which Amaterasu guides in Kurozumikyō. “The holy relationship” is “context” for this kind of practice, whose “political” form “flows from spiritual experience,” according to Marianne Williamson. The “palm” method transfers “currents” in a practice used for this purpose that manipulates “fields” with “touch.” Therapists focus “energy vibrations” with rocks for this purpose, which chakras often guide. To promote this goal, Deepak Chopra created a “quantum” ritual. Pentecostals perform this kind of practice with the “laying on of hands.” For 10 points, crystals and Reiki are believed to provide what benefit in alternative medicine?
ANSWER: spiritual healing [accept specific types like quantum/crystal/faith healing or therapeutic touch or Reiki; accept word forms like health; prompt on therapy or treatment or homeopathy or complementary and alternative medicine or similar by asking “what medical effect is supposed to result from these rituals?”; prompt on touching or laying on of hands by asking “what is the spiritual goal of the touch?”]
<Religion>
I'm sorry. I don't think this question worked as well as I thought it would. I wanted to write a question focused on contemporary spiritualism and new religious movements. When I wrote this question initially, the leadin was entirely about Edzard Ernst, a prominent scholar and critic of alternative medicine. I added the 1 Corinthians clue to try to help people place it, but I can see how it could be confusing. The original pronoun for this question was "ritual," but I changed it to "kind of practice" to try to make it clearer and show that it was a type of ritual rather than a specific ritual. However, that does not seem to have helped. Many people understandably negged with "love" on the Williamson clues, and perhaps "ritual" would have prevented that. But I also should have used a clue that was harder to mix up with The Politics of Love, such as Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens.
floorsweeper wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:15 pm
Would it be possible to see the bonus on Classic of Mountains and Seas? I heard it describing the monster Xingtian as using his navel as his eye, but his navel is actually his mouth.
17. Guō Pú published many commentaries on this text, which describes gods like Dìjiāng (“dee-jyong”), a flying yellow sack, and Xíngtiān (“sheeng-t’yen”), who uses his navel as an eye because Huángdì beheaded him. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this Chinese classic, a fantastical geography of ancient China completed during the Hàn dynasty. This text describes implausible foreign peoples like the asexual and regenerating Wúqǐ (“woo-chee”), and the beaked and winged Huāntóu (“hwahn-toh”).
ANSWER: Shān Hǎi Jīng [or Classic of Mountains and Seas; accept Guideways Through Mountains and Seas; accept the old translation Classic of Mountains and Rivers; accept Saan Hoi Ging]
[10] The Shān Hǎi Jīng features many of these animals, like the doubled Féiyí (“fay-yee”) and the elephant-eating Bā. In a folktale, a white animal of this kind becomes a woman to marry Xǔ Xiān (“shoo sh’yen”). Nǚwā (“n’yoo-wah”) and her brother Fúxī (“foo-shee”) are often depicted with the bodies of these animals.
ANSWER: snakes [or serpents; or shé; accept ji or se; accept Legend of the White Snake or Báishé Chuán; prompt on reptiles or other generic answers; do not accept or prompt on “dragons” or “lóng”]
[10] In folktales like the Marquis of Suí’s (“sway’s”) pearl, snakes commonly appear in the “grateful animals” motif. That motif is also a staple of the Panchatantra, which was written in this language, like the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa.
ANSWER: Sanskrit [or saṃskṛtam]
<Mythology>
I'm sorry. This was my fault for mixing up the words "nipple" and "navel."
Kasper Kaijanen wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:47 pm
Can I see the tossup on slavery from the Bible? I buzzed on the clue about the Sabbath year with something about forgiving debts
13. The Mekhilta (“meh-kheel-TAH”) of Rabbi Ishmael glosses this practice’s different rules for women and men by citing possible damage to the 24 chief external organs. It’s not farming, but in Jeremiah 34, King Zedekiah changes his mind about ending this practice in accordance with the shmita (“shmee-TAH”), or sabbatical year. Genesis 37:28 (“chapter 37, verse 28”) describes Midianites and Ishmaelites engaging in this practice, whose law code in Exodus 21 marks its permanent form with ear piercing. Statistics about this practice were manipulated to push antisemitism in the pamphlet The Secret Relationship by the Nation of Islam. The Haggadah (“ha-ga-DAH”) uses the “bread of affliction” and the bitter herb maror (“ma-ROAR”) to remind Seder (“SAY-der”) guests of Jews suffering this practice in Egypt. For 10 points, the Curse of Ham was cited to justify what atrocity in the antebellum South?
ANSWER: slavery [accept the slave trade or similar; prompt on commerce or trade, etc.; prompt on labor or work, etc.; prompt on kidnapping by asking “kidnapping someone in order to do what to them?”; accept indentured servants or servitude or debt bondage or bonded labor]
<Religion>
Although Jeremiah 34 is specifically about freeing slaves in the sabbatical year, debt forgiveness is a reasonable answer to give if you are familiar with the shmita (which is why I included the "farming" exclusionary clue). However, there is a complication, because the released slaves are held in debt bondage (an acceptable answer). Therefore, it would be wrong to say "It's not debt," but the practice of general debt forgiveness is somewhat different. I probably should have included a directed prompt on "debt" alone. I'm sorry that it hurt you.
Milhouse wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:43 pm
The tossup on auroras (which generally described them as "this phenomenon") had a sentence that I remember saying something to the effect of "Homer used the phrase 'rosy-fingered' to describe a god whose Roman equivalent names these phenomena." This seems like a not insubstantial hose for dawn or sunrise (which are totally phenomena) if you buzzed anticipating that the sentence would be 'Homer used the phrase 'rosy-fingered' to describe this phenomenon,' that could be solved by saying that you're talking about Roman equivalent before giving the clue about Eos.
I'm sorry about this phrasing. I did write the clue that way initially, but changed it in an attempt to make the syntax less awkward. I'm sorry if it caused anyone to neg and then fail to answer the directed prompt on "dawn" ("Who is the Roman goddess of dawn?").
Auroni wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:00 am
I wasn't a fan of the referent "these objects" to refer to "the sun and the moon" in the myth tossup in one of the Finals packets, since as it's generally used in myth questions, "these objects" refer to a general class of items rather than a limited set of specific objects. Though I do understand that there aren't a lot of options here that wouldn't make the tossup immediately obvious.
I'm sorry if this confused anyone else. I tried to write that question very carefully to be avoid transparency, and thought that doing so required that the answerspace include such groups of objects.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by 5 Fingaz to the Male Gaze »

ansonberns wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:58 am
I didn't get points for saying "the prologue to Hopscotch" for the bonus part on the Table of Instructions. Was this a moderator error (possibly because of a long or complicated answerline) or was this a genuine omission by the packet? If the latter, I think the answer line should be expanded to include such answers.
This is almost certainly a moderator error, as this was the answerline:
ANSWER: “Table of Instructions” [accept “Tablero de dirección”; accept descriptions such as the introduction or beginning or author’s note of Hopscotch or Rayuela; do not accept any answers indicating that this section is a first chapter]
As you can see, "prologue" was not explicitly mentioned in the answerline precisely because I did not want to make it longer than it already was (and, quite frankly, it's not that long as it stands), and I instead elected to include the phrase "descriptions such as" and allow the moderator to exercise some common sense (while making explicitly clear that the only reasonable description they cannot accept was about it being a first chapter). If the moderator did read this answerline correctly, they apparently didn't think that "prologue" was descriptively similar enough to the three other examples I gave (I'm thus inclined to believe the moderator just read the answerline wrong, as this, at least in my view, is a silly call to make). I apologize for not explicitly including "prologue" in the answerline, but I also would like to use this as an example of why there are often long answerlines -- the more discretion you give the moderator, the more room for error there is in game when it comes to making these judgment calls.
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by Sam »

Chimango Caracara wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:34 am
I'm sorry. I don't think this question worked as well as I thought it would. I wanted to write a question focused on contemporary spiritualism and new religious movements. When I wrote this question initially, the leadin was entirely about Edzard Ernst, a prominent scholar and critic of alternative medicine. I added the 1 Corinthians clue to try to help people place it, but I can see how it could be confusing. The original pronoun for this question was "ritual," but I changed it to "kind of practice" to try to make it clearer and show that it was a type of ritual rather than a specific ritual. However, that does not seem to have helped. Many people understandably negged with "love" on the Williamson clues, and perhaps "ritual" would have prevented that. But I also should have used a clue that was harder to mix up with The Politics of Love, such as Healing the Soul of America: Reclaiming Our Voices as Spiritual Citizens.
While there were issues with this particular question, I want to push slightly against Jacob Reed (and thus balance out my agreement with him in the other thread) on the content. It's pretty standard to include clues on new religious movements in religion questions with country answer lines, and folks like Chopra and Williamson are "in the air" enough that one can make an answerable, pyramidal question with clues about them. The propensity of the work to induce eye rolling shouldn't be disqualifying. (Obviously this shouldn't be at the expense of, you know, Islam, or Buddhism. But there's still room for stuff like it.)
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Re: 2020 ACF Regionals: Specific Questions and Errata

Post by t-bar »

Thiccasso's Guernthicca wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:24 pm
ansonberns wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:58 am
I didn't get points for saying "the prologue to Hopscotch" for the bonus part on the Table of Instructions. Was this a moderator error (possibly because of a long or complicated answerline) or was this a genuine omission by the packet? If the latter, I think the answer line should be expanded to include such answers.
This is almost certainly a moderator error, as this was the answerline:
ANSWER: “Table of Instructions” [accept “Tablero de dirección”; accept descriptions such as the introduction or beginning or author’s note of Hopscotch or Rayuela; do not accept any answers indicating that this section is a first chapter]
As you can see, "prologue" was not explicitly mentioned in the answerline precisely because I did not want to make it longer than it already was (and, quite frankly, it's not that long as it stands), and I instead elected to include the phrase "descriptions such as" and allow the moderator to exercise some common sense (while making explicitly clear that the only reasonable description they cannot accept was about it being a first chapter). If the moderator did read this answerline correctly, they apparently didn't think that "prologue" was descriptively similar enough to the three other examples I gave (I'm thus inclined to believe the moderator just read the answerline wrong, as this, at least in my view, is a silly call to make). I apologize for not explicitly including "prologue" in the answerline, but I also would like to use this as an example of why there are often long answerlines -- the more discretion you give the moderator, the more room for error there is in game when it comes to making these judgment calls.
I definitely agree that "prologue to Hopscotch" should be acceptable, and in fact that's the answer that was offered and accepted in my room. However, you seem to suggest that the balance of responsibility for this situation falls on the moderator, and I disagree with that. Certainly the moderator could make the judgment call that "prologue" should be acceptable, but if the editor wants that to be the case, they bear the greater responsibility to say so. What about an answer of the preface or the foreword to Hopscotch? As far as I know, such terms are close to but not exactly synonymous with introduction, and when presented with a judgment call about a notably atypical book one has never read I think the moderator can expect a little more assistance. The finals sequence of the 2018 ACF Nationals featured a contentious protest concerning the difference between a frontispiece and a cover, so I don't think it's at all unreasonable that people could be uncertain when asked to make this sort of distinction.
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