Question Specific Discussion

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Question Specific Discussion

Post by Brian McPeak » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:33 am

Do that here
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:09 pm

A few things that stood out to me the most as being inappropriate/bad (I'll post some praise later, I promise! But these seem more important to correct for future mirrors):

Not to push the "I knew something and don't deserve points for it" line too hard here, but there are two pages of results for "Convention People's Party" if you do a google search of the packet archive, which makes me think it isn't an appropriate leadin for a regular-difficulty tournament tossup on Nkrumah. The clue is not "stock" by any means - it's important - but I would move it back later.

The Ayyuthaya question seems like a very difficult answerline for this tournament, but that could just be me.

The KMT question said a Chinese word in the second clue, which seems like a bad idea because it radically condenses the answerspace. According to Matt Jackson and Jacob Reed, the particular Chinese word was an important place in Taiwan, which makes this even more ill-conceived.

The Zoroastrian question said "Damavand" in the second line. Putting Persian words and "religion" together should not net you 15 points for Zoroastrianism.

Minor nitpick 1: The leadin on the Sassanid empire question was great, but I think it should be changed to emphasize that its troops were supposedly chained together, or that they were packed so tight that it was said they were chained together, or something along those lines. If I recall correctly, that Arabic metaphor was once used to described not only the paighan infantry, but various types of clibinarii and cataphract cavalry which definitely could not have been chained together!

Minor nitpick 2: Several tossups were power-marked on the exact word after name-dropping something important, rather than just before (i.e. "Konfrontasi. (*) A massive crackdown" in the Indonesia tossup). I feel like this should be the other way around, but I was wondering if there was a particular reason the editors decided to powermark some questions this way. Philosophy-wise, it seems sort of odd to me, because if you're going to put something well-known in power but then end power immediately afterward, it seems like you're testing reflexes more than than anything else, which doesn't seem in line with principles of good quizbowl.

The Okuninushi/Susano'o/Shinto bonus doesn't really have a good medium part, because it gives "storm god" and "Kusanagi" for Susano'o, which are two of the most important/best known things about him.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by The Kirk Store Called » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:42 pm

I'm not sure why the Mongol invasion clue in the Kamakura Period tossup came before Emperor Go-Daigo or Emperor Antoku. The Mongol Invasions (or lack thereof) seem to be considerably better known than either of those clues.

Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan. I guess it's not totally unreasonable if someone goes "hey, that's the 2nd largest city in Taiwan, this party must be the KMT", but it also seems very possible that someone could go "hey, that sounded Chinese, there aren't a lot of Chinese political parties that could be reasonably tossed up, time to guess". I don't think it was a very good clue to include so early (the beginning of the 3rd line well in power) considering the huge possibility of linguistic transparency.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:39 pm

I will maybe post more things later, but briefly: it is _extremely_ dubious to refer to "the set of all undecidable problems" as a "complexity class". I really enjoyed the tossup on that (at first I was thinking "oh cripes another question on either P or NP" and was very pleasantly surprised when I realized it was neither), but you should really come up with a better way to refer to the answerline. I spent a while thinking "hmm, I thought these problems were undecidable, but then what complexity class does that put them in? Does not compute!". Perhaps "one problem with this property".

There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often.

Also: In the one packet I read (ours, on our bye round), the power-marking was rather lazy, with a number of powermarks at the end of a sentence rather than immediately before a substantive word. This is perhaps related to Will's second minor nitpick.

EDIT: One more thing - it behooves everyone to remember that Hinduism (however defined) is an Important Thing, with literally over a billion adherents and much scholarly work devoted to the study of it. It makes me sad when objectively less-important religious traditions (Voodoo, Santeria, the Moonies, Zoroastrianism, etc.) get more distributional space than Hinduism. We only heard one bonus on it (the one on the Vedic tradition), so unless the packets we didn't play were chock-full of it, I'm going to go ahead and claim that this tournament's RM distribution was mis-subdistributed.

EDIT 2: the leadin to the "syllables" tossup in the Yale A packet was terrible. You can't just write "/ebzo/ and /ebuzo/" in the leadin - that's both famous and transparent!
Last edited by Excelsior (smack) on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:43 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:The KMT question said a Chinese word in the second clue, which seems like a bad idea because it radically condenses the answerspace. According to Matt Jackson and Jacob Reed, the particular Chinese word was an important place in Taiwan, which makes this even more ill-conceived.
I am totally fine if people know Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and can get power from putting two and two together. I am also OK if you can go, "wait, that's a vaguely Chinese sounding name. I'll buzz and say KMT." That strategy may not always work out for you.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Brian McPeak » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:01 pm

Excelsior (smack) wrote: There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often.
Okay. I wasn't familiar with it so I trusted the internet telling me that it has a name, but I do hate when math questions pretend things have names. It probably should have asked for a thing from that theorem that required knowing the theorem.
Excelsior (smack) wrote: Also: In the one packet I read (ours, on our bye round), the power-marking was rather lazy, with a number of powermarks at the end of a sentence rather than immediately before a substantive word. This is perhaps related to Will's second minor nitpick.
Do you mean the Yale A packet? I can't find many questions with powers ending at the end of sentences.

By the way, I liked:

[I have made a deliberate effort to write this question with no reference to any of that vilest of the "sciences," astrogeography. -AS]

on Venus
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:05 pm

Brian McPeak wrote: By the way, I liked:

[I have made a deliberate effort to write this question with no reference to any of that vilest of the "sciences," astrogeography. -AS]

on Venus
This was one of the plethora of entertaining comments that I read, including a discussion among three or four people agreeing that a bonus was too hard and should be changed (it wasn't), and a comment pointing out an inaccuracy in the lead-in to a music question that ended with "source: I play this piece".
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:19 pm

Do you mean the Yale A packet? I can't find many questions with powers ending at the end of sentences.
I do, yes. My memory might be off, though - it is entirely possible I saw one such question and then erroneously extrapolated to "you all suck at power-marking"; if so, sorry, my mistake.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:26 pm

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:The KMT question said a Chinese word in the second clue, which seems like a bad idea because it radically condenses the answerspace. According to Matt Jackson and Jacob Reed, the particular Chinese word was an important place in Taiwan, which makes this even more ill-conceived.
I am totally fine if people know Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and can get power from putting two and two together. I am also OK if you can go, "wait, that's a vaguely Chinese sounding name. I'll buzz and say KMT." That strategy may not always work out for you.
Are you really that okay with easy geography-based (or hell, language-based) fraud? This seems like a really, really low standard of knowledge in order to get power at a regular difficulty tournament. Egregiously misplaced clues like this remove a lot of the advantages that people who've studied Taiwanese history have over people who've looked at maps or even heard Chinese words before, since even people with lots of knowledge won't always know lead-ins.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:33 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:
Gonzagapuma1 wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:The KMT question said a Chinese word in the second clue, which seems like a bad idea because it radically condenses the answerspace. According to Matt Jackson and Jacob Reed, the particular Chinese word was an important place in Taiwan, which makes this even more ill-conceived.
I am totally fine if people know Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and can get power from putting two and two together. I am also OK if you can go, "wait, that's a vaguely Chinese sounding name. I'll buzz and say KMT." That strategy may not always work out for you.
Are you really that okay with easy geography-based (or hell, language-based) fraud? This seems like a really, really low standard of knowledge in order to get power at a regular difficulty tournament. Egregiously misplaced clues like this remove a lot of the advantages that people who've studied Taiwanese history have over people who've looked at maps or even heard Chinese words before, since even people with lots of knowledge won't always know lead-ins.
I assumed that this was the reason for "Volta" being just after power in the Nkrumah tossup, fwiw.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:35 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:Are you really that okay with easy geography-based (or hell, language-based) fraud? This seems like a really, really low standard of knowledge in order to get power at a regular difficulty tournament. Egregiously misplaced clues like this remove a lot of the advantages that people who've studied Taiwanese history have over people who've looked at maps or even heard Chinese words before, since even people with lots of knowledge won't always know lead-ins.
Oh, God.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by The Kirk Store Called » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:40 pm

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:The KMT question said a Chinese word in the second clue, which seems like a bad idea because it radically condenses the answerspace. According to Matt Jackson and Jacob Reed, the particular Chinese word was an important place in Taiwan, which makes this even more ill-conceived.
I am totally fine if people know Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and can get power from putting two and two together. I am also OK if you can go, "wait, that's a vaguely Chinese sounding name. I'll buzz and say KMT." That strategy may not always work out for you.
Many players may not be totally fine if a question by intentional design rewards knowledge of the quizbowl meta (aka. what difficulty is this tournament and what answers could be conceivably tossed up at the difficulty level I know this tournament is being run at) over actual knowledge of the subject. A player with a glancing familiarity with the Chinese language, very little knowledge about Taiwanese history, and familiarity with quizbowl meta will very easily beat someone with much much more knowledge on Taiwanese history. As such, it is a flawed history question and it's somewhat worrying if the history distribution was edited with that philosophy.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:44 pm

This may not be the best question ever, I haven't seen it. But discussing "quizbowl meta" seems particularly ill conceived--if anything, it may or may not be a misplaced clue.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:46 pm

kroeajueluo wrote:Many players may not be totally fine if a question by intentional design rewards knowledge of the quizbowl meta (aka. what difficulty is this tournament and what answers could be conceivably tossed up at the difficulty level I know this tournament is being run at) over actual knowledge of the subject. A player with a glancing familiarity with the Chinese language, very little knowledge about Taiwanese history, and familiarity with quizbowl meta will very easily beat someone with much much more knowledge on Taiwanese history. As such, it is a flawed history question and it's somewhat worrying if the history distribution was edited with that philosophy.
You played the set. Did you think the history was edited with this philosophy?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by The Kirk Store Called » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:48 pm

Cheynem wrote:This may not be the best question ever, I haven't seen it. But discussing "quizbowl meta" seems particularly ill conceived--if anything, it may or may not be a misplaced clue.
I initially suspected that it was a mere misplaced clue, but Dan's defense/justification of the reasons that I judged the clue to be misplaced seems to suggest otherwise.
Last edited by The Kirk Store Called on Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:50 pm

Dan said he thought the clue was in the appropriate place because you had to have some knowledge to get it.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:51 pm

kroeajueluo wrote:
Cheynem wrote:This may not be the best question ever, I haven't seen it. But discussing "quizbowl meta" seems particularly ill conceived--if anything, it may or may not be a misplaced clue.
I initially suspected that it was a mere misplaced clue, but Dan's defense/justification of the reasons that I judged the clue to be misplaced seems to suggest otherwise.
MY GOD. It's one question. You played the set. Was the history just geography bowl? I concede the question wasn't the greatest.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:58 pm

Here's the tu:

9. This organization’s close association with the Tenth Credit Cooperative led to scandal after that bank’s collapse. This party imprisoned eight opposition party members following a protest on Human Rights Day in the Kaohsiung Incident. This party’s monopoly on goods like cigarettes led to a backlash that culminated in forces loyal to this party massacring civilians in the 228 (*) Incident. The Democratic Progressive Party currently leads the opposition to this party’s Pan-Blue Coalition in its country’s parliament. Currently led by Ma Ying-jeou, for 10 points, name this political party founded by Sun Yat-sen and once led by Chiang Kai-shek, that has ruled Taiwan virtually unopposed since 1949.
ANSWER: Kuomintang of China (accept KMT or Guómíndǎng)
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:11 am

gonzagapuma wrote:You played the set. Did you think the history was edited with this philosophy?
Oh no, not at all! I wrote in the other thread that I think this set generally did a good job rewarding deep knowledge, albeit with some subdistributional issues in the world history department. I thought the relatively stingy powers that Stephen mentioned in the other thread were a reflection of this. I was pleased and satisfied with my powers when I got them (partly because I didn't end up getting this question), especially on history and was fine when I got 10 points, though I was surprised to only get 10 points for a middle buzz on Ayyuthaya.

I don't think this excuses any misplaced questions, though. The set ain't broke, but the individual parts could still use some fixing.
gonzagapuma wrote:MY GOD. It's one question
This thread is for discussion of individual questions, and I think this particular question should be edited. I've made an effort not to make enormous obnoxious metaposts with only brief criticisms and instead provide reasonably substantive critiques of a somewhat smaller number of questions, and I think this was particularly egregious (and it was the most aggravating question to play on all day).
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by The Kirk Store Called » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:12 am

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:MY GOD. It's one question. You played the set. Was the history just geography bowl? I concede the question wasn't the greatest.
If that's so, I don't see why the question flaw in mind needed to be defended as an intentional design choice instead fixed for future mirrors (the vast majority of places these questions will be read at). It's not like it's a personal slight to point out such a flaw, since an editor can't reasonably expected to be very familiar with every single language and subject area that is being used. It wasn't the question itself that I found particularly disappointing (errors are truly unavoidable and don't detract from the vast amount of work that the well-done majority of questions took), but the defense of that flaw as not a flaw at all.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:17 am

kroeajueluo wrote:
Gonzagapuma1 wrote:MY GOD. It's one question. You played the set. Was the history just geography bowl? I concede the question wasn't the greatest.
If that's so, I don't see why the question flaw in mind needed to be defended as an intentional design choice instead fixed for future mirrors (the vast majority of places these questions will be read at). It's not like it's a personal slight to point out such a flaw, since an editor can't reasonably expected to be very familiar with every single language and subject area that is being used. It wasn't the question itself that I found particularly disappointing (errors are truly unavoidable and don't detract from the vast amount of work that the well-done majority of questions took), but the defense of that flaw as not a flaw at all.
I'm pretty sure the point is that the clue you object to is not nearly as egregious of a "flaw" as you think.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:51 am

This isn't the worst thing in the world, but I do wish people wouldn't write questions like:
[10] Jacob is a professor at the fictional Wicomico State Teacher’s College in this state. Many of Barth’s novels are set in this state, including The Sot-weed Factor, in which the poet Ebenezer Cooke is named Poet Laureate of this state by Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore.
Rather than try to make an easy part in a bonus entirely on John Barth by dropping an obvious history clue at the end, it seems preferable to not write an entire bonus on John Barth. I feel like this happened several times in the set - perhaps not noticeably more than in most other sets, but it still seems like a poor idea to me.

On an unrelated note, from the otherwise fine Berkeley tossup (Harvard A/UVA B):
This philosopher posited that the ultimate cause of the motion of all bodies is the mind of God
Isn't this true of most of the occasionalists, too? Although they wouldn't need the qualifier "ultimate."

Minor catches: Bonuses 10 and 21 in the Louisville/Penn A packet both have parts on Robert Smithson. Bonus 19 (extracellular matrix / collagen / basement membrane) in Illinois A / Alabama / Yale B mentions "extracellular matrix" in the first part.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sam » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:25 am

Brian McPeak wrote:
Excelsior (smack) wrote: There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often.
Okay. I wasn't familiar with it so I trusted the internet telling me that it has a name, but I do hate when math questions pretend things have names. It probably should have asked for a thing from that theorem that required knowing the theorem.
Just for the record, we definitely learned this as being a named theorem in our class and I believe it's used in the Sergei Lang textbook. I wouldn't be surprised if people learned it without learning the name, but I don't think this is a case of Wikipedia or wherever labeling something for the sake of labeling.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:25 pm

I'm going to agree that that Berkeley leadin needs to be reworded, in part because Berkeley didn't believe that "bodies" existed at all! I decided to not buzz on it, hoping it wasn't the leadin for a Malebranche tossup (as indeed it was not).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say I agree with Will that in the particular cases he pointed out (the KMT and Zoroastrianism tossups), the words he mentioned came too early. In part because Zoroastrianism is asked about very often in quizbowl anyway, and contains many distinctive-sounding proper nouns, the sound of those Indo-Iranian-y words plus the tipoff "this religion" is a peculiar instance where I expect many teams will buzz from the cadence of the words they're hearing. I'd suggest that reworking the question so the first two to three lines don't include any proper nouns isn't actually too much effort, but of course it's your call ultimately. I'd say Kaohsiung is probably fine as the first word out of power, but dudes, it is a really big city that people still go to. "Crop duster plane" could also stand to be moved down three or four lines in the North by Northwest tossup.

Kirk: Just as a heads-up / in case anyone gets confused, "quizbowl meta" generally refers to quizbowl questions on quizbowl in-jokes, not the general metagame of the game itself or playing strategy. As far as I can tell, this set was free of meta, as all sets should be.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:12 pm

My fault about the Parfit bonus. I meant to change it and apparently never did. It'll be something easier for future mirrors.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:03 pm

RyuAqua wrote:As far as I can tell, this set was free of meta, as all sets should be.
True, but there was the delightful bonus about Chris Ray and Arun Chonai using an Edgeworth box to determine how to split up candy.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:17 pm

gamegeek2 wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:As far as I can tell, this set was free of meta, as all sets should be.
True, but there was the delightful bonus about Chris Ray and Arun Chonai using an Edgeworth box to determine how to split up candy.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:42 am

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:
gamegeek2 wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:As far as I can tell, this set was free of meta, as all sets should be.
True, but there was the delightful bonus about Chris Ray and Arun Chonai using an Edgeworth box to determine how to split up candy.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Oh, we didn't reach that one. It's pretty lame, though.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:05 pm

Matt Jackson has no time for the time honored quizbowl tradition of Chris Ray jokes.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:47 pm

Would one of the editors post the Zinoviev/NKVD/Molotov bonus and the TU on Chronicle of a Death Foretold? I think the wording for the NKVD part was slightly weird, but that just might have been exhaustion.

On bonuses: There was a lot of variability in the hardness of bonuses. For example, there were bonuses that I thought hit regular difficulty perfectly (Delius/On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring/Romeo and Juliet and Trifles/O'Neill/Desire Under the Elms spring to mind as examples) and then bonuses like the Murakami bonus that was way above regular difficulty. Sometimes bonuses had some middle parts that missed the mark (Beneath the Wheel/Hesse/Narcissus and Goldmund-what is supposed to be the middle part of this bonus?).

Other than some of the bonus variability, though, I had a fun time playing this tournament.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:58 pm

The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi wrote:Would one of the editors post the Zinoviev/NKVD/Molotov bonus and the TU on Chronicle of a Death Foretold? I think the wording for the NKVD part was slightly weird, but that just might have been exhaustion.
In this novel, one character deals with the pain of “pissing ground glass” after contracting blennorrhea in the army. In this novel’s first chapter, the protagonist grabs a maid’s crotch while telling her that it is time for her to be tamed. The widower Xius dies in this novel after one character tries to buy his house, and that character wins a music-box for his love interest by buying all the tickets at a raffle. This book begins with the main character dreaming of (*) birds shitting on him from a tree. The main events of this novel occur while a bishop is greeting the townspeople via steamboat and are precipitated by Bayardo San Roman returning Angela to her mother. For 10 points, name this novella in which the Vicario twins murder Santiago Nasar for deflowering their sister, a work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
ANSWER: Chronicle of a Death Foretold (or Crónica de una muerte anunciada)

Answer the following about the angriest man in the USSR, Andrei Vyshinsky. For 10 points each:
[10] As Prosecutor General, Vyshinsky got the chance to orchestrate the Trial of the Sixteen, where he undoubtedly enjoyed calling this man a “mad dog” and a “contemptible pygmy.” This Old Bolshevik was executed along with his ally Lev Kamenev.
ANSWER: Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev (or Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum)
[10] Two years later, Vyshinsky got another chance to shout a lot when he accused Genrikh Yagoda of poisoning his predecessor at the Trial of the Twenty One. Yagoda had served as the head of this non-KGB agency which handled stuff like fire fighting and political murder until it was dissolved in 1946.
ANSWER: NKVD (accept People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, or Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del)
[10] Vyshinsky maybe never got a chance to call this man a “stinking pile of human refuse,” but he did succeed him as Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1949. This diplomat’s non-Vyshinsky-related accomplishments include signing of a certain non-aggression pact with Joachim von Ribbentrop.
ANSWER: Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:09 pm

Ok, I just missed things due to exhaustion and not really hearing our last moderator. For what it's worth, I liked both of those questions!
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by The Ununtiable Twine » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:48 pm

Sam wrote:
Brian McPeak wrote:
Excelsior (smack) wrote: There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often.
Okay. I wasn't familiar with it so I trusted the internet telling me that it has a name, but I do hate when math questions pretend things have names. It probably should have asked for a thing from that theorem that required knowing the theorem.
Just for the record, we definitely learned this as being a named theorem in our class and I believe it's used in the Sergei Lang textbook. I wouldn't be surprised if people learned it without learning the name, but I don't think this is a case of Wikipedia or wherever labeling something for the sake of labeling.
This theorem's name is noted in most complex analysis texts that I've used.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:47 am

The Ununtiable Twine wrote:
Sam wrote:
Brian McPeak wrote:
Excelsior (smack) wrote: There was also a bonus in the Illinois B / Penn B packet that was on complex analysis and whose third part was something that sounded like "Rouche's theorem". This theorem is very much a thing, but I don't think it is given a name very often.
Okay. I wasn't familiar with it so I trusted the internet telling me that it has a name, but I do hate when math questions pretend things have names. It probably should have asked for a thing from that theorem that required knowing the theorem.
Just for the record, we definitely learned this as being a named theorem in our class and I believe it's used in the Sergei Lang textbook. I wouldn't be surprised if people learned it without learning the name, but I don't think this is a case of Wikipedia or wherever labeling something for the sake of labeling.
This theorem's name is noted in most complex analysis texts that I've used.
Okay, I guess that was just a case of me not knowing a thing. My mistake!
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:24 am

I was asked to provide some science commentary. I'll go packet by packet.

PACKET 1:
-This one is ours. I didn't write the Salat tossup, though the science is mine.

PACKET 2:
-I don't know enough about the leadins to this Arrhenius tossup to say whether these particular applications are notable. Suffice to say this is probably the hardest Arrhenius equation tossup I've ever seen.
-I'm not sure what it says about quizbowl that PKC and "paired with phosphate" is in power for calcium, but the EF-hand isn't. You learn the former in an AP biology class, while I only learned about the EF-hand much later.
-Enamines are an excellent hard part. So's the adjoint
-A Real Physicist might disagree with me, but I was thinking of "connection formulae" on this Airy functions bonus part. Are connection formulae always Airy functions?
-Romilayu is a ridiculously difficult third part

PACKET 3:
-The quantum hall effect tossup seems to focus on named things without describing them. Granted, describing the Laughlin wavefunction is almost impossible in text, but...
-Saajid was of the opinion that a description of the Third Law of Thermodynamics shouldn't be in power for a Nernst tossup. I'm not sure I agree, but it's worth thinking about.
-Cubane is an excellent hard part, though having both currying and algol in this bonus seems unforgiving.

PACKET 4:
-This cubes tossup was very cool; I thought it was very creative and pyramidal at the same time.
-It would have been helpful if the line about the Transit agreement in this East Germany tossup somehow distinguished East and West Germany, maybe mentioning one of the officials involved or something.
-Why is "Moonies" a prompt?
-I found this index of refraction tossup to have a very stingy power.
-Free radicals was very well written; I like how you led in with a mechanism clue.
-Optical tweezers is a great idea for a hard part
-In my opinion, Philosophical Explanations without Nozick is pretty difficult.
-I said "cyclization" for cycloaddition; I believe one is the subset of another. I said it because I've heard it called the Huisgen cyclization.
-This adverse selection bonus part was confusing. Saajid seemed to think the question text was distinguishing between ex ante and ex post adverse selection, and so simply said "ex ante" but didn't get a prompt or points.

PACKET 5:
-Schroedinger equation tossup was quite good
-Coelenterazine! Everyone loves things that glow.
-I think the Lapiths question has one of those leadins that almost entirely unmemorable. I think at least two of my teammates have read the Georgics and didn't manage to figure this out.
Last edited by Sima Guang Hater on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:01 am

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:-Cubane is an excellent hard part
I wrote that! Cubane is awesome; I'm glad it met with your approval.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:56 pm

Some nitpicky things that I can remember

How did that tossup on Pyroxene play out elsewhere?

The tossup on Gauguin describes the figure in spirit of the dead watching as the girl's mother but this is DEFINITELY not true

tossup on ants calls the Myrmekes Indikoi just "Indikoi" presumably because you don't want to literally give a word for ant but since myrmekes indikoi just means indian ants I'm questioning the use of that as a name
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Charbroil » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:29 pm

Shouldn't "Nationalist Party" be acceptable for KMT?
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:18 pm

Martha Dreyer wrote:How did that tossup on Pyroxene play out elsewhere?
Seemed hard. I used process of elimination on the Bowen's reaction series.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:25 pm

The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was not a “dynasty”; the name, like Angkor etc. comes from a city, not some people.

Most of the music questions (especially tossups) in this tournament seemed to suffer from problems of wording. An example (Harp):
Two of these instruments played in contrasting directions are used to symbolize the wind The “Waltz of the Snowflakes” from The Nutcracker is interrupted by two of these instruments playing passages in opposite directions.
I think these clues were meant to be conflated? In any case “contrasting directions” as opposed to “opposite” is confusing, as is “passages”—that happens precisely once. Also, what are they playing in opposite directions? Saying “diminished seventh chords arpeggios” or something is much more evocative.

If you want another example, (Resurrection Symphony) “a collaboration between a flute and a piccolo”—nobody talks like this.

But there were also a lot of fairly serious errors and badnesses of wording.

Violin concerti: this description
The sections of a work of this type are played unimpeded, with a cadenza leading into its Andante sostenuto second section.
of the Glazunov concerto is awfully vague, as is the description
the F major Adagio second movement of that work of this type begins by introducing a theme with a solo oboe
—this is true of many Romantic orchestral works (the most useful clue to me seems to be “F major”). I have also never heard anybody make the assertion that Brahms used actual Gypsy tunes in the Concerto (not just the “Gypsy style”), nor heard anybody say that the Brahms is actually the last violin concerto to “leave a cadenza to be improvised,” but that could be true.

C.P.E. Bach/Israelites in the Desert/Art of Fugue?? I’m glad that you think that C.P.E. Bach is tossupable (isn’t that what a middle part basically means?), I guess; I’m even more glad that you think The Art of Fugue is a great easy part.

I would like to protest some specific things about the Israelites in the Desert part:

1. It doesn’t include anything substantive about it. It seems like Wikipedia has appropriated some remark in Groves’ about the fact that there is, unusually, a bassoon obbligato to mean that that obbligato is famous, which it very much is not. It is probably not a good idea to take Wikipedia’s word for such things.
2. This piece is not particularly important in the context of music history unless one is a C.P.E. Bach specialist. Considering how much more famous his keyboard music is/the fact that pretty much only his instrumental music is played or analyzed with anything remotely approaching regularity, this seems ill-advised to begin with.

Bruckner: So I’m guessing that the first clue
trumpet triplets close the first movement.
refers to the first symphony? Then some extramusical clues (which are fine) from the eighth (I can’t even find the scherzo’s theme in the E Minor mass, so if whoever wrote this could tell me where they got that from, I would be delighted—and why couldn’t you at least say that it appears in the scherzo)? Then a not-very-famous/widely adopted nickname for the second? I was pretty frustrated by this question. Why not drop more memorable clues from the symphonies of his that people actually listen to most (e.g. 4/7/8)? Just as an example: in both the fourth and seventh symphonies, the opening has low tremolo strings and a horn playing the melody (doubled by cello in 7)—or even just the fact that like four of his most famous symphonies (4, 7, 8, and 9) begin with strings playing a quiet tremolo and then the melody entering.

Schoenberg:
Chains of falling fifths and arpeggios in muted pianissimo characterize the last movement of a string quartet by this composer
this opening line is just not right, if we claim “characterize” to have any more meaning than “are present in”—and if we claim that meaning for it (or if we use it however this question is using it), this is not exactly unique. Also, I only find a very small number of “chains of falling fifths” (two?), but I could be very wrong.

Reading this question now, the clue about the ensemble of Pierrot Lunaire still seems misplaced (it certainly belongs after the song titles chosen). And the clue about the first few notes of the piece is wrong: the last note is a G-natural, not a G-sharp. Even weirder is this error in the Verklärte Nacht clues:
A vocalist asks another to (*) “look, how brightly the universe shines” in a work by this man which contains a controversial inverted ninth chord.
So, aside from the fact that the powermark is placed before the quotation from the Dehmel poem (???)…is there an edition of this with “vocalists” actually singing? If so, it’s neither of the two versions that I know about, and maybe not even by Schoenberg?
Oh, wait, you call it a “string sextet” a line later.

Mannheim Rocket/K. 550/Schubert:
this device, found at the beginning of Beethoven’s first piano sonata, which consists of a crescendoing arpeggio
—funny how Beethoven’s first piano sonata just begins with an arpeggio, no crescendo until m. 31. I’m just wondering why this clue was included, because it doesn’t even sound like a Mannheim Rocket—who was this supposed to help? Where did this come from? Looking at Wikipedia:
Its influence can be found at the beginning of the 4th movement of Mozart's Symphony No. 40 as well as the very start of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1.
I’ll dispute the fact that the Beethoven is influenced by anything but the notes of K. 550 in this particular piece, but that’s a separate issue from the fact that this sentence states influence, not presence.

This Schubert part has me convinced that whoever wrote this either does not know what a crescendo is, or doesn’t know what an arpeggio is: if they knew the former, they wouldn’t have said that the Trout Quintet begins with a Mannheim Rocket; if they knew the latter, they would wonder why there was a geographically specific term for a basic element of music, since this question seems to have been written by someone who thinks that a Mannheim Rocket is just an arpeggio.

Shostakovich Symphonies: this first clue is about the second symphony, not the first (which has neither whistle nor chorus).

Czerny/Liszt/Waltz: Czerny did not debut the Emperor concerto; he gave the Vienna premier.
I’m wondering about the standard that labels the first Transcendental Étude the “simplest” (length?? It’s pretty hard…)—and why this question does not just state “the first.”
An imitation of a violin tuning up represents the ensuing fervor of a Liszt work of this type
—I’m sure this is just a typo. Also, only the orchestral version is called “The Dance in the Village Inn.”

I appreciate that the Ravel question is conscious of some its own faults, but…why were they not fixed then? And then:
A series of arpeggios and arabesques occupy the pianist in a composition
—maybe this is the great definitive example of “non-unique” I’ve been looking for.

Delius/“On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”/Romeo and Juliet—middle part? Also, I didn’t know that “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring” had movements (and I would assert that it’s his most famous composition, but I could be wrong).

The Planets:
One interpretation of this piece clarifies its seemingly illogical structure in terms of the opposite traits of its movements.
I hope it doesn’t need clarification why this is unbuzzable (or even wrong? I have no idea what it’s even saying).
The shortest movement of this work is in 6/8 and features sections in both simple and compound time.
I take back my comment about “the great definitive example of non-unique.”
Otherwise, this question bothers me mostly because, for a very large portion, it’s not about the music itself, but I understand that some people prefer music questions to be “less technical.”

Oxford/Haydn/Military:
The Count d’Ogny commissioned the creation of this symphony, which opens in tonic G major and modulates through to the parallel minor and dominant. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this last completed symphony by its composer, whose third movement is a minuet and trio that is unusually in ternary form.
First off, neither of the leadin clues are unique, but I guess that's fine. I don’t hear ternary form at all in this minuet, although the phrase structure is kinda cool. Wait, I forgot, this was written in 1789 and Haydn’s 104th symphony was written in 1795, making it very much not Haydn’s last completed symphony.

Balakirev: I have no idea what is so unusual about including two trumpet parts in a symphony, and the clue about different sets of rehearsal numbers is frankly ridiculous. Islamey does not have separate movements. My biggest complaint about this question is that it just has a lot of really really quizbowl-hard stuff that people do not play, listen to, or think about all that much, making it written for…whom?

"Revolutionary" Étude/"Minute" Waltz/Chopin: this is a total clusterfuck. The first part:
Name this piece, in which a dominant seventh chord builds up to the main theme. This piece requires the left hand to constantly play sixteenth notes, as well as numerous difficult harmonic minor scales.
I’m wondering how I got this bonus part. My guess: this was a Chopin Étude, given the Godowsky clue in the leadin. There is a dominant seventh chord at the beginning of Op. 10/12, yes. Does it “build up to” the main theme? No, but it sort of almost does! The left hand also plays sixteenth notes for almost all of that piece, yes. Does it play harmonic minor scales ever? No, but it sort of outlines them! Perhaps, then, this question could be reworded as
“Name this piece that begins with a dominant seventh chord, and in which the left hand constantly plays sixteenth notes that often outline a harmonic minor scale.”
This is still not great unless you know that this is a Chopin Étude, making a good chunk of this bonus part dependent on Godowsky knowledge.
This 138-measure-long D-flat major piece by the same composer as the Revolutionary Étude is sometimes named after a “little dog” that supposedly inspired its composer.
Again, no actual clues about the music (who the fuck memorizes the number of measures in a piece??? It’s not like that helps us get to “it’s short”—138 is a big number!).

Tchaikovsky: I don’t see how the interval that kicks off Souvenir de Florence “disrupts” anything—I’m hearing it as sort of an impulse that gets the piece moving. I also don’t see how that way of wording this clue is particularly useful.

Passions: I’m liking that Guerrero is clued, but I’m not sure that this was helpful to that many people. Then:
A setting of one of these pieces
Proofreading is a thing.
Oboes are paired with double flutes…chorale Herr, unser Herrscher.
Maybe “Oboes are doubled by flutes” which is like the least unique clue ever. Also, “chorus”≠“chorale”
“written for double choir” implies that it’s a capella, or that the chorus sings most of the music.
Maybe “which uses two choruses and orchestras” etc.

Rachmaninoff bonus: “three fortissimo octave chords”: one pitch is not a chord; this is really confusing, as it makes it sound like the chord “AG#C#” is being played three times.

Bartók: this, like the rest of the editor’s questions, is ok (maybe the other errors are just the result of non-editing? That's bad for other reasons). However, some major issues:
This composer of Music for Strings, Percussion, and (*) Celesta used the “intermezzo interrotto” fourth movement of one piece to parody the “invasion theme” from the Leningrad Symphony
OK, for starters, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta is way too early.
Also, please stop perpetuating the myth that Bartók was parodying Shostakovich! If you read the preface to the score (written by his son), you'll find that it explicitly states that they were both parodying the same Lehár source.
[EDITS: removed some badnesses of wording]
Last edited by vinteuil on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:39 pm

vinteuil wrote:badnesses of wording.
take it from one who knows, I guess!

EDIT: on the other hand, most of those errors in the Schoenberg question were mine. Sorry about that!
EDIT2: for the bonus, I suppose I'll plead ignorance--I basically just looked up "where are some mannheim rockets" and tried not to fill the parts with lies. I don't think the errors were such that anyone was made unable to convert the bonus parts, but I guess it's a good learning experience.
EDIT3: On the other hand, stuff like:
This 138-measure-long D-flat major piece by the same composer as the Revolutionary Étude is sometimes named after a “little dog” that supposedly inspired its composer.
Again, no actual clues about the music (who the fuck memorizes the number of measures in a piece??? It’s not like that helps us get to “it’s short”—138 is a big number!).
...is the sort of nitpicky "music mafia" stuff that annoys people far more than it helps them. The clues may be slightly suboptimal, but they're not untrue or useless, and acting like this is a great crime isn't particularly productive.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:48 pm

Ukonvasara wrote:I don't think the errors were such that anyone was made unable to convert the bonus parts.
That was true for me at least; a fair number of these were just "this question was really hard to understand" not "this question was rendered unanswerable altogether."
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:52 pm

Ukonvasara wrote: EDIT3: On the other hand, stuff like:
This 138-measure-long D-flat major piece by the same composer as the Revolutionary Étude is sometimes named after a “little dog” that supposedly inspired its composer.
Again, no actual clues about the music (who the fuck memorizes the number of measures in a piece??? It’s not like that helps us get to “it’s short”—138 is a big number!).
...is the sort of nitpicky "music mafia" stuff that annoys people far more than it helps them. The clues may be slightly suboptimal, but they're not untrue or useless, and acting like this is a great crime isn't particularly productive.
Hmm, I guess I meant that this question was in fact totally useless to anyone who hasn't heard the "little dog" thing (I asked a few pianists, and some had no clue). Sorry, this did in fact come off as a nitpick the way I wrote it—I should have been more clear.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:13 pm

For what it's worth (and I have no dog in this fight), I believe that the clue about the cadenza in Brahms's violin concerto is correct. See, e.g., http://cso.org/uploadedFiles/1_Tickets_ ... ncerto.pdf.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:35 pm

Thanks! "Last major concerto"—makes a lot of sense, and it's a cool fact to know.
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