ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

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ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:17 pm

This thread is for commentary on individual questions, including aspects such as answer choice, difficulty, clarity, clue ordering, etc. For matters of factual accuracy, please comment in the corrections thread.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Wynaut » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:48 pm

Two tossups (Chinese rail and Manchukuo) mention the Lytton report, although I don't think mentioning one will instantly give away the other.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:07 pm

I think the lead-in to the "cutting hair" tossup is confusing. I guess it's technically correct that the black witch's blood (and the other stuff mentioned, which I don't remember) is required by Ysbadadden for shaving his hair, specifically, it is also a requirement for "marrying Olwen" or "winning the hand of somebody's daughter" or even "beheading someone" (the answer I gave, since Ysbadadden cannot give Olwen away without also having to lose his head).

I don't think enough information was given to clarify this (i.e. I don't recall the tossup saying, "to do this non-marriage, non-fatal action" or something that could rule out the other possibilities). But beyond that, it seems pretty unreasonable to ask people to differentiate between 40 tasks assigned to Culhwch by Ysbadadden and figure out, "Oh, those are the ones for shaving the guy's beard!" at game speed.

Is this just sour grapes on my part because I negged the question?

Separately, I thought the Durer tossup had a misplaced lead-in. It's pretty famous that he puts his monogram in all of his engravings, and Adam and Eve is one of his better-known works.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:08 pm

I already mentioned this to you, but the clue about meta-language and object language in the "truth" tossup is not specific enough, since those concepts are used to characterize meaning in general, in many different contexts. It's true that Tarski used them in his paper on truth, but there's no way to get there from the clue if you know what meta-language and object language are.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Inifinite Jest » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:28 pm

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:I already mentioned this to you, but the clue about meta-language and object language in the "truth" tossup is not specific enough, since those concepts are used to characterize meaning in general, in many different contexts. It's true that Tarski used them in his paper on truth, but there's no way to get there from the clue if you know what meta-language and object language are.
Could someone post this tossup. I've been reading a book about Davidson's truth-conditional semantics and also found this tossup a little confusing.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Amizda Calyx » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:12 pm

Were there, like, any unique clues for the "transplant rejection" tossup? This was the most absurdly bad bio question I have ever seen in a tournament, including high school-edited ones and VETO. I don't understand how this got through even the most minimal of editing.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by sonstige » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:29 pm

I'm a bit surprised that my "minivans" TU made it into the final edit of the set; I hope it amused some people out there (while invariably annoying others). At the very least, I hope it inspires some people to look up the respective music videos from which the clues were derived.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:44 pm

gyre and gimble wrote:I think the lead-in to the "cutting hair" tossup is confusing. I guess it's technically correct that the black witch's blood (and the other stuff mentioned, which I don't remember) is required by Ysbadadden for shaving his hair, specifically, it is also a requirement for "marrying Olwen" or "winning the hand of somebody's daughter" or even "beheading someone" (the answer I gave, since Ysbadadden cannot give Olwen away without also having to lose his head).

I don't think enough information was given to clarify this (i.e. I don't recall the tossup saying, "to do this non-marriage, non-fatal action" or something that could rule out the other possibilities). But beyond that, it seems pretty unreasonable to ask people to differentiate between 40 tasks assigned to Culhwch by Ysbadadden and figure out, "Oh, those are the ones for shaving the guy's beard!" at game speed.

Is this just sour grapes on my part because I negged the question?
Specifically, my copy of the Mabinogion (trans. Sioned Davies) has Ysbabadden telling Culhwch that "I must dress my beard to be shaved. It will never straighten out until you get the blood of the Very Black Witch..," and Charlotte Guest's translation is "I must spread out my hair in order to shave it, and it will never be spread out unless I have the blood of the jet-black sorceress".

The tossup itself says
Editors 1 wrote:In the Mabinogion, a giant warns a cousin of King Arthur that it is not possible to perform this action unless the blood of the Very Black Witch from Pennant Gofid is kept warm
In retrospect, it probably would have helped to say "physically impossible," but if there's any ambiguity in the tossup, it's that "straightening out Ysbabadden's beard" would also have been acceptable on the first line. Ysbabadden is not telling Culhwch that he can't marry his daughter or cut off his head without the blood of the black witch, and I feel like saying that clue is not specific is like saying the clue "A man with this power died while drinking from a spring at Tilphussa" is not specific because Tiresias is able to do many other things, such as eating, besides prophecy.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Bloodwych » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:08 pm

Amizda Calyx wrote:Were there, like, any unique clues for the "transplant rejection" tossup? This was the most absurdly bad bio question I have ever seen in a tournament, including high school-edited ones and VETO. I don't understand how this got through even the most minimal of editing.
I'm no scientist, but it seems like the some of the clues point to more than one answer.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:08 am

There was a bonus which mentioned artwork found on Swiss money in the lead-in, and then asked for Switzerland as the second part of the bonus.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Vinjance » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:10 am

Did the question about artists named Jeff accept any of the last names of the artists? It seems silly for someone to know Koons, not know his first name, and be robbed of points.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by gettysburg11 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:20 am

cruzeiro wrote:There was a bonus which mentioned artwork found on Swiss money in the lead-in, and then asked for Switzerland as the second part of the bonus.
Yeah, that was weird. I don't remember which packet this was, but I remember the answerlines were Walking Man/Switzerland/Cartier-Bresson if that helps in finding it at all.

I'll see if I have any more comments after I run back through my notes.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:47 am

The TWA Flight Centre comes up in both the Finland and Airports architecture tossups.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:04 am

Vinjance wrote:Did the question about artists named Jeff accept any of the last names of the artists? It seems silly for someone to know Koons, not know his first name, and be robbed of points.
How is it being robbed of points when you're playing a tossup that repeatedly says "this first name" and you buzz and give something that isn't the artist's first name?! It's not really justifiable to not be able to do that either since it takes maybe 15 seconds at most to look up an artist's full name, and if you've ever actually encountered the artist to some degree while learning/learning who sculpted a thing you almost certainly should be able to see his full name
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:07 am

christino wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote:I think the lead-in to the "cutting hair" tossup is confusing. I guess it's technically correct that the black witch's blood (and the other stuff mentioned, which I don't remember) is required by Ysbadadden for shaving his hair, specifically, it is also a requirement for "marrying Olwen" or "winning the hand of somebody's daughter" or even "beheading someone" (the answer I gave, since Ysbadadden cannot give Olwen away without also having to lose his head).

I don't think enough information was given to clarify this (i.e. I don't recall the tossup saying, "to do this non-marriage, non-fatal action" or something that could rule out the other possibilities). But beyond that, it seems pretty unreasonable to ask people to differentiate between 40 tasks assigned to Culhwch by Ysbadadden and figure out, "Oh, those are the ones for shaving the guy's beard!" at game speed.

Is this just sour grapes on my part because I negged the question?
Specifically, my copy of the Mabinogion (trans. Sioned Davies) has Ysbabadden telling Culhwch that "I must dress my beard to be shaved. It will never straighten out until you get the blood of the Very Black Witch..," and Charlotte Guest's translation is "I must spread out my hair in order to shave it, and it will never be spread out unless I have the blood of the jet-black sorceress".

The tossup itself says
Editors 1 wrote:In the Mabinogion, a giant warns a cousin of King Arthur that it is not possible to perform this action unless the blood of the Very Black Witch from Pennant Gofid is kept warm
In retrospect, it probably would have helped to say "physically impossible," but if there's any ambiguity in the tossup, it's that "straightening out Ysbabadden's beard" would also have been acceptable on the first line. Ysbabadden is not telling Culhwch that he can't marry his daughter or cut off his head without the blood of the black witch, and I feel like saying that clue is not specific is like saying the clue "A man with this power died while drinking from a spring at Tilphussa" is not specific because Tiresias is able to do many other things, such as eating, besides prophecy.
My point is that Ysbadadden won't let Culhwch marry Olwen until he brings all this stuff to shave Ysbadadden's beard. So everything that's required for shaving his beard is also required for marrying Olwen. Ysbadadden is, in fact, telling Culhwch he can't marry Olwen without the blood of the black witch.

It's not fair to compare this to eating v. prophecy because it's deliberately stupid to buzz in on a tossup about "this ability" with "eating." But answers of "marrying another's daughter" or "beheading" are things that are specifically important to the Culhwch and Olwen story--they're not things that just anybody would do without any consequence to the myth's plot or structure.

Let's try a more appropriate example. Suppose you have the clue, "Psyche listens to the advice of a voice in a tower and collects a cake to perform this action." Your answerline is "getting past Cerberus." If someone buzzes there and answers, "going to the underworld," would you neg them? Or, if your answerline is "going to the Underworld," and someone answered with "retrieving Proserpina's beauty," what would you do? Just like you don't physically need the black witch's blood to marry Olwen, you don't physically need to distract Cerberus with a cake in order to ask Proserpina for her beauty. But it's absurd to reject any of the above answers, since they're all correct. Hence the ambiguity.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:31 am

Stephen's right here. No it's not sour grapes the clue sucks for the reason that iss outlined above. Also, what is up with the tournament having a Mabinogion tossup whose leadin is incredibly easy, and then someone digging up "you must know the Nth of Xth item specifically and what the text says" in order to not be fooled by the question? Like I'm a bit confounded - if you're a myth editor, you should probably know that the first clue is too easy by one line, and the second clue is way too hard due to the mental gymnastics involved!

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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:42 am

Inifinite Jest wrote:
women, fire and dangerous things wrote:I already mentioned this to you, but the clue about meta-language and object language in the "truth" tossup is not specific enough, since those concepts are used to characterize meaning in general, in many different contexts. It's true that Tarski used them in his paper on truth, but there's no way to get there from the clue if you know what meta-language and object language are.
Could someone post this tossup. I've been reading a book about Davidson's truth-conditional semantics and also found this tossup a little confusing.
Here's the original version:
J.L. Austin defined this property as the correlation between demonstrative and descriptive conventions. A paper titled for this concept uses three-value logic to create “fixed-point semantics”. One thinker argued that statements about this are made in a meta-language about an object language. Bertrand Russell used the sentence “Bishop Stubbs was hanged for murder” to attack a definition of this as “coherence”. Late in life, Heidegger rejected his own definition of this property as “disclosedness” or “aletheia”. Kripke wrote an “Outline to a Theory of” this property, of which Tarski introduced a “semantic conception”. The problem of self-reference and this property is called the “liar’s paradox”. For 10 points, “correspondence theory” defines what property as “agreement with reality or fact”?
ANSWER: truth [accept word forms like “being true”; accept “correspondence theory of truth”, before “three-value”]
I assumed that players would go: "Well, he already said "semantics", and this is clearly describing a "semantic conception of X", and there's a really important semantic conception of truth." But in retrospect, you guys are right: that phrasing is just dumb. I'll revise the clue to read:
A 1933 paper defines this property as holding for X if and only if X appears in a metalanguage.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:00 am

gyre and gimble wrote: Separately, I thought the Durer tossup had a misplaced lead-in. It's pretty famous that he puts his monogram in all of his engravings, and Adam and Eve is one of his better-known works.
Yeah, I had reservations about this lead-in, because it's real-life famous. But I got the impression that this is not quizbowl famous, and I thought it would reward people who know Durer for real and don't get their facts about him from quizbowl. Did this cause buzzer race issues or were you just surprised to see it so early?
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:59 pm

13. Masculine a-stem nouns in this language were distinguished from feminine a-stems in the nominative through the addition of an –s in analogy with the o-stems. One dialect of this language used the obsolete letter san. Another dialect of this language lost the letter to express the /w/ sound, which came to represent the number “6” instead. The loss of the aspirate “h” sound in Eastern dialects of this language is called: psilosis. Besides Classical Armenian, it is the only extinct Indo-European language to use “e” as an augment to express the past tense. One dialect of this language was written in the script Linear B. This language used a Phoenician-derived alphabet in all dialects except for Arcado-Cypriot. For 10 points, name this language, which was classically divided into Aeolic, Doric, and Ionic.
ANSWER: Ancient Greek [or Classical Greek; prompt on “Greek]
I found this tossup frustrating because it takes a clue that is very difficult if you haven't actively studied Ancient Greek and then follows it with a mention of Linear B.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by wcheng » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:59 pm

I had an issue with two history tossups in the tournament, which I believed used misleading clues that were, while being correct, suggestive of other answerlines.

1. If I remember correctly, the history tossup on Ethiopia used the Adal Sultanate being located in Ethiopia as a clue. Although the Adal Sultanate was located in Ethiopia, it was also located in Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia. Since Zeila, its capital, was located in Somalia, and it was mostly a Somali and Arab state, I decided to buzz in with Somalia.

2. The Manchukuo tossup referred to the "Five Races Under One Union" flag and motto, which I think was a good but flawed idea since the Republic of China used the "Five Races Under One Union" flag and motto first. For that reason, I buzzed in with Republic of China.

While I'm sure these clues were all fine in context, in a vacuum they were rather ambiguous.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:09 pm

I mean, it's a historical linguistics tossup on Ancient Greek that includes a clue or two that you don't necessarily need to know historical linguistics to get. But even then, you don't really need to have "studied Ancient Greek" to know some of these clues:
"Masculine a-stem nouns in this language were distinguished from feminine a-stems in the nominative through the addition of an –s in analogy with the o-stems."
This tells you that the language has gender in its nouns and has words that end in -as and -os. There's a LOT of those in Greek and you'll probably have encountered some of them having listened to mythology or history questions and looked up non-Latinized names (Dionysos, Pyrrhos, Alexandros, etc.)
Besides Classical Armenian, it is the only extinct Indo-European language to use “e” as an augment to express the past tense.
This tells you the language is extinct! That's a big one! It sure as hell rules out Lithuanian, for one.

EDIT:

I agree with the criticism of the Adal Sultanate clue. Also, I'll apologize for the clue about the "five races under one nation" motto, since I wrote that tossup for our packet and put the clue in, though the question was heavily edited otherwise.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by gyre and gimble » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:13 pm

ThisIsMyUsername wrote:
gyre and gimble wrote: Separately, I thought the Durer tossup had a misplaced lead-in. It's pretty famous that he puts his monogram in all of his engravings, and Adam and Eve is one of his better-known works.
Yeah, I had reservations about this lead-in, because it's real-life famous. But I got the impression that this is not quizbowl famous, and I thought it would reward people who know Durer for real and don't get their facts about him from quizbowl. Did this cause buzzer race issues or were you just surprised to see it so early?
I was just surprised to see it early, and then when someone told me about the second clue (can't remember what that was right now) I concluded that the clue was misplaced within the tossup as it was written (as opposed to the tossup just being easy). But no, it didn't cause gameplay issues in our match.

I do think, though, that Durer is famous enough that plenty of people in quizbowl know him "for real," in that they've gone and looked up enough of his works to realize that he's got a monogram that he incorporates into almost all of his works. Maybe if the question stopped at describing the parrot and didn't mention that it was Adam whose arm is doing [something] (sorry, I didn't hear the rest of the tossup) the clue would be okay because you're not giving players the extra piece to confirm that the signature is in fact Durer's, without actual knowledge of the engraving.

Sort of a nitpick, I guess. Just wanted to point out that your reasoning is in general a good way to go about these questions, but probably only for artists who aren't high-school-level famous.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Cold Stone Steve Austin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:20 pm

Regarding the Armenian clue in the Ancient Greek tossup, my knowledge is rusty regarding whether it's talking about aorist or imperfect or present perfect or pluperfect or whatever, but I'm taking a course on the history of Ancient Greece this quarter and my professor mentioned that Armenian was the closest remaining relative to Ancient Greek after the extinction of Phrygian, so that part of the clue was somewhat helpful.

EDIT: Oh I see, the augment epsilon is added to the front of the aorist tense; I think that if you dropped the word aorist in that clue, it's not that much of an issue since aorist is harder than Linear B.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Vinjance » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:03 am

Black Miao wrote:
Vinjance wrote:Did the question about artists named Jeff accept any of the last names of the artists? It seems silly for someone to know Koons, not know his first name, and be robbed of points.
How is it being robbed of points when you're playing a tossup that repeatedly says "this first name" and you buzz and give something that isn't the artist's first name?! It's not really justifiable to not be able to do that either since it takes maybe 15 seconds at most to look up an artist's full name, and if you've ever actually encountered the artist to some degree while learning/learning who sculpted a thing you almost certainly should be able to see his full name
I was talking about someone not knowing an artists full name and being unable to buzz in to get points, not someone failing to hear the question properly and giving the wrong information. I don't think you can assume that an artist's first name should be known easily, considering first name is rarely required in an answerline and it is very trivial compared to the actual works that the artist created.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:13 am

Many artists are sufficiently famous that their first name is part of common parlance; I'd argue that Jeff Koons easily falls under that umbrella (whereas someone like Giovanni Bellini would not).
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Jem Casey » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:36 am

Michigan A + Georgetown A wrote:In one work, this philosopher considers the objection that a square tower might appear round from a distance.
The leadin to the George Berkeley tossup was pretty misleading since the square/round tower example was first used by Epicurus for his "all sense-perceptions are true" argument.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:24 am

Vinjance wrote:
Black Miao wrote:
Vinjance wrote:Did the question about artists named Jeff accept any of the last names of the artists? It seems silly for someone to know Koons, not know his first name, and be robbed of points.
How is it being robbed of points when you're playing a tossup that repeatedly says "this first name" and you buzz and give something that isn't the artist's first name?! It's not really justifiable to not be able to do that either since it takes maybe 15 seconds at most to look up an artist's full name, and if you've ever actually encountered the artist to some degree while learning/learning who sculpted a thing you almost certainly should be able to see his full name
I was talking about someone not knowing an artists full name and being unable to buzz in to get points, not someone failing to hear the question properly and giving the wrong information. I don't think you can assume that an artist's first name should be known easily, considering first name is rarely required in an answerline and it is very trivial compared to the actual works that the artist created.
Any serious discussion of an artist's work will use their first and last name at a minimum unless of course they are mononymic. While I can understand your bit of frustration, I think this question is fair and Black Miao is right that saying you were "robbed" is silly.

Also contra Cody...you will use Giovanni Bellini's first name the most when discussing him to disambiguate him from all the other members of the Bellini family.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:57 am

Jem Casey wrote:
Michigan A + Georgetown A wrote:In one work, this philosopher considers the objection that a square tower might appear round from a distance.
The leadin to the George Berkeley tossup was pretty misleading since the square/round tower example was first used by Epicurus for his "all sense-perceptions are true" argument.
Argh, sorry about that. Berkeley was fond of using that example, but never credited it to Epicurus. I guess I'll have to find a new lead-in.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:09 am

I think the Weber clue in the piano concerto tossup could have used a "it's not related to clarinets" warning, since he also wrote two clarinet concertos and a concertino.

The bioinformatics bonus I submitted specifically tried to refer to protein BLAST so people didn't confuse it with nucleotide blast. Though the matrices mentioned in the edited question were clearly protein, I think anyone familiar with the field but not have the matrices memorized would have no idea if it was 20 or 4. Also, both AAs and proteins felt like easy parts.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Picasso's Middle Name » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:15 pm

The Last 21 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: The bioinformatics bonus I submitted specifically tried to refer to protein BLAST so people didn't confuse it with nucleotide blast. Though the matrices mentioned in the edited question were clearly protein, I think anyone familiar with the field but not have the matrices memorized would have no idea if it was 20 or 4.
I agree with this. I answered with 4 instead of 20, but that's probably just on me for not knowing the matrices better, and this is just sour grapes for not getting the points.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by ThisIsMyUsername » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:17 pm

The Last 21 Stanley Cup Winners wrote:I think the Weber clue in the piano concerto tossup could have used a "it's not related to clarinets" warning, since he also wrote two clarinet concertos and a concertino.
The clue is: "Weber’s Konzerstuck in F minor is sometimes unofficially considered his third one of these pieces." If you decide to just buzz on the name Weber and say something related to clarinets, because you don't know what the Konzertstuck in F minor actually is, your neg is well deserved.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:49 pm

Picasso's Middle Name wrote:
The Last 21 Stanley Cup Winners wrote: The bioinformatics bonus I submitted specifically tried to refer to protein BLAST so people didn't confuse it with nucleotide blast. Though the matrices mentioned in the edited question were clearly protein, I think anyone familiar with the field but not have the matrices memorized would have no idea if it was 20 or 4.
I agree with this. I answered with 4 instead of 20, but that's probably just on me for not knowing the matrices better, and this is just sour grapes for not getting the points.
You're looking at this wrong. If you know that PAM or BLOSUM specifically encode amino acid substitutions, you can figure out that they're 20x20 (since there are 20 standard amino acids). You don't have to have the matrices memorized to understand how they work.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Kasper Kaijanen » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:18 pm

I thought it was sort of weird that two bonuses in the same packet had "witches" as their easy part.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:20 pm

Sic Semper Fidelis wrote:I thought it was sort of weird that two bonuses in the same packet had "witches" as their easy part.
The funniest part of this was that there was another bonus in the packet that referenced witchwood.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by Edmund » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:02 am

From the reader's perspective, the "give a formula" part of the Beer's law bonuses seemed confusing. Besides sounding difficult to parse when read aloud, I don't think that it's generally agreed that the base of the exponent in Beer's law is decadic rather than natural. I note that Wikipedia suggests that "absorbance" is decadic (as distinct from "optical depth") and the IUPAC Gold Book recommends a decadic base, but since the correction would introduce only a constant multiplier to the exponent, it would seem harsh not to accept answers of the form e^(-x).
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by The Abydos Helicopter » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:04 pm

As much as I enjoyed buzzing on it, the first clue for Meleager is definitely too easy. It's a major point in Homeric scholarship, the importance of paragdeigmata in the Iliad of which Phoenix's elaboration and alteration of the Meleager myth is the best example.
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by swaymun.shahee » Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:46 pm

For the tossup on O(n log n), would "n ln n" be acceptable? Also would you be able to post the tossup?
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Re: ACF Regionals 2016 Individual Question Discussion

Post by armitage » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:23 pm

swaymun.shahee wrote:For the tossup on O(n log n), would "n ln n" be acceptable? Also would you be able to post the tossup?
It should, because the log base does not affect the complexity

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This isn't important anymore (although the set doesn't seem to have been released on 2/7 as stated), but I just got a chance to take a closer look at the bonus part on "asthma" and see that all three of its clues evidently apply to a range of lung conditions including COPD, bronchitis, etc, and probably could have benefited from more reverse clue lookup. It would have been amusing (bad) if this affected the outcome of our very close game against Northwestern. I get that the bio was intended to be "ok" but I thought it'd be worth pointing out in case you guys had to write bio in the future
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