PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

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PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:28 pm

This thread is for discussing specific questions from Penn Bowl 2017. Any commentary regarding answer choice, difficulty, clarity, etc. is welcome.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:08 am

Did the bonus part on Celibidache really describe him as Roman, or was that a reader / player problem?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:51 am

Penn Bowl Packet 11 wrote:[10] Name this idiosyncratic Romanian conductor who became the conductor of Berlin Phil after Leo Borchard was killed at a traffic stop. This spiritual conductor is probably best known for his distaste for recording performances and rebuilding the Berlin Philharmonic after WWII.
ANSWER: Sergiu Celibidache
Must have been a moderator error.

EDIT: word
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:47 am

Can I see the tossup on phonons? I wanted to see what made the first clue phonons and not superfluids. Thanks!
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by wcheng » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:42 pm

Could someone please post the bonus part on "internalizing externalities"?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by cwasims » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:58 pm

I thought there was a lot of good writing in this set in my categories (history and classical music, mostly). I particularly enjoyed the tossup on the Seljuks and the bonus on Nazi-era conductors. That being said, there were several questions that I think had some issues.

The hieroglyphics/Egyptian history bonus was far too easy, in my opinion. Jean-François Champollion is very famous for translating the Rosetta Stone, and I initially thought that part was the easy part, which instead turned out to be an even easier question on the Pyramids of Giza. The “hard” part on Memphis was also quite easy, from what I recall.

For the Charter of Rights and Freedoms question, you should be aware that the “notwithstanding clause” is very famous among Canadians (in fact, it’s being used right now to justify Quebec’s niqab ban). I’m sure every room at the Canadian site powered it on that clue. Not sure if this is a big deal given we’re such a small demographic, but I thought I should let you know.

Also in a Canadian vein, I thought the lead-in on “Paris Peace Conference” was very easy given that Margaret Macmillan is one of the world’s foremost historians and many people are quite familiar with her work. I would imagine it’s also pretty fraudable given the title of the work is “Peacemakers”.

The “sign language” tossup had a fairly steep difficulty drop when you mentioned Nicaragua, given that the development of the Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua is quite famous. You could add in a clue somehow alluding to the Lenguaje/Idioma distinction (the former is the initial pidgin).

I thought there was a lot of early music in this set (Purcell, Corelli, L'homme armé bonus, two Bach bonuses iirc). Although important, I think it’s slightly over-represented given everything else to cover. In particular, I don’t seem to recall much specifically on either Mozart or Beethoven besides a few clues here and there. There was definitely some good opera content, although the first round essentially had 2/1 opera given that the giveaway for Weber was about opera.

There seemed to be very few geography questions, and it also seemed as though the Thames tossup in the first round was geography despite using mostly historical clues from what I recall (there was another British history tossup that same round). I don’t recall too many economics questions either.

Thanks for an enjoyable set overall.
Last edited by cwasims on Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:40 pm

Glad you enjoyed the set, Christopher.

The ancient Egyptian history bonus was intended to have Memphis as middle and translating hieroglyphics as hard. I don't have much real knowledge of Egyptian archaeology, so it is certainly possible that the hard part was not difficult enough. I don't think it is quite as easy as you seem to have considered it--it is almost certainly at least harder than a middle part--but I will think about swapping it out for something harder.
Penn Bowl 2017 Packet 11 wrote:16. Due to anger about missile testing, Peter Greyson dumped red paint on a physical copy of this document. Parts of this document can be overridden under the “notwithstanding clause.” This document has an amending formula of 7/50 (seven-fifty), and its interpretations evolve under the “Living Tree Doctrine.” The “Beau risqué” strategy supported changes in this document that Rene Levesque (le-VEK) had earlier tried to veto. A crisis over it was triggered due to the use of “ministers without portfolio” when Julian (*) Byng refused to dissolve Parliament. This document’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms was passed as part of its 1982 repatriation. The Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord were both failed attempts to amend this document. For 10 points, name this document that provides the framework for the governance of a country with a capital at Ottawa.
ANSWER: Canadian Constitution [or Constitution Act 1982; Constitution Act 1867; Canada Act 1982; accept Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms before mention]
I'm not surprised that the Canadians murdered the Canadian Constitution tossup, but I think it is about correct in pyramidality for the American audiences. The Notwithstanding Clause could possibly be swapped with the next clue, since I wasn't sure what its relative famousness was with respect to the next clue.

I wasn't actually sure exactly how famous Margaret MacMillan was. I had read her book on Versailles in a class, but I was afraid that the first clue was too obscure and that I was universalizing my experience. I'm fine with people getting that tossup on the first line if they knew that Margaret MacMillan wrote a book about Versailles. I don't think it ought to be especially fraudable given that it could be any peace treaty/conference.

You're right that there wasn't a ton of geography. We only had 2/2 geography, of which one tossup was indeed the Thames tossup. The Geo and Current Events had to share a 1/1 slot with Trash, which is why it got a bit of short shrift.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:58 pm

I wouldn't otherwise comment on an individual bonus's difficulty, but since Christopher brought it up -- I think you (Jason) are, in fact, overestimating how hard "translating hieroglyphics" is.

Could I see the religion tossups on powder and water? They may have been fine, but for some reason, in-game it felt like they didn't play too well. It's hard to evaluate without seeing them.

EDIT: missing word
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:03 pm

Muriel Axon wrote:I wouldn't otherwise comment on an individual bonus's difficulty, but since Christopher brought it up -- I think you (Jason) are, in fact, overestimating how hard "translating hieroglyphics" is.
Ok, I believe that. Would it be better if I had _Champollion_ as the hard part?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:30 pm

Great End wrote:
Muriel Axon wrote:I wouldn't otherwise comment on an individual bonus's difficulty, but since Christopher brought it up -- I think you (Jason) are, in fact, overestimating how hard "translating hieroglyphics" is.
Ok, I believe that. Would it be better if I had _Champollion_ as the hard part?
That would certainly be better. My intuition about how hard _Champollion_ would be (given all the most obvious clues, stated plainly) is much weaker than my intuition about the part as-is, though my n=1 experience still suggests that it would be easy for a hard part.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:51 pm

Great End wrote:Glad you enjoyed the set, Christopher.

The ancient Egyptian history bonus was intended to have Memphis as middle and translating hieroglyphics as hard. I don't have much real knowledge of Egyptian archaeology, so it is certainly possible that the hard part was not difficult enough. I don't think it is quite as easy as you seem to have considered it--it is almost certainly at least harder than a middle part--but I will think about swapping it out for something harder.
Penn Bowl 2017 Packet 11 wrote:16. Due to anger about missile testing, Peter Greyson dumped red paint on a physical copy of this document. Parts of this document can be overridden under the “notwithstanding clause.” This document has an amending formula of 7/50 (seven-fifty), and its interpretations evolve under the “Living Tree Doctrine.” The “Beau risqué” strategy supported changes in this document that Rene Levesque (le-VEK) had earlier tried to veto. A crisis over it was triggered due to the use of “ministers without portfolio” when Julian (*) Byng refused to dissolve Parliament. This document’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms was passed as part of its 1982 repatriation. The Meech Lake Accord and Charlottetown Accord were both failed attempts to amend this document. For 10 points, name this document that provides the framework for the governance of a country with a capital at Ottawa.
ANSWER: Canadian Constitution [or Constitution Act 1982; Constitution Act 1867; Canada Act 1982; accept Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms before mention]
I'm not surprised that the Canadians murdered the Canadian Constitution tossup, but I think it is about correct in pyramidality for the American audiences. The Notwithstanding Clause could possibly be swapped with the next clue, since I wasn't sure what its relative famousness was with respect to the next clue.

I wasn't actually sure exactly how famous Margaret MacMillan was. I had read her book on Versailles in a class, but I was afraid that the first clue was too obscure and that I was universalizing my experience. I'm fine with people getting that tossup on the first line if they knew that Margaret MacMillan wrote a book about Versailles. I don't think it ought to be especially fraudable given that it could be any peace treaty/conference.

You're right that there wasn't a ton of geography. We only had 2/2 geography, of which one tossup was indeed the Thames tossup. The Geo and Current Events had to share a 1/1 slot with Trash, which is why it got a bit of short shrift.
I'm a Canadian law school student, so take with grain of salt, but I think I would swap those two clues.

I thought using Margaret MacMillan was fine as a lead-in - can't speak to America, but at least in this country I think it likely someone interested in modern history would encounter her (I read her book on Nixon in China for a high school class). My only comment is that her book is literally titled "Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World" as opposed to "Peacemakers" in various editions (from ISBN codes, it looks like Peacemakers is the title used in UK editions, while this side of the Atlantic is generally Paris 1919)...which confused the heck out of me hearing it live.

Overall, I have no complaints - this was a fun set.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by a bird » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:47 pm

techno wrote:Can I see the tossup on phonons? I wanted to see what made the first clue phonons and not superfluids. Thanks!
If I remember correctly, the first line refereed to packets of phonons [these things] being exchanged, resulting in second sound (a phenomenon that can happen in some solids as well as superfluids). A process happening by the exchange of "packets of superfluids" doesn't make any physical sense, so the clue doesn't apply to superlfuids. This was also negged in my room, and I think the clue was a bit neg-baity since second sound is widely clued for superfluids.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Off To See The Lizard » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:14 pm

a bird wrote:
techno wrote:Can I see the tossup on phonons? I wanted to see what made the first clue phonons and not superfluids. Thanks!
If I remember correctly, the first line refereed to packets of phonons [these things] being exchanged, resulting in second sound (a phenomenon that can happen in some solids as well as superfluids). A process happening by the exchange of "packets of superfluids" doesn't make any physical sense, so the clue doesn't apply to superlfuids. This was also negged in my room, and I think the clue was a bit neg-baity since second sound is widely clued for superfluids.
I made this exact same neg. I think Graham's recollection is basically correct.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:27 pm

cruzeiro wrote:
I thought using Margaret MacMillan was fine as a lead-in - can't speak to America, but at least in this country I think it likely someone interested in modern history would encounter her (I read her book on Nixon in China for a high school class). My only comment is that her book is literally titled "Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World" as opposed to "Peacemakers" in various editions (from ISBN codes, it looks like Peacemakers is the title used in UK editions, while this side of the Atlantic is generally Paris 1919)...which confused the heck out of me hearing it live.

Overall, I have no complaints - this was a fun set.
Oh shoot you're right I used the British title of the book. I'll revise the line to "Margaret MacMillan’s most famous book, subtitled "Six Months that Changed the World," is about this event."
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:12 pm

Some random other comments:

Could I see the question on W. D. Hamilton? I recall enjoying it -- Hamilton was extremely influential and made many contributions beyond the few that regularly come up, so it was a good idea and the clues seemed to be well thought-out. I just want to see what the first clue or two were referring to.

I think the question on meta-ethics played poorly. I can't imagine someone buzzing early -- say, on the Mackie clue -- and producing "meta-ethics" without at least first being prompted. To me, that seems like a poor choice of an answer line, even though the material in the tossup was well-chosen and important. I felt good about most of the philosophy questions otherwise.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:20 pm

Penn Bowl 2017 Packet 8 wrote:15. With Sasaki and Ubeda, this scientist proposed the idea of “pacemaker islands” that restore genetic diversity in models of host-parasite evolution. This scientist used the life table of Taiwanese people to show how the forces of natural selection scale over age in one article. This scientist posited that secondary sexual ornamentation is a signal of disease and parasite resistance with Marlene Zuk. One result named for this scientist is usually formulated as “C is less than r times B”, where r is the (*) coefficient of relatedness. That result, first published in “The genetical evolution of social behavior”, was summarized by J. B. S. Haldane as he’d die for two brothers or eight cousins. For 10 points, name this evolutionary biologist whose namesake rule is used to quantify kin selection.
ANSWER: William Donald Hamilton
Penn Bowl 2017 Packet 6 wrote:19. Richard Garner and Bernard Rosen categorize problems in this field of study as semantic, ontological, or epistemological. J.L. Mackie used the “argument from queerness” to argue for an error-theoretic view of this field, challenging rival views in this field like emotivism. A central question in this discipline comes from a text about a man who allowed a murderer to die in a ditch from exposure; that is the (*) “Euthyphro Problem,” which asks, do the gods love what is pious because it is pious, or is the pious pious because the gods love it? Different stances in this field include naturalism and skepticism. Non-realists in this field argue either that moral claims are not truth-apt or that they are truth-apt, but all false. For 10 points, name this field of ethics more abstract than either normative or applied ethics.
ANSWER: metaethics [prompt on “ethics,” generously prompt on “metaphysics”; prompt on more specific issues like “moral epistemology” or “moral psychology”; do not prompt on viewpoints like “moral nihilism”]
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:10 pm

cwasims wrote: I thought there was a lot of early music in this set (Purcell, Corelli, L'homme armé bonus, two Bach bonuses iirc). Although important, I think it’s slightly over-represented given everything else to cover. In particular, I don’t seem to recall much specifically on either Mozart or Beethoven besides a few clues here and there. There was definitely some good opera content, although the first round essentially had 2/1 opera given that the giveaway for Weber was about opera.
There was a bonus on Beethoven's 5th, but Mozart did not appear in the tournament other than a mention in the Sinfonia Concertante bonus. I couldn't think of any good late clues on Weber without cluing his operatic works, but you're right that it skews the distribution somewhat.
Penn Bowl Packet 8 wrote: 10. Density fluctuations in packets of these entities result in wavelike conduction in a process known as second sound. Scattering of these entities in an inelastic manner increases thermal resistivity at high temperatures and is known as umklapp. For a basis of two atoms in the primitive cell, the type of these entities with a nonzero frequency at the center of the first Brillouin zone is known as their (*) optical type. Multiplying the density of states of these entities by their energy, integrating up to their cutoff frequency, and differentiating gives a temperature-cubed dependence of heat capacity at low temperatures in the Debye model. For 10 points, name these quasiparticles which correspond to the vibrational modes of a lattice.
ANSWER: phonons
Penn Bowl Packet 3 wrote: 4. Harold Demsetz’s “Towards a Theory of Property Rights” theorizes that in the absence of these entities, the exchange of property results in an efficient outcome. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these things whose absence is also felt in the Coase Theorem. Coase himself later said his theorem didn’t apply in the real world because you can’t describe a world without these.
ANSWER: transaction costs
[10] The Coase Theorem made its first appearance in “The Problem of Social Cost,” an extremely highly cited article in this university’s law review. This university’s namesake school of economics included Milton Friedman.
ANSWER: The University of Chicago [or UChicago; or U of C]
[10] This situation occurs when external costs borne by a third party are shifted back to the party that created them. Coase argued that low transaction costs make outside intervention to accomplish this unnecessary.
ANSWER: internalize the externalities [accept word forms for both words; accept phrase variations like the externalities are internalized; prompt on “internalize” alone]
Last edited by Hobbie Klivian on Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by wcheng » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:23 pm

I have to admit, I wasn't really fond of the third part of the transaction costs bonus, because I was prompted when I answered with "internalizing" and had no idea what the question wanted, since I thought that when "external costs" were mentioned, it was implicit that those would be what is internalized.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:51 pm

Penn Bowl 2017 Packet 8 wrote:15. With Sasaki and Ubeda, this scientist proposed the idea of “pacemaker islands” that restore genetic diversity in models of host-parasite evolution.
Okay, the rest of this question clues good and important things, and of course seeing Hamilton-Zuk clued gave me great joy, as Penn Bowl is unwittingly playing into my devious plan to make UMN's EEB department dominate ecology / evolution quizbowl. But digging up the paper this clue is based on -- it only has 44 citations?! Why do this? Hamilton did so much important work -- his classic paper on non-Fisherian sex ratios, his model of dispersal with Bob May, etc. -- I'm not sure why it made sense to dig up this Proc B paper that nobody has heard of. Unless it's a recent, high-profile discovery, I don't think it ever makes much sense to cite a specific paper in EEB, or probably any other science, with so few citations.

I don't want to belabor this point, because this is a quite good question otherwise, but for some reason, people keep doing this in ecology / evolution questions.

Re: internalizing the externalities, I think Sam Bailey had the same issue -- got "internalizing the costs," was confused by what more they wanted.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by cruzeiro » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:45 pm

In case this hasn't been caught yet, Bonus 20 of Pack 14 incorrectly claims that Nikos Katzantzakis wrote The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Noble Rot » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:12 pm

I just want to say that for the most part, I enjoyed the history in this set, especially the tossups on "Mehmet Ali" and "Schools" in France (I'm pretty sure this one was a replacement tossup that got used in my room, but I'm not certain.)

Could someone please post the tossups on "bassoons" and "Massenet"? I remember being confused by a middle clue in the latter tossup.

Thanks!
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:01 pm

Penn Bowl Packet 4 wrote: 12. The third movement rondo of a trio sonata for this instrument, oboe, and piano was modeled after Saint-Saens's second piano concerto; that work was composed by Francis Poulenc. John Williams wrote a concerto called The Five Sacred Trees for Judith LeClair, who is currently the New York Phil’s principal chair for this instrument. Prokofiev transcribed the Humoresque Scherzo from his Ten Pieces for Piano for four of these instruments, and a (*) lengthy melody by this instrument can be heard in the entirety of the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony. This instrument introduces the full main theme representing the walking brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. For 10 points, name this double-reed woodwind instrument that plays an unusually high solo at the beginning of The Rite of Spring.
ANSWER: bassoon
In hindsight, this tossup is probably a lot harder than it should be; I couldn't clue Concerto for Orchestra or Scheherazade due to both of these being mentioned somewhere else, but I'll see if I can add some more middle clues.
Penn Bowl Packet 1 wrote: 5. An aria by this composer was the inspiration for the lyrics of “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson. In one of this composer’s operas, a man demands that the protagonist dispose of a statuette of Eros before they are nearly stoned to death. In another of this man’s operas, three actresses reappear in various scenes, including a night of gambling that goes awry. The protagonist of that opera sings “Adieu, notre petite table” when she decides to betray her lover. That opera by this man ends with the death of a young woman in the arms of her former lover, (*) des Grieux, before she is to be deported. For the intermezzo of one of his operas, this composer symbolized the thoughts of a titular courtesan on the verge of conversion in an oft-performed concert piece called Meditation. For 10 points, name this composer of operas such as Thais (ta-is) and Manon.
ANSWER: Jules Massenet
I didn't write this, but most of the middle clues are on Manon.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Noble Rot » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:39 pm

Wes Janson wrote:
Penn Bowl Packet 4 wrote: 12. The third movement rondo of a trio sonata for this instrument, oboe, and piano was modeled after Saint-Saens's second piano concerto; that work was composed by Francis Poulenc. John Williams wrote a concerto called The Five Sacred Trees for Judith LeClair, who is currently the New York Phil’s principal chair for this instrument. Prokofiev transcribed the Humoresque Scherzo from his Ten Pieces for Piano for four of these instruments, and a (*) lengthy melody by this instrument can be heard in the entirety of the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony. This instrument introduces the full main theme representing the walking brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. For 10 points, name this double-reed woodwind instrument that plays an unusually high solo at the beginning of The Rite of Spring.
ANSWER: bassoon
In hindsight, this tossup is probably a lot harder than it should be; I couldn't clue Concerto for Orchestra or Scheherazade due to both of these being mentioned somewhere else, but I'll see if I can add some more middle clues.
Penn Bowl Packet 1 wrote: 5. An aria by this composer was the inspiration for the lyrics of “O Superman” by Laurie Anderson. In one of this composer’s operas, a man demands that the protagonist dispose of a statuette of Eros before they are nearly stoned to death. In another of this man’s operas, three actresses reappear in various scenes, including a night of gambling that goes awry. The protagonist of that opera sings “Adieu, notre petite table” when she decides to betray her lover. That opera by this man ends with the death of a young woman in the arms of her former lover, (*) des Grieux, before she is to be deported. For the intermezzo of one of his operas, this composer symbolized the thoughts of a titular courtesan on the verge of conversion in an oft-performed concert piece called Meditation. For 10 points, name this composer of operas such as Thais (ta-is) and Manon.
ANSWER: Jules Massenet
I didn't write this, but most of the middle clues are on Manon.
I'll say that the bassoon tossup did seem hard to me, but I'm not a great music player, so take from that what you will.

As to the Massenet - Yeah, I think I mixed up Manon with La Traviata in my head for some reason.

Thanks for posting the questions!
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:37 am

Thanks, I knew I was missing something
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:59 am

Muriel Axon wrote:Okay, the rest of this question clues good and important things, and of course seeing Hamilton-Zuk clued gave me great joy, as Penn Bowl is unwittingly playing into my devious plan to make UMN's EEB department dominate ecology / evolution quizbowl. But digging up the paper this clue is based on -- it only has 44 citations?! Why do this? Hamilton did so much important work -- his classic paper on non-Fisherian sex ratios, his model of dispersal with Bob May, etc. -- I'm not sure why it made sense to dig up this Proc B paper that nobody has heard of. Unless it's a recent, high-profile discovery, I don't think it ever makes much sense to cite a specific paper in EEB, or probably any other science, with so few citations.
This was on me. I forgot about his work on sex ratios, didnt know the dispersal thing, and that paper was interesting.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Taper or die. Can you do any less? » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:23 pm

I think the tossup on "Judges" opened with a clue that was true of Jael and not Deborah (unless it quoted from the Song of Deborah). If I'm right, then that's a problem because Jael is not a judge.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Benin Rebirth Party » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:57 pm

The tossup on "festivals" was a great idea but didn't mention either Academic Festival Overture or the arguably most well known festival, Bayreuth. Giveaway didn't even namedrop "Roman Festivals", pre-giveaway was a score clue of Gymnopedies and then you have to connect that to it being written for a festival.

Two of our games against Toronto was decided on early buzzer races on Canadian stuff, but that's probably more our issue than issues with the questions.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Milhouse » Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:42 pm

Could I see the tossups on (films with) multiple endings and the Sun?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by t-bar » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:35 pm

I enjoyed this set a lot, and I heard multiple interesting and rewarding questions in pretty much all the categories I know anything about. I may have more comments later, but I want to point out two things that affected gameplay for us, and should probably be tweaked for the few future mirrors.

1. In packet 5, tossup 19 ("four [dimensions]" in math), it's not clear in the following two clues whether you're referring to the dimension of the sphere itself (which is three) or the dimension of the space in which it is embedded (which is four):
The Hopf fibration is a map from a sphere * in this many dimensions to a sphere in one fewer dimensions [...] The volume of a unit sphere * in this many dimensions is pi squared over two.
I think adding the word "embedded" at the two starred locations would clear up the ambiguity.

2. In packet 8, bonus 4, part 2, the underlining should be "Weber's law," not "Weber's law," and going by Wikipedia, "Weber-Fechner law" should also be on the answerline. I know this is obvious to most experienced mods, but our reader was tripped up when I just said "Weber." If this is a consistent underlining choice throughout the set (I haven't checked thoroughly, but I see that ideal gas law is also underlined in packet 5, bonus 5.2), it should be changed.

More generally, I think the set could be improved by a once-over to add more liberal NAQT-style prompts. Glancing through the two aforementioned packets, for example, I'd appreciate an explicit prompt for "recombination" on packet 5, bonus 1.2, either a prompt or an antiprompt for "Edmonds-Karp (algorithm)" on packet 5, bonus 11.2, and some line ensuring that "specific heat capacity" (all three words!) is an acceptable answer to packet 8, bonus 8.2. Even for prompts that seem to be common sense, it can't hurt to include them.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Aaron's Rod » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:56 pm

t-bar wrote:I2. In packet 8, bonus 4, part 2, the underlining should be "Weber's law," not "Weber's law," and going by Wikipedia, "Weber-Fechner law" should also be on the answerline. I know this is obvious to most experienced mods, but our reader was tripped up when I just said "Weber." If this is a consistent underlining choice throughout the set (I haven't checked thoroughly, but I see that ideal gas law is also underlined in packet 5, bonus 5.2), it should be changed.
Yeah, this happened in at least one other science part--it may have been packet 4 bonus 8 part 1 on _restriction enzymes_, but the question said "this class of enzymes" and the team just said "restriction." (I don't remember if that was the exact scenario, but it was something analogous.)

I'm also here to do my usual begging for more pronunciation guides (and, if dreams really do come true, syllable separator dots for long science words). The examples that made it into my notes were the "progesterone" tossup in packet 1, "Cwmrhydyceirw" in packet 3 tossup 19, and two instances in which there was a " 3' " where it may not have been obvious to the moderator to say "three prime" (or at least, that's what I said). One of those was in packet 4, the other I lost track of. I know you don't have many mirrors left, but I think one more scan would really be useful to those future moderators, and when the rest of us read the rest of the set for fun.

Most importantly, packet 11 bonus 4 part 3 is an incomplete sentence.

Thanks so much to the writers for all of the hard work you put into this set!
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by jmarvin_ » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:22 pm

perhaps this is really just faulting myself for not playing optimally, or presuming that some pieces of information are more widely-known than they actually are, but there were a few questions where a clue which i thought was too obvious to be placed early convinced me that the tossup couldn't possibly be about the answer which it was, indeed, about. the only particular instance of this i remember at the moment was the tossup on freud, which had the thing about "the original sin" being "patricide" or whatever in the second line or so, which seemed like a ridiculously early place to put a clue directly related to freud's work on one of his central concepts (of course, the oedipus complex) in a tossup on him. if i remember more of these i'll mention them i guess

the meta-ethics tossup is a kind of cool idea in principle but in my experience metaethical problems are often pursued outside of the field of self-titled meta-ethics as general ethical problems, or maybe even as "foundational" problems in ethics, without conceiving them as "meta-ethics." that's not to say that "meta-ethics" isn't a self-aware sub-discipline to whatever extent, as is the case in the analytic branch, but yeah, especially in continental philosophy and academic theology, the questions of the origins and epistemological dynamics of ethics are pursued by thinkers who wouldn't reflect on themselves as doing "meta-ethics."

now, this would be irrelevant if the question was written entirely using clues from the analytic sub-sub-discipline of meta-ethics, but it's not: from the third sentence forward the middle of this tossup is arguably true of ethics in general (the euthyphro problem isn't just important to analytical meta-ethicists). the giveaway was problematic in that saying "more abstract than..." doesn't really mean anything useful, even if it is true. even "name this field of ethics that studies the parameters and origins of ethics as such and ethical concepts" or whatever better equivalent would be perhaps wiser as a gettable giveaway, even if nobody in the room has ever heard of "meta-ethics."

one other thing i remember: someone on my team answered the question on the solomonic dynasty by saying "solomonid," and the moderator very nearly didn't accept it. this should probably be noted in the answer-line as an alternate form

anyway, it was a very fun tournament; thanks to the writers for their efforts. i thought a lot of the tossups were very cool, really dug the bonus on feminist epistemology (even if it was read to the other team), and i was glad to see slightly more continental philosophy than usual (even if still not enough). i'll come back with more comments if any come to mind
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:26 am

In the same vein as several comments above, it would be nice to be prompted on "materialism" for eliminativism.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:38 am

Also, the bonus part on the Assyrian god should make it clear that some people might (however incorrectly) pronounce it "Assur" (especially since we don't call them "Ashyrians"!).
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by shmno » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:00 pm

Could I see the tossups on "complex analysis" and the music one on "2"? I recall buzzing early on the former because it sounded like going around a boundary gave you information about poles, and I think the latter had a giveaway of something like "this is the number of instruments that play in pairs" which was effectively "How many instruments are in a pair?"
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by khannate » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:25 am

Penn Bowl, Packet 1 wrote:One theorem in this field states that under certain hypotheses, if a function g is strictly smaller than a function f on the boundary of a region, then f and f plus g have the same number of zeroes in that region. The fundamental theorem of algebra can be proven as a corollary of a theorem from this field by arguing that the reciprocal of a polynomial with no zeroes would have to be bounded, and thus (*) constant. The main objects of study in this field satisfy the relations u sub x equals v sub y and u sub y equals negative v sub x. Those are the Cauchy-Riemann equations, which determine when a function is analytic, or equivalently holomorphic. For 10 points, name this branch of mathematics that extends the results of real analysis to functions over C.
ANSWER: complex analysis [prompt on just “analysis”]
The first clue is about Rouche's theorem, which isn't strictly about going around a boundary to get information about poles, but does have the general complex-analytic flavor of boundary conditions telling you about things in the interior. That being said, a. it seems unlikely to me that someone would have that intuition codified and linked to complex analysis in their head, but not be familiar with the statement of Rouche's theorem and b. I think that kind of knowledge is deep enough to warrant being in the first line.
Penn Bowl, Packet 12 wrote: Virgil Thomson infamously dismissed Sibelius’s symphony of this number as “vulgar” and “self-indulgent” in his debut review for the New York Herald Tribune. The second movement of that symphony of this number was inspired by an earlier sketch called “Christus.” Boulez wrote this many books of Structures for two pianos. It’s not twelve, but Shostakovich’s symphony of this number was composed to celebrate (*) the anniversary of the October Revolution. One symphony of this number uses a harp and a clarinet to imitate the chiming of Big Ben; that work is Ralph (raif) Vaughn Williams’s A London Symphony. For 10 points, name this number of instruments that play in pairs in Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra.
ANSWER: two
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by shmno » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:09 pm

a. it seems unlikely to me that someone would have that intuition codified and linked to complex analysis in their head, but not be familiar with the statement of Rouche's theorem.
That's me - I've taken two complex analysis courses, but both were at the introductory level (one was a part of a general analysis sequence) so we didn't get to much of the intermediate stuff.
b. I think that kind of knowledge is deep enough to warrant being in the first line.
Yeah, I wasn't complaining about the question, I just wanted to know what theorem they were talking about/what the rest of the toss-up looked like.

Teammate answered with "5" on the last clue in that music toss-up - I think he must've misheard "instrument pairs that play," but either way it feels like at this difficulty there are other good giveaways that aren't as simple (e.g. Resurrection, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, violins in a string quartet).
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by 15.366 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:31 pm

In the finals packet, was the "amusement parks" under Misc Arts AV: Film, and "The Big Short" was under Trash, or was "The Big Short" considered film and the amusement parks question was actually literary clues but I recognized a clue from Strangers On A Train as filmed by Hitchcock?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Emperor Pupienus » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:54 pm

15.366 wrote:In the finals packet, was the "amusement parks" under Misc Arts AV: Film, and "The Big Short" was under Trash, or was "The Big Short" considered film and the amusement parks question was actually literary clues but I recognized a clue from Strangers On A Train as filmed by Hitchcock?
The former. _amusement parks_ was a film tossup in other arts, and _Big Short_ was a movie tossup in trash.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by dnlwng » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:30 pm

Could I see the bonus part on “alcohols”? I am aware that the pKa of an alcohol was given, but I’m pretty sure the Williamson synthesis uses an alkoxide, which wasn’t accepted.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Jason Cheng » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:38 pm

dnlwng wrote:Could I see the bonus part on “alcohols”? I am aware that the pKa of an alcohol was given, but I’m pretty sure the Williamson synthesis uses an alkoxide, which wasn’t accepted.
I agree--this threw me off too, since the SN2 of alcohols to alkyl halides occurs in basic conditions. Of the three clues in the bonus part:
  • What happens to the carbonyl after R-Li attack on the nucleophilic carbon
  • the nucleophile in SN2 substitution of alkyl halides in basic conditions
refer to alkoxides (since the R-Li clue doesn't mention use of an acidic workup, without which the reaction leaves a metal-alkoxide salt)

while only one clue (the pKa) refers to alcohols.

EDIT: the third part on lab/synthesis technique (dry ice baths are -78C) was dope, though--I'm a big fan of these, just like those technique hard parts in the music in this set
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by sbraunfeld » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:27 pm

Muriel Axon wrote: I think the question on meta-ethics played poorly. I can't imagine someone buzzing early -- say, on the Mackie clue -- and producing "meta-ethics" without at least first being prompted.
I'll note I did exactly this, buzzing in with "ethics" on "argument from queerness", and could only disbelievingly produce "moral realism" upon being prompted. The question ended up going dead against a strong team.

I also feel like the "issues translating 'sinn' and 'bedeutung'" clue was neg-bait for Frege, although the name of the translator presumably made it unique.

Aside from these points, I really liked the analytic philosophy in this tournament. I felt like it did a good job of asking for important concepts, rather than trotting out the usual few philosophers and works.

By the way, what was the Gareth Evans nose ring clue referring to? I can't seem to find anything about it.
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by A Very Long Math Tossup » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:26 pm

Can I see the tossup on dipoles?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Valefor » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:34 pm

For what it's worth, I got the bassoon tossup on the John Williams clue; I have a CD of that piece somewhere in the stacks in my apartment. :) That said, having seen the whole thing, I agree that it's pretty hard for a regular difficulty tossup on the instrument.

Could I please see the music bonuses on Telemann and sinfonia concertante?
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Re: PB 2017: Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:40 pm

I wanted to post a bit of analysis on a specific tossup I saw while browsing through the set, as I think some lessons can be drawn from it. Note - I didn't play this tossup, I just came across it browsing the packets.
Round 11 wrote: This person wrote a treatise called “The Only Way” where he laid out methods, like teaching songs, that he would later use to pacify the “Land of War.” This person created a settlement at Cumana that was undercut by a slave raid conducted by Gonzalo Ocampo. Laws sponsored by this non-monarch led to the revolt of Gonzalo Pizarro. This person engineered the replacement of the Laws of Burgos with the “New Laws.” Some historians blame this person for writing the earliest works perpetuating the (*) “Black Legend.” This person argued against Juan de Sepulveda’s claims that a certain group were “natural slaves” in the Valladolid Debate. Earlier, he was Bishop of Chiapas and Protector of the Indians. For 10 points, name this Dominican Friar who wrote of the Spanish brutality in the New World in his A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.
ANSWER: Bartolome De Las Casas
There's a few clues here that I think really need to be a lot more specific, in a way that suggests to me that the writer relied on people using associations and reasoning the question out to arrive at the correct answer, rather than knowing the information being discussed.

1) Laws sponsored by this non-monarch led to the revolt of Gonzalo Pizarro. So, this clue is referring to the New Laws. If you recognize that this is the revolt occurring after the implementation of those reforms, you're left to ask "who is this sponsor?"

To my knowledge, there really isn't one sponsor of the New Laws. De las Casas is someone who "sponsored" them (in the sense that he supported them), but this clue fails to uniquely pick out one person - this isn't like U.S. representatives "sponsoring" legislation or what have you. The best answer I can think of to this clue is "Blasco Nunez de Vela," who was in charge of enforcing those laws in Peru (stirring up the revolt that the question is talking about) but he's not really a "sponsor" either. I have no idea what this clue is supposed to tell the player other than "this person is associated in some way with the New Laws."

2) This person engineered the replacement of the Laws of Burgos with the “New Laws.” Same story, except this seems downright misleading. You've said "non-monarch" so this rules out the Pope (technically an absolute monarch, after all!) and the king, but I still don't know if this really picks out one answer here! Furthermore, this could be read as implying that de las Casas was involved in the government, which could throw a player off the trail toward the right answer.

3) Some historians blame this person for writing the earliest works perpetuating the (*) “Black Legend.” Again, specifics are missing here! This clue needs to be "paired" with something to pin it down - either name one of these historians, or give a specific example of de las Casas' writings. Again, this clue is useful (it tells you this guy wrote stuff saying bad things about the Spanish empire) but it's relying on you to make an educated guess, not to specifically know the clue.

I understand that one can "add up" these clues and buzz with reasonable confidence, but taken alone, many of them are theoretically helpful but not unique (and possibly actively confusing) to someone who has read a lot about these topics and has a broader context understanding than just "this is a non-monarch who is associated with these things." Sure, "de las Casas" may be the only reasonable regular difficulty answer that fits the clues, but that's not a theoretically sound underpinning for a question. In the final analysis, if you want to use some of these "suggestive" clues - you really need to have something that pins the answer down for sure. "A report in which this man said XYZ is considered by some historians" or something like that.

EDIT: Earlier post said "Toledo reforms" for "new laws."
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