2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

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1992 in spaceflight
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2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:38 pm

Before you begin discussing the tournament, I’d like to request that everyone read through this excellent post by Mike Cheyne about discussing tournaments.

Also, please let me know why you want to see a specific question (i.e. I thought there was an error in the question, I want to see where the powermark ended, etc.). I think that this helps with facilitating discussion.

As for who edited what:
-I head-edited the set. I also subject-edited the literature, the history, the social science, some of the other arts, the religion, the mythology, the philosophy and some of the trash.
-David Dennis subject edited the classical music, the current events, some of the other arts and the bio and chem (with some oversight/comments by Eric Mukherjee).
-Chris Chiego subject-edited the geography and provided excellent commentary on several history questions.
-Seth Ebner subject-edited the painting, some of the other arts, physics and other science and also made sure the Judaism question in the religion distribution were accurate.
-Sean Phillips subject-edited most of the trash and edited any law-related question in history.
-Jake Sundberg edited 10/0 in physics and other science.
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present); HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017)
Formerly: Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:15 pm

To expand on my point about difficulty with the pop culture questions and how they compare with other questions in the same packet, I'm going to look at a couple of bonuses from round 9.
14. LEGO introduced its DUPLO product line in 1969, and their expansion of product lines hasn’t slowed since. For 10 points each:
[10] Unlike the series movies, the first two video games from this LEGO sub-brand were released in chronological order. They were combined in a “Complete Saga” format.
ANSWER: LEGO _Star Wars_ [or LEGO Star Wars 1; or LEGO Star Wars 2; or LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga]
[10] This LEGO product line, introduced in 2012 and targeted at girls, received criticism for promoting gender stereotypes. Sets from this line are pink and purple and set in Heartlake City. ANSWER: LEGO _Friends_
[10] Built on a scale much smaller than minifigures, this LEGO sub-brand includes such sets as the White House, The Empire State Building, and Big Ben.
ANSWER: LEGO _Architecture_ <Alex Harmata>/<ed. Sean>/<ed. Jacob>
I think this pretty much fails at achieving anything resembling an easy/medium/hard split. While the first part is a very easy answer line, there's 0 clues that actually point to anything Star Wars related - 1, if you include the "Complete Saga" part which just clicked for me, a day later. This would have an easy part if it just rattled off one or two sets from that line that clearly have Star Wars names.

I feel like both the 2nd & 3rd parts are hard. You have to be into Lego to a pretty significant degree to recall their brand lines, in my opinion. The clues on their own are fine - the Friends one in particular pretty notable due to the backlash surrounding its launch and continued existence. But I know it because Nicole's big into Lego. I doubt very many people that have casual knowledge about Lego knew either of these.

Contrast with the following bonus:
16. It’s common now to use a Twitter hashtag to promote a project or cause. Name some examples, for 10 points each:
[10] This hashtag was born out of a 2011 movement that protests wealth inequality and political corruption. This movement started in Zuccotti Park and had the slogan "We are the 99%."
ANSWER: _#OccupyWallStreet_ [or Occupy Wall Street; prompt on OWS]
[10] This Canadian Aboriginal movement is a reaction to the legislature's abuse of the natives’ treaty rights. This movement inspired a liquid diet hunger strike of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.
ANSWER: _#IdleNoMore_ [or Idle No More]
[10] This hashtag was first used following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, but became more popular after the death of Michael Brown. This hashtag has been used following many police-involved shootings of African-Americans.
ANSWER: #_BlackLivesMatter_ [or Black Lives Matter; prompt on BLM] <Cole Phinney/ed. Dennis>
Idle No More is a fine hard part. But OWS & BLM are both either currently or recently very prominently in the news. I don't believe there's any differentiation between them in terms of difficulty. I think this is very reflective of the questions in the set, but the problem is when you have ones like the Lego one next door to them. They're obviously much more difficulty and are the equivalent of a bad beat in poker.
Fred Morlan
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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:32 am

That's a very fair point, Fred. I'll take a look at the trash bonuses over the next few weeks to see if there's a way to make the middle parts a little more forgiving.
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present); HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017)
Formerly: Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by jonpin » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:31 pm

There were a couple things I noticed over the course of the day reading 1-9 this past weekend. I didn't have the chance to keep a running written list, but I decided to open up a packet and do some loose critique. Here's some notes on packet 6.

Tossup 2: Power is 4.5+ of <6 lines, with Thrushcross Grange well within the zone.
Tossup 3: Perhaps the first sentence can be re-ordered, because it's 1.5 lines before "this" is dropped, allowing the player to know what's being asked for.
Tossup 4: Here's the ending:
Before moving from the NL to the AL, this(*) team was hacked by an employee of their former division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. For 10 points, name this Texas-based team, with players such as Dallas Keuchel (“Keye-kul”), Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve.
The power zone ends before the word "team", which is not a clue. I think the location of the team should be the very last clue, after listing players, because that's the hook into the question for people who know nothing about sports.
Tossup 11: The first sentence isn't quite accurate; e provides the value of x, not the "largest value of x to the power of 1 over x". Perhaps reword as "...which asks for the value of x which maximizes x to the power of 1 over x". I will say this is a good example of breaking the traditional QB maxim "describe before name", as the name of this problem is less known than the actual content. The sentence "This value also appears in a well-known equation that relates i, pi, one, and zero using all the basic arithmetic operations." is probably better served just giving the equation: "This value, when raised to the power of i times pi, equals -1." By that late in the question, you don't need to dance around ideas like that. That said, I think anyone who would get the tossup on that clue has already gotten it on one of the two limit definitions.
Bonus 4: (a) "Debate about one of his operas came from a revival by the Met in 2014, which is accused of anti-semitism" reads as if the Met or 2014 was accused of anti-Semitism. Perhaps rewrite as "One of his operas was alleged to be anti-Semitic when it was performed at the Met in 2014." (c) Manhattan is misspelled in the answer line.
Bonus 6c: Perhaps be specific that you want the name of the Connecticut Yankee? Not sure about whether that's reasonable.
Bonus 8b: "God will's it" should not have an apostrophe.
Bonus 10c: "Neil Patrick Harris has famously hosted these awards four times." Use of the word "famous" in phrases like these just fill space and don't contribute anything.
Bonus 13: "On the internet, Martin Freeman is popularly portrayed as a hedgehog, while this fellow actor is represented as an otter." :w-hat: Having spent as much time on the internet as I have, am I lucky not to have run into that?

Other things I remember (but am not looking up where in the set, as the copy I have is still password-locked, preventing a convenient search):
* The tossup on "Brave New World" -- last sentence is massively out of order, dropping Huxley and then going on to give more plot details, ending with "set in the year [whatever] A.F." Huxley should 100% be the last word of this tossup.
* The bonus that started with the Rubik's cube and Hungary took a ridiculous double-turn through Doylestown, Pennsylvania to somehow wind up on Hammerstein for the third part. These things really had no business being in the same bonus.
* Packet 1 contained a bonus on Aztecs and a tossup on Incans, which seemed off. It also contain a bonus part on Dali's Venus de Milo and a tossup on a variety of depictions of Venus.
* The basketball bonus began with an intro about NCAA basketball, and then was more about pro basketball (the first part was Shaq; can't remember the other parts).
* From the General Discussion thread, I see "French Toast Crunch" listed as a purported easy part and am slightly bewildered (note that while I am not a young person, I literally have a box of this at home right now, so it's not a "too old to understand youths!" issue). The clues in that part were basically "This GM cereal went away for a few years and is not cinnamon flavored." I get that the last bit is trying to get you to lateral off of "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" but that's a significant stretch to expect on an easy part. FWIW, the team in my room answered General Mills for each of the first two parts and shrugged off the third part.

Perhaps my notion that powers ran long here has to do with reading in the Nationals division at Columbia. The prelims of the standard division had 4.78 tossups powered per game (23.9%). I don't know what the powers rate was in the nationals division, because there are absolutely no stats posted, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were over 40%. Regardless, if you were aiming for something slightly easier than IS, then this might not have been a good fit for the nationals field of this tournament (that is not your fault!)
Jon Pinyan
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1992 in spaceflight
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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:33 am

jonpin wrote:There were a couple things I noticed over the course of the day reading 1-9 this past weekend. I didn't have the chance to keep a running written list, but I decided to open up a packet and do some loose critique. Here's some notes on packet 6.

Tossup 2: Power is 4.5+ of <6 lines, with Thrushcross Grange well within the zone.
Thrushcross Grange is now the first words out of power.
jonpin wrote:Tossup 3: Perhaps the first sentence can be re-ordered, because it's 1.5 lines before "this" is dropped, allowing the player to know what's being asked for.
This has been fixed to include the "this organization" at the beginning.
jonpin wrote:Tossup 4: Here's the ending:
Before moving from the NL to the AL, this(*) team was hacked by an employee of their former division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. For 10 points, name this Texas-based team, with players such as Dallas Keuchel (“Keye-kul”), Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve.
The power zone ends before the word "team", which is not a clue. I think the location of the team should be the very last clue, after listing players, because that's the hook into the question for people who know nothing about sports.
This has been fixed.
jonpin wrote:Tossup 11: The first sentence isn't quite accurate; e provides the value of x, not the "largest value of x to the power of 1 over x". Perhaps reword as "...which asks for the value of x which maximizes x to the power of 1 over x". I will say this is a good example of breaking the traditional QB maxim "describe before name", as the name of this problem is less known than the actual content. The sentence "This value also appears in a well-known equation that relates i, pi, one, and zero using all the basic arithmetic operations." is probably better served just giving the equation: "This value, when raised to the power of i times pi, equals -1." By that late in the question, you don't need to dance around ideas like that. That said, I think anyone who would get the tossup on that clue has already gotten it on one of the two limit definitions.
I didn't edit this question, so I will ask the math editor to respond to this next week.
jonpin wrote:Bonus 6c: Perhaps be specific that you want the name of the Connecticut Yankee? Not sure about whether that's reasonable.
I've added a prompt for the Connecticut Yankee on to this answerline.
jonpin wrote:Bonus 4: (a) "Debate about one of his operas came from a revival by the Met in 2014, which is accused of anti-semitism" reads as if the Met or 2014 was accused of anti-Semitism. Perhaps rewrite as "One of his operas was alleged to be anti-Semitic when it was performed at the Met in 2014." (c) Manhattan is misspelled in the answer line.
Bonus 8b: "God will's it" should not have an apostrophe.
Bonus 10c: "Neil Patrick Harris has famously hosted these awards four times." Use of the word "famous" in phrases like these just fill space and don't contribute anything.
Bonus 13: "On the internet, Martin Freeman is popularly portrayed as a hedgehog, while this fellow actor is represented as an otter." :w-hat: Having spent as much time on the internet as I have, am I lucky not to have run into that?
These are all fixed. And yes, you probably are lucky not to have run into that before. When editing bonuses, my rule was: "You get one joke leadin for each category."
jonpin wrote:Other things I remember (but am not looking up where in the set, as the copy I have is still password-locked, preventing a convenient search):
* The tossup on "Brave New World" -- last sentence is massively out of order, dropping Huxley and then going on to give more plot details, ending with "set in the year [whatever] A.F." Huxley should 100% be the last word of this tossup.
This is fixed.
jonpin wrote:* The bonus that started with the Rubik's cube and Hungary took a ridiculous double-turn through Doylestown, Pennsylvania to somehow wind up on Hammerstein for the third part. These things really had no business being in the same bonus.
What happened was that the writer submitted three parts that were all essentially easy parts (Hungary contained Budapest, Pennsylvania contained Philadelphia), and my trash editor had to reach for a hard part. If anyone has another idea for a hard part, I'm all ears.
jonpin wrote:* Packet 1 contained a bonus on Aztecs and a tossup on Incans, which seemed off. It also contain a bonus part on Dali's Venus de Milo and a tossup on a variety of depictions of Venus.
I just forgot to spread these questions out. I will fix this tomorrow.
Jacob O'Rourke
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Formerly: Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Duckk » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:09 pm

jonpin wrote: Tossup 11: The first sentence isn't quite accurate; e provides the value of x, not the "largest value of x to the power of 1 over x". Perhaps reword as "...which asks for the value of x which maximizes x to the power of 1 over x". I will say this is a good example of breaking the traditional QB maxim "describe before name", as the name of this problem is less known than the actual content. The sentence "This value also appears in a well-known equation that relates i, pi, one, and zero using all the basic arithmetic operations." is probably better served just giving the equation: "This value, when raised to the power of i times pi, equals -1." By that late in the question, you don't need to dance around ideas like that. That said, I think anyone who would get the tossup on that clue has already gotten it on one of the two limit definitions.
You're absolutely right on both counts. e is the input value that maximizes the function under consideration in Steiner's problem and is not the maximal output. The wording in the tossup is ambiguous to the point of incorrectness and should have been made clearer. For the other case, I should have also just given the actual equation as you suggest, as it provides more information that just listing the terms in the relation. I will make the wording in cases like this clearer in the future.
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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:15 pm

Duckk wrote:
jonpin wrote: Tossup 11: The first sentence isn't quite accurate; e provides the value of x, not the "largest value of x to the power of 1 over x". Perhaps reword as "...which asks for the value of x which maximizes x to the power of 1 over x". I will say this is a good example of breaking the traditional QB maxim "describe before name", as the name of this problem is less known than the actual content. The sentence "This value also appears in a well-known equation that relates i, pi, one, and zero using all the basic arithmetic operations." is probably better served just giving the equation: "This value, when raised to the power of i times pi, equals -1." By that late in the question, you don't need to dance around ideas like that. That said, I think anyone who would get the tossup on that clue has already gotten it on one of the two limit definitions.
You're absolutely right on both counts. e is the input value that maximizes the function under consideration in Steiner's problem and is not the maximal output. The wording in the tossup is ambiguous to the point of incorrectness and should have been made clearer. For the other case, I should have also just given the actual equation as you suggest, as it provides more information that just listing the terms in the relation. I will make the wording in cases like this clearer in the future.
Seth has incorporated your feedback. Here's the fixed question:
Packet 6 wrote:This quantity solves Steiner’s problem, which asks for the value of x that maximizes x to the power of one over x. This quantity appears in the denominator of Stirling’s formula for the asymptotics of the factorial function. It can be defined as the sum from zero to infinity of one over n factorial, or by the limit of one plus one over n, all to the n-th power as n approaches(*) infinity. That definition arose from Jacob Bernoulli’s studies in compound interest. This value, when raised to the power of i times pi, equals -1. For 10 points, name this transcendental number equal to about 2.718 that is the base of the natural log.
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"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by Curious Homunculus » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:36 pm

Just played in the Georgetown tournament on Saturday. The main thing I remember is that the president of the Philippines needs to be updated, as it is now Rodrigo Duterte and not Benigno Aquino as is written in the packet.
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Re: 2016 WHAQ Question-Specific Discussion

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:11 pm

Curious Homunculus wrote:Just played in the Georgetown tournament on Saturday. The main thing I remember is that the president of the Philippines needs to be updated, as it is now Rodrigo Duterte and not Benigno Aquino as is written in the packet.
Thanks for reminding me about this (I really should have remembered, as Duterte has been in the news a lot). Here's the fixed sentence:
Packet 8 wrote:Benigno Aquino III was succeeded as President of this country by Rodrigo Duterte.
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present); HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017)
Formerly: Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


"And here we are as on a darkling plain, Swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach.

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