Will's Questions (2014 Penn Bowl)

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Will's Questions (2014 Penn Bowl)

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:44 am

Hey everyone,

As might be expected, I wrote decent portions of the history, economics, current events, and geography. I also took on a lot of questions in categories that I've been developing more interest in: religion, mythology, philosophy, and painting, and was responsible for editing (and often re-writing) the newer writers' religion, philosophy, and visual arts (with extensive assistance from Matt Jackson on this front) as well as helping out in editing history. Finally, I wrote five music tossups to help things along in the home stretch of the tournament.

In all categories, I generally tried to create questions that I would personally find fresh and fun to play on. In history, this meant (for the most part) picking a very simple answer-line that isn't used that often for a tossup and trying to craft a good question around it. In other categories, I mainly just aimed to write solid tossups with good clues that would reward people who have a "wholesome" understanding of the subject, with an emphasis on descriptive completeness and clarity as opposed to clue density (basically avoiding name-dropping without explanation as much as possible). In keeping with the "wholesome" understanding theme, I took a page out of Ike's book incorporated a large number of art history clues in my painting questions that one might not glean from simply looking at the painting, but rather learn about the painting from a museum tour, a lecture, or a textbook. This was meant to reward people who engage with art as a subject beyond mere visual appreciation.

Like with a lot of the rest of this tournament, the strong emphasis I put on non-recycled clues and more "creative" approaches to questions may have made the tournament more difficult than ideal, and I apologize for that - I recognize that we definitely overshot target difficulty and that this can be off-putting to new players.

Without further ado, my questions (I hope I didn't miss anything; there were a lot of them):

US History: TUs on LaGuardia, Chickamauga, and Oklahoma; bonuses on Chinese-American relations, eugenics, and the 2000 election
Euro History: TUs on Granada, Nero, Poland, Italian unification, barons, Tanzimat, Germans, Portugal, and China; bonuses on Maecenas, Cyrene, tulips, South Sea Company, Genoa, the Revolt of the Comuneros, and the English Armada
World History: TUs on Vietnam, slavery, Nanjing, Sudan, the Spanish empire, khans, and Buenos Aires; bonuses on Heian period, Indonesia, wokou, caudillos, Fujimori, and Mali
Painting: TUs Sacred and Profane Love, Germany, Greece, The Last Judgment, Repin, Tahiti, Poussin, Watteau, Medici, regionalism, doctors, and Breughel (based on a question Ike wrote); bonuses on Cole, the Braque triptych, Claude Lorrain, David Hockney, Japan in art, De Chirico, the Santa Trinita, Veronese, murals, Sargent, and Aivazovsky
Music: TUs on Symphony of a Thousand, Ives, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, Mussorgsky, and rhapsodies
Other Arts: bonus on Maya architecture
Religion: TUs on the Sun, sutras, bones, icons, torah reading (with lots of MJ input), mosques, and Vietnam; bonuses on shamans, the Tridentine mass, African Christianity, Tibetan religion, and the Maronites
Mythology: TUs on archery, Russians, Nuwa, Mexico, and the Midgard Serpent; bonuses on Draupnir, Phoenicia, Ilmatar, Izumo, and the mead of poetry
Philosophy: TUs on Russia, reason, Being and Nothingness, paradigm shifts, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and translation; bonuses on Spinoza, works of art, Wittgenstein, Leibniz, consequentialism, The Persian Letters, and the Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere
Social Science: TUs on interest rates, Piketty, colonization, and Joseph Campbell; bonuses on Grimm's Law, Festinger, the uncanny valley, and real business cycle theory
Geography: TUs on Taiwan and Germany (I really seemed to like that answerline, didn't I)
CE: TU on teachers' unions
Other Academic: TU on wrath; bonuses on Galileo, epidemiology, and environmentalism

I'd love feedback on any of my questions, but especially the ones in Painting, Music (bring on the mafia), and Philosophy, since prior to writing this tournament I didn't have a particularly large knowledge base for those categories (I still don't, but you've gotta start somewhere). I'm particularly curious as to how the question on paradigm shifts played out, since I read Kuhn's book over the summer and wanted to find an interesting way to toss his stuff up (instead of FTP name this author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - fine, but less creative/exciting).
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Ndg » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:09 pm

So I'm wondering about the first clue to the "rhapsodies" tossup... what was it referring to? I'm skeptical that it's actually uniquely identifying and well-known enough to mention in a tossup.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:14 pm

Among other places you can find it (it seems to me mentioned in an awful lot of things that talk about Rhapsody in Blue):

http://books.google.com/books?id=50e_BA ... ue&f=false

I suppose I could be more specific about where the words were written, though. That would make it more uniquely identifying.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:28 pm

I agree with Andrew, partly because I don't recall my score of the piece (which is in NC) having that indication.

Similarly with the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun question: the quotation you picked isn't particularly well-known, as far as I know, so it simply narrowed it down to "somewhat radical pieces ca. 1870-1920" which obviously isn't ideal. The rest of the clues that I heard were decent though—correct and pointed to the answerline (I don't think they would stand up to the "can it be its own one-line tossup on the answerline" text, but they came decently close).

Could you post the Mussorgsky question? I remember Hartmann being quite early, and also an implication that he designed a Great Gate of Kiev that actually exists.

Obviously I liked the southeast Asia questions (including the beginning of the Taiwan question), although I think they were a tiny bit top-heavy.

I also really liked most of this art, although I think the Aivazovsky question was pretty unforgiving. I also thought that the "Medici" and "Tahiti" questions were somewhat transparent, but I'd like to see what other people thought. Same with the Campbell and Tanzimat ("couldn't pull the answer but I think we all knew what it was") questions, I guess.

I think we would all appreciate a little less repetition of answerlines, even in different topics—it makes it seem like THIS ENTIRE TOURNAMENT IS GERMANY.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Corry » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:30 pm

I liked your questions (as usual, I guess?). There were a few history tossups in this set that I found rather uninteresting to play, since they involved a lot of incoherent name-dropping and lack of description, but all of the history questions that you wrote were quite easy to listen to. Some thoughts:
  • I usually don't like to comment on questions before I actually read through the packets myself, but the slavery (in Brazil?) tossup seemed really tough to power. Can I see it?

    I don't know exactly where the power mark ended, but I do remember that Palmares was out of the mark. According to the NAQT writer database, a 2012 ICT Div I tossup on "slavery in Brazil" dropped Palmares in the first line, and still only got powered in 1 out of 16 rooms at the tournament. Maybe there's been a lot of canon expansion about quilombos in the last 2 years, but otherwise this question seemed stingy.
  • I'm pretty sure all (three!) of the Germany questions in this set got FTPed in my room yesterday. I don't know if they were extra tough, or if we were all just really confused. Can I see the two German tossups you wrote?
  • Despite the fact that my team sucked and we only converted like 20% of the social science in this entire set (this statistic was only beaten by our absolutely atrocious conversion rate on literature questions), I appreciated your social science questions. They mostly seemed to be about interesting things that people have heard about in everyday life.
  • Can I also see your questions on Granada, Poland, Vietnam, and Taiwan?
  • I know you didn't write it, but can someone post the tossup on the Manhattan Project? This was one question that I thought over-relied on namedropping.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Ndg » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:39 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Among other places you can find it (it seems to me mentioned in an awful lot of things that talk about Rhapsody in Blue):

http://books.google.com/books?id=50e_BA ... ue&f=false

I suppose I could be more specific about where the words were written, though. That would make it more uniquely identifying.
Well, I suppose if it's in Wikipedia... :smile:
vinteuil wrote:I agree with Andrew, partly because I don't recall my score of the piece (which is in NC) having that indication.
Yeah, maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but the clue made it sound like the direction is a standard feature of the score, rather than something that was only scribble on the score for the premier.

As for some positive comments, I definitely thought some of your tossups were creative and interesting to play, like teachers unions, bones, and reason.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:03 pm

vinteuil wrote:Could you post the Mussorgsky question? I remember Hartmann being quite early, and also an implication that he designed a Great Gate of Kiev that actually exists.
Now that I have the set:
Will Alston in 2014 Penn Bowl wrote: Nikolai Malko’s 1932 performance of a piece by this composer in London helped revive the popularity of that piece’s original version. An A-B-A-B-C-A-D-A rondo is used in the final movement of a suite by this composer, the first movement from which uses a five-tone pentatonic scale and alternates between 5/4 and 6/4 time. A movement from that suite by this composer evokes bells from a structure designed by Viktor (*) Hartmann. Leopold Stokowski removed a “fanfare” depicting a dark god in his 1940 arrangement one of this composer’s pieces; that piece depicts a witches’ sabbath on St. John’s Eve. Maurice Ravel orchestrated a suite by this composer which includes the movement “The Great Gate of Kiev.” For 10 points, name this composer of Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition.
ANSWER: Modest Mussorgsky <WA>
Similar to quotations: the first line seems a little too obscure to be a buzzable clue (but maybe John could correct me about this). The next clue is unfortunately vague (a good many rondos have a structure like that, and even so it's very hard to line up that kind of formal analysis with a piece on the fly). And it seems that I was right about the Hartmann thing. I'll emphasize, however, that this was by far my least favorite of the music questions that I heard, i.e. that the others (including Will's) were quite good.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:08 pm

I remember listening to that ICT tossup in recordings, and I think the clues were mis-ordered in that question. Regardless, NAQT policy (to my understanding) is to power-mark at the first place that clearly does NOT deserve power; I like to pick what I consider a transition point to better-known clues. Based on some discussions I've had, I'm not sure how well-known Gilberto Freyre's work is, but overall policy at this tournament seemed to be to air on the side of non-generosity in power marks, so that's where I put the cutoff. Eric and I agreed that people shouldn't get power for "Palmares" though.

The requested tossups:
Will Alston wrote wrote:Horace Sebastiani notoriously quartered himself and his troops in a palace in this city whose construction was begun by Muhammad ibn al-Ahmar. Ibn Battuta visited the jurist Ibn Juzayy in this city during its rule by Yusuf I, who lost the Battle of Tarifa. This city’s final ruler, who had his base of power in its Albaicin district, lost a war in which this city’s port of Malaga was captured. That ruler’s mother supposedly said to him, “you (*) cry like a woman for what you could not defend like a man” as he watched this city be captured. The Nasrid dynasty ruled an emirate from a palace in this city that contains the Court of the Lions. The Moor’s Last Sigh depicts this city’s last ruler, Boabdil, surrendering to the Catholic Monarchs. For 10 points, name this home of the Alhambra, which fell to the Reconquista in 1492.
ANSWER: Granada [or Gharnatah; or Elibyrge; or Iliberius] <WA>
Will Alston wrote wrote:In the leadup to an insurrection in this country, the landlord-supported “White” faction opposed armed rebellion. Positivists from this country argued that its national effort should be refocused away from fighting major powers as part of the “organic work” movement. Emilia Plater served as a captain during a rebellion in this country, which is the historic homeland of the uhlan cavalry of the Napoleonic Wars. While it was a (*) French client state named for its largest city, it was ruled by the Saxon king Frederick Augustus I. Constantine Pavlovich was later ousted as its Grand Duke. During emancipation, larger plots of land were granted to serfs to undermine the szlachta nobility of this country, where the January and November Uprisings took place. For 10 points, name this frequently partitioned country where Tadeusz Kosciuszko led a major uprising.
ANSWER: Kingdom of Poland [or Polska; or Polonia; or historical countries like Congress Poland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Tsardom of Poland, Russian Poland, Duchy of Warsaw; prompt on “Commonwealth”] <WA>
I see Patrick made some edits to this (Poland) question that I missed; they definitely made the question better.
Will Alston wrote wrote:Charles Darwin’s 1832 diaries describe him quarreling with Captain FitzRoy over this institution, after which he proclaimed he would “never visit again” a certain type of country. The Law of Sexagenarians targeted this institution, against which Islamists revolted during the Malê Revolt. The casa-grande and senzala occupied by two kinds of participants in this institution are discussed in the most famous work by Gilberto (*) Freyre. Palmares was the largest example of hinterland communities called quilombos that were populated by former members of this institution, which was the target of a law promulgated by Princess Isabel in 1888. People born into this institution were affected by the Law of the Free Womb, which was succeeded by the Golden Law. For 10 points, name this repressive institution abolished in Brazil under Emperor Pedro II.
ANSWER: slavery in Brazil [or anything equivalent; or escravidao, escravismo, or escravatura] <WA>
"Slavery" was all that was needed for this question.
Will Alston wrote wrote:Ptolemy’s Kattigara is thought to correspond to a site in this country whose name means “glass canal.” The northern part of what is now this country was home to some of the Yue people. This country contains the site of Oc Eo, which is thought to be a later capital of the Funan kingdom. Emperor Zhenzong of Song was sent rice that allowed two harvests as tribute from a kingdom in what is now this country, where General Ma Yuan was dispatched to put down a (*) rebellion. That rebellion’s leaders are typically depicted riding side by side on elephants while fighting against the forces of the Han dynasty, which was responsible for killing one of their husbands. For 10 points, name this modern-day country home to the Trung sisters, who repelled the Chinese from what is now Hanoi.
ANSWER: Socialist Republic of Vietnam [or Cong hoa Xa hoi chu nghia Viet Nam] <WA>
Germany question #1 wrote:Policies favoring this ethnicity, such as the “furnace law”, led one man to travel between villages in “Drzymała's wagon.” A “Great Cemetery” largely for these people was damaged by the Soviets in Riga. People of this ethnicity were lynched en masse at Usti after decrees targeting them reversed a centuries-old invitation for them to settle issued by Ottokar II. Conscription led to mass emigration by people of this ethnicity from the (*) Volga region, and elites of this ethnicity in the Baltic region were highly loyal to the Russian Tsar. Hungarians and people of this ethnicity were targeted by the Benes decrees expelling them from Czechoslovakia. This ethnic group’s historical process of “east-settling” was perverted by one man into an ideology claiming they needed Eastern European “living room”. For 10 points, name this ethnic group to which the Hohenzollern rulers of Prussia belonged.
ANSWER: Germans [or Deutsche Volk; accept any specific type of Germans such as Volga Germans and Baltic Germans; accept Teutons or Teutonic people or Theeds from outdated people; accept derogatory nicknames like Boches, Fritzes, Krauts, Heinies, Jerrys, Mofs, or Hermanns; accept Jiamen from people from Shanghai who think they’re clever; DO NOT accept “Prussians”] <WA>
Germany question #2 wrote:In this country, the meadow on which which a princess was married gave rise to a local name for a festival. A fossil quarry in this country that was probably a lake during the Eocene is where a fossil known as “Ida” of the primate Darwinius masillae was found. The Hercynian Forest identified by classical geographers is traditionally placed in the south of this country. This home of “Theresa’s meadow” and the Messel pit is the largest country where the (*) dirndl is traditionally worn. A picturesque castle in this country that was opened to the public after its builder’s death in 1883 inspired the Sleeping Beauty Castle. Cuckoo clocks were first manufactured in a large forest in this country, which is divided into federal districts called Lander. For 10 points, name this country, the home of the Black Forest and Oktoberfest.
ANSWER: Federal Republic of Germany [or Bundesrepublik Deutschland] <WA>
I wasn't sure how well known the name for those traditional German peasants' women costumes would be; I'm glad it sounds like that didn't trigger a buzzer race anywhere. I deliberately put a couple Oktoberfest-related cultural clues in due to the timing of this tournament.
Germany question #3, for good measure wrote: Police in this country banned an art show poster depicting a white nude on a pure orange background. Because an artist from this country disliked “sugary ballet and dancing on points,” he frequently painted crude scenes of nude dancers, including one showing a defiance of Moses. A saxophonist leans in to play his instrument as a woman with pink ostrich feathers raises her hand in a painting from this country that shows a veteran with two wooden legs begging at the left. The painters of the (*) Dance Around the Golden Calf and the Metropolis Triptych were from this non-Swiss country, where a watercolor showing several birds connected to a hand-crank was declared “degenerate art.” For 10 points, name this home country of Otto Dix and Die Brücke, where the Nazis attempted to purge modern art.
ANSWER: Germany [accept any historical incarnation of Germany such as the Third Reich, the German Empire, or the Weimar Republic] <WA>
Will Alston wrote wrote:Since three of the four branches of the Austronesian language family are exclusive to this island, it is believed to be that family’s homeland. Mark Moskowitz studied the odd practice of stripping at funerals on this island. Apart from the Kavalan tribe, tribes of aboriginal plains-dwellers have not been recognized on this island, though they still typically support the Pan-Blue Coalition. Major fault lines caused the 1999 921 earthquake on this island, where the formerly Dutch fort Zeelandia is located. The (*) Portuguese named this island for its beauty and named a group of islands to the west after their fisherman. The Pescadores are located west of this island, where a giant New Year’s fireworks show takes place at a tower with 101 floors. For 10 points, name this island formerly known as Formosa, which contains most of the Republic of China.
ANSWER: Taiwan [or Isla Formosa until mentioned] <WA>
Chris Chiego wrote wrote: The Quebec Agreement established a Combined Policy Agreement for this operation, whose cost concerns led to the construction of a steel jug called “Jumbo.” Gregory Breit was replaced on this operation by a person controversially approached by Haakon Chevalier. This operation was initially placed only at the AA-3 level of priority. The deputy director of a district in this operation was Kenneth Nichols and it involved the construction of the Clinton Engineering Works that contained site (*) Y-12. This operation was detailed by the Smyth Report and involved the merger with a similar venture called Tube Alloys. The RaLa experiment and the Ames process were developed during the course of this venture that included the Trinity Test. For 10 points, identify this operation led by General Leslie Groves and physicist Robert Oppenheimer that led to development of the atomic bomb.
ANSWER: Manhattan Project [or Development of Substitute Materials; prompt on “building the atomic bomb” or similar answers before mention; prompt on “Tube Alloys” before “Jumbo”] <CC>
Thanks for the SS feedback. I wrote that interest rate tossup primarily based on my knowledge of Federal reserve policy-making and actual finance from my Financial Markets and Intermediaries class. And despite some questionable estimates/assumptions that Piketty makes (notably a radically different estimate in labor substitution rate estimates) I felt that a question on him had to be done while the iron was hot - i.e. in 2014, the year of his book's major release in English.

I'm interested to hear your reaction to my history tossups. That's one thing I noticed while writing this tournament - Eric/Patrick/Chris have a different writing style for history questions than I do, or at least that my questions seemed to rely a lot less on named things.

EDIT: Aaron Rosenberg suggested that lead-in for the Mussorgsky question, and it seemed notable enough to musical layman me to be worth using.

EDIT 2: Nick also thought the Tahiti question was a bit transparent when I ran it by him, but after discussion we concluded that it's not actually that obvious that you're talking about a tropical island just because you have nude young girls.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:29 pm

I found the "rhapsodies" question confusing, actually -- I negged with something stupid, but then thought it was "piano concertos" until the end of the question (so almost surely would have otherwise negged with that). I forget what exactly the pronoun was, but I think it was just something like "this type of piece"? Making it clear that the common link was in the title rather than genre (at least eventually) may have helped. Or maybe it was already obvious and I just missed the point.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Ndg » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:46 pm

Urban Jarnik wrote:I found the "rhapsodies" question confusing, actually -- I negged with something stupid, but then thought it was "piano concertos" until the end of the question (so almost surely would have otherwise negged with that). I forget what exactly the pronoun was, but I think it was just something like "this type of piece"? Making it clear that the common link was in the title rather than genre (at least eventually) may have helped. Or maybe it was already obvious and I just missed the point.
That's more or less what happened to me... the first clue about a soloist nodding to the conductor made me think piano concertos, and then I buzzed on the description of the Rachmaninoff in the next clue and said "piano concerto" because it didn't occur to me that "rhapsody" was actually a type of piece (and because "Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini" is structured like a concerto, even if it isn't truly one). I agree that it's not a well defined "type of piece," given that the giveaway is basically that there is one "in blue."
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:07 pm

I realized that might be an issue while writing the question, but I never got around to fixing it. What would y'all suggest I use to link the two pieces that the tossup clues from?
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:26 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Aaron Rosenberg suggested that lead-in for the Mussorgsky question, and it seemed notable enough to musical layman me to be worth using.
I found that clue while digging around the internet, and it seemed important enough to be worth using - Night on Bald Mountain is one of those pieces that's notorious for the poor (depending on who you ask) treatment it received at the hands of editors, so I thought that performance clue seemed pretty notable and historically important - the original version has started to come back into vogue and apparently it can be traced to that Malko fellow bringing it from Russia to the west. If the clue was too hard for the field, then sure, that's a legitimate concern, but I still think it's buzzable in the strict sense that it points directly to the answer.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:54 pm

The Superfluous Man wrote:
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Aaron Rosenberg suggested that lead-in for the Mussorgsky question, and it seemed notable enough to musical layman me to be worth using.
I found that clue while digging around the internet, and it seemed important enough to be worth using - Night on Bald Mountain is one of those pieces that's notorious for the poor (depending on who you ask) treatment it received at the hands of editors, so I thought that performance clue seemed pretty notable and historically important - the original version has started to come back into vogue and apparently it can be traced to that Malko fellow bringing it from Russia to the west. If the clue was too hard for the field, then sure, that's a legitimate concern, but I still think it's buzzable in the strict sense that it points directly to the answer.
Yeah, I suppose I meant that it seemed unlikely that whoever wrote the question would have known the clue beforehand, i.e. that it's a clue that anybody would have known. I'll check the Taruskin Mussorgsky book, but I don't remember seeing that in there (not a great criterion--but where exactly was anybody supposed to be learning this clue?). Anyways, that's just one clue, and it's not representative of any recurring problem in the set, so I don't really want to dwell on it anymore.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:44 pm

vinteuil wrote:I think we would all appreciate a little less repetition of answerlines, even in different topics—it makes it seem like THIS ENTIRE TOURNAMENT IS GERMANY.
This is not a problem at all -- there were wildly different tossups on Germany in different categories, covering different time periods, etc.
vinteuil wrote:Yeah, I suppose I meant that it seemed unlikely that whoever wrote the question would have known the clue beforehand, i.e. that it's a clue that anybody would have known. I'll check the Taruskin Mussorgsky book, but I don't remember seeing that in there (not a great criterion--but where exactly was anybody supposed to be learning this clue?). Anyways, that's just one clue, and it's not representative of any recurring problem in the set, so I don't really want to dwell on it anymore.
I kind of do because this statement is utterly absurd. Do you think people who are writing questions actually know the lead-ins -- or even most of the clues -- in a tossup before they're writing it? Suddenly most of the clues in most of the college questions I've written are clues nobody would have known?
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:48 pm

Can I see the Nuwa, Mexico, and Jormungandr tossups? The choice of Nuwa as an answerline seems inordinately hard, and the ox-head clue for Jormungandr seemed way too early considering how famous the Thor fishing story is.

I agree that some of the tossups were far too transparent: I buzzed on a wild guess on the second clue of the Medici tu to Jacob's amusement (in addition to what might have been a description of the Embarkation in the lead-in; though I might have been wrong, that would have been way early for that clue).
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Corry » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:59 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:Can I see the Nuwa, Mexico, and Jormungandr tossups? The choice of Nuwa as an answerline seems inordinately hard, and the ox-head clue for Jormungandr seemed way too early considering how famous the Thor fishing story is.

I agree that some of the tossups were far too transparent: I buzzed on a wild guess on the second clue of the Medici tu to Jacob's amusement (in addition to what might have been a description of the Embarkation in the lead-in; though I might have been wrong, that would have been way early for that clue).
My teammate Boyang buzzed relatively early on the Nuwa tossup (not sure if he powered it), but then again Boyang is pretty much the most Chinese person ever. Either way, we were both really surprised that it could be a tossup answer line.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:13 pm

You did, in fact, buzz on a description of the Disembarkation at Marseilles! That's not the most famous painting in the world though, let alone the most famous by Rubens, so I see no problem with giving you 15 points for that. This only seems transparent in the context of the fact that the Medicis produced some famous French queens; perhaps I could change "woman" to just "person" in that tossup to avoid narrowing the answerspace that way, though I do like giving people the ability to apply some contextual knowledge for tossups. I guess that isn't quite as difficult as the other questions in this set, though.
Round 2 wrote: 12. An attempt to capture this creature is shown on the left of the Ardre VIII stone. After slaying this creature, one character takes nine steps before falling dead. This creature is most often depicted in art being baited by one character with an ox head. A ruler of a castle used magic to turn this creature into a cat, which is why that cat was so (*) heavy that one hero could barely lift if off the floor. The waves created by this creature propel a ship made entirely of nails to carry several giants to battle. This example of an ouroboros is pulled from the water by a hero who attempts to kill it with a hammer, but it survives to poison the sea and sky at the end of the world. For 10 points, name this creature which is killed by and kills Thor at Ragnarok, a giant Norse snake that circles the world.
ANSWER: Jörmungandr [or the Midgard Serpent, World Serpent, and other similar things] <WA>
Round 3 wrote: 6. A people from this modern-day country believed the storm god became chief god after passing a test of fire. Warriors who died in this modern-day country were thought to accompany the rising sun in the east. In a legend originating in this country, a woman must wander the world searching for her drowned children forever, constantly weeping. Worshippers from this modern-day country wore flayed skins in honor of a god of fertility. Blue (*) paint was applied to the foreheads of victims of waterborne disease and drowning in this modern-day country, since they were bound south for the realm of a storm god who married a goddess with a jade skirt. This country is the origin of the rain god Cocijo, as well as the underworlds of Mictlan and Tlalocan. For 10 points, name this country, the home of legends about La Llorona, La Malinche, and the conquest of the Aztecs.
ANSWER: Mexico [or United Mexican States; or Estados Unidos Mexicanos] <WA>
Round 5 wrote: 19. This deity took a long rope, dipped it in mud, and flung the mud in all directions to speed up the completion of one task. As part of another task, this deity took several rocks of different colors from a river and reshaped them. This goddess is frequently depicted entwined with her consort, who is credited with inventing fishing and trapping. After a water god angrily smashed his head against a mountain, this goddess cut off the legs of a giant tortoise to use as a new pillar to hold up the (*) wall of heaven before using her serpentine body to block the resulting flood. When this this wife of the first of the Three Sovereigns was lonely, she created animals for six days before using yellow clay to craft humanity on the seventh. This daughter of the Jade Emperor is married to her brother, Fu Xi. For 10 points, name this Chinese creator goddess.
ANSWER: Nüwa [or Nu Gua; or Nyuwa; or similar Chinese variants] <WA>
Round 10 wrote: 18. This family commissioned a series of paintings for a chapel showing a journey from Jerusalem in which one of its members is believed to be depicted as Caspar. In another painting, a woman from this family is greeted by a man with a blue cape decorated with the fleur-de-lis as a man in black armor watches from the left. This family commissioned the (*) Magi Chapel. Because it is set in an orange grove, scholars have argued that this family commissioned a painting in which a winged blue figure abducts a surprised Chloris. Flight from Blois and Disembarkation at Marseilles are part of a cycle of paintings created by Peter Paul Rubens that depict the life of a French queen from this family named Marie. For 10 points, name this banking family from Florence that patronized many artists.
ANSWER: Medici family <WA>
I wasn't sure how to evaluate the clues for the Midgard Serpent questions. Nuwa, I'll admit, was somewhat experimental and pushing the limit in terms of answer-space, but Chinese mythology is something that people know real things about and so I don't think it needs to have as gradual an introduction into the canon as other things do.
Last edited by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea on Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:18 pm

Cody wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Yeah, I suppose I meant that it seemed unlikely that whoever wrote the question would have known the clue beforehand, i.e. that it's a clue that anybody would have known. I'll check the Taruskin Mussorgsky book, but I don't remember seeing that in there (not a great criterion--but where exactly was anybody supposed to be learning this clue?). Anyways, that's just one clue, and it's not representative of any recurring problem in the set, so I don't really want to dwell on it anymore.
I kind of do because this statement is utterly absurd. Do you think people who are writing questions actually know the lead-ins -- or even most of the clues -- in a tossup before they're writing it? Suddenly most of the clues in most of the college questions I've written are clues nobody would have known?
Actually, since Aaron is one of the best music players in the collegiate quizbowl game, I am in fact expecting him to have known the leadin beforehand if the topic is something that he knows about (so I guess we're making that assumption for Mussorgsky), otherwise it's exceedingly unlikely that anybody else will know it—so now we've wasted a line of tossup. I'm pretty sure that the idea that "all clues should be something that somebody in the field is likely to know" is not revolutionary, especially at regular difficulty.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:You did, in fact, buzz on a description of the Disembarkation at Marseilles! That's not the most famous painting in the world though, let alone the most famous by Rubens, so I see absolutely no problem with giving you 15 points for that.
That's thing though, I do--giving power for that seems very inconsistent with the philosophy of the rest of the tournament given that the Disembarkation is the most famous of artworks depicting a family. I'm also surprised you decided to use the clue that early when you seemed to be going in an interesting direction early on by describing works of art commisioned by Medicis and placed in Medici buildings.
Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:I wasn't sure how to evaluate the clues for the Midgard Serpent questions. Nuwa, I'll admit, was somewhat experimental and pushing the limit in terms of answer-space, but Chinese mythology is something that people know real things about and so I don't think it needs to have as gradual an introduction into the canon as other things do.
Yeah, after seeing the full Midgard question, I'm convinced that you just needed to add more early difficulty clues. TBH, I don't know many more myself off the top of my head, but they're certainly out there.

As for Nuwa, I'm hesitant on this canon-expansion idea you just pushed for Nuwa--Chang'e and Yi are by far better known, I think--but I will hear more feedback from people who are simultaneously myth players and, you know, not Chinese.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:33 pm

vinteuil wrote:Actually, since Aaron is one of the best music players in the collegiate quizbowl game, I am in fact expecting him to have known the leadin beforehand if the topic is something that he knows about (so I guess we're making that assumption for Mussorgsky), otherwise it's exceedingly unlikely that anybody else will know it—so now we've wasted a line of tossup. I'm pretty sure that the idea that "all clues should be something that somebody in the field is likely to know" is not revolutionary, especially at regular difficulty.
"all clues should be something that somebody in the field is likely to know" is fine; the idea that "an 'expert' should know lead-ins before they're used" is not because it isn't true and shouldn't be. As was the case here, 'expert's (or otherwise) should calibrate their clues based on what they expect the field to know. This can involve knowing the clue beforehand, but that is by no means anywhere close to the dominant paradigm. Any other way lies madness.
Last edited by Cody on Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:34 pm

I'll consider picking a different clue from the Marie de Medici cycle for that tossup, and definitely use the word "person" rather than "woman" as I described in my edits to my previous post.

Obviously, I don't have a lot of cultural exposure to Chinese myth - all I've got is reading/hearing some stories as a kid and then revisiting them in my quizbowl years. It was definitely a harder "outlier" answer and there were a lot of those scattered throughout the set; I'm personally fine with these as long as there are plenty of easy-to-convert answers on other topics (Mexico, archery, Russians, etc).
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:38 pm

Cody wrote:
vinteuil wrote:Actually, since Aaron is one of the best music players in the collegiate quizbowl game, I am in fact expecting him to have known the leadin beforehand if the topic is something that he knows about (so I guess we're making that assumption for Mussorgsky), otherwise it's exceedingly unlikely that anybody else will know it—so now we've wasted a line of tossup. I'm pretty sure that the idea that "all clues should be something that somebody in the field is likely to know" is not revolutionary, especially at regular difficulty.
"all clues should be something that somebody in the field is likely to know" is fine; the idea that "an 'expert' should know lead-ins before they're used" is not because it isn't true and shouldn't be. As was the case here, 'expert's (or otherwise) should calibrate their clues based on what they expect the field to know. This can involve knowing the clue beforehand, but that is by no means anywhere close to the dominant paradigm. Any other way lies madness.
This is reasonable. The intention behind the statement was in fact the idea that somebody in the field should be expected to know it, and I picked this as a way of ensuring that (obviously the fact that the expert knows the clue is never an excuse for including it in a question if it is too hard, and I didn't mean to imply that). I stand by my assessment that I have strong doubts that anybody in the field could have been reasonably expected to know this clue.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:48 pm

Oh, speaking of that Russian myth answerline, I'd consider swapping Slavic to be the main answerline and Russians as an acceptable answerline--when you say "these peoples," that made me think you wanted Slavs, and there was a tense few seconds while the mod figured out if Slav was acceptable (which he only did after deciding "East" wasn't underlined in "East Slavic"). I'd say ask for a country and Russia, but I guess that excludes the satellite Soviet states.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:54 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:As for Nuwa, I'm hesitant on this canon-expansion idea you just pushed for Nuwa--Chang'e and Yi are by far better known, I think--but I will hear more feedback from people who are simultaneously myth players and, you know, not Chinese.
Oh hey I'm those things! Nuwa is probably too hard to be a tossup answer at regular difficulty, but is a fine subject for harder tournaments (and has been tossed up several times at such tournaments!).
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:57 pm

The problem with asking for a country is that a lot of the myths being described are pretty general East Slavic motifs, so you need to accept both. However, I didn't think this would cause confusion among people who know that the things being described are important in Russian folklore, and if people don't know that "Russians" count as an ethnic group (if perhaps one that only achieved a relatively strong identity in modern times) then they have another problem.

Rob did express concerns, but after things like The New Jim Crow started creeping into the tournament (which was probably a problem in its own right, I admit) I felt fine keeping the question.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Corry » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:23 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:Oh, speaking of that Russian myth answerline, I'd consider swapping Slavic to be the main answerline and Russians as an acceptable answerline--when you say "these peoples," that made me think you wanted Slavs, and there was a tense few seconds while the mod figured out if Slav was acceptable (which he only did after deciding "East" wasn't underlined in "East Slavic"). I'd say ask for a country and Russia, but I guess that excludes the satellite Soviet states.
For the record, Boyang was thinking that the answer line was "Slavs" through almost the whole question.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:54 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:I realized that might be an issue while writing the question, but I never got around to fixing it. What would y'all suggest I use to link the two pieces that the tossup clues from?
That's a hard question, but maybe something that emphasizes that this is what these pieces are "called" would be possible, depending on what the sentence structure is.

I may have been too rash in saying that "piece of this type" just doesn't work, though: if it were me, I might have led in with a clue from (say) Enesco's Romanian Rhapsodies instead, so that you'd end up saying "an orchestral piece of this type…" at the beginning, before mentioning that there are also "pieces of this type" that have soloists / are concertos (thus avoiding the red herring).

As for the Mussorgsky question, there are probably more interesting possible leadins than "Conductor X notably performed a piece by this composer in year Y", but at least the answer line wasn't a record label.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Jem Casey » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:37 pm

Will, I thought your history questions were, for the most part, really creative and interesting. However, there were a few ideas that just didn't work. The Tanzimat reforms tossup definitely falls into this category--that answer is both too hard for regular difficulty and almost impossible to execute without major transparency issues, issues which your tossup didn't manage to avoid since it essentially established the answer to be a period of reform in Ottoman history within the first two clues or so. Also, answers like "Sudan" which require players to transpose modern geography onto the ancient world usually play less than ideally, particularly when legendary things like Blemmyes are introduced to the mix.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Corry » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:46 pm

Jem Casey wrote:Will, I thought your history questions were, for the most part, really creative and interesting. However, there were a few ideas that just didn't work. The Tanzimat reforms tossup definitely falls into this category--that answer is both too hard for regular difficulty and almost impossible to execute without major transparency issues, issues which your tossup didn't manage to avoid since it essentially established the answer to be a period of reform in Ottoman history within the first two clues or so. Also, answers like "Sudan" which require players to transpose modern geography onto the ancient world usually play less than ideally, particularly when legendary things like Blemmyes are introduced to the mix.
I'm inclined to agree on the Tanzimat question. When I played that tossup, I was thinking the answer was some Ottoman period from essentially the first line, although I couldn't decide between Tanzimat, the Tulip period, or the "Young Turks period thingy". In retrospect, the latter two answers are totally crazy, so I probably should've just buzzed with Tanzimat at like the 2nd line or so.

I didn't mind the Sudan tossup so much, except the part of the Blemyah, which was cool (I'd heard of them before) but pretty unhelpful (I knew they lived in Africa, but who cares what part of Africa? They don't actually exist!). Also, "according to Wikipedia", they also supposedly lived in Libya and southern Egypt.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:39 am

The Tanzimat question, I'll admit, probably wasn't a great idea. It did get a lot of last minute edits, though, that I didn't end up seeing, which I think made it worse. I'll think about what I can do, and I might throw the question out.

Also, I should rewrite the Sudan question so that the point of the Blemmyes clue is that there happened to be this one Nobadae tribe that was actually called the Blemmyes by classical sources.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Gonzagapuma1 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:34 pm

Why is Italian independence not acceptable for Italian unification? The war following the Treaty of Plombieres is frequently called the Second War of Italian Independence.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Gonzagapuma1 wrote:Why is Italian independence not acceptable for Italian unification? The war following the Treaty of Plombieres is frequently called the Second War of Italian Independence.
I took this in my room, it was an answerline flub. Will fix.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Guile Island » Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:40 pm

I thought the Midgard Serpent could have been executed much better, but I was also under the impression that the thing about Thor taking nine steps before dying after his fight with Jormungandr was really really famous (It's one of the first things I learned about Jormungandr and Regnarok in general).

Considering the only knowledge I have of Piketty is a 5-minute ish video summary of his central thesis in Capital, that tossup seemed pretty easy to figure out in power for me while I was reading it, but I'll have to go over it again at non-game speed and see if that was due to having the answer in front of me (it probably was).
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:38 pm

I will see if I can dig up some more clues about the Midgard Serpent or find time to replace the question. Understanding Piketty's actual thesis in terms of economics lingo seems worth 15 points to me since he's not a canonical or easy answer. The stuff about a "fair society" can apply to a lot of modern thinkers (Stiglitz, Krugman, etc.) if you don't know the specific phrases that Piketty uses; the other stuff is obviously particular to his economic theory (especially the bit about the substitution of labor and capital).

Here are the new Midgard Serpent and Tahiti questions, if people think they are better:
Packet 2 wrote:12. An attempt to capture this creature is shown on the left of the Ardre VIII stone. An animal known as the “Sky-Bellower” is killed before going on a trip to slay this creature. After slaying this creature, one character takes nine steps before falling dead. An enchanter makes his drinking-horn impossible to finish after using magic to turn this creature into a grey (*) cat, which is why the cat was so heavy that one hero could barely lift if off the floor. An ox head is used to bait this creature by a hero who attempts to kill it with a hammer. This sibling of the goddess Hel and the wolf Fenrir poisons the sea and sky at the end of the world. For 10 points, name this creature which is killed by and kills Thor at Ragnarok, a giant Norse snake that circles the world.
ANSWER: Jormungandr [or the Midgard Serpent; World Serpent; or obvious equivalents] <WA>
Packet 7 wrote:10. In one painting of this place, the central member of a trio of figures places her legs in a multicolored pool that reflects a sunset on its right. The background of a self-portrait of an artist in this place shows one of that artist’s paintings in which an old woman in black looks at a young girl who is imagining ghosts. An artist said he would commit suicide after completing a painting of this place which he claimed should be read from right to left. That painting showing people from this place shows a child eating an apple in the foreground while a woman listens to a large (*) blue idol. Day of the God and Spirit of the Dead Watching depict this place, whose natives are shown in three groups representing three existential questions in Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? For 10 points, name this Pacific Island whose women are the subject of numerous Gauguin paintings.
ANSWER: Tahiti [accept anything mentioning Tahiti] <WA>
I don't remember the nine steps thing too well from my readings of the Eddas, but perhaps other people found it more memorable. Regardless, I think this incarnation of the tossup is probably a fair bit better than the previous one.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Grace » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:12 am

UlyssesInvictus wrote:As for Nuwa, I'm hesitant on this canon-expansion idea you just pushed for Nuwa--Chang'e and Yi are by far better known, I think--but I will hear more feedback from people who are simultaneously myth players and, you know, not Chinese.
Well, I don't quite qualify as a proper giver of feedback, given that I'm not a real myth player and decidedly Chinese, but I thought that the tossup was perfectly fine as a canon-expansion piece and constructed from fairly easy clues. I feel comfortable arguing that Nuwa is, culturally speaking, far more central a figure than Chang'e and Hou Yi. Her creation of man (first line) and repair of the heavens are among the most important stories in Chinese myth; she is much more important than Pangu, who seems to be considered a fine high school bonus part or middle clue. Moreover, because creation stories from different myth systems are often taught in middle/high school classrooms, I believe that the likelihood of coming upon the creation of man story (rope, mud, etc. etc.) in an educational setting is pretty high; I know that I, at least (thanks racial stereotyping!) have played Nuwa or narrated the story in at least three presentation-pageant things during my time in school.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:30 am

Grace wrote:
UlyssesInvictus wrote:As for Nuwa, I'm hesitant on this canon-expansion idea you just pushed for Nuwa--Chang'e and Yi are by far better known, I think--but I will hear more feedback from people who are simultaneously myth players and, you know, not Chinese.
Well, I don't quite qualify as a proper giver of feedback, given that I'm not a real myth player and decidedly Chinese, but I thought that the tossup was perfectly fine as a canon-expansion piece and constructed from fairly easy clues. I feel comfortable arguing that Nuwa is, culturally speaking, far more central a figure than Chang'e and Hou Yi. Her creation of man (first line) and repair of the heavens are among the most important stories in Chinese myth; she is much more important than Pangu, who seems to be considered a fine high school bonus part or middle clue. Moreover, because creation stories from different myth systems are often taught in middle/high school classrooms, I believe that the likelihood of coming upon the creation of man story (rope, mud, etc. etc.) in an educational setting is pretty high; I know that I, at least (thanks racial stereotyping!) have played Nuwa or narrated the story in at least three presentation-pageant things during my time in school.
This succinctly describes my thinking as I constructed this tossup. I picked basically the easiest clues I could use for a reasonable pyramidal tossup on Nuwa.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:46 am

Having now actually read the tossup, I think it was probably still a little too hard but not a bad canon-expansion idea. I though the rope thing was decidedly too early but in general all of the clues seemed pretty good--it had all the most important stories, as far as I know.
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:48 am

Since people have apparently changed their minds, let me wade in here.

(1) Canon expansion is a dumb idea and anyone here who still believes in it should stop doing so immediately. If you are writing questions to "expand" the "canon", then you are doing everything wrong and should be castigated for doing so. For the vast majority of teams, topics do not suddenly become easier just because they've shown up in tournaments. If Nuwa is not currently an appropriate tossup for regular difficulty (which she is not*), she will never by an appropriate tossup no matter how many times she shows up in questions because people want to "expand" the "canon".

(This is not to say that you don't have to adjust overused clues in tossups because they'll play poorly for top teams -- but that has nothing to do with canon expansion).

(Less importantly, because canon expansion is a dumb idea, you have completely misunderstood the idea of canon expansion. Please go read the QB Wiki article on this subject and then STOP).

(2) Let's be very clear, from having talked to other players, this was a bad question. Whether or not it had good clues is immaterial if the ordering of clues was wrong and it dropped the most famous clues early.

*I saw this tossup played and talked to a number of other moderators in whose room it went dead. A couple of players, who know Chinese myth, posting about getting the question does not mean that it wasn't far too hard. The bell curve of difficulty only extends so far.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

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vinteuil
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:16 am

Cody wrote:Since people have apparently changed their minds, let me wade in here.

(1) Canon expansion is a dumb idea and anyone here who still believes in it should stop doing so immediately. If you are writing questions to "expand" the "canon", then you are doing everything wrong and should be castigated for doing so. For the vast majority of teams, topics do not suddenly become easier just because they've shown up in tournaments. If Nuwa is not currently an appropriate tossup for regular difficulty (which she is not*), she will never by an appropriate tossup no matter how many times she shows up in questions because people want to "expand" the "canon".

(This is not to say that you don't have to adjust overused clues in tossups because they'll play poorly for top teams -- but that has nothing to do with canon expansion).
I *think* that I agree with Cody, although I'm interpreting this post to mean: "you can't make a thing people know about easier than a hard part or ACF nats tossup ("expanding the canon of tossup answerlines at regular difficulty") just by tossing it up at regular difficulty."
Jacob Reed
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Cody
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Cody » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:12 pm

vinteuil wrote:I *think* that I agree with Cody, although I'm interpreting this post to mean: "you can't make a thing people know about easier than a hard part or ACF nats tossup ("expanding the canon of tossup answerlines at regular difficulty") just by tossing it up at regular difficulty."
This is a good interpretation. Basically, the difficulty of a topic across the whole field* is not tied to the number of times it shows up in quizbowl; thus, attempts to "expand" the "canon" are misguided, at best.

*This is to say: a topic X that comes up too much can become too easy to be a hard part, but this means you need a new topic Y for a hard part, not that topic X is now appropriate for a middle part (it isn't). Extend this logically for different difficulty levels and tossups vs. bonuses, clues vs. answers, etc.
Cody Voight, VCU ‘14. I wrote lots of science and am an electrical engineer.
VCU Tournament Director ‘13-‘17. HSAPQ President ‘15-16.
Hero of Socialist Quizbowl Labor (NSC ‘14). “esteemed colleague” of Snap Wexley, ca. 2016. Stats Hero (Nats ‘16).
Quizbowl at VCU

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Auks Ran Ova
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:01 pm

Yeah, to clarify my own latest post: I would not toss up Nuwa at a regular-difficulty tournament, either based on my own intuition or based on the empirical results I saw when it happened, and I don't think the clues in this tossup were in the right order at all. What I do like is that Chinese myth is a reasonable area for potential "canon expansion" in the legitimate way--i.e., writing tossups on things that haven't been tossed up before with the reasonable expectation that they'll be converted well (rather than a misguided attempt to "force" something into askability by asking about it more).
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Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen
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Re: Will's Questions

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:08 pm

For what it's worth, I (and at least one other person in my room) recognised the rope thing but couldn't remember the name of the character, at the time.
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