ACF Winter discussion

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ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:20 pm

Now that all the mirrors have concluded and Washington's tournament will be running a Penn Bowl mirror instead, I would like to formally open up ACF Winter to discussion. You can find the set on Chris Cater's collegiate quizbowl packets archive. Before the discussion commences, I'd like to make some comments.

First off, I'd like to thank my co-editors, Trygve Meade and Dennis Jang. I thought they did an excellent job, particularly during that last push to get the last two editor packets out the door. Trygve was the best of all of us, finishing early and then helping us pull through in the end.

I also want to thank all of the teams that submitted packets. We had a bumper crop of packets for the first ever ACF Winter, and most of them were very good. I particularly want to single out for praise teams like Michigan State, UCSD, UCLA, Truman, Missouri State, South Detroit (Jack Glerum and friends), Pitt, and Walter Johnson high school for submitting some very good packets. Most of these teams have minimal writing experience but still managed to do a very good job of following directions and submitting good packets. Also, thanks to every team that managed to get their packet in early; this was a huge boon for us.

The unfortunate counterpart to the above was the failure of some teams to satisfy the distribution. We got some packets that just didn't have the right questions that they were supposed to have. Since we were combining packets, in most cases this did not hurt us that much, but sometimes when you're in a crunch and you're looking for that last "Science - other" tossup, it's quite frustrating to have to write it from scratch because neither packet has one. Please don't do this in the future.

Next, some comments on difficulty. The stated target difficulty of ACF Winter was "regular," and it seems that we probably overshot that difficulty target. I will say that in almost every instance where we had to rewrite a tossup or throw it out, we replaced it with something that we thought was easier. Based on what I've heard so far, it seems that most people felt the questions were harder than intended; I think particularly there were some bonuses that were just way too difficult for any non-nationals field, many of which I was responsible for, so I would like to apologize for that. I'm interested in what people thought about this issue and which things were harder than which other things.

Given how many packets we had, we thought it best to combine packets across sites so that the strengths of one packet could make up for the weaknesses of another. So if a lot of your questions didn't get used, that doesn't necessarily mean they are bad; more likely it means that there was an overlap or another better question was available elsewhere that required less work. The same goes overall for packets used; we tried to use as many packets as we could, but we were not able to use all of them for various reasons. Again, please don't take this to mean that we don't value your writing contribution or that you should stop submitting packets to tournaments. With a lot of good across-the-field submissions coming in, we had to make some choices about how to best use our time, and sometimes that meant leaving out a packet. I believe 5 or 6 packets were unused, and under different circumstances, those packets might have found a use in some combination.

In addition to answering any questions that come up in this thread, we'll be happy to answer as many questions as we can by email. We will also be trying to get you some feedback on the questions we edited and such. I think it will be impossible for us to address every submitted question, but we can certainly address the ones we changed. I'm going to assume that if you post here, that means that it's ok to post the submitted/edited versions for comparison; if you want a private answer, please email the editors. For reference, the editing breakdown was as follows:

Jerry: physics, chemistry, European/Canadian/Australian history, European literature, Philosophy, Fine Arts (non-music), Math/CS/Astro/Earth science, Mythology

Trygve: Social Science, Geography, Religion, Trash, World history, European/Canadian/Australian history, post-500 C.E. European literature, Trash

Dennis: American Literature, American history, biology, Fine Arts (music), British literature, "other" science, European/Canadian/Australian history, World+"other" literature"

Ok, enough of me talking. I'd like to open up the thread to all your comments.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:32 pm

The difficulty level seemed a little inconsistent to me, but I don't know how well I can judge such things. The What's Opera, Doc? bonus made my day, though. That was awesome. More awesome was the look on Greg Tito's face as I 30d that bonus for us...I love a chance to be useful.

The apparent missing words were less awesome, though, especially since we had a few inexperienced moderators for part of the day. Sounds like something odd may have happened during packetizing, which is understandable. Most of the questions were good, though, despite the fluctuating difficulty. The one thing I took issue with was "Alan Breck" at the very beginning of the Kidnapped TU. Maybe it's just because I read it in 8th grade, but I thought the first line was a bit early to name the guy the protagonist hangs out with for about 75% of the novel.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:57 pm

Yeah, I had a great time at this, and it seems like my teammates and B-team did as well. With that being said, the stuff was pretty damn hard, especially the bonuses, and the science seemed harder than the rest of the set. There was also monotonously much orgo, and it seemed like there was about twice as much science as history, although that was probably just an illusion.

Now, some comments on specific questions:
-The tossup on the Council of Constance could have clarified that it was Antipope John XXIII and not the regular John XXIII who romped around in Vatican II.

...I had a couple of others but can't remember them now. I'll edit this in later once I remember them.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:08 am

Sir Thopas wrote:Yeah, I had a great time at this, and it seems like my teammates and B-team did as well. With that being said, the stuff was pretty damn hard, especially the bonuses, and the science seemed harder than the rest of the set. There was also monotonously much orgo, and it seemed like there was about twice as much science as history, although that was probably just an illusion.

Now, some comments on specific questions:
-The tossup on the Council of Constance could have clarified that it was Antipope John XXIII and not the regular John XXIII who romped around in Vatican II.

...I had a couple of others but can't remember them now. I'll edit this in later once I remember them.
I would like to echo Guy to say that I had fun at this tournament, even if the difficulty level was a bit higher than I expected. There were some good and interesting social science and philosophy tossups that I enjoyed, but there was an overall need for some proofreading, as exemplified by that lack of "Antipope" as stated above.

I shall have more to say tomorrow. Thanks to all of the editors for an enjoyable set.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Lapego1 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:44 am

Yes, the orgo in this set was at times too much. I mean, it was accessible and all, but there are more interesting things in chemistry to ask about, and I would say less than a handful of packets had non-orgo stuff as their chem (though I say this without looking at the packets, so I'm not sure). This resulted in far too many functional group tossups. I favor chemical element tossups like the "zinc" one using orgo clues over a bunch of functional group questions. Apparently process of elimination wasn't valid on these either, as I managed to neg both azides tossups with nitriles (the second one because azide had already come up, so I named the only other common nitrogen-containing functional group that made sense in the question). I didn't think the science on the whole, tossup-wise, was inaccessible or anything; all of it seemed reasonable for this level. The mitochondria and Van Allen Belts tossups I thought could've used some work. I mean, the oft-overused Eve theory clue seemed to be the second or third clue, and for the latter, mentioning inner and outer regions in the lead-in doesn't seem right, though this might be from me writing too many Van Allen questions. I recall multiple science bonuses that I remember thinking were too hard (I'll post specifics when the set comes out).

Difficulty-wise, this set seemed like much too big a jump from ACF Fall, and I'm not sure what the target was compared to past years, but this seemed around the level of last year's Regionals, sometimes harder. I know Maryland fielded the same team at both Fall and Winter, and while they had a PPB of 25+ at Fall, it dropped to below 20 here, which I might've expected more for a Regionals set. On the whole, it was probably too hard, yes, but still pretty enjoyable, so thanks Jerry, Trygve, and Dennis!
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:58 am

MLWGS-Gir wrote:The What's Opera, Doc? bonus made my day, though. That was awesome. More awesome was the look on Greg Tito's face as I 30d that bonus for us...I love a chance to be useful.
Aww, we didn't get to hear that one. How did it go?

fsb, who also noticed general difficultness, but can't compare it to ACF Fall
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by millionwaves » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:03 am

rienzi0711 wrote:
MLWGS-Gir wrote:The What's Opera, Doc? bonus made my day, though. That was awesome. More awesome was the look on Greg Tito's face as I 30d that bonus for us...I love a chance to be useful.
Aww, we didn't get to hear that one. How did it go?
Lawrence/Georgia Tech wrote: It features Bugs Bunny’s entrance on a horse of “operatic proportions” and Elmer Fudd’s solo, “Oh Bwunhilde, you’w so wuvwy.” For 10 points each:
[10] Name this 1957 cartoon short directed by Chuck Jones, a spoof of the operas of Richard Wagner. Repeatedly picked as the #1 cartoon of all time, its title references Bugs’s catchphrase.
ANSWER: What’s Opera, Doc?
[10] Arthur Q. Bryan provided the voice of Elmer Fudd for the short, but Bugs Bunny was, as usual, voiced by this man, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and countless other Looney Tunes.
ANSWER: Mel Blanc
[10] What’s Opera, Doc? is most well-known for Elmer Fudd’s singing of this three-word phrase to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”
ANSWER: “kill the wabbit” [or “kill the rabbit”]
Thanks very much to everyone who played the set, I know I had a great time working on it. I'd also like to edit Jerry's praise for the overall quality of the submitted packets - I was extremely heartened at the sort of snapshot of the general writing ability of the circuit that I got. I'll have more (specific) things to say tomorrow.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:48 am

Let me preface my post by saying that I had a great time at the tournament; the playoff games were among the most exciting I've ever had (two came down to the last tossup and the third was neck-and-neck until I negged TU 19).

I thought this was a solid tournament, but not one I would put anywhere near "great." By "solid," I mean the following: tossups were generally pyramidal, and bonuses followed an easy-medium-hard paradigm where you could tell which parts were supposed to go where. If you can do this consistently over 17 packets, you've done a good job.

Here's where the tournament could have been much improved, which prevents it from being great:

1. Repeats. Lots and lots of repeats. My teammate counted somewhere around 15 repeats out of the 12 packets we heard. A few repeats is fine, but averaging around 1 repeat per packet (including what seemed to be the same replacement tossup pasted into two different packets) is not.

2. Bonus difficulty variability. I feel sorry for any low-level teams that played on Editors 2(? I think it was Editors 2), worked to earn their points, and then watched the other team get a more-or-less free 30 points on a geography bonus that could have been lifted right out of a frosh-soph high school tournament.

3. Playing against the packet. I don't know whether it's because I've gotten a whole lot better since the last time I played a "regular" difficulty tournament or because there were misplaced clues, but there were a lot of clues that I felt showed up way too early. As a prime example, I'll take the Holi tossup in Editors 1 that mentioned India in the second line. At that point, you had one of three choices: you figured there was only one Indian festival askable at this level (-5), you knew that there was this other Indian festival named Holi that sometimes comes up and figured they wouldn't put India that early if it was Diwali (10), or you knew it was one or the other but didn't have the knowledge to differentiate or the guts to guess (binary bowl). The xylem tossup had a similar problem where it reduced to a really small set of answers in the first couple of lines.

4. Non-unique clues. Any question that begins along the lines of "It can indicate both the frequency and the phase when depicted as a complex number" just wasted a sentence (seriously, all this sentence told me was that it's something that can be depicted as a phasor, which is a whole lot of things).

Again, I had fun at this tournament, and it certainly wasn't a bad tournament, but I didn't get that feeling of "this was a great tournament" from ACF Winter.
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ACF Winter Discussion

Post by SnookerUSF » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:02 am

First, I want to thank Chris Chiego and the rest of the UGA contingent for putting on a fine tournament, despite the failure of some teams to show up and some teams leaving early. They managed to deal with a number of laptop issues, and a series of re-bracketings to encourage competitive play quickly and efficiently. I have no doubt that had these issues not occurred, the tournament would have finished on time or even early. I am a bit dismayed that GT left early, despite being less than an hour away and finishing in the top bracket, and I am not requesting any explanation, but I hope the reasons were well-founded. Also it was nice to see some new faces fare well in competition, and I hope they continue to improve and provide the southeast with some excellent matches in the months and years to come specifically: Alvin, Casey and Robert H. Also I would like to thank the editors: Jerry, Dennis and Trygve for all their industrious work on the packets, and despite the occasional grammatical error, repeat, and "interesting" answer selection, obviously a lot of work went into these packets and perhaps 90-95% of the tournament was without reproach.

Having communicated with one of the editors, I think I have a better grasp on why the rounds came out more garbled than I expected, given the quality of the editing team, and there were a few repeats which seemed unfortunate, both in exact answer and shared information: William James, the diadochi, Franz Joseph I (with the same info about losing the battle of Solferino), and Kawabata.

I thought that the tossups were quite consistent and pyramidal, even in the science, but perhaps a little orgo heavy at the expense of some inorganic or industrial process chemistry but nothing outrageous. Overall, while there were some inconsistencies in the bonus difficulty, I think it had more to do with one perhaps overly hard bonus part rather than a fundamentally misguided bonus. I will say that I thought that the Reynolds number tossup was especially well done and non-transparent, and most of this tournament did an excellent job of introducing new information at this level without being unwieldy. I hope that ACF Regionals' editors recognize where things went a little pear-shaped and adjust accordingly to continue the great efforts ACF has made in the past few years to maintain the kind of accessibility that makes competition fun without being funn.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:13 am

I enjoyed reading at this tournament. There were too many weird typos and editors notes still in packets and repeats and stuff, but nothing that I should think would hinder a team's enjoyment too much.

I thought the questions were pretty good. I had issues with a few questions regarding answer acceptability. I wasn't a big fan of the Orlando tossup. I can see why Roland shouldn't technically be acceptable, but it still seems like a tossup that's just designed to get negs, especially from less experienced players. The NIRA tossup was confusing and didn't seem to know what it was asking for. The NRA was most certainly symbolized by a Blue Eagle with the motto "We Do Our Part," and yet they tell you not to accept NRA. I don't see why just Boer War wouldn't be acceptable for Second Boer War. I can't remember seeing tossups requiring "second" before.

Regarding teams leaving early, I'm never a fan of that, especially when said teams include Georgia Tech leaving a tournament in Athens early. I don't like to toot my own horn, but Douglass' law, toot toot. That said, the TD (who I thought did a great job) did ask teams to let him know if they wanted to leave early at the final rebracketing. In my world, teams wouldn't get such an invitation.

Anyway, I liked the tournament. There were good questions, competitive teams, and it was very well run. Kudos to Chris and the entire UGA team.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by millionwaves » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:07 pm

geography bonus that could have been lifted right out of a frosh-soph high school tournament.

I wrote that, and I've heard similar comments from other people; I must have misjudged the difficulty of Sapporo pretty sharply. My apologies.
As a prime example, I'll take the Holi tossup in Editors 1 that mentioned India in the second line. At that point, you had one of three choices: you figured there was only one Indian festival askable at this level (-5), you knew that there was this other Indian festival named Holi that sometimes comes up and figured they wouldn't put India that early if it was Diwali (10), or you knew it was one or the other but didn't have the knowledge to differentiate or the guts to guess (binary bowl). The xylem tossup had a similar problem where it reduced to a really small set of answers in the first couple of lines.
I wrote the Holi tossup, too. When editing the religion for the set, holidays in general were something I tried to minimize because I think most of them suffer from the problem you describe to some extent. There were only two holiday tossups total: one on Purim that I wrote to replace a repeat in a submitted packet and the one on Holi in Jerry's editor's packet. I cut a submitted tossup on Diwali because I felt I couldn't edit it up to a point where there would be multiple buzzable clues without making it transparent or reduce to "Well, it's a holiday in India, and I only know one that they'd ask about at this level, so..." One can give all sorts of clues like "In some places, they do this vague sounding ritual that might be non-unqiue, while in another place, they do this other thing that probably is non-unique..." but I feel like those clues don't really add up to a good, fun, pyramidal tossup. Writing on Holi was a (probably poor) decision brought on by being strapped for ideas and needing to come up with something that wasn't a repeat in a pretty short amount of time.

A couple of other things: I was responsible for randomizing the set and making the packets, so the issues with the garbled tossups are my responsibility, and I apologize for that. I'd like to thank Matt Weiner and Fred Morlan for helping me do that. I'd also like to thank George Stevens, Susan Ferrari, and Evan Nagler, who let me test questions with them and made great suggestions for their improvement.

The packets that are up now on Chris' site still have the problems with garbled questions, but I'm going to figure out what's up with that and fix that soon. There should be a non-screwed up version up pretty soon.

Also, if you'd like feedback on your questions, I'm happy to oblige for those that were in my categories. As Jerry says above, I edited Social Science, Geography, Religion, Trash, World history, European/Canadian/Australian history, post-500 C.E. European literature, and trash, except instead of editing trash twice, I edited trash and the other fine arts, so quesitons on sculpture, opera, jazz, architecture, and the like. You can e-mail me at trygvemeade@gmail.com.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:08 pm

An enjoyable tournament--I would have liked it better with more sleep and if I wasn't so rusty. Matches were of strong quality--We had a lot of close matches, including three decided on the last question (and to toot my horn, two of which were won on TUs scored by me).

Favorite Tossups: 2+2, Walter Benjamin, Our Man in Havana, Elmer Gantry. I wasn't playing it, but "Malice at the Palace" was great too--it definitely wasn't transparent, in my opinion. I like a good Sick Chicken Tossup too.

Bad Negs: Larry Bird for John Havlicek (I flaked out on dates and as a Pistons fan, "BIRD STOLE THE BALL!" is more engrained in your mind than Havlicek's steal), Crimean War for Great Game (again, just me being stupid and buzzing in on "Russia/Britain conflict"), Santeria for Voodoo (they sound the same to my undiscriminatory mind), Mongkut for Rama (kind of like Roland/Orlando, I just buzzed in on the first clues I recognized), and NRA for NIRA (this one genuinely pissed me off--I know it says legislation, but don't drop the clue about the symbol then).

Oddities: Maybe time has marched on, but it seemed like the Reagan toss-up opened with a rather famous incident (bombing of Beirut). The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire TU seemed to drop the Ladies Garments Worker Union thing a touch early. It's not a bad tossup either, but I was highly bemused for the Said clue for Fanny.

Favorite Moment: Bernadette buzzing in on "boats" and saying "I'm going to say FUCKING BOATS."
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Siverus Snape » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:12 pm

Is it just my inexperience, or is the World Lit distribution in this set too heavy on the Japanese stuff?
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:24 pm

I'm too lazy to go back through the packets right now, but am I correct in recalling a bonus part that stated that Max Ernst was part of Die Brucke? That doesn't seem right.

On an incredibly minor note, Wallace Stevens said that when he mentioned "Ramon Fernandez" in "The Idea of Order at Key West" that he was just using a name and was making no conscious reference to the French critic, though many think he was being disingenuous or coy.

I enjoyed reading for the teams at UGA and want to congratulate Chris Chiego and the other Dawgs for handling some crises efficiently and without drama.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cchiego » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:20 pm

That said, the TD (who I thought did a great job) did ask teams to let him know if they wanted to leave early at the final rebracketing. In my world, teams wouldn't get such an invitation.
Yeah this was a well-intentioned mistake on my part. Having been at COTKU earlier in the year where two teams at the bottom of the bracket left and screwed up the final few rounds, I wanted to give those teams without a chance of winning the opportunity to clear out before we set up the final schedules (this was after 9 rounds already). Much to my surprise, the only teams who wanted to leave at that juncture were Alabama and Georgia Tech, both of whom were in the running for the UG title and Tech was even in the top final bracket. All the other teams wanted to stay and play, which they did so although we stopped keeping track of scores for the lowest bracket and allowed the "bastard" teams to mix and match with some of the staff in unofficial rounds. In the future, I think keeping the expectation that all teams will be required to finish the tournament is the best idea.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Ethnic history of the Vilnius region » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:09 pm

Well, regardless, you all did a great job of hosting, and I look forward to reading at more UGA tournaments in the future, including NAQT.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:39 pm

Lawrence/Georgia Tech wrote:
Ah, that's one reason why.
cvdwightw wrote: 1. Repeats. Lots and lots of repeats. My teammate counted somewhere around 15 repeats out of the 12 packets we heard. A few repeats is fine, but averaging around 1 repeat per packet (including what seemed to be the same replacement tossup pasted into two different packets) is not.
Yes, this. Also, a few readers pointed out odd wordings (I think there was confusion about a tossup starting something like "this man and this work"... they wanted both composer and work or something like that) and one mentioned that he had to skip bonuses that apparently had no answers.

fsb, who, for the record, wanted to stay for the playoffs
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by millionwaves » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:38 pm

Hey, dudes and ladies:

I'm not saying that there weren't any repeats in this set, by any means, but I want to make sure that we're only characterizing actual repeats as repeats. Someone mentioned to me that there was a repeat of Verdi operas; in fact, there was an Aida tossup, and a bonus on three Verdi operas, none of which was Aida (although it might have been too hard as a bonus). While that's not an ideal situation, to my mind, and to the ACF rules, no repeated information means it's not a repeat.

Again, I'm not saying that there weren't (perhaps several) situations in which information was repeated, and those are obviously regrettable mistakes.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:01 pm

millionwaves wrote:I'm not saying that there weren't any repeats in this set, by any means, but I want to make sure that we're only characterizing actual repeats as repeats.
I can recall the following off the top of my head: a tossup on Walter Benjamin and a bonus part on him; two bonuses on the same Robert Merton (I'm 99% sure it's the same one), and the Orinoco River tossup being placed into two different packets. There were quite a few more that I don't remember off the top of my head.

That said, I recognize that it's hard to pull off a regular difficulty 17 round tournament and not run out of unique things to write on when it's two days before the tournament and you need a replacement tossup.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:04 pm

In the final I also remember there being a second tossup on azides.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Habitat_Against_Humanity » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:16 pm

I was just wondering if there was a conscious effort to put at least 1/0 Math into what seemed like nearly every packet. It certainly seemed that there was quite a bit of math. I'm not complaining in the least bit; in fact this is exactly the sort of science distribution ACF should use.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:40 pm

Habitat_Against_Humanity wrote:I was just wondering if there was a conscious effort to put at least 1/0 Math into what seemed like nearly every packet. It certainly seemed that there was quite a bit of math. I'm not complaining in the least bit; in fact this is exactly the sort of science distribution ACF should use.
There was definitely a conscious effort on my part to populate that 1/1 other science category. I would say that I tended to err on the side of math since I know that better than either earth science or CS, but I also tried to put those categories in there too. I suspect that some of the math might have been stealth physics, but one question per round sounds about plausible to me.

Thanks for your comments so far. It's much more helpful when people post specific examples of things they are talking about, so I encourage you to do that.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:12 pm

rienzi0711 wrote:
Lawrence/Georgia Tech wrote:(kill the wabbit)
Ah, that's one reason why.
Yeah, that was mine. You're welcome, Sarah (Angelo).
various people wrote:NRA for NIRA (this one genuinely pissed me off--I know it says legislation, but don't drop the clue about the symbol then).
An Eden Prairie player buzzed on that clue and made that neg, just barely beating out myself and one of my teammates, who were trying to buzz on that clue and make that neg.
Parson Smirk, Cheynem wrote:I wasn't a big fan of the Orlando tossup. I can see why Roland shouldn't technically be acceptable, but it still seems like a tossup that's just designed to get negs, especially from less experienced players.
I negged with "Roland" on the Roland clue. I still think that common-link tossups need to at least prompt when the answer linked to a clue is given after the clue is read.
a bunch of people wrote:repeats
This was noticeably higher than usual - at least twice, I got points for knowing a specific clue that I had learned earlier in the tourney.

Another issue was the inclusion of both a "sun" tossup (written by myself) and a "moon" tossup (by Stanford, Maryland, or Rom) in the same tournament. The moon tossup reduced to one or the other pretty fast, and when the sun's already been tossed up, that causes problems.


All of that aside, this was my first regular-difficulty tournament and my teammates' first mACF non-novice tournament, and we all enjoyed it. Well done and thank you to Jerry, Tryg, and Dennis.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:29 pm

Oh, and the Golden Bough/Coral Gardens/Hero with a Thousand Faces bonus was way too easy.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:49 pm

Oh, and the Golden Bough/Coral Gardens/Hero with a Thousand Faces bonus was way too easy.
I mean, based on what? We all have things we felt were too easy/hard. The fact that all of the answers are things most good players have heard of doesn't make it way too easy for a winter bonus. Honestly, would you have Campbell as an easy part? I wouldn't, and I don't understand why Coral Gardens and their Magic is too easy to be a hard part at a regular tournament. This is not the time to ask about The Dynamics of Cultural Change or whatever; I'd say that if a whole lot of teams 30ed this, it was due in not insignificant part to Jonathan Magin's hsqb handle, which is a poor way to evaluate appropriateness of difficulty.

I don't see how tossing out the X bonus was too hard/easy does much. Maybe you can talk to the editors individually about that kind of stuff, but unless you're using it to illustrate a larger aspect of winter's nature, why not just email them or something?
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by JackGlerum » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:03 pm

Siverus Snape wrote:Is it just my inexperience, or is the World Lit distribution in this set too heavy on the Japanese stuff?
The Japanese lit to African lit did seem like a lot to a little.

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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:31 pm

DumbJaques wrote:
Oh, and the Golden Bough/Coral Gardens/Hero with a Thousand Faces bonus was way too easy.
I mean, based on what? We all have things we felt were too easy/hard. The fact that all of the answers are things most good players have heard of doesn't make it way too easy for a winter bonus. Honestly, would you have Campbell as an easy part? I wouldn't, and I don't understand why Coral Gardens and their Magic is too easy to be a hard part at a regular tournament. This is not the time to ask about The Dynamics of Cultural Change or whatever; I'd say that if a whole lot of teams 30ed this, it was due in not insignificant part to Jonathan Magin's hsqb handle, which is a poor way to evaluate appropriateness of difficulty.

I don't see how tossing out the X bonus was too hard/easy does much. Maybe you can talk to the editors individually about that kind of stuff, but unless you're using it to illustrate a larger aspect of winter's nature, why not just email them or something?
Well, I did just talk to Tryg and he's convinced me I was wrong. But Campbell and the Golden Bough and both things I learned in high school before my senior year, and I had underestimated the amount of Coral Gardens' perceived easiness that was actually just because of Coral Gardens and their Magin being familiar to me.

My bad on that. I will switch my too-easy complaint to Sapporo-Honshu-Indonesia, which gave you twenty points for identifying the largest island in Japan and the country in which Java is located.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:36 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I don't see how tossing out the X bonus was too hard/easy does much. Maybe you can talk to the editors individually about that kind of stuff, but unless you're using it to illustrate a larger aspect of winter's nature, why not just email them or something?
People proferring opinions of questions in a tournament discussion thread? Well I never!
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by aestheteboy » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:40 pm

I enjoyed this tournament fairly well, although I felt that it was less thoroughly edited than many other tournaments that I've been to. As other people have mentioned already, the questions were probably too hard overall. I didn't think the repeats were significantly worse than other tournaments.

Specific comments:
It was weird that the Fugitives were mentioned in the second line for the tossup on Tennessee; I think both Puma/Eppler and I were thinking they can't be just asking where Vanderbilt is when we heard that clue.
Starting the tossup with "the eighth ruler of this name" made it pretty easy to get to Rama.
I think Treatise on Money has come up many times as a clue for Keynes, so it seems inappropriate for lead-in even if it's generic sounding.
I had also heard clues about the reptile funds (for Bismarck) several times before this tournament.
Snow Country does not have a title character.

I guess I don't have that many things to say. There weren't that many tossups that I thought became too easy too early. By the way, were 8 and 9 line tossups products of conscious effort to produce good, pyramidal questions or were they meant to be made shorter if you guys had more time to edit? Personally, I feel like many of the tossups could have had fewer clues and still eliminate buzzer races, but I was certainly not one of the better players at this tournament.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:41 pm

I was a bit disappointed with the other science in this tournament, to be honest. I thought it was skewed towards math, and some of the earth science was lackluster. The tossup on silicates was incredibly unfortunate, and parts of it showed a basic lack of understanding as to how mineral classification works.

My experience has been that tossups on math words are some of the most loathed in quizbowl, and I would like to see more tossups on mathematicians with things named for them. The tossup on Hilbert was well done, for example.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by DumbJaques » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:46 pm

People proferring opinions of questions in a tournament discussion thread? Well I never!
This is a no opinion zone.
My experience has been that tossups on math words are some of the most loathed in quizbowl, and I would like to see more tossups on mathematicians with things named for them. The tossup on Hilbert was well done, for example.
I have also encountered a lot of that sentiment, most specifically when I am screaming it violently toward the moderator after a tossup on "bounded" goes dead for the eleventy billionth time.
The tossup on silicates was incredibly unfortunate, and parts of it showed a basic lack of understanding as to how mineral classification works.
There's really no way to overstate this. Had someone asked me to write a question expressly designed to get knowledgeable players to neg at as many different points as possible, I doubt I could have done a more complete job. This was an even worse idea than the "discontinuous branch of Bowen's reaction series" tossup.


EDIT: I don't want to make this a hatefest. I actually really liked winter, thought Jerry, Dennis, and Trygve did an excellent job, and though I can statistically see how it seems to have overshot its difficulty target, I didn't find it in any kind of problematic area in terms of that. I had a whole lot of fun playing this set, and I particularly thought the editors did a good job with easy parts of bonuses, a vital part of controlling difficulty. As with any production involving Jerry and Trygve, there were some tossups I hadn't seen in a while and some stuff presented in new ways, which is always quite refreshing.

Again, I didn't find tossup difficulty to be as out there as some people seem to have found it, but I think part of the thing that leaves people with the impression of a really hard tournament (and drive down bonus rates) is third parts that are just entirely too difficult. Coral Gardens and their Magin, as discussed, seems like an ideal third part for winter, while things like asking for the first king of Lesotho or to having us identify a specific one of five battles Toyotomi fought in quick succession following the death of Oda Nobunaga is just out there. I've always sort of wondered why nobody ever wants the best college teams to hit 25-26 ppb on regular season sets as it is in high school; I think that's a rather good goal, but you don't really ever see them breaking over 24.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Sir Thopas » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:11 pm

DumbJaques wrote:Coral Gardens and their Magin,
this reminds me of that time in the irc i negged a trash tossup with "left said fred"
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:25 pm

At BC Fuerbach, I'm pretty sure I said "structure of SoCal Action" as an answer, and the unsuspecting moderator accepted it.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:30 pm

People wrote:silicates tossup status: terrible
Enlighten me, please, since I wrote it (and it went into the set word-for-word mine, wonky typos included, so its flaws are all mine and not on the editors) and it didn't conflict with the studying I did in high school or my sixth grade earth science class. (Or the internet sources I used to confirm, since god knows where my old knowledge was from/ where my sixth grade earth science teacher got his knowledge.)

Under my understanding, the first clue is uniquely identifying to olivine (I guess I could have specified the disco. branch, but I mentioned Mg and Fe first), which is a silicate; and, like, Bowen's pretty much has silicates anyway, so just saying Bowen's points to silicates, and zirconium is a silicate. I guess saying "olivine is an ortho- one" is pretty much just saying "olivine is orthorhombic," but that's not really negbait.

But I should shut up and be enlightened. I imagine there are problems I'm just not thinking of.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:42 pm

everyday847 wrote:I guess saying "olivine is an ortho- one" is pretty much just saying "olivine is orthorhombic," but that's not really negbait.
Apparently, I disagreed with that.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:47 pm

cornfused wrote:
everyday847 wrote:I guess saying "olivine is an ortho- one" is pretty much just saying "olivine is orthorhombic," but that's not really negbait.
Apparently, I disagreed with that.
Er, so, what did you neg with? Why did you think your answer was right? I'd rather like to improve my earth science writing.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:22 pm

theMoMA wrote:I was a bit disappointed with the other science in this tournament, to be honest. I thought it was skewed towards math, and some of the earth science was lackluster. The tossup on silicates was incredibly unfortunate, and parts of it showed a basic lack of understanding as to how mineral classification works.
Could you explain this? Since I'm not a geologist, I'm sure I missed something in editing this question. I did some fact checking, and it seemed to hang together, but obviously there was some problem with it.
My experience has been that tossups on math words are some of the most loathed in quizbowl, and I would like to see more tossups on mathematicians with things named for them. The tossup on Hilbert was well done, for example.
I'm not sure which tossups on math words you are referring to. If you're talking about things like tossups on "compactness," "rings," etc., then this tournament didn't have very many (or at all, I think). I personally have no problem with such questions though, and I'm not sure why anyone would loath them.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:31 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I have also encountered a lot of that sentiment, most specifically when I am screaming it violently toward the moderator after a tossup on "bounded" goes dead for the eleventy billionth time.
This is baffling to me. Why are you screaming about this again? This is a perfectly legitimate thing to write a question about; if you knew some math, you would probably get this tossup. Unless you're asking for the kind of tossups which people who don't know any math will still get, I'm not sure what the problem is.
Again, I didn't find tossup difficulty to be as out there as some people seem to have found it, but I think part of the thing that leaves people with the impression of a really hard tournament (and drive down bonus rates) is third parts that are just entirely too difficult. Coral Gardens and their Magin, as discussed, seems like an ideal third part for winter, while things like asking for the first king of Lesotho or to having us identify a specific one of five battles Toyotomi fought in quick succession following the death of Oda Nobunaga is just out there. I've always sort of wondered why nobody ever wants the best college teams to hit 25-26 ppb on regular season sets as it is in high school; I think that's a rather good goal, but you don't really ever see them breaking over 24.
Ok, I'm actually someone who has repeatedly gone on record as saying that I thought third bonus parts were too difficult. Almost every time that I thought I needed to edit a bonus, I edited it down; what I believed to be the hard parts of bonuses were, in my view, entirely canonical though obviously more difficult parts. Obviously there were situations like the above Japanese history bonus where we overshot the target, but in general, I tried to reduce difficulty in every category that I edited. To me, it seems that a tournament in which a team puts up more than 25 PPB is a tournament that's not challenging for that team at all.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:33 pm

aestheteboy wrote:By the way, were 8 and 9 line tossups products of conscious effort to produce good, pyramidal questions or were they meant to be made shorter if you guys had more time to edit? Personally, I feel like many of the tossups could have had fewer clues and still eliminate buzzer races, but I was certainly not one of the better players at this tournament.
I'm a prolix writer. Virtually every one of those was mine and for the most part they were a conscious decision. I suppose I might have cut them down if I had time, but I don't feel strongly about these things, so that would have been my last priority in any case.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:11 pm

millionwaves wrote:Lawrence/Georgia Tech wrote:It features Bugs Bunny’s entrance on a horse of “operatic proportions” and Elmer Fudd’s solo, “Oh Bwunhilde, you’w so wuvwy.” For 10 points each:
[10] Name this 1957 cartoon short directed by Chuck Jones, a spoof of the operas of Richard Wagner. Repeatedly picked as the #1 cartoon of all time, its title references Bugs’s catchphrase.
ANSWER: What’s Opera, Doc?
[10] Arthur Q. Bryan provided the voice of Elmer Fudd for the short, but Bugs Bunny was, as usual, voiced by this man, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and countless other Looney Tunes.
ANSWER: Mel Blanc
[10] What’s Opera, Doc? is most well-known for Elmer Fudd’s singing of this three-word phrase to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”
ANSWER: “kill the wabbit” [or “kill the rabbit”]
Best bonus of the day, even though I didn't get to answer it.
cvdwightw wrote:I can recall the following off the top of my head: a tossup on Walter Benjamin and a bonus part on him; two bonuses on the same Robert Merton (I'm 99% sure it's the same one), and the Orinoco River tossup being placed into two different packets. There were quite a few more that I don't remember off the top of my head.

That said, I recognize that it's hard to pull off a regular difficulty 17 round tournament and not run out of unique things to write on when it's two days before the tournament and you need a replacement tossup.
cornfused wrote: Parson Smirk, Cheynem wrote:I wasn't a big fan of the Orlando tossup. I can see why Roland shouldn't technically be acceptable, but it still seems like a tossup that's just designed to get negs, especially from less experienced players.


I negged with "Roland" on the Roland clue. I still think that common-link tossups need to at least prompt when the answer linked to a clue is given after the clue is read.

a bunch of people wrote:repeats


This was noticeably higher than usual - at least twice, I got points for knowing a specific clue that I had learned earlier in the tourney.
I second those comments about Roland; true, it didn't apply to those first two clues, but I thought the question confusing because it started with "one character of this name" and then had that clue about "the French version of this character", as if there was only one of them.

This tournament did have a large quantity of repeats. Hemingway was fine since the tossup only covered his short stories, but that still leaves Benjamin and a host of others.

I'll echo the complaints about the difficulty of the set (congratulations to anyone who knew what quinones are). We all know why one of the packets was significantly harder than the others, so I don't have much else to add.

Still, this was a great set and I enjoyed myself. I especially liked the tossups on existentialism, Madero, Julian the Apostate, Cyrus the Great, and The Wretched of the Earth, and Nehemiah (I'm halfway done with recovering those lost Jew points from fall!). Also, thanks to the person who wrote that tossup on Grieg's piano concerto that got thrown out.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by walter12 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:19 pm

Parson Smirk wrote:The NIRA tossup was confusing and didn't seem to know what it was asking for. The NRA was most certainly symbolized by a Blue Eagle with the motto "We Do Our Part," and yet they tell you not to accept NRA.
I was the original author of the NIRA tossup, and admit that it was a somewhat unfortunate answer choice (this was the last tossup that I wrote for the set, and was actually surprised to see it make the cut!). I've pulled what I believe is the submitted version of question off of Google Docs; Jerry will have to correct me if I later changed the answer line- I remember considering changing the answer line but must have decided on not adding anything extra. When writing the tossup I was acutely aware of the NIRA/NRA problem, and did my best to distinguish between the two with overly specific pronouns. Note that the entire second sentence deals with parts of the NIRA entirely separate from the NRA.

This bill's demise once prompted the President to declare that the Supreme Court was living in a "horse and buggy era". Its provisions included a series of "codes of competition" that emplaced a minimum wage and reduced maximum hours so that more people couple be employed, while its Section 7a was an important concession to labor unions. To enact these changes, it set up an agency headed by General Hugh S. Johnson that was symbolized by a Blue Eagle alongside the motto "We Do Our Part". Ruled unconstitutional by the 1935 Supreme Court case Schecter Poultry Corporation v. US, For ten points, identify this piece of New Deal legislation that set up the Public Works Administration and the National Recovery Administration.
ANSWER: National Industrial Recovery Act

EDIT: typos
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:26 pm

I don't see how you can possibly buzz while hearing the "blue eagle" clue and say NRA when you've already heard that the thing being asked for is "this bill" and then claim you should have gotten points or were somehow hosed. The NRA is not a bill and giving that as an answer is obviously incorrect. The question is not at all misleading from what I can see.
Cheynem wrote:NRA for NIRA (this one genuinely pissed me off--I know it says legislation, but don't drop the clue about the symbol then).
What? I don't understand this line of reasoning at all. You were told that what was being looked for was a piece of legislation that set up a particular agency and that agency was symbolized by a certain symbol. I fail to see what's so confusing about this.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:42 pm

So I've discovered all the points where people may have negged. For reference:
I wrote:15. One of this kind of mineral,(1) whose crystals also contain magnesium and iron, (2) is at the top of Bowen's reaction series, (3) while zircon contains this mineral class's characteristic group and zirconium. (4) In addition to olivine, an ortho- one, (5) one variety of a group of these was the source of the first rubidium to be discovered, (6) while another is best known for its perfect basal cleavage and the thin sheet into which is breaks: (7) those varieties are known as lepidolite and muscovite. Their best known subclass is the tecto-ones, all of which contain aluminum save the best known group of them. Examples of the alumino-ones include zeolites and feldspars. For 10 points, identify this class of minerals, like quartz and mica, all of which include oxygen and silicon.
ANSWER: silicates
1) I didn't say "mineral class" at the very outset, so if you were just guessing a kind of mineral here, you might have negged.
2) There are micas that contain magnesium and iron, so if you buzzed here, you might have negged. But you hadn't really heard a clue yet.
3) At this point, rational answers include any grouping of minerals containing olivine and any grouping of minerals including feldspar (both of which are at the top of Bowen's reaction series, just the two branches). The smallest (and largest) grouping containing olivine is silicates. Feldspars don't have any magnesium and iron, so they're just wrong, but even so, the smallest grouping that contains them is the subclass "tectosilicates," and after that, silicates. So even if you were wrong, you could have gotten the tossup right, which is the opposite of neg bait.
4) Zircon is ZrSO4 or something. Also, I just said "mineral class."
5) I've said olivine explicitly now. Also, I don't think there are ortho- micas or feldspars. (These are the two most common negs, survey says.)
6) This could be a legitimate problem point, because lepidolite is one variety of mica. But I said one variety of a group of these; micas are a "group" of silicates. There should have been a prompt here, even though the answer's only right if you never heard or haven't heard of olivine (or the rest of the early clues); I don't think I should have been accepting micas off this clue, but hell, maybe. Tell me.
7) Another variety of mica is lepidolite, and because I wasn't hammering home "these are varieties of A GROUP OF THIS BIGGER CLASS" so repeatedly, that was a problem.

I'm guessing that (6) and (7) caused the most problems; if other people have insights, I welcome them. Overall, though, I don't think this reflected a tremendous misunderstanding of how mineral classification works; rather, it reflected my forgetting that common links can fuck you over and that I should have added a prompt on like one clue to be generous.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:23 am

Man, Andrew Hart is all over my Hilbert tossup's tossup-dick, then Chris Ray kicks my discontinuous branch tossup to the tossup curb in the very next post! I guess time and chance really do happen to us all.
I strongly agree that that silicates tossup was basically a series of total hoses. I'd further contend that it was actually transparent in spite of that, which is really an accomplishment of sorts. Consider, for example, the well-known fact that every mineral in Bowen's reaction series is a silicate! (But, of course, all also fall under many other classifications.)
I'll take as exemplary my own experience. I asked myself: what is at "the top of Bowen's reaction series" in the consideration of the writer? Evidently, olivines are meant, which are the most mafic minerals in the discontinuous branch*. However, I interpreted that as meaning the top of the continuous branch (which often persists at higher temperatures on heating,) consequently buzzed with feldspars after that clue, and was negged without a prompt even though the question itself later says that feldspars can be silicates. That's very poor. Of course, since I knew we were talking about something from Bowen's reaction series, I (and, I assume, just about everybody) knew we were talking about silicates; that seemed to me too obvious an answer given the clue.

For what it's worth, I'd defend my discontinuous branch tossup, which appears below. The gist of my defense can be read from the editor's note.
Illinois Open 2008 wrote:One of the two dioritic members of this set is exemplified by tremolite, while the other exhibits sharing of three oxygens and consequent one-plane cleavage; those adensite children are the next-to-most stable and most stable members of this sequence, respectively. This sequence exhibits different peridotite and gabbro members since its members solidify incongruently from basaltic melts; that fractional crystallization explains its structure vis-á-vis its counterpart. Minerals leave it by undergoing a rhyolitic transition below about eight hundred degrees Celsius, a point near which this series merges with its counterpart at felsic orthoclase in the larger object of which they’re part. For ten points, name this series of mafic minerals that runs from olivine to biotite: the non-plagioclase minerals above the bifurcation of Bowen’s reaction series.
ANSWER: the discontinuous branch of Bowen’s reaction series (do not accept or prompt on “Bowen’s reaction series”)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: none of these clues apply to Bowen’s reaction series generally or to the continuous or unified braches thereof. For example, Bowen’s reaction series as a whole has three dioritic members: amphibole, biotite, and intermediate feldspar. Similarly, every clue has been carefully selected to uniquely identify the discontinuous branch)
*If I'd understood that the clause about iron and magnesium applied to the minerals considered to be at "the top of Bowen's reaction series," I would have been able to deduce that olivines were meant and negged with them instead. However, the meaning of that clause is ambiguous to me even on reading the written question; it was much moreso on hearing it in an actual game.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Tower Monarch » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:29 am

grapesmoker wrote:
My experience has been that tossups on math words are some of the most loathed in quizbowl, and I would like to see more tossups on mathematicians with things named for them. The tossup on Hilbert was well done, for example.
I'm not sure which tossups on math words you are referring to. If you're talking about things like tossups on "compactness," "rings," etc., then this tournament didn't have very many (or at all, I think). I personally have no problem with such questions though, and I'm not sure why anyone would loath them.
grapesmoker wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:I have also encountered a lot of that sentiment, most specifically when I am screaming it violently toward the moderator after a tossup on "bounded" goes dead for the eleventy billionth time.
This is baffling to me. Why are you screaming about this again? This is a perfectly legitimate thing to write a question about; if you knew some math, you would probably get this tossup. Unless you're asking for the kind of tossups which people who don't know any math will still get, I'm not sure what the problem is.
I seriously do not understand why this has been brought up in relation to this tournament. For the record, I find TUs on terms like "bounded" and "compactness" annoying, despite having taken at least four semesters worth of college maths. But upon scanning the packets, I have found nothing like these, and enjoyed the actual math TU, especially the Euler Characteristic and Legendre (despite being afraid to buzz until the best giveaway ever), for example.

On another note, I recall reading a comment that the science contributed to the higher-than-necessary difficulty, but I found, especially in TUs and some bonuses (notably excluding one with eutectic as an easy answer...), these answers coming from things I have actually learned from basic Organic Chem and particle physics reading (again with the exception of enols, which I only got because I studied it expecting it as a third part...). If other math/science students differ from this opinion, or if I misunderstood the difficulty reference, please ignore this last paragraph.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by dschafer » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:43 am

Tower Monarch wrote:Legendre (despite being afraid to buzz until the best giveaway ever)
FTP, identify this early 19th century French mathematician who should not be confused with Laplace or Laguerre.
It didn't get this far in our room, but I'm not a fan of this giveaway. It applies just as much to Lagrange as Legendre, and doesn't really contain a substantive clue. Also, shouldn't the content of a question after FTP be uniquely identifying?
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:54 am

everyday847 wrote:...The smallest (and largest) grouping containing olivine is silicates. Feldspars don't have any magnesium and iron, so they're just wrong, but even so, the smallest grouping that contains them is the subclass "tectosilicates," and after that, silicates...
See, this is what people mean when they say that the question reflects poor understanding of how minerals are classified. I'll bet you that I can come up with no fewer than 10 "groupings" that contain olivines (or even both olivines and feldspars.) You, Andy Watkins, seem to be under the impression that minerals are classified in only one way; this is wrong in the extreme.

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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:27 am

Captain Scipio wrote:
everyday847 wrote:...The smallest (and largest) grouping containing olivine is silicates. Feldspars don't have any magnesium and iron, so they're just wrong, but even so, the smallest grouping that contains them is the subclass "tectosilicates," and after that, silicates...
See, this is what people mean when they say that the question reflects poor understanding of how minerals are classified. I'll bet you that I can come up with no fewer than 10 "groupings" that contain olivines (or even both olivines and feldspars.) You, Andy Watkins, seem to be under the impression that minerals are classified in only one way; this is wrong in the extreme.
Interesting. Was my mistaken assumption that there is only one chemical classification system, or are you referring to different ways of classifying minerals other than chemically? In the latter case, I was wrong to assume that when one refers to a "class" of minerals that the term denotes, specifically, chemical class. (And as I noted in my first post re: this, I acknowledge that the minerals in Bowen's are all silicates; that invited the exact problem you experienced.)
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:42 am

everyday847 wrote:
cornfused wrote:
everyday847 wrote:I guess saying "olivine is an ortho- one" is pretty much just saying "olivine is orthorhombic," but that's not really negbait.
Apparently, I disagreed with that.
Er, so, what did you neg with? Why did you think your answer was right? I'd rather like to improve my earth science writing.
I twitchbuzzed with rhombic. And I have no geology knowledge, so I'm not criticizing.
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Re: ACF Winter discussion

Post by cornfused » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:50 am

dschafer wrote:
Tower Monarch wrote:Legendre (despite being afraid to buzz until the best giveaway ever)
FTP, identify this early 19th century French mathematician who should not be confused with Laplace or Laguerre.
It didn't get this far in our room, but I'm not a fan of this giveaway. It applies just as much to Lagrange as Legendre, and doesn't really contain a substantive clue. Also, shouldn't the content of a question after FTP be uniquely identifying?
Langrangian had already been mentioned in the tossup.
cursednine wrote:Grieg stuff, kill the wabbit
The Grieg piano concerto tossup was by Emily Koenig on my team, I'll pass along the compliment. How'd you see that one, Aaron?

Also, thanks for the What's Op, Doc praise.
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