"Son of a sailmaker"

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Fond du lac operon
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"Son of a sailmaker"

Post by Fond du lac operon » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:08 am

So cluing Grignard as the son of a sailmaker is like, the stock "stock clue." But weirdly, I can't seem to find stuff -- at least online -- to back up that this was ever in really wide use as an early clue for Grignard. (And considering how rarely Grignard the guy appears as an answerline these days, it seems far-fetched that people would bother memorizing it).

In fact, a cursory Google of the Stanford and Berry packet archives only turn up two references to sailmakers -- one as a lead-in in a Wahoo War tossup from '97, and one as a clue in a bonus part from Penn Bowl '08. (Really, Penn Bowl? For shame.)

So my question is: How did "son of a sailmaker" become known as the stock-est of stock clues? CBI? :chip: ? (I somehow doubt it, but I never played on those questions, just different terrible bad HS quizbowl packets.) Presumably it was out of favor already by the late '90s, but how? I'm no quizbowl historian, just an asshole with access to Google, but I'm interested in hearing how this clue came to be so widely-reviled.
Harrison Brown
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Re: "Son of a sailmaker"

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:08 am

I have never heard that clue mentioned as stock. The ur-example of avoiding biography clues that I recall was "son of a fletcher-maker," a bit of a redundancy that was used not to refer to an actual question but to the idea of such clues. As I recall, this phrase occurred in something written by the great and powerful Subash Maddipoti. Maybe an ACF writing guide?
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Re: "Son of a sailmaker"

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:12 pm

I can personally attest to the fact that "Apprenticed to a bookbinder" was indeed a stock clue for Michael Faraday. Perhaps this other example is lost to the mists of time.
Jerry Vinokurov
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Re: "Son of a sailmaker"

Post by bag-of-worms » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:53 pm

Sorice brought this very clue up at practice the other day and I was able to dig up a few things. The second is from some quizbowl group.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 002807/pdf

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