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Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:09 pm
by cdcarter
TheKingInYelliow wrote:I have to agree with Guy on this one, this toss-up strikes me as solidly pyramidal, at least from my knowledge of the subject.
Auroni isn't saying that it isn't pyramidal, just that the first couple clues are too hard for the set, which I would be inclined to agree with.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:20 pm
by at your pleasure
specified that he was japanese so that people that have heard the name oe but couldn't associate him with any works might still have a shot at conversion by the end
Eh, there are enough askable Japanese novelists that I doubt his country of origin would not be terribly helpful.
Oddly enough,I've always associated Matisse more with "Harmony in Red", since that is in my principal art history reference book.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:51 pm
by Auroni
Anti-Climacus wrote:
specified that he was japanese so that people that have heard the name oe but couldn't associate him with any works might still have a shot at conversion by the end
Eh, there are enough askable Japanese novelists that I doubt his country of origin would not be terribly helpful.
Oddly enough,I've always associated Matisse more with "Harmony in Red", since that is in my principal art history reference book.
Kawabata, Mishima, and Oe (well, Murasaki and maybe Basho) are all askable Japanese authors at this level. However, it is not harmful to mention that they are all Japanese when writing tossups about them, especially at the giveaway level where the only line of association for points is "author of The Silent Cry + Japanese = Oe". At the very least, this would steer them away from guessing Western authors and possibly allow them to score points if their mental answer space of askable Japanese authors exceeds zero.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:14 am
by cvdwightw
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Prison Bowl bonus wrote:Looking at Central Park from outside the Museum of Natural History across the street is this 28th president sitting on a horse. He succeeded William McKinley after organizing the Rough Riders and before losing the presidential election on the Bull Moose ticket.
That is WAY too many clues for a simple Teddy Roosevelt bonus question that was originally on him being in an equestrian statue. Then it goes on to give three easy clues that my entire inclusion-level 10th grade history class could get. Not good.
Not to mention, that's not even true. I mean, even in elementary school I knew Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th president. I know for a fact it confused one team enough to answer "Wilson," the actual 28th president.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:11 am
by Sir Thopas
cvdwightw wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Prison Bowl bonus wrote:Looking at Central Park from outside the Museum of Natural History across the street is this 28th president sitting on a horse. He succeeded William McKinley after organizing the Rough Riders and before losing the presidential election on the Bull Moose ticket.
That is WAY too many clues for a simple Teddy Roosevelt bonus question that was originally on him being in an equestrian statue. Then it goes on to give three easy clues that my entire inclusion-level 10th grade history class could get. Not good.
Not to mention, that's not even true. I mean, even in elementary school I knew Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th president. I know for a fact it confused one team enough to answer "Wilson," the actual 28th president.
Yeah, that's what happens when I try and write questions from memory. Bad lapse on my part; I'm sorry.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:55 am
by ihavenoidea
Sir Thopas wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Prison Bowl bonus wrote:Looking at Central Park from outside the Museum of Natural History across the street is this 28th president sitting on a horse. He succeeded William McKinley after organizing the Rough Riders and before losing the presidential election on the Bull Moose ticket.
That is WAY too many clues for a simple Teddy Roosevelt bonus question that was originally on him being in an equestrian statue. Then it goes on to give three easy clues that my entire inclusion-level 10th grade history class could get. Not good.
Not to mention, that's not even true. I mean, even in elementary school I knew Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th president. I know for a fact it confused one team enough to answer "Wilson," the actual 28th president.
Yeah, that's what happens when I try and write questions from memory. Bad lapse on my part; I'm sorry.
Hey! That was our team!

Did anyone else think the Lamassu lead-in for Assyrians was nonspecific? In our Art History class, Lamassu has pretty much been associated with every Ancient Near Eastern Culture.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:28 pm
by Auroni
ihavenoidea wrote:
Sir Thopas wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
Prison Bowl bonus wrote:Looking at Central Park from outside the Museum of Natural History across the street is this 28th president sitting on a horse. He succeeded William McKinley after organizing the Rough Riders and before losing the presidential election on the Bull Moose ticket.
That is WAY too many clues for a simple Teddy Roosevelt bonus question that was originally on him being in an equestrian statue. Then it goes on to give three easy clues that my entire inclusion-level 10th grade history class could get. Not good.
Not to mention, that's not even true. I mean, even in elementary school I knew Teddy Roosevelt was the 26th president. I know for a fact it confused one team enough to answer "Wilson," the actual 28th president.
Yeah, that's what happens when I try and write questions from memory. Bad lapse on my part; I'm sorry.
Hey! That was our team!

Did anyone else think the Lamassu lead-in for Assyrians was nonspecific? In our Art History class, Lamassu has pretty much been associated with every Ancient Near Eastern Culture.
From a cursory search, I can confirm that the Lamassu are unique to the art of the Ancient Assyrians, but that there are similar creatures from other civilizations in the area.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:03 pm
by LargemouthLass

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:29 pm
by Adventure Temple Trail
ihavenoidea wrote:Did anyone else think the Lamassu lead-in for Assyrians was nonspecific? In our Art History class, Lamassu has pretty much been associated with every Ancient Near Eastern Culture.
I buzzed in with "Babylonia" and protested, but it ended up not mattering. I guess we were just wrong...

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:18 pm
by at your pleasure
I buzzed in with "Babylonia" and protested, but it ended up not mattering. I guess we were just wrong...
If you were thinking of the Ishtar Gate, then there are no lamassu on that. I think that the giant doorway statues of man-bulls(assuming that that is what the question is talking about) are pretty specific to Niniveh.
EDIT: Brain fart. Ninveh should have been Assyria.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:20 pm
by ihavenoidea
Anti-Climacus wrote:
I buzzed in with "Babylonia" and protested, but it ended up not mattering. I guess we were just wrong...
If you were thinking of the Ishtar Gate, then there are no lamassu on that. I think that the giant doorway statues of man-bulls(assuming that that is what the question is talking about) are pretty specific to Niniveh.
Our book has one from Nimrud, but that's also Assyrian.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:55 am
by TheCzarMan
While the sports trash has been trashed, I must give credit for the Dr. Strangelove question. That was really well written.

However, I will jump onto the bandwagon of "Oh my god, why was that massacres of jews tossup written."

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:42 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
cdcarter wrote: The worst tossup of the day was probably the colonial america tossup.
I think that some of the answer lines asked for too much at times. For example, why isn't America acceptable for Colonial America. I've read Huswifery and I knew Taylor was early American, but there's no way I would have pulled Colonial America if prompted.

The world maps question was the same thing. Why not just accept maps? I don't think that it's entirely necessary to ask for that extra modifier, and it probably causes people to miss questions they know.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:10 pm
by wexs883198215
well, trying to make a map of the world and being hilariously wrong is not exactly the same thing as making a map of say, your country

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:16 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
wexs883198215 wrote:well, trying to make a map of the world and being hilariously wrong is not exactly the same thing as making a map of say, your country
I'm not sure I make any sense of that. All I'm saying is that someone who buzzes in and says map on that tossup, in my opinion, deserves ten points without having to say world map. For the sake of discussion, I'll put the question here:
11. Sicilian Muhammad al-Idrisi created one of these artifacts known as Tabula Rogeriana in 1154, while Anaximander’s might have inspired the European medieval T and O varieties. The “Kangnido” one celebrated the new Joseon Dynasty, the Piri Reis one was created by an Ottoman admiral, and one by Venetian monk Fra Mauro features a circular planisphere and depicts an Indian junk. Ptolemy’s version improved on Erastothenes’, which was the first to include parallels and meridians. One by Martin Waldseemueller named a section after Amerigo Vespucci. For 10 points, name this type of representative depiction for which Gerardus Mercator was famous.
ANSWER: world maps (accept equivalents, prompt on “maps”)

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:31 pm
by at your pleasure
I mean, I think that all the clues refer to world maps. That said, this and the colonial america tossup do illustrate on of the bigger pitfalls of common-link tossups and their ilk; namely that people have to be really, really careful about the answer lines. Actually, I would probably advocate eliminating common-link tossups if they were not so useful for canon expansion.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:55 pm
by aestheteboy
I agree that colonial America seems like a weird thing to ask in the literature distribution; it probably should have been cut. I don't know enough about the Massacres of Jews to really comment. The clues may have been poor, but I don't think the answer choice per se was a bad idea. I would argue that the world maps tossup was perfectly fine, except that it was probably much more difficult than other tossups in the set; that's why it was in the finals packet. If a player knows that one of the items mentioned is a map but not that it is a world map, then he or she does not deserve the points.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:11 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
See, I think that kind of thing is ridiculous. Barring absurd vagueness on the player's part (which "maps" is not), it's crazy to give clues that all apply to one thing and then make the answer a more specific set of that one thing and expect players to psychically know you were limiting the acceptable answers range. Either find clues that make it 100% clear you are talking about world maps, or accept maps.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:50 pm
by aestheteboy
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:See, I think that kind of thing is ridiculous. Barring absurd vagueness on the player's part (which "maps" is not), it's crazy to give clues that all apply to one thing and then make the answer a more specific set of that one thing and expect players to psychically know you were limiting the acceptable answers range. Either find clues that make it 100% clear you are talking about world maps, or accept maps.
What? No one can "psychically know" what the writer wants. That's precisely the reason we have prompts. If all the clues refer to world maps, then there is nothing ridiculous about requiring the player to say the word "world" to get the points.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:07 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
But they also refer to maps. Take this hypothetical situation from an off the cuff question - a tossup begins with "Battery Park can be found in this location" and a player buzzes in and says "New York City." They are prompted then negged because the answer line specifically wants "Manhattan" despite Manhattan just being a part of New York and thus making that buzz unambiguously right. Claiming that that prompting is fine should be ridiculous because it penalized someone showing clear knowledge of what the question is talking about yet wanted them to instead psychically know that the answer line wanted a particular subset of that answer. To me, this seems pretty similarly analogous to the situation your question creates - players buzzing in with an answer that is right for what you've given (maps) but that is also right for a more specific group (world maps) and is exactly the definition of expecting people to be able to magically divine your intentions in writing it instead of just getting rewarded for knowing the clues, especially because you have no definite anchors such as "the first one was made by..."

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:23 am
by Mechanical Beasts
Yeah, Charlie's right here. This is the problem with the excessive use of common links. It's still demonstrating reasonable knowledge to say that all these things are maps; it's not like it's a crazy world where that gets ten points at a quizbowl tournament, meaning that people will buzz with that, thinking that their answer doesn't need a prompt. I'd understand your position (you don't deserve points if you don't know that these things are all world maps) if that weren't the case. As it is, it's guaranteed not to play well: people who would have been content to wait to buzz if they had seen a warning sign saying "the answer is not the broadest class of things that could reasonably be a quizbowl answer, so back down" neg instead, and feel cheated.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:55 am
by aestheteboy
I'm not quite sure if you your objection is that 1. the connection between "world maps" and "maps" (or "Manhattan" and "NYC") is not obvious enough, even for a person who knows that the clue that he or she buzzed off of refers to a world map, or that 2. players should receive points just for knowing that the object is a map (and that the knowledge that it is a world map is not necessary for the points).

If its the former case, I would definitely disagree with you, although I suppose it's ultimately a matter of opinion. I really don't see why a person who knows that the clue refers to a world map wouldn't be able to say world maps after being prompted with maps. World map is really not an unusual or a peculiar answer line.

If its the latter case, I guess my retort would be that your proposal would pretty much restrict the answer space to the broadest and most general answers. What you are suggesting is that we should accept answers like "birds" for "ravens," "organic compounds" for "vitamins," and "the French Monarchy" for "House of Valois" as long as they pass the "not absurdly vague" test. Aside from the fact that there is no consensus as to what's reasonable and what's not reasonable, it just doesn't seem right that question writers cannot freely choose how specific an answer needs to be. The solution is not to award the points because maps could reasonably be a quizbowl answer, but to prompt until the player either reaches or fails to reach the specificity that the question requires.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:57 am
by wd4gdz
aestheteboy wrote:World map is really not an unusual or a peculiar answer line.
:w-hat:

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:08 am
by Mechanical Beasts
aestheteboy wrote:If its the latter case, I guess my retort would be that your proposal would pretty much restrict the answer space to the broadest and most general answers. What you are suggesting is that we should accept answers like "birds" for "ravens," "organic compounds" for "vitamins," and "the French Monarchy" for "House of Valois" as long as they pass the "not absurdly vague" test.
Nah, false dilemma. You can't know beans about Hugin and Munin if you only know that they're birds. Similarly, you must not know beans about Vitamin B-12 if you don't know that people call it (and vitamin C, etc.) vitamins. However, I say that you might know things about the history of a given map or whatever without knowing precisely what it's a map of. You could know that it's a map of some territory, even a lot of territory; they could be maps of all one place, even. But you can know things about maps without knowing that you should say world maps.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:54 am
by Panaev&Skabichevsky
everyday847 wrote:Yeah, Charlie's right here. This is the problem with the excessive use of common links. It's still demonstrating reasonable knowledge to say that all these things are maps; it's not like it's a crazy world where that gets ten points at a quizbowl tournament, meaning that people will buzz with that, thinking that their answer doesn't need a prompt. I'd understand your position (you don't deserve points if you don't know that these things are all world maps) if that weren't the case. As it is, it's guaranteed not to play well: people who would have been content to wait to buzz if they had seen a warning sign saying "the answer is not the broadest class of things that could reasonably be a quizbowl answer, so back down" neg instead, and feel cheated.
This ambiguity can also create a bias towards not buzzing. For instance, in the "Colonial America" tossup, someone who knew Housewifery and was familiar with Edward Taylor as a Puritan poet in colonial America would avoid buzzing if they didn't know that he was from Massachusetts Bay Colony. The very next clue (Jupiter Hammon's poem about Phillis Wheatley) was arguably more obscure, and even if one did know Phillis Wheatley from that clue, there would still be the trouble of the specific colony. Unfortunately, answers like "colonial America" and "world maps" cannot be well categorized in lead-ins except by phrases that limit the potential answer space significantly (e.g. "collection of polities").

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:57 am
by Stained Diviner
everyday847 wrote:
aestheteboy wrote:If its the latter case, I guess my retort would be that your proposal would pretty much restrict the answer space to the broadest and most general answers. What you are suggesting is that we should accept answers like "birds" for "ravens," "organic compounds" for "vitamins," and "the French Monarchy" for "House of Valois" as long as they pass the "not absurdly vague" test.
Nah, false dilemma. You can't know beans about Hugin and Munin if you only know that they're birds. Similarly, you must not know beans about Vitamin B-12 if you don't know that people call it (and vitamin C, etc.) vitamins. However, I say that you might know things about the history of a given map or whatever without knowing precisely what it's a map of. You could know that it's a map of some territory, even a lot of territory; they could be maps of all one place, even. But you can know things about maps without knowing that you should say world maps.
If you want to write a tossup on ravens, it might be good to start with "This type of bird..." or talk about the Native American myth that involves one putting a thorn into Seagull's foot. If you want to write a tossup on Valois, it might be good to start with "The first one..." or something else like that so the clue only applies to the House of Valois. There are similar distinctions you can make with vitamins.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:13 am
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Yeah, there's nothing I'm proposing that makes it impossible to write well written questions about highly specific things. The problem is you absolutely need to use precise language. If there is a tossup on world maps, you need to be able to find highly unique anchors for the clues like "the first one" or something like that that makes it impossible for someone who buzzes in with just maps to argue that they are right (although something tells me it's going to be impossible to really find these clues, so it might just be a good time to scrap that world maps tossup idea). It's no different than needing to replace vague descriptors in the Manhattan tossup from "location" to something more like "this island" or "this borough." As it is, this question does not use precise enough language to unambiguously tell players they need a specific kind of map, so negging them for not being able to give more seems silly.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:57 am
by Mechanical Beasts
Shcool wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
aestheteboy wrote:If its the latter case, I guess my retort would be that your proposal would pretty much restrict the answer space to the broadest and most general answers. What you are suggesting is that we should accept answers like "birds" for "ravens," "organic compounds" for "vitamins," and "the French Monarchy" for "House of Valois" as long as they pass the "not absurdly vague" test.
Nah, false dilemma. You can't know beans about Hugin and Munin if you only know that they're birds. Similarly, you must not know beans about Vitamin B-12 if you don't know that people call it (and vitamin C, etc.) vitamins. However, I say that you might know things about the history of a given map or whatever without knowing precisely what it's a map of. You could know that it's a map of some territory, even a lot of territory; they could be maps of all one place, even. But you can know things about maps without knowing that you should say world maps.
If you want to write a tossup on ravens, it might be good to start with "This type of bird..." or talk about the Native American myth that involves one putting a thorn into Seagull's foot. If you want to write a tossup on Valois, it might be good to start with "The first one..." or something else like that so the clue only applies to the House of Valois. There are similar distinctions you can make with vitamins.
Yeah, totally. I wanted to avoid discussing that specifically because it clouds the issue somewhat, because what this world maps tossup did was give clues that were unique to world maps (as "the first one" would for Valois), but that doesn't make it play any better. You're certainly right that both those strategies would work. I'm just saying that even if you wanted to write ravens or vitamins solely using "one of these," "another of these," etc., it'd be more justified and more playable because there aren't really raven clues that anyone with any real knowledge would think to say bird for. (Valois is different; ought to be written as a dynasty tossup, rather than a common link, especially because there aren't really non-house groups of French monarchs.)

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:34 am
by Stained Diviner
The World Maps question as written does nothing to rule out Maps as an answer. It could have said that some sources claim Anaximander’s is the first, which would have done so.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:40 pm
by cvdwightw
See here for some college-level discussion about bad common link questions. Basically, for the common link questions:

1. Every clue must unambiguously refer to the selected answer choice.
2. If the selected answer choice is a subset of a more common answer choice (e.g. "colonial America," "voortrekkers"), then multiple accessible clues must clearly disambiguate from the more common answer choice, or the answer line must read: "more common answer choice (accept subset of answer choice)." What I mean by this is that you can't say "Answer A is not acceptable because people who knew obscure lead-in clue B would have eliminated Answer A as an answer choice;" slightly more defendable is, "Bus Stop comes late in the question and every clue clearly points away from the United States as an answer."

In my opinion, the colonial America and world maps questions fail these two tests. The biggest reason why is that answering these questions early correctly requires knowledge, or at least an educated guess, about the rest of the question (i.e. the parts of the question that have yet to be read when the buzz occurs).

To illustrate this: I can write a tossup on authors from Italy that only talks about Dante/Petrarch/Boccaccio. I'm pretty sure that no one would object to an answer line of Italy even if I kept talking about it as a "polity" and never mentioned the words "present-day country" (I would also almost certainly have to include "accept Florence" but that's besides the point). An answer line of "Florence (prompt on Italy)" would probably cause many problems, because there is no way to predict that the rest of the question does not discuss "Italian" authors who are not from Florence. With the colonial America question, you are essentially asking the player who makes an early buzz to psychically divine that the rest of the question does not talk about, e.g., Irving or Cooper, and upon hitting that person with the realization that it does not (since you're prompting on, presumably, "America"), you are then asking the player to take however many seconds you give him to figure out what specific subset all previous clues and all future clues might belong to.

It is slightly harder for me to make the same argument about "world maps" vs "maps," though I suppose if one can think of an excellent example of a map that does not attempt to depict the world, one would have a good argument. Essentially, you are expecting the player to both (1) come up with the smallest possible subset of answer choices that fit all the clues to the point of the buzz, (2) miraculously assume that this is indeed the smallest possible subset of answer choices that will hold throughout the question, and (3) if the player screws up (1) and (2) and gets prompted, figure out what the new "smallest possible subset" is in only a couple of seconds.

I think the line of reasoning "people who have concrete knowledge of clue X will certainly figure out answer Y after being prompted on less-specific answer Z" is ill-founded and perhaps downright wrong. In fact, this only applies to the people thinking "answer Y will never come up because it's too difficult/obscure/awkward" and subsequently decide to chance it anyway. Most people give answer Z because the clues also apply to answer Z, are shocked when answer Z is merely promptable, and then struggle to figure out what the writer really wants.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:14 pm
by wexs883198215
aestheteboy wrote: I really don't see why a person who knows that the clue refers to a world map wouldn't be able to say world maps after being prompted with maps. World map is really not an unusual or a peculiar answer line.
The need to prompt on maps came up in the room I was reading it, and I think Daniel from Whitman was able to come up with it after a few prompts and looks of incredulity.

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:57 pm
by at your pleasure
While we're on the subject of confusing answer lines, was anyone else confused by the description of the Acropolis of Athens as a "high city"?

Re: Prison Bowl Discussion

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:05 pm
by Auroni
Anti-Climacus wrote:While we're on the subject of confusing answer lines, was anyone else confused by the description of the Acropolis of Athens as a "high city"?
Yeah, it just seemed to me that this bonus prompt confused people that would have otherwise converted it. A simple "this high portion of a city" would have worked better, since that was intended as the easy part. Thanks for bringing it up.