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Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 3:46 pm
by DumbJaques
The set is up thanks to the man, the myth, the legend Chris Carter. Discuss away!

As noted, there are issues with this set - there are 2-4 tossups per round that were poorly-conceived and/or have very misplaced clues. This is mostly the result of having mostly new writers producing sets for this, a few people leaving us in the lurch for packets, and having the more experienced editors only get a chance to spend a few nights working on this set (or, in my case, just one night).

I also want to thank Ike Jose times one million for freelancing a packet for this out of the blue - you rule big time, dude.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 4:59 pm
by Kouign Amann
I think this point was brought up during NNT discussion re: The Wasteland, but I want to say it struck me as a poor decision to talk about the epigraphs in the lead-in to the tossup on "The Hollow Men." Epigraphs tend to stick out (at least to me), but one doesn't even need to read the actual poem to learn of them. The rest of the lines quoted in the TU (except, of course, at the end), seem less memorable in general; it seemed like a pretty easy FIFTEEEEN (however, in my short career, this was my first "The Hollow Men" TU, so it made me pretty happy in general).

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:05 pm
by Auks Ran Ova
Packet 2 wrote:[10]36 Views of Mt. Fuji is a series of color woodblock prints by this Japanese artist, who also sketched the Hokusai Manga.
ANSWER: Katsushika Hokusai
He sure did sketch the Hokusai Manga!

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:21 pm
by Jeaton1
Yes, the ukiyo-e bonus was certainly poor all over. Not sure how I didn't catch that and the exceedingly difficult third part.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:35 pm
by Cheynem
There's a lot of good stuff in this set and for the most part, it hits the targets pretty well in terms of difficulty (some of the bonuses aside). Here's some gentle criticisms regarding tossups:

*The Five Points tossup seems a little oddball. While I think it is notable in a sense, the tossup seems to lack a real giveaway (I would have probably negged with "Bowery" at some point).

*I wonder if anyone negged "the book of Joshua" for "the song of Roland," which features a similar exploit of the sun being stopped by God.

*Hopscotch seems way too hard for this level, as perhaps realized by the "cute" giveaway at the end about the children's game.

*It seems a little cheap in the tossup on the Election of 1876 that you don't mention the fact that Rutherford B. Hayes won it.

*The Spain (based on lit authors) tossup could have used some clues about the works rather than just giving authors and titles. I realize, though, that at high school, it is unlikely people have deep knowledge about any of those works, so perhaps that would have just made the tossup too wordy.

*The Exodus tossup opens in a way that intimates Gershom marries Zipporah, when actually Zipporah is Gershom's mother.

*Tossups on both the Fourth and First Crusade, and Henry III and Henry IV of France may have been a tad excessive.

In unrelated news, I am thrilled to see attempts to introduce Belinda Carlisle into the canon.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:40 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
Cheynem wrote:*Hopscotch seems way too hard for this level, as perhaps realized by the "cute" giveaway at the end about the children's game.
Yeah; it's pretty much a college level middle part. Even Cortezar doesn't seem to be tossed up at a level below slightly-above-regular.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 5:52 pm
by at your pleasure
Re: Giotto and Durer: When writing questions on religious artworks, make sure you're not describing common iconographical things. This was a pretty big problem with the Giotto tossup, and it may have been an issue with the Durer tossup.
I negged with "Lower Manhattan" for "five points" since the question seemed to imply that it involved infill of some sort.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 6:24 pm
by Auks Ran Ova
Round 3 wrote:[10] Next to the Hvergelmir, the serpent Nidhogg eats away at this root of Yggdrasil. When Nidhogg finishes eating through this root, Yggdrasil will collapse.
ANSWER: Nilfheim
This seems like just about the worst way to ask for Niflheim possible; the question seems written to elicit answers of "the third root", given how it keeps saying "this root" and all. Niflheim is under the third root. It'd probably be better to mention things like how its name means "world of mists" and/or how its cold combined with the heat of Muspelheim formed Ymir.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 7:38 pm
by Howard
DumbJacques wrote:Yeah, this tournament had an unacceptable amount of typos, and I usually don't even care about that kind of thing. It had even more than you thought, because I caught a great deal on the fly in every round I read. We'll definitely be devoting more time to fixing this next year.
I thought this set displayed the classical problems of being too hastily prepared. I thought question quality was good overall, but there were incorrect clues in a couple questions (such as a quadratic equation having an eccentricity of one) and just plain missing clues in a couple others. Overall, it made for very difficult reading, but as most moderators were experienced, it's possible this impact was minimized for the teams.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 04, 2009 9:36 pm
by Sir Thopas
Cheynem wrote:*I wonder if anyone negged "the book of Joshua" for "the song of Roland," which features a similar exploit of the sun being stopped by God.
Even better: A Gonzaga player beat me to a buzzer race on this clue (both of us to neg) with a guess of "The Bible".

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:27 am
by Captain Sinico
Howard wrote:...incorrect clues... such as a quadratic equation having an eccentricity of one...
Quadratic equations can define shapes with (or, I suppose "have") an eccentricity of one.

MaS

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:36 am
by jonah
Captain Sinico wrote:
Howard wrote:...incorrect clues... such as a quadratic equation having an eccentricity of one...
Quadratic equations can define shapes with (or, I suppose "have") an eccentricity of one.

MaS
The question in question:
The packet by Ike Jose and Chris Ray (round 5) wrote:This adjective is given to the name of a law that allows for the inversion of a Legendre symbol multiplied by either a one or a negative one, and in another usage it describes nonresidues of the lowest possible type of congruence. Equations named for this adjective are subject to Viete’s formulae, while equations of one higher degree were first solved with a formula given by Cardano. Equations described with this type of adjective produce a shape with an eccentricity of one, and can be solved by completing the square. For ten points, give this adjective that also describes a formula containing the discriminant “b squared minus four a c,” whose name suggests a four-sided figure.
ANSWER: quadratic
That particular clue is pretty misleading; I would certainly interpret it as suggesting that all quadratics define shapes with eccentricity one, which is obviously wrong.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 6:17 pm
by master15625
yeah the problem with that question is that "quadratic" they are assuming to be only one variable. But for multivariable that clue would be completely false.

But I can see that they tried to avoid the confusion.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:09 pm
by Captain Sinico
That clue's not wrong per se, but not very helpful (which is basically what I said without having seen it.)

MaS

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:26 pm
by master15625
In packet 3, I think that the question with David Lloyd-George as the answer had a stock clue too early. I thought it was pretty famous that Herbert Asquith's Chancellor of the Exchequer was David Lloyd-George.

In packet 4, I did like the first clue on square root of 2, that was a really interesting way to describe square root of 2, and being familiar with math contests, I knew the answer to that immediately, but still, kudos to a good problem.

In packet 4, Furthermore, the clue "One of its epigraphs refers to Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad having been a friend of this poem's author, and reads "Mistah Kurtz – he dead."" was a stock clue, as I have heard that many times before at some tournaments.

Also in the first packet, I know that it may not have been necessarily the fifth part, but the clue "In the fifth part of one of his major works, he utilized an a priori" this may have led some people off track by thinking of Kant. Granted it would have been too early in the question, but a priori may throw people off.

In packet 2, "Arias in this opera include “Avec la garde montane” and “Halte la!” and it is based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Merimee" is again a stock clue I believe, as Prosper Merimee has come up a lot with regards to his being the creator of Carmen.

In packet 2, "The eventual loser in this conflict had won the battle of Majuba 18 years earlier, and began this conflict by besieging Ladysmith, Mafeking and Kimberley", this is another stock clue as even though many are familiar with Ladysmith, Mafeking being in the Boer War, even if one wasn't familiar with this, Kimberley, a town in South Africa would have given it away. I think it was a little too early.

In packet 6, "Okun's law measures the relationship between this and GDP, " again this is a stock clue; comes up a lot in previous tournaments and is used in NAQT sometimes.

In packet 7, "The entropy for a system of this type can be calculated using the Sackur-Tetrode equation", the problem with this is that someone could have said monoatomic gas, as in fact, Sackur-Tetrode is used to calculate the entropy of a monoatomic ideal gas, so that could've caused confusion.

In packet 7, "This work's final section is entitled "Of the Kingdom of Darknesse" " this is a stock clue, and one who has heard of a question with the answer of Leviathan would have already heard of this clue. A little bit early.

In packet 8, "In the back center of this work, a man in a top hat faces away from the viewer and appears to chat with another man wearing a brown coat. " This is reminiscent of a PACE Question that had nearly identical language as its first clue, so one could have done PACE and easily powered this question.

In packet 8, "A unit named after this scientist is defined as a mole of photons". I may be familiar with this, but I have seen this in some NAQT Practice Packets, so maybe there could have been buzzer races on this question.

But aside from these, all the other questions were great, I definitely learned new semantics from these great quizbowl questions. Thanks

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:35 pm
by Cheynem
In high school?

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:39 pm
by Down and out in Quintana Roo
master15625 wrote:I also think that the clue with David Lloyd-George as the answer had a stock clue too early. I thought it was pretty famous that Herbert Asquith's Chancellor of the Exchequer was David Lloyd-George.
There's nothing "famous" about any Chancellor of the Exchequer... ever.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:51 pm
by master15625
Cheynem wrote:In high school?
Well, I guess it was because I have either seen it or heard of it in some packets and recall it

To Caesar Rodney HS, that may be true, but I was just referring to the fact that it came in some NAQT practice packets before.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:58 pm
by naturalistic phallacy
master15625 wrote:
Cheynem wrote:In high school?
Well, I guess it was because I have either seen it or heard of it in some packets and recall it.
This does not make a clue stock.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:00 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
master15625 wrote:Well, I guess it was because I have either seen it or heard of it in some packets and recall it
So that means you're learning things. It doesn't mean that it's a stock clue.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:00 pm
by master15625
Oh...I am sorry for associating "stock" with something that has come up before in packets. I don't know the proper terminology that would refer to such a clue.

Ignore then all the clues that I said were "stock"

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:03 pm
by Cheynem
The other thing to keep in mind is that the high school canon is much smaller than that of college, so some things do pop up a lot more times than would be on the college level, and it is easier to pick up on recurring clues.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:05 pm
by master15625
Cheynem wrote:The other thing to keep in mind is that the high school canon is much smaller than that of college, so some things do pop up a lot more times than would be on the college level, and it is easier to pick up on recurring clues.
That is definitely true. I will be careful of what I say next time, I promise. But my question is, how can we tell if something is within the high school canon that could make something stock.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:11 pm
by Gautam
Caesar Rodney HS wrote:
master15625 wrote:I also think that the clue with David Lloyd-George as the answer had a stock clue too early. I thought it was pretty famous that Herbert Asquith's Chancellor of the Exchequer was David Lloyd-George.
There's nothing "famous" about any Chancellor of the Exchequer... ever.
I am pretty sure that it is pretty notable that Lloyd-George was CotE for 7+ years and for the many things that were accomplished during his service. A cursory glance at BBC's British history portal page on Lloyd-George talks about his "people's budget" and other welfare policies, which appears to be widely covered by the many books on Google Books as well. The trivial clue about him being the longest serving CotE before Gordon Brown is kind of stock (it's been coming up in many HS sets at least since I started playing QB.)

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:25 pm
by at your pleasure
Eh, I thought that Merimee was too early in the Carmen question too.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 10:43 pm
by Pilgrim
master15625 wrote:Also in the first packet, I know that it may not have been necessarily the fifth part, but the clue "In the fifth part of one of his major works, he utilized an a priori" this may have led some people off track by thinking of Kant. Granted it would have been too early in the question, but a priori may throw people off.
Automatically associating a priori with Kant is a very bad idea.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:02 pm
by master15625
Yeah, I found that out the hard way. So I guess my comment about a priori was baseless, ignore that too.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 05, 2009 11:12 pm
by jonpin
I was flipping through some of these packets and there are many problems with this bonus part (Packet 4, Bonus 7c):

My own favorite Deathcab song is this minor hit off "Plans," whose first title entity tells its second title entity "I do believe it's true/ That There are rocks left in both of our shoes/ And if the silence takes you/ Then I hope it takes me too."
ANSWER: When Soul Meets Body

I don't see any implication in the song that "soul" is speaking this to "body"; as far as I can tell from a search, the lyric is "roads left in both of our shoes"; the line that contains the title is consistently "where soul meets body", but the title is just "Soul Meets Body".

Same packet, Bonus 13B on mathematicians' deaths:
This man’s death wasn’t so unusual as it was unfortunate. He apparently found a proof for the statement that “a to the n plus b to the n equals c to the n” has no integer solutions without writing it down. Andrew Wiles would give a proof of this man’s said theorem about 300 years later in 1994.
ANSWER: Pierre de Fermat

The statement needs the clarification that there are no solutions for n > 2; also, the grammar of the last sentence is awkward ("this man's said theorem"), and might be better phrased "of that 'last' theorem", or just "of that theorem/conjecture" if you didn't want to say "Last Theorem".

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:57 am
by Auroni
My own favorite Deathcab song is this minor hit off "Plans," whose first title entity tells its second title entity "I do believe it's true/ That There are rocks left in both of our shoes/ And if the silence takes you/ Then I hope it takes me too."
ANSWER: When Soul Meets Body
YOUR ARE WRONG!

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:59 am
by theMoMA
And the countdown until Evan Silberman clobbers the author of that question begins...

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 6:47 am
by jonpin
I guess that can be taken as a general reminder that even when you're writing a question on your favorite song/lab procedure/author/mythological deity, you should still be looking things up as you write to check your facts.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 9:55 am
by BuzzerZen
theMoMA wrote:And the countdown until Evan Silberman clobbers the author of that question begins...
As if I am physically capable of clobbering anybody.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 10:39 am
by Cheynem
Robert Reich?

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:04 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
I'm not really impressed by the set. The Arrow's Impossiblity Theorem TU was transparent the whole way through. Matrix came in the second line of the mitochondria tossup. Some of the bonus parts are impossibly hard, including the biblical figure Yael and the Round 3 soccer bonus that goes Man U/Bayern Munich/Borussia Dortmund. There's quite a few repeats, too.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:40 pm
by Terrible Shorts Depot
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:Man U/Bayern Munich/Borussia Dortmund
This bonus was far from impossible. If you have heard of soccer, you'll get 10. Man U is one of the world's 2 or 3 most popular teams and Cristiano Ronaldo is very, very famous. If you've heard of German soccer, you'll get 20, as Bayern is far and away the most well known German team. Borussia Dortmund is a bit tough, but isn't the 3rd part of a bonus supposed to be tough?

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:42 pm
by AlphaQuizBowler
la2pgh wrote:Borussia Dortmund is a bit tough, but isn't the 3rd part of a bonus supposed to be tough?
Not that tough.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:29 am
by dtaylor4
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
la2pgh wrote:Borussia Dortmund is a bit tough, but isn't the 3rd part of a bonus supposed to be tough?
Not that tough.
As a follower of soccer, the only way someone knows Borussia Dortmund is if you follow the Bundesliga (Germany's top league.) If you want another German club as a hard part, do Hamburg or Werder Bremen (UEFA Cup semifinalists, Bremen the victor over Hamburg on away goals). I highly doubt other circuit soccer enthusiasts could have pulled that, depending on the clues.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 3:22 am
by naturalistic phallacy
dtaylor4 wrote:
AlphaQuizBowler wrote:
la2pgh wrote:Borussia Dortmund is a bit tough, but isn't the 3rd part of a bonus supposed to be tough?
Not that tough.
As a follower of soccer, the only way someone knows Borussia Dortmund is if you follow the Bundesliga (Germany's top league.) If you want another German club as a hard part, do Hamburg or Werder Bremen (UEFA Cup semifinalists, Bremen the victor over Hamburg on away goals). I highly doubt other circuit soccer enthusiasts could have pulled that, depending on the clues.
You could always ask for a famous team from another country with soccer circuits less famous in the US (e.g. Panathinaikos or Fenerbahce) instead of digging deeper into one country's coffers.

Or we could just not write about soccer at all.

Re: Maryland Spring Tournament Discussion

Posted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:58 am
by Auks Ran Ova
tetragrammatology wrote:You could always ask for a famous team from another country with soccer circuits less famous in the US (e.g. Panathinaikos or Fenerbahce)
This strategy seems unlikely to succeed. I'm prepared, especially in high school, to reward anyone who takes an interest in UEFA with a free 30 and not care if they find a bonus too easy, so I'd be fine making something like Bayern Munich a hard part. The phrase "anyone who knows anything about UEFA" is not as dismissive as some might think.
tetragrammatology wrote:Or we could just not write about soccer at all.
<3

EDIT: Also, I take pride in having learned about Borussia Dortmund from a story in my tenth-grade German textbook. Apparently they play, or played, backgammon on the bus before matches. Who knew?