One of the great charms of Westbrookianism is that every time you think you have reached the lowest deep of its wackiness, a lower deep threatening to devour quizbowl opens wide. Here is a prime example: not just acknowledging that you sometimes write tossups that you don't expect anyone to answer (which is what "just way outside the usual difficulty" has to mean, in pragmatic terms), but taking a bizarre macho pride in doing so!No Rules Westbrook wrote: But, it does agitate me a little when people keep citing - as a defense for that - the same 6 or 7 tossups. Unlike most editors today, I will throw in a small handful of tossups that are just way outside the usual difficulty. I'll "take a few shots," as I term it - and you don't really see many editors do that these days. But, it's literally like 5-6 shots in the whole tournament.
To be clear, the approach described above is really, really silly. If this thread has taught us anything, it should be that there is significant variance between editors' abstract, on-paper notions of "what is gettable" and what turns out actually to be gotten by teams. Maybe your assumption that "everyone knows David Dacko" was way off-base. Maybe you chose your clues poorly and an otherwise-gettable tossup goes dead because people can't get to the answer from the clues you provided. Maybe, in the course of a punishing day of quizbowl, the only person in the room who knew the answer took a dumb neg. The point being, what seems "gettable" when you are sitting calmly at home reviewing your materials may be far afield from the "lived experience" of the questions when they are actually played.
Experienced editors are, or should be, well aware of this phenomenon. That's why such editors err on the side of conservatism--they know that questions invariably play harder in real life than they seem on paper, and that invariably some of the questions they thought were "middle-of-the-road" will turn out to be quite hard, while some questions they thought were "quite hard" will turn out to be impossible.
Getting back to the absurd Westbrookian formulation that triggered this post: Editors don't need to "take a few shots" (in the Westbrookian sense), because the set will already do that for them. That is, it's already going to be the case that things the editors thought were well within the bounds of gettability will happen to elude the field; it's ridiculous to add on top of that yet more questions that you expect the field not to get.