TIT Discussion

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TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

The TIT mirrors are now over. Go at it! Given that this was my first time editing a collegiate tournament, I'm very eager to hear any and all feedback.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater »

Awesome tournament, the most fun I've had since MO. A few too easy early clues (Beccaria's prison notebooks, for example), were vastly outweighed by great leadins, interesting but not crazily hard 3rd bonus parts, and Chicken McNugget numbers.

More later if I feel like it.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

(Beccaria's prison notebook
It was even more terrible than this as it was on Gramsci's prison notebooks; I simply did not know this was that well known when I wrote the question, and although I had figured it out in the ensuing couple of months, it slipped through the cracks. Apologies.
More later if I feel like it.
Feel free. I'm particularly interested in your opinion of the biology, since that's the one part of the science distribution I actually had a significant hand in writing, and I'm sure Jeremy would love to hear about the rest of the distribution.


One thing that does strike me about this tournament is that the bonus conversion was somewhat lower than I thought it would be, particularly given that most people I talked to seemed perfectly happy with the bonuses (I worked particularly hard to make sure most easy parts were very easy, but I know a couple of times this failed - Henri Bergson is not a regular tournament easy part and I'm not sure why I felt that he was). Still, I'm of the opinion that a good regular difficulty event should have more teams scoring in the 17-20 range than ours did, and I'm interested if anyone had any thoughts as to why.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Stained Diviner »

This was a good set. When you have novice teams stretching themselves by going to a regular-difficulty tournament, then you are going to get low bonus conversions. As long as the difficulty is accurately announced in advance, which it was, and there are other tournaments during the year suited to novice teams, which there are, then it's not a huge problem.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Kevin »

My reaction, and what I got from the other teams at the MSU mirror, was that the bonus parts were too hard. It's certainly true that the field at that mirror wasn't the strongest, but I felt like way too many bonuses were going for zero. Part of this was because almost every team lacked a true science person, but I felt like the science questions, for the most part, actually did a good job of having an easy part accessible to non-specialists. It seemed like it was non-classical mythology, Asian history, world literature, and the like that were tripping people up.

FWIW I think the only two bonuses we thirtied all day long were the ones on the Sermon on the Mount and Acts of the Apostles. There's a few other ones we'd have thirtied had we gotten them (Horace, and maybe some of the trash), but I felt like we should've been able to pick up a few more--it seemed like there were a lot of classical music bonuses with impossible third parts. And it also strikes me as a bit odd that both of the New Testament bonuses I can remember our team getting seemed incredibly easy, the sort of thing that anyone with even the most rudimentary one-semester NT course or even a few years of Christian school or Sunday school could pick up. I'd have a hard time imagining teams not converting both Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount. All that said, after 11 years of Catholic schools and universities I probably should be thirtying NT bonuses.

I think the toss-ups were pretty fair, and almost all were eventually gettable. Sure, some were going dead, but I think it was an appropriate amount given the strength of the field.

The classical music questions overall I didn't think were as well done as some of the ones at other tournaments I've been to this year. I thought EFT and ACF Fall both did a better job with referring to the actual musical content of specific pieces, while TIT had a few too many questions like the prelude and Dies Irae toss-ups and the Overture bonus part, which was more dependent on having heard of the titles of works than knowing anything about their actual musical content. The pyramidality still seemed good, though.

It seemed like the math questions were well-done. My basis for saying that is that there are a lot of tournaments where I pick up a lot of math questions despite my only college math course being a one-semester math for humanities majors class. Odds are, the fewer math questions I get, the better-written they were.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

In comparison, I just want to point out that at MSU's site, the bonus conversion for TIT was actually slightly higher than it was for SCT DI (8.62 for TIT vs. 8.43 or so for SCT).
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Kevin »

grapesmoker wrote:In comparison, I just want to point out that at MSU's site, the bonus conversion for TIT was actually slightly higher than it was for SCT DI (8.62 for TIT vs. 8.43 or so for SCT).
SCT's DI at MSU featured a one-man ULL team and a two-man Alabama B. None of the teams had an identical roster between the two days, so it's hard to compare. Alabama's drop of 2.3 PPB is probably partly due to missing their best science player, Dan, on Sunday, while we had a 3PPB drop despite having a line-up which was roughly similar.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:Awesome tournament, the most fun I've had since MO. A few too easy early clues (Beccaria's prison notebooks, for example), were vastly outweighed by great leadins, interesting but not crazily hard 3rd bonus parts, and Chicken McNugget numbers.

More later if I feel like it.
I largely agree with Eric's assessment: this was a really solid set.

There were some questions with (I think) too-easy early clues: angular momentum was a buzzer race on Clebsch-Gordan, I think Francis Bacon was also a buzzer race but I forget what the clue was (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, maybe?), X-ray diffraction off of reciprocal space or lattice (I forget which one the question said), and friction off of Amonton's law in the finals. Those are the main ones I remember; assuming there weren't too many more, I don't think they really messed up the set at all.

There were also a (very) few myth questions with unfortunate clues: the tossup on Anubis that started with "He is known as Foremost of the Westerners" had a buzzer race to neg with Osiris; even saying "Like Osiris and Khent-Amentiu, this god was known as..." would have helped. Later in the same question the clue about Hermes similarly points more to Thoth than to Anubis, to my mind. The tossup on cats got me to neg at Galanthis when I buzzed and then realized that the question had already mentioned weasels a couple clues back. Galanthis' connection to cats seems to be really tenuous (it's not in Graves, and I get one hit on Google for 'Galanthis cat'; looking at the site, it sounds like the reference may come from Aelian or Anton. Lib. [I'm not even sure who this is]). Anyway, this is a minor nitpick but I think the question would have been better off avoiding Galanthis entirely--there are obviously plenty of other cat myths to use as clues.

Thanks for a fun set.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

DumbJaques wrote:The TIT mirrors are now over. Go at it! Given that this was my first time editing a collegiate tournament, I'm very eager to hear any and all feedback.
Whoops, I forgot to ask: is the set being posted somewhere? I think we heard all but one packet at the Northwestern site, and we certainly look forward to hearing the last packet at some point.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Awehrman »

I just have a couple quick comments from a reader's perspective. I thought the questions were quite good overall. They did a nice job differentiating between teams and in general were had lots of good clues. On the not quite as good side, many of the questions were overly long (9 or 10 lines). The powermarks often extended into the fourth and sometimes fifth or sixth line of the question, and outside of the Chicago and Illinois teams, there were very few powers. The giveaways were answerable by most teams, but it just took a long time to get there. The bonuses were similarly wordy with individual bonus parts frequently 2-3 lines long. The combination, as well as a the presence of quite a few novice teams, made the rounds run longer than they should have. I'm not the fastest reader, but my rounds were averaging over 35 minutes. I know the questions came in very late, so it is understandable that the editor did not have much time to cut them down.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by JackGlerum »

Great tournament, I especially liked the packets by USC, Illinois, and VCU.

Our only power of the day came when our myth player got Anubis right off the bat, but also complained that it was poorly written. So, I assume he and Seth were on the same wavelength.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

DumbJaques wrote:Still, I'm of the opinion that a good regular difficulty event should have more teams scoring in the 17-20 range than ours did, and I'm interested if anyone had any thoughts as to why.
So I didn't see this as being as much a problem as you did, but possible reasons include:
Some teams played this at less than full strength (Harvard would have been in the 17-20 range, most likely, if it added Ted and/or Dallas; we probably could have fielded another team that would hit that range, too)
Each bonus part, instead of being 85-50-15 or whatever, was like 80-45-10: this feels just as reasonable in that there's no fuck-you thirty, but it's still across the board a little harder: bonus conversion takes a 1.5 point hit. (And I noticed that I zeroed a few more lit and history bonuses than I ordinarily do when playing a regular difficulty tournament. This could be why.)

EDIT: this didn't post when I wanted it to, like six hours ago, so you'll have to settle for my belated comments. And my agreement that Clebsch-Gordon coefficients shouldn't come that early; if you know of QM, you are likely to have heard of them, even if you have taken zero quantum classes (like me).
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by theMoMA »

Just in general, it's pretty hard to get a whole additional PPB on bonuses as a team. The difficulty shift required to up a 15 PPB team to a 17 PPB is pretty dramatic. In general, the packets we've been practicing on from this tournament have had pretty typical "regular difficulty" bonuses, with the occasional easy/hard outlier.

I suspect that regular difficulty bonus conversions will improve over time as teams and players learn more, but for now I think it's pretty hard to achieve conversion stats somewhere between what you see for "novice" and "regular" events without having inconsistent bonus difficulty. You could do it pretty easily if you were willing to have half of the bonuses be Fall-level, and half be Regionals-level, but that's obviously not the right solution. There's quite a fine line (mostly in the ease of the second parts) between seeing a decent team getting 15 and 17 points per bonus, and I don't know if it's possible to walk that line for an entire tournament set.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

everyday847 wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:Still, I'm of the opinion that a good regular difficulty event should have more teams scoring in the 17-20 range than ours did, and I'm interested if anyone had any thoughts as to why.
So I didn't see this as being as much a problem as you did, but possible reasons include:
Some teams played this at less than full strength (Harvard would have been in the 17-20 range, most likely, if it added Ted and/or Dallas; we probably could have fielded another team that would hit that range, too)
Each bonus part, instead of being 85-50-15 or whatever, was like 80-45-10: this feels just as reasonable in that there's no fuck-you thirty, but it's still across the board a little harder: bonus conversion takes a 1.5 point hit. (And I noticed that I zeroed a few more lit and history bonuses than I ordinarily do when playing a regular difficulty tournament. This could be why.)

EDIT: this didn't post when I wanted it to, like six hours ago, so you'll have to settle for my belated comments. And my agreement that Clebsch-Gordon coefficients shouldn't come that early; if you know of QM, you are likely to have heard of them, even if you have taken zero quantum classes (like me).
I thought the easy parts were significantly easier than 80% conversion; I was regularly getting 10 on science questions playing solo. The depressed bonus conversion was largely a function of teams (Harvard, Penn, etc.) being shorthanded IMO.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by at your pleasure »

Great set. The only quibble I can remember off the top of my head was that the Antietam question should not have had Burnside's Bridge in the lead-in.
I think Francis Bacon was also a buzzer race but I forget what the clue was (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, maybe
Well, it is his best-known work. I remember buzzing in on a description of the painting, but that seemed like one of the last few clues before the givaway.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

Anti-Climacus wrote:
I think Francis Bacon was also a buzzer race but I forget what the clue was (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, maybe
Well, it is his best-known work. I remember buzzing in on a description of the painting, but that seemed like one of the last few clues before the givaway.
This was a buzzer race for power. Perhaps I've misremembered the clue people were buzzing on; I thought it was Three Studies but perhaps it was something a bit harder.

I think Screaming Pope(s) is more well-known, but whatever.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

My reaction, and what I got from the other teams at the MSU mirror, was that the bonus parts were too hard. It's certainly true that the field at that mirror wasn't the strongest, but I felt like way too many bonuses were going for zero. Part of this was because almost every team lacked a true science person, but I felt like the science questions, for the most part, actually did a good job of having an easy part accessible to non-specialists. It seemed like it was non-classical mythology, Asian history, world literature, and the like that were tripping people up.

FWIW I think the only two bonuses we thirtied all day long were the ones on the Sermon on the Mount and Acts of the Apostles. There's a few other ones we'd have thirtied had we gotten them (Horace, and maybe some of the trash), but I felt like we should've been able to pick up a few more--it seemed like there were a lot of classical music bonuses with impossible third parts. And it also strikes me as a bit odd that both of the New Testament bonuses I can remember our team getting seemed incredibly easy, the sort of thing that anyone with even the most rudimentary one-semester NT course or even a few years of Christian school or Sunday school could pick up. I'd have a hard time imagining teams not converting both Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount. All that said, after 11 years of Catholic schools and universities I probably should be thirtying NT bonuses.
Thanks for the feedback. Could you perhaps site specific examples? It's difficult for me to know what you mean without that. I'll send the set to Chris Charter (in all it's hastily-edited glory) soon, so if you want to wait until then, please feel free. Off the bat, thought I tried to insert easy parts into all of those categories (Pahmuk had a question on castles, Ike's exciting Gosannen war question was converted to a bonus asking for Heian, and I think most non-classical myths had things like Huitzilapochtli or Tlaloc or Izanagi). Do these things not seem easy to you? Given your indicated background in the above post, perhaps there is a disconnect between the basic quizbowl canon world lit/world myth/world history (I'm seeing a trend here) and what you're familiar with (perhaps, even what the teams at your site are familiar with). Also, if you spend more than a decade at Catholic school, you're exactly the kind of person I want 30ing new testament bonuses, so yeah, I'm just fine with that.

Also, did you mean the bonuses in general were too hard? The easy parts, middle parts, hard parts? I'm interested in exactly what you mean.
There were some questions with (I think) too-easy early clues: angular momentum was a buzzer race on Clebsch-Gordan, I think Francis Bacon was also a buzzer race but I forget what the clue was (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, maybe?), X-ray diffraction off of reciprocal space or lattice (I forget which one the question said), and friction off of Amonton's law in the finals. Those are the main ones I remember; assuming there weren't too many more, I don't think they really messed up the set at all.
I'll let Jeremy respond to the physics stuff, but considering I've heard those clues before I probably should have demanded new leadins be produced to people like me can't get those questions before people who know basic things about what angular momentum even is. Apologies for that and X-Ray/friction (I've actually never heard of Amonton's law. . . but I've never taken a physics course).

I'm trying to figure out what the Bacon tossup did - here's the text:
. A lone figure stands on a gold and black pentagon in this artist's Dog, while three birds hunch on a branch in Owls. He depicted a nurse from Battleship Potemkin, and figures on a rail dominate his “study after Muybridge.” He painted a triptych showing himself flanked by George Dyer and Lucian Freud and created a Sphinx Portrait of Muriel Belcher. Bizarre red arrows often dot landscapes by this painter, who showed something vaguely purple in a red bowl in Lying Figure with (*) Hypodermic Syringe. Mutilated figures against a red background comprise his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, while his best-known work was inspired by a portrait by Diego Velazquez. FTP, identify this painter who liked painting slabs of meat and allegedly depicted Innocent X in his Screaming Pope series, the descendant of an English philosopher.
Answer: Francis Bacon
I wouldn't know where else to put the thing about three studies, as I was under the impression that it was less well-known than the screaming pope stuff/starting to enter stock clue territory, and it's pretty much the penultimate clue, but I'm interested to hear if I have a misconception about this.
There were also a (very) few myth questions with unfortunate clues: the tossup on Anubis that started with "He is known as Foremost of the Westerners" had a buzzer race to neg with Osiris; even saying "Like Osiris and Khent-Amentiu, this god was known as..." would have helped. Later in the same question the clue about Hermes similarly points more to Thoth than to Anubis, to my mind. The tossup on cats got me to neg at Galanthis when I buzzed and then realized that the question had already mentioned weasels a couple clues back. Galanthis' connection to cats seems to be really tenuous (it's not in Graves, and I get one hit on Google for 'Galanthis cat'; looking at the site, it sounds like the reference may come from Aelian or Anton. Lib. [I'm not even sure who this is]). Anyway, this is a minor nitpick but I think the question would have been better off avoiding Galanthis entirely--there are obviously plenty of other cat myths to use as clues.
Sorry for the Galanthis thing - the author can cite the cat source, I suppose, but I had no more luck with google. I don't think it's quite a minor nitpick, as I've been critical of common link before and I think it's important to emphasize to editors that you really need to go over these questions with a fine-toothed comb (especially common link myth) to make sure you're not inducing knowledgeable people to neg, which it sounds like we did here. Apologies for that and Anubis - I was unaware that thing about the westerns was well known, and I attempted to phrase it as "King of the Westerners" (meaning the group/military force sometimes associated with Anubis in art) but failed to realize how similar that sounded to "Lord of the West." Whoops.
Whoops, I forgot to ask: is the set being posted somewhere? I think we heard all but one packet at the Northwestern site, and we certainly look forward to hearing the last packet at some point.
Set will be posted soon. The second finals packet, it should be noted, was generously donated by Matt Weiner from a (at the time) unfinished Penn Bowl packet, and we didn't get it until the day of the tournament because a non-Weiner portion wasn't finished, so I haven't looked at it much, but it played well in practice. I'll get the set to Chris Carter today.


I just have a couple quick comments from a reader's perspective. I thought the questions were quite good overall. They did a nice job differentiating between teams and in general were had lots of good clues. On the not quite as good side, many of the questions were overly long (9 or 10 lines). The powermarks often extended into the fourth and sometimes fifth or sixth line of the question, and outside of the Chicago and Illinois teams, there were very few powers. The giveaways were answerable by most teams, but it just took a long time to get there. The bonuses were similarly wordy with individual bonus parts frequently 2-3 lines long. The combination, as well as a the presence of quite a few novice teams, made the rounds run longer than they should have. I'm not the fastest reader, but my rounds were averaging over 35 minutes. I know the questions came in very late, so it is understandable that the editor did not have much time to cut them down.
If indeed there is an insurmountable (or impossible to surmount given 12 hours to put together 5 packets) trade off between "progression" (putting in good leadins for the top teams, good middle parts for the middle teams, and good giveaways for the novice teams), "length," and "avoiding difficulty cliffs," then I'm perfectly happy writing rounds that take 35 minutes to finish. I do not believe our rounds took that long, but it's not bordering on ridiculous or anything like that.

I am well aware that I have a tendency to write questions longer than they should be; this works well when I submit questions as editors to trim, but not so well when I'm editing a set and have no time to trim. Still, after looking over this set, I see only 2-3 tossups per round that seem to go over the 6-8 line limit most tournaments impose. Even then, they usually only hit 8.5-9.0, which I don't think is unreasonable at all. In fact, some questions benefit from having this lenght per round, although I doubt there was a perfect overlap between those answers and the questions we had exceeding the 8 mark.

I think it's silly to extend power marks to the second or third line for most college tournaments, because it's a pure reality that most people never buzz there. I put power before I felt the question had reached a point where knowledge transitioned to deep from general. For difficult answers, this sometimes happened five lines into the question. Again, I think this is the right approach. I suppose you're submitting that if something is hard enough to have 6 lines of power, it should be hard enough to only need 6 lines of clues. And hey, that's pretty reasonable, but I wasn't at the the limit, so I kept it in there. You are correct in that stuff like this might have been more cleaned up had we had more time to work on the set, but what tournament is that not true of? I also doubt seriously that there were very many 5 and 6 line power marks, as there really were not that many 8+ line questions (though there were a lot of very close to 8.0 line questions, which is probably more accountable for your length observations than the few longer questions). Again, I can live this, if it means I successfully avoided the other things that certain penn bowl questions fell into on occasion (as discussed in the other thread), but I'm quite interested to hear some counter-opinions on that. Thanks for the feedback, Andy. I also apologize for the typos and things you had to stumble over - there just wasn't much time to do anything about those.
So I didn't see this as being as much a problem as you did, but possible reasons include:
Some teams played this at less than full strength (Harvard would have been in the 17-20 range, most likely, if it added Ted and/or Dallas; we probably could have fielded another team that would hit that range, too)
Each bonus part, instead of being 85-50-15 or whatever, was like 80-45-10: this feels just as reasonable in that there's no fuck-you thirty, but it's still across the board a little harder: bonus conversion takes a 1.5 point hit. (And I noticed that I zeroed a few more lit and history bonuses than I ordinarily do when playing a regular difficulty tournament. This could be why.)
Well, I think the idea of 90 if fictional at pretty much any tournament that isn't novice (but that's for another thread), so if I did hit 85-50-15, I'm cool with that. I think the bigger thing is, you are right about the teams who attended. Although we had Brown and Chicago and Illinois, there was quite a cut-off from the tier 2 teams, which probably affects my bonus conversion stats. Still, I would hope the lowest ppb would be a bit higher, so I'll have to watch that for next time even moreso.
Well, it is his best-known work.
Is it really? I never thought it was anywhere near as famous as the Screaming Pope stuff, something Seth seems to agree with. The Crucifixion thing was right before that and out of power, so is there some other creepy Bacon thing that's well known? Ugh, I really hope not.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

The Bacon tossup looks perfect, Chris; you are correct in your belief that the Screaming Popes series is more famous than Three Studies.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

I wanted to say I also really enjoyed this set. There were some questions I had issues with, but I'll wait to see the set before I comment on them (my memory and hearing being in advanced states of decomposition.)

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by marnold »

Seth, you buzzed on the "Battleship Potemkin" clue; I'm pretty sure I was coming in there too (or at least should have been - I really like Bacon and know that work) and Shantanu might have been for the other team. I don't think that's necessarily a misplaced clue though.

As long as I'm posting, I'll say that I really enjoyed this tournament. The only specific complaint I can remember that hasn't been brought up was that "Office Space" seemed like a really easy power off "Jump to Conclusions Mat."
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

DumbJaques wrote:
There were some questions with (I think) too-easy early clues: angular momentum was a buzzer race on Clebsch-Gordan, I think Francis Bacon was also a buzzer race but I forget what the clue was (Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, maybe?), X-ray diffraction off of reciprocal space or lattice (I forget which one the question said), and friction off of Amonton's law in the finals. Those are the main ones I remember; assuming there weren't too many more, I don't think they really messed up the set at all.
I'll let Jeremy respond to the physics stuff, but considering I've heard those clues before I probably should have demanded new leadins be produced to people like me can't get those questions before people who know basic things about what angular momentum even is. Apologies for that and X-Ray/friction (I've actually never heard of Amonton's law. . . but I've never taken a physics course).

I'm trying to figure out what the Bacon tossup did - here's the text:
. A lone figure stands on a gold and black pentagon in this artist's Dog, while three birds hunch on a branch in Owls. He depicted a nurse from Battleship Potemkin, and figures on a rail dominate his “study after Muybridge.” He painted a triptych showing himself flanked by George Dyer and Lucian Freud and created a Sphinx Portrait of Muriel Belcher. Bizarre red arrows often dot landscapes by this painter, who showed something vaguely purple in a red bowl in Lying Figure with (*) Hypodermic Syringe. Mutilated figures against a red background comprise his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, while his best-known work was inspired by a portrait by Diego Velazquez. FTP, identify this painter who liked painting slabs of meat and allegedly depicted Innocent X in his Screaming Pope series, the descendant of an English philosopher.
Answer: Francis Bacon
I wouldn't know where else to put the thing about three studies, as I was under the impression that it was less well-known than the screaming pope stuff/starting to enter stock clue territory, and it's pretty much the penultimate clue, but I'm interested to hear if I have a misconception about this.
Okay, I was mistaken about the clue that prompted the buzzer race; sorry about the confusion. What happened was that there was a buzzer race on "Battleship Potemkin." This could be a random thing that a couple people in the room happen to know, or it could be a clue that should have moved later in the question.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

As long as I'm posting, I'll say that I really enjoyed this tournament. The only specific complaint I can remember that hasn't been brought up was that "Office Space" seemed like a really easy power off "Jump to Conclusions Mat."
Yeah, I had that thought while writing the questions, but I wonder what kind of office space clue could be both memorable and not too easy to be a lead-in. I should have gone with "pound me in the ass prison" hilariously being tv-edited to "Pound me into ash." Basically, I'm of the opinion that stuff people really know (watch, listen to, etc) should comprise most of the trash distribution at academic events, and that more fringe stuff should be at trash tournaments, so I wrote a question on a movie almost everyone at this tournament has probably seen. Unfortunately, it appears it worked out not so great.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by No Rules Westbrook »

Hey, so after reading this set through, I want to say that I think it was really well done...I don't say that terribly often these days in regard to regular difficulty-esque sets, but this one is deserving.

I'm pretty skeptical of the above comment about bonus difficulty because I think that, if anything, this tournament did the reverse of most events - usually, events err on the side of making tossups easier and bonuses a little harder - I think TIT was the opposite, as is evident to me from a lot of bonuses having a quite easy part.

I agree with what Chris says regarding the trade-off between expanding length in certain cases to avoid difficulty cliffs and promote better layering of questions - I think it worked well at this tourney, as a lot of players seem to agree. Also, I think people are sometimes under false pretenses when it comes to powers - the fact that a question has four or five or even six lines of power is not any sort of indictment of the pyramidality or structure of the question. The point of putting in powers is to try to accurately guess where the line is between "deep" knowledge and just "regular" knowledge - for some subjects, the fact of the matter is that even a buzz very deep into the question could constitute deep knowledge. I could go into some reasons why this is the case, but I think we all understand why - you just look at the clues and decide where a reasonable/fair place to stick the power is, and I think this event did a pretty good job of that.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by cdcarter »

I'll send the set to Chris Charter (in all it's hastily-edited glory) soon, so if you want to wait until then, please feel free.
I know I look like Henry Gorman, but really?

Anyway, send it on, I can have it up tonight if I get it by 9CST.
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Re: TIT Discussion

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Set was sent.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by cdcarter »

DumbJaques wrote:Set was sent.
I have not received it, to where did you send?
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Sir Thopas »

cdcarter wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:Set was sent.
I have not received it, to where did you send?
[email protected]
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

A likely most confused "[email protected]"
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Re: TIT Discussion

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Kevin »

Off the bat, thought I tried to insert easy parts into all of those categories (Pahmuk had a question on castles, Ike's exciting Gosannen war question was converted to a bonus asking for Heian, and I think most non-classical myths had things like Huitzilapochtli or Tlaloc or Izanagi). Do these things not seem easy to you?
The castle bonus part, yes, that would've been 10 for us. Izanagi and Izanami I'm pretty sure we either got or would've gotten had it been our bonus. But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc? I can't even remember hearing those names. Heian doesn't seem easy either. Granted, after looking over the set, there were a fair number of bonuses whose easy parts made me think, "Yeah, I've heard of that, I should've gotten it." And there were a fair number with easy parts which we did convert (things like the Chin dynasty). Now, I have no problem with the fact that we didn't do all that well on these sorts of bonuses, given that our team was comprised of two freshmen and a grad student whose knowledge on almost every subject is horribly shallow. But given the fairly low scores at the other mirrors as well, it seemed like the easy parts on many topics were too hard.

After looking back through the classical music bonuses, I thought the easy and middle parts were spot on, but the third parts tended to be too difficult. I don't expect to thirty every music bonus, but I felt like if I hear ten music bonuses I should probably thirty at least one or two, but out of all the ones I heard (either for my team or my opponent) almost all of the hard parts were completely unfamiliar to me. If a few had been stuff I'd heard of but simply couldn't identify, that would've been one thing, but I felt like a lot of it was simply too obscure (stuff like George Crumb, Tartini, Tragic Overture). Again, I'm not an expert, and if I were thirtying every music bonus something would probably be wrong, but I consider myself a pretty smart layman who goes to enough concerts and listens to enough music that I should get every easy part, almost all of the medium parts, and occasionally come across a hard bonus part I've heard of and know. At TIT, I was getting the easy parts and all but maybe one of the medium parts, but none of the hard parts. Now, if people better-versed in music than I am played or read the packets and think the hard parts were spot-on, I'll defer to their judgment.
Basically, I'm of the opinion that stuff people really know (watch, listen to, etc) should comprise most of the trash distribution at academic events, and that more fringe stuff should be at trash tournaments,
I agree in principle but when the rest of the bonuses are pretty hard an easy thirty on a trash bonus can make a huge difference. Perhaps my teammates are better trash players than I've realized, but it seemed like every time our opponent got a trash bonus we'd have thirtied it (Milwaukee Bucks, Daft Punk/Justice/Moby, maybe a few others). I don't remember getting many of the trash bonuses ourselves, so I can't recall how we did. But on average, if the bonus conversion for trash questions is drastically higher than for academic ones, something is wrong.

The only other field I feel knowledgeable enough to comment on is classical (Greek/Roman) literature and mythology. I thought the toss-ups and bonuses seemed very well done.

Two random, minor things: I thought the toss-up on nullification got to the Kentucky/Virginia resolutions too early. I also thought that the question on court-packing was poorly worded. Using the phrase "This legislation" to open the clue was confusing. I realized fairly early on that the question was talking about court-packing, but it sounded like they wanted the name of a specific act, and it wasn't until fairly late that it was clear "court-packing" would be an acceptable answer. Something like "This plan" or "This scheme" to start the clue would've made it more clear.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

Kevin wrote:But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc? I can't even remember hearing those names.
Regardless of their objective easiness or lack thereof, those two figures come up in quizbowl an awful lot (120 and 107 times, respectively, in my packet archive). You should at least recognize their names just from practicing every week, unless you're reading trash or high school questions at practice or something.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

Kevin wrote:But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc?
I'd say those are the 2nd and 3rd most important/well-known Aztec gods (after Quetzalcoatl), and I'd be fine with either of those as an easy part to a bonus, assuming the easiest clues were used.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Matt Weiner wrote:
Kevin wrote:But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc? I can't even remember hearing those names.
Regardless of their objective easiness or lack thereof, those two figures come up in quizbowl an awful lot (120 and 107 times, respectively, in my packet archive). You should at least recognize their names just from practicing every week, unless you're reading trash or high school questions at practice or something.
Yeah, agreed. The former comes up a lot in high school, too; Tlaloc isn't terribly big until college, but he comes up a lot now.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Awehrman »

I agree with what Chris says regarding the trade-off between expanding length in certain cases to avoid difficulty cliffs and promote better layering of questions - I think it worked well at this tourney, as a lot of players seem to agree. Also, I think people are sometimes under false pretenses when it comes to powers - the fact that a question has four or five or even six lines of power is not any sort of indictment of the pyramidality or structure of the question. The point of putting in powers is to try to accurately guess where the line is between "deep" knowledge and just "regular" knowledge - for some subjects, the fact of the matter is that even a buzz very deep into the question could constitute deep knowledge. I could go into some reasons why this is the case, but I think we all understand why - you just look at the clues and decide where a reasonable/fair place to stick the power is, and I think this event did a pretty good job of that.
I was making no indictment of the pyramidality or structure of the question other than noting that the questions were, well, very long. Very long questions make rounds go slower and can frustrate weaker teams. I think the problem stemmed from Chris not getting packets in time and having little time to edit. He kept things long instead of chopping things willy-nilly, which is certainly good. I think he did a fine job with tournament, but I don't think that applauding nine line tossups with six lines included in the power provides much constructive criticism for a first-time editor or prospective editors who may read this. It's fairly easy to cut a away a line or more from questions of this length just by eliminating wordiness and chopping down long clues. Take for instance this question from the first packet (Brown) that I opened.
10. Thomas Morley set the last of the songs in this collection to music in his The First Book of Airs. One work in this collection tells of how its narrator "never drank of Aganippe well, nor ever did in shade of Tempe sit," while the next praises Edward IV as the best of English kings. Notable collections in this work include it's 31st poem, which opens with a remark about the "sad steps" with which "the Moon, thou climb'st the skies," while allusions to both the addressee of this collection and its author are found in references to a rich husband and a colonial governor of Ireland, respectively. The (*) eyes of the titular female are described as "Nature's chief work" in this collection's seventh poem, while its first concludes with the line "'Fool,' said my Muse to me, 'look in thy heart and write.'" Presumably composed for Penelope Devereaux, FTP, identify this collection of 108 sonnets and eleven songs named for a "star" and her lover, the most famous poetic collection of Philip Sidney.
ANSWER: Astrophel and Stella
As it appeared on the page (10 point fonts less than 1 inch margins) that question is 9 lines with the power mark extending into the sixth line. Can anyone argue that it wouldn't be a better question if edited down to this?
10. Thomas Morley set the final song in this collection to music in The First Book of Airs. One work in it tells of how its narrator "never drank of Aganippe well,” while the next praises Edward IV. Its 31st poem mentions the "sad steps" with which "the Moon, thou climb'st the skies," while allusions to a rich husband and a colonial governor of Ireland refer to the addressee and author of this collection, respectively. The (*) eyes of the titular female are described as "Nature's chief work" in its seventh poem, while its first concludes with the line "'Fool,' said my Muse to me, 'look in thy heart and write.'" Presumably composed for Penelope Devereaux, FTP, identify this collection of 108 sonnets and eleven songs named for a "star" and her lover, the most famous poetic collection of Philip Sidney.
ANSWER: Astrophel and Stella
By eliminating some wordiness and cutting down a longer quote, we arrive at a tossup just over 7 lines with 4 lines in the power. Over the course of a tournament, trimming questions in this way would have made a big difference. Again, if Chris had enough time, he may have done this, but I think it's certainly a valid criticism.
Last edited by Awehrman on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Maxwell Sniffingwell »

Kevin wrote:I agree in principle but when the rest of the bonuses are pretty hard an easy thirty on a trash bonus can make a huge difference. Perhaps my teammates are better trash players than I've realized, but it seemed like every time our opponent got a trash bonus we'd have thirtied it (Milwaukee Bucks, Daft Punk/Justice/Moby, maybe a few others). I don't remember getting many of the trash bonuses ourselves, so I can't recall how we did. But on average, if the bonus conversion for trash questions is drastically higher than for academic ones, something is wrong.
This is actually something I've noticed as well... my team is very, very good at trash, but I feel like this is something I've seen our opponents do as well. Does anyone else feel like trash bonuses are getting 30d at a disproportional rate?
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Cheynem »

Eh, not so much that I've noticed. I mean, it's not something you can really statistically analyze with any deep precision because most standard packets only have one trash bonus that can be on anything (sports, trash lit, movies, music, etc.). So if in a few packets, one team 30's a sports bonus because they have people on the team who really like sports, I don't know what that means. If they liked classical music, they'd 30 that bonus too. People do well on bonuses if they like or know the topic.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by cdcarter »

Matt Weiner wrote:
Kevin wrote:But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc? I can't even remember hearing those names.
Regardless of their objective easiness or lack thereof, those two figures come up in quizbowl an awful lot (120 and 107 times, respectively, in my packet archive). You should at least recognize their names just from practicing every week, unless you're reading trash or high school questions at practice or something.
I think he was trying to say he can't remember hearing them in this set.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner »

That doesn't match up with the context of his statement, or with the fact that both Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were indeed mentioned in this set.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli are way canonical and come up all the time. Either is fine as a tossup answer (Huitzilopochtli was a tossup in our packet, I believe). Also, the Heian period is like, a really famous period of time in Japanese history, so I'm going to go all prescriptive and say that that's something you really should know about and if you don't you should study it. I'm not a music person, but I was able to get Tragic Overture just by knowing some things about Brahms and the Academic Festival Overture, whose twin the Tragic Overture is.

I wrote both the bonus on the Milwaukee Bucks (which was zeroed in my room) and the tossup on Astrophel and Stella. Yeah, I guess if you were anal you could trim that tossup down a little bit by shuffling words, but your effort as an editor is fundamentally way better spent editing questions that have actual clue problems as opposed to ones which just have a few extra words in them. Anyway, not only do I endorse Chris' decision to not overly reduce the length of tossups, but I applaud it. It made for an extremely enjoyable set of questions which on the whole had many great middle clues and did a good job of rewarding knowledge.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

I also thought that the question on court-packing was poorly worded. Using the phrase "This legislation" to open the clue was confusing.
Question text:
Impetus behind this legislation, which prompted Frank Garnett's creation of the NCUCG, included the failure of Homer Cummings to match the result of the Gold Cases and the Economy Act's impact on Willis Van Devanter's salary. Its proponents cited an ironic 1914 proposal by James McReynolds, while its ultimate fate was prompted by the death of Joseph T. Robinson. The Frazier-Lemke Act and a reversal of the doctrine established in Adkins v. Children's Hospital led to rulings that included (*) West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, a decision that saw a “switch in time” by Owen Roberts allegedly meant to thwart this plan. Robert Jackson, who later held one of the targeted positions, demanded this legislation's architect admit his plans in the 9th Fireside Chat. Seeking to prevent rulings against New Deal programs, FTP, identify this plan enacted in 1937 by FDR, a failed scheme to add additional justices to the Supreme Court.
ANSWER: FDR's Court-Packing Plan or the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937; accept clear knowledge equivalents
Well, the Court Packing plan WAS a legislation (perhaps the most famous failed legislation of all time). Specifically, it was the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937. If you aren't aware that it's a legislation and just have a vague idea that it was a scheme, then I'm both surprised you knew any of the clues before "this plan" and perfectly fine with you not powering the question, as that indicates a lack of deep knowledge to me. Also if I had said "this scheme" so early in the question, I felt it could invite a lot of fraudulent guesses, and I wanted to get a lot of meaningful clues out before that point.
The castle bonus part, yes, that would've been 10 for us. Izanagi and Izanami I'm pretty sure we either got or would've gotten had it been our bonus. But Huitzilapochtli and Tlaloc? I can't even remember hearing those names. Heian doesn't seem easy either. Granted, after looking over the set, there were a fair number of bonuses whose easy parts made me think, "Yeah, I've heard of that, I should've gotten it." And there were a fair number with easy parts which we did convert (things like the Chin dynasty). Now, I have no problem with the fact that we didn't do all that well on these sorts of bonuses, given that our team was comprised of two freshmen and a grad student whose knowledge on almost every subject is horribly shallow. But given the fairly low scores at the other mirrors as well, it seemed like the easy parts on many topics were too hard.
As has been noted, I'm afraid you are just incorrect about those things not being easy parts. I will also dispute your assessment that the easy parts of many bonuses were too hard based on the stats of the other sites. At Maryland, almost all teams scoring below 10 ppb were comprised of people who basically had not played collegiate quizbowl before this year. The same is true for the Illinois site - indeed, high schools playing shorthanded were putting up fairly respectable numbers. The bonus issue I was concerned about was the lack of the 16-20 range, which I think is explained by the lack of those kind of teams ending up playing at this event (or playing at full strength) rather than crappy middle parts. If you think there are other bonuses that systematically abuse the easy part, please let me know, but when the combined tournament experience of the six lowest ppb at a site is something like 2, I see that neither as an indictment of the bonus difficulty nor of the ability of those teams, just a matter of experience.
I agree in principle but when the rest of the bonuses are pretty hard an easy thirty on a trash bonus can make a huge difference. Perhaps my teammates are better trash players than I've realized, but it seemed like every time our opponent got a trash bonus we'd have thirtied it (Milwaukee Bucks, Daft Punk/Justice/Moby, maybe a few others). I don't remember getting many of the trash bonuses ourselves, so I can't recall how we did. But on average, if the bonus conversion for trash questions is drastically higher than for academic ones, something is wrong.
My comment about making trash about things people have familiarity with applied to tossup answers; obviously keeping the easy/medium/hard spread should apply to trash as well. I find Daft Punk/Justice/Moby to be pretty much that, but perhaps I underestimated the tremendous appeal of Justice? Most trash bonuses I edited or wrote had pretty clear easy/middle/hard parts (I will site the Sly and the Family Stone/Funkadelic/George Clinton bonus from the Chicago packet, which someone who I'm sure wasn't David Seal originally had as some Funkadelic single as the third part). But, trash is not really my thing, so I apologize if it seemed like those bonuses were too easy.
By eliminating some wordiness and cutting down a longer quote, we arrive at a tossup just over 7 lines with 4 lines in the power. Over the course of a tournament, trimming questions in this way would have made a big difference. Again, if Chris had enough time, he may have done this, but I think it's certainly a valid criticism.
I mean, I don't know; in a perfect world, maybe. Assuming you could trim maybe 5 minutes per round before you start compromising pyramidal clues and clarity (and I don't necessarily know that that's true), you save the tournament a total of an hour, I guess. So I suppose I accept your argument about it. But the reality of the situation (not just my situation with TIT, but every situation pretty much ever) is that there is always a time crunch to get things done. No tournament ever gets all the packets in by the first or second deadline, there are always mad dashes at the end even when you write a lot in advance. This falls into the category of "are there too few civil war questions" - it's a fine argument, but in practical reality no editor will ever have time to deal with things like this. Systematically re-arranging word choice would not be on my list even if I had the extra time to work on the set.
Very long questions make rounds go slower and can frustrate weaker teams. I think the problem stemmed from Chris not getting packets in time and having little time to edit. He kept things long instead of chopping things willy-nilly, which is certainly good. I think he did a fine job with tournament, but I don't think that applauding nine line tossups with six lines included in the power provides much constructive criticism for a first-time editor or prospective editors who may read this.
I also kind of wonder if saving space by trimming "this collection" to "it" a bunch of itmes really has any effect on the experience of teams (weaker or otherwise). It seems to me that these teams are frustrated not by (fairly limited) wordiness but by the fact that there are lots of clues which they don't know; the only solution to appeasing that is to cut clues, and I'm not going to do that when I have a good 8 line tossup that doesn't need to be cut down for no reason. I would do that for a 10 line tossups, but 8 does not seem to be pushing the envelope at all to me. I think the argument that you can really satisfy teams who get annoyed because they hear lots of clues they don't know by throwing around shorter pronouns or changing the diction is kind of a fallacy. On a personal level, I do not really think our actions should be dictated by those teams; if you are frustrated by hearing more information about an answer that gets easy by the end, quizbowl may be a bad use of your time.

And, for the sake of full disclosure Andy, a lot of long tossups are long because I made them long, rather than because I didn't have time to chop them. I think tossups hitting 8 lines or going a bit over that (the Astrophel and Stella tossup, at around 8.5 lines rather than 9, is one of the longer questions in the tournament). I would have done some similar stuff to Astrophel and Stella as your edit, in an ideal world, but as I say above that world will just never exist. I'd also ask you to consider that people are applauding the 8 (not nine) line tossups because they liked them, because they did a good job of avoiding difficulty cliffs, and because they added interesting but not superfluous clues. I'm afraid if your hope is to sway me away from the calls for longer questions and save the weaker teams, the ship may have already sailed, but I'm very happy to have a discourse about it. I'll say that every "weaker" team member that I have talked to is perfectly unphased by an extra line of text. I can't imagine that issues like that (cutting .5-1 lines from tossups mostly by changing the wording) would really discourage a team anywhere near as much as questions that are unreasonably hard or bonuses that lack easy parts.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Stained Diviner »

I was of the opinion that the tournament would have been better without Pop Culture. I understand why it's in novice and some high school tournaments, but it seemed out of place here.

When New Trier played Chicago C, a lot of bonuses were getting bagels and 10s, but my team was able to 20 the Milwaukee Bucks based on knowing who Bogut and Redd are. In that match, 20 points was a lot of points. It's easy to imagine 20 points getting scored on that question by a good team playing another good team, but the 20 points would not be a lot in that match because that would be around the average bonus conversion. Essentially, my team boosted its conversion rate for knowing Redd, but a good team could have dropped its conversion rate for not knowing Mbah a Moute. I'm not convinced this is a good thing.

It also seems odd that my team was able to get 15 points for remembering a scene from Office Space but got 10 point for having some idea who the Sanhedrins were.

These are just my impressions, and I realize that I am far from pure and far from a position where I can call myself knowledgeable about the college game, but it just seemed out of place to me.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

Awehrman wrote:
10. Thomas Morley set the final song in this collection to music in The First Book of Airs. One work in it tells of how its narrator "never drank of Aganippe well,” while the next praises Edward IV. Its 31st poem mentions the "sad steps" with which "the Moon, thou climb'st the skies," while allusions to a rich husband and a colonial governor of Ireland refer to the addressee and author of this collection, respectively. The (*) eyes of the titular female are described as "Nature's chief work" in its seventh poem, while its first concludes with the line "'Fool,' said my Muse to me, 'look in thy heart and write.'" Presumably composed for Penelope Devereaux, FTP, identify this collection of 108 sonnets and eleven songs named for a "star" and her lover, the most famous poetic collection of Philip Sidney.
ANSWER: Astrophel and Stella
Actually, I'm not sure the original question or this version have the poem quotes in proper pyramidal order: "With how sad steps" is better-known (at least to me) than any of the stuff until "'Fool,' said my Muse..." I realize that the intermediate material gives some contextual clues (the author's probably Irish, there's an addressee and a title female), but it feels weird to me to have a question with a clue I can buzz on, then two lines of stuff I can't buzz on, followed by another clue I can buzz on. As far as I'm concerned, then, the question would be just as good (in some ways better) by just cutting from "while allusions..." to "...seventh poem." I could just be idiosyncratic in my Astrophel and Stella knowledge, I guess. Did other people buzz during the intervening clues?

I agree with Jerry and Andy that trimming fat from tossups is one of the later jobs an editor should be worrying about, and my impression is that Chris, Jeremy and Jeff did a good job of prioritizing their time, given how little time they had to work on the set. I also agree with Andy that it isn't especially hard to do and that editors that do have time for it should do it--once they've worked on the more important stuff, of course. Chris is right that in most cases editors don't have the time for this, but I think it does occasionally happen.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by DumbJaques »

I wrote both the bonus on the Milwaukee Bucks (which was zeroed in my room) and the tossup on Astrophel and Stella. Yeah, I guess if you were anal you could trim that tossup down a little bit by shuffling words, but your effort as an editor is fundamentally way better spent editing questions that have actual clue problems as opposed to ones which just have a few extra words in them. Anyway, not only do I endorse Chris' decision to not overly reduce the length of tossups, but I applaud it. It made for an extremely enjoyable set of questions which on the whole had many great middle clues and did a good job of rewarding knowledge.
Not only is it better spent editing actual clue issues, it's just never going to exist in sufficient quantities to edit a really good 8.5 line tossup down to an almost as good 6.5 line tossup on the same answer. This just isn't going to happen in quizbowl ever. I think there may be a legitimate debate about how long questions should be or need to be to satisfy the top, middle, bottom teams, etc., but if it focuses on on re-evaluating word choice on a tossup by tossup basis, the two camps are going to be at such an impasse that I don't see the discussion really going anywhere.


I was of the opinion that the tournament would have been better without Pop Culture. I understand why it's in novice and some high school tournaments, but it seemed out of place here.

When New Trier played Chicago C, a lot of bonuses were getting bagels and 10s, but my team was able to 20 the Milwaukee Bucks based on knowing who Bogut and Redd are. In that match, 20 points was a lot of points. It's easy to imagine 20 points getting scored on that question by a good team playing another good team, but the 20 points would not be a lot in that match because that would be around the average bonus conversion. Essentially, my team boosted its conversion rate for knowing Redd, but a good team could have dropped its conversion rate for not knowing Mbah a Moute. I'm not convinced this is a good thing.

It also seems odd that my team was able to get 15 points for remembering a scene from Office Space but got 10 point for having some idea who the Sanhedrins were.

These are just my impressions, and I realize that I am far from pure and far from a position where I can call myself knowledgeable about the college game, but it just seemed out of place to me.
Well, it's not of place in that pretty much every tournament anywhere at the college level has some trash questions. Perhaps you mean trash seems out of place in college qb in general, rather than "this tournament had trash, and that seems odd." I guess that's a debate for the ages, but as long as there is trash it ought to be treated the same way anything else is. If you have seen office space and remember a scene from it, you should get points just as if you had seen, say, one of those aggravatingly frequently asked films like Breathless and remember a scene, or if you'd read jude the obscure and remember a scene. Saying that you shouldn't get more points for trash than for sanhedrins seems like a very false analogy. Your knowledge of Sanhedrin, presumably less expansive than your knowledge of office space, really got you a possible 80 point swing vs. a possible 90 point swing, and even if more people know more things about office space, you still knew more than your opponent and got the question first, just as if you had known 2 things about the sanhedrins and your opponent only knew one. I don't think that seems off base to me.

As for the bonus swings you talk about, eh, I don't know. I'm willing to bet that bonus hit very near the average conversion rates; in fact, a lot of trash bonuses that I find poorly edited often lack an easy part for someone not familiar with the specific category. Should we adjust for the fact that more people know more things about basketball than about Henri Bergson? Yes, of course, and I think most (good) trash bonuses try to do that - we don't ask for Michael Jordan, the Bulls, and basketball the way we ask about, say, the three most famous things associated with Henri Bergson. The Henri Bergson equivalent of Mbah a Moute is what, the subtitle of his first university paper? The name of his dog? Unless you're prepared to argue for a ban on the trash distribution (a discussion for another thread), I'm not sure I see the problem here.

Also, I don't know that I see where you're coming from when you say you understand why it's in some high school and novice sets. In fact, pretty much no college sets ban pop culture, whereas many high school sets (including NSC, for tossups) do so.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Crimson Rosella »

Kevin wrote: If a few had been stuff I'd heard of but simply couldn't identify, that would've been one thing, but I felt like a lot of it was simply too obscure (stuff like George Crumb, Tartini, Tragic Overture). Again, I'm not an expert, and if I were thirtying every music bonus something would probably be wrong, but I consider myself a pretty smart layman who goes to enough concerts and listens to enough music that I should get every easy part, almost all of the medium parts, and occasionally come across a hard bonus part I've heard of and know. At TIT, I was getting the easy parts and all but maybe one of the medium parts, but none of the hard parts. Now, if people better-versed in music than I am played or read the packets and think the hard parts were spot-on, I'll defer to their judgment.
As a player whose knowledge of classical music is derived mostly from personal experience and not from studying packets, I strongly disagree. Shaker Loops (which was edited from something much more obscure), George Crumb, Pierre Boulez, Tragic Overture, At the Boar's Head, Telemann/Vivaldi/Pergolesi are all worth knowing, and come up pretty regularly as clues in tossups or bonus parts.

Really enjoyed reading the questions on Weather Report and Glenn Gould. Regret that I was unable to play the set. Also
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

If a few had been stuff I'd heard of but simply couldn't identify, that would've been one thing, but I felt like a lot of it was simply too obscure (stuff like George Crumb, Tartini, Tragic Overture). Again, I'm not an expert, and if I were thirtying every music bonus something would probably be wrong, but I consider myself a pretty smart layman who goes to enough concerts and listens to enough music that I should get every easy part, almost all of the medium parts, and occasionally come across a hard bonus part I've heard of and know. At TIT, I was getting the easy parts and all but maybe one of the medium parts, but none of the hard parts. Now, if people better-versed in music than I am played or read the packets and think the hard parts were spot-on, I'll defer to their judgment.
Those hard parts are all very good hard parts. I think that assessment is off.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

setht wrote:Actually, I'm not sure the original question or this version have the poem quotes in proper pyramidal order: "With how sad steps" is better-known (at least to me) than any of the stuff until "'Fool,' said my Muse..." I realize that the intermediate material gives some contextual clues (the author's probably Irish, there's an addressee and a title female), but it feels weird to me to have a question with a clue I can buzz on, then two lines of stuff I can't buzz on, followed by another clue I can buzz on. As far as I'm concerned, then, the question would be just as good (in some ways better) by just cutting from "while allusions..." to "...seventh poem." I could just be idiosyncratic in my Astrophel and Stella knowledge, I guess. Did other people buzz during the intervening clues?
I definitely wrote this question with the intent of prioritizing knowledge of the actual poetry in Astrophel and Stella over circumstantial knowledge. It was my belief that people would more likely to know circumstantial things about it (Irish author, addressee, etc.) than they would actual poetic content, so I put that stuff later. Certainly, it's the place where I would have lateralled to "Astrophel and Stella," so the idea is to give people some clues about what the answer might be without necessarily just having the whole question be quotations from Sidney. If you got it from the "With how sad steps" clue, that's legit poetry knowledge and I don't think there's any problem with rewarding that ahead of second-tier knowledge of Sidney.

Also, I don't get what the complaint is about the Bucks bonus. They're not a major market team and most people are not fans of the Bucks, so it's not like I'm handing out points for showing up or anything (again, I remind you that this was zeroed in my room and I believe the opponent of the team that zeroed this bonus would have gotten 20 but not 30). Yeah, maybe it's a little easy to get 20 points on it if you're reasonably on top of your basketball current knowledge, but I'm totally fine with a good team only getting 10 or 20 because they don't know about Cameroonian princes in the NBA. Most complaints about trash in academic tournaments are pointless anyway, and doubly pointless when you had a perfectly mainstream question with clearly defined easy, medium, and hard parts which could be answered by people and was about stuff that people might actually know. If that produced a big swing in some game, I can live with that.
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by setht »

Listening to Fool in the Rain reminds me--the Led Zeppelin tossup had my favorite trash lead-in since the Star Man tossup from ACF Winter.

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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

setht wrote:Listening to Fool in the Rain reminds me--the Led Zeppelin tossup had my favorite trash lead-in since the Star Man tossup from ACF Winter.

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That used to be a tossup on "Houses of the Holy."
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask »

grapesmoker wrote:
setht wrote:Listening to Fool in the Rain reminds me--the Led Zeppelin tossup had my favorite trash lead-in since the Star Man tossup from ACF Winter.

-Seth
That used to be a tossup on "Houses of the Holy."
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Re: TIT Discussion

Post by Auroni »

grapesmoker wrote:
setht wrote:Listening to Fool in the Rain reminds me--the Led Zeppelin tossup had my favorite trash lead-in since the Star Man tossup from ACF Winter.

-Seth
That used to be a tossup on "Houses of the Holy."
!!!

why was it changed?!?
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