Friday, February 22, 2013

BoLQual2013 - BOOYAH!!!


  ... Plus Every Question Contributed for the 2013 edition (both used and unused) 

So the 2013 BolQuals came and went while I was in snowy, 15-degrees-under-daytime Norway. Reading it, Alas, I thought too much geography, WAY too much sport, OMG look at all that TV, and maybe a bit too much popular music. And I was the one compiling it! For shame.

Let me explain: this year I took a different approach. Because all of the 2012 top eight finishers contributed questions (62 in total) this year, I decided to go with the flow and let it set 'itself'.

In previous years, this has been near impossible (owing to just three or four people sending their questions in), and I am truly grateful for everyone doing their bit this time round (though the final result reflected everyone's subject biases, as was to be expected, er, in hindsight).

The melange-tastic 'collage of voices' approach - the University Challenge way - was therefore this year's way to go.

Then I popped in clues and the odd adjective/word ('religious', 'Italian') here and there, edited stuff down, etc. You know. In order to make it 'easier'/guessable. Not that that actually helps. Questions that ask for logical stabs in the dark are less useful than you might think. I realise that.

But, in future, if I had the honour of doing it again, I'd ask two things/two sides of the same coin kind of thing of my BoL Top 8ers: please write a few more 'boring', straightforward, short questions. They are, I've decided, the most useful kind for this type of endeavour.

Don't submit all your beautiful babies in one go; i.e. the dazzlingly clever and intricately constructed quiz question deserving of a gleaming pedestal. Mix it up with the more mundane. Because it is the Qualifier.

 I'd also take care to ensure that it was less 'amorphous' and more regimented, keeping a sturdier eye on subject distribs, while going halfway back to my old approach. In effect, assert more of my own - PONCE ALERT! - vision in constructing it. It pains me to think that the sportier types will have been given a bit more of a helping hand this season (apologies to those whose hackles it raises unto heavenly heights, but that is how the contributions skewed. Live by the approach, die by the approach).

Well, that's my mea culpa excuse-a-rama.

So, here are the 'Originals' in their unadulterated, uncut, sometimes (sic) form.

Lone exceptions: bolding up the answers. Compare and contrast. You see it could have been even more murderous. And even more Geography/Sporty/TVy.

Names have been removed to protect the innocent(?). Have fun working out who did what. HAVE FUN.

Contributor 1
1Q: Which major Asian conglomerate - the largest in its country -  was founded in 1938 as a grocery dealer and noodle manufacturer?
A: Samsung
2Q: After what Roman emperor are urinals in Italy named, following his imposition of a tax on urine taken from public latrines?
A: Vespasian
3Q: Who was inspired to write the song 'Forty shades of green' while flying over Ireland in 1959?
A: Johnny Cash
4Q: Enacted in 1994, France's Toubon law enforces the use of what?
A: French
5Q: What geological features come in varieties called arcuate, bird's foot and cuspate?
A: river deltas
6Q: Created by the British as a buffer zone between the British Raj and the Russian Empire, the Wakhan corridor links Afghanistan to what country?
A: China
7Q: What racecourse has hosted the Irish Derby since 1866?
A: The Curragh
8Q: Ranked No.5 on the 2012 Forbes list of billionaires, Amancio Ortega made his fortune from which clothing chain?
A: Zara
9Q: What item is displayed (uniquely for a national flag) on the flag of the Dominican Republic?
A: Bible
10Q: What 1386 treaty - still in force - created the alliance between Portugal and England?
A: Treaty of Windsor

Contributor 2
1. Aspinall's, Crockford's and Les Ambassadeurs are among the leading London examples of what type of establishment?
2. Which French city stands on the Presqu'île, a peninsula formed by the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers?
3. What name is missing from this list of office-holders, moving backwards from the present: Ashton, Mandelson, Patten, ______, Millan, Brittan, Cockfield?
4. A man was jailed in December 2012 for defacing a painting by which artist at the Tate Modern in October? (It was pretty easy to identify the suspect, as he defaced the painting by writing his name o1n it.)
5. Give a year in the life of Dolly The Sheep.
6. In the US it is known as Cilantro. What do we call it in the UK?
17. Much in the news earlier in February, where in the US is known as the Charm City?
18. Though the show lost much of its entertainment value when Mark Labbett's potential appearance fell through, who won the recent ITV celebrity diving show Splash?

Contributor 3
1. Whose ransom was a large room filed once with gold and twice with silver?
2. Whose second novel, published in 1823, was entitled Valperga? It had been edited for publication by the author's father.
Mary Shelley
3. Which centaur was able to kill Heracles posthumously when his blood was smeared by Heracles' wife onto a shirt that Heracles was to wore in the belief it would keep him faithful?
4. After Frankie Goes To Hollywood saw their first three singles reach No 1, which fourth single and title track of their debut album only reached No 2, held off the top by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey's Easy Lover?
Welcome to the Pleasure dome
5. When Star Wars was rereleased in 1981, which four words (and a number) were added to the opening crawl?
Episode IV: A New Hope
6. Which mammal has four species, named South American, Mountain, Baird's and Malayan?
7. Sometimes called the May Day Stadium, which stadium that seats 150,000 has the largest capacity in the world, and is is located in Pyongyang, North Korea.
8. In the 1500s, Italian artists Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio established the First School of where? The answer is a French place name.
9. The TIOBE index of Programming Language Popularity for January 2013 has C first and Java second. Name any two of the three descendants of C in positions 3, 4 and 5.
Objective-C, C++, C# 
10. A regional specialty served in Barcelona resturants, what is Pa amb tomàquet? Two specific words are required in the answer.
Tomato bread (that is the usual English translation from Catalan, it is toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic and ripe tomato, then drizzled with olive oil)

Contributor 4
1 Which writer, who died in 1977, appeared in some of his own novels under the pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom, an anagram of his forename and surname?
2 Used as a germ warfare test site in the Cold War, Vozrozhdeniya Island expanded from the 1960s onwards, becoming a peninsula in 2001 and losing any distinct existence in 2010. In which body of water is it located?
3 Belgian cyclist Wim Vansevenant is infamous for being the only man to claim three "wins" of what dubious title, given to the last cyclist in the Tour de France?
4 Which British comedian's film roles include computer expert Professor Peach in 1969's The Italian Job and the Toymaker in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
5 Ironically, whose sister Randi complained in late 2012 when a family photo she had posted on Facebook was then circulated online because of lax privacy settings?
6 Coined by Paul Dirac in honour of another physicist, which group of particles includes all quarks and leptons, plus composite particles made up of an odd number of those, such as baryons?
7 Which brothers played against each other at the 2010 football World Cup when Germany played Ghana, a first in the tournament's history?
8 Which world city is at the centre of the Mappa Mundi kept at Hereford Cathedral?
9 Whose surname does the T stand for in the acronym CAPTCHA, the distorted writing used to ensure that humans, but not computers, are able to register for websites etc.?
10 Of which former US Secretary of State did Harold Wilson waspishly observe he "was a distinguished figure who had lost a State Department and not found a role"?

Contributor 4 Answers 1. Vladimir NABOKOV 2. ARAL SEA 3. LANTERNE ROUGE or RED LANTERN 4. Benny HILL 5. Mark ZUCKERBERG 6. FERMIONs 7. BOATENG (Jerome and Kevin-Prince) 8. JERUSALEM 9. Alan TURING ("Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart") 10. Dean ACHESON (Wilson echoed Acheson's famous remarks on Britain losing its empire)

Contributor 5
1 Which team finished 3rd in the inaugural Premier League season (1992 - 93), though with a minus goal difference, and the following season beat Bayern Munich in the Olympic Stadium in a 2nd round UEFA cup match?
Norwich City
2 Which actor, who played a memorable supporting character in Fawlty Towers, appeared in the classic war film In Which We Serve (1942) as well as the less critically acclaimed films, Confessions of a Driving Instructor and The Playbirds?
Ballard Berkeley
3 "This is Gareth Edwards. A dramatic start. What a score!" Name the commentator on the famous Barbarians v New Zealand game of 1973.
Cliff Morgan
4 With the atomic number 85, what is the rarest naturally occurring element?
5 In a recent Radio Two poll, what was voted the nation's favourite Number 2 single of all time?
6 What is the only word that has been "bleeped" out of a Mastermind broadcast?
Bollocks (in a round on the Sex Pistols)
7 An explosion at the Nypro Chemical works on 1 June 1974, which killed 28 people, took place near which Lincolnshire town?
8 With a length of 60 metres (197 feet) which station on the London Underground has the longest escalator?
9 A grey crowned crane appears on the flag of which African country?

Contributor 6
1 Before his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby had spent a year as Bishop of which Church of England diocese?
2 Operation Chastise was the codename for which British action of May 1943?
The DAMBUSTERS Raid (breaching of the Mohne and Eder dams)
3 Which British actor, who died in February 2013, is best known for a long running TV role, but also appeared in many Carry On films, including Carry On Henry (as the King of France), Carry On Up The Khyber (as Private Ginger Hale) and Carry On Don’t :Lose Your Head (as Citizen Robespierre)?
4 Stephen Harper is the current Prime Minister of which Commonwealth country?
5 What is the surname of the brothers who coached the opposing teams at Superbowl XLVII in February 2013?
Jim and John HARBAUGH
6 Who was the British architect whose works include Manchester Town Hall, the Natural History Museum and the Prudential Building in Holborn?
7 Which grape is used in white Burgundy wines such as Chablis?
8 Which veteran British character actor, voice over artist and musical comedian is currently appearing on CBeebies in Old Jack’s Boat?

Contributor 7
1 Married briefly to Catherine of Aragon before dying in 1502, what was the name of Henry VII's elder son?
Prince Arthur
2 Which other major Russian river, connected to the Volga by a 100km canal near Volgograd, empties into the Sea of Azov?
River Don
3 What name, derived from a present day sea feature, is given to the large tract of dry land connecting Britain to the continent that existed in what is now the southern North Sea until about 6000 BCE?
4 Which British athlete won the Paralympic men's T44 100m final in 2012, beating Oscar Pistorius amongst others in the final?
Jonnie Peacock
5 Krav Maga is a self-defence system originating in the 1940s and subsequently developed within which country's armed forces?
6 Who took "Crazy" to number one for 9 weeks in 2006?
Gnarls Barkley


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