Steven Schroeder, April 30, 2001 (Originally written 1995-1998)

Explanation borrowed from the Quiz Bowl Lexicon: Quiz Bowl is like a team version of Jeopardy.  With more academic and longer questions.  And you can buzz in the middle of questions.  And if you get a tossup question right, your team gets a bonus that only it gets to answer.  Hmm, not really like Team Jeopardy, but that gives you the basic idea.  Anyway, I used to play Quiz Bowl at Vanderbilt, and this is a collection of the best Quiz Bowl rounds I've ever written.  Feel free to download and practice with them if you play Quiz Bowl.  If you don't, this might not be too interesting to you, but you never know.

Best of Steve Schroeder's Quiz Bowl Questions


1.  He drew on the story of Abraham for "The Parable of the Old Man and the Young."  His typical half-rhyme can be seen in the lines "It seemed that out of the battle I escaped / Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped," from "Strange Meeting."  He also wrote "What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?" in his "Anthem for Doomed Youth."  FTP, name this poet of World War I who wrote of "The old Lie" in "Dulce Et Decorum Est."
Answer: Wilfred _Owen_

2.  In the 1930s, its discoverer claimed it was the remains of a six-foot-tall, knife-wielding gibbon-relative.  A skullcap and femur found by Dutch anatomist Eugene Dubois in 1891 near the Solo River at the village of Trinil, it was originally given the genus Pithecanthropus, but eventually was reclassified as an early example of Homo erectus.  FTP, give the name for these fossil remains discovered on an island of the Malay Archipelago.
Answer: Java man (prompt on Homo erectus or Pithecanthropus erectus before they are said)

3.  The 1875 premiere of this work received such noisy disapproval that its composer's mother fainted.  Based on a poem by Henri Cazalis, it features a slithering waltz on solo violin, a parody of the Dies Irae, accompaniment by a xylophone representing rattling bones, and an oboe signaling dawn.  FTP, name this symphonic poem portraying a churchyard full of skeletons and Death playing his fiddle, composed by Camille Saint-Saens.
Answer: _Danse macabre_ (or Dance of Death)

4.  In Don Juan, Byron says nothing calms the spirit so much as true religion and this.  Its flavor depends on ethyl butyrate, its name comes from a Devonshire word meaning "a great tumult," and the darkest variety is Guyana's Demarara.  It appears in a song in Treasure Island whose chorus begins "Fifteen men on a dead man's chest."  FTP, name this alcoholic beverage produced from molasses and associated with the Caribbean.
Answer: _rum_

5.  Around the year 1000 of the Third Age of the Sun, this servant of Irmo the Dream Master was chosen as one of the five Istari.  Called Incanus by the Haradrim and Tharkun by the dwarves, he wore the ring Narya and wielded the sword Glamdring.  The elves called him Mithrandir, and he changed from "the Grey" to "the White" after falling in combat with a Balrog.  FTP, identify this wizard who guided both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Answer: _Gandalf_ (accept Gandalf the White or the Grey; prompt on any of the alternate names)

6.  First discovered and demonstrated by Sir Humphry Davy in 1800, in air at normal pressure one can reach a temperature of 6,332 degrees Fahrenheit.  To start one, a current of about 10 amperes is passed through the contacted ends of two pencil-like carbon electrodes.  If the electrodes are separated, a flamelike line forms between them.  FTP, name this type of continuous electric discharge used in a kind of lamp and a welding technique.
Answer: electric _arc_

7.  "Here lies Lester Moore/Four slugs from a .44/No Les no more."  This epitaph appears on the grave of a Wells Fargo agent in the appropriately named town once populated by John Behan, the McClaurys, and the Clantons.  FTP, can you name this town, a mining settlement in Arizona best known for the shootout at the OK Corral involving Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday?
Answer: Tombstone

8.  This philosopher claimed that the great variety of human and animal types meant there was a land where loose body parts joined to form new beings, and he said love and hate alternately ruled the universe.  He claimed he was a god and supposedly killed himself by jumping into the crater of Mt. Etna.  FTP, name this philosopher who first postulated that earth, air, fire and water were the four elements which composed the universe.
Answer: _Empedocles_

9.  A lesser artist called the "breeches-maker" painted clothing over the nudes in this work a decade after it was finished.  The artist, who painted it from 1536 to 1541, portrayed himself in the flayed skin of St. Bartholomew.  Christ stands in the center meting out justice, with the saved ascending on the left and the damned descending on the right.  FTP, name this Michelangelo fresco on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.
Answer: the Last Judgment

10.  French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote that there was "nothing between [this object] and mathematics."  It is grooved along its upper side in turtles and crocodiles, the most primitive animals with it, and in marsupials it is forked.  FTP, name this organ containing a corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum, famous examples of which include Napoleon's small one and Rasputin's and John Dillinger's large ones.
Answer: the _penis_

11.  In 1941, when Soviet scientists opened his tomb in Uzbekistan, they found he had tuberculosis in his right leg, and both his knee and right arm were immobilized.  This man from Samarkand was known for such heinous acts as building pyramids from the skulls of his enemies.  FTP, who was this man who led the Tartars in conquering much of Asia and whose name was derived from his physical deficiencies?
Answer: Tamerlane (accept Timur the Lame)

12.  She is often portrayed as traveling with Death, who gives her souls to eat.  She is also said to be a cannibalistic ogress who cooks humans, her teeth of stone tearing their flesh.  Some legends say she causes storms as she flies through the air in an iron kettle.  FTP, name this resident of a clearing surrounded by a picket fence topped with talking skulls and a house on enormous bird legs, a witch of Russian folklore. 
Answer: _Baba Yaga_

13.  It rises from the Mancos and Montezuma valleys to a height of over 2000 feet above the valley floor and 8500 feet above sea level.  It receives its name from the thick forests of juniper and pinon trees on its summit.  Two well-known locations on it are Balcony House and Cliff Palace.  FTP, what is this national park in southwestern Colorado, which contains one of the best preserved examples of native cliff dwellings in America?
Answer: _Mesa Verde_ National Park

14.  It can be produced by the breakdown of chloroform in light, or more properly by the reaction of carbon monoxide with chlorine in the presence of a catalyst.  Although it is used today in the synthesis of organic compounds, it is known because if inhaled in concentrations of 50 parts per million in air it can cause fatal edema of the lungs within hours.  FTP, what is this compound with formula COCl2, used by the Germans as poison gas in World War I?
Answer: _phosgene_

15.  His wife's name was Elka, and she died after they had been married for twenty years and she had mothered six bastard children that she convinced him were his.  This simple baker from Frampol had seven nicknames in all, including imbecile, donkey, flax-head, dope, glump, ninny, and the epithet for which he is best known.  FTP, name this title character of a famous short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Answer: _Gimpel the Fool_ (Gimpl tam)

16.  Legend had it that this leader was put to death by being forced to drink bull's blood, and his greatest achievement supposedly came after an oracle told him to defend his city with wooden walls.   In 483 BC he gained control of Athenian politics with the expulsion of his rival Aristides, and in 480 he met a Persian invasion on the sea.  FTP, name this ruler who led the Athenian navy to victory in the Battle of Salamis.
Answer: _Themistocles_

17.  In 1858 he disproved the theorem that the skull originates in the vertebrae.  While a physician on the HMS Rattlesnake he became an expert on Medusae, naming the phylum Coelenterata, and he wrote Man's Place in Nature.  FTP, name this scientist and philosopher who coined the term "agnostic" and who for his staunch support of the theory of evolution was known as "Darwin's Bulldog.." 
Answer: Thomas Henry Huxley

18.  It was derived from a form in the Egyptian hieratic alphabet, and its name comes from the Semitic word for "hand."  Ambrose Bierce said it was "the first letter of the alphabet, the first word of the language, the first thought of the mind, the first object of affection."  FTP, name this letter which is also a word, the nominative singular pronoun, referring to oneself.
Answer: I

19.  In agriculture this word is used to refer to the price level needed to ensure farmers of a given amount of purchasing power.  In physics it is bilateral symmetry, or symmetry under reflection across a plain.  In economics it refers to the value of one country's currency expressed in the equivalent value of another currency.  FTP, what is this word which in sports is used to express the concept that any given team can possibly beat any other team?
Answer: parity

20.  Denounced by Pope John XXII for dangerous teachings, he was put under house arrest from 1324 to 1328.  He apparently died of the plague in 1349 while seeking reconciliation with the church.  Known as Venerabilis Inceptor and Doctor Invincibilus, he was the leader of the main opposition to the Thomist and Scotist schools, the nominalist school.  FTP, who was this logician known for his principle that entities are not to be multiplied without necessity?
Answer: William of _Ockham_

21.  "The party descended to the next floor, where the various waste materials were treated.  Here came the entrails, to be scraped and washed clean for sausage casings; men and women worked here in the midst of a sickening stench, which caused the visitors to hasten by, gasping."  This quote comes from a tour of a meat packing plant taken by Jurgis Rudkus in, FTP, what classic muckraking work by Upton Sinclair?
Answer: _The Jungle_

22.  One was first described in the Strait of Messina, Italy, and others occur across Toyama Bay, Japan, and Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  It is a combination of an inferior mirage that appears below the true position and a superior mirage that is a double image, one inverted below the other.  FTP, what is this type of mirage that causes distant coastlines or buildings to appear as castles in the sky, which is named for a sorceress of Arthurian legend?
Answer: fata morgana

23.  The composer of this piece for television resisted the idea of a theme for each character on the show, and instead wrote a lively tune in 5/4 time, which became the show's theme.  The composer was Lalo Schifrin and the show was about elite American spies.  FTP, identify this piece which was remade by Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen of U2 for the movie version.
Answer: _Mission: Impossible_ Theme


1.  I'm going to get medieval on your ass.  Given a description of an instrument or method of torture, name it FTP each.
A.   This device was basically a metal box with spikes facing inward on all sides.  The victim was put inside the box and the lid was closed, pushing the spikes messily into the victim's body.
Answer: iron maiden
B.   In this type of torture the victim's arms and legs were tied to four different horses, and the horses were then whipped in different directions.  The end result was usually the victim being torn into pieces.
Answer: drawing and quartering
C.   This was a device into which any number of the victim's fingers were inserted and then twisted and pulled to the point of breaking.
Answer: thumbscrews

2.  FTP each, name the following governmental systems from descriptions.
A.  A system in which all social, political, economic, intellectual, cultural, and spiritual activities are subordinated to the purposes of the rulers of the state.
Answer: _totalitarianism_
B.  This autocratic political system, in which total power is vested in a single individual, is embodied by Louis XIV's statement "I am the state."
Answer: _absolutism_
C.  A theoretical system of government based on principles devised by scientists and engineers and also administered by them.
Answer: _technocracy_

3.  Identify the following unhappy Edwin Arlington Robinson characters [who lived in Tilbury Town] FTP each.
A.  The others admired his wealth and manners, but he "went home and put a bullet through his head."
Answer: _Richard Cory_
B.  This man "born too late" disliked the commonplace, preferring to think about "Thebes and Camelot" and keep drinking.
Answer: _Miniver Cheevy_
C.  This butcher "cried like a great baby" when his wife died and then "tore down the slaugher-house."
Answer: _Reuben Bright_

4.  Name the following people associated with the Black Sox scandal of 1919 for the stated number of points.
1.  5 points: This owner of the White Sox drove them to throw the series with his penny-pinching ways.
Answer: Charles _Comiskey_
2.  5 points: Even though this great left fielder batted .375 and hit the only home run of the World Series, he admitted being involved with the fix and was banned from baseball.
Answer: Joe _Jackson_
3.  10 points: This third baseman took no money from the gamblers and hit over .300 for the series, but because he had known about the fix he was banned as well.
Answer: Buck _Weaver_
4.  10 points: This Chicago gangland gambler was the mastermind behind the fix.
Answer: Arnold _Rothstein_

5.  Identify the following items from Greek mythology for the stated number of points.
5 points: This is the three-pronged spear used by Poseidon.
Answer: _trident_
10 points: This magic wand of Hermes consisted of two snakes winding around a winged staff and became a symbol for physicians.
Answer: _caduceus_
15 points: Athena is often shown wearing this goatskin fringed with snakes, which could produce thunderbolts and terrify people.
Answer: the _aegis_

6.  1.  10 points: Reputedly poisoned by Agrippina II.
5 points: Uncle of and successor to Caligula, subject of a famous work by Robert Graves.
Answer: _Claudius_
2.  10 points: Because he demanded that he be worshipped as a personification of Hercules, his advisors had him strangled to death by a wrestler named Narcissus.
5 points: Emperor from 180 to 192 and the son of Marcus Aurelius.
Answer: _Commodus_
3.  10 points: After several unsuccessful attempts on his life, he was murdered in 96 by assassins in the pay of his wife.
5 points: Son of Vespasian and last of the Flavian emperors.
Answer: _Domitian_

7.  Identify the following nerves of the human body FTP each.
A.  The two nerves with this name, one the "great" and one the "small," start in the pelvis.  The "great," the largest nerve in the body, goes all the way down to the foot.
Answer: _sciatic_ nerves
B.  This nerve descends from the medulla oblongata through the carotid sheath and branches to various organs.  It controls swallowing and respiration, among other things.
Answer: _vagus_ nerve (or tenth cranial nerve, or pneumogastric nerve)
C.  This nerve connects the retina of the eye with the visual center of the brain.
Answer: _optic_ nerve

8.  Give the words that go in the following blanks of works by Baroque composers.
A.  The BLANK's Fugue, by Domenico Scarlatti, so called because it sounded like one of them might on a keyboard.
Answer _cat_'s
B.  The BLANK Cantata, also called Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, by J. S. Bach, which dealt humorously with a new vogue.
Answer: _coffee_
C.  The BLANK (2 words) Sonata, by Giuseppe Tartini, named for a dream the composer had and for an exquisite moment in its finale.
Answer: _devil's trill_

9.  FTP each, name the controversial American religious leaders who founded and led the following churches.
A.  the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Answer: Aimee Semple _McPherson_
B.  the Shrine of the Little Flower
Answer: Father Charles E. _Coughlin_
C.  the Church of Scientology
Answer: L.(afayette) Ron _Hubbard_

10.  FTP each name the following fields of mathematics from a description.
1.  Often called "rubber-sheet geometry," it deals with the properties of geometric objects in a changing space. 
2.  This is the mathematical analysis of any situation involving a conflict of interest to determine the optimal choices to reach a desired result.
3.  This branch of geometry begun by Benoit Mandelbrot studies geometry with an abstract regard for dimension.
Answer: FRACTAL Geometry

11.  FTP each, answer the following about paintings and skulls.
A.  This portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger is well known for containing the image of a skull, strangely elongated diagonally across the painting by a process called anamorphosis.
Answer: The _French Ambassadors_ (accept The Ambassadors)
B.  Some people claim there is a skull on the back of the artist's canvas (as seen within the painting) in this famous 17th century portrayal of the Spanish infanta Margarita and her retainers.
Answer: _Las Meninas_ (The Maids of Honor)
C.  After moving to New Mexico in 1949, this artist produced paintings of desert scenery, including a close-up study of a cow's skull.
Answer: Georgia _O'Keeffe_

12.  Identify the following sexually transmitted diseases FTP each.
1) Sores in the groin area, skin rash, and fever caused by Treponema Pallidum.
2) Hard spots in the groin area properly called human pappilomavirus.
3) Causing green genital discharge and internal pain, it is not a flower.

13.  Give the following book titles that are also the only name given to the main characters in the book FTP each.
A.  The title character of this 1952 novel is a young black man who leaves the South for New York City but is disgusted there as well and ends up living in a hole in the ground.
Answer: Invisible Man
B.  The title character of this 1933 novel is a male newspaper columnist who tries to give advice to the lovelorn but ends up dying when he becomes too involved.
Answer: Miss Lonelyhearts
C.  The main character in this 1850 novel is a sailor on the Man-of-War Neversink, where frequent floggings are used to maintain discipline. 
Answer: White-Jacket

14.  Identify these Nazis and other fascists of World War II FTP each.
1.  This lieutenant to Hitler was made third deputy of the Reich in 1939, putting him behind only Goerring in the line of succession.
Answer: Rudolf _Hess_
2.  This general led the Romanian fascist party known as the Iron Guard.  He entered in the war effort with Germany but was executed in 1946.
Answer: Ion _Antonescu_
3.  This commander of the SA or storm troops was executed by Hitler in 1934 on the Night of the Long Knives for advocating that the army be put under SA control.
Answer: Ernst _Rohm_

15.  Answer the following about salt water lakes for the stated number of points.
A.  These two bodies of water, although they are called seas, are the largest salt water lakes in the world.  For 5 points each, name them.
Answer: _Caspian_ Sea and _Aral_ Sea
B.  Though this salt water lake is often dry, it can reach an area of 3,700 square miles and is the largest lake in Australia.  FTP, name it.
Answer: _Eyre_
C.  This 36 mile long, 22 mile wide salt water lake 110 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico has levees built around it to collect flood water from the Mississippi.  FTP, name it.
Answer: Lake _Pontchartrain_

16.  Give the correct responses to the following lines from spoof movies FTP each.
[moderator: allow a little leeway here]
A.  From Airplane: "Surely you're not serious."
Answer: _"I am serious, and don't call me Shirley."_
B.  From the Kentucky Fried Movie: "Show me you're nuts!"
Answer: _(thumbs in ears, fingers waggling, make noise like "bblbblblblblbl" with tongue)_
C.  From The Naked Gun: "Nice beaver!"
Answer: _"Thanks, I just had it stuffed."_

17.  Given two lines from a poem, give the name of the poem for 5 points and state what meter the lines are in for another 5 points.
A.  "Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravished hair,
Which adds new glory to the shining sphere!"
Answer: The _Rape of the Lock_, _iambic pentameter_
B.  "Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor."
Answer: The _Raven_, _trochaic octameter_
C.  "Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,"
Answer: The _Charge of the Light Brigade_, _dactylic dimeter_

18.  A gate is a simple piece of electric circuitry with two input wires and one output wire.  An electric pulse is sent to the output wire only when a particular pattern of pulses is received.  FTP each, name these types of electric gates from clues.
A.  Produces an output only if pulses are sent through both input wires at once.
Answer: AND gate 
B.  Produces an output only when it does not receive a pulse from either input wire.
Answer: NOR gate (note: make sure the answer is not "OR" gate)
C.  Has only one input wire, and the output is always the opposite of the input.
Answer: NOT gate

19.  For 5 points each, given a date from the past century, name both the prominent person who was assassinated on that date and the assassin.
A.  September 8, 1935
Answer: Huey _Long_ and Carl Austin _Weiss_
B.  December 8, 1980
Answer: John _Lennon_ and Mark David _Chapman_
C.  June 12, 1963
Answer: Medgar _Evers_ and Byron de La _Beckwith_

20.  Identify the following traditional English counties or shires FTP each.
A.  This county contains the northernmost point in England.
Answer: _Northumberland_ (do NOT accept _Northumbria_, which is a kingdom)
B.  This county, though it has since been split into several smaller areas, was the largest of the traditional English counties.
Answer: _Yorkshire_
C.  This county contains both the extreme southern and western points of the English mainland.
Answer: _Cornwall_

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