The Herbert Spencer Memorial Singles Tournament

Extra Questions


Editing and non-science questions by Matt Weiner

Science by Edmund Schluessel, Mike Davies, Jon Misurda, and Matt Weiner


During the settling of this state, overfilled trains allowed passengers to ride on top of the cars. The problem with enforcing the rules laid down for settlement was not just those who evaded the marshals but the railroad and government employees who were in the area legally. The March 2 Indian Appropriations Bill opened the area which became this state to general settlement beginning on April 22, but many ignored the start date. FTP, name this state whose premature settlers came to be called “Sooners.”

ANSWER: Oklahoma


An expansion of a play entitled A Couple of Blaguards, this work ends with a chapter composed of a single contraction. Incidents recounted include an elderly grandmother walking several miles months before dying, being rejected as an altar boy due to poverty, and eating Bill Galvin’s dinner. The author’s mother is mentioned in the title, and the author’s father is the alcoholic Malachy. FTP, name this memoir by Frank McCourt.

ANSWER: Angela's Ashes


He wrote many of his works in Scillus at an estate granted by the Spartan government. Works such as Oeconomicus and Memorabilia contrast with Plato in presenting the historical Socrates, under whom this man had studied for a time before joing the Ten Thousand force which lost at the Battle of Cunaxa. He wrote about the aftermath of that loss, describing the assasination of his commanders by Tissaphernes and his subsequent elevation to general. FTP, name this Greek historian, author of Anabasis.

ANSWER: Xenophon


In 1857, he acceded from his admiralship in the navy to become governor of Lombardy and Venice. Later, he spent two years in a position created by Napoleon III, but he refused to join the French pullout, and revolutionaries captured and shot him at Querétaro. FTP, name this Austrian who was installed by the French as emperor of Mexico.

ANSWER: Maximillian


Two answers required. Alongside Daniel Drew, they controlled the Erie Railroad. A later plan saw them engineer instructions to George Boutwell to stop selling a certain substance, for which the price hit a high of 162 dollars per ounce, after they had paid 130 dollars an ounce. Eventually, their scheme became clear to President Grant, who had four million dollars worth of gold sold, ruining them temporarily. FTP, name these instigators of the 1869 Black Friday panic.

ANSWER: Jay Gould and James Fisk


Annulling the 1856 Treaty of Paris, he warred with the Ottomans in 1877 and 1878. His rule saw the introduced of the zemstvo system and expansion into Khiva and Ussuri. As a result of actions taken to suppress a revolt in Poland, he formed the Three Emperors’ league with Prussia and Austria-Hungary. The Cathedral of the Resurrection on Blood now stands at the site where he was killed by a bomb thrown by Grinevitskii of the People’s Will. FTP, name this czar who nominally abolished serfdom in 1861.

ANSWER: Alexander II [prompt on Alexander]