Paul O'Brian writes about Watchmen, trivia, albums, interactive fiction, and more.


Geek Bowl XII answer recap

Here now, the Geek Bowl XII answers!

Round 1: Eight Quick Questions Not About The T

1. You know him better by his honorific title, but QUINCY is the Christian name of what bumbling cartoon character who debuted in 1949? Mr. Magoo
2. Because of one random, really loud G-major chord, Haydn’s 94th SYMPHONY is called by what name? Surprise
3. Though headquartered in New Jersey, some 3,600 miles west of there, the PRUDENTIAL Financial logo features what Pillar of Hercules? The Rock of Gibraltar
4. RIVERSIDE, California is the hometown of what Arrested Development actor who also played a mean Drunk History Hamilton in 2016? Alia Shawkat
5. Famous for a Cinderella run at the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, BUTLER University is in what Midwest capital city? Indianapolis
6. Simon BELMONT is a whip-wielding hero in what old-school Konami game series that got a Netflix show in 2017? Castlevania
7. Which Alice in WONDERLAND character was name-dropped in Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”: The Caterpillar or the Mad Hatter? The Caterpillar
8. The 1886 HAYMARKET Affair and the 1968 DNC riots are two examples of those dang liberals getting into trouble in what city? Chicago
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Round 2: Letters, Not To Cleo

[We actually did a division of labor on these. Don and Brian worked on the songs, Jonathan and I worked on the authors, and George and Larry played both sides pitching in wherever they could. I say this every year, but kudos to Don and Brian’s remarkable ability to recognize songs way, way out of context.]

Here’s the video again, this time skipping straight to the answers:

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Round 3: Celtics vs. Bruins

1. The Greek root of the word “arctic”. Bears
2. Namesake of the largest lake located entirely within Canada. Bears
3. The hero of the legend of of Cu Chulainn. Celts
4. Known to live in earthen dwellings called “hill forts.” Celts
5. Ate the Salmon of Knowledge, in a famous myth. Celts [In a very happy coincidence, Dante has been way into Celtic mythology for the last 6 months or so, and we’ve spent some time going through a book of Celtic myths he got for Christmas. Thus was I able to corroborate question 3, and to say with 100% confidence that question 5 was Celts, despite sounding an awful lot like something a bear would do. Also, kudos to the Geeks for this question, which brings together the themes beautifully.]
6. The subject of a famous aphorism uttered by Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski. Bears (“Sometimes you eat the bar, sometimes the bar, well, he eats you.”)
7. Played Squire Trelawney in Brian Henson’s 1996 adaptation of Treasure Island. Bears (This would be Muppet Treasure Island, and the bear in question is Fozzie. Waka waka!)

8. SPEED ROUND: Apart from Brave, name the last (other) eight feature films released by Pixar.

  • Toy Story 3
  • Cars 2
  • Monsters University
  • Inside Out
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Finding Dory
  • Cars 3
  • Coco

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Round 4: I Got Her Number, How Do You Like Them Apples?

1. Noted as one of the most popular by the U.S. Apple Association, what variety of apple came from 1930s Japan? Fuji
2. Of The Geometric Spirit is the main math-philosophy work by what 17th-century Frenchman with a famous namesake triangle, barrel, and wager? Blaise Pascal
3. Located in center field, the Home Run Apple is the only thing worth watching at what Major League Baseball stadium? Citi Field
4. The first major theorem to be proven with a computer, in the 1970s Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken showed you can color any map, with no adjacent areas the same color, using how many colors? 4
5. Distilled from apple cider, Normandy’s Calvados VSOP is what kind of booze? Brandy
6. If you shaped your apple into a perfect sphere with a six-inch diameter, what would its volume be in cubic inches? (Hint: Your answer should have a a Greek letter in it.) 36 pi
7. In Greek myth, Eris’s golden apple sparked the Trojan War by causing three goddesses to fight for the approval of what mortal? Paris
8. Born in 11th-century Persia. Found a geometric method to determine all real roots of cubic equations. Credited with some famous quatrains called “Rubaiyat.” Who’s that? Omar Khayyam [Lots of us knew this, but I would like to give a personal shout-out to The Rocky & Bullwinkle show, which formed an elaborate pun around this answer that I have remembered since I was ten years old.]
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Add up all the days served in the U.S. Senate by John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Edward Kennedy. Multiply by the number of nations containing Dunkin’ Donuts stores. Subtract from that product the population of Massachusetts as of the 1790 census. Or, if you’re like me and prefer your trivia expressed formulaically:

[(J + T + R) x D)] – M

where J = John Kennedy’s Senate days, T = Ted’s Senate days, R = Robert’s Senate days, D = Dunkin’ Donuts nations, and M = Massachusetts’ 1790 population.

J = 2,912 days
T = 17,093 days
R = 1,250 days
D = 46 countries
M = 378,787 people

[(2,912 + 17,093 + 1,250) x 46] – 378,787 = 598,943
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Round 5: Paul Revere’s Other Midnight Ride

Once again the video, skipping to the answers:

[Big ups to Jonathan for knowing “The Ark Encounter”. I on the other hand knew The Mustang Ranch — purely by reputation I assure you. Jonathan and I both got Equestria — I know it because Dante has been into My Little Pony for years. Jonathan, well, Jonathan just knows a lot of things. And once again Brian saved our video game bacon by knowing Azeroth. Boy I love this team.]
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Round 6: One if by Land, Two if by “C”

1. One point: Martin Landau played Rollin Hand on what action series that debuted when Tom Cruise was four? Mission: Impossible
Two points: He also played Rufio in what Oscar-winning 1963 period piece? Cleopatra
[George immediately put down Charade, which did in fact come out in 1963, but didn’t have Landau, and wasn’t a period piece. Glad we backed off that one!]

2. One point: Former NOW president Patricia Ireland penned a 1996 book with the same title as what Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt movie? What Women Want
Two points: In 2004, Ireland managed a presidential campaign for what first black woman in the U.S. Senate? Carol Moseley Braun

3. One point: In The Empire Strikes Back, Lando betrayed Han Solo on what planet? Bespin
Two points: What planet was Han’s birthplace? Corellia

4. One point: Born to an AFC cheerleader, living ballet legend Misty Copeland originally hails from what Midwest town that was also a chart-topping song in 1959? Kansas City
Two points: Spelling question! “Sashay” is a secondary definition for what word that’s also a ballet step? Chasse

5. One point: Monty Python and the Holy Grail featured Carol Cleveland as sisters Zoot and Dingo, who tempted what chaste knight? Sir Galahad
Two points: According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, King Arthur was born at Tintagel Castle in what English county? Cornwall

6. One point: For her unlicensed portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan, last year Olivia de Havilland sued FX Networks and what American Horror Story producer? Ryan Murphy
Two points: De Havilland had a 1952 turn as the titular wife of a preacher, in what Shaw play? Candida

7. One point: Tom Holland’s Peter Parker attends a high school named for what part of Manhattan that’s home to the Chrysler Building? Midtown
Two points: As seen in Amazing Spider-Man #360, what was the full name of the first person to become Carnage? Cletus Kasady

8. One point: A Green day album, a Power Rangers villain, and the production team behind Kelly Rowland’s solo debut single “Dilemma”: All three share what biblical hunter’s name? Nimrod
Two points: Ham’s eldest son founded a whole nation, plus he was the dad of the guy in the one-point question. Who is Ham’s eldest son? Cush
[We put “Canaan”, who is in fact a son of Ham, and did in fact found a nation, but was not the eldest. It’s a Ham scam, ma’am!]
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Round 7: Goodnight Mook

Again, video. Again, answers:

[Jonathan pulled out Stellaluna here, and I had my personal favorite moment of the night for myself. I knew I’d read #8 to Dante many a time, because I always remembered the relentlessness of the mom. But I could not retrieve it. Teammates pitched options like Guess How Much I Love You?, and encouraged me to talk it out. So I said something like, “There’s a mom and a kid, and the mom keeps chasing after him in a story.” Then Brian said, “Oh, is there a bunny?” And at that moment The Runaway Bunny locked into place for me. Woo! I think some variety of “talk it out” might have a place in the Mothra rules.]
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Round 8: Random Knowledge

1. Name the two army generals who have been appointed U.S. Secretary of State since 1980. Colin Powell and Alexander Haig
2. a) What buzzword does Webster define as “a job, usually for a specified time”? Gig b) Defined as “any of several lively, springy dances in triple rhythm,” what similar word spawned French and Italian variants? Jig
3. Adjusted for inflation, two 1965 films are in the domestic billion-dollar box-office club: a musical and a Soviet-banned epic drama. What are those? The Sound Of Music and Dr. Zhivago
4. First and last names: a) At last year’s British Open, who shot the first 62 in the history of the four golf majors? Branden Grace b) What Cubs first baseman had the major leagues’ most hits in the 1990s? Mark Grace
5. In the Himalayas, near the heads of the Indus and Brahmaputras, Mt. Kailash is a pilgrimage site for four religions: Tibetan Buddhism, the related Bon, and what two others? Hinduism and Jainism [We said Jainism and Sikhism.]
6. a) Set in Boston, what 2015 Bethesda game lets players join the post-apocalyptic Minutemen? Fallout 4 b) Joel and Tess work as smugglers in Boston, in what 2013 game about a different kind of apocalypse? The Last of Us
7. a) What ’80s pop star composed Broadway’s “Kinky Boots”? Cyndi Lauper b) What aughts pop star composed “Waitress”? Sara Bareilles [Dang it, we put Vanessa Carlton for that one. Clearly those two are in the same mental bucket.]
8. a) In 2017, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic became the first female, and first openly gay head of government in what Balkan country? Serbia b) The party of new Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir is named for the political left, and what related color that isn’t on Iceland’s flag? Green [I’m guessing this is where our extra point came from. We put “Progressive Green”, an answer which included the correct answer. Her party is actually called the Left-Green Movement, though that’s translated from Icelandic, so perhaps “Progressive Green” is also a valid translation. In any case, they were looking for “Green” and we had it.]
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Geek Bowl XII question recap


Album Assignments: Déjà Vu

1 Comment

  1. I knew Sara Bareilles was the right answer.

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