Here now, the Geek Bowl XIV answers!


Take the number of regular-season games won by the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Subtract from that the current age of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Multiply that difference by the total number of airports you can fly to on United or United Express. Take that product and divide it by the number of Oscars won by the 2002 film Chicago. Or, expressed as a formula:

([B – M] x U) / C

Where B = Bulls regular season wins, M = Michelle Obama’s age, U = United/United Express airports served, and C = Academy Awards won by Chicago.

B = 541
M = 56
U = 362
C = 6

( [ 541 – 56 ] x 362 ) / 6 = 29,261.667

[We were pretty spot on with the Bulls and Obama questions, then amusingly estimated too low on both U and C, which ended up canceling each other out. We guessed 25,678, respectably close to the correct answer.]
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Round 1: “Second” City

1. According to the American Lung Association, 41,000 annual U.S. deaths can be attributed to what stuff that’s also known as “sidestream”? Secondhand smoke
2. Smokey Robinson showed a good working knowledge of love and parliamentary procedure, in what hit 1967 single? “I Second That Emotion”
3. Ask Natalia Makarova: What’s the name of the stance where your feet are pointed 180 degrees from each other, with a small step between them? Second Position
4. A high schooler eventually won an Ig Nobel Prize, after confirming the scientific validity of what dropped-food guideline? The five-second rule [I asked, “are we sure it isn’t ten seconds?” Yeah, no. Apparently that’s just at my especially lax house.]
5. Smack-dab between “velocity” and “jerk,” acceleration is the most commonly cited real-world example of what calculus operator? Second Derivative
6. Sweden, the Maldives, and Estonia are among the countries that have maintained actual embassies in what Linden Lab virtual world? Second Life
7. Garret Hobart’s wife Jennie may have been the first to use what title, also held by Ilo Wallace and Muriel Humphrey? Second Lady (of the United States)
8. In the Disney movie, Peter Pan says you can get to Neverland by following what 10-word directions? “Second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning” [I was debating whether this is “on the right” or “to the right”. We discussed it and guessed right.]
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Round 2: Here Come The State Capitals!

Song names are already present in spoiler text on the questions post, so here are just the state capitals:

1. Atlanta
2. Phoenix
3. Honolulu
4. Oklahoma City
5. Nashville
6. Boston
7. Olympia
8. Austin
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Round 3: Crossing Jordan

The questions:
1. Who played sudden numerology enthusiast Walter Sparrow in The Number 23?
2. In 1966, young activist Maulana Karenga created what weeklong end-of-year celebration?
3. More than 180 feet tall and 1,000 feet long, what haunted-ass Cunard Line ship now lies moored as a hotel in Long Beach?
4. The title roles in Ma and the upcoming Madam C.J. Walker are both played by what Oscar-winner from The Help?
5. Naturally, there’s no epitaph on the Vermont grave of what quiet U.S. president who died in 1933?
6. Also the host of many U.S.-Mexico games, Mapfre Stadium is the home pitch of what Midwest MLS charter team?
7. In Roman numerals, Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born in what year?
8. According to country musician Greg Bates, “We could [conspicuous pause] with each other on the river bank. I’ll leave it up to you, baby.” What’s the title of that song?

The answers:
Scrabble tiles laid out to spell eight answers: Jim Carrey, Kwanzaa, Queen Mary, Octavia Spencer, Calvin Coolidge, Columbus Crew, MMXIX, and Fill In the []lank

[Okay, so here’s my proudest moment of any Geek Bowl ever. We had gotten the first seven questions, and our 8 minute timer was ticking down. None of us had heard of the country song. We knew the letters for the last answer, but were having a hell of a time arranging them into anything that made sense. Night? All? Lift? Don said, “What if we assume ‘the’ is one of the words and take that out?” That clarified things a little bit, but we were all just staring at the tiles. Somebody else suggested maybe it’s something that rhymes with “bank”. Suddenly, something just clicked for me, and I said, “FILL IN THE BLANK”.

As soon as I said it, the whole team knew it was right. It fit the lyrics perfectly, especially the conspicuous pause. It rhymed. And it was an incredibly apt use of the Scrabble theme. BOOM. It was one of my happiest trivia moments ever. Seriously, I had to take a walk around afterwards to chill a bit, I was so chuffed.]
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Round 4: Welcome to Midway

1. Official languages of Belgium, by number of Belgian speakers: French. Dutch, German [This was the shift I referenced. We had put “Flemish” rather than “Dutch”. The answer slide even said “Dutch/Flemish” for the first answer. But the Geeks clarified from the stage that they would only be accepting “Dutch”. BUMMER!]
2. Members of Migos, alphabetically: Quavo. Offset, Takeoff
3. The original Seven Sisters colleges, listed alphabetically: Radcliffe. Barnard, Wellesley
4. Major sections of the small intestine, starting at the stomach end: Jejunum. Duodenum, Ilium
5. Words in the body text of 1984, not counting chapter headings and “The End”: Only. It, Brother
6. Queer Eye’s current Fab Five, alphabetically by first name: Jonathan. Antoni, Tan
7. U.S. Olympic gold-medal gymnasts in the Women’s Individual All-Around, chronologically: Nastia Liukin. Mary Lou Retton, Simone Biles
8. Big-screen Shafts, oldest to youngest: Samuel L. Jackson. Richard Roundtree, James T. Usher [We simply did not know the Usher half of this question.]
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Round 5: Take The “L” Train

Here’s the video, and now that I’m on a self-hosted WordPress site, I can embed a video that skips straight to the answers! Wa-hoo!

I’ll still reproduce the answers here, for interest and to comment:

1. Sim Shady
2. In Cod Blood
3. Bald Moms [I didn’t notice who at the table knew about Bad Moms, but kudos to them. It was Jason, Don, Brian, or some combination of them.]
4. Pee
5. The Shape Of Walter
6. The Ion King
7. Luncheon of the Bloating Party [Argh, we lost a painful point on this one. Somebody said, “Luncheon On The Grass”, and somebody else corrected it to “The Boating Party”. We put “The Bloating Party”, but missed the point because of missing the luncheon. There is a Mary Cassatt painting called just The Boating Party, which made the answer sound all the more convincing. Argh!]
8. The Flat Boys
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Round 6: Deviled In The White Cities

1. Tart up a hollandaise with vinegar, shallots, tarragon, and chervil, and you’ve got what traditional steak sauce? Béarnaise
2. Brandon Teena was born in Lincoln, Nebraska – as was what actress who won an Oscar for portraying him? Hilary Swank
3. Which came first, the Egg McMuffin or Moons Over My Hammy? Egg McMuffin
4. Lexington, Kentucky native Thomas Hunt Morgan was known for his genetics work with the melanogaster species of what fruit fly genus? Drosophilia
5. Popularized by Filipinos, what fertilized egg snack takes its name from the Tagalog word for “wrapped”? Balut or Balot [I had never heard of this, but Brian had. I asked him, “What is it?” He answered, “It’s disgusting.”]
6. She never wanted anyone like this: Set and shot in Spokane, the 1985 film Vision Quest was renamed in some markets for what Madonna song? “Crazy For You”
7. If Miley Cyrus were salsa roja, Liam Hemsworth were salsa verde, and their respective fried eggs were separated by some beans, they’d be what variation on huevos rancheros? Huevos Divorciados (or Divorced Eggs)
8. Madison, Wisconsin-born Stacey Abrams served as student government president at what all-female HBCU in her current home state? Spelman College
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Round 7: Fuck It, We’ll Do It Live

Here’s that video again, skipping straight to the answers.

1. SPORTOS (2000) – Bring It On
2. MOTORHEADS (2015) – Mad Max: Fury Raod
3. GEEKS (2017) – The Greatest Showman
4. SLUTS (1988) – Dangerous Liaisons [Jonathan gave a huge assist on this one.]
5. BLOODS (2002) – The Queen Of The Damned
6. WASTOIDS (2008) – WALL-E
7. DWEEBIES (1995) – Welcome To The Dollhouse
8. DICKHEADS (2013) – The Wolf Of Wall Street
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Round 8: Random Knowledge

1. a) Since around 1960, what seven-letter plural has referred to a type of rubber rain boot? Wellies b) Since around 1980, what seven-letter plural has referred to an everyday plastic shoe? Jellies
2. a) Dribble was a pet turtle swallowed by Farley Hatcher, that literary character known by what nickname? Fudge b) Ghost gal Kayako Saeki made Americans dribble out pee for the first time in what 2004 film? The Grudge
3. a) A Game Boy sequel subtitled “Six Golden Coins” was the first appearance of what sometimes-villain? Wario b) The online game Simraceway was co-developed by Ashley Judd’s then-husband, a four-time IndyCar champ. What’s his first name? Dario [Here is where we started to suspect that all the answers rhymed.]
4. a) What American figure skater was 15 when she won Olympic gold at Nagano? Tara Lipinski b) What Russian founder of abstract painting didn’t even start art school until age 30? Wassily Kandinsky [And this confirmed it, which led us to change 1a from “Rubbers” to “Wellies”, and 2 from Blubber/The Ring to Fudge/The Grudge. Very fun concept!]
5. a) Traditionally, what type of bread do Jews eat at the beginning of Shabbat? Challah b) What ceremony marks the end of Shabbat? Havdalah
6. a) In 1981, slavery was finally officially outlawed in what Atlantic-huggin’ country that’s spooned by Mali? Mauritania b) What Baltic-caressin’ country launched a 2018 tourist campaign touting its capital as “The G Spot of Europe”? Lithuania
7. a) An L Word bathroom makeout sesh was inspired by hotly discussing what Autobiography of Red author? Anne Carson b) Sexuality and race are themes in what Harlem Renaissance author’s Passing? Nella Larsen [Ugh, and here is my worst moment of any Geek Bowl. I read Passing as an undergraduate. I knew who wrote it. But I absolutely fucking blanked on the answer. I was holding my ears, head in my hands, saying, “It’s something like Eleanor, or Ellen…” In the two minute countdown, I could not bring it to mind. We wrote “Barker” and “Parker”. About 3 minutes after we’d turned in our sheet, I hit the table and said, “Nella Larsen!” And god damn it, if I’d gotten to that, knowing that the answers rhymed, I’d have argued for “Carson”. AAAARGH.]
8. a) Politicians are always fighting over the taxation of what term for profits made by liquidating an investment? Capital gains b) “All production is for the purpose of ultimately satisfying a consumer.” So said what influential British economist? John Maynard Keynes
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A photo of my answer tracking sheet from Rounds 1-6
A photo of my answer tracking sheet from rounds 7 and 8.