Sunday, 15 September 2013

In Vietnam, the Vietnam War is known as the American War

Question 4 - yum
The attendees
1) The statistician
2) The doctor

The ones that got away
1) In August 2013 which country passed a bill to legalize and regulate the production and sale of marijuana?
2) What gambling game derives its name from the French for toad, thanks to the hunched position of its players?
3) What alcoholic drink is strongly associated with the Kentucky Derby?
4) Spell the vegetable pictured, it (sort of) rhymes with sock-brolly. [In case you're wondering, in the quiz itself the QM just said the word, but that doesn't translate too well to a blog.]
5) Reflected by its logo, what does the company name Mitsubishi translate to?
6) Ciabatta bread is named after which type of footwear?
7) In the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, what does the word Tet refer to?
8) Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises popularized which annual festive event?
9) The four most profitable banks in 2012 were from which country?

The answers

Poll results! 10 votes with 1 scoring 6/9 and 5/9, 2 scoring 4/9 and 3/9, 1 scoring 2/9 and 1/9 and 2 joining us on zero.

The average voter scored 3 out of 9.

The excuses
1) First a bit of fact-checking. This (still) hasn't actually come into law, it just passed the House of Representatives (and still needs to be passed by the Senate), whereas at the quiz it was presented as already being in place. Not that would have helped much. We stuck by our usual rule of "if a country is being super-progressive, it's probably Scandinavia" and put Sweden.
2) Quite a good question, until you remember that we live in (French) Canada where almost everyone is bilingual, and if you know the French for Toad (crapaud) the question becomes "what gambling game sounds a bit like crapaud?". Also the 'hunched' clue was a bit of a false friend, as it refers to the hunched position of street craps players, rather than in the more familiar casino environment.
3) The only drink we could associate with Kentucky was bourbon (which is at least a constituent of a julep). On the plus side we have already profited from our new mint julep knowledge in a subsequent quiz.
4) These questions are great for making you unsure of anything. The only way to approach them is to get everyone to write down their instinct without thinking about it, and hope enough people agree. We didn't. Instead, we scribbled down the four 'options' of broccoli, brocolli, brocoli, and broccolli, with each one seeming definitely wrong at one point or another during the quiz. We tried to thrash it out based on our knowledge of Italian pronunciation, but it turns out we don't really know anything about Italian pronunciation either.
5) The doctor's love of all things Japanese meant we knew that bishounen means 'beautiful boy', and so bishi might conceivably mean beautiful. We also knew what the Mitsbuishi logo looked like, so hypothesized that 'mitsu' might mean 'rock', and so Mitsubishi could translate to 'beautiful rock', i.e. a diamond. Unfortunately, like many languages (but Japanese especially so) words can have multiple meanings (for example, we knew very well that 'san' means 'three', so were never going to get the three part of it). Alas, it thus seems any attempt to derive it from our knowledge of the language was doomed to failure from the start; we should have just focused on the logo.
6) "What types of footwear could arguably look like ciabatta?" "Hrm, slippers?" "Why would they wear slippers in Italy? It's really hot there" "Do they wear clogs?" "That's the dutch" "Yeah, but what about that guy in Pinocchio?" "What, Geppetto?" "Yeah, he was Italian and didn't he make clogs?" "He made puppets" "Yeah, but didn't he make clogs as well" "..." "..." "Ok fine, clogs"
7) A nice "you've heard of this thing but you don't know what it means" question. We went with the thoroughly uninspired (but handy catch-all) 'flower'
8) I think we were put off by the use of the word 'festive', although I don't think the omission of that word would have helped. I knew Hemingway spent a lot of time in Cuba, and because that's closer to Brazil than some other countries, suggested Mardi Gras.
9) We thought there were there possibilities: China (the 'obvious' answer), Switzerland (the other 'obvious' answer) and Canada (because we're in Canada, and they've famously ridden the recession quite well). The actual answer has proven quite hard to verify, though, with a source saying China is home to the top three being the closest I've found.

The alternative questions
1) What date has become an unofficial holiday in North America among cannabis enthusiasts, where people gather to celebrate and consume the drug?
2) In craps, what is the difference between rolling an 'easy' four, and a 'hard' four?
3) The Kentucky Derby forms one third of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Name one of the other two.
4) To which family of plants does broccoli belong?
5) What number is diamond on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness?
6) What is the name of a toasted sandwich made from small loaves of ciabatta?
7) The Vietnam War is also known as the second what war?
8) What does Mardi Gras mean in English?
9) What is the largest city (by population) in China?

The answers

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