And now, the Geek Bowl XI answers!


Tiebreaker

Take the sum of the current ages of Donald Trump’s wives, and multiply it by the number of commercially available varieties of Newman’s Own salad dressings. Subtract from the result the number of sites administered by the National Park Service. Or, to put it another way:

(W x D) – P

where W = Trump’s wives’ ages summed, D = number of Newman’s Own salad dressing varieties, and P = sites administered by the National Park Service.

W = 68 (Ivana) + 53 (Marla) + 46 (Melania) = 167
D = 31
P = 417
(167 x 31) – 417 = 4760

[Don had the salad dressing number pretty much exactly right, and I argued it was more like half that. Wrong! Our other guesses were pretty close, but that multiplier makes a huge difference. We said 2109.]
Back to the questions

Round 1: Sound Off

1. Slick Goodlin was Bell’s sound-barrier test pilot, before the Air Force took over the X-1 project and filled the seat with what captain? Chuck Yeager
2. The Inside Passage is a handy way — and in fact pretty much the only way — to get to what U.S. state capital? Juneau
3. In 2016, what microblogging company invested $70 million in Soundcloud? Twitter [We were debating between Twitter and Tumblr, with the notion that Twitter was in an acquisitive mode, while Tumblr was more closely attuned to the indie-band aesthetic of Soundcloud. We went with Tumblr. D’oh!]
4. Bahia de Cochinos is the local name for what inlet that was newsworthy for a few weeks in 1961? The Bay Of Pigs
5. Dr. Dischord collected all sorts of terrible noises, in what classic kids’ book by Norton Juster? The Phantom Tollbooth
6. Dionne Warwick still can’t tell us how to get to what city of 1 million at the southeast tip of San Francisco Bay? San Jose
7. Orfield Labs maintains a room so quiet it will make you hallucinate, in what Central Time city that is also home to U.S. Bank stadium? Minneapolis [Don was right on top of this “We name a stadium, you name the city” question.]
8. The laryngeal inlet connects your larynx to what similarly named other part of the throat? Pharynx
Back to the questions

Round 2: Not The World’s Oldest Profession

With the professions CAPITALIZED:

1. Twenty One PILOTS – Stressed Out
2. Natalie MERCHANT – Wonder
3. USHER – Burn [We struggled mightily on this one. Perhaps if we’d been able to hear some lyrics, but as it was we guessed Nelly and “My Boo”, whose title turns out to be “Dilemma” anyway, and in any case is totally unconnected to a profession. Time pressure got to us and we forgot rule 1B.]
4. TAYLOR Swift – Love Story
5. The Decemberists – Here I Dreamt I Was An ARCHITECT [Not a single Decemberists fan at our table, lamentably.]
6. Curtis Mayfield – PUSHERman [Huge props to Jonathan for nailing this one.]
7. Night RANGER – Sister Christian
8. DR. Dre – Let Me Ride [We were trying to guess artists who had a profession in their names, and between that and recognizing the style we got Dr. Dre, but guessed wrong on the song, going for “Nothin’ But A G Thang”.]
Back to the questions

Round 3: Justice Is Served

1. Who sought justice in the form of a “pound of flesh”: MacBeth or Shylock? Shylock
2. If you go to jail looking for justice, that’s what you’ll find: just us. This is a paraphrase of a quote by whom: Richard Pryor or Tupac? Richard Pryor [We said Tupac, and felt good about that. D’oh!]
3. Yes or no: is the Department of Justice headed by the Secretary of Justice? NO (It’s headed by the Attorney General.)
4. Who is directing this year’s Justice League movie: Ben Affleck or Zack Snyder? Zack Snyder
5. That statue of a blindfolded lady you see in front of courthouses: did the Romans call her “Justitia” or “Prudentia”? Justitia
6. Who was married to 1990s baseball star David Justice: Halle Berry or Holly Robinson? Halle Berry
7. Poetic Justice was the sophomore film from what director: John Singleton or Mario Van Peebles? John Singleton [I think Larry was first to this answer.]
8. From 1991 to 2016, eight justices left the U.S. Supreme Court, one way or another. Name them. Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Harry Blackmun, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall [We got 7 of these with a considerable assist from Jonathan. For the 8th, we put down Brennan instead of Blackmun. Turns out Brennan retired in 1990, just 1 year short of the mark, and was replaced by Souter.]
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Round 4: I Once Was A Man From Nantucket

1. (2013)
I grew up educated as hell,
And I told other girls to as well.
The Taliban fussed,
And they shot up my bus —
Now please, may I have a Nobel?
Author: Malala Yousafzai
Title: I Am Malala

[We got the author right, but in the first of several near-misses, gave “My Name Is Malala” as the title. ARGH.]

2. (2011)
I guess I’ll just come out and say,
Since I know that you’ll ask anyway:
A dude with a knife
Cut my face; I was five.
Now let’s talk Sarah Palin, OK?
Author: Tina Fey
Title: Bossypants

3. (2003)
While rehab unscrambled my brain,
I got root canals sans Novocaine.
Too hardcore for AA
I was — oh, by the way,
I made most of this up on the train.
Author: James Frey
Title: A Million Little Pieces

4. (2014)
I hope I don’t sound like a whina —
I’m obsessed with myself and that’s fine-a.
Surely no one will mind
If I talk of the time
I found rocks in my sister’s vagina.
Author: Lena Dunham
Title: Not That Kind Of Girl

[We got Dunham, said “One Girl” for the title.]

5. (2011)
Once I threw my kid out in the cold
for not listening — she’s three years old.
I’m a bad Chinese mama
(From west Indiana),
But hey, controversy is gold!
Author: Amy Chua
Title: Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother

[We didn’t know the author, but recognized it as the Tiger Mom thing. Jonathan retrieved the “Battle Hymn” part, but we wrote “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom” rather than “Tiger Mother”. ARGH!]

6. (2008)
If you’d like to write undeterred,
The running shoe sharpens the word.
But six miles a day
Isn’t easy, I’d say —
It’s not like I’m some wind-up bird.
Author: Haruki Murakami
Title: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

[Altogether clueless on this one.]

7. (2016)
My friends quit their jobs ’cause they’re bored,
And got cell phones that I can’t afford.
This redneck malaise
Fosters social decays —
How’s the South gonna rise up? Good Lord!
Author: J.D. Vance
Title: Hillbilly Elegy

[I pulled Hillbilly Elegy based on the limerick, but I sure did not know who wrote it.]

8. (2012)
I don’t make child porn, I’m no creep —
But my settlements never come cheap.
And if you think twice,
You’ll see it was nice
When I likened that girl to my Jeep.
Author: R. Kelly
Title: Soula Coaster

[Again, we were nowhere on this one, though George thought of R. Kelly after we’d turned in our sheet.]
Back to the questions

Round 5: Checks And Phalluses

Just in case YouTube ever makes the Geeks take that down, here are the answers, with the joke part capitalized.

1. WOODrow Wilson
2. PETER The Great
3. HELMUT Kohl
4. Indira GanDHI
5. Ellen JOHNSON Sirleaf
6. RODrigo Duterte
7. Mao ZeDONG
8. (Prefaced with “No, we didn’t forget the ladies!”) George W. BUSH
Back to the questions

Round 6: Muppety Womenfolk

1. In 1975, Jim Henson created a weekly bit called “The Land Of Gorch” for what nascent TV show? Saturday Night Live
2. Though they most likely wouldn’t be friends with each other, both Richard Nixon and Lucretia Mott belonged to what historically Christian sect, which was also called The Society Of Friends? The Quakers
3. The least essential of their early movies, The Muppets Take Manhattan featured a cameo by what then-Mayor of New York City? Ed Koch
4. The second-wave feminist cornerstone The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, and the third-wave classic Gender Trouble by Judith Butler both drew on the 1949 book The Second Sex, by what renowned social theorist? Simone De Beauvoir
5. Kermit The Frog made an unexpected cameo as a shopper at Dustin Hoffman’s titular store, in what 2007 box office bomb? Mister Magorium’s Wonder Emporium [We spent at least a minute debating back and forth between “Mister Magorium’s Magic Emporium” and “Mister Magorium’s Magical Emporium”. ARGH!!]
6. Rebecca Walker coined the phrase “Third Wave Feminism” in 1992, ten years after her mom published what Pulitzer Prize-winning novel? The Color Purple
7. The Muppets used a dream to weigh in on the Duncan family’s house-rebuilding decision, on a 2013 episode of what Disney Channel series? Good Luck Charlie
8. We all know women only make 78 cents for every male dollar, but which group makes a measly 54% compared to white men: Black women or Latinas? Latinas
Back to the questions

Round 7: Geek Kune Do

[Answers are in the questions.]

Round 8: Random Knowledge

1. Other than Jesus Christ himself, which two Old Testament dudes are the first two people mentioned in the New Testament? Abraham and David [We said Abraham and Isaac, and if not for Jonathan we may not have even gotten that far.]
2. a) The bark of the cinchona tree gives us what anti-malaria medicine? Quinine b) Usually it’s cassia bark that you’re actually buying when you pick up a jar of what common spice? Cinnamon
3. Besides the University of Connecticut, what two schools have won the NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament in this decade? Baylor and Texas A&M [We said Baylor and Notre Dame. Interestingly, after I came home I asked the same question of my wife, who watches tons of NCAA women’s basketball. She also said Baylor and Notre Dame. Maybe we all jumped timelines at some point?]
4. After the split from the chimpanzees, but before the rise of Homo, there were two genera of bipedal hominids whose names start with a vowel. In fact, they start with the same vowel. Name them. Australopithecus and Ardipithecus [We got australo-, but guessed anthro- instead of ardi-.]
5. a) In 2017, Rockstar Games is publishing a much-anticipated sequel to what old-timey 2010 game? Red Dead Redemption b) However, despite our letter-writing campaign, they are still not updating their XBox 360 launch title about what indoor sport? Table Tennis [We went through bunches of indoor sports, finally settled on ping-pong, and then at the last minute changed ping-pong to “table tennis” on a hunch. Hah!]
6. Name each popular, bygone blog from its final three post headlines. a) “My So-Called Life”, “Roller Derby”, and “The TED Conference”. Stuff White People Like b) “How Things Work”, “Letters From Our Exes”, and “How Guilty Should I Feel?” Gawker [We said “Gawker” for both, so at least we got one.]
7. a) What German composed the famous wedding march for his suite from A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Felix Mendelssohn b) The characters getting married in the play were what Athenian duke and Amazon queen? Theseus and Hippolyta
8. a) Editor Anna Wintour’s proxy in The Devil Wears Prada went by what name? Miranda Priestly b) Wintour cut her teeth as a fashion editor at a Guccione-owned erotic magazine for women, which shared its name with what brand of paper towels? Viva
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