broadsideblog

We won! Take the trivia test The New York Times team killed this week

In design, entertainment, journalism on May 20, 2012 at 2:58 am

So much fun!

On Friday night — in the same ABC TV studio on West 67th. where “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” was once shot — I joined The New York Times trivia team in the 16-team competition for Trivia Bowl, created in 1994 by the Los Angeles chapter of the Asian-American Journalists Association.

My husband, who works at the Times, told me they were seeking competitors and I had qualified for Jeopardy (a popular American quiz show), back in 2006, so what the hell?

Our team of 10 included a copy editor, a former page designer, a reporter and me, a 20-year Times freelancer. I knew only one person on the team, who I’d met a decade earlier at a picnic and hadn’t seen since.

This was the first time the contest was held in New York, and teams came out from CNN, ABC, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Time and others. It was fun to see colleagues…as I reached for a spring roll in the food line-up, a man reached in front of me — the former national editor at the New York Daily News, now at ABC. I hadn’t seen him since 2006.

We’d worked together on a bunch of stories, including one that the Times’ kicked our ass on, but we kicked back. (A helicopter had fallen off a mountain in Afghanistan and the Army refused to give the News access to the military base in NY where many of the soldiers’ families were from. There are few American cities as competitive for news than New York! I once did a stake-out for 12 hours in 80 degree heat outside a midtown hotel and it was crazy. The Times guy even followed me into the elevator to see where I was going.)

So you can imagine the geek-fueled adrenaline in the room on Friday. Of course, no tools or aids were allowed.

I loved that our judges were, in their daily life, professional judges — six men and women who adjudicate cases in housing court and even the Supreme Court of New York. Cool!

We competed in five rounds: Entertainment; Geography/Science/Literature; Current Events/Sports; History/Elections;Presidents; New York.

Yes, the questions are both North America-centric and New York-centric. Good luck!

So, (working from memory!) here are some of the 80 questions. The ones I knew are marked with a C:

What was the original name of New York City? C

Name two musicals that won both a Tony and a Pulitzer prize

Name the two men who won Oscars in successive years

What do you call someone who studies dinosaurs? C

In which state is the town of Truth or Consequences? C

Which president was born in New York City?

Of the city’s five boroughs, which is the smallest in area?

What is the name of Kate Middleton’s dog?

What is the title of JK Rowling’s newest book?

Which Presidents are on Mt. Rushmore?

Which magazine sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement? C

On the 1970s television show All in The Family, which Queens neighborhood did they live in?

Which Asian designer created Michelle Obama’s dress for the inauguration ball? C

Two First Ladies have graced the cover of American Vogue. Michelle Obama was the second — who was the first? C

Which two countries lie directly below Saudi Arabia? C

Which is the third most-spoken language in Canada?

Who first recorded the song “New York, New York?”

Which hockey team has won the most Stanley Cups? C

What is the chemical symbol for salt? C

Who were the Three Musketeers? C

No Googling allowed!

Your answers….?

  1. What was the original name of New York City? C
    new amsterdam?

    Name two musicals that won both a Tony and a Pulitzer prize

    Name the two men who won Oscars in successive years
    tom hanks and someone else?

    What do you call someone who studies dinosaurs? C
    paleontologist?

    In which state is the town of Truth or Consequences? C

    Which president was born in New York City?
    teddy roosevelt?

    Of the city’s five boroughs, which is the smallest in area?
    staten island?

    What is the name of Kate Middleton’s dog?

    What is the title of JK Rowling’s newest book?
    beedle the bard?

    Which Presidents are on Mt. Rushmore?
    washington, lincoln, sacco, and vanzetti?

    Which magazine sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement? C
    high times?

    On the 1970s television show All in The Family, which Queens neighborhood did they live in?
    bensonhurst?

    Which Asian designer created Michelle Obama’s dress for the inauguration ball? C
    vera wang?

    Two First Ladies have graced the cover of American Vogue. Michelle Obama was the second — who was the first? C
    jackie kennedy onassis?

    Which two countries lie directly below Saudi Arabia? C
    egypt and nigeria?

    Which is the third most-spoken language in Canada?
    spanish?

    Who first recorded the song “New York, New York?”
    frank sinatra?

    Which hockey team has won the most Stanley Cups? C
    les canadiens?

    What is the chemical symbol for salt? C
    Na

    Who were the Three Musketeers? C
    porthos, athos, d’artan/y/a/n/? not sure how to spell it.

    • I’m amazed you’re up….I figured the first guess would come from one of our Australian pals!

      You got three right: The Canadiens, Teddy Roosevelt and paleontologist. Some of your guesses were (wrongly) ours as well, like Jackie Kennedy and Staten Island. I can tell you that almost no one in the room but us (me, actually), got the magazine that started Occupy Wall Street. It’s a toughie.

      I won’t reveal the other answers yet!

    • I’m amazed you’re up….I figured the first guess would come from one of our Australian pals!

      You got three right: The Canadiens, Teddy Roosevelt and paleontologist. Some of your guesses were (wrongly) ours as well, like Jackie Kennedy and Staten Island. I can tell you that almost no one in the room but us (me, actually), got the magazine that started Occupy Wall Street. It’s a toughie.

      I won’t reveal the other answers yet!

      • some of those were guesses that were intended to be funny – like the magazine – if i had no clue. for the first lady, i was going to say nancy reagan, but i figured that jackie o. had to be right. guess not. canadiens and paleontologist were the only ones that i was definite about.

  2. I knew paleontologist and I know that Truth or Consequences is in New Mexico. Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt on Mt. Rushmore, I think. And I know how to spell D’Artagnan :)

  3. I wouldn’t have qualified… the only one I know (or think I know) was the Saudi Arabia one – I think the answer is Yemen and Bahrain.

  4. I only knew sodium Na and paleontologist! But hey, I know nothing about north America. I ought to know the Saudi one and don’t. I’d have guessed at Vietnamese for the third language, but that’s showing my age regarding immigration issues (I did google it to find out as I was interested in the answer, so I wasn’t too far out geographically! – at least I had the right continent).

    • You’re half-right on sodium…there’s more to it! And you were smart to guess as you did for Canada, which stumped me (!) and my American colleague knew it at once.

      And I left out some of the really hard, obscure stuff. But, Kate Middleton’s DOG?!

      • NaCl. Sorry. Forgot the other bit.

        Well, if I had thought sensibly I should have got the third language, as I said, rooted in the past :D

        I first thought her dog was called Pippa, because that’s my dog’s name, but then remembered her sister is called Pippa :D

  5. Occupy W S mag–Adbusters from Vancouver. of course you would get that one!

  6. Congratulations! You hold that cup and sign like Britannia :-)

  7. Congratulations! You hold that cup and sign like Britannia :-)

  8. Kate Middletons dog is Lupo.

  9. Stuck once in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico – named after the Johnny Carson show of the same name. Vera Wang is my fantasy girlfriend who lives in Truth Or Consequences with me and watches old movies with the Oscar winner and listens to Frank Sinatra while reading High Times and cultivating Hindu Kush while only speaking Spanish to one another in bed.

  10. Such a rich fantasy life you have! I was in T or C two years ago…fun town!

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