Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 11: Throwing it all away

Today’s match was a pick’em: my opponent and I had virtually identical stats in both answering questions correctly and playing defense. Unfortunately for me, in the latest variation on a sadly recurring theme, I brought my A- game when I needed my A+ game.

1. Name the Republican who currently represents Missouri's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.

It’s that dipshit, Todd Akin. I gave this one the 0 (which is also what Todd Akin is) and so did a lot of other people. It defensed the easiest of the day at 0.9, and both my opponent and I knew it as did 69% of players leaguewide.

2. This woman has been credited with being the first television psychologist (credentialed by her Ph.D. from Columbia University), as well as the first female television boxing commentator (credentialed by her boxing expertise demonstrated on the game show The $64,000 Question).

As opposed to Dr. Phil’s Ph.D. from the University of North Texas via a dissertation entitled Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Psychological Intervention (?!), Dr. Joyce Brothers boasts an impressive résumé only somewhat besmirched by her constant shameless appearances before every TV camera this side of the putatively Rev. Jesse Jackson. (Boy, am I judging ’em today! What the hell, it’s my blog.) She either reclaimed or irrevocably destroyed her own cred by endlessly serving as the butt of jokes in the 1990s on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien. You be the judge.

3. Identify this letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Aleph, the Hebrew A. As my bar mitzvah ceremony occurred at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, I was relieved to get this one, lest a vengeful Old Testament God smite me. Even for those with a passing knowledge of Hebrew, this was a total gimme. Apparently mistaking me for former Houston Astro BassK, my opponent gifted me a 3 on this one.

4. This illustration is the work of what well known graphic designer and street artist?

You might know him as the creator of the iconic Obama HOPE poster, but he built his street reputation on his Andre the Giant-based oeuvre. Who are we not to obey said giant? The answer is Shepard Fairey. This time it was I who let my opponent score a 3, which he earned as one of the 42% who got this.

5. The organic compound sucrose is a disaccharide composed of two monosaccharides, which are two of the three dietary monosaccharides (galactose being the third). Name these two monosacchardides, also known as simple sugars?

Time for my almost daily choke. I try not to be on the wrong side of questions that 65% of the league answers correctly, but I cacked this one. I came up with Fructose, as in high-__ corn syrup — definitely the most delicious of your corn syrups — but I drew a blank on the two apparently interchangeable other -oses: Glucose/Dextrose (which gave me various Neuroses). I went with Lactose with a far too nonchalant “what the hell, maybe it’s a milk sugar.” I still don’t even know if it is.

I’m not going to make excuses about how it was 11pm and I just wanted to go to sleep without spending the time trying to remember another sugar ending in -ose. It’s my own fault for not playing these questions early in the morning when I think most clearly. Glucose should have been the first one I thought of; it’s the obvious one. I threw away two points here.

In fact, speaking of the daily trivia cycle, I write a lot of these in the evening, as I’m doing right now instead of watching the Federer-Berdych match in the US Open. An odd side effect is that after I wrap up the writing shortly before I go to bed, I often realize with a start that I have not yet played the day’s questions. I have routinely been answering the day’s Qs in the last two hours before the window closes, as indeed I will probably do tonight as it’s already 9pm and I need my Federer infusion, to say nothing of President Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention.

6. The first solid body electric guitar manufactured and sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, in 1952, was named after (and endorsed by) what American guitarist and inventor?

Les Paul in a total gimme. I could practically have written this question off the top of my head. At 78% correct, this was the easiest question of the day. But how many players in the league own a 1971 Epiphone Riviera, made by a sister company to Gibson, on which they mangle the world’s greatest rock songs to the consternation of their neighbors? I rest my guitar case.

My opponent killed this soft set of questions, running the table and “drinking the beer” with his correct six-pack. Thanks to spilling the sugar, I failed to keep up with him, batted just 5 for 6, and lost the ballgame.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I just started learning the Hebrew alphabet (recently the subj of heated argument on WordPlay.) Last winter was Greek alphabet. My expectation is that both will stand me in good stead in CrossWorld.

'Bass' doesn't sound extremely Hebraic, so maybe your opponent hasn't been to your blog, etc.?

I knew Dr. Joyce Brothers and Les Paul but wow, not the graphic designer. And the only Missouri congressperson I could come up with was Claire McCaskill, who is a Dem. Duh.