1. World Literature

What married writer with four children had a life-long infatuation with a woman named Beatrice who barely knew him? Thanks to his political positions and a change in power, he spent his last twenty years exiled from his native Florence. Identify this poet who lived from 1265 to 1321 and wrote The Divine Comedy.

ANSWER: Dante Alighieri (accept either half of name)

2. Algebra (30 Seconds)

Solve the equation for x: the square root of x equals the square root of 20 plus the square root of 45. [ ]


3. Biology

Though they are actually triples, what are considered the basic letters of the genetic code? They consist of three adjacent nucleotides in a molecule of messenger ribonucleic acid.

ANSWER: Codon(s)

4. United States History

What organization currently serves seven states and is the largest electric utility in the United States? It also controls Wilson Dam and the Muscle Shoals Center. Identify this organization that was created on May 18, 1933 to harness a river and bring electricity to areas surrounding that river. Its headquarters are in Knoxville.

ANSWER: TVA (or Tennessee Valley Authority)

5. Pop Culture

Basketball is supposed to be a team sport, but which two individuals were the main attraction at a famous game on March 26, 1979? Michigan State beat Indiana State for the NCAA Tournament Championship. One of the players would become the point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, while the other would become the small forward for the Boston Celtics, and both players would lead their teams to several NBA Championships.

ANSWER: (Earvin 'Magic') Johnson & (Larry) Bird (either order, both must be correct)

6. Technology

He stayed at Harvard long enough to graduate, though his friend Bill Gates did not. A few years later, however, he dropped out of Stanford's MBA Program in order to help out Gates' then little-known corporation. Identify the man who has replaced Gates as CEO of Microsoft.

ANSWER: (Steve) Ballmer

7. British Literature

(Note to moderator: Pronounce the name the best you can and move on. Don’t sweat it.) Which island is ruled by Emperor Golbasto Momaren Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue? It is located near Tasmania. They had a great civil war based on which end an egg should be broken on. When a normal person arrives, he is tied down and showered with little arrows. This is the first place visited in Gulliver's Travels, where the inhabitants are about six inches tall.

ANSWER: Lilliput (accept Lilliputia)

8. Calculus (10 Seconds)

Which method of integration involves expressing the original function as the product of two functions, one of which can easily be integrated and the other of which can easily be differentiated? It involves the formula: the integral of u d v is equal to u times v minus the integral of v d u. [ ]

ANSWER: (Integration by) Parts

9. Language Arts

What eleven-letter word is used to describe a meal where different courses are served at different locations? It has also been the name of two United States political parties, one of which broke from the Republican Party in the early twentieth century, and the other of which broke from the Democratic Party in the middle of the twentieth century. In general, this term is applied to people who strive to move forward.

ANSWER: Progressive

10. Chemistry (30 Seconds)

For this problem, assume that the atomic mass of carbon is 12 and the atomic mass of hydrogen is 1. What is the empirical formula for a substance that is by mass 80% carbon and 20% hydrogen?

ANSWER: CH3 (accept H3C)

11. World History

This country was ruled by Spain from the early sixteenth century until the late nineteenth century. It was made an independent nation in 1902 except for the Platt Amendment to its constitution that is now nullified but used to allow for United States intervention. Which nation was ruled from 1940 to 1944 and 1952 to 1959 by Fulgencia Batista and has been ruled continuously by one man since 1959?


12. Music

The title characters in which opera are a crippled man who is pulled in a cart by a goat and a woman who is loved by men named Crown and Sportin' Life? The action takes place in Catfish Row, a neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina, and the opera opens with the song Summertime. It was written by George Gershwin.

ANSWER: Porgy and Bess

13. United States Literature

She was influenced in her writing by Henry James, and like him she spent much of her life in Europe. Identify this author who usually wrote about wealthy New Yorkers. She switched her setting to rural New England in the novella Ethan Frome.

ANSWER: (Edith) Wharton

14. Physics (10 Seconds)

What is defined as a vibration of large amplitude in a mechanical or electrical system caused by a relatively small periodic stimulus of the same or nearly the same period as the natural vibration period of the system?

ANSWER: Resonance (accept resonant, prompt on Standing Wave)

15. Current Events

As a young lawyer working for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, who employed two secretaries each working eight-hour days so that he could work sixteen-hour days? He rose to the position of partner and brought in an estimated twenty million dollars for the firm each year, with much of that coming from the accounting industry. Last year, however, he switched to a job that brought him much less money and much more criticism. Identify the man who resigned on Election Day as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

ANSWER: (Harvey) Pitt

16. Geometry/Trigonometry (30 Seconds)

What is the cosine of one thousand five hundred degrees? [ ]

ANSWER: 1/2 (or 0.5)

17. Religion/Mythology

What begins and ends when one trustworthy witness testifies before the authorities that a new Moon has been sighted? It always occurs in the ninth month of the year to celebrate the appearance of its religion’s holy book. Identify this period during which food and drink are to be avoided between sunrise and sunset for practicing Muslims.

ANSWER: Ramadan

18. Astronomy/Earth Science/Geography

Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Sharon Christa McAuliffe were passengers on which space shuttle on January 28, 1986? The flight only lasted 73 seconds before ending with an explosion.

ANSWER: Challenger (accept more information such as Challenger Disaster, prompt on Astronauts or Space Shuttle)

19. Nonfiction

Which seventeenth century writer is often associated with a dualistic system that differentiates between mind and matter? His most famous argument was that though knowledge based on authority, senses, and reason could be flawed, one could at least be sure of ‘Cogito ergo sum’. This phrase means 'I think, therefore I am.'

ANSWER: (Rene) Descartes

20. Art/Architecture

Who was kicked out of the United States Military Academy in 1853 and later claimed, "If silicon had been a gas, I would have been a major general"? He moved to Paris and then London, where he was known for his portraits and pre-impressionist color harmonies. Identify this painter of Battersea Bridge, White Girl, and Portrait of My Mother--Arrangement in Grey and Black.

ANSWER: (James Abbott McNeill) Whistler


"I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound." This description applies to which character, who first appeared in the 1920 novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles? He has been portrayed by Albert Finney and Peter Ustinov in film. Identify this Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie.

ANSWER: (Hercule) Poirot

Rhetoric, Poetics, Politics, History of Animals, Organon, Metaphysics, De Anima, and Nicomachean Ethics were written by what scholar? He was born in 384 BC at Stagira and died in Chalcis in 322 BC after fleeing Athens. Identify this student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great.

ANSWER: Aristotle

TRUE OR FALSE: There is a servant in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona named Speed.