VETO 2011, FARSIDE team tossups

"If I live to be as old as Sibylla", she says to her waiting-maid Nerissa, "I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will." So she says "Thus hath the candle singed the moth" on the exit of the Prince of Arragon, and "Let all of his complexion choose me so" on the exit of the Prince of Morocco. But she marries Bassanio, who passes the test. For 10 points, what Belmont heiress discourses on "the quality of mercy" disguised as Balthasar, a male doctor of the law, thus saving the life of her husband's friend Antonio in The Merchant of Venice?

Answer:  PORTIA

The red feather belts of the Santa Cruz Islanders may be an example of this in a pre-literate society, but the first to be instituted by a government was under the twelfth-century Northern Song dynasty of China, with its jiaozi. In 1720, France's eight-month-long experiment with it ended with the fleeing of its initiator, John Law, amid national economic collapse. Canada first started using it in 1914 when the gold standard was suspended. For 10 points, name this type of currency that is not backed by any commodity and has value only because a government says so.

Answer:  FIAT money or currency

George Lyon was the last person to win an individual Olympic gold medal in this event, and therefore holds the longest unbroken record for a Canadian reigning champion, going back to Saint Louis in 1904. A holder of national records in pole vault and cricket, Lyon was forty-six years old when he won the Olympic medal in this sport that he began playing at age thirty-seven, and had what observers called a "coal-heaver's swing". For 10 points, what is this game that was last played in the Olympics at Missouri's Glen Echo Country Club?

Answer:  GOLF

According to the Puranas, Brahma was born from one of these that grew out of Vishnu's navel. Arjuna likens Krishna's eyes to them in the Bhagavad-Gita, which in another passage says man should be unaffected by sin just as the leaves of these are untouched by water. The goddess Lakshmi is usually depicted sitting on one and holding them in her hands, and the most popular Buddhist mantra praises the jewel in it. For 10 points, what is this flower that names the Buddha's "greatest of all sutras" and also a cross-legged position in yoga?

Answer:  LOTUS flowers (accept PADMA)

Their four suborders are the rare but ancient Archostemata; Myxophaga, which feed on algae; Adephaga, which are mostly predators and have hind coxae completely dividing the first visible abdominal sternum; and Polyphaga, the largest suborder, including the species Dendroctonus ponderosae which has devastated British Columbia's pine forests, and the cotton-destroying boll weevil. Characterized by elytra ["EL-it-ra"], their hard forewings, for 10 points, name this most diverse of all orders of insects.

Answer:  BEETLEs
(accept COLEOPTERA, but say "Yes, beetles")

On June 16, 2011, its education minister, Patrick Rouble, became the first member of its government to announce plans not to seek re-election this year, leaving open the riding of Southern Lakes. Five days earlier, a cabinet shuffle had kept all members in their same posts except for the top job, where a convicted former seller of tobacco to minors replaced a convicted former heroin trafficker. Darrell Pasloski has replaced Dennis Fentie of Watson Lake as premier of, for 10 points, what free-enterprise-loving Canadian territory?

Answer:  the YUKON

Julius Caesar massacred twenty thousand of this city's inhabitants for supporting the sons of Pompey, but under Augustus it became prominent as capital of the Roman province of Baetica. After it fell to the Visigoths and then to the Umayyads, in 756 Abd-ar-Rahman the First made it the capital of an independent emirate. It was Europe's largest city in 929 when Abd-ar-Rahman the Third proclaimed himself caliph. For 10 points, name this Spanish city that was the birthplace of 12th-century philosophers Averroes ["a-ver-ROE-es"] and Maimonides ["my-MON-id-ees"].

Answer:  CORDOBA, Spain

Mr. Waldo catches them in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood; Lennie Small's great ambition in life is to tend them in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men; and Elwood P. Dowd's closest friend is a six-and-a-half-foot tall one of these in Mary Chase's play Harvey. It's a nickname given to Brewer, Pennsylvania, high-school basketball star Harry Angstrom in a series of novels by John Updike. For 10 points, these are all what type of mammal along with Silver, Blackberry, Fiver and Hazel in Richard Adams's Watership Down?

Answer:  RABBITs

The earliest citation of this term is from the Wagga Wagga Advertiser of April 17, 1869, reporting that "grass will be abundant" here after recent rains, and "travelling sheep will have comfortable quarters all the way down the river", referring to the Murrumbidgee, a tributary of the Murray River. A region of six million square kilometres, two cities claim to be its "capital": Broken Hill and Alice Springs. For 10 points, name this dry, sparsely populated region covering most of Australia.

Answer:  the OUTBACK

Its Presidents Club Lounges with complimentary alcoholic drinks will be phased out, but the blue carpet will remain in its priority lanes even though the end of 2011 will mark the end of its OnePass program. Its chairman, Jeff Smisek ["SMY-sek"], becomes head of a merged company, with a logo that retains its blue globe. For 10 points, name this airline with hubs at Guam, Cleveland, Newark and Houston, that in 2010 was acquired by United.

Answer:  CONTINENTAL airlines

With its main ceremonial centre at Cahuachi ["cow-a-CHEE"], this civilization flourished from 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. It left behind a lot of polychrome pottery, painted in eleven different colours, and an underground system of aqueducts called puquios ["poo-KEE-ohs"], which are still used today to transport water near the arid southern coast of Peru. For 10 points, what is this culture that also etched large geoglyphs into the desert plain, depicting animals, plants, geometric figures, and long straight lines?

Answer:  NAZCA culture

They form either when very weak, upward vertical air currents lift a thin layer of air high enough to initiate condensation, or when a layer of air is cooled from below to its dew point and water vapor condenses into liquid droplets. Precipitation from them is rare, except as drizzle. They can cover the entire sky, and resemble fog that doesn't reach the ground. Generally occurring only below two thousand metres, for 10 points, what are these low clouds that form flat, grey, horizontal layers?

Answer:  STRATUS clouds (prompt for "more specific" on "CLOUD"s)

A "Modern Sequel" to this story introduces Motherth, a Buddha type, and an African fisherman Jesus type, in twenty-four rhapsodies by Nikos Kazantzakis. In Dante's alternative ending to it in the twenty-sixth canto of the Inferno, the main characters come in sight of the Mount of Purgatory and are destroyed by a whirlwind. Margaret Atwood tells the story from the wife's point of view, with the husband getting into a fight over a bar bill with a one-eyed tavern keeper and saying it was a giant cyclops. For 10 points, The Penelopiad is based on what epic?

Answer:  the ODYSSEY (or ODYSSEIA)

Reid Park, in the midtown area, is this city's largest park, and includes Hi Corbett Field. Overlooked by the Santa Catalina Mountains and located on the Santa Cruz River, which is dry most of the year, this Pima County seat is the centre of the "Optics Valley" with technology companies supplying the Mount Graham, Fred Whipple, and Kitt Peak Observatories. Located ninety-eight kilometres north of the Mexican border, this second-largest city in its state is, for 10 points, what home of the University of Arizona?

Answer:  TUCSON, Arizona

Released from his Jesuit vows for his own admitted "moral weakness", in 1667 he obtained a land grant in New France that became known as La Chine because of his ambition to reach China. Gaining the support of Governor Frontenac, he oversaw the building of Fort Frontenac, then received a noble title in France before returning to establish trading posts on the Great Lakes. For 10 points, name this explorer who then followed the Mississippi River to its mouth and claimed its entire drainage basin for King Louis the Fourteenth.

Answer:  Sieur de LASALLE (or René-Robert CAVELIER)

This organization had its inaugural meeting in December, 1999, in Berlin, Germany, hosted by Hans Eichel and chaired by Paul Martin. In November, 2008, in Washington, D.C., it held its first summit for heads of state and government, in response to the global financial crisis. In June 2010 its Leaders Summit was infamous for a billion-dollar price tag and the media centre's "fake lake" in Toronto. For 10 points, name this organization of countries with two thirds of the world's people and four fifths of global trade.

Answer:  the G20 (or the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors)

It is a close binary system in which the primary star is a white dwarf and its companion is either a main sequence or red giant star. It can occur in one of three types: classical, recurrent, and dwarf. When the secondary star expands to fill its Roche lobe, matter accretes to a disk around the white dwarf, resulting in a thermonuclear explosion displaying a peak absolute magnitude between negative five and negative nine. For 10 points, what is this kind of cataclysmic variable that dims after a period of days to months?

Answer:  NOVA (do not accept SUPERNOVA, which is different)

"Of its own accord it produces grain and grapes, and apple trees grow in its woods from the close-clipped grass. The ground of its own accord produces everything instead of merely grass, and people live there a hundred years or more", according to Geoffrey of Monmouth's Life of Merlin. For 10 points, name this "fortunate isle" ruled by nine sisters including Morgan Le Fay, who, after the Battle of Camlann, apply their healing arts to King Arthur.

Answer:  AVALON

Its lobby is decorated with red Moroccan marble walls, sienna-coloured floor, and a ceiling mural, measuring twenty-three by thirty metres, painted by Edward Trumbull and entitled "Transport and Human Endeavor". Located on Lexington Avenue at Forty-Second Street, it was designed by William van Alen and completed in 1930, one year before the Empire State Building. For 10 points, what Art Deco Manhattan skyscraper with a distinctive steel terraced crown was briefly the tallest building in the world?

Answer:  CHRYSLER building

Designed by William Reed, they were known at first as "Smith's Dock Patrol Vessels, Whaler Type". Because they cost only five to six hundred thousand dollars to build, they were dubbed "cheap and nasties" by Winston Churchill. The only surviving one is the HMCS Sackville, moored in Halifax as a naval memorial. The Royal Canadian Navy deployed twelve of the later Castle class, and one hundred and eleven of the Flower class. Smaller than frigates, for 10 points, name these trans-Atlantic convoy escort ships in World War Two.

Answer:  CORVETTEs

To isolate one gram of this substance, start with eighty-eight kilograms of air. Cool it to below the boiling point of nitrogen, let the remaining unliquefied air be adsorbed by activated charcoal, then get rid of the hydrogen. What's left is the universe's fifth most abundant element, commoner than iron and nitrogen but rarer than hydrogen, helium, oxygen, and carbon. In our atmosphere, it's one five-hundredth as abundant as argon. For 10 points, name this noble gas that emits red-orange light when electricity passes through it.

Answer:  NEON

According to the writer Longus, the god Pan loved her, and when she rejected him, Pan got some shepherds to tear her to pieces. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, she would distract Hera with her conversation while Zeus was having extramarital affairs, and Hera punished her by making her unable to say anything original. For 10 points, name this mountain nymph whose unrequited love for Narcissus made her fade away until all that remained of her was her voice, which could only repeat what others said.

Answer:  ECHO

Frédéric Chopin's opus twenty-eight consists of a series of twenty-four of these compositions, written in all of the major and minor keys, a pattern also followed by J.S. Bach, who followed up each one with a fugue in his Well-Tempered Clavier. Claude Debussy also wrote twenty-four of them for solo piano, but is best known for a separate one inspired by a poem by Mallarmé, "the Afternoon of a Faun". For 10 points, what is this kind of composition that is ausually an introduction to another, larger piece?

Answer:  PRELUDE

It flows eastward from the Valdai Hills, and is joined by its major tributaries, the Oka, the Sura, and then the Kama, after which this river flows southward, except for a hairpin bend to the east at Samara. Its course falls below sea level through the Caspian lowland, before entering the Caspian Sea through a wide delta that includes the city of Astrakhan. Europe's longest river, passing through Tver, Kazan, and Nizhny Novgorod, for ten points, what is this "mother" river of Russia?

Answer:  VOLGA River

Vancouver Estival Trivia Open, 2011, FARSIDE team