Tie goes to the runner

I earned my first tie score in LearnedLeague yesterday.

Considering that this was my 20th match of the season, that’s remarkable. Ties are relatively common in LL. (At the Championship level, in fact, ties are almost as frequent as wins and losses, since the majority of the players on any given day will answer all six questions correctly.) My first tie kept me solidly in second place in my Rundle or bracket, behind (coincidentally) my opponent in this particular match.

Want to play along? Here were the questions for Match Day 20. Answers will follow below.

  • Question 1: Johannes Brahms’s Opus 49, No. 4, which he titled Wiegenlied, is most widely known today in English by what name?
  • Question 2: Identify the country in this photograph.
  • Question 3: Kix and Ronnie are the first names of what country music duo, who had a total of 20 number one and 39 top ten hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart before splitting in 2010?
  • Question 4: The Baltusrol Golf Club (seven-time US Open host and 2005 & 2016 PGA Championship host) and the Pine Valley Golf Club (which frequently tops lists of World’s Best Golf Courses) are both located in which U.S. state?
  • Question 5: In the history of the Oscars, the only film to receive four acting nominations for women is 1950’s All About Eve (two for Best Actress, two for Best Supporting Actress). Name any two of the four women who received these nominations.
  • Question 6: This is a screenshot from what popular (and seminal) video game?

I’ll give you a moment to jot down your responses.


All righty then. Here’s the answer key.

Answer 1: I thought this was about as close to a “gimme” as LearnedLeague offers. Even if you know nothing at all about classical music in general, or about Brahms specifically — and if you do, I don’t know an awful lot more than you do — you’re probably familiar with the piece commonly called “Brahms’s Lullaby.” Indeed, I suspect that for most people, “Lullaby” is the first word that springs to mind upon hearing the name Brahms. You might not know that this familiar ditty is formally titled Opus 29, No. 4, or that Brahms referred to it as Wiegenlied (“Cradle Song” in German), but if I said, “Name a musical composition by Brahms,” I’ll wager you’d guess “LULLABY” if nothing else came to mind. I did, and was correct in so doing.

Answer 2: Picture clues are among the most difficult, because often you either recognize the image immediately, or you don’t. There are probably ways to suss this one out — it’s a black-and-white photo, which might suggest age — but I’m betting that if you got this one (as did my opponent), it’s because you recall seeing this picture before. If so, you recognized it as one of the photos used at the height of the early 1960s missile crisis to purportedly show where the Russians had installed nukes in CUBA. I, on the other hand, didn’t find it familiar, so I took a random stab that it might be an aerial shot of the compound where Osama bin Laden was taken down, and answered Pakistan.

Answer 3: Regular visitors to this site know of my unrepentant antipathy toward country music, a term which I contend is an oxymoron. Still, I do own a television, so I’ve at least heard of most of the more popular artists in that genre. Besides, if you run across a guy whose parents named him after their favorite breakfast cereal, you’re probably going to remember that. The name Kix led me straight to BROOKS & DUNN. Although I’ll admit that until reading this question, I was not aware that Brooks & Dunn were now Booked & Done. But now I know.

Answer 4: Like classical and country musics, golf is not among my areas of expertise. I only care about the game when Tiger Woods is in contention and the Giants aren’t on. Speaking of Tiger, one of the more notorious incidents in his career (before we knew he was picking up waitresses at the Waffle House, that is) occurred during the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol. Tiger finished his final round on Sunday at two under par. Rain, however, stopped play in the early evening while several other golfers — notably Phil Mickelson (at the time -4), Steve Elkington and Thomas Bjorn (both -3) — still had multiple holes to complete. Apparently figuring that at least one of the three players ahead of him would hold score, Woods packed up his gear and went home to Florida on Sunday night, despite the fact that if Mickelson, Elkington, and Bjorn fell back when play resumed Monday morning, Tiger might be forced into a playoff — or might even win outright if all three completely tanked. Luckily for Tiger, all three played even the rest of the way. Mickelson won by a stroke, with Bjorn and Elkington one shot behind him and one ahead of Tiger and Davis Love III.

If you remember that story, you probably remember that Baltusrol is in Springfield, NEW JERSEY.

Answer 5: “What’s the only film in Oscar history to garner acting nominations for four women?” might be among film trivia’s most often cited questions. I was therefore a bit surprised that my esteemed opponent — who had been stellar in the film category going into this match — didn’t come up with two of the names involved. The film, of course, is All About Eve — a movie so legendary that I once named our family dog after it. (Our late, beloved Pembroke Welsh corgi was registered with the American Kennel Club as Tams All About Even. I devised the moniker to combine her chosen call name “Abby” with her breeder’s request that the word “even” appear in her registry name. The movie’s title provided a perfect vehicle, with just a little tweak.) In a feat yet to be duplicated, All About Eve notched Best Actress nods for BETTE DAVIS and ANNE BAXTER, and Best Supporting Actress acclaim for CELESTE HOLM and THELMA RITTER. Ironically, none of the four women won; their male costar George Sanders nabbed the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. (For you minutiae fanatics, I knew all four actresses, but answered with Davis and Baxter.)

Answer 6: We all have bugaboos. You know, that word you just can’t spell correctly, even though you’ve written it a thousand times? Or that phone number you always miss by a digit, even though you call it all the time? Well, when it comes to video game history, King’s Quest and THE LEGEND OF ZELDA constitute a bugaboo for me. I can’t tell you how many times over the years the correct answer to some trivia question was “The Legend of Zelda,” and I blurted out “King’s Quest” instead. I’m not sure why these two games are so completely conflated in my memory banks, but they are. Here again, the bugaboo stung. I even challenged myself before I submitted my answers: “Are you sure this isn’t The Legend of Zelda?” “Shut up, fool! It’s King’s Quest! I know what I’m doing!” One of these days, I’ll learn.

My esteemed opponent on this day answered five of the six questions accurately to my mere four, but we tied at 8 points each due to defensive assignment. His one miss was on a question I had assigned one point (Question 5); my two misses were questions he’d given one point and zero, respectively (Questions 2 and 6). This demonstrates how it’s possible in LearnedLeague to tie or even lose on a day when one’s opponent nails fewer right answers.

Defense is all — well, almost all — in LL.

Explore posts in the same categories: LearnedLeague, Listology, SwanStuff, That's Cool!, Trivial Pursuits

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