Testing your knowledge of what happened this week
Oct. 10 1998 3:30 AM


No. 121: "Useless"

By Randy Cohen


Fill in the blank. Speaking in Israel, James Rubin, a spokesman for Madeleine Albright, said, "Nobody is in a rush to use ___________." by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer (

Responses to Wednesday's question (No. 120)--"Oh, What a System":
Pleased with yesterday's result, who said this about what? "Thank God, once again the system works!"

"The Cleveland Indians on their pact with the devil."--Beth Sherman

"A Nobel Prize-winning portfolio manager of Long-Term Capital, enjoying a rare lucky day at the dog track."--Jennifer Miller

"The manager of the Backstreet Boys, on payola."--Brooke Saucier

"Sen. Orrin Hatch, upon successful digestion of his ill-conceived lunch order, the Taco Bell Burrito Grande Supreme."--Colleen Werthmann

"Briefly disquieted at the thought the United States' get-tough policy with Bosnia might change and actually result in concrete humanitarian action, President Slobodan Milosevic was pleased to see that his forces were able to move into a sleepy village of ethnic Albanians and carry out their appointed massacre, unfettered. On an amusing note, there were no survivors."--David Rakoff

Click here for more responses.

Randy's Wrap-Up
The system operates to the advantage of its owner-operators: That's the cynical assumption of most "News Quiz" players with the maturity to demur from intestinal references. What's true at Caesar's Palace is true on Capitol Hill: The legal system operates in favor of those who own it, or at least those who rent a legislator. Still, the law offers a curious, if not entirely reliable, protection even to the poor and the weak; genuine progress in civil rights was achieved through the courts. The idea that the law must be applied to all--the equal protection clause--is the theoretical basis of the legal lives of children, which is pretty much just the constant lament, "That's not fair!" What they mean is: The rules are not being consistently applied. Even we adults who devised the system must be subject to its rules lest we undermine the whole sweet setup. The owners of Caesar's Palace realize that they too must bust if they take a hit at 15, draw a seven, and end up with 22. But over the long run, the owners of Caesar's and Chase and Pepsico will win. As long as they get plenty of fiber.

Walk in the Sun Once Again Answer
As Juris Odens and David Finkle know (click here), Imelda Marcos applauded a Philippine Supreme Court ruling that overturned her corruption conviction, saving her from a possible 12 years in jail. Although she and her husband are believed to have stolen billions from the Philippines, this was the only case in which she'd been found guilty. "Justice prevailed," she said.

Don't Get Your Hopes Up, White House Malaise Extra
(All quotations from today's papers.)

"There are no magic wands. These problems developed over many years and it will take time to work them through."--Robert Rubin

"We still have some distance to go but I think we're making some progress. I think there remain some stumbling blocks."--Joe Lockhart

"I wasn't born yesterday, and there are still very many hard problems out there. Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."--Madeleine Albright

"I think we made some reasonable progress, in general. I think we've got a chance. Nothing is resolved until everything is resolved."--Erskine Bowles

What's On? Simple Sentences Extra
(All drawn verbatim from the Wednesday and Thursday New York Times TV listings.)


Fran refuses.
Austin replaces.
Detectives discover.
Phil develops.
Mary decides
Drew decides.
Dawson and Joey ponder.
Josh confronts.
Niles agrees.
The gang hunts.
Weaver vies.
Ross gets.
Lucy hides.
Benton keeps.
Sean makes.
A boy must.
Human bomb needs.
Birth mother voices.


Disclaimer: All submissions will become the property of Slate and will be published at Slate's discretion. Slate may publish your name on its site in connection with your submission.

Randy Cohen used to write Slate's "News Quiz." His most recent book—oh, like you don't know.