Play the Slate News Quiz with Quizmaster Ken Jennings

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
July 20 2012 6:15 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

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Slate presents Ken Jennings' weekly news quiz

Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images.

Welcome to Slate’s new weekly news quiz. I’m your host, 74-time Jeopardy! winner Ken Jennings.  

Every Friday I’ll be testing your knowledge with 12 challenging questions on the week’s news events, big and small, including happenings in science, sports, politics, and culture both high and low. The questions are multiple-choice, and time is of the essence: You have 30 seconds to answer, and as the seconds tick away, the question’s point value drops from 50 all the way down to zero, so you’ll want to click on your answer as fast as you possibly can. There’s no penalty for an incorrect answer, so feel free to take a guess if your puny human brain fails you.

At the end of the quiz, you’ll be able to compare your score to that of the average contestant, as well as to the score of a Slate staffer whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s contestant is Slate editor David Plotz.

Think you can ace my quiz and best David Plotz? Good luck! 

As I learned from my own trivia guru, Alex Trebek, it's much easier to look smart when the correct answers are written down right in front of you, so I'm enormously relieved to be on the other side of the host's podium for a change. (But please, no answering in the form of a question. It'll just embarrass both of us.)

Question 1 of 12

It was reported this week that for the first time, the average Canadian household is richer than the average American one. But a Toronto Star article the same day reported what new problem with Canadian money?

The new polymer bills melt when left near heat sources like toaster ovens, according to the Toronto Star.

Question 2 of 12

An extraordinary 54.6 percent of the United States is currently experiencing the highest percentage of what in half a century?

Question 3 of 12

The New Horizons team of scientists announced the discovery of P5 last week. What is P5?

Question 4 of 12

Radio host Rush Limbaugh wondered aloud this week if "a lot of brain-dead people … the pop-culture crowd" would be unduly influenced at the ballot box by what summer movie?

The Bane character actually debuted in Batman comics in 1993, so Hollywood liberals have clearly been playing the long con.

Question 5 of 12

Fill in the blanks: In a show of newly-consolidated power, ______ was officially named "Marshal" of _____ on Tuesday.

Question 6 of 12

Who said last week, "I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about"?

Question 7 of 12

What was the geek-culture legacy of Donald J. Sobol, who died in Miami last week at the age of 87?

Question 8 of 12

The archaeological world was rocked Wednesday by the University of Innsbruck's discovery of what anachronistic-seeming item in the ruins of a medieval castle?

Question 9 of 12

"Honestly, I preferred New York," Jeremy Lin told Sports Illustrated, but next season he'll be playing in what city instead?

Lin will play for the Houston Rockets.

Question 10 of 12

What is historic about Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's election this week-breaking a six-month deadlock-as leader of the African Union?

She is the first woman to head the African Union Commission.

Question 11 of 12

After recent controversy, reform of Libor will be discussed at an international financial conference in September. What is Libor?

The Libor is the most widely used benchmark interest rate in the world.

Question 12 of 12

A Chinese amusement park called Merry-Land has made headlines this summer by offering half-price admission to patrons willing to wear what?

Other visitors are encouraged to hose down the miniskirt wearers with water. Attendance has skyrocketed.

You got 8 out of 12 answers correct in 20 minutes 30 seconds.

Click to revisit answers

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Week of July 20, 2012
It smells funny
It melts
A past prime minister's name is misspelled
Upside-down, its Braille dots spell obscenities
Moderate to extreme drought
Declining real estate prices
Obesity
"Olympic fever"
A new moon of Pluto
A Manhattan-size iceberg calving off Greenland
A particle believed to be the elusive Higgs boson
Medical marijuana that produces no "high"
Prometheus, in which a ruthless corporation kills off its heavily accented employees
Ice Age: Continental Drift, for its alarmist global-warming agenda
The Dark Knight Rises, because its villain, Bane, sounds like "Bain Capital"
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, about a violent, revenge-obsessed Republican
Hugo Chavez, Venezuela
Kim Jong-un, North Korea
Bashar al-Assad, Syria
Betty White, the Rose Parade
Sue Paterno, speaking about the Freeh Report
Eric Holder, speaking about the "Fast and Furious" documents
Mitt Romney, speaking about his tax returns
Tom Cruise, speaking about his divorce settlement
He invented the coin-operated pinball machine
He was the voice of HAL in 2001
He wrote the Scooby-Doo theme
He created Encyclopedia Brown
A toilet plunger
A turducken
Bubble wrap
A brassiere
Cleveland
Houston
Phoenix
Philadelphia
Dlamini-Zuma is a woman
Dlamini-Zuma is Muslim
Dlamini-Zuma is HIV-positive
Dlamini-Zuma was not born in Africa
The Lending Institution Bill of Rights
The Life Insurance Board of Regulation
The London Interbank Offered Rate
The Leading Indicators for Brokerage Offices Report
A webcam
A blindfold
A superhero outfit
A miniskirt

Average

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You

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David Plotz
Editor of Slate

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan

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Ken Jennings is a 74-time Jeopardy! winner and is the author of six books, most recently the Junior Genius Guides.

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