Think You’re Smarter Than Allison Benedikt? Find Out With This Week’s Slate News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Aug. 31 2012 3:53 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

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Ken Jennings In 2011

Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images.

Welcome back to Slate’s 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 with 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 DoubleX managing editor Allison Benedikt.

Think you can ace my quiz and beat Benedikt? Good luck!

According to reports on Wednesday, an Oregon man named Devin Bost is suing the orthodontist who left his braces on for 11 years while his teeth rotted away. There is much we can learn from Bost's story, but for me it's a timely reminder that sometimes slow and steady isn't good enough. Speed matters. Keep that in mind while the timer ticks away on these 12 questions.

Question 1 of 12

Last Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised that the United Nations would not invade what location?

A Lubbock County, Texas, judge had warned of invasion. "Not even the United Nations would ever mess with Texas," said a spokesman.

Question 2 of 12

For the first time in 13 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their stance on what controversial issue, offering stronger support for the practice?

In their report, released Monday, the organization cited studies linking male circumcision to lowered HIV transmission.

Question 3 of 12

Because of a June lockout and stalled negotiations, whose jobs will be filled by nonunion replacements next weekend for the first time since 2001?

Question 4 of 12

63-year-old Japanese engineer Jinichi Kawakami claimed, in interviews earlier this month, what unique distinction?

Kawakami is the 21st and final head of the Ban family, a Japanese ninja clan dating back to the 16th century.

Question 5 of 12

NBC News, which broke the story of Neil Armstrong's death last weekend, made what mistake in their initial online posting?

Question 6 of 12

According to Ann Romney's Tuesday convention speech, what was unusual about the dining-room table in the Romneys' first tiny basement apartment?

Question 7 of 12

Who was compared this week to "someone's drunken uncle at Christmas dinner"?

Question 8 of 12

Lawyer Charles Verhoeven revealed to the media last week that 26 percent of the components in an iPhone 4 have what in common?

Despite Apple and Samsung's long-running patent battle, many Apple devices rely heavily on Samsung parts.

Question 9 of 12

According to Rep. Paul Ryan's Republican National Convention speech Wednesday night, which pair of rock bands can we be sure is not on his iPod?

Ryan jokingly apologized to his running mate for having a playlist that "starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin."

Question 10 of 12

Yahya Jammeh, president of the tiny African nation of Gambia, abruptly announced last week that his government would do what by mid-September?

Question 11 of 12

What did Boulder, Colo., researcher Walt Meier compare to "a giant Slushee" in the New York Times this week?

Only 30 percent of the Arctic Ocean is covered by ice right now, a record low since satellite imaging began.

Question 12 of 12

On Wednesday, French prosecutors opened an investigation into the death, almost a decade ago, of what man, after his widow and daughter filed a murder complaint?

Since Arafat's 2004 death, conspiracy theories have swirled in the Arab world over the cause of his stroke.

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

Click to revisit answers

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Week of August 31, 2012
Syria
South Sudan
Antarctica
Texas
Water fluoridation
Bottle-feeding
Circumcision
Home schooling
Broadway actors
Amtrak drivers
NFL referees
Costumed Disneyland characters
He was the inspiration for "Mario"
He is Japan's "last ninja"
He is the world's youngest sushi master
He ran the slowest marathon on record
They claimed "Neil Young" had died
They ran a moon photo from Superman II
The obituary described Lance Armstrong
They called the moon landing "an obvious hoax"
It was in the bedroom
It was covered in linoleum
It was so lopsided that peas would roll downhill
It was an ironing board
Joe Biden, in the new book about SEAL Team 6
Chris Christie, by a Yahoo reporter with a live mic
Bill Nye, in response to his Web video ripping creationism
Prince Harry, by his Las Vegas handlers
They contain toxic metals
They're made by Samsung
They cost less than a penny
They're made in sweatshops
The Go-Go's and the Bangles
Pearl Jam and Phish
ABBA and ZZ Top
Rage Against the Machine and Nine Inch Nails
Close all its embassies worldwide
Execute all its death row inmates
Replace its currency with the U.S. dollar
Ban the Internet
Arctic sea ice
Plaquemines Parish, La.
The surface of Mars
Honey Boo Boo's "go-go juice"
Simon Wiesenthal
Idi Amin
Yves Saint Laurent
Yasser Arafat

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DoubleX managing editor

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan

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