The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings: Play the news quiz for the week of Sept. 21.

Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s Politics Editor Will Dobson? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s Politics Editor Will Dobson? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Sept. 21 2012 3:43 AM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

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 William J. Dobson, Slate’s politics and foreign affairs editor and the author of The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy.


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

It was a big week for media genies that refused to go back into their bottles: the infamous Innocence of Muslims home movie currently sparking violence in the Middle East, the video of Mitt Romney calling nearly half of his fellow Americans "victims," even the paparazzi photos of the Duchess of Cambridge getting an all-over tan. But all news gets forgotten sooner or later. Case in point: How well do you remember these events from the past seven days?

Question 1 of 12

The government's controversial Operation Fast and Furious, condemned in a new Justice Department report this week, allowed what to be smuggled across the Mexican border?

Question 2 of 12

Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani accused a U.N. agency this week of having been infiltrated by "terrorists and saboteurs." According to Abbasi-Davani, what had been targeted by these acts of sabotage?

According to the Iranian government, the International Atomic Energy Agency is responsible for attacks on the power lines to two nuclear enrichment plants.

Question 3 of 12

Ronald Post, a convicted murderer in an Ohio prison, filed Tuesday to delay his execution on what unusual grounds?

Post's lawyers argued that his obesity would make any attempt at lethal injection problematic.

Question 4 of 12

Last week, scientists stripped El Azizia, Libya, of its 90-year-old record, meaning that Death Valley, Calif., is now officially the ______ place on Earth.

The meteorologists decided that the record 1922 measurement in El Azizia—136.4 F—was made using an obsolete and unreliable type of thermometer.

Question 5 of 12

On Tuesday, a Harvard professor revealed a shocking fourth-century piece of papyrus demonstrating that early Christians believed what about Jesus?

Question 6 of 12

An interesting sidelight to the Romney "47 percent" video is that the researcher who brought it forward is the grandson of whom?

James Carter IV is the unemployed Atlanta political wonk who convinced the video's anonymous owner to release it to Mother Jones.

Question 7 of 12

On Monday, the Kremlin revealed that it had been keeping what secret about Siberia's Popigai asteroid crater for decades?

The crater reportedly contains trillions of carats worth of low-grade industrial diamonds, 10 times the current global reserves.

Question 8 of 12

On Wednesday, it was announced that Chimney Rock, Colo., will be the site of the third what created by the Obama administration?

The site, once a home of the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians, follows new national monuments at Ford Ord, Calif., and Fort Monroe, Va.

Question 9 of 12

McDonald's announced that beginning on Monday it would be among the first fast-food chains to add what to its menus nationwide? 

Question 10 of 12

Tuesday marked the 81st anniversary of a historic invasion, producing protests and tensions between what two countries this week?

Anti-Japanese protests rocked China on Tuesday, sparked by the anniversary of the 1931 invasion of Manchuria as well as a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands.

Question 11 of 12

A Dane County judge named Juan Colas created mass confusion in his state last Friday by striking down much of "Act 10." What activity did Act 10 controversially restrict?

Act 10 was the 2011 anti-labor legislation proposed by Gov. Scott Walker to reduce Wisconsin's budget deficit.

Question 12 of 12

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is investigating reports that one of its helicopters was used last week to do what?

The chopper apparently dropped a stuffed animal onto the grounds of a Virginia high school in hopes that Victoria Burress, 17, would accompany a customs officer's son to "Fall Fest."

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

Click to revisit answers

Final Score
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September 21, 2012
Stolen cars
Illegal immigrants
Syrian army units
Iranian nuclear plants
Palestinian Internet servers
Libyan oil fields
He knows where a legendary treasure is buried
He now identifies as a woman
He weighs 480 pounds
He believes the world will end in December
He was wealthy
He was fictional
He was married
He wore socks with his sandals
Jimmy Carter
Alan Greenspan
Robert Kennedy
Oral Roberts
It's radioactive
It's manmade
It's full of fondue
It's full of diamonds
National monument
Hydroelectric plant
Federal prison
Locally sourced food
Calorie counts
Beer and wine
Actual meat
Italy and Libya
China and Japan
Russia and Georgia
Greece and Turkey
Early voting
Birth control
Collective bargaining
Fly Senate candidates to campaign events
Photograph nude sunbathers
Buzz an NFL game
Help a teenager invite a girl to a dance


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Will Dobson
Slate's Political Editor

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan