Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s "Crime" Blogger? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Dec. 21 2012 5:33 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 Slate Crime” blogger Justin Peters.


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

If a long-extinct Mesoamerican civilization somehow possessed the power to predict the future, then this is very likely your last day on Earth. I hope a short trivia quiz about the week's events helps pass the time as you await your doom. Of course, your score will be completely meaningless if the world ends today, but let's face it: When is a trivia quiz score not completely meaningless?

Question 1 of 12

What controversial document was passed in a referendum this week, despite criticisms that it was crafted by hard-liners and allows for future crackdowns on freedom of speech and women's rights?

Question 2 of 12

What 1980s newsmaker told reporters on Monday that, contrary to widespread speculation, he would not be joining the U.S. Senate next month?

Many in Massachusetts assumed that Gov. Deval Patrick would name Dukakis to fill John Kerry's Senate seat if President Obama names Kerry his new secretary of state.

Question 3 of 12

Last week, a Dutch carpenter named Johan Huibers unveiled a life-sized, 427-foot replica of what?

Johan's Ark contains a restaurant and movie theater in addition to animals both real (in a petting zoo) and fake (stuffed or plastic).

Question 4 of 12

House Republicans planned a vote this week on their so-called "Plan B" bill. In this scenario, what is "Plan A"?

President Obama has vowed to veto the legislation, which extends the Bush-era tax cuts for all households making less than $1 million.

Question 5 of 12

In only its second verdict in 10 years of existence, the International Criminal Court this week acquitted whom?

The court found insufficient evidence to declare Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui guilty for a 2003 massacre. Its first verdict, back in July, convicted another Congolese warlord.

Question 6 of 12

How many school shootings have there been in the United States since the 1999 Columbine massacre?

The school shooting at Sandy Hook was the 16th mass shooting in the United States this year.

Question 7 of 12

"If she has a concussion, let's see the medical report," wrote Daily Caller pundit Jim Treacher on Tuesday. Whose health excuse was he referring to?

Clinton was resting after suffering a fall last week, missing her scheduled testimony before a joint congressional committee, and provoking conservative skepticism.

Question 8 of 12

Norman Woodland, who died Sunday in New Jersey, was best known for what invention, which he first doodled in the sand of a Miami beach in the late 1940s?

Question 9 of 12

Biologist Phil Torres announced the discovery this week of a Peruvian spider that confuses predators how?

The Amazonian spider uses forest debris to construct a much larger and scarier-looking fake spider to share its web.

Question 10 of 12

On Wednesday, Park Geun-Hye became the first woman ever to do what?

The new president-elect is the daughter of Park Chung-Hee, dictator of South Korea from 1961 to 1979.

Question 11 of 12

Which of these is true of about 62 percent of America's 31,000 annual gun deaths?

Question 12 of 12

Being interviewed this week, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said that 49 years was "a little excessive." What was he referring to?

Berlusconi announced this week that he is engaged to 27-year-old former showgirl Francesca Pascale, founding member of a fan club called "Silvio, We Miss You."

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

Click to revisit answers

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December 21, 2012
The Egyptian constitution
The U.N. Internet treaty
The Syrian cease-fire
The Instagram terms of service
Peter Ueberroth
Oliver North
Michael Dukakis
Tone Loc
The Loch Ness Monster
The Statue of Liberty
The Great Hall at Hogwarts
Noah's Ark
Fiscal cliff negotiations
The Defense of Marriage Act
Filibuster reform
The Mayan apocalypse
A Sudanese warlord
A Congolese militia leader
A Honduran general
A Libyan intelligence chief
11
15
21
31
Susan Rice, who dropped her secretary of state bid
Kate Middleton, hospitalized for morning sickness
Hillary Clinton, unavailable for testimony on Benghazi
Lindsay Lohan, who missed a traffic hearing
Bubble-wrap
The bikini
The Slinky
The bar code
By building decoys of itself out of leaves
By mimicking the sound of snakes
By "hypnotizing" them with its web
By making them watch David Lynch films
Row across the Pacific Ocean
Win the presidency of South Korea
Earn a 10th-degree judo black belt
Be ordained as an Anglican bishop
They are accidents
They are suicides
The victims are under 25
The guns were owned illegally
The prison sentence he faces
His age gap with his new fiancee
His People of Freedom party's time in power
The running time of The Hobbit

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Justin Peters
Slate "Crime" Blogger

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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.