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

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Jan. 25 2013 5:37 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’s chief explainer, Brian Palmer.

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

A tunnel in Norway has been closed all week due to a dangerous fire burning within: A truck full of flammable stuff caught fire and was abandoned near the tunnel entrance last week. The dangerous cargo? Norwegian brunost—a popular type of goat cheese. "I didn't know that brown cheese burns so well," said a Norwegian highway official. If any of the possible answers in this week's Slate Quiz seem too strange to be true, just remember the fiery fondue of Tysfjord, Norway.

Question 1 of 12

A group calling itself "Those Who Signed in Blood" made headlines last week for what news event?

The ominously named brigade is an al-Qaida splinter group.

Question 2 of 12

According to the name of the debt ceiling suspension bill passed by the House on Wednesday, what will happen if a budget isn't passed by April 15?

The "no budget, no pay" bill is also expected to pass in the Senate, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Question 3 of 12

Why will the TSA be removing Rapiscan X-ray body scanners from airports by June?

Congress imposed a June 1 deadline for manufacturers to replace the machines' body images with cartoon-like outlines, and Rapiscan couldn't comply in time.

Question 4 of 12

The newly formed Yesh Atid, or "Future Party," was the unexpected big winner this week in elections held where?

Question 5 of 12

Two new studies released Thursday reveal that American women's risk of death from what is at an all-time high?

Women today start smoking earlier and smoke more, found the American Cancer Society, so their cancer risk is almost 10 times what it was in the 1960s.

Question 6 of 12

According to a University of Ottawa professor, what shocking error has been made on Canada's new $20, $50, and $100 bills?

It's not a Canadian sugar maple leaf at all, says a botany professor, but a Norwegian species found nowhere in Canada.

Question 7 of 12

An Irish county council, in an effort to fight loneliness and depression, voted this week to legalize what in rural areas?

The council plans to issue permits that will allow elderly people in isolated areas to drive drunk. Three of the five council members who voted in favor are pub owners.

Question 8 of 12

Which of these participants in Monday's inauguration festivities was actually a vocal Ron Paul supporter during much of 2012?

Question 9 of 12

It was announced last Thursday that the Mona Lisa is the first painting ever to achieve what remarkable feat?

"This is the first time anyone has achieved one-way laser communication at planetary distances," said a NASA investigator.

Question 10 of 12

Sergei Filin said Tuesday that he blames last week's attack, in which he was splashed with sulfuric acid, on power struggles at work. What was Filin's job?

Filin, who suffered third-degree burns and eye damage, hinted that the attack was a result of cutthroat competition for leading dance roles.

Question 11 of 12

Super Bowl XLVII will be the first Super Bowl in which the two coaches have what in common?

John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. His brother, Jim, is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Question 12 of 12

What iconic item, originally purchased in 1965 for just $1, was bought by a Phoenix business owner on Saturday for more than $4.2 million?

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

Click to revisit answers

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January 25, 2013
Syrian attacks on Turkey
Unrest in Greece
The Algerian hostage crisis
"Gun Appreciation Day"
Lawmakers won't be paid
The government will shut down
Automatic military spending cuts kick in
The president's dog dies
Privacy concerns
Radiation levels are too high
Lines are too long
The scanners add 10 pounds
Jordan
Slovenia
Indonesia
Israel
Smoking
Diabetes
Alzheimer's
Car crash followed by leukemia
Greenland is drawn as part of Canada
The maple leaf is the wrong species
The "French" translation is actually Provençal
The Nickelback drummer has his eyes closed
Gambling
Drunk driving
Street gangs
Bestiality
Beyoncé
James Taylor
Kelly Clarkson
John Roberts
It was viewed by its billionth visitor
It was copied by a Rhesus monkey
It was seen by a blind man
It was beamed to the Moon by laser
Chef de cuisine, L'Arpège
Executive director, NHL Players' Association
Head judge, Miss Universe pageant
Artistic director, Bolshoi Ballet
They are African-American
They are former quarterbacks
They are brothers
They are Canadian
John Lennon's eyeglasses
The Batmobile
Kermit the Frog
The first Big Mac

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Brian Palmer
Slate's chief explainer

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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.

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