Think You’re Smarter Than John Dickerson? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
April 5 2013 5:55 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 political correspondent, John Dickerson.

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

What would motivate you to excel on this week's quiz? Threats of nuclear annihilation, in the style of North Korea's propaganda machine? Shoves, kicks, and slurs, à la Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice? Me, I'm more of a positive reinforcement kind of guy. So before you click on "Let's Get Started," let me just say this: I don't know you personally, but I believe in you. You're going to do great.

Question 1 of 12

Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved parliament on Wednesday, paving the way for elections that may end 56 years of his coalition's rule in what country?

Razak will go up against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in what experts predict will be a close race.

Question 2 of 12

According to a new survey, more than 28,000 of what have mysteriously disappeared from maps of China since the 1990s?

Only 22,909 rivers—less than half once found in China—apparently remain. The loss is believed to be a result of ill-advised development projects.

Question 3 of 12

Maria Belen Chapur, an Argentine journalist, raised eyebrows this week with her surprise appearance where?

Chapur is the woman who broke up Sanford's marriage in 2009 while he claimed to be "hiking the Appalachian Trail."

Question 4 of 12

Samoa Air this week became the world's first airline to charge passengers fares based directly on what?

As a result of Samoa's obesity problem, passengers will be weighed at airport scales to learn how much their seat will cost.

Question 5 of 12

"Erasure parties" were among the offenses reported in a grand jury indictment handed down in Atlanta on Friday. What allegedly happened at these parties?

Teachers involved in the Atlanta public school scandal allegedly changed the answers on students' standardized tests to boost scores.

Question 6 of 12

According to new research from Wales, what famous Briton was repeatedly prosecuted and fined for tax evasion and hoarding food?

Researchers argue that Shakespeare the hoarder and tax-evader was "redacted from history so that Shakespeare the creative genius could be born."

Question 7 of 12

NBC confirmed on Wednesday that Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show. In comparing the news to NBC's previous attempt at replacing him, what did Leno say was different about this time?

"I've kept it No. 1 for about 90 percent of my term here, and I would like to see Jimmy keep it at No. 1, which I'm sure he will," he added.

Question 8 of 12

According to one inmate's defense attorney, what is now true of about 78 percent of the detainees at Guantánamo prison?

While U.S. officials' estimates are lower, Shaker Aamer told his lawyer that around 130 of the 166 detainees are now striking, and some are being force-fed through their noses.

Question 9 of 12

Mally was confiscated and quarantined by German authorities last Thursday upon entering the country illegally. Who is Mally?

Question 10 of 12

In terms of softness and vulnerability, what was compared to a "boiled pumpkin" in headlines this week?

Question 11 of 12

On Wednesday, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the nation's strictest laws on what issue?

Besides banning assault rifles and requiring background checks, the bill in Sandy Hook's home state will create the first statewide registry of gun-crime violators.

Question 12 of 12

Researchers at U.C.-Santa Cruz have broken new ground by training a sea lion called Ronan to do what?

Ronan is the first (non-human) mammal to demonstrate a sense of rhythm.

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

Click to revisit answers

Final Score
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April 5, 2013

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John Dickerson

Slate's chief political correspondent






Military installations



Pope Francis' Easter speech

Mark Sanford's victory party

The Game of Thrones season premiere

The Carnival Triumph

Their weight

Their income

Fuel prices

Alcohol consumption

Ballots were tampered with

Test answers were changed

Corporate emails were deleted

1980s synthpop was enjoyed

William Shakespeare

Isaac Newton

Francis Drake

Sherlock Holmes

He was no longer No. 1 in the ratings

He was involved in the negotiations

He and Jimmy are friends

"I'm no longer funny"

They are U.S. citizens

They've been cleared for release

They're on hunger strikes

They've claimed torture

"Grumpy Cat"

A cloned salamander of a formerly extinct species

Justin Bieber's pet monkey

A champion racing ostrich

The U.S. mainland, according to Kim Jong-Un

Mary Landrieu's Senate seat, according to Reince Priebus

The Spanish economy, according to the EU

Kevin Ware's leg, according to his doctors



Gun control

Texting while driving

Play Jenga

Eat with chopsticks

An Al Pacino impression

Bob its head to a Backstreet Boys song


0 points


0 points

John Dickerson
Slate's chief political correspondent

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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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