Think You’re Smarter Than XX Factor Writer Alyssa Rosenberg? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
June 21 2013 5:45 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 Slatester whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s contestant is Alyssa Rosenberg, who writes about culture and television for Slate’s “XX Factor” blog.

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

Note: The Slate Quiz will take a short vacation the next few weeks, and will return on July 19.

Losing the great James Gandolfini this week was hard enough, but there were other casualties in the news as well: Arizona's voter ID law (struck down by the Supreme Court), pilgrimages to Lourdes (canceled due to flooding), and the Czech government (toppled by a juicy spying scandal). Even in the face of all this loss, it's not too late to eke out a win at the Slate News Quiz. You can do it. Don't stop believin'.

Question 1 of 12

"I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now," asserted what newsmaker in a confusing reply on Monday?

Snowden was denying that he was a Chinese spy, as Dick Cheney and others had suggested after he fled to Hong Kong.

Question 2 of 12

Last Friday, noting that a "red line" specified in August 2012 has been crossed, President Obama authorized what?

The decision to supplement the current nonlethal and humanitarian aid is the result of evidence that Bashar al-Assad's regime has used chemical weapons.

Question 3 of 12

A class-action suit filed by documentarian Jennifer Nelson threatens the estimated $2 million earned by Warner Music every year from people doing what?

The Warner Music Group allegedly earns $5,000 a day from commercial uses of "Happy Birthday," which Nelson's suit contends has been in the public domain since 1963 at the latest.

Question 4 of 12

A DNA paternity test given in Scotland last week resolved a brewing controversy: Socks is not the father of Scamp. Who is Socks?

Socks, who moonwalked into fame in a British mobile phone commercial, had been spotted by his owner swimming 175 yards across a loch to romance a mare named Nugget.

Question 5 of 12

A national legislature approved Chinese tycoon Wang Jing's ambitious $40 billion plan last week to build a new competitor to what?

The Nicaraguan national assembly approved a plan to explore a new oceanic mega-canal through the nation that would dwarf Panama's.

Question 6 of 12

During a speech at a Carnegie Hall gala last week, Russian president Vladimir Putin was accused of stealing what unusual item?

Putin denies the story, saying the ring was "a gift." Patriots owner Robert Kraft agrees that this was the story the Bush White House encouraged him to tell, for diplomatic reasons.

Question 7 of 12

Neighbors in Michael Karkoc's Minneapolis neighborhood described the 94-year-old as "jovial and stuff." Karkoc is alleged to have done what?

Question 8 of 12

What odd fad, sparked by a music video, has led to an outbreak of conjunctivitis among Japanese teens?

Doctors warn that oculolinctus (sexualized eye-licking) can cause corneal damage and even blindness.

Question 9 of 12

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously last week in the landmark case of AMP v. Myriad that what cannot be patented?

The court disallowed Myriad Genetics' patent on genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

Question 10 of 12

The FBI spent two days digging up an overgrown farm field in Oakland Township, Mich., this week, in hopes of finding what?

This was the umpteenth in a series of tips on the missing Teamster leader's whereabouts that the bureau has received over the decades.

Question 11 of 12

The U.S. Navy has dropped a century-old rule requiring what in all internal communication?

"Lower-case messages are here to stay," said the Navy, discovering the annoyingness of all-caps messages just 20 years after the Internet did.

Question 12 of 12

Small demonstrations over rising bus fares have ballooned into huge rallies numbering more than 200,000 protesters in what nation?

Worries over rising inflation and crime rates have led to massive marches in Brazil's major cities.

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

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June 21, 2013

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vs.

Alyssa Rosenberg

writer for Slate's "XX Factor"

Edward Snowden

Wendi Deng Murdoch

Kanye West

"Miss Utah" Marissa Powell

Raising the debt ceiling

Sanctions against Iran

Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Military aid to Syrian rebels

Downloading ringtones

Singing "Happy Birthday to You"

Remixing Prince songs

The "Electric Slide"

An albino giant panda

The world's first cloned rabbit

A moonwalking Shetland pony

A cat who saved seven people from a house fire

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline

The International Space Station

The Panama Canal

The Internet

A New England Patriots Super Bowl ring

An ironing board from Keith Richards' guesthouse

A haunted sword

Two pairs of U.S. Secret Service sunglasses

Led a Nazi SS unit in 1944

Poisoned a local aquifer with arsenic

Spied on the State Department for the USSR

Eaten at least six of his murder victims

Ham eyepatches

Eye glitter

Contact lens swapping

Eyeball-licking

Genetically modified organisms

Recipes

Human DNA

Software

An alien spacecraft

Paintings from a Boston art heist

Billions of counterfeit Canadian dollars

The remains of Jimmy Hoffa

A duplicate paper copy

All capital letters

Morse code

A loyalty oath

Indonesia

Brazil

Poland

Nigeria

Average

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You

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Alyssa Rosenberg
writer for Slate's "XX Factor"

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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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