Think You’re Smarter Than David Plotz? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz—Special Year in Review Edition!

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Dec. 26 2013 11:55 PM

Play the Slate News Quiz—Special Year-in-Review Edition!

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-ster whom I’ve talked into taking the quiz on the record. This week’s quiz is a special year-in-review edition, and the contestant is David Plotz, the editor of Slate.


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

The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings

"Carlos Danger, Paula Deen, Batkid keeps the city clean..." Or so might Billy Joel sing, if, as I sometimes suspect, he is still writing a new verse every year for his hit song "We Didn't Start the Fire." How much of 2013 do you remember? It's time to look back with our annual Slate News Quiz on the year that was.

Question 1 of 12

Who made headlines in 2013 while wearing an iconic pair of bright pink Mizuno "Wave Rider" sneakers?

Davis became a national political figure overnight by filibustering a Texas abortion bill for 11 hours.

Question 2 of 12

According to the North Korean media, which of these was not one of the offenses that led to Kim Jong-un's execution of his own uncle, Jang Song-thaek?

Jang faced a firing squad in December. The North Korean news agency called him "worse than a dog" and "human scum" in its 2,700-word denunciation.

Question 3 of 12

The number of people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan's destruction in the Philippines is roughly equal to the population of what U.S. city?

The United Nations says 14.1 million people were affected by the typhoon, and 4.1 million—roughly the population of LA—have been displaced.

Question 4 of 12

Which of the following actions is apparently grounds to be removed from office as mayor of Toronto?

Even after all of the above, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford enjoyed an approval rating above 40 percent.

Question 5 of 12

Fill in the blanks: Sales of the book ______ rose 6,021 percent on Amazon earlier this year thanks to the headlines made by ______.

Question 6 of 12

How many people successfully signed up for Obamacare on the first day that went live?

Question 7 of 12

In October, the Albuquerque Journal ran an obituary for whom, despite the fact that the dear departed never actually existed?

"In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a drug abuse prevention charity," ended the obit, which was paid for by a group of Breaking Bad fans.

Question 8 of 12

"We're not going to be disrespected," said Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.). "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is." What was Stutzman referring to?

Question 9 of 12

The Czech ambassador to the United States had to issue a statement this year reminding Internet rowdies that his country bore no responsibility for what?

The Tsarnaev brothers claim Chechen descent, which confused some Americans. "The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities," noted the embassy.

Question 10 of 12

On average, what happened every two weeks in America in 2013?

There have been 25 school shootings since Newtown, resulting in at least 24 injuries and 17 deaths.

Question 11 of 12

Time's Person of the Year, Pope Francis, has broken with tradition by driving around the Vatican in what?

The Renault has 190,000 miles on it. Pope Francis has shocked his staff by doing his own driving.

Question 12 of 12

Despite sharing no formal diplomatic relations, what longtime enemies reached a historic agreement in Geneva in November?

Click to revisit answers

December 27, 2013

Anonymous User

Log in to track your scores!


David Plotz

Editor of Slate

Wendy Davis

George Zimmerman

Miley Cyrus

Lance Armstrong

Distributing porn

Adopting a "counter-revolutionary" hairstyle

Gambling away $6 million at casinos

Clapping half-heartedly at rallies




Los Angeles

Drinking and driving

Smoking crack on video

Making death threats on video

None of the above

The Martian Chronicles, the Curiosity rover

1984, Edward Snowden

Green Eggs and Ham, Marco Rubio

Black Like Me, Julianne Hough





Walter White

Jay Gatsby

Brian from Family Guy

Lennay Kekua

U.S. action against Syria

The Superstorm Sandy aid package

United States v. Windsor

The government shutdown

The Super Bowl blackout

The bitcoin collapse

The Boston Marathon bombings

The Kardashians

A Senate filibuster

A school shooting

A U.S. state legalized gay marriage

Alec Baldwin apologized for something

A rented Fiat

A golf cart

A used 1984 Renault

A station wagon

Israel and Palestine

India and China

The U.S. and Iran

Jimmy Kimmel and Kanye West


0 points


0 points

David Plotz
Editor of Slate

0 points

Answer quickly to earn more points!
50 points



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.



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath The Methane Lakes of Titan?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.