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.



Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
Oct. 21 2014 11:37 AM What Was It Like to Work at the Original Napster?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.