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

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Jan. 16 2014 11:36 PM

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 Matthew Yglesias, Slate’s business and economics correspondent. He is also the author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


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

The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings

"The past is never dead," William Faulkner famously wrote. And the dead aren't past, as the Telegraph reported this week. In the village of Peio in the Italian Alps, global warming is melting mountain glaciers, revealing the corpses of more than 80 soldiers who died in the region's "White War" during World War I. Test your skill at unearthing other events from the past on this week's Slate News Quiz.

Question 1 of 12

Which of these films was unexpectedly passed over for a Best Picture Oscar nomination on Thursday?

Question 2 of 12

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down government guidelines that have long regulated what kind of traffic?

In Verizon v. FCC, the court ruled against the government's "net neutrality" rules.

Question 3 of 12

This week, Israel's defense minister apologized for criticizing the "messianic fervor" of what public figure not famous for being particularly fervid?

Moshe Ya'alon is fed up with what he calls Kerry's "misplaced obsession" with Palestinian peace talks.

Question 4 of 12

The United Nations has announced the largest fundraising campaign in its history, a $6 billion effort to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis where?

The U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights has suspended its casualty estimates for the Syrian civil war at 100,000 deaths, citing insufficient information.

Question 5 of 12

According to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, for the first time in history, more than half the members of Congress are now what?

Question 6 of 12

What unusual item did a Dallas nonprofit auction off last weekend to raise money for black rhino conservation?

The Dallas Safari Club raised an unprecedented $350,000 by selling the incredibly ironic permit to a hunter.

Question 7 of 12

On Monday, Southwest Airlines grounded two pilots for what offense?

The flight was supposed to land in Branson, Mo. For reasons not entirely clear, the pilots accidentally landed 6 miles away in the small town of Hollister.

Question 8 of 12

On Friday, President Obama was set to outline a new set of reforms to what government agency?

Question 9 of 12

In Philadelphia on Tuesday, federal judge Anita Brody rejected a $765 million settlement for victims of what?

Judge Brody explained that it was unclear whether the money would be enough to cover every player in need of aid.

Question 10 of 12

On Jan. 20, the clock starts ticking on the U.S.'s "Joint Plan of Action," a preliminary six-month deal with what nation?

According to the deal agreed upon in November, the U.S. will ease sanctions in Iran in exchange for Iran limiting its uranium enrichment.

Question 11 of 12

According to Spanish newspaper El Universal, a man was arrested at a drunken-driving checkpoint in Mexico City last week after police learned that he was drunk by consulting what?

"He's drunk! He's drunk!" said the man's pet parrot, heartlessly betraying his owner. A sobriety test confirmed the parrot's diagnosis.

Question 12 of 12

On Friday, astronomers announced what discovery about the dark side of the moon?

Working from an observatory in Hawaii, scientists have for the first time measured the color of the moon's shadowed half, which is lit only by reflected earthlight.

Click to revisit answers

January 17, 2014

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Matthew Yglesias

Slate's business and economics correspondent

Captain Phillips

Inside Llewyn Davis


The Wolf of Wall Street

Internet traffic

Domestic drone traffic

International narcotics traffic

George Washington Bridge traffic

Prince Charles

John Kerry

Angela Merkel

Mitt Romney

South Sudan

The Central African Republic


West Virginia


Gun owners

Women or minorities


A self-portrait by George W. Bush

A Chinese fighter jet

Naming rights to a species of leech

A permit to hunt black rhinos

Landing at the wrong airport


Insulting an elderly passenger over the PA

Sex in the cockpit





Bernie Madoff's investment fraud

Catholic clergy abuse

NFL concussions

The "Cola Wars"





His bumper sticker

His Facebook

His horoscope

His parrot

It has frozen water

It is a giant extinct volcano

It is turquoise

It syncs up amazingly with The Wizard of Oz


0 points


0 points

Matthew Yglesias
Slate's business and economics correspondent

0 points

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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.



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