The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings: Play the news quiz for the week of July 11.

Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s Business Blogger? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Think You’re Smarter Than Slate’s Business Blogger? Find Out With This Week’s News Quiz.

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
July 10 2014 11:55 PM

Play the Slate News Quiz

With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY - JANUARY 13: Contestant Ken Jennings competes against 'Watson' at a press conference to discuss the upcoming Man V. Machine 'Jeopardy!' competition at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center on January 13, 2011 in Yorktown Heights, New York. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

Ben Hider

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 contestant is Alison Griswold, Slate’s business blogger.


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

The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings

In fossil news this week, the world's largest bird has been identified. The long-extinct Pelagornis sandersi had a 24-foot wingspan, more than twice as wide as today's champ, the royal albatross. Meanwhile, researchers in British Columbia have discovered the 52-million-year-old fossil of a tiny mammal about the length of a human thumb, which makes it the smallest hedgehog ever discovered. Here are 12 questions on more of this week's news, both big stuff and small.

Question 1 of 12

On Tuesday, President Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion to address what problem?

Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied child migrants from Central America have been stopped trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Question 2 of 12

Long lines and critical shortages of what were expected in Washington state this week?

Legal pot sales began in the Evergreen State on Tuesday, but only about 80 growers out of 2,600 applicants have been approved and licensed so far.

Question 3 of 12

Former politician Ray Nagin was sentenced to 10 years this week on 20 counts of corruption, mostly from schemes that followed what event?

Nagin was mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010.

Question 4 of 12

Roy Cockrum of Knoxville, Tennessee, won $259.8 million playing Powerball, several years after he did what?

Brother Roy will donate most of the winnings to charity, as he's a lifelong member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. (One who still buys Powerball tickets, apparently.)

Question 5 of 12

For decades, President Warren G. Harding's descendants have prevented the publication of letters to his longtime mistress Carrie Fulton Phillips, which contain what surprising revelation?

"Wish I could take you to Mount Jerry. Wonderful spot," he once wrote to Phillips. She was the wife of his close friend—and possibly a spy for the Germans during World War I.

Question 6 of 12

According to a four-month Washington Post investigation, nine out of 10 people caught in the NSA's surveillance web had what in common?

In a literary vein, the Post also contemplates the "startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality" of much of the content.

Question 7 of 12

The defense, led by lawyer Barry Roux, rested this week in what man's trial, which stands adjourned until final arguments begin in August?

Pistorius' family and defense team protested this week when a video of the South African athlete re-enacting the shooting was leaked to television.

Question 8 of 12

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is bankrolling a proposed new form of birth control that can be turned on and off how?

The tiny implant is a microchip that can last up to 16 years. For obvious reasons, the developers' biggest concern at the moment is making sure the device can't be hacked.

Question 9 of 12

In unusual video footage released this week, who was spotted limping across a stage for reasons unknown?

The North Korean media is typically carefully controlled to avoid any such signs of weakness.

Question 10 of 12

Attention, vegetarians: A new study from the University of Missouri has found that plants can do what?

There's new evidence that plants can feel the vibrations of predators like caterpillars chewing on their leaves, so they can bulk up their defense systems.

Question 11 of 12

Tensions in the Middle East rose this week as Israel carried out airstrikes on more than 750 targets where?

Israel was responding to rocket salvos fired by Hamas militants deep into Israeli territory.

Question 12 of 12

A young man from Columbus, Ohio, named Zack Brown made more than $40,000 on Kickstarter this week after he asked for $10 for what worthy cause?

"It might not be that good," Brown warned potential donors. "It's my first potato salad."

Click to revisit answers

July 11, 2014

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Alison Griswold

Business Blogger

The unrest in Iraq

Illegal immigration

Climate change

People who still leave voicemail

Diesel fuel

Voting machines

Hospital beds


The Boston Marathon bombing

The 2002 Winter Olympics

Hurricane Katrina

The government shutdown

Awoke from a 40-year coma

Won $120 million playing Lottery Canada

Took a monastic vow of poverty

Predicted that a comet would destroy the Earth

He preferred prostitutes with large feet

They once had a threesome with King Albert of Belgium

He liked to dress as a cowgirl

He called his penis "Jerry"

They were Muslim

They were not the intended target

They were American citizens

They did not exist

Oscar Pistorius

Donald Sterling

James Eagan Holmes

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

With a timer

With a change of underwear

With a remote control

With a Supreme Court decision

Pope Francis

Kim Jong-un

Vladimir Putin

The entire Brazilian soccer team

Raise blood cholesterol more than bacon

Do math

Communicate through their roots

Hear themselves being eaten


The West Bank



To make a dish of potato salad

To drop a bowling ball off his apartment building

To attend a bike rodeo

To get a tattoo of Charlie Rose


0 points


0 points

Alison Griswold
Business Blogger

0 points

Answer quickly to earn more points!
50 points



Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan

Update, July 13, 2014: Tablet users might see incorrect numbers in Questions 1 and 12. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to resolve it.