The Slate Quiz with quizmaster Ken Jennings: Test your knowledge of the news in 2012.

Play Slate’s News Quiz—Special Year in Review Edition!

Play Slate’s News Quiz—Special Year in Review Edition!

Test your knowledge of the week’s news.
Dec. 28 2012 5:36 AM

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 staffer 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 Slate editor David Plotz.


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

Usually the Slate News Quiz recaps the events of the past week while they're still current. This week is a little different, though: We'll be challenging your long-term, not your short-term, memory. In this "Year in Review" quiz, we'll be looking back at the highlights and lowlights of 2012, to see if you can remember things that happened more than seven days ago.

Question 1 of 12

Which 2012 newsmaker missed a designated entry point by more than a mile at the beginning of the "seven minutes of terror"?

The touchdown at "Bradbury Landing" was actually remarkably accurate, well within NASA's 12-by-4-mile target.

Question 2 of 12

Which of these Internet-age metrics did not pass 1 billion for the first time in 2012?

"Call Me Maybe" was the most downloaded song of 2012, but its total sales are closer to 10 million than 1 billion.

Question 3 of 12

Which of these issues was not mentioned at any of the 2012 presidential debates, its first no-show since 1984?

Until this year, global warming had been a debated topic in every presidential campaign since 1988, when James Hansen of NASA famously testified before the Senate on the topic.

Question 4 of 12

The Washington Post's report on the 12 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history noted that fully half of them had what in common?

Question 5 of 12

Which of these odd pop-culture collisions did not occur during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics?

Question 6 of 12

Which of these is not one of the so-called "PIGS" countries, the Eurozone governments flirting with bankruptcy in 2012?

The I in "PIGS" is actually for Italy, though sometimes Ireland is thrown in, to make it "PIIGS." Iceland's banks collapse in 2008 was followed by three years of economic recovery.

Question 7 of 12

In September, who explained to the Carmel Pine Cone, "They vet most of the people, but I told them, 'You can't do that with me' "?

The interview with his hometown paper was Eastwood's first comment on his unorthodox convention speech, much of which was delivered in dialog with an empty chair.

Question 8 of 12

In June, who joked that he was spending part of his summer on the island of Malta because "an impregnable island fortress ... seemed like a good idea"?

Roberts had just handed down the deciding vote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, controversially upholding Obamacare.

Question 9 of 12

Karen Klein announced her retirement from a stressful job in July after a crowdfunded campaign raised her more than $703,000. What was Klein's job?

A video of Klein being bullied by upstate New York middle-schoolers went viral, leading to the wildly successful donation campaign.

Question 10 of 12

Who was elected to the lower house of the "National Assembly of the Union" in April, after spending 15 of the past 21 years under arrest as a political prisoner?

The Nobel Prize winner was released from house arrest in late 2010 and now leads Burma's opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

Question 11 of 12

Which of these 2012 newsmakers is the author of a memoir with the unfortunate title Touched?

Question 12 of 12

What term did Fed chairman Ben Bernanke popularize while speaking before the House Committee on Financial Services on Feb. 29?

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

Click to revisit answers

Final Score
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December 27, 2012
The MS Costa Concordia
The Mars Curiosity rover
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner
Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez
Monthly users for Facebook
YouTube views for "Gangnam Style"
iTunes downloads for "Call Me Maybe"
Dollars spent online for "Black Friday"
Gun control
Climate change
Social Security
Boxers or briefs?
The shooters were minors
They happened at schools
The shooters used rifles
They happened in the last five years
James Bond skydiving with the queen
Mary Poppins battling Voldemort
Jack the Ripper visiting Downton Abbey
Mr. Bean racing the Chariots of Fire runners
Joe Biden
Donald Trump
Richard Mourdock
Clint Eastwood
Chief Justice John Roberts
Prince Harry
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad
Lance Armstrong
Bomb disposal in Iraq
911 operator
Line cook
School bus monitor
Aung San Suu Kyi, in Burma
Mohamed Morsi, in Egypt
Liu Xiaobo, in China
Mario Monti, in Italy
Kevin Clash
Todd Akin
Jerry Sandusky
David Petraeus
"Fiscal cliff"
"Super PAC"


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David Plotz
Slate Editor

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Quiz Template by Chris Kirk and Andrew Morgan