Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ANNOUNCING "THE WHAMMY QUESTION!" (and also The 100-day, 100-Question Great Star Wars Blogathon, Question 27)

UPDATE! Even though I spent well over 40 minutes mulling over The Whammy Question it took mere seconds for Andrew Leon to pull it apart. Accordingly, the original version of The Whammy Question has been altered and the OFFICIAL Version is now what appears in this post. You'll find the changes bolded and italicized below as "Two Provisos" and "Three Provisos".






Grumpy Bulldog has finally started pulling his weight in this Blogathon, via his excellent suggestions that I incorporate something like "Final Jeopardy!" where you can wager points, and also by his suggestion that I incorporate a Whammy. I didn't know what that latter was, but he suggested I look it up, and I did, and here it is:



The Whammy! on Press Your Luck turns out to be something I already knew about and that clip confirmed it; a little under 2 years ago I...

... I need to take a moment here to point out to mention to Rusty Webb that I just used a semicolon and it was awesome. Rusty's a rabid antisemicolonite, probably because Wookies don't have semicolons in their language...

... anyway, a little under 2 years ago I listened to this podcast of This American Life, in which they investigated (in part) Michael Larson's run on Press Your Luck. What Larson is said to have done (and he did this in the era of VCRs and crummy TSR-80 computers, making it more remarkable) is to have memorized the six patterns of lights on Press Your Luck -- (some sites say there were only 5 patterns)-- and having done that, he was able to time his button-pressing or whatever to avoid Whammys. The details of the show are on Wikipedia; Larson won $110,000 or so in prizes.

This raises the prospect, of course, that Grumpy is pulling a Michael Larson, in his zeal to take down reigning leader Andrew Leon. But I'm willing to chance that, since I'm making this up as I go along, and therefore am announcing that

EVERY SUNDAY'S QUESTION WILL BE A WHAMMY QUESTION, which will work as follows:

On Saturday, I will remind you that the next day is a Whammy question, and in your comments, you will have to wager points. If you have at least 100 points, you can wager up to the total points you have.

If you have under 100 points, you can wager 100 points.

You make that bet, as on Final Jeopardy!, without knowing what Sunday's question will be.

THEN, on Sunday, I will post the question, but you don't comment to answer: Instead, you will email me your answer, and everybody who gets it correct gets the points they wagered -- while if you get it wrong, you lose points.

One proviso: You will not be allowed to go below zero points; if losing your wager would put you below zero, you'll stop at zero -- so people with less than 100 points have nothing to lose and everything to gain by wagering 100.

TWO provisos: If you are currently in the lead, your wager cannot be more than the highest amount of points wagered by other contestants. You can wager less, but if you wager more than the highest amount someone else wagers, your wager will be automatically reduced to the highest amount wagered.

THREE provisos: I have put a Whammy! after all. My email uses a time-stamp that I can use to determine the order of the emails. You will have until the Monday question is posted to email your WHAMMY! answer to me (and I may post the question early or late, as you know.) Answers received after the Monday question is posted will lose the points as though they had gotten the answer wrong (assuming you wagered). That's not the Whammy!, though.

This is the WHAMMY!: When I post Saturday's question, I will also post a random number between 1-5. If your email is that number, you Whammy! and lose the points, even if you got it right.






Got it? Have I made this complicated enough? Seems so. But you have a few days to mull it over.

Here's today's question, worth 20 points.

In The Empire Strikes Back, what did C-3PO announce he had isolated on the Millennium Falcon?


A. The Higgs Boson

B. The fuel drive stabilizer.
C. The reverse powerflux coupling.
D.
HAL 9000.
E. The restraining bolt.


Everyone loves a good C-3PO question, don't they? Commenter number 4 gets 10 extra points, if he or she isn't commenter 3, also.

UPDATE:
Andrew Leon got the points yesterday; I'm assuming he's right about Kaminoans. He's right about everything Star Warsian. That's why he's leading, people. Also: If you think you deserve points that haven't been awarded, let me know. I'm trying to keep up with things, but I've only got two nonrobotic hands, and I don't trust the robotic hands to do anything these days.

The official standings are here.

34 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

That would be C. Which I could have answered without the multiple choice option.

Andrew Leon said...

You know, um... this whammy thing may not be such a good idea. I mean, all I have to do is wager all of my points every time. Since everyone who gets the correct answer gets the points, this will give me an incredible chance to pull way ahead of everyone since I can, essentially, get more points than everyone else every time. I mean, as long as the questions are fair. None of those silly fanfic questions like that one time that we won't mention. Anyway... I'm just sayin'. You know?

And did you go look at my fanfic entry, yet? I did comment you the link yesterday.

Grumpy Bulldog, March Madman said...

Yes I suppose the problem would be that you can look up the answer so really no one should get it wrong and thus be able to keep doubling their points.

Andrew Leon said...

Maybe if you made it a random answer? I mean, you could take all the answers and the wagers and a random one would get the bonus? Everyone with a correct answer could get some amount of points, but only one person would get the bonus.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I am posting my first Star Wars challenge piece tomorrow on my blog. That puts me four days ahead of the closing bell on the contest :)

Adieu.

Grumpy Bulldog, March Madman said...

I bet Michael's piece involves "Prometheus" in some way...

Andrew Leon said...

-That- would not surprise me.
Jedi vs Aliens!

Andrew Leon said...

Ooh! The whammy is a cool idea! That will make me stop and think.

And here's the part of my response to your comment that I want to make sure you see (you can back over and read the rest if you want to):

Hack writer is an inaccurate definition for you. Hack writers follow a common formula without wavering from it. Like being able to hire people to write Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books because they are just following the formula of how those books are written. You're nothing like that. You're stuff makes me think, and that's saying something, since most books don't make me think at all.

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, and I just want to point out that I brought to light a flaw that I could have exploited to catapult me to even more points. You know, because that's the kind of guy I am.

Cindy said...

I'm going to try to post something for the Star Wars challenge, but I won't as far ahead as Mike.

Rusty Webb said...

Wookies!

Wait, was there a question today? The answer I was looking for actually, wasn't listed. As I was pretty sure he had isolated Wookies. It's not even an option, are you sure that wasn't a trick question?

So, your whammy thing sounds nice. Any rule that has sub rules, or exceptions, or whatever, is something I'm distrustful of. Unless of course it benefits me, in which case I'm cool with the changes.

And I believe if it wasn't for Microsoft Word and its grammar functions, the semicolon would have already fallen out of the english language. Just let it die people, it's time came and went decades before we were born.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Okay...that's complicated, and I don't think I got all of that the first time around. I will try to determine what I need to wager next time.

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