News Quiz

No. 294: “Whose Tiara Is It, Anyway?’

Facing sinking ratings, the producers of the Miss America pageant last week announced a change in format, to make the telecast more entertaining for the home audience. Name that change.

Send your answer by noon ET Tuesday to

Thursday’s Question (No. 293)–“Sporting Life”:

This weekend, 6,500 Canadians will jam Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to share in a timeless spectacle involving bravery, farm animals, and Velcro. What is it?

” ‘Timeless’ they may be, but Sun Myung Moon’s weddings are getting way too elaborate.”–J.D. Majors

“The complete, uncut version of Carnie Wilson’s gastric bypass, including the little-known post-op scandal: the installation of the ‘secret’ velcro flap!”–Barbara Lippert

“In the height of corporate arrogance, Nike is putting its sweat-shop operations on tour, marketing them as an ‘extreme sport.’ “–Matt Sullivan

“It’s Canadian football! The typical insular American probably doesn’t realize just how different a game it is up there. (The ‘E-Z-2-Catch’ brand Velcro football is still controversial, though.)”–Francis Heaney

“Safe sex.”–Olivene Hargrave

Click for more answers.

Tim’s Wrap-Up

Quiz participant Harald Amodt began his response with the observation, “It’s the inclusion of farm animals that makes one wonder if this spectacle involves sex or violence.” As dubious as that sentiment might at first appear, a cursory look through his fellow participants’ answers shows that he’s quite right: As far as News Quiz readers are concerned, those are the two activities associated with livestock. (Which, I’m sure, must make this page especially attractive to prospective Slate advertisers. I’m not sure if this means that PETA ought to spend more on those banner ads, or if it means that they should save their money. Probably the latter.) (Randy may be back a little sooner than expected, folks.) The other notable thing about Amodt? His name looks an awful lot, on first glance, like “Hannah Arendt,” who, I’m fairly sure, never advocated sex with or violence to animals, at least, not in her published works. And what else did we learn from today’s Quiz? A quick recap. Canadians: dull, provincial, and oddly prevalent on U.S. comedy shows. Montreal: Frenchy. Alan Greenspan’s ass: still funny. Alan Thicke’s ass: curiously unmentioned.

The Maple Leaf Answer

(supplied by Chris Kelly)

A bloodless bullfight. Instead of stabbing the bulls, the matadors will tag them with velcro banderillas. Or is it the banderilleros who use the banderillas? What about the picadors? Note to self: Must reread Death in the Afternoon. On second thought, no.

Ratings-War Extra

With the current furor over the MPAA ratings system, perhaps it’s time we turn to an alternative: the CAP-Alert system. CAP (short for the ChildCare Action Project), located at, offers detailed synopses of current releases for fundamentalist parents, along with a traffic-light ratings system (red, yellow, or green). See if you can match the current release with its CAP-Alert ratings and excerpts from its review.

1) The Iron Giant

2) Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace

3) An Ideal Husband

4) Tea With Mussolini

5) Tarzan

6) Inspector Gadget

A) Red light; offenses include “strong focus on nuclear warfare and the nihilistic desperation of it … dangerous example of risky medical assessment … suggestive eye movement … display of the yin yang.”

B) Red light; offenses include “statue nudity … suggestive eye movement … arrogance against father.”

C) Yellow light; offenses include “implications and references to Darwinian evolution … parental arguing … skimpy dress throughout.”

D) Red light; offenses include “flatulence … repeated exposure to adult underwear … automatic gunfire with lustful enjoyment … a computer image of a champagne glass with an olive.”

E) Yellow light; offenses include “levitation/psychokineses … scant clothing … statue nudity … eating of animals by animals.”

F) Red light; offenses include “statue nudity … anatomical reference … attachment to a pet endangering self or others … expressing joy at husband’s death.”


1-A, 2-E, 3-B, 4-F, 5-C, 6-D.

Weeklong Extra

A headline from Monday morning’s Daily Variety: “Dutch regulators issue equal-access guidelines.” Participants are invited to find, in an actual newspaper or magazine, a less enticing headline. Deadline is noon, Wednesday. Answers posted Thursday.

Common Denominator