Listed below are just a few of the many questions I've been asked since the opening of competition. If you have any questions of your own, please don't hesitate to send them to the Czar.
How long do I have to answer my questions?
Typically, it's a good idea to answer your questions as soon as you receive them. This should be done both to avoid long delays and to avoid inadvertently finding the answer. It is expected that, with some exceptions, 24 hours is enough time to receive, read and answer your questions. In most cases, after 48 hours, you will be harassed publicly by the Czar.
Sometimes my syphilis flares up and takes me out of commission for 3 or 4 days. What should I do?
Most of the time, there's absolutely no excuse to delay the game for more than 3 days. I do understand, though, that people occasionally go on vacation, break their computers or die. In these cases, your fellow players will appreciate an attempt to send in your answers from Tahiti, work or hell. If you can't, however, there will be no retribution, and the rest of us will just sit around and wait. In the case of extended absences, please let the Czar know well in advance, and he can get you several rounds ahead of the game before you leave.
What if I accidentally find the answer to my question before I answer it?
You need to judge for yourself whether or not to offer such an answer, or just take a loss for that round. As a rule of thumb, if you've received the question and chosen not to respond right away, and then later run into the answer, you should NOT offer such an answer as your own. Your decision to delay answering makes inadvertently finding the answer no different than actively hunting it down.
I've noticed that you and others occasionally offer answers to questions that aren't your own. What gives?
Here is "what gives." Nerd. Everyone is encouraged, if they so desire, to offer answers for any question they like, regardless of whom the question belongs to. Players' scores and averages will only be affected by their own questions, but if you offer a particularly difficult answer, I will often list it along with the legitimate answer and the correct answer. I will usually do the same thing with particularly funny answers, whether they were intended to be funny or not. Finally, if you choose to answer someone else's question, be careful to send such an answer only to me.
I have hard evidence suggesting that Andy Anderson is cheating. What should I do with it?
Just ignore it.
One of your trophies is named after a demon. I'm not comfortable playing in a game where you name awards after the lieges of Satan. What can be done?
Actually, the John Shellady Trophy is named in honor of John Shellady, who is not a demon. As least as far as I know.
I'm referring, of course, to the Belial Trophy, which is the name of a demonic influence in a vast number of religious teachings.
If this is true - and I have no reason to believe it is - then it is simply an amazing coincidence. In actuality, the Belial Championship Trophy is named in loving memory of a cat that I grew up with, and has always meant a great deal to me.
You had a cat named Belial?
Actually, that cat's name was Taffy. Next question.
Some players are listed as the top players for certain editions, but a look at that edition reveals other players with higher averages. Why are your rankings screwed up?
A certain number of questions is necessary to reach a level of statistical significance. Until a player reaches that number with a given edition, their actual question and answer totals are put through a complicated formula to determine their actual rank. If that rank is top three or bottom three, the player in question will be given the rank they deserve, and their actual (not modified) percentage will be listed. Please don't ask me for that formula, as it is far too complicated for the likes of any of you.
What is the super-secret formula you use to determine rank for players who haven't reached "statistical significance"?
I hate you. That being said, the magical number of significance is 10. Until a player reaches 10 questions, it is assumed, for the sake of rank, that the player has 10 total questions, with no more than the actual number of correct answers. For example, if a player is currently 3-for-6 (.500) on Genus I questions, their modified total is 3-for-10 (.300). The reverse is true for negative rank - all unanswered questions up to 10 are assumed to be correct. This method gives us the absolute best and worst averages possible for the player. If the worst possible average is still good enough for a positive rank, they will receive it. Alternatively, if the best possible average is still bad enough for a negative rank, they will receive it.
Why did you allow Ben Nietzel into this game? Doesn't everyone hate him?
After a sustained campaign of heckling, whining and violence, Ben was added to the official roster after Game Three. He is definitely "spirited." And yes, in fact, everyone hates him.
You guys really screwed up that Branch Davidian thing down there in Waco. What happened?
You're probably confusing us with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. We are actually the American Trivia Federation, and we haven't yet endured our first armed standoff. I'm sure it's just a matter of time, particularly with Josh Flickinger now in our ranks.
But you're using their color scheme. You even have their official crest.
We've been using that crest, as well as the navy and yellow, since the early 1950s. When the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms separated from the IRS in 1972, they effectively stole our identity, and have been dragging it through the mud ever since.
So why is David Koresh listed in your Norris Division?
He's not. And your propaganda is not appreciated here.