In January Riverfront Times published its annual "News Challenge" -- 78 multiple-choice questions testing how well readers paid attention to current events over the past twelve months. Within a week, more than 100 of you submitted your answers to us. A few weeks later a dozen readers e-mailed a similar question: "When are you publishing the results of the news quiz?"
A few more weeks went by and a few more e-mails trickled in. Then a month passed and another with nary an inquiry. It was like everyone (including us) had forgotten about the news quiz. That is, until last week.
We got a call from a "Mike" wanting to know one last time if we were going to publish the answers to the news quiz (stale as they may be) or not?
Today, Mike, is the day you've been waiting for. And, yes, we realize April 1 is an appropriate ending for a fool's errand.
Below are the questions as they appeared in the January 3 issue with the correct answers in italics. Congratulations to readers Michael Watts and Don Weber for your prefect scores.
1. Why did Rev. Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church protest outside of Clayton High School last winter? A. Because the church considers Clayton's greyhound mascot to be a "faggy breed" of canine. B. Because the school invited Phelps' estranged son, Nathan, to speak about his family. C. Because Lady Gaga was on tour overseas and not within driving range of Westboro's home base in Wichita. D. Because Westboro backs Clayton's archrival, Ladue High.
2. What did Democratic state representative Pat Conway of St. Joseph propose to be the official Missouri State Exercise? A. The push-up. B. The jumping jack. C. The filibuster. D. The Missouri mule kick.
3. In order to stop a rash of robberies, St. Louis-area police officers resorted to what unusual method? A. They hid out in trees for better surveillance. B. They stopped issuing traffic tickets at certain times of the day to have more resources available for fighting crime. C. They posed as pizza delivery drivers. D. They used the network of caves in south city as a way of moving from place to place and surprising criminals.
4. What was radio talk show host Dana Loesch's response to reports that U.S. Marines had been videotaped urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters? A. "It makes me so angry, I wanna Hulk-smash somebody." B. [To a caller] "Did you think it was disrespectful? Where was your demonstration when the president sent more troops to Afghanistan?" C. "What, you expected them to wait till they made it back to the base? When you gotta go, you gotta go!" D. "I'd drop trou and do it, too. That's me, though. I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say? Come on people, this is a war. What do people think this is?"
5. Which piece of state or federal legislation was actually proposed by a locally based organization during the recent election season? A. Declare "GMO Cornhole" the Missouri State Pastime (Monsanto). B. Institute a $250 tax refund for any U.S. taxpayer with a mustache (American Mustache Institute). C. Legalize "hemp beer" (A-B InBev). D. Make Opening Day an official holiday in the state of Missouri (St. Louis Cardinals).
6. What is Unified Equine and how did it make local news in 2012? A. A racehorse-rescue group that launched a billboard campaign to rename Fairmount Park "UnFairmount Park." B. A Frontenac-based polo team banned from international competition after administering performance-enhancing drugs to its horses. C. An umbrella group of My Little Pony fans (a.k.a. Bronies) whose offer to purchase Grant's Farm was rejected by A-B InBev. D. A company headed by a Wyoming state representative that sought unsuccessfully to open a horse meat-processing plant in Missouri.
Match each of the following responses to Akin's "legitimate rape" comment to the person who said it. 7. "We should sink Todd Akin. If he's found mysteriously murdered, don't look for my whereabouts!" 8. "Rape won't make babies and that is a fact; There's no global warming; the Earth's really flat. We heard it on FOX News so it must be true. Well, Mr. Akin, we say 'FUCK YOU!'" 9. "Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong. Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive." 10. "Akin failed a soundbite. McCaskill helped tank the economy. If you think his bad is worse, join the left." A. The Raging Grannies. 8 B. Dana Loesch. 10 C. Karl Rove. 7 D. Mitt Romney. 9
11. In a February 2012 interview with Sports Illustrated, David Freese finally revealed the secret to his astonishing success in the 2011 postseason. What was it? A. His "lucky squirrel's paw," which he carried with him at all times. B. His college buddy Dan Kriegshauser's olive-drab sofa, upon which Freese slept during postseason homestands. C. Never washing his socks. D. Wheaties.
12. What did Mary Junck, CEO of the Post-Dispatch's parent company, Lee Enterprises, do to earn her 2012 bonus of $500,000 plus 500,000 shares of company stock? A. She figured out a way to make money off the Internet. B. She got the company out of bankruptcy. C. She helmed Lee to a mere $26.6 million loss in a single quarter. D. She rehired middle-aged Post-Dispatch staffers who'd been induced to take early retirement -- a move that was quickly followed by an increase in print circulation.
13. When Newt Gingrich came to town for the NRA Convention and took a tour of the Saint Louis Zoo, which animal acted out the collective dream of millions of Americans and bit the former House Speaker? A. Penguin. B. Capybara. C. Coquerel's sifaka. D. Ozark hellbender.
14. Which pop star played both the London Olympics and the Scottrade Center last year? A. Justin Bieber. B. Paul McCartney. C. Madonna. D. Tupac's hologram.
15. Rams owner Stan Kroenke made headlines in the spring of 2012 when he attempted to buy: A. The Los Angeles Dodgers. B. North St. Louis. C. A new toupée. D. The abandoned Chrysler plant in Fenton.
16. Scott Solovic served three prison sentences for sexually assaulting underage girls. When a fourth accuser came forward claiming Solovic had first assaulted her when she was five years old, he protested that: A. It was a case of mistaken identity. B. It was a case of false memory syndrome. C. She was clearly lying, because he only molested teenagers. D. He'd been framed by his ex-wife.
17. Angry protests followed the announcement last year that Rush Limbaugh was to be honored by: A. Having his bust cast in bronze and installed in the Hall of Famous Missourians in the state capitol building in Jefferson City. B. Having his birthday, January 12, declared a municipal holiday in Cape Girardeau, his hometown. C. Being invited to throw out the first pitch at Busch Stadium on Opening Day. D. Having Tower Rock, an island in the Mississippi River north of Cape Girardeau, renamed Land of Limbaugh.
18. Had it become law, HB 1853 would have prohibited any Missouri man from having a vasectomy unless: A. He pays for the procedure in advance. B. He provides a semen sample to a state database. C. He needs the procedure to prevent serious illness or death. D. He has been convicted of legitimate rape.
19. After Akin compared his opponent Claire McCaskill to a dog, his spokesman clarified which breed: A. Bullshitsu. B. Lhasa Asshole. C. Gayhound. D. Xoloitzcuntli.
20. A live version of which venerable TV game show opened in Branson in the spring of 2012? A. The Price is Right B. Dead or In Branson? C. Family Feud D. Jeopardy!
21. In one of the most dastardly moves in collegiate sports last year, Webster University poached an entire team from Texas Tech. Which sport was it? A. Fencing. B. Lacrosse. C. Chess. D. Dressage.
22. A likeness of which beloved Redbirds legend made its way onto the Cardinals' 2011 World Series ring? A. The Rally Squirrel. B. Tony La Russa. C. Fredbird. D. Mike Shannon.
23. According to the website countyhealthrankings.org, St. Charles County has the greatest percentage of what relative to its population? A. Excessive drinkers. B. Road rage. C. Republicans. D. Fast-food restaurants.
24. Hunting season came early -- like in early April -- for the Bootheel town of Kennett. Which critters were on the loose? A. Mountain lions. B. Alligators. C. Ozark hellbenders. D. "Yankees".
25. Former Town & Country police officer Shannon Woolsey sued the town earlier this year, claiming she had endured years of sexual harassment as the only female employee on the police force. Which of the following, according to the suit, did her gentlemanly coworkers say to her? A. They discussed the vaginas of teenage girls that officers would encounter in their daily duties. B. They told her to shut her "man-pleaser" when talking. C. They introduced her to the worst pick-up line of all time: "Why don't you scratch your throat, my dick itches." D. They said all of these things.
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