Neal Stephenson Out-Takes by MatthewsP

Champion(s):

WengerAS


Runner(s)-Up:

CoenM
And, it's moist!

VaccaD
Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

UllspergerA


Quiz Description

As an adjunct to the Neal Stephenson 1DS, these questions are out-takes and extras that did not make the cut. Questions span Stephenson's works and may include titles, subtitles, plot points, characters, or real-world people, places, and things referenced in his works.

Full Results:

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1 WengerAS 385 97 15
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2 VaccaD 375 87 15
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2 CoenM 375 87 15
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2 UllspergerA 375 87 15
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5 CraneN 365 77 15
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6 DreyfusB 325 72 15
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7 MyrowitzJ 320 67 00
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8 FeitelD 295 62 15
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9 WangS 285 57 15
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10 GrossB 280 50 15
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10 FrankW 280 50 15
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12 MillerC37 270 42 15
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13 LiptonM 255 35 00
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13 RobK 255 35 15
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15 Ethan 230 27 15
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16 LuskT 225 22 00
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17 VenguswamyK 155 17 00
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18 HolstJ 135 10 00
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18 AmmermanA 135 10 15
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20 RautY 105 2 00
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Questions:

In Cryptonomicon, characters exchange secure messages by using a cipher enabled by a deck of playing cards. This Solitaire cipher created by cryptanalyst Bruce Schneier had *what code name* in the novel, derived from the Latin for "priest", and sometimes seen on Twitter as the handle for a prominent Argentinian.

Click to Reveal Answer
Pontifex

Appearing in Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle, this red-haired man is apparently ageless, possibly immortal, and his past occupations include physician and Catholic priest. *Name this character* (first or surname will do), whose first name is the same as a biblical patriarch, and whose surname Randy briefly confuses with a super-user account found in Linux and UNIX operating systems.

Click to Reveal Answer
Enoch Root

A minor character in Seveneves has the unusual surname "Taxlaw", derived from the fact that she has memorized the content of a particular encyclopedia volume. *What is her first name*, indicating the first article in that volume, and the method of communication she is expected to use to contact the "Pingers", human survivors whose community is underwater.

Click to Reveal Answer
Sonar

Orolo and Erasmas are scientists cloistered in a monastic community who discover an alien spaceship orbiting their planet. However, the scientists are expelled from their order for using a forbidden technology--a video camera--to record their observations. *What is the name of this 2008 Stephenson novel*, which takes its title from the ritual banishment Orolo and Erasmas suffer?

Click to Reveal Answer
Anathem

On the cover of the book referenced in Question 4, Stephenson's name obscures a curve which is an example of the "lemniscate of Bernoulli." This shape is generated by deviations in the position of the sun in the sky throughout the year from a fixed point on the earth's surface and at a fixed time of day. *What name* is given to this curve when it is generated by the position of the sun?

Click for additional information

Click to Reveal Answer
Analemma

In Stephenson's novel Zodiac, Sangamon Taylor regularly measures the level of PCB pollution in Boston Harbor. *What toxic class of chemical compounds does the abbreviation PCB stand for*?

Click to Reveal Answer
polychlorinated biphenyls

In "In the Beginning...Was the Command Line", Stephenson likened this operating system to a "Batmobile", as opposed to the "station wagon" metaphor he used for Windows. *Name this OS*, which Apple nearly acquired to replace its old MacOS before turning to NeXT instead, and which was resurrected as the open source OS Haiku.

Click to Reveal Answer
BeOS

Stephenson wrote his first novel, "The Big U", while he was still a college student, and he modeled his fictional campus after the real-life Warren Towers dormitory. *What college* did Stephenson attend while writing this novel, which includes the Warren Towers dorm at 700 Commonwealth Avenue, and whose president at the time, John Silber, is the basis for fictional president Septimius Severus Krupp.

Click to Reveal Answer
Boston University

The main female character of The Baroque Cycle, she is a native of the fictional British protectorate of Qwghlm, who rose from being in a Turkish harem to becoming a duchess in France. *Name this character* who shares her name with a runaway slave in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Click to Reveal Answer
Eliza

In Cryptonomicon, the present-day protagonist Randy is an officer of a company building a data haven in the fictional Sultanate of Kinakuta. *Name this company*, which also indicates a type of plant that grows on top of another plant, often using the other plant for support or structure, but is not parasitic, instead drawing its water and nutrients from the air, rain, or nearby debris.

Click to Reveal Answer
Epiphyte

The novel Seveneves contains numerous digressions about orbital mechanics, often citing one of five points at which a small body acted upon only by gravity can maintain a stable position relative to two larger bodies. *What name* is associated with these points, honoring the Italian mathematician who discovered the 4th and 5th points, and also known for his work in analytical mechanics, and succeeding Euler in heading the Berlin Academy.

Click to Reveal Answer
Lagrangian points

In Reamde, Devin Skraelin, one of the authors for the MMPORG T'Rain, is usually referred to with a nickname referencing his massive weight loss after he started writing on a treadmill. *What is this nickname*, shared by the would-be conqueror of Eternia, who went by the name Keldor before being splashed in the face with a corrosive liquid.

Click to Reveal Answer
Skeletor