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Games, Diversions & Perl Culture by Jon Orwant

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Chapter 31. The First Perl/Internet Quiz Show

Jon Orwant

At the Second Perl Conference in 1998, I wrote and moderated the first-ever Perl Quiz Show. Four three-person teams competed for a variety of delicious prizes: Perl Resource Kits, TPJ subscriptions, TPJ Magnetic Perl kits, Perl Mongers T-Shirts, and O’Reilly gift certificates.

There were two semifinal rounds and one final round; each round pitted two teams against one another with fifteen toss-up questions. Toss-ups are questions answered by individuals; each correctly-answered toss-up earns ten points and the right for the entire team to collaborate on a bonus question worth up to thirty points.

What follows are all of the toss-up and bonus questions I wrote, including several that weren’t asked. If the toss-ups seem simple, bear in mind that merely knowing the answer isn’t enough—you also have to answer before the other team buzzes in. If the bonuses seem hard, bear in mind that the entire team gets to confer on the answer.

Answers are at the end of the article. Since toss-up questions were tests of how fast you could answer correctly, and bonus questions were given to teams of people, neither translates very well to the printed page. But if you simply must quantify your score, count one point for each correct answer (rounding partial credit on bonuses) and sum.

Toss-up Questions

Toss-up 1: In a regular expression, you can use curly braces to specify how many times you want to match something. For instance, x{5,10} matches at ...

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