You mean.....we'd have to THINK?!?!?
It's not that bad. The toss-ups are questions that amateur astronomers should know; they're worth 10 points each. What makes the toss-ups exciting is this--a toss-up can be answered the *very nanosecond* one knows, or thinks they know, the answer. I'll have a lockout-buzzer system there for that reason.
Toss-up clues start from the most obscure and work their way toward easier references. This is meant to prevent questions where the only sanguine clues are towards the end; those questions are bad because that's little more than a test of reflexes. I want questions that reward knowledge over quickness, in other words. With a full slate of 10 contestants on two teams of 5 each, it's very likely someone will know the answer to each toss-up.
The bonuses will be worth 30 possible points, and are broken up to several portions to award partial credit. I anticipate most, if not all, of the toss-ups to be answered correctly, and about 60% of the bonus points to be rewarded.
In fact, here's some actual questions I used at this year's Hidden Hollow event. They won't be in the BEOTS question packet but these are representative of the type of questions I'll be asking:
Sample Toss-Up 1: "First noticed in 1596 by David Fabricius, it typically ranges between 3rd- and 9th-magnitude over a period of 11 months, and is named after the Latin for â€œwonderfulâ€. For 10 points, name this variable star in Cetus." (A: Mira)
Sample Toss-Up 2: "He was formerly a monk with the Vendanta Society Monastery, but you probably know him better for his tireless work with the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers and his pioneering design of economical, alt-az mounts for large reflecting telescopes. For 10 points, name him." (A: John Dobson)
Sample Bonus 1: "Sometimes you want to live on the edge, and sometimes you donâ€™t. Iâ€™ll list 6 galaxies, and for 5 points each, you tell me if they can best be described as either edge-on, or face-on spiral galaxies."
(a) M51 (A: Face-on)
(b) NGC 253 (A: Edge-on)
© NGC 4565 (A: Edge-on)
(d) NGC 7331 (A: Edge-on)
(e) M74 (A: Face-on)
(f) M104 (A: Edge-on)
Sample Bonus 2: "Few things assuage stargazers on rainy nights like a good book.
(a) First, for 10 points, what Ohio stargazer wrote the classic ode to stargazing titled â€œStarlight Nightsâ€? (A: Leslie Peltier)
(b) What many consider *THE* text for constructing large telescopes is the book â€œThe Dobsonian Telescope: A Practical Manual for Building Large-Aperture Telescopesâ€. For 5 points each, name the authors. (A: Dave Kriege / Richard Berry)
© For 10 points, Dave Kriege founded what company, maker of commercial Dobsonian telescopes?" (A: Obsession)
Again, it's tough for any one individual to answer a bonus question by his/herself, so that's why being on a team helps immensely on these.
It's meant to fun and challenging, but not make you feel like you've just defended a dissertation.