Quiz: Are you smarter than the MPR interns?


These are the interns in MPR’s Digital Media Department, learning a valuable lesson in only their second week on the job: It’s harder to look pensive than it is to be pensive. But it’s a skill that must be mastered if one is to rise in the American workplace.

Debunking the myth that we pile onto interns, those jobs we don’t like doing ourselves, we have given to Rachel Wilensky and David McVeety (students at St. Paul Academy) the responsibility of putting together this week’s News Cut Quiz. We have given them only this guidance: “Make it hard, don’t make it impossible, and make people assume the fetal position when they’re done with it.”

Let’s see how they did this week by seeing how you do.

  • vjacobsen

    Another reason to avoid Alabama, I guess.

    Oh well, a 10 this week.

  • bj

    6 – missed a few easy ones.

  • Joanna

    Hats off to the interns. I never thought about who Dow and Jones were before!

  • Bonnie

    nicely done interns, 7 , no hints and I never read the previous commenters before subjecting myself to the humuliation…I can identify with the Vikings Stadium…

  • david z

    Sheesh. Only 7 this week – maybe I didn’t have the radio on enough.

    Maybe we’ll get to meet the interns on Sunday at the open house?

  • 9 with no hints but a few educated guesses.

  • Duke Powell

    Eight right answers using no hints.

  • Bob, I gave up on your quizzes long ago because you take demonic joy in making the wrong answers nearly indistinguishable from the right answer, but at least you did go with the right answers.

    Tim Pawlenty was born in St. Paul which means Mae Shunk was the Lt. Governor the last time a Twin Cities dude was elected governor. I suspect your interns decided that since Pawlenty now lives in Eagan, that doesn’t count and that’s pretty much the kind of nitpicking that sucks all the fun out of a news quiz.

    Please feel free to correct me but I’m pretty darned sure your first question today has a wrong “right” answer.

  • Minn Whaler

    5… twice had the answer, went to hints and changed my mind??? The answers weren’t i the hints, or I am really tired, or both.

    Kudos to the Interns! this was as tough aas any of the others if not tougher…

    Who chose the point score titles?

  • Mrs. Newscut

    The female intern has pensive down! The male needs to rid himself of his thinly disguised smirk, and he’ll have it too…

  • Elizabeth T

    Wow – 5 of 15; but … 8 of the ones I got wrong were “hmmm A is probably right, … naw, I’ll answer B. Pow A was right. After the 8th, I switched to just click on the first one I considered. much better results.

    Of course, if I had been paying attention to the news this week, rather than have my nose in my thesis, I might have done better. Maybe.

  • Bob Collins

    //Tim Pawlenty was born in St. Paul which means Mae Shunk was the Lt. Governor the last time a Twin Cities dude was elected governor. I suspect your interns decided that since Pawlenty now lives in Eagan, that doesn’t count and that’s pretty much the kind of nitpicking that sucks all the fun out of a news quiz.

    Oh, Mark, you know I always love to spar with you.

    The question didn’t come from the interns. It came from me.

    Look, the quiz is hard. It’s like the NY Times crossword puzzle. You have to earn it. This ain’t the 11th grade grad standards here. The Quiz is like golf; you’re only competing against yourself. And I know how much you like golf.

    It’s also not the answers that are hard; it’s not even the question that is hard. The secret to the Quiz is focusing on what exactly the question is asking.

    The question didn’t refer to where the governor was born. It asked where he was from. People are born in cities because that’s where the hospital is; it’s not where they’re from. I was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. But when people ask me where I’m from, I say Woodbury, Minnesota.

    Tim Pawlenty was from South St. Paul. But when he was elected governor, he was FROM Eagan. Jesse Venture was born in Minneapolis but at the time he was elected, he was from Brooklyn Park.

    Only Wendell Anderson was FROM St. Paul. He’s the last person elected governor while living in or representing one of the two Twin Cities.

    By the way, under your reasoning — which is wrong — Mae Schunk wouldn’t be the correct answer. Carol Molnau wouild be.

    the answer is the Quiz zen.

  • The correct answer to question 6 — Triclosan is found in the water from what source? — is listed at “shampoo”, but it should be hand soap:


  • Bob Collins

    Read that question again, Taylor.

  • bj

    I believe Jesse was from Maple Grove when elected governor.

  • Bob, unless they swore in the Lt. Gov. before they swore in the Governor, Mae Schunk was the Lt. Gov. when Pawlenty was elected and sworn in.

    And yes, this is exactly why I hate your quizzes. You’re so determined to make it hard, you make it confusing as well.

    Your first question has a wrong answer. Please explain it to me again so I can get sucked in by your logic and come to realize the error of my ways.

  • And also by your logic, the true correct answer would be whoever was lieutenant governor the last time a governor who actually resided in the governor’s mansion was re-elected.

    Right? Or are there still more rules that define “from” in your world?

  • And since no one’s reading this thread anymore but you and I, let me just say for the record that I am FROM Iowa, but live in Midway. YOU are FROM Massachusetts, but live in Woodbury.

    You may not see a difference, but real Minnesotans do just like real Minnesotans don’t distinguish between South St. Paul and the Twin Cities: it’s ONE metro area, and all other distinctions are ultimately irrelevant since legally speaking there is no such thing as the Twin Cities and Wikipedia agrees with me on that score. This is from their Twin Cities page:

    “Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the most populous urban area in the state of Minnesota, United States, and is composed of 186 cities and townships.”

    That would include both Eagan and South St. Paul.

  • Bob Collins

    So when the next election is over, “real” Minnesotans won’t point out the difference between the results in Minneapolis and St. Paul and the results in the adjoining suburbs?

    Yes they will. Because they’re not the same.

    By the why, when people ask, “where are you from?” I say “Minnesota. Originally from Massachusetts.”

  • Your question was about the “Twin Cities,” not Minneapolis or St. Paul.

    Seriously, your desire to trick people into the wrong answers really sucks a lot of the fun out of your quizzes.

  • Hey, interns? You got the background information wrong:

    “Arizona this week threatened to cut power to California after the Los Angeles City Council approved an economic boycott of the state….”

    Here’s what the LA mayor said of the boycott:

    “[O]ur goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona.”

    Impact how, exactly? By hurting.

    Here’s part of the actual text of the letter to the LA mayor:

    “If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands.”

    That’s not a threat. That’s an offer to provide LA with the natural consequences of its actions.