It's Trivia time! Who was Spock’s father?


The Appleton Post-Crescent, February 1, 1979.

The 14th annual Midwest Trivia Contest will begin at 10 p.m. Friday on Lawrence University’s radio station, WLFM, 91.1 on the FM dial.

WLFM’s 10,500-watt signal can be heard within a 50-mile radius of Appleton.

In what the contest’s masters of trivia believe is the oldest event of its kind in the country, more than 400 questions will be broadcast in the 50 hours between Friday night and Sunday midnight. Teams of Lawrence students and alumni, high school students in the Fox Valley and competitors who come to Appleton from other campuses will be awarded from 5 to 100 points for correct answers, depending upon the difficulty of the questions.

After each question is asked on the air, a record is played while teams call in their answers. A team is given only two chances to give the correct answer.

Winning teams in previous years have been awarded such prizes as a 25-pound sack of dog food, a dust pan, a plumber’s helper, and empty 5-pound pail of peanut butter and two tickets to an already played professional football game. Equally valuable prizes are promised this year.
Larry Page, Lawrence’s director of broadcasting is confident that the electronic switching system installed last summer by the Wisconsin Telephone Co. will prevent the kind of tie-ups that occurred during the 1978 contest. At brief periods last year, large numbers of calls to WLFM tied up as many as 1,000 telephones in Appleton.

Page said there will be five off-campus telephone lines to WLFM and four on-campus lines. The numbers will be announced at the start of the contest and frequently throughout.

During the contest, the broadcasting director is referred to irreverently as Pope Pontius Page One-Fourth.

Contest questions were compiled by 13 Masters of Trivia, or “Magistris Triviae,” as they call themselves in fractured Latin. They are Rick Davis and Gordon Phetteplace, both of La Crosse; George Kurylak, Oak Lawn, Ill.; Mary Myslis, Highland Park, Ill; Mark Piper, Menomonee Falls; Jayne Rohlke, Euclid, Ohio; Llynda Read, Lake Mills; Mike Sigman, Manitowoc; Stuart Spencer, De Pere; Dan Stifter, Wauwatosa; Mark Suendsen, Racine; Deb Sycamore, Millis, Mass.; and Greg Weber, Glidden, Wis.

Weber’s brother-in-law, James B. DeRosset, a 1966 Lawrence alumnus, founded the Midwest Trivia Contest in 1966. For 25 Trivia points, what is DeRosset doing now? (Answer: He is a financial analyst with McDonald’s Corp.)

Here is a sample of the kinds of questions asked in previous Midwest Trivia Contests and the number of points awarded for correct answers:
1. What was the name of Spock’s father in “Star Trek?” (5 points)
2. What was the name of Sky King’s ranch?” (5 points)
3. What is the oldest corporation in the United States?” (5 points)
4. What radio character was “champion of the people, defender of fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” (25 points)
5. What was the name of the female wolf that raised Sgt. Preston’s husky?” (15 points)

Answers: 1. Sarek. 2. Flying Crown. 3. Harvard University. 4. Mr. District Attorney. 5. Three Toes

The Trivia credo states that “Trivia is meant to be entertainment and should be perceived solely in that light. Conduct contrary to this governing credo will be regarded as an infraction of the rules."