How Did You Know Neil Konouchi?

I'm happy to announce a winner to our last How Did You Know? 5-day trivia hunt. Please re-meet Neil Konouchi of Nashville. You may recall that Neil won the pilot HDYK way back in March, 08, when we were only giving away bragging rights and a t-shirt. So congrats Neil, who now has $100 to spend in our store. He blazed through the final puzzle and got all the answers within 8 minutes of the gun!

Dozens of you got all the answers correct, and I'll be sure to post the top 10 in the order we received them over on our Facebook page soon.

Meantime, our random winner this month is Allison Jirsa, who says she forgot all about the final puzzle, and was ready to kill herself at 2am last night when she finally remembered. (And remember she did, taking only 15 minutes to get through the whole thing!) We'll be in touch soon with your spoils.
See everyone back for another HDYK on the 28th of July, when Neil will be looking to defend the title. Meantime, let's meet our winner and review his answers:

[caption id="attachment_28164" align="alignleft" width="512" caption="Neil Konouchi"][/caption]

I live in Nashville, Tennessee where I work in the music business and also as a freelance tuba player (not a joke). I'm a big time trivia/puzzle junkie, can often be found at the local pub trivia games, and always have fun with these HDYK puzzles every time they come around (been trying to repeat since the inaugural game!). I have to give credit to my wife for giving me "The Supremes," as I couldn't get past "The Justice League," clearly my brain trying to squeeze The Human League into the context of the puzzle. I knew it wasn't right, but just couldn't get that idea out of my head.

Appropriately for this edition of HDYK, the picture I've attached is of me with my friend Steven when we did The Price Is Right live in Las Vegas. Unfortunately neither of us were selected to play, but it turns out I would have grossly overbid on the Showcase anyway.

Thanks for the hunt, looking forward to the next one!

Final Answer


Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon that day while carrying a copy of Catcher In The Rye

Day 1

1. A Full Count (aka 3-2 count)
2. Safe!
3. Pitcher
4. Batter
5. Strike (a match)
6. The Lineup
7. Green Monster (at Fenway Park)
8. Double Play (Name of Moby's Album pictured here x2)

Theme Songs:
1. The Price is Right (knew)
2. Card Sharks * (sounded familiar, verified on YouTube)
3. Jeopardy! (knew)
4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (knew)
5. Hollywood Squares (finally found it after browsing themes on YouTube. Pure luck.)

* Card Sharks theme is the same as Double Dare, but this recording matches the Card Sharks recording.

Day 2

Each letter is assigned a number based on its place in the alphabet A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.
A = 1
D = 4
G = 7
J = 10
M = 13

A G D J G M ?
1 7 4 10 7 13

So the pattern is +6, -3

1 (+6) 7 (-3) 4 (+6) 10 (-3) 7 (+6) 13 (-3) = 10

10 = J

Part 2: Assassins (Victims in Parentheses)

1. Mark David Chapman (Lennon)
2. Leon Czolgosz (McKinley)
3. John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln)
4. Charles Guiteau (Garfield)
5. John Hinckley (Reagan attempt)
6. Yigal Amir (Yitzhak Rabin)
7. Khalid Islambouli (Anwar Sadat)
8. James Earl Ray (MLK Jr.)
9. Jack Ruby (Lee Harvey Oswald)

John Hinckley was the only of those that was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Day 3

"Writers, indeed, need time to write. And critics, who, I presume, are also writers, of a sort, need time to critique. Then again, no one ever erected a statue for a critic." paraphrases Sibelius' famous quote, "Pay no attention to what critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic."

Sibelius' Finlandia was used in Die Hard 2
Die means "The" in German ("No, that's German for 'The Bart, The.'")
"die" is feminine
Lothar-Günther Buchheim wrote Das Boot in 1973
"das" is gender-neutral
"der" is the masculine version

Part 2: Cryptographs
(each letter to the next in the alphabet) Each sentence in this puzzle is governed by its own rules, so that every word in the sentence can be deciphered using the same rule.
(back one in the alphabet) Some sentences use the same rule as other sentences.
(back one space on the keyboard) This was only done because the author is lazy.
(back one in the alphabet) When read backwards the final word in the next sentence is your secret code word and final puzzle answer today.
(next in the alphabet) David Israel is nuts!

Last word backwards: STUN

Day 4

1. Nickelback (back side of a nickel)
2. Phish (school of fish)
3. Led Zeppelin (it's a zeppelin)
4. Queen (she's the Queen)
5. The Supremes (Supreme Court Justices)
6. Nine Inch Nails (maybe not quite nine inches, but very long nails)

Phish was formed at the University of Vermont in 1983.

Part 2:

Any letter in the "secret word" AIR gives me the same answer for number of vowels.

A: OAk (2) AIr (2)
I: dIE (2) AIr (2)
R: AIr (2)

For all other words:

D: dIE (2) cOd (1)
I: dIE (2) AIr (2)
E: dIE (2) cUE (2)

C: cOd (1) cUE (2)
O: cOd (1) OAk (2)
D: dIE (2) cOd (1)

O: cOd (1) OAk (2)
A: OAk (2) AIr (2)
K: OAk (1)

C: cOd (1) cUE (2)
U: cUE (2)
E: dIE (2) cUE (2)

The clue is that "if we were to tell you any one letter of the secret word, you'd be able to tell how many vowels are in the word." So you tell me A, I tell you 2 (I presume the word is AIR or OAK). You tell me I, I tell you 2 again (DIE or AIR). You tell me R, I tell you 2 (AIR is the only answer for that one). I'll be honest, though, this seems too easy to be the correct solution. I'm not sure I'm totally understanding this puzzle.

Day 5

Searching on CastTV for Jacob plays Money Game in hopes of winning a car! turns up episode 4635
Lat Min.Sec: 46.35

John Hinckley Jr. Tried to assassinate Reagan, President #40
Lat Degrees: 40

Backwards word was STUN
Re-reverse it: NUTS, add P = PNUTS = "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz
He moved the family to Sebastabol in 1958 (via Wikipedia)
Long Min: 58

The ZRS-4, USS Akron crashed April 1933, killing 73 (via Wikipedia)
Long Degrees: -73
Long Sec: 33

Zooming in puts me at Central Park West and W. 72nd, where the Dakota is

John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in The Dakota
Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon that day while carrying a copy of Catcher In The Rye by...

9 Scandals that Rocked the Figure Skating World

Don't let the ornate costumes and beautiful choreography fool you, figure skaters are no strangers to scandal. Here are nine notable ones.


Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding
Pascal Rondeau, ALLSPORT/Getty Images

In 1994, a little club-and-run thrust the sport of figure skating into the spotlight. The assault on reigning national champion Nancy Kerrigan (and her subsequent anguished cries) at the 1994 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships in Detroit was heard round the world, as were the allegations that her main rival, Tonya Harding, may have been behind it all.

The story goes a little something like this: As America's sweetheart (Kerrigan) is preparing to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team bound for Lillehammer, Norway, she gets clubbed in the knee outside the locker room after practice. Kerrigan is forced to withdraw from competition and Harding gets the gold. Details soon emerge that Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, was behind the attack (he hired a hitman). Harding denies any knowledge or involvement, but tanks at the Olympics the following month. She then pleads guilty to hindering prosecution of Gillooly and his co-conspirators, bodyguard Shawn Eckhart and hitman Shane Stant. And then she's banned from figure skating for life.

Questions about Harding's guilt remain two decades later, and the event is still a topic of conversation today. Recently, both an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary and the Oscar-nominated film I, Tonya revisited the saga, proving we can't get enough of a little figure skating scandal.


Mirai Nagasu and Ashley Wagner at the podium
Jared Wickerham, Getty Images

Usually it's the top three medalists at the U.S. Nationals that compete for America at the Winter Olympics every four years. But in 2014, gold medalist Gracie Gold (no pun intended), silver medalist Polina Edmunds, and ... "pewter" medalist Ashley Wagner were destined for Sochi.

What about the bronze medalist, you ask? Mirai Nagasu, despite out-skating Wagner by a landslide in Boston and despite being the only skater with prior Olympic experience (she placed fourth at Vancouver in 2010) had to watch it all on television. The decision by the country's governing body of figure skating (United States Figure Skating Association, or USFS) deeply divided the skating community as to whether it was the right choice to pass over Nagasu in favor of Wagner, who hadn't skated so great, and it put a global spotlight on the selection process.

In reality, the athletes that we send to the Olympics are not chosen solely on their performance at Nationals—it's one of many criteria taken into consideration, including performance in international competition over the previous year, difficulty of each skater's technical elements, and, to some degree, their marketability to a world audience. This has happened before to other skaters—most notably Michelle Kwan was relegated to being an alternate in 1994 after Nancy Kerrigan was granted a medical bye after the leg-clubbing heard round the world. Nagasu had the right to appeal the decision, and was encouraged to do so by mobs of angry skating fans, but she elected not to.

3. SALT LAKE CITY, 2002.

Pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier of Canada and Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia perform in the figure skating exhibition during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Salt Lake Ice Center in Salt Lake City, Utah
Brian Bahr, Getty Images

Objectively, this scandal rocked the skating world the hardest, because the end result was a shattering of the competitive sport's very structure. When Canadian pairs team Jamie Sale and David Pelletier found themselves in second place after a flawless freeskate at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, something wasn't right. The Russian team of Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze placed first, despite a technically flawed performance.

An investigation into the result revealed that judges had conspired to fix the results of the pairs and dance events—a French judge admitted to being pressured to vote for the Russian pair in exchange for a boost for the French dance team (who won that event). In the end, both pairs teams were awarded a gold medal, and the entire system of judging figure skating competition was thrown out and rebuilt.


Jackson Haines was an American figure skater in the mid-1800s who had some crazy ideas about the sport. He had this absolutely ludicrous notion of skating to music (music!), waltzing on ice, as well as incorporating balletic movements, athletic jumps, and spins into competition. His brand new style of skating was in complete contrast to the rigid, traditional, and formal (read: awkward) standard of tracing figure-eights into the ice. Needless to say, it was not well received by the skating world in America, so he was forced to take his talents to the Old World.

His new “international style” did eventually catch on around the globe, and Haines is now hailed as the father of modern figure skating. He also invented the sit spin, a technical element now required in almost every level and discipline of the sport.


In 1902, competitive figure skating was a gentlemen's pursuit. Ladies simply didn't compete by themselves on the world stage (though they did compete in pairs events). But a British skater named Madge Syers flouted that standard, entering the World Figure Skating Championships in 1902. She ruffled a lot of feathers, but was ultimately allowed to compete and beat the pants off every man save one, earning the silver medal.

Her actions sparked a controversy that spurred the International Skating Union to create a separate competitive world event for women in 1906. Madge went on to win that twice, and became Olympic champion at the 1908 summer games [PDF] in London—the first “winter” Olympics weren't held until 1924 in France, several years after Madge died in 1917.


A picture of Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie
Keystone/Getty Images

Norwegian skater Sonja Henie was the darling of the figure skating world in the first half of the 20th century. The flirtatious blonde was a three-time Olympic champion, a movie star, and the role model of countless aspiring skaters. She brought sexy back to skating—or rather, introduced it. She was the first skater to wear scandalously short skirts and white skates. Prior to her bold fashion choices, ladies wore black skates and long, conservative skirts. During WWII, a fabric shortage hiked up the skirts even further than Henie's typical length, and the ladies of figure skating have never looked back.


Katarina Witt displaying her gold medal

A buxom young beauty from the former Democratic German Republic dominated ladies figure skating in the mid- to late 1980s. A two-time Olympic champion, and one of the most decorated female skaters in history, Katarina Witt was just too sexy for her shirt—she tended to wear scandalously revealing costumes (one of which resulted in a wardrobe malfunction during a show), and was criticized for attempting to flirt with the judges to earn higher scores.

The ISU put the kibosh on the controversial outfits soon afterward, inserting a rule that all competitive female skaters “must not give the effect of excessive nudity inappropriate for an athletic sport.” The outrage forced Witt to add some fabric to her competitive outfits in the late '80s. But 10 years later she took it all off, posing naked for a 1998 issue of Playboy.


For the 2010 competitive year, the ISU's annual theme for the original dance segment (since defunct and replaced by the “short dance”) was “country/folk.” That meant competitors had to create a routine that explored some aspect of it, in both music and costume as well as in maneuvers. The top Russian pair chose to emulate Aboriginal tribal dancing in their program, decked in full bodysuits adorned with their interpretation of Aboriginal body paint (and a loincloth).

Their debut performance at the European Championships drew heavy criticism from Aboriginal groups in both Australia and Canada, who were greatly offended by the inaccuracy of the costumes and the routine. The Russian pair, Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin, were quick to dial down the costumes and dial up the accuracy in time for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but the judges were not impressed. They ended up with the bronze, ending decades of Russian dominance in the discipline. (With the glaring exception of 2002, of course.)


While not a scandal, this event bears mentioning because it has rocked the figure skating world arguably more than anything else. In February of 1961, the American figure skating team boarded a flight to Belgium from New York, en route to the World Championships in Prague. The plane went down mysteriously (cause still questioned today) as it tried to land in Brussels, killing all 72 passengers. America's top skaters and coaches had been aboard, including nine-time U.S. Champion and Olympic bronze medalist-turned-coach Maribel Vinson-Owen and her daughter Laurence Owen, a 16-year-old who had been heavily favored to win the ladies event that year.

The ISU canceled the competition upon the news of the crash and the United States lost its long-held dominance in the sport for almost a decade. The United States Figure Skating Association (USFS) soon after established a memorial fund that helped support the skating careers of competitors in need of financial assistance, including future Olympic champions like Scott Hamilton and Peggy Fleming.

Disney/Marvel Studios
Afternoon Map
Marvel vs. DC: This Map Shows Each State’s Favorite Comic Universe
Disney/Marvel Studios
Disney/Marvel Studios

Which comic book company is the best: Marvel or DC? This is a perennial argument on middle-school playgrounds and Reddit threads, but this map, courtesy of, might just give us a definitive answer. The information here is broken down by state, using information provided by Google Trends to give us a clear winner of not only the most popular comic book company but also the most popular individual hero in each state (let’s show a little respect to Indiana for championing the Martian Manhunter).

According to the map, Marvel is the most popular publisher in 37 states, with DC trailing behind at eight, and five additional states coming to a 50/50 stalemate. The totals weren’t a blowout, though. In certain states like Mississippi, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, the favored company only won by a point. And just because a state searches Google for a specific publisher the most doesn’t mean an individual character from the opposing team isn’t its favorite—Hawaii is listed as favoring Marvel overall, yet they love Aquaman on his own. Same with DC-loving Maryland showing Black Panther some love (helps to have a big movie coming out). Take a look at some of the most notable state preferences below:

So how did Marvel amass so many states when there are just as many DC TV shows and movies out there? Well, according to Andrew Selepak, Ph.D., a professor in the department of telecommunication at the University of Florida, and director of the graduate program in social media, the answer lies in the depth at the House of Ideas.

“While Superman and Batman may be dominant characters,” Selepak said in a statement, “the DC Universe offers few other well-known heroes and villains and when these other characters are presented to the audience in film and on TV, they often are less than well-received.” This is opposed to Marvel, which launches new heroes on the big and small screen seemingly every year.

Does this map tell the whole story? That’s up for debate. When it comes to comics sold, DC and Marvel are always in a close battle: In January 2018, DC had six of the 10 best-selling comics of the month, placing four of the top five. Marvel, meanwhile, had three, while Image Comics had one with The Walking Dead. In terms of overall retail market share, though, Marvel eked out DC 34.3 percent to 33.8 percent.

This is a battle that's been raging since the 1960s, and for an industry that thrives on a never-ending fight between good and evil, we shouldn't expect the Marvel vs. DC debate to be settled anytime soon.


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