PRAGUE – The IOL community is in jubilant celebration after a member of the jury exclusively leaked to LNNO that all 5 problems of the individual paper and the team contest have been penned by our very own cult-leader Ivan Derzhanski. When the story broke at the LNNO office, there was a spontaneous chorus of “Yes, Yay, Yever” at the thought of a meticulously prepared contest by the mastermind behind Burmese Names, Tangut families and, of course, everyone’s favourite, Budukh.
With just a week left to go until the individual contest, the rumour mill has been abuzz with alleged topics of location-appropriate problems including, but not limited to:
- A translation of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody into a language called Kwiin
- Sentences taken from a book on the history of defenestration
- no details, just the title Czech It Out
- A problem that can only be described by jury members as “Kafkaesque”
- A special Prague-themed chess variant involving cheap beer and a ‘Charles Bridge’ that the pieces must cross to get from one side to the other
However, it also seems as though such a wonderful outcome has come at a high cost for the rest of the problem committee, who (it is alleged) were forced into testing a total of 75 problems that Ivan submitted over the course of the 8 months leading up to the competition, an average of one problem every 3-4 days. The narrowing down process was so difficult that the chair of the jury, Maria Rubinstein, was forced to close problem submissions three months early in order to allow enough time for the committee to test all the existing problems. As it stands, there are still 20 problems that remain untouched to this day – leaving a pile of problems available for future use until at least 2030.
We here at LNNO cannot wait to see how the next 13 years of pure Derzhanski will play out and we know his loyal followers back home will be equally thrilled at the knowledge that they can award their idol a Solvers’ Choice award every year, much to the disappointment of our current champion, Ksenia, who has begun stockpiling over 200 of her own problems in retaliation in what can only be described as a massive overreaction.
WINNIPEG – In a result that sent shockwaves throughout the linguistics olympiad community, Canada officially expressed their wish to leave NACLO early in December, with 52% voting to create a sovereign English OLCLO. The dust has since settled on this time-defining vote and we are now in a position to assess the impact Canadieu will have on the future of Canada’s involvement in the IOL as a whole.
CHISINAU – As the saying goes, pride comes before a fall. Never has this quip been more relevant than with the ongoing situation where infamous jury member, Ksenia Gilyarova, faces detainment in Chisinau airport on her way to the 15th edition of the International Linguistics Olympiad in Dublin, where she was set to win her fifth Solvers’ Choice award. Guess that’s karma for you.
Travel problems are not new to IOL. Just this year, the Taiwanese team has been delayed by a “typhoon” and the Armenian team decided they wouldn’t even bother trying to come. In Mysore 2016, major disruption was caused when the people of Bangalore staged a strike after seeing the farce that was that year’s IOL Jeopardy. This meant that coaches conveniently had to leave up to 9 hours before they were scheduled to, greatly diminishing the number of people that needed to be catered for the following morning.
The exact causes for Gilyarova’s delay are not yet known, but word is that the Moldovan authorities were tipped off by an anonymous source who had been seen writing Moldovan and was hoping to guarantee the prestigious 15th Solvers’ Choice award for himself. This just goes to show: with great success comes a target on your back and an angrily worded email to the Chisinau airport authorities.
BOROVETS – The 15th International Olympiad in Linguistics is going to kick off in Dublin in a couple of days time so we here at LNNO wanted to answer some frequent questions asked (FQA) for first-time IOLers. It can be a very daunting process when you first arrive, so take a look at this guide and you’ll settle in much quicker!
“So, What’s the Deal With The Isle Of Man?”
Good question! If you ask the Manx team, their responses range from “It’s not part of the UK stop asking us that” to “I don’t fucking know either”. If you ask someone from the UK, they’ll say they’re “imposters”. Some might argue it’s a hoax, like Bielefeld. I guess the jury’s still out on this one!
MANCHESTER – No-one likes it when what they thought was just a nightmare turns out to be reality. But it was this very experience that happened this morning to 31-year-old Jerry Manndren who woke up under the impression that the 2013 IOL problem Telepathy was just a figment of his anxiety-fueled dreams.
“It’s amazing what my brain thinks up sometimes. Like, imagine if one of the well-respected IOL problem setters had actually written a problem which involved recognising the difference between long and short words.
“The funniest thing is that in my dream, there was a separate British English version of the problem where all the words were ‘translated’ from American English. Just imagine!”
After 10 solid minutes of explaining the ridiculous nature of the problem, Jerry sighed that he was just relieved that the IOL problem setters had more sense than his subconscious, at which point he was informed of the problem’s existence.
His response cannot be published on a safe-for-work website such as LNNO but, needless to say, the truth hit him like an airplane.
The future of the International Linguistics Olympiad appears to be in, er, jeopardy after Sony Pictures Television filed a copyright infringement claim against the IOL Committee over the unlawful use of the Jeopardy! brand at the most recent competition.
It is alleged that one Dragomir Radev of the USA did not seek the appropriate permissions to produce, quite frankly, a carbon copy of the popular quiz show, a situation which Sony tolerated until recent allegations of corruption in the 2016 edition threatened to bring the brand into disrepute.
PORT MORESBY – After the announcement of the countries participating in IOL in Dublin, there was relief visible on the faces of the IOL Problem Committee, who had been waiting in dread at the possibility of a team from Africa going to the competition. “Thank fucking God,” said Ksenia Gilyarova, wiping her sweat-dripped brow with a scrap of cretonne ripped from a tablecloth. “We would have had to change all 5 questions. Obviously, we can’t reveal any information about what languages they’re on, but they’re all spoken by, like, millions of people. If we had a team from Africa participate, there’s actually a surprisingly high chance they would know at least some of the language. I think one of the languages this year has something like 5 million speakers, which you’d think would make the problem more susceptible to prior knowledge.”