Notes on Iglew's Sporcle Quizzes

Many of my Sporcle quizzes are based on offline sources (eg, books) or multiple sources that aren't easy to link from Sporcle. This page provides more detailed documentation of sources and methodology for my quizzes.

I compose many quizzes which I hope will be of general interest, but I also sometimes make some on more narrow topics that are of interest to me. I generally will avoid making a quiz on a topic that has been done before, but sometimes I'll do my own version if there's something in the implementation of the original that I'd like to see different, such as the time limit or how the clues are ordered and organized.

If you wish to collaborate on Sporcle-related projects, you can email me at

Sources: General Categories

Baby Names. Primary source is SSA. When sorting for various combinations I will often use NameVoyager, which is based on the SSA database, but I will generally do my final proof directly against SSA if possible.

Countries, Continents, Capitals. For these I follow the Sporcle-established standard, as checked against one of the Sporcle-verified quizzes (eg, this one), even though I find some of the rulings questionable. (For example, Yaren isn't really the capital of Nauru, and only by a wild stretch of imagination is Trinidad & Tobago part of North America....)

Music. For classical music and opera, I'll typically use a score from my private library for a primary source. Most of the better-known public domain scores are available online at IMSLP.

Opera. My default reference for opera information is The New Kobbé's Opera Book (11th ed). Other books I often refer to are Dictionary of Opera and Operetta and The New Milton Cross' Complete Stories of the Great Operas. None of these sources is 100% reliable, and I sometimes check them against each other and scores to the operas themselves. When listing opera titles on a Sporcle quiz, I will often render some of the better-known and readily translatable titles in English, to make the quiz more acceptable to opera newbies. For the same reason, I will generally use English style capitalization in opera titles.

Song Lyrics. As a general rule, I consider all song lyric websites unreliable. I've seen numerous errors on all the major sites, and many of these have been copied in Sporcle quizzes. I prefer album sleeve as an official source for lyrics. I'll trust printed sheet music from a reputable publisher (but not the many transcribers who offer their wares online). Lacking either of those, I'll trust my own transcription from the recording over any online source.

States and Capitals. I know these by heart, but they can be checked against a Sporcle-verified quiz, such as this one.

U.S. Cities. My source for city names and populations is the U.S. Census Bureau. Most often I use the tabulation available here, but sometimes I'll dig deeper into the state-specific tables that include even the smaller cities. A few of my earlier quizzes use 2000 Census data because good tabulations of the 2010 data didn't become available until some time around March of 2011.

Words. Generally, my dictionary of choice is Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed). However, for many quizzes I prefer to restrict a class to a smaller set of more common words. For these I'll usually use the Oxford English Mini Dictionary. For games involving spellings and patterns of letters I'll often use the online tools for Chambers Dictionary or Official Scrabble Dictionary to compile my initial list, but then I'll check them Oxford Mini or Merriam Webster. This means I'm assuming there's nothing in Oxford or Merriam Webster that is missing in Chambers, which I think is a safe assumption, since Chambers is extremely inclusive.

Notes and Sources: Specific Quizzes

Acquire: Hotels. Hopefully starting a series of quizzes on bits from various board games. (Contributed June 14, 2014.)

Adjectives with -ly. I originally conceived this pattern for the "Find the Pattern" series, but it didn't really work like that. (Contributed Sep 27, 2014.)

African Independence Leaders. This is one where I would have liked to allow more wrong answers before ending the game. I think it's a little too difficult as is. But turning off wrong answers would make it too easy. (Contributed Nov 19, 2013.)

AI Countries. (Contributed April 30, 2012; went public May 1, 2012.)

Missing Word: A Lannister Always Pays His Debts. When making a missing word quiz with Game of Thrones, I had two problems: I had too many good quote candidates, and too many of them were from Tyrion. So I solved both problems by splitting all the Lannisters into a separate quiz. (Contributed Aug 17, 2014.)

Al- A to Z. I've noticed Sporcle likes quizzes like this -- general knowledge with some sort of alphabetic theme. I may try to make more of them. (Contributed Jan 2, 2015.)

Mixed Word: Almost Sporcle. (Contributed April 27, 2012.)

Almost Rhymes. I love extravagant rhymes. This quiz gives me a chance to use a few that don't quite make it. The "species" rhyme I would swear I saw in a Sondheim lyric once, but I haven't been able to find it again. The rest are all original inventions, though it wouldn't surprised me if many have been arrived at independently. (Contributed Aug 19, 2012.)

Alphabetized Word Ladder. It's probably possible to get a longer alphabetized ladder by leaving the vowel in the second spot and keeping a similar pattern for each word, but I was pleased with the variety in this rendition, and 15 is a respectable length. (Contributed May 31, 2012. Featured June 16, 2012; renamed "Word Ladder: Alphabetical".)

Alternating Vowels & Consonants 1. These can easily be checked from any basic reference source, including these Sporcle-verified quizzes: U.S. states and capitals, countries of Asia, European capitals, U.S. presidents. (Contributed March 6, 2012.)

Alternating Vowels & Consonants 2. Bible books I checked against my own personal copy (King James version), but you can verify online here. Chemical elements can be checked on this Sporcle-verified periodic table. Capitals and countries can be checked on this Sporcle-verified quiz. Integers are checked from my own personal knowledge. (Contributed March 6, 2012.)

America the Beautiful. I love this text, second only to the Battle Hymn. Sproutcm already did that one, but this one was missing, so I added it. The peculiar color scheme is a little homage to spacious skies, purple mountains, amber grain, and fruited plains. (Contributed Feb 2, 2013.)

Mixed Word: Anagrammed Countries / World Capitals / Sports Teams. I found most of the anagrams using Chambers Dictionary to try out all the candidates (ie, countries, capitals, teams). Then I picked out the best ones for the quiz. The capitals were a little harder, so I added the regional hints. (All three contributed March 29, 2012.)

Mixed Word: Anagrammed Nationalities. This quiz was primarily inspired by CROATIAN-RAINCOAT, which is one of my favorite anagrams. After plenty of experimenting on Chambers, I found some more good ones. (Contributed May 29, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Anagrams. (Contributed Oct 4, 2013.)

Animals in Revelation. (Contributed June 25, 2012.)

Ara- Names. (Contributed July 31, 2015.)

Arithmetic Terms. (Contributed Nov 18, 2015.)

A-ster to Z-ster. (Contributed May 18, 2014.)

Authors by Initials. All but Byatt, Doctorow, Hinton, and Wedgwood were checked in Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th ed). Wedgwood was checked on a copy of her Thirty Years War in my library. The other three were checked on their own websites,,, and (Contributed Feb 15, 2012.)

Babies Named for Presidents. The first in my Babies-Named-for series. I originally required answers in order, and the quiz was online like that for about two weeks. My thinking was that it would be too easy to simply type in all the president names. But when I later required answers in order for Babies Named for State Capitals, it was not well-received, so I followed the suggestion of multiple commenters to turn off forced-order and shorten the deadline. Soon after I made the same change for this one. I still think 2:00 is plenty of time to type in all the presidents, but the results page for the quiz suggests that not many players are doing that. (Contributed Dec 21, 2012.)

Babies Named for Countries. This one was fun to research, as several of the results surprised me, particularly Ireland and Malaysia. Because there are plenty of countries, I didn't feel the need to require answers in order, as I originally did for the Presidents. The resulting quiz was very well-received, and that's what persuaded me to continue with the series. (Contributed Dec 31, 2012. Featured Jan 18, 2013.)

Babies Named for World Capitals. I hadn't originally intended this as a series, but the Babies Named for Countries quiz was so well-received I figured it deserved a follow-up. The structure was pretty much the same, but I added a minute since capitals are harder to think of. Also, since several were on little island countries, I gave an asterisk clue for those. As with the other, a few of the results surprised me, but over all not as interesting as the countries. (Contributed Jan 3, 2013.)

Babies Named for State Capitals. A natural follow-up in the series of baby names quizzes. I wasn't sure I'd follow through with this one, but I found some of the results interesting -- especially Phoenix, Raleigh, and Salem, all of which are well-represented in both boys and girls -- so I went ahead. In the original version I required answers in order, since otherwise one could simply type in all 50. But that was not well-received, so on the recommendation of needapausebutton and others in the comment section I turned off forced-order and cut back the time limit to 2:00. (Contributed Jan 6, 2013.)

Babies Named for States. The last in the series, and probably the easiest, since states are so well-known. The 2:00 timer feels a little short to me, but seeing how few players are getting 100% in two minutes on the capitals quiz, I figure 1:30 would be too stingy. (Contributed Jan 9, 2013.)

2012 Baby Name Grab Bag (Boys). I'd been thinking of doing a "grab bag" for baby names for some time. Knowing that the 2012 names would be out in spring, I decided to wait for it, thinking I'd release immediately after Mother's Day. But I work slowly and several other quizmakers got 2012 quizzes out before me. I had originally planned to do one for girls, too, but now I'm not sure I'll get around to it. (Contributed May 15, 2013.)

Baby Names Ending in -ty. I've been following baby names since before I was on Sporcle, and I've made several baby names quizzes. This one was directly inspired by this post on the Baby Name Wizard blog. (Contributed July 24, 2013.)

Bacon Numbers. This quiz was directly inspired by the Bacon number tool introduced by Google a few days earlier. Part of the fun is realizing that nearly everyone in Hollywood has a Bacon number of 2. (Indeed, you can get a 72% score simply by guessing 2 for everyone.) To reach a 3 you have to go to someone fairly obscure, long in the past, or a bit outside the Hollywood mainstream — and even many of those come up 2. (Contributed Sep 15, 2012.)

Bach Family Members. I used mostly Wikipedia for writing the descriptions, occasionally double-checking in other sources. (Contributed Jan 25, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Bach Quartet. I backed into the theme on this one. After seeing Word Ladder: Instrumental Quiz in the Daily Dose, I was inspired to try a ladder with five-letter musical instruments. Of the five-letter instruments available, I picked out four that were plausible as a quartet (among the rejected instruments: organ, bugle, banjo, sitar). Then I wondered if anyone actually wrote for that combination, and a Google search revealed that C.P.E. Bach wrote several. (Contributed June 3, 2013. Featured June 30, 2013.)

Ballet Composers. In researching this quiz, two things struck me: (1) how many of the most famous and popular ballets are by the same few composers (Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev), and (2) how many of the rest are by composers known for very little else. De facto source for this quiz is Wikipedia. I didn't take the extra effort to document from a more static source, but I'm confident they're all correct. (Contributed July 28, 2012.)

Bays and Cities Match-Up. (Contributed Sep 12, 2013.)

Best Picture Nominees with GO. The idea for this quiz was born with my Find the Pattern 10, in which I discovered a surprisingly high number of prominent films ending with -go. (Contributed April 19, 2014.)

Biblical Hapax Legomena. Once upon a time I read that the word "girl" appears only once in the Bible, which I thought a curious fact. The idea of discovering more such words was the inspiration for this quiz. Alas, I discovered that while it's true that "girl" (and "boy") occur only once (Joel 3:3), there is also an occurrence of the plurals "girls" and "boys" (Zechariah 8:5), which rather spoils the fun. Pursuing the quiz anyway, I furthermore found it was difficult to come up with clues that were even moderately guessable, either from context or from being familiar passages. The result is that the quiz is considerably less interesting than I originally imagined it might be; but since it's still better than nothing, I've gone ahead and contributed it anyway. (Contributed Jan 2, 2013. Featured March 16, 2013; renamed "Biblical Word Cameos")

Big 4 Babies. I thought I was done with the Babies-Named-For series when needapausebutton expressed mock surprise at the lack of a Babies Named for Sports Teams quiz. I think he was joking, but the data turned out quite interesting, so I went ahead with it. Since Sports and Geography aren't quite the same, I had to rearrange the format a little and rewrite some of the texts. (Contributed Jan 10, 2013.)

Birds in Words. (Contributed Sep 10, 2015.)

Blake's Jerusalem. Someone else made a quiz with this text (here), but it's forced-order and also has other flaws. (Contributed Aug 10, 2013.)

Board Game Designers. (Contributed June 23, 2014.)

Opera Quiz: La Bohème. I know Bohème very well, so this quiz was composed mostly from memory, but all answers are checked in some combination of the vocal score (Schirmer), the full score (Ricordi), or Kobbé. (Contributed Aug 30, 2012.)

'Bohemian Rhapsody' Words (Contributed Aug 31, 2014.)

Born on February 29. The information for Ackland, Farina, Mitchell, Wellman, and Wuornos is at their entries on IMDB (Wuornos as a character). The info for Dorsey, Lee, Pope Paul and Rossini is in Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th ed), except for the Copernicus dedication, which can be seen on Bartleby. The rest is from the following online sources: Bartholomew (Seuss); Gregory; Ja Rule 1, Ja Rule 2; Pearce, (tricky hit); Richard 1, Richard 2; Robbins (height), Shore; Smetanina 1, Smetanina 2; Volokh. (Contributed Feb 19, 2012.)

Born on an Island. I've known for decades that Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar. Learning about Rihanna and Minaj suggested a pattern, and then Trainor on Nantucket clinched it for me. I had thought to limit it to musicians only, but I needed to expand to others to fill out the quiz. (Contributed Nov 3, 2015.)

Boys' Names by Last Letter. Source is SSA's lists for top 200 names per decade. I simply went down each one from the top noting the highest ranked name for each ending letter. (Contributed Feb 19, 2012.)

Boy + Letter = Girl. To compile these, I first collected all boys' names from SSA's top 200 lists for each decade. I then ran each boy's name in NameVoyager as a girl's name, noting each resulting pair. Then I looked up the peak year for each boy and girl name individually. The intent was to include every pair in which both names finish in the top 150 in at least one year. It's possible that a pair escaped the sieve (eg, if a boy name ranked 150th in a single year but failed to rank 200th in the decade), but that seems unlikely. (Contributed Feb 28, 2012. Featured March 6, 2012.)

Boy's Name, Two Letters Same. I liked the idea of guessing the most popular name with two of each letter, but it was too hard with no hints. I think giving the name with the other letters blanked out works perfectly. I started with the girl names, but then decided to release both simultaneously. (Contributed Feb 3, 2013.)

Broadway Songwriting Teams. My goal for this quiz was to highlight famous pairs, like Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe, etc, but too many of the best songwriters worked alone, so I had to include some non-paired names to fill out the set. For consistency, I always listed the composer first in a pair even though in the one case convention has them reversed (Lerner & Loewe). I also liked the consistency of listing three shows for each answer. In several cases that required a stretch for the third one (especially for Kander & Ebb). It also required me to omit Elton John and Tim Rice, who had no third collaboration after The Lion King and Aida. On the other hand, for Rodgers & Hammerstein there were so many good candidates that it was easy enough to list them twice. ¶ The note about shared billings is primarily for Alain Boublil; on all three shows he wrote the French lyrics and is credited first, followed by the author of the English version. Also, Kander & Ebb share credit for "music and lyrics" on Pajama Game and John Murray Anderson's Almanac. For the latter they share credit with several others, but they are the top billing. (Contributed Jan 30, 2013.)

Butterfly, Bumblebee, Bat. Many years ago I happened to notice that the words for butterfly in French, Spanish and Italian were all unrelated, which is relatively rare for the Romance languages, and all are pretty words. Some time later I noticed that the German, Spanish, Italian and French words for bat were all long and multisyllabic, in curious contrast to the simple English word. This quiz was built around that idea. ¶ To fill out the quiz to a good size, I added some languages and I wanted a third creature. I initially tried owl, but it was problematic because many languages use different words for different birds which in English are all called owl, so I ultimately settled on bumblebee (though some languages have alternates for that as well). ¶ All French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Russian words are checked in language dictionaries in my library. The Dutch, Portuguese and Czech I picked up from various "babelfish" type translator sites, but double-checked enough to ensure that I wasn't copying a stray error. Šišmiš was confirmed by a Croatian-speaking friend. (I regret that Sporcle's limitations doesn't allow šišmiš and čmelák to be properly alphabetized.) ¶ The decoy words also have meanings: eekhorn is squirrel in Dutch, libellule is dragonfly in French, pillangó is butterfly in Hungarian, ulitka is snail in Russian, and yozh is hedgehog in Russian. Cochenille is French for cochineal, the bug that provides a red dye. Colibri, with slight variations in spelling, is hummingbird in almost every European language. (Contributed June 12, 2012.)

Cameroon 2014 World Cup Squad It's been a long time since I've followed the World Cup, but the folks on Sporcle University were organizing a community project where each person made a quiz for one squad, so I joined in. I chose Cameroon because in 1994 I attended the Russia-Cameroon match at Stanford, my one and only live attendance a championship game in any sport. (Contributed May 14, 2014.)

Canada: Real or Fake? This quiz was made to highlight silly-sounding names like Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat. I had fun coming up with the phony names. Frostbite Falls is the fictional home of Bullwinkle. Felicity and One Tree Hill are TV shows of the same era and genre as Dawson's Creek. Politzania is a fictional land in a song by Canadian band Klaatu. Red Bull is an energy drink, but there is a city in Alberta called Red Deer. Among the French-sounding names, the fakes outnumber the real ones by a lot. Cities in Québec aren't nearly as silly as in the West, so I have only one real one. Port-Jean-Luc is an homage to Captain Picard; Grand-Plat-de-Poutine means "big plate of poutine"; and Quétaine and Tiguidou are Québecois slang words meaning something like "tacky" and "OK", respectively. The rest are just plain nonsense, made up to sound similar to the real ones. (Contributed May 16, 2013.)

Capital+Country by Hidden Word. This idea came to me out of the blue one day, and I drafted the quiz pretty quickly. Then it sat for quite a while because I wasn't that excited about it. But I know some Sporclers can't get enough of various permutations of capitals and countries, so there it is. (Contributed March 26, 2013.)

CH sounds like K. This quiz was largely inspired by how many of these words I myself have been confused by. I mispronounced chasm until I was about 30, and I was also surprised the first time I heard conch pronounced like "conk". Inchoate is a word I don't encounter much, but when I do I never can remember how it's supposed to sound. Recently I had contemplated using ch-sounds-like-k as a theme for a Find the Pattern quiz, but working on that only made me realize, first, just how abundant such words are, and second, how many of them are easy to mispronounce. ¶ As usual, I picked a dictionary to be my authority and then double-checked every candidate there. I was surprised how many I had to exclude because both pronunciations were listed. Conch, for one, but also eschew, lichen, machinations, and schism, all of which I had definitely intended to include, plus possible candidates bruschetta, chalcedony, fianchetto, machismo, and maraschino. (Contributed May 16, 2013.)

Christmas Song Excerpts. My preference with song lyrics is to check them against original sheet music from a reliable publisher or from a record jacket. I consider lyrics on the Web to be completely unreliable, and newly reprinted sheet music offered for sale online is also prone to clumsy errors. However, I'm away from home right now, so I don't have access to my library of sheet music. Some of the songs I confirmed before I left home (in Hal Leonard's Essential Songs: Christmas). The rest I've confirmed from a combination of Wikipedia articles and YouTube recordings by the original artists. (Contributed Dec 10, 2012. Featured Dec 7, 2013.)

Christmas Carol Excerpts. As with the previous quiz, I'm posting this while away from home so I don't have access to my library of sheet music. I know all of these lyrics by memory, but I double-checked them against a combination of Wikipedia and scanned sheet music sources. By making two separate quizzes, I've attempted to draw a distinction between older traditional "carols" and recent popular "songs", but there are a few pieces in the middle that could have gone either way. (Contributed Dec 12, 2012.)

Missing Word: Christmas Lyrics A-Z. The Z clue is pretty obscure. I would have omitted it except that I wanted to say "A-Z" in the quiz title. All songs sourced in Christmas in Song except: 100 Carols for Choirs, Oxford (dreamless, figgy, leaping, ornery); Essential Christmas Songs, Hal Leonard (history, ice, jolly, marshmallows); Festival of Popular Songs, Readers Digest (unafraid); original sheet music, Irving Berlin Music (write). (Contributed Nov 30, 2013.)

Christmas Lyrics Trivia. (Contributed Dec 17, 2014.)

Classical Music for Illiterates. As the instruction text suggests, this was directly inspired by Zaphenath's "Classical Music by Score Fragment". I had the idea almost immediately after seeing that quiz, but it was a long time before I finally finished making the quiz. (Contributed Nov 6, 2013.)

Click the Poet 1. Poems, with source links, are: Blake, The Tyger; Brooks, We Real Cool; Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese #43; Carroll, Jabberwocky; Collins, Litany (from published collection, Nine Horses); Eliot, The Hollow Men; Ginsberg, Howl; Herrick, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time; Kilmer, Trees; Kipling, Ballad of East and West; Lazarus, The New Colossus; Millay, Figs and Thistles: First Fig; Milton, Paradise Lost; Nash, Reflections on Ice-Breaking; Plath, Ariel; Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII; Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night; Whittier, The Barefoot Boy; Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud; Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium. (Contributed Sept 30, 2012.)

Click the Poet 2. Poems, with source links, are: Angelou, Still I Rise; Burns, To a Mouse; Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Dickinson, Because I Could Not Stop for Death; Donne, Death, Be Not Proud; Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening; Henley, Invictus; Housman, When I Was One-and-Twenty; Hughes, Harlem; Longfellow, Evangeline; Marvell, To His Coy Mistress; McCrae, In Flanders Fields; Olds, Sex Without Love; Poe, The Bells; Service, The Shooting of Dan McGrew; Shelley, Ozymandias; Stein, Sacred Emily; Tennyson, Locksley Hall; Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (Ballantine authorized edition); Whitman, Song of Myself. (Contributed Oct 14, 2012.)

Cole Porter's 'Let's Do It'. (Contributed May 8, 2013.)

Cole Porter Adjectives Another quiz to showcase the talent of my favorite songwriter. The final list is only about half my candidates, and that's not even counting adjective-less gems like "There's someone I'm trying so hard to forget. Don't you want to forget someone, too?" Some of my favorite passages are too long for this format. I might do another, classical quiz just for clever rhymes. (Contributed Nov 5, 2015.)

Comparative Surnames. It was actually Roger Federer who sparked the notion for this quiz — he along with other -erer names (such as former Oakland A's pitcher Justin Duchscherer). That got me thinking about names that can have just one -er or the double -erer. But ultimately I ended up with one -er vs none, with Roger as the only -erer remaining. In general I tried to mix up the genres, to give everyone a chance to get some, particularly since you really only need to know one name from each pair. But I gave in to my academic bias in preferring Mungo Park and John Nance Garner over the more popular TV actresses Grace Park and Jennifer Garner. (Contributed June 26, 2012.)

CON Words. (Contributed March 18, 2015.)

Countries in Words. (Contributed Jan 29, 2015.)

Crying Dawson. Inspired by Sporcle's apparent fondness for using that picture to illustrate a front-page quiz whenever possible. (Contributed June 28, 2015.)

Currency Dollar Equivalents. (Contributed April 28, 2014.)

Divided Islands (matching). (Contributed Sep 5, 2013.)

Word Ladder: 11th President. I was looking at the possibility of U.S. president-themed ladder, probably five-letter or maybe four-letter. While looking at the fours, I noticed enough Polk-related words to suggest the idea of trying to make a ladder themed to him alone. Once I started I felt it was important to keep the clues in something close to chronological order, so that the ladder as a whole read sort of like a biography. That made it harder to construct, but still achievable with only one stretch. The THIG rung is terrible, but at least it's isolated into one spot, easily filled from either side. A word ladder contest happened to be running when I finished it, so NAPB persuaded me to retitle it to fit the contest theme. (Contributed Aug 30, 2013.)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 14. Another one of my all-time favorite poems. Sproutcm did a quiz for sonnet 43, but this one is nearly as famous. (Contributed May 31, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Entropy. This ladder was inspired when I happened to see the word "chais" (as in tea) in print. I noticed it was a letter from "chaos" and it occurred to me to connect "chaos" to "order", though I ended up not using "chais". (Contributed Nov 1, 2013.)

Word Ladder: European Tour. My original concept was just five-letter European cities, but then I expanded that to more general place names reinforce the theme. At the same time, since all my cities were Western anyway, I narrowed the theme to just Western Europe. There are a few spots in this ladder where I change the same letter twice in a row. I generally try to avoid that, but I broke the rule this time in order to squeeze in more thematic words. (Contributed June 30, 2012.)

European Statesmen Full Names. I've been charmed by Metternich's full name since some time in my 20s, and by several of the others since then. One of my earliest Sporcle ideas was to try to make a quiz to share such names. Early versions asked players to come up with the full name, which was absurdly difficult. Much later it occurred to me to do it this way. It's still too hard for mainstream Sporcle, which saddens me because, setting aside the full names entirely, just naming the most famous European ministers from those three centuries one ought to stumble upon five or six of them. How can anyone get through college and not have heard of Richelieu, Pitt, Palmerston, Metternich, and Bismarck? ¶ Full names were copied exactly from Encyclopedia Brittanica (15th ed), using the English translations for title words also provided in EB. For Cavour, I was tempted to use the longer name found on Wikipedia, but I was unable to verify it. I found the same name and titles on various places online, but none that I consider fully reliable. For the countries, I sacrificed precision to simplicity and used the shorter, modern names. (Contributed Feb 12, 2013.)

Fill-In Words: Even Letters. I found most of these words by skimming through the free sample section offered by BYU's Corpus of Contemporary American English and trying out six letter words that seemed like likely candidates. For each word I ran the even-letter combination through Chambers Word Wizard to look for any alternate answers. If any alternate words were listed in Official Scrabble Dictionary, I either rejected the word or, in two cases (vervet and highth), I allowed it as an alternate answer in the quiz. (Contributed June 3, 2013.)

Word Ladder: First to Last. Many months earlier I thought to try to connect ALPHA to OMEGA, but dismissed it as unworkable. This time I took many more liberties with the words and managed to make it work. (Contributed Feb 19, 2013. Featured March 3, 2013.)

Famous Steeds. (Contributed Sep 30, 2015.)

First Name Movies (Girls). The title that inspired this idea was "Rebecca", but I ended up omitting that one since the title character doesn't appear in the movie. I remember thinking there'd be a lot of them, but there really weren't so much, especially omitting nicknames (Cinderella, Pocahontas, Tootsie). Also, I was surprised at how many of them had remakes or other duplicate titles. (Contributed May 6, 2014.)

First Name Movies (Boys). The original inspiration was for girl names, but a boy version was an obvious sequel. Movies with a boy's name were much scarcer, though there were plenty titled with a man's last name. Also, I noticed that my boy name movies tilt much more toward current films, while the girl name titles tended to be older. (Contributed May 7, 2014.)

Fishy Fish Blitz. The initial impulse here was to feature those "fish" that aren't really fish. But I thought the results page would be more interesting if we saw which of true-fish decoys people were tricked by, rather than which non-fish they missed, so I turned it around. The quiz was still pretty easy, so I cut the timer short and called it a blitz. I thought of making it a minefield, too, but on reflection concluded that wasn't necessary. (Contributed March 12, 2013. Featured Aug 24, 2013, renamed "Pick a Fish Blitz".)

Word Ladder: Five Lucky Winners. In the preparation of an upcoming quiz about invented words I had been re-reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (to confirm that "scrumdiddlyumptious" does not originate in the book). Along the way, the idea for this ladder suggested itself. (Contributed May 20, 2013. Featured May 27, 2013.)

Five-Syllable Invented Words. As I noted in the comments, the inspiration for this quiz really was to highlight Mimbelton's "pentaglobulous". The five-syllable restriction came about because I also had "unobtainium" in mind. I set myself the limitation of identifiable coinages partly because I wanted to make "made-up" a less vague qualification, and partly because I hate the way collections of curious words toss them around carelessly without attention to their authenticity. The listed source might not be the earliest usage, but it's generally the one that introduced the word to more widespread usage. I spent a great deal of time researching some words. The most time of all was spent trying to chase down "opsablepsia", which I really hoped to include but ultimately omitted because I couldn't identify its origin. I was happy to have the opportunity to set the record straight on "scrumdiddlyumptious" which is frequently misattributed to Dahl's book (including by the usually reliable Merriam-Webster). I reread the book to confirm my suspicion that it does not come from there. Dahl is credited as a screenwriter for the 1971 movie, but I found no evidence that he coined "scrumdiddlyumptious", and the word's prominence in Wonka's product marketing suggests to me that he did not. In an earlier draft I had intended to include "fandabidozi", but I couldn't find any more specific definition that might not also apply to scrumdiddlyumptious. Special thanks to Eamon Bloomfield for providing me with the Games and Puzzles article where "cruciverbalist" first saw print. (Contributed May 27, 2013.)

Missing Word: Four Limericks. I admit this is an iffy use of the missing word format, but I love limericks and it's a way to promote four of my favorites. (Contributed Nov 15, 2014.)

Find the Pattern. This series was partly inspired by the King William's College General Knowledge Paper, in which each section has a theme and discovering the theme is part of the challenge. I've deliberately made these quizzes a little harder than a typical Sporcle quiz (though still not nearly as hard as the KWC GKP).

Find the Pattern 1. Each answer is a five-letter word with V in the middle. (Contributed July 30, 2012. Featured Aug 19, 2013.)

Find the Pattern 2. Each answer contains the "zh" sound (in at least one standard pronunciation). (Contributed July 31, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 3. Each answer is a six-letter word with three letters the same. (Contributed July 31, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 4. Each answer is also the name of a television show. Coupling, Hustle, Outnumbered, Porridge, and Rainbow are British. (Contributed Aug 6, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 5. Each answer is also a relatively common first name for a girl. (Contributed Aug 18, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 6. In each answer the first two letters are the same as the last two letters. (Contributed Sep 25, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 7. Each answer rhymes with "mama". As with all rhyming quizzes, there may be some variation due to regional accents. (Contributed Nov 26, 2012.)

Find the Pattern 8. Each answer is two words beginning with the same letter, where the first word ends in -ing and modifies (more or less) the second. (Contributed Feb 18, 2013.)

Find the Pattern 9. In each correct answer, the first five letters form a palindrome. (Contributed March 5, 2013.)

Find the Pattern 10. Each answer ends with "go". This idea originated in the "ends with" series, but too many of the words were proper names, and I found myself intrigued by the mini-patterns within the set, particularly all the film titles. (Contributed Aug 6, 2013.)

Find the Pattern 11. Each answer begins with "a*a" where the asterisk is a different consonant. The clue for Arabic is per Wikipedia's List of countries where Arabic is an official language. (Contributed Sept 23, 2013.)

Missing Word: Gershwin. In a discussion on Sporcle University, I wanted to make the point that a subcategory should be created only if the quizzes for it actually exist, not just because they ought to exist. As an example, I said that George Gershwin probably deserves more attention than Taylor Swift, but that doesn't mean he should have a subcategory. Curious, I searched to see how many Gershwin-related quizzes existed. I wasn't expecting many, but I was quite surprised to find there were none at all. So I made one. (Contributed June 12, 2013. Featured June 18, 2013.)

Girl's Name, Two Letters Same. I liked the idea of guessing the most popular name with two of each letter, but it was too hard with no hints. I think giving the name with the other letters blanked out works perfectly. I made this quiz first, but then decided to release the boy version simultaneously. (Contributed Feb 3, 2013.)

Gulfs and Cities Match-Up. (Contributed Sep 11, 2013.)

Hard-to-Type Letters and Symbols. Players can decide for themselves whether cutting and pasting is allowed. I used descriptions so that at least it won't be too easy. A lot more could be said about alternate ways to type the characters, but I'll leave that for others to do in the comments. (Contributed Oct 30, 2012.)

Harry Potter Name Meanings. (Contributed Sep 20, 2015.)

Home Run Hitters with Same Name. From Baseball Reference's page of single-season home run leaders. List includes all who hit at least 36 in a season and ranked at least 40th in that season. All paired names included in quiz. (Contributed Feb 17, 2012.)

Home Free Vocal Band. Like so many, I became a fan of Home Free after seeing them on The Sing-Off. Finding little about them on their sparse Wikipedia page, I did some research and then fleshed out the Wiki page myself. The Sporcle quiz was an afterthought. (Contributed Jan 20, 2014.)

Word Ladder: Horse Gaits. I stumbled upon the canter-gallop ladder while exploring possibilities for a seven-letter ladder. I was following up on walking > walk-ins > walk-ons > waltons, etc, as a way to get out of the -ing pattern. Searching (unsuccessfully) for a way to get rid of the s at the end, I noticed I had found my way to both gallops and canters. So I lopped off the s and made a six-letter ladder instead, adding a simple four-letter ladder to complete the theme. (Contributed May 10, 2012. Featured May 27, 2012.)

How Many States and Provinces Has Iglew Been To? Rather a self-indulgent exercise -- probably ought to get privatized even -- but I was inspired by beforever's similar quiz. Of course since I've only been to two countries I had to change it up a little, but my states and provinces make up a nice number with an interesting geographic spread. I'm confident that the identity of the states and provinces is right, but I'm a little fuzzy on exactly when I first saw each. (Contributed Sep 20, 2014.)

Word Ladder: How Flowers Do It. This ladder was mostly complete in early June, but I put off launching it due to a word ladder contest going on that month. (Contributed July 11, 2015.)

Fill-In Words: H's and T's. All correct answers are unique in Merriam-Webster. Alternate answers are allowed for any correct answer listed in SOWPODS. With this quiz I went back and renamed "Even Letters" and "Three Middle Letters" to make "Fill-In Words" a series type. (Contributed Oct 6, 2015.)

-ina Roles. In my opera days, some of my friends would refer to a certain type of soprano as an "ina soprano", a sort of medium-light voice that tends to be cast in Mozart or soubrette roles. It's not a perfect fit, but it's pretty close. For this quiz, all names and dates are checked against Kobbé, except for Trial by Jury, which is checked in Dictionary of Opera and Operetta. (Contributed May 24, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Irregular Patchwork. I've been wanting to put the BUICK link in a word ladder for almost two years now. (It was in some earlier drafts of my June 2012 ladder that Sporcle renamed "Super Loopy".) I also liked the idea of making a five-letter ladder with no E or S, and it seemed like the two ideas might combine well. Without an E, the only other good path to change the Q is via build or built, which I felt was insufficient variety, so that meant I'd have to have a Q word at an endpoint. "Crazy Quilt" is a pretty skimpy theme, but I liked that it put a Z opposite the Q, and it linked easily enough that I could make it a short ladder, so I made the most of it. (Contributed Feb 18, 2014. Featured Feb 27, 2014.)

Missing Word: Irving Berlin. Follow-up to my missing word quiz with Gershwin songs. (Contributed Aug 26, 2013.)

'I Sit Beside the Fire and Think'. This was created for a contest calling for quizzes with a fire theme. It was directly inspired by PopeStCyril's entry, which featured excerpts from various poems and which I had seen in draft form. Shortly after it was released I thought of this verse, so I made my own quiz for it. I later discovered that this poem was done before, by AdmiralWalk (here). His quiz title is only "Guess the Tolkien Poem" so I didn't find it until I did a thorough search of all Tolkien poems. Most of them are very poorly done and this one is no exception, so I don't feel like I'm duplicating anyone's effort. (Contributed Oct 2, 2013.)

Jabberwocky: French & German. This was mostly an excuse to present the two translations of the poem, I suppose. I'm not sure how well it will work as a quiz, but I figured I could give it a try and see. (Contributed Dec 31, 2014.)

Jingle Bells Lyrics. I was surprised to find this one hadn't been done before. There are several other quizzes relating to Jingle Bells, and one lyrics quiz in Dutch, but not standard lyrics quiz in English. (Contributed Sep 29, 2015.)

Missing Word: Johnny Mercer. This quiz was inspired on a visit to a friend last month when she observed, with some amazement, that Johnny Mercer had written the lyrics to both "Blues in the Night" and "Jeepers Creepers". I remember that he also wrote "Moon River", and together we marveled on what a wide span of eras and styles he covered. Having played many Missing Word quizzes with song titles from contemporary pop artists, I welcome an opportunity to offer a sampling of old standards. (Contributed Jan 13, 2013.)

Last Names by Last Letter. I had planned a quiz for last names by first letter, but then I discovered someone had beat me to it. Last names by last letter is less convincing a quiz, but I figure I'll offer it anyway. (Contributed May 31, 2012.)

Last Names by Length. This quiz was almost an afterthought. I was already playing with the Census surnames spreadsheet for other quizzes when I realized it would be pretty simple to sort them by length. But after testing the quiz, I think it might be more fun to play than the other ideas I had. (Contributed June 27, 2012.)

Last Names: – – – – ER. My original concept was – A – – ER, but this turned out to give a better selection. I limited it to the top 500 because I wanted every missed answer to make the player think, "Oh, I should have thought of that", which I feel would get lost too far beyond 500. All qualified names in the 501 to 1,000 range are included as bonus answers, and a few additional likely sounding names beyond 1,000 are also bonuses. I alphabetized the names, rather than leaving them in ranked order, in order to keep the game interesting after a player had found most names but was still hunting for the last few. (Contributed Aug 15, 2013.)

Last Names Ending with Z. This was inspired by emmafrisbie's comment in the Last Names – – – – ER quiz asking for a sequel. I didn't see any other good pattern like – – – – ER, but ending with Z made a decent set. The fact that they're primarily Hispanic makes me like it more (and the Spanish flag color scheme is a subtle hint in that direction). (Contributed Aug 24, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Latin Phrases. The words in this one aren't as high-quality as I'd like. I was ambitious with the themed words, and it was tough to connect them all without falling back on junky patterns (too many plurals!) or junky words. Keeping the two sides parallel was an added challenge, as it limited each link to whichever side needed more rungs. I was surprised to find that in most cases the four-letter side was harder than the five-letter side. (Contributed June 20, 2012. Featured July 27, 2012.)

'Lucy in the Sky' Words. While prepping a different Beatles song lyric quiz, which would pick out one "interesting" word from each song, I noticed that this particular song had numerous unusual words. Unable to settle on just one, I made this quiz just for the one song. (Contributed July 25, 2014.)

Lyrics to Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Two of my Sporcle friends were instrumental in bringing this quiz to fruition. The first was NJSB. Not long after replacing me as curator for Classical, he asked if I had any other quizzes in mind similar to the ones for "Va pensiero" and "Nessun dorma". I told him that I had thought to give a similar treatment to the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth but had set aside the idea, largely because my grasp of German is far weaker than my grasp of Italian, so I knew it would be a great deal of work to come up with clues I would be satisfied with. NJSB encouraged me to pursue the quiz nevertheless. A while later Platonicus, a native German speaker, offered to consult on the quiz, and he then indulged me in a lengthy dialogue about the grammar and meanings of various words in the poem. (Contributed Feb 5, 2014.)

Male or Female? The "Who is he/she" description are primarily from Wikipedia, with assistance from various other sources, including IMDB and Poetry Foundation. I tried to put together a nice mix of historical vs modern, entertainment vs sports vs politics, American vs European, etc. I also tried to mix in plenty of "decoy" names so that one couldn't get a high score simply by always guessing whatever is counterintuitive to the first name. I avoided any nicknames or pseudonyms, but some of the individuals go by their middle names. (Contributed Sep 10, 2012. Featured Sep 20, 2012.)

McNugget Sauces The inspiration for this quiz was the simple act of staring at an actual McNuggets box while sitting at my computer. The six sauces are named on the text inside the box, and I used that as my primary source. (I later added the online source as a back-up and also as a source for the colors.) Most of my quiz ideas go onto a to-do list where they usually languish for weeks or months, but this one was finished the same evening it was conceived. (Contributed Aug 20, 2014.)

Meistersingers. Kobbé is unreliable here. It misspells Vogelgesang (as "Vogelsang") and omits Eisslinger entirely. I took the names from the original score, available via IMSLP. Voice parts I also took from the score, where everyone is listed as simply "tenor" or "bass", except that I've relabeled Beckmesser and Sachs as baritones, following both Kobbé and tradition. None of the scores on IMSLP show the occupations in translation, and I don't have a score at home. I followed the translations shown on this website, which I'm guessing corresponds to Schirmer's German-English vocal score. (Contributed April 26, 2012.)

Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words. (Contributed July 31, 2012.)

Middle Names. The name that originally inspired this quiz was Thomas Alva Edison, but it turns out he's in a lot of other middle name quizzes (such as this one). After reviewing several middle names contests, in various formats, I tweaked mine a little bit more toward contemporary individuals, to reduce the amount of overlap. (Contributed Nov 11, 2013.)

Misspelled Shakespeare. The inspiration for this quiz came when I was developing the Shakespeare word ladder, looking for words one step away from "Taming". The phrase that got me started was "The Timing of the Shrew", which somehow seemed very funny to me. Not long after that I thought of "Tutus Andronicus", which seemed even funnier, and that set me looking for others. (But as it turned out, I didn't use "Timing" in either quiz.) (Contributed May 2, 2012.)

MLB Players with Y Names. (Contributed August 30, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Möbius Strip. I wish I didn't have to rely on so many obscure words, but it was quite the challenge to come up with a chain that read both ways and doubled back on itself. (Contributed April 20, 2012. Featured May 2, 2012.)

Multiplication Rock Episodes. (Contributed Oct 29, 2015.)

"The Music Man" Instruments. The "Trouble in River City" quiz was a labor of love for me, and this one merely an afterthought that it prompted ... but I think this will prove the more popular of the two. (Contributed Jan 21, 2013.)

My Name Is a Word! Ava Rice is the name that originally inspired this quiz. I went through a great many candidate names. Several were cut because the names didn't quite cut it. Several nice ones also had to go due to multiple correct answers. (Contributed Aug 21, 2015.)

Nessun Dorma. Italian text is from the original piano-vocal published by Ricordi. Since the quiz format isn't sufficient for an adequate translation, the clues only hint at the meaning of the text. For a fuller discussion of the meaning of the aria's words, see here. (Contributed April 29, 2012.)

Word Ladder: 1975 Best Picture. (Contributed March 11, 2014.)

Not a Pope Name. There are a few Pope name quizzes on Sporcle (including one nice one that I cross-linked to), but I haven't seen a clickable one. The reason the quiz asks for names that are not popes rather than names that are is that I think the results page is more informative that way. Other than that, the quiz plays roughly the same either way. For the most part, I've avoided the question of antipopes by avoiding any names that were used by an antipope and not a pope (eg, Christopher). I do allow both Michael and David as non-pope names in spite of the fact that one David Bawden calls himself "Pope Michael I". (Contributed Sept 27, 2012.)

Not Just Constantinople. Most of these cities were known by several names throughout history. In searching for a standard I've aimed for the most familiar name from Byzantine history, which is generally a Latinized spelling of the Greek name. For a base source I used a map from Rand McNally's Atlas of World History (map 18, "The Making of Byzantium"), which shows all but Prusa and Alexandretta. I used that map's names and spellings for all except Sebastea and Attalia, which I respelled for the more consistent -eia ending. I generally avoided cities which were captured for Islam in the 7th century Islamic conquest (eg, Amida/Diyarbakır) and thus were never really Byzantine, but I did include some retaken by Byzantium in the 10th century. I also avoided cases where the modern city is on the same site as the ancient but there's a lack of clear historical continuity from one to the other (eg, Dorylaeum/Eskişehir). Ankara is omitted due to the muddled history of its name. The "Angora" spelling gained currency after the Seljuq conquest, not before. The Byzantines did use the older Greek spelling of "Ankyra" but in the later Byzantine years "Ankara" was as common if not more so. ¶ I would have preferred to spell all the I cities properly with İ, but in addition to not capitalizing properly, it causes a bug in the clickable routine on some browsers (including mine!). I omitted Gangra/Çankırı entirely because Sporcle doesn't alphabetize it right. (Contributed May 8, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Not Very Often. (Contributed June 22, 2014.)

Old-Fashioned Names. (Contributed Oct 4, 2012.)

Old vs New Geography. The two that I thought would be most interesting -- Guinea and Hampshire -- turned out to be too close to call. Given the disparate timing and methodology for the censuses of each, I can't state with confidence which is bigger, so I had to leave them out. For the eight that remain, none is even close, which probably makes it a pretty easy quiz. (Contributed May 8, 2014.)

One Letter from a Country. This is the sort of geography quiz I sometimes complain about -- no real geography knowledge, just doinking with the letters. Oh well, I'm guilty of it too sometimes. (Contributed Jan 17, 2015.)

One of Each Vowel. (Contributed Nov 15, 2015.)

On the Good Ship Lollipop. I later discovered that someone has done this as a "Figure Out the Lyric" quiz, ie, a lyrics quiz where the identity of the song it not provided. Such quizzes are by their very nature hard to search for in advance. (Contributed Jan 8, 2014.)

Opera Composer First Names. I used Kobbé as my reference, though I'm sure there are plenty of similar resources online. I've followed Kobbé for spellings of all composer names and most opera names. Some of the more familiar and easily translatable opera titles I rendered in English to make them less intimidating to opera newbies. I've used English-style capitalization in the titles for the same reason. For sample work I mostly chose the most popular and familiar work, but for composers with several popular works the choice was somewhat arbitrary. (Contributed March 31, 2012.)

Operas by Tenor Role. Spellings of character names are per Kobbé, except that I trimmed "Lt" from Pinkerton's name. Opera titles are also from Kobbé but some of the more well-known and readily translatable ones I rendered in English, to make them more accessible to opera newbies. Choice of operas is mine. What counts as a "lead" role is something of a judgment call — Lenski, for example, is arguably not a lead role — but since it's a clickable quiz, there should be no question of the correct answers. (Contributed April 3, 2012.)

Operas by Aria. Since most opera arias are not given official, sources can vary in assigning titles. Where there are discrepancies I've used my judgment in choosing sources. All titles match one or more of Kobbé, Milton Cross, one of the aria anthologies published by Schirmer or Ricordi, or the piano-vocal score for the opera itself. Since this quiz is unlikely to be taken by opera novices, I've used the original-language title for all operas. For the same reason, I've used original-language convention for capitalizing words in the titles. Spellings of opera titles are proofed against Kobbé, except for the two not listed in that source (L'Arlesiana, Old Maid and the Thief), which are sourced from the Schirmer tenor anthology edited by Larson and the piano-vocal score published by Belwin Mills, respectively. Choice of which arias to include in the quiz is my own judgment. (Contributed April 30, 2012; went public May 1, 2012.)

Operas Settings. This quiz was largely inspired by the fact that so many operas are set in Seville. I decided to have a little fun with that (and also Paris) in choosing the operas. Beyond that, I went for a nice variety of places, while also trying to favor those where the setting has at least some relevance to the opera. Most settings are confirmed in Kobbé (though I question its reliability given that it lists Brussels for Die Tote Stadt, which really takes place in Bruges). For four of them (Aida, Fanciulla, and both versions of Ballo), Kobbé is not explicit, so I confirmed those in their respective scores. (Contributed May 16, 2012.)

Operetta Composers. All except Lincke, Coward, and Novello are confirmed in Dictionary of Opera & Operetta. Lincke is confirmed on sheet music at IMSLP. Coward and Novello are confirmed in Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th ed.) (Contributed May 29, 2012.)

Mixed Word: Operas. (Contributed May 31, 2012.)

Opera Premieres. Source for all but one premiere is The New Kobbé's Opera Book (11th ed). Florencia en el Amazonas is sourced on this site. Opera titles and composer names are spelled according to Kobbé, except that I omitted middle names for Gounod and Rossini. (Not sure why Kobbé includes those.) (Contributed Aug 13, 2012.)

'OR' and more 'OR'. This was originally drafted in my old "Find the Pattern" series, but I've come around to the idea of just presenting the pattern outright (for this one, at least). (Contributed Sept 15, 2015.)

"OR" Game. My homage to BanjoZebra's "CH Game", which I enjoyed immensely, as well as an attempt to have more games of that type available. (Contributed April 29, 2014.)

Word Ladder: Pangrammatic Loop. This word ladder was inspired by recent pangrammatic ladders by sproutcm, ostroffj, and apeminkie. While their pangrams are surely ingenious, I found myself wishing the "difficult" letters got better treatment than to be relegated to the ends with gimmicky words. For my own pangram, therefore, in addition to widening it to five-letter words I added the requirement that each letter appear at least thrice and the ladder loops all the way around so that there is no end. And while I did still make an effort to keep it reasonably short, I didn't let brevity take priority over artistry. (Contributed June 8, 2012. Featured June 15, 2012, renamed "Super Loopy Word Ladder".)

PepsiCo or No. (Contributed Oct 31, 2012.)

Pick the Nightshades. I find it fascinating that such seemingly different foods as tomato and potato come from such closely related plants, while seemingly similar plants do not. Along with other diverse-seeming plants from the nightshade family, that inspired this quiz. ¶ There are several plants that go by the name of "hemlock". I was thinking of the poisonous one used in Socrates's execution, but since none of them are nightshades it wasn't necessary to specify. ¶ I had a heck of a time coming up with a cross-link for this. I wanted the cross-link to say something about tomato or potato, but all the tomato- and potato-related quizzes I found were bad. Even the one I picked I don't love (I dislike minefields), but it's an OK quiz and I like how the link ("Avoid the Poison") looks with mine. Perhaps some day I'll make my own quiz with tomato-related trivia and re-link this one to it. (Contributed May 29, 2013.)

Pig Latin Blitz Just a little celebration of funny words and phrases that could be something in Pig Latin -- especially 'ashtray', which has always been a favorite of mine. I found a few other Pig Latin quizzes on Sporcle. One was kind of interesting, and the rest were pretty blah. I think the matching blitz format will work well. (Contributed Sep 4, 2013.)

Poe's "The Bells" (#). Continuing my pattern of quizzifying my favorite poems. As with "To His Coy Mistress", this one required breaking the poem into sections, but the structure of the poem makes the breaks natural and obvious. (Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 contributed Feb 27, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Poetry The inspiration for this quiz was the word YAWP. It's such a delightful word that I imagined how much I'd enjoy seeing it in a word ladder with a clue referencing Whitman's poem. Soon I was imagining other clues in a similar vein, like the ones for ROSE, LOVE, STOP, and especially RAGE, which seemed very amusing to me. Then came the long process of trying see how many good clues I could pack fairly tightly into a ladder. Then having accomplished that, I did my best to layer some theme onto most of the necessary in-between words. At the same time I wanted to have the ladder still be solvable, or mostly solvable, by players unfamiliar with all the poetry, so many of the clues were made hybrid, both quoting a poet's line but also including extra hints. And I sprinkled some easy, non-themed clues throughout the ladder to give players something to work off from. ¶ The poems referenced are: YAWP, Whitman, "Song of Myself", #52; DAWN, Homer, mostly in the Odyssey but also a few in the Iliad; DARE, T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; BARE, John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Barefoot Boy"; BIRD, from the title of Angelou's autobiography, which comes from the poem "Caged Bird"; BIND, "Blest be the tie that binds", not really a poem, just a popular hymn lyric; WIND, Lowell, "Wind"; WINE, Edward Fitzgerald's translation of Khayyám's "The Rubaiyat"; WANE, Bryant, "The Waning Moon" (that one is pretty obscure); RAGE, Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night"; FATE, Henley, Invictus"; FAME, Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" CXII (a long poem, not much read in its entirety nowadays, but the one line is oft quoted); TAME, Silverstein, "Wild Strawberries", in Where the Sidewalk Ends; TIME, Herrick, "To the Virgins, to make much of Time"; RIME, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"; RISE, Angelou, "Still I Rise"; ROSE, Stein, "Sacred Emily" and elsewhere; RODE, Alfred Lord Tennyson, "The Charge of the Light Brigade"; LODE, oblique reference to Edgar Allan Poe's "Eldorado"; LOVE, Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Locksley Hall"; TOVE, Carroll, "Jabberwocky" (as discussed by Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-Glass; LORE, Edgar Allan Poe, "Raven"; WOOD, Frost, "The Road Not Taken"; FOOD, oblique reference to William Blake's "The Tyger"; SOOT, T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"; SHOT, Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"; STOP, Dickinson, "Because I could not stop for Death". (Contributed, July 19, 2013.)

Presidential Word Square. I had the idea to make a 5x5 word square starting with OBAMA and BIDEN back when they ran the first time in 2008. At the time I completed it with ADULT MELEE and ANTED. Reviving the idea for Sporcle, I did some methodical searching and came up with a slightly better set of words. Designing the layout was an interesting challenge, and I thank citkeane and vikZ for their help with it. The end result isn't quite perfect, but it's better than I thought I could manage with Sporcle's limitations. (Contributed Aug 28, 2012.)

Missing Word: Prufrock. The third of my three favorite poems I've put on Sporcle. It's far too long to ask for all the words (as with Elizabeth Barret Browning's sonnet 14), not even if split into three parts (as with To His Coy Mistress). It's even a bit too long for a missing word quiz, but I wanted to do something with it. I regret that display doesn't fit onto one screen, since I know how annoying it is to have to scroll back and forth, but that was the best I could manage. (Contributed June 25, 2012.)

Qualities Hitchens Most Admires. The idea for this quiz came to me after I saw the three qualities mentioned in passing in an article in The Atlantic. It was such a quirky list that I thought it might be fun to try to pick them out of a list of decoys, so I went ahead and made the quiz. Kind of an obscure topic for a Sporcle quiz, I know, but perhaps it will amuse someone. (Contributed Nov 19, 2013.)

Real Trivia: World Capitals 1 and 2. Sometimes I get frustrated that so many Geography quizzes on Sporcle are just playing frivolous games with names and their letters rather than testing any real trivia. (Which is not to say that I never write such "frivolous" quizzes; I do.) This quiz is a reaction against that, and the "real trivia" in the title reflects it. ¶ My immediate inspiration was the Ulaanbaatar fact, which I first observed decades ago, and the Bratislava fact, which I stumbled upon recently while looking at a map. The combination of the two made me want to collect several more such facts and make a quiz of it. In my zeal, I came up with 32 items for my initial draft. That proved two unwieldy, so ultimately I split the quiz in two. See source page for cites on each fact. (Part 1 contributed Jan 18, 2015. Part 2 contributed Jan 19, 2015)

Rhetorical Figures & Devices. My starting point for this was the "Rhetorical Figures and Faults" section of Theodore Bernstein's The Careful Writer, whence many years ago I first learned of metonymy, synecdoche, litotes, prolepsis, and tmesis. Alliteration, simile, metaphor, oxymoron and hyperbole are there, too -- as well as chiasmus, which here I've given the less ambiguous label of antimetabole. I would have liked to include zeugma as well, but the conflicting definitions of zeugma and syllepsis were too much to wrestle with. I first learned of rhopalics in W.R. Espy's Almanac of Words at Play, which may have indirectly inspired me to include the more playful terms like clerihew, pangram, palindrome and Tom Swifty. To those I added a couple others, some easy and some hard, which I picked up from various places. ¶ I tried to strike a balance between introducing some interesting terms but at the same time making the quiz accessible enough that players would have a chance. There are a couple of other "rhetorical devices" type quizzes on Sporcle but I think they're all way too difficult for the general public. I did my best to offer examples that were familiar from pop culture or literature. All the early drafts included euphemism, but I ultimately cut it due to conflict with tmesis. Tmeses are emphatic by nature and any good example will have a profanity that needs to be euphemized. Profanity was a problem for assonance, too: I was determined to use an example from rap, since that's the contemporary genre that really uses assonance, but it was hard to find a sample that was both brief enough to excerpt and free from vulgarity or the N word. Onomatopoeia, too, was surprisingly hard to exemplify. Most examples one sees have the words acting as interjections, while I wanted one acting as a noun or a verb. (Contributed Feb 13, 2013.)

Rhymes with a Muse. It was Terpsichore who inspired this quiz. The rhymes are all my invention. Some of the pronunciations surprised even me. I had other rhymes in mind for Erato and Thalia before I looked them up to confirm. (Contributed March 30, 2012.)

Rhymeless Word Ladder. My original thought was a five-letter rhymeless ladder, which would presumably center on rough/tough/dough/bough and the numerous words connected to them. That proved difficult. I'll probably still put it together some time, but in the meantime a four-letter rhymeless ladder was easier. (Contributed July 31, 2012. Featured Aug 4, 2012; renamed "Word Ladder: No Time for Rhyme".)

Missing Word: Rhymeless Rhymes. Like the one for limericks, not really a great fit for the Missing Word format. But I'm fond of quirky rhyming verse, so it's an indulgence for me. The fourth verse is my own composition, but I acknowledge Roger Miller, who used a similar rhyme in his song, "Dang Me". (Contributed Nov 19, 2014.)

Rhymes with DUDE. I've been wanting to do a "rhymes with" quiz for years now, but I've always put it off because of the enormous amount of work needed to do it right. Moreover, I deliberately took on a rhyme that takes a wide variety of spellings, because that makes for a more entertaining quiz, even though it also means considerably more work. ¶ To make sure my list was comprehensive, I did a series of searches on Chambers with every conceivable spelling for the rhyme, yielding a list of about 300 candidate words, and then I checked every one of them on Merriam-Webster, which I chose as my source dictionary. I sometimes wonder how others make quizzes like these. As near as I can tell, they just take their best guess and are content to let there be errors and omissions. I've played plenty of "rhymes with" quizzes (including on the front page) where words are simply overlooked, and several more in which no source is cited so that the commenters are left to argue about what should or shouldn't count as a word. Call me obsessive, but I think a quizmaster needs to do better than that. (Contributed Aug 5, 2015.)

Missing Word: Rodgers & Hammerstein. In a post on Sporcle University, someone asked for suggestions on a grab bag quiz themed "south". My thought was that one could make missing word clues from some of the better known songs from "South Pacific". Before I could comment about it, he had already gone in another direction with that quiz, but it gave me the idea for this quiz. I had already done some missing word quizzes for other songwriters (eg, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin). (Contributed Aug 21, 2015.)

Samuel Foote's Memory Challenge. I first encountered this text as a child. My siblings and I memorized it then, so for me the fun of this quizzes is seeing how much of it I still remember now, rather like a poem quiz. But for the 99% of Sporclers who have never heard of it, it makes more sense as a memory quiz. Hence the instructions. (Contributed June 18, 2013.)

Sayings about the Sun. This quiz was in response to a contest on Sporcle University, calling for a sun and or son theme. I'm using the opportunity to try to get exposure for some fine poetry (I especially like the Hafez one), resulting in a particularly didactic quiz. Still, I hope it's fun enough that some people will play it and discover some poetry they otherwise wouldn't. ¶ As a general rule, I distrust quotes sites, since (with the exception of Wikiquote) they almost never cite any sources. The only one here I'm taking on faith is the Dear Abby quote. All the rest are researched to my satisfaction. I omitted some otherwise promising quotations (John F Kennedy, Elvis Presley) because I couldn't verify them. I've included source works in the quiz, even though they look ugly in the clickable format, partly because they offer clues that will help solve the quiz, and partly to make it easier for an interested player to chase down the full poem. (Contributed April 15, 2013.)

Scott Joplin Rags. The Collected Piano Works of Scott Joplin, vol. 1, edited by Vera Brodsky Lawrence; New York Public Library, distributed by Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp; 1971. The three rags not included in the collection are mentioned in the editor's note. (Contributed Feb 8, 2012.)

Scrabble Dictionary 'Definitions'. I'm not a fan of the Scrabble Dictionary. It does a tolerably adequate job of providing an official word list for the game (though I'd still rather play using a standard dictionary), but it doesn't deserve the title of "dictionary". It doesn't really set out to provide thorough definitions of its words, but even with its deliberately brief definitions many are atrocious. The ones in this quiz have a certain perverse logic to them, most of them tweaked to justify allowing each word as a different part of speech, but that only serves to illustrate how screwy the Scrabble Dictionary is. That is also the motivation for this quiz: to illustrate how screwy the Scrabble Dictionary is. (Contributed Jan 4, 2015.)

Seasonal Word Ladder. The goal here was simply to produce a high-quality six-letter ladder, of which there are only a few on Sporcle. The seasons were a simple and obvious theme that didn't pose especial difficulty. As always with six letters, it was a challenge to vary the letter patterns, and some of the words are a bit of a stretch, but I tried to finesse it as well as I could. (Contributed Sep 17, 2012. Featured Oct 4, 2012; renamed "Word Ladder: Four Seasons".)

Seas and Cities Match-Up. I've noticed that many of the geography quizzes being created, including most of my own, just dink around with the letters in a list of memorized names and don't teach real geography. I decided I want to break that pattern, so this is the first of several I have in mind that test basic geographic knowledge in a fairly simple format. (Contributed Sep 5, 2013.)

Word Ladder: 7-letter Author. For as long as I've been doing word ladders I've been thinking about trying a seven-letter one. Some time around May 2012 I identified connecting CHARLES and DICKENS as a worthy goal — since each word quickly connects to many others, but the two are sufficiently different that it would require some interesting turns to link them. Perhaps too interesting. It's hard to guess how much time I spent on it since it was spread out over several months working intermittently an hour here and an hour there, but I'm sure it was well over 10 hours of exploring before I got the two words to connect at all (some time in September), and then several hours more to refine the list and write the clues. I did shorten it quite a bit in the process, but my primary goal was not to minimize total words but to minimize lame words (of which there were many in the first draft). I strived mightily to find a way around WOOFTER — which I dislike for its obscurity, not its vulgarity — but to no avail. I do believe it's possible to get around it, but the only paths I found were long and convoluted with multiple dubious words along the way, so ultimately I decided to just let that one be. ¶ At the suggestion of needapausebutton and citkeane I toyed with the idea of expanding the theme with some Dickens-related clues, but I wasn't able to do a good job of it, and it just felt like the theme was half-baked and weak, so I didn't go through with that. The reality is there is no theme. The theme is that the two endpoint words are related words with no letters in common, and most of the words along the way are decent ones. And it's seven letters, which as far as I know is unprecedented on Sporcle. (Contributed Dec 3, 2012. Featured Dec 26, 2012.)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Julie Newmar and Ruta Lee were credited on the film as Julie Newmeyer and Ruta Kilmonis (their birth names). For the quiz I've used the names they are better known by. (Contributed Jan 27, 2013.)

17+ Letter Vocabulary (Medium), 17+ Letter Vocabulary (Hard), 17+ Letter Vocabulary (Insane). These three quizzes were part of Beforever's vocabulary series. I didn't join initially, but around the time of the 12-letter quiz Michael enlisted me as an editor to help vet quizzes by others, and before long I was hooked on the project. Originally Michael planned the last quiz to be 17-letter words. I volunteered to do an additional quiz for 18+ letters, and we were tentatively planning for that. Soon after, the quizmaker signed up for 17-letter words had to drop out, so we modified our plan for me to do 17+. It's just as well that happened because in retrospect I seriously doubt we could have come up with 75 words with 17 letters and 75 more with 18 or more. Even coming up with 75 words with 17+ was a challenge. (Contributed April 4, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Shakespeare. The inspiration for this quiz was trying to make a decent six-letter word ladder that doesn't rely on E in the fifth position (which nearly all six-letter word ladders do). While exploring ways to branch out of the XXXING pattern I noticed I had two words from Shakespeare titles, so I decided to make a mini-theme out of that. (Contributed April 29, 2012. Featured May 31, 2012.)

Missing Word: Shakespeare A to Z. Like my source text, I used the more familiar "glitters" instead of "glisters". ¶ "Xanthippe" is the only X word in all of Shakespeare. I don't expect anyone to know the line, but perhaps a few people will remember the name of Socrates' wife. (Contributed May 15, 2013. Featured July 17, 2013.)

Missing Word: Short Stories. (Contributed Feb 19, 2014.)

Shy Words and Their Escorts. (Contributed June 13, 2013.)

Sibling Trios. My initial inspiration for this quiz was to highlight the Sitwells, whose wacky names I never get tired of writing. Of course to make it playable I had to add a lot of easier trios, and in the end the Sitwells ended up being the most obscure of them all. I enjoyed providing such a wide variety, spanning centuries and genres. It amuses me to see Emily Brontë, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Lucrezia Borgia all in the same quiz. It was my intention to order the trios from oldest to youngest, though with the two pairs of twins (Gibb and Olsen) I'm not sure which came out first. (Contributed Oct 3, 2013. Featured Oct 23, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Since My Baby Left Me. The HEART-BREAK-HOTEL theme suggested itself when I was working on my Valentine ladder, which also featured HEART and BREAK. I initially thought to include several five-letter words from Elvis songs, but that proved too unwieldy, leading to long chains and detracting from the main theme. The theme set the tone for the quiz because of how the three words are aligned at the top. This necessitated not just evening the columns, but also keeping every clue short, which set me on the path of making it a slightly more difficult quiz with forceful and direct clues rather than flowery colorful ones. ¶ On publication, Sporcle changed the clue for FREED. I completely approve; if I had been familiar with Alan Freed, I'd have done that myself. (Contributed March 28, 2013. Featured April 8, 2013.)

Skye Boat Song (Outlander Theme). I had originally though to color this quiz to look like St Andrew's cross, like I did St George's cross for Blake's Jerusalem, but the diagonal stripes don't work nearly as well as the horizontal and vertical stripes, and it looked terrible. (Contributed Sept 20, 2014.)

Soviet Leader Name Match-Up. For the sake of a standard, I used Britannica to determine spellings, even though several are not how I'd spell them (eg, Yury, Aleksey). Choice of leaders is my own, though it approximately matches Wikipedia's list of Soviet leaders. Lev Kamenev ought to be there, too, but he was omitted to avoid awkward matching conflict with Trotsky. (Contributed Oct 15, 2013.)

Spelled -or or -our. I mostly prepared this quiz about a year ago, but I set it aside intending to make a sister quiz for -er/-re, and then it got put on the shelf and forgotten. It turns out that -er/-re doesn't make a good set of words, for a variety of reasons, so I abandoned that. ¶ I had a multi-step methodology for compiling the list. First I used Chambers to search all words ending in -our. Then I used Chambers again to identify any of those words that also have an -or version. Then I checked each pair in OEMD and kept only those where OEMD listed both spellings. Finally, I checked that in each pair the -our spelling is standard in the London Times and the -or spelling is standard in the New York Times. The latter was accomplished by simply searching each word on each newspaper's website. Inevitably both spellings turned up some hits -- due to proper names, titles, letters to the editor, and so forth -- but in every case it was easy enough to see which spelling was dominant. (This newspaper test was introduced because I wanted some concrete standard to use for "how British usually spell it" and "how Americans usually spell it".) (Contributed April 6, 2013.)

Sporcle Limerick. No source for this one, just my imagination. (Contributed Feb 19, 2012.)

Sporcle in Other Languages. These are all invented, of course, but they're (mostly) based on real spellings of similar words in those languages (eg, "circle"). (Contributed Feb 21, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Sporting Question. (Contributed June 5, 2014.)

State Cities. (Contributed May 26, 2012.)

States Within Cities. Answers for all but five states come from the U.S. Census tabulation of cities over 50,000. For the rest I turned first to the tabulation from the 2000 Census listing all cities over 25,000; this yielded Binghamton (and runner-up Sumter), for which I looked up the 2010 population individually. After that I turned to individual tabulations for each state listing all cities from the 2000 Census. These yielded nothing at all for TX or VT, which are thus omitted, plus a dozen or so small towns each for MN and WV. For the largest of these I looked up the 2010 populations individually. (Contributed June 11, 2012.)

Stark Direwolves (matching). This has twice been made as a classic quiz, but never as clickable matching, which to me seems the most natural format. (Contributed Oct 28, 2015.)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game. This no doubt would have made a better quiz with just the chorus, but the whole reason I wanted to write it is to help more people become familiar with the words of the verses. I think they provide context that helps one better appreciate the main chorus (ie, that it is a girl telling a boy who likes her what he can do). So I included them anyway, even though it makes the quiz too long. ¶ I'm really miffed that Sporcle doesn't offer an option for six columns grouped. I can have six columns regular, but then I lose my column headings. Seems like a pointless restriction, and six columns is clearly called for for this one. (Contributed June 30, 2012.)

'This Be the Verse'. I love this poem. I delayed releasing this quiz for a long time because of concerns about the F word, but ultimately I decided it's still a worthwhile addition to Sporcle. (Contributed Aug 7, 2014.)

This Quiz Stinks! I wrote this quiz in February 2013, but I didn't release it out of concerns it might be too vulgar. Looking at it again more than a year later I think it's fine. (Contributed Nov 30, 2014.)

TH names. (Contributed Feb 13, 2014.)

Thurn and Taxis: Cities. (Contributed June 22, 2014.)

Titan: Creatures and Terrains. My favorite board game for about 10 years. (Contributed June 15, 2014.)

3+3+3 Word Builder. I intentionally designed this quiz to be more challenging that typical Sporcle fare. (Contributed Aug 19, 2012.)

Through the Ages: Civil Deck and Through the Ages: Military Deck. I made this quiz for myself and a few friends. Through The Ages is one of our favorite board games. I don't expect it to draw much interest beyond that. (Both contributed Oct 27, 2012.)

Three-Name Poets A few of these names have appeared in more generic name match-up quizzes, such as this one by Sprout. (Contributed Nov 7, 2013.)

Fill-In Words: Three Middle Letters Follow-up to Even Letters. To make every answer purely unique was impractical, limiting too severely the pool of possible clues. Instead I settled for ensuring that no clue had more than one common word for an answer. Several clues do have multiple obscure-word answers. I did checks against Chambers and SOWPODS for all SOWPODS-legal answers and accepted them as alternates. (Contributed Nov 18, 2013.)

To His Coy Mistress. There are numerous minor punctuation discrepancies between the various editions of this poem, both online and in print, but the words are the same in all of them. I found Luminarium to be the best of the online versions. I followed it in every respect but one, restoring the grave accent on "wingèd". (Parts 1, 2, and 3 contributed May 25, 2012.)

Missing Word: Tolkien Chapters. Chapter titles were proofread against the books on my shelf. Fellowship and Two Towers are Ballantine's authorized paperback version. Return of the King is Houghton Mifflin's. (Contributed Nov 27, 2012. Featured Aug 14, 2013.)

Tom Lehrer Rhymes, 1 & 2. Complete lyrics to all Tom Lehrer songs available here. Choice of which rhymes to include is entirely mine. In some of them I made minor alterations to punctuation and/or spelling. Quiz 1 rhymes come from the following songs: The Wild West Is Where I Want to Be (cactus, thistles), Poisoning Pigeons in the Park (pigeon, cyanide, strychnine), Smut (philately), The Hunting Song (permit), The Elements (Harvard), MLF Lullaby (Saigon), Alma (antenna), The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz (Viennese), I Wanna Go Back to Dixie (Jackson, Swanee, hominy, boll weevil). Quiz 2 rhymes come from the following songs: Smut (candor, ribald); We Will All Go Together When We Go (endurance, rotisserie, Te Deum, Valhallas); My Home Town (idiot); The Vatican Rag (original, Ave Maria, kyrie eleison, pontiff); Pollution (sturgeons); Clementine (cadaver); Whatever Became of Hubert? (spirit); So Long, Mom (Armageddon); Who's Next? (psalm). (Contributed March 25, 2012.)

Tom Lehrer Tempo Markings. (Contributed November 6, 2014.)

Trees in Words. I had to work a little harder to fill the alphabet with trees than I did with birds, but I managed to get all 26 again. I don't think I can keep it up with whatever is next in the series, though. There are only so many recognizable X words. (Contributed Nov 6, 2015.)

Word Ladder: Traveling X. This ladder was born of a desire to use X words, I suppose. It would have been far easier to connect the X words if I had let the X jump from 1st position to 3rd and 2nd to 4th, but I like the idea of it traveling back and forth. (Contributed June 27, 2012. Featured July 3, 2012.)

Word Ladder: Traveling X. This ladder was born of a desire to use X words, I suppose. It would have been far easier to connect the X words if I had let the X jump from 1st position to 3rd and 2nd to 4th, but I like the idea of it traveling back and forth. (Contributed June 27, 2012. Featured July 3, 2012.)

Trouble in River City. This is a favorite text of mine, which I've occasionally used as an audition monologue. Someone attempted to do a lyrics quiz for it, but that quiz is error-riddled and incomplete, and it appears that the author abandoned it with no effort to fix it. In spite of all that, the comments are enthusiastic, which encouraged me to produce my own version. The text is too long for a traditional lyrics quiz asking for every word (of which there are about 480, depending on how you count), so I did a missing-word format. Hopefully this will give players who barely recall the scene a chance to score reasonably well while still entertaining those who do know it well. Spelling and punctuation are copied exactly from the vocal score, even where they are peculiar and/or inconsistent. (Contributed Jan 19, 2013.)

TV Claires. It's probably just a coincidence of which shows I happen to watch, but it seems to me that the name 'Claire' is overrepresented on television shows. So I made a quiz. (Contributed July 22, 2015.)

Word Ladder: Two State Capitals. (Contributed July 30, 2012. Featured Feb 25, 2013.)

All-Categories 45 with 'UG'. (Contributed Aug 30, 2015.)

Union Generals: Real or Fake. This quiz was inspired when I stumbled upon the name of Zealous Bates Tower, which I think is a totally awesome name. I remembered some other Union generals with goofy names, and so the idea was born. For aesthetic reasons I decided to limit myself to men with middle names -- which sadly disqualified Galusha Pennypacker. For the decoys I picked out a bunch of names that seemed to have a similar feel, some goofy and some not. None of the decoy names are fabricated; all are real names of people, though some of those people are fictional characters (and one is a woman!). I made a point of avoiding borderline cases for the decoys. So James Fenimore Cooper was rejected since there was a different James Cooper, and Oliver Wendell Holmes was rejected because OWH Jr did serve as a Union officer, though he never made general. ¶ In the course of researching this I've discovered there's disagreement about Gen Zook's middle name, with several sources listing it as Kosciusko rather than Kurtz. After some poking around, I have come to believe this is an error by an early source that was subsequently copied by other sources and now is Wikipedia-endorsed as official truth, even though there's no evidence of him ever using the name Kosciusko. Such is the Internet age. (Contributed Feb 16, 2014.)

Upside-Down Typing Challenge. provides a tool to invert any text. Some characters work better than others. I avoided letters f, g, i, j, and l because they don't look as good. (Contributed Nov 19, 2012.)

U.S. Cities Ending in "ia". Cities searched from Excel version of County and City Book 2007 from U.S. Census. Populations from the 2000 column. (Contributed Feb 18, 2012.)

U.S. Cities That Are Words. All correct answers were looked up and confirmed as words in Merriam Webster (11th ed). All cities more populous than them in their states were looked up and confirmed as non-words. To qualify, words must be listed as standalone (ie, "portland cement" doesn't qualify Portland) and uncapitalized. A word labeled "usu cap" (ie, johnson) was considered capitalized. Standard plurals of common nouns were assumed even if not listed separately (ie, billings, forks, rapids, springs). ¶ Population rankings for most states came from the Census's tabulation showing all cities with 50,000 or more population. For DE, ME, MS, NE, NH, NM, VT, WV, and WY, I relied on Wikipedia city lists for rankings within the state, and then I confirmed the populations at the U.S. Census site. For HI, I looked up all Census-listed places on the U.S. Census site. ¶ The decision to include unincorporated CDPs was made primarily for Hawaii, where Honolulu is the only incorporated city. It also makes a difference in Maryland, Virginia, Nevada, and New Mexico. Although some of the CDP answers aren't well-known (ie, Paradise, South Valley), the alternative was to have even smaller incorporated cities and towns as the answers instead. (Contributed May 26, 2012.)

U.S. Cities by Last Letter. For 21 of the 26 letters, the correct answer comes from the U.S. Census's tabulation of all cities with population 50,000 or more. For B and P I consulted a similar tabulation from the 2000 Census which lists all cities 25,000 or more. The latter showed DeKalb and Puyallup as the only candidates, so I assumed they were still the largest in 2010 and listed them with their 2010 populations. For that assumption to be false, some other city ending in B or P would have had to be under 25,000 in 2000 and over 37,022 (P) or 43,862 (B) in 2011, which seems unlikely. As an added precaution, I checked population-ranked city lists for 14 states where I thought a jump most likely to occur (AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, MD, MT, NV, NM, NC, TX, UT, VA, and GA). (The GA list came from that state's website; the rest were on Wikipedia.) (MD is included because it has several unincorporated CDPs omitted in the 2000 Census tabulations but included in 2010; the rest are states with high population growth between 2000 and 2010.) These lists turned up nothing (though Pahrump, NV, came close), so although it isn't conclusively proved, I'm confident there is no B or D city to beat DeKalb or Puyallup. ¶ I didn't even try to identify any cities ending in J, Q, or V. Any such cities would surely be tiny and obscure, if they even exist at all. (Contributed May 27, 2012. Removed later the same day, when I discovered someone else contributed a nearly identical quiz just five days earlier.)

U.S. Cities One Letter Apart. Years ago I stumbled upon the Austin-Tustin pair and found it interesting. At the time I thought it was the pair with the most populous second city, but soon after posing the question noticed Irvine and Irving. This quiz was inspired by the desire to systematically identify all such pairs. To do so, I used the U.S. Census tabulation of cities over 50,000. I performed various string manipulations in Excel to identify all the qualifying pairs. (Contributed June 11, 2012.)

U.S. Cities with "ing". Populations for 2010 have been out for a long time, but it wasn't until May 2012 that an easy-to-use Excel tabulation appeared on their website. Hence my little flurry of U.S. cities quizzes. (Contributed June 28, 2012.)

Missing Word: U.S. Cities. This idea was born when I noticed that nearly all missing word quizzes are movie, television or song titles. Not that U.S. cities is all that interesting either, but it's something. There was one attempt at a missing word quiz with U.S. cities (here) but it wasn't done very well. A few of the clues have alternate answers (Broken Bow, Mer Rouge, Green Lake, Little Flock), so that's why I added the alphabetic restriction (Contributed July 23, 2013.)

U.S. Tax Forms. Every year I think of doing a tax-themed quiz but by the time April rolls around I'm too busy at work to put it together. But this year I managed it. Personally I would be more entertained by a quiz including some of the more obscure forms, but I'm in the business. It's already a specialty theme, so I figured I'd better stick to the easier and more familiar ones to give laymen a chance. (Contributed April 12, 2014.)

U*U A to Z. (Contributed April 26, 2015.)

Word Ladder: Valentine's Common Bond I'd been wanting to try a five-letter common-bond ladder for a while. The upcoming Valentine's Day suggested a theme. I was aiming for the front page with this one, so I made it easier than my usual ladder. (Contributed Feb 11, 2013. .)

Va, Pensiero One of the best-known opera choruses in all of opera. The best poetry of any opera chorus, in my opinion. (Contributed Jan 22, 2013.)

Word Ladder: Variations on an Old Saying. Inspiration for this quiz came as I was marveling at the brevity of the word ladder chosen for the daily dose that day. I thought to myself, "Well, it could be worse. The saying could go, 'Its yip is worse than its nip'." Rather than write that in the comments, I put together a word ladder quiz trying out variations. But while I meant no offense by it, a friend informed me that it might be perceived as an insult to the author of the original. Therefore, I removed the quiz. Nearly three years later, I concluded enough time had gone by, so I resurrected the quiz. I improved it cosmetically but the words and clues all are the ame. (Contributed June 21, 2012. Retracted June 21, 2012. Re-contributed May 13, 2015.)

Vocabulary Blitz #. While participating in beforever's community vocabulary quiz series, I often found myself wishing that vocabulary quizzes would emphasize more "good" vocabulary words, which to me means descriptive words that an educated person might usefully add to his or her working vocabulary, as opposed to curious but obscure objects or technical terms. I started this series in large part to highlight such words. A secondary goal is to highlight more precise meanings of more words that are often used sloppily or generically. (#1 contributed May 27, 2014. #2 contributed May 28, 2014. #3 contributed May 29, 2014. #4 contributed May 31, 2014. #5 contributed June 3, 2014. #6 contributed June 5, 2014. #7 contributed June 7, 2014. #8 contributed June 9, 2014. #9 contributed June 11, 2014. #10 contributed June 14, 2014. #11 contributed June 17, 2014. #12 contributed June 20, 2014. #13 contributed June 23, 2014. #14 contributed June 25, 2014. #15 contributed June 28, 2014. #16 contributed July 1, 2014. #17 contributed July 3, 2014. #18 contributed July 6, 2014. #19 contributed July 9, 2014. #20 contributed July 12, 2014. #21 contributed July 15, 2014. #22 contributed July 18, 2014. #23 contributed July 22, 2014. #24 contributed July 25, 2014.)

What does the R.R. stand for? I've long been amused by the improbable coincidence that these two authors have the same two middle initials. I've known for decades what Tolkien's R's stand for; Martin's I didn't know until I looked them up for this quiz. I was a little surprised no one had made a quiz about this, but I didn't find one when I searched. (Contributed June 20, 2015.)

Word Ladder: Whew! This ladder was built around the BELIED-BELIEF link. With six-letter words, it's so hard to break out of the usual patterns. I liked that I could find my way to BELIEF or RELIEF. I directed the other end to STRESS in order to manufacture a theme. (Contributed March 14, 2013. Featured March 18, 2013.)

Who Heard the Goatherd? Most of my Sporcle quizzes go through a long creative incubation period, but this one was conceived, written, and launched all within a day. (Contributed Aug 11, 2015.)

Winter Olympics Latitudes. This quiz was inspired when I read somewhere that 2014 in Sochi would be the first time the Winter Olympics were held in the "subtropics". I don't know what that's supposed to mean -- presumably it means south of the Tropic of Cancer, in which case Sochi is certainly not subtropical -- but it made me wonder if Sochi is even the southernmost site. I suspected it was not, and I suspected right. ¶ A quiz of latitudes alone would be too hard. As it is, the non-Alpine sites can be worked out, mostly from the longitudes. The eight in the Alps are bunched up pretty closely, so most users will have to try some educated guesswork. ¶ The sites I sourced from Wikipedia's list, though the same information is available in lots of places. The latitudes and longitudes are from the linked source. Some of those numbers vary slightly from the latitudes and longitudes on Wikipedia, though never by more than a couple minutes. (Contributed Jan 29, 2014.)

Missing Word: Winter Is Coming. (Contributed Aug 17, 2014.)

World Capitals Ending in "ia". Proofed against Sporcle-verified Countries by Capital. (Contributed Feb 11, 2012.)

Words Ending in .... My goal with these quizzes is that when time runs out and the player sees what he or she missed, the reaction is "Oh, I should have thought of that!" as opposed to "What the heck does that word mean?" That is why I use Oxford English Mini Dictionary (7th ed) as my standard even though it means leaving out some good words. My methodology for this series is to use Chambers Word Wizard to create an exhaustive list of words for the letter combination, then look up each word in Oxford Mini. The definitions are written by me, but most are a direct quote or paraphrase of Oxford, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, or Collins dictionary. (-cular contributed March 12, 2012; -tain contributed March 12, 2012; -mn contributed March 31, 2012; -oo contributed Feb 25, 2013; -mble contributed July 11, 2013; -pt contributed Sep 21, 2013; -zard contributed Dec 27, 2013.)

Words from a Certain Queen Song. Though I'm not much into rock music generally, I'm a big fan of Queen. Bohemian Rhapsody is one of my favorites, well worthy of its reputation. I thought this would be a fun way to educate fans about some of esoteric words in the middle section. (Contributed June 28, 2012.)

Yonder Lyrics. Christmas lyrics sourced from "Christmas in Song" (Theo Preuss). Country lyrics sourced from various websites, checked against performances on YouTube. (Contributed Dec 9, 2013.)

Zodiac Word Ladder. My first Word Ladder. I have some ideas for some fancy ladders, but I wanted to warm up with a simple basic one first. (Contributed April 17, 2012. Featured Oct 6, 2013, renamed "Word Ladder: Zodiac Attack".)