What are some of AskMe's fastest, most amazing success stories? May 13, 2011 2:21 PM   Subscribe

The sidebar (see Apr 12) featured this post, in which someone's seemingly obscure question was answered in just six minutes. I think MY experience was even more amazing (as my question was more obscure), though it did take Gator an hour and ten minutes to cough up an answer. What are some other AskMe Astounding Stories of Snappy Answers to Obscure Questions?
posted by grumblebee to MetaFilter-Related at 2:21 PM (47 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I can't believe this has never, ever come up before.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:22 PM on May 13, 2011


My lamp question was answered 16 minutes before I asked it. Beat that!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM on May 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon, that reminds me of my (only) favorite limerick:

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away.

The absurdity made me smile just typing the words.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 2:35 PM on May 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


We had this MeTa that deal with speed only, but if you read the thread you can figure out which were the obscure questions.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:39 PM on May 13, 2011


That's not a limerick, bro.
posted by phunniemee at 2:42 PM on May 13, 2011 [20 favorites]


For me this is the classic example that will never be surpassed. And in only 49 minutes!
posted by lalex at 2:47 PM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I commented 26 minutes after this post - but only to say how utterly amazing it was that someone had the right answer to a seemingly-impossible question in only seven minutes.
posted by brozek at 2:51 PM on May 13, 2011


While recounting a science fiction story I vaguely remembered, in a thread about icky David Icke in pre-AskMetaFilter days, I posed an implicit question about its name and author, which Rodii nailed in five minutes. Rodii was appalled, I was quite impressed.
posted by y2karl at 3:12 PM on May 13, 2011


My favourite was the time that user's belief in what constituted a limerick was shot down in six minutes and change.

No, actually I think my first or second askme was about the title of a half-remembered short story I had been trying to track down for decades. Within twenty minutes, not only did I have a title and author, but a link to the text online. Woohoo!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:20 PM on May 13, 2011


I confess to a few pangs of the the seventh deadly sin for answering this question about a fairly obscure comic artist / illustrator in only 18 minutes.

You could argue that it was almost cheating since at the time I was working for the same studio as the artist and recognized the style (though not the particular work) instantly, but man, if I'd only seen the question 17 minutes earlier...
posted by dersins at 3:32 PM on May 13, 2011


One of my questions was answered before I even asked it. It was The Whelk time traveling again. And it was about how to construct a time machine. He gave me a very simple way of traveling through time without a device of any type. It was so obvious, it was amazing. Anyone can do it. It seems that all you have to do is
posted by Splunge at 4:10 PM on May 13, 2011


I got an almost immediate response once, which, in retrospect, was totally right: I shouldn't have eaten it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:19 PM on May 13, 2011


Blazecock: My lamp question was answered 16 minutes before I asked it. Beat that!

Wait, what?! How did that happen?
posted by Kattullus at 4:22 PM on May 13, 2011


I'd like to know the snappiest answer to an obscure question which was answered by the poster who then marked it as "best" and was called out in MeTa without being informed. Anyone?
posted by gman at 4:26 PM on May 13, 2011


Kattullus - Daylight Savings Time
posted by djb at 4:27 PM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


5 minutes!

Thanks, djb.
posted by Kattullus at 4:30 PM on May 13, 2011


I put up a question about a painting my parents had had when I was a kid, with only the last name Svenningsen and the area and year where they bought it. Five hours later, Vaike commented that she was an old friend and neighbor of the artist.

Ted Svenningsen still had a copy of the lithograph my parents bought at the same time as the painting (my father ended up with both the painting and lithograph in the divorce). I bought the lithograph for my mom and she was absolutely delighted (and flabbergasted) when she opened it last Christmas.
posted by jocelmeow at 4:38 PM on May 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


For me this is the classic example that will never be surpassed. And in only 49 minutes!

When I clicked the link I was sure that was going to be the famous Vienna phonebook thread, which, while not technically answered in 32 minutes certainly connected the poster with one of the handful of people in the world equipped to best answer his question.
posted by anastasiav at 4:41 PM on May 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was (and am) exceedingly proud of this one, even though my answer was just the result of some lucky Googling.
posted by smilingtiger at 4:51 PM on May 13, 2011


Wait, what?! How did that happen?

It's all down to how awesomely awesome I phrased my question, which attracted time-travelers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 PM on May 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I surprised how quickly my obscure quote question was answered.
posted by telstar at 5:15 PM on May 13, 2011


I was always proud of myself for this one.
posted by Gator at 6:05 PM on May 13, 2011


I had a question I thought would be a stumper answered in 10 minutes.
posted by edgeways at 9:24 PM on May 13, 2011


Well, it took some five hours, but considering that I've been searching for this video for years, and my query was pretty imprecise, I regard prenominal's answer to this question as quite remarkable!
posted by VikingSword at 9:41 PM on May 13, 2011


I picked out a song from a 10-year-old record by an acoustic band with minimal radio exposure in three minutes once. It was sheer luck on the timing: the question was at the top of AskMe and the band is a longtime favorite of mine (and broke up last month, sadly).
posted by immlass at 10:55 PM on May 13, 2011


Huh, apparently this one took 3 hours and 27 minutes for a best answer, and the first "best answer" is attributed to the asker themself. So, this doesn't seem comparable.
posted by inigo2 at 10:55 PM on May 13, 2011


Wait, I kept scrolling, and there's a "best answer" marked that isn't from the question in another 6 minutes. Yeah, that's pretty good. Good for you. Metatalk it is.
posted by inigo2 at 10:57 PM on May 13, 2011


Also I'm in a shitty mood for various reasons, so maybe everyone should ignore those two responses.
posted by inigo2 at 10:58 PM on May 13, 2011


That's not a limerick, bro.

Maybe the man was not from Nantucket.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:49 PM on May 13, 2011


This is my favourite obscure answer that I've ever posted. Four hours between asking and answer but I answered it within 10 minutes of seeing it. Nine minutes of which was finding the image and uploading it to my Polaroid directory.

And iconomy blew my mind by answering my spider game question in six minutes.
posted by Mitheral at 1:19 AM on May 14, 2011


I MeTa'd mine previously.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:12 AM on May 14, 2011


I had a film identification question that had been bugging me for about a decade answered within the minute.
posted by pompomtom at 3:25 AM on May 14, 2011


That man on the stairs who's not there
Is making me tear out my hair.
He's been there for days!
Oh, what if he stays?
I'd rather he wasn't elsewhere.
posted by flabdablet at 3:41 AM on May 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not so snappy, but worth the wait.
posted by Jofus at 4:17 AM on May 14, 2011


I was pleased with my sub two-minute first answer/best answer, and most of that time was trying to find a link to cite.

AskMe is a national treasure.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:37 AM on May 14, 2011


I'm kind of proud of this one cause it's the rare time I knew the exact answer right away cause I used to work there.
posted by The Whelk at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2011


There once was a man nonexistant
Whose absence on stairs was consistent
He'll not be tomorrow
Which brings me no sorrow
--His TB is treatment-resistant
posted by Sys Rq at 9:47 AM on May 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I found a man who had been dead for 93 years, based on a first name, approximate cemetery name, an assumption of his nationality, and a wild-ass guess as to the military operation that caused his loss. Then his family appeared in a newspaper, and on television.

Also, once I pulled the name of an obscure modern ballet directly out of my guesserator, because I am just so damn incroyable.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:43 PM on May 14, 2011


A slight revision: I think this works better.

That man on the stairs who's not there
Is making me tear out my hair.
He's been not there for days!
Oh, what if he stays?
I'd rather he wasn't elsewhere.
posted by flabdablet at 1:52 AM on May 15, 2011


phunniemee: "That's not a limerick, bro."

No, it's a Milligan.
posted by hardcode at 4:53 AM on May 15, 2011


We passed upon the stair spoke of where and when.
Although I wasn't there he said I was his friend.
posted by Sailormom at 12:02 PM on May 15, 2011


He's been not there for days!

Does not scan. Try "not been" instead.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:55 PM on May 15, 2011


Scans fine if you put the emphasis on "not" instead of "been".
posted by flabdablet at 5:18 PM on May 15, 2011


The story you're thinking of is by Ray Bradbury
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:17 PM on May 15, 2011


I was always proud of myself for this one.

Ditto - 8 minutes!
posted by ryanshepard at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2011


This one took longer (I didn't see it until a few hours after it was posted), but I'm still pretty damn pleased that this information was actually useful to someone else.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:02 AM on May 16, 2011


I answered this one with about twenty minutes of sustained googling and felt very pleased with myself. Just under two hours from post time.
posted by marginaliana at 9:48 AM on May 16, 2011


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