Can You Ace This One Weird Quiz? CLICK HERE to Find Out! January 25, 2014 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I took this awesome thread where MeFites riffed on the idea of turning classic and popular books into Upworthy-style headlines, and the excellent spreadsheet that divabat created, and turned it into a Sporcle Quiz. How many can you get?

I capped it at 30 books so I didn't use all of them; I tried to stay with classics (there's almost enough material for a SFF specific quiz), and with ones where I was sure the plot descriptions were correct. I stayed away from the Bible ones because I wasn't sure how to frame the answers. I edited a couple headlines that gave away the title too obviously.

This is the first Sporcle quiz I've ever made so let me know if I should edit it in some way to make it better! I believe I have correctly deployed the "alternate answers" thingie in cases where people might pick one of several titles. (It probably doesn't need 10 minutes to answer but I never like the Sporcle speed quizzes, they stress me out. You guys tell me, though!)

How high can you score?

(Thanks LobsterMitten for permission to post this!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 9:51 AM (98 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

23! (I would've got 24 if it had accepted "a la recherche du temps perdu" -- I couldn't remember the English title...)
posted by Jeanne at 10:03 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jeanne, I've added that as an alternate answer for that one!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:04 AM on January 25, 2014


Highly diverting.
posted by grouse at 10:25 AM on January 25, 2014


You could totally also do this in the "matching" format--I can imagine a matching format might have more mainstream Sporcle success. Good quiz. Five Globes.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2014


Fun! I could not correctly guess [spoiler!] Green Eggs and Ham though :(
posted by variella at 10:48 AM on January 25, 2014


Yeah, Green Eggs and Ham needs one more hint in the clue, I've been trying to think of one.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:50 AM on January 25, 2014


Okay, I updated Green Eggs and one other to make them a little more fair.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:58 AM on January 25, 2014


Could you update À la recherche to include the literal translation of the title? I love Moncrieff but that's not often the title used now.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:12 AM on January 25, 2014


This is secretly the reason I made that FPP post at all.

yay! :D
posted by divabat at 11:15 AM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yep, got A la recherche updated. I didn't know there was a new improved title in English. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2014


So, 62 people have taken the quiz so far and here's a little data spoiler:






Here are the five answers correctly given the most often:

Lord of the Rings 93.7%
A Tale of Two Cities 90.5%
Hamlet 82.5%
Everybody Poops 82.5%
The Bridges of Madison County 81%

I question your taste in reading, MetaFilter!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:26 AM on January 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


I agree that Everybody Poops is good, but need some convincing that it's better than A Tale of Two Cities.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:34 AM on January 25, 2014


"a la recherche du temps perdu" -- I couldn't remember the English title...)

"In the Research of Lost Temperatures," of course. Who needs a trained linguist when you can crowd source?
posted by Dip Flash at 11:37 AM on January 25, 2014 [5 favorites]


I got 22, would have been 23 but apparently I can't spell "Odyssey."
posted by ambrosia at 11:58 AM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Something Happened before I finished and it showed me the answers and tabulated my score prematurely at 13, but I would have missed 8 anyway.

Really a lot of fun, Eyebrows, thank you.
posted by jamjam at 12:00 PM on January 25, 2014


I got 20, should have gotten 23, but was overconfident of my spelling. Anyway, fun, thanks. I can see too much time today going to Sporcle ...
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 12:20 PM on January 25, 2014


I got 23.

[spoiler, kind of, though only a WRONG answer for one]



I was convinced that the one about the "Extra Room One Family Found In Their New House" was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was not.

[/spoiler]
posted by urbanlenny at 12:44 PM on January 25, 2014 [15 favorites]


'I got 22, would have been 23 but apparently I can't spell "Odyssey."'.

Neither could The Zombies, fwiw.
posted by parki at 1:07 PM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


22. I'd also argue that a drag-and-drop matching thing might be better. I entered what I thought was the right answer for one clue and got credit for it being the answer for a different clue that I hadn't worked yet. Still, fun times, very enjoyable.
posted by Errant at 1:22 PM on January 25, 2014


I got 25--who wants to touch me? (I'm not as familiar with The Iliad or Lolita as I should be, have only a passing acquaintance with Bleak House and House of Leaves, and have never heard of The Yellow Wallpaper.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:26 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also, I love that Hamlet and Everybody Poops are tied for third place. There's a message there somewhere.

"There's a divinity that shapes our poops,
Rough-hew them how we will..."
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:28 PM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Very cool, thanks for this.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:39 PM on January 25, 2014


Congratulations. You've gamified being marketed at by lazy copy writers. That's a real accomplishment.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 1:44 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


I feel vindicated that the 5 I didn't get (three of which I've never heard of) are in the bottom 10.
posted by donajo at 2:05 PM on January 25, 2014


I was convinced that the one about the "Extra Room One Family Found In Their New House" was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was not.

I was convinced that that one was The Diary of Anne Frank. Ouch.
posted by mahershalal at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2014 [6 favorites]


Got 25! That was cute.
posted by tautological at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2014


I got terribly frustrated with one answer in particular and became mistakenly convinced there was a typo in the answer; I was dead certain that "This insect's triumph over an eating disorder will leave you in tears" must be The Metamorphosis.
posted by Elsa at 2:38 PM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was certain that "You won't believe what happens to this traveling salesman" was "Death of a Salesman."
posted by bunderful at 2:41 PM on January 25, 2014 [7 favorites]


I was certain that "You won't believe what happens to this traveling salesman" was "Death of a Salesman."

ME TOO. Oddly enough, I got that one: apparently, I didn't notice that the first time (of, let's say, six or seven tries) that I typed it, the test slotted it into the correct space. So hey, that was a freebie.

I was also wracking my brain to come up with a Thomas Hardy novel to fit "You won't believe what happened after this herdsman was asked to judge a beauty contest!" Once I got that in my head, I couldn't think of anything else it could be.
posted by Elsa at 2:45 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


How come you added to my Lolita one? The extra bit gives it away, I think.

Proust appeared twice in the thread and spreadsheet; on the one that hadn't been filled in when I worked on the spreadsheet last night, I used the new English title.

I basically took a big part of the test last night when I filled in many of the blanks so there's not much point in my taking the quiz. But I followed the link anyway and was both stymied and annoyed at the format. So you just enter a title into that field and if it matches something, you get credit? That's just a really weird format.

I'm annoyed that last night I didn't recognize the SF classic by A.B. even though I've read it and am a big fan of it. You might add Tiger! Tiger! as an acceptable title for it, if you haven't already.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:47 PM on January 25, 2014


Oh shoot. I figured that one was House of Leaves because of the original Mefi comment's formatting, which I didn't quite manage to capture in the spreadsheet. I can't speak for the original poster.

I didn't guess too many of them when I made the spreadsheet, but if I did guess wrong feel free to yell at me.
posted by divabat at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2014


Also I guessed that the eating disorder insect was the Hungry Caterpillar, but again I may be wrong.

oops...
posted by divabat at 3:13 PM on January 25, 2014


Ivan Fyodorovich: "How come you added to my Lolita one? The extra bit gives it away, I think.

Because nobody was getting it right and you didn't hit on a very distinctive detail of the novel, and Sporcle quizzes aren't very much fun if they're too hard.

But I followed the link anyway and was both stymied and annoyed at the format. So you just enter a title into that field and if it matches something, you get credit? That's just a really weird format."

That's just how Sporcle is. If you have a quiz site you like better, you can go make one yourself.

Elsa: "I got terribly frustrated with one answer in particular and became mistakenly convinced there was a typo in the answer; I was dead certain that "This insect's triumph over an eating disorder will leave you in tears" must be The Metamorphosis."

Yeah, I was trying to think of another clue to add to that one because unless you've been reading children's books lately it won't occur to you, but it was so funny as is that I didn't mess with it.

--

I've never taken a drag-and-drop Sporcle quiz but I can experiment with it. I mostly just made the quiz for mefites, so that seems like it might be too easy for people who were in the thread, but I can try it if people want!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:40 PM on January 25, 2014


Also I guessed that the eating disorder insect was the Hungry Caterpillar, but again I may be wrong.

Oh, I imagine you're right! It's seems like a perfectly obvious answer. I just got Kafka in my head and perseverated.
posted by Elsa at 3:51 PM on January 25, 2014


And by "perfectly obvious," I mean I burst out laughing when I saw it because, well, YEAH.
posted by Elsa at 3:53 PM on January 25, 2014


This is the only good Sporcle quiz I've made - probably not as much fun as this one, but I think it's a pretty good one if you like words. Which I think some people on MetaFilter do.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:55 PM on January 25, 2014 [12 favorites]


To be clear, Eyebrows McGee, that's not a complaint! That's me pointing out how ridiculous our (MY) brains (JUST MY BRAIN MAYBE) can be.
posted by Elsa at 4:02 PM on January 25, 2014


i missed the yellow wallpaper and green eggs and ham! i guess i don't know much about decorations or breakfasts.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:06 PM on January 25, 2014


I got terribly frustrated with one answer in particular and became mistakenly convinced there was a typo in the answer; I was dead certain that "This insect's triumph over an eating disorder will leave you in tears" must be The Metamorphosis.

I ALSO got the Kafka one only because I'd typed in "The Metamorphosis" for the Very Hungry Caterpillar one!
posted by Greg Nog at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


Chiming back in to reiterate that I enjoyed it very much, Eyebrows McGee, and my "drag-and-drop" suggestion was only because I thought the "family finds extra room in the house" one was Flowers in the Attic, typed it in, and got credit for the other clue instead. The drag-and-drop, if there is such an option (I've never tried to make a Sporcle quiz), has the disadvantage of giving you a list of acceptable answers right off, but would have the advantage of the user not having to worry about whether their manually-entered title matches the coded answers.
posted by Errant at 4:17 PM on January 25, 2014


"Because nobody was getting it right and you didn't hit on a very distinctive detail of the novel, and Sporcle quizzes aren't very much fun if they're too hard."

You could have made up your own clues, left the originals alone, or asked people's permission to alter them. It's nice that you included the link to the thread, though.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:18 PM on January 25, 2014


Sporcle doesn't have drag and drop but it does have a matching option, although in that case you'd have to somehow disambiguate the clues so they couldn't appear to apply to more than one answer. But it's a really fun quiz and this is just sort of FYI in the event you were struck by the quiz making bug and wanted to try out different options.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:28 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ivan, if you want me to remove your clue from the quiz, let me know. I thought I was making a fun little game for the community, I had no idea it would incense you in every possible way!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:42 PM on January 25, 2014 [11 favorites]


Wolfdog, that is a great quiz! Some of them my brain immediately knew the word but others I struggled with and couldn't get.

I can futz around with the options a little bit, like I said, I've never made a quiz before. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:44 PM on January 25, 2014


Oh. Flowers in the Attic. Gah.

You'll never believe why one man hates Aerosmith!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:02 PM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


24. Argh, and as it turns out, "Iliad" has one 'l.' I miss my mind.

Thanks, Eyebrows! Fun!
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:23 PM on January 25, 2014


That is great!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:31 PM on January 25, 2014


I was convinced that the one about the "Extra Room One Family Found In Their New House" was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It was not.

I was dead certain that "This insect's triumph over an eating disorder will leave you in tears" must be The Metamorphosis.

I was certain that "You won't believe what happens to this traveling salesman" was "Death of a Salesman."


ME TOO on all of these. And I have never heard of The Stars My Destination. 26/30 here and extremely entertained.
posted by naoko at 6:40 PM on January 25, 2014


I also went for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I spent a considerable amount of time saying "No, argh, not The Demolished Man, it's the other one damnit what's it called" but I did get there eventually.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2014




Would just like to say, jaduncan's "What happened after this guy slept with his mother is eyepopping!" gets cleverer and funnier every time I read it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:19 PM on January 25, 2014 [13 favorites]


24/30. I also put "a la recherche du temps perdu" but was glad it took "In Search of Lost Time."
posted by graymouser at 7:21 PM on January 25, 2014


I remembered that the herdsman and the beauty contest was Helen of Troy, and what was the deal with Odysseus, but didn't remember the names of the actual works. Siddartha I got right but didn't spell it right. Two of them I would have gotten right except I didn't think to put them in thinking they were movies and not books! Derr.

But for what it's worth I got the Very Hungry Caterpillar even though I haven't read it in about 24 years.

This was fun, thanks for putting this together EyebrowsMcGee!
posted by bleep at 7:33 PM on January 25, 2014


Fun, thanks!
posted by cocoagirl at 7:45 PM on January 25, 2014


Fun! Twenty-five.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:29 PM on January 25, 2014


"And I have never heard of The Stars My Destination."

It's considered a science-fiction classic, though it's not as often read as many other similarly highly-regarded SF novels. It's notable for numerous reasons but especially, in my opinion, for being very, very dark with an antihero protagonist, which is pretty unusual for mainstream SF novels of that era (it was published in 1956).

Bester's original title was Tiger! Tiger!, it was published under that name in the UK, and his title is much more appropriate for the work with its allusion to Blake. "The Stars My Destination" was an editor's choice and, IIRC, Bester was unhappy about it.

Incidentally, Stephen R. Donaldson's five book The Gap Cycle can be thought of as a crazy collision of The Ring Cycle and Bester's The Stars My Destination. Basically the only worthwhile thing Donaldson's done other than his original Covenant books.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:45 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was awesome...though every time I'm reminded Sporcle exists, I lose an hour or so.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:46 PM on January 25, 2014 [2 favorites]


So what is the weird trick to getting out of having to fly bomber missions?
posted by ODiV at 9:45 PM on January 25, 2014


20/30, would have been 21 if I could spell "caterpillar."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:08 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


ODiV, I can't tell you unless you already know. Its a real Catch-22.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:17 PM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


26/30, which means I either have a degree in English or Upworthy; I'm not sure which.
posted by ilana at 10:28 PM on January 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


So I only got 14/30. And three of the clues were mine. I R SMRT.
posted by jcreigh at 11:05 PM on January 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ahh, Sporcle. There goes the rest of my night.
posted by dotgirl at 11:21 PM on January 25, 2014



Bester's original title was Tiger! Tiger!.


Yeah it took me a few, 5-7, secs to remember The Stars... rather than Tiger! Tiger!, which is funny because all the versions I've owned have been TSMD titled, somehow I just always first think Tiger! Tiger! with that book
posted by edgeways at 12:40 AM on January 26, 2014


and in bold too
posted by edgeways at 12:40 AM on January 26, 2014


I only got 11. (Would have been 12 if I could spell Siddhartha.) Do I get a prize for being teh stupidist?
posted by billiebee at 3:02 AM on January 26, 2014


I also could not spell the Iliad! Pfft.
posted by Coaticass at 3:41 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wolfdog

Wolfdog your quiz doesn't accept "chillax"

I have issue with this, Wolfdog
posted by KChasm at 5:26 AM on January 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think changing the word "room" to "space" in the clue for House of Leaves might eliminate the confusion, without making it too super-easy to guess. "Room" is giving people the concept of another specific room, rather than "we have so much more room than we thought!" room.
posted by tzikeh at 5:40 AM on January 26, 2014


25! This is fun!
posted by Navelgazer at 8:00 AM on January 26, 2014


What a fun quiz, thanks for putting it up! Between the DingoWife and I, we got 27/30 (pretty sure I got more of the kids' books while she got more of the intellectual ones ...)
posted by DingoMutt at 9:04 AM on January 26, 2014


The Stars My Destination is extremely fun, extremely pulpy, extremely great book except for a really hideous rape scene kind of out of nowhere partway through, which is frustrating as fuck because otherwise I'd be recommending it to people left right and sideways instead of quietly hoping nobody asks me about it when they see it on my bookshelf.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:36 AM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


So honestly, it's been a while since I've read it. Is it just dying or something?
posted by ODiV at 11:26 AM on January 26, 2014


26! Woot woot. This was great, thank you!
posted by pretentious illiterate at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2014


This was so much fun! I got 21 correct; I'm amazed that I drew a complete blank on "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", considering how many times I've read that book to children. That critter has a Serious Problem!
posted by epj at 12:47 PM on January 26, 2014


27/30.

This convinces me my life has been well spent.
posted by kyrademon at 1:51 PM on January 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


ODiV: I'm not sure anything works aside from feigning jaundice for a while.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:54 PM on January 26, 2014


I thought it was everyONE poops, guess I'm out of touch :-(
posted by janey47 at 2:07 PM on January 26, 2014


+1 and I got 26! So much fun, thanks!
posted by mlle valentine at 2:17 PM on January 26, 2014


21/30. Proud to say that all the books I missed were ones I'd never read. (Not that I've read all of them, but still. The ones I had, I got.)
posted by sonika at 2:21 PM on January 26, 2014


26/30, and it would have been 27/30 if I'd remembered Green Eggs and Ham. My childhood is dead
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:10 PM on January 26, 2014


I scored zero. WTF? I was an English major.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:18 PM on January 26, 2014


27/30. All I could come up with for what turned out to be The Stars My Destination is the TNG episode where Riker's transporter clone has been Robinson Crusoeing alone on a planet for seven years, and I knew that wasn't right.

Also on Googling it looks like the title is Everyone Poops, Janey47 is right! Though I defaulted on "Everybody" too, I guess because I conflated it with "Everybody Hurts."
posted by thesmallmachine at 7:47 PM on January 26, 2014


To be fair, The Illiad is the illest account of the Trojan wars.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:30 PM on January 26, 2014


I had never heard of The Stars My Destination before. Thanks for introducing me to it!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:49 PM on January 26, 2014


Okay, you can now answer either Everybody Poops or Everyone Poops! (The internet informs me it has also been released as "Everybody Poos" but that is right out.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:15 PM on January 26, 2014


Also added Tiger! Tiger! as an alternate option for Stars.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:40 PM on January 26, 2014


The internet informs me it has also been released as "Everybody Poos" but that is right out.

So I'm guessing that "All Humans Defecate" and "Every Motherfucker Shits" are likewise no-go?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:50 PM on January 26, 2014


"No One Poops But You"
posted by Sys Rq at 11:06 PM on January 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


22, and I can't spell odyssey for shit either
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:44 AM on January 27, 2014


29! The Brahmin prince/river one has befuddled me, and I suspect the answer will make me kick myself. Hard.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:44 AM on January 27, 2014


Also, I love that Hamlet and Everybody Poops are tied for third place. There's a message there somewhere.

And there, ladies and gentleman, we have my next can't lose self-published e-book smash: Hamlet Poops.

Hey, can't be worse than Orson Scott Card's version.
posted by Naberius at 12:51 PM on January 27, 2014


It took me way to long to even figure out how to input my answers. It was then that I realized this quiz might not be for me.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:57 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


What did you try before you tried typing them in?
posted by Wolfdog at 2:30 PM on January 27, 2014


And there, ladies and gentleman, we have my next can't lose self-published e-book smash: Hamlet Poops.
HAMLET: Dost thou think Alexander pooped o' this fashion i' the earth?
HORATIO: E'en so.
HAMLET: And smelt so? pah!
I can do this all day.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:52 PM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man, only 17. I got Siddhartha but apparently can't spell it, like others here. I have never heard of House of Leaves so don't feel too bad about that one. And I thought Everybody Poops couldn't possibly be that, it had to be more complicated. Guess not!

Thanks, that was really fun!

Can we do another one? Please?
posted by Athanassiel at 4:00 AM on January 29, 2014


Kinda late but in case ODiV comes back:

To get out of flying, you have to be declared insane.
But you have to ask to be declared insane.
And if you ask to be declared insane, you are considered sane, since no sane person wants to fly.
posted by jeoc at 4:04 PM on February 15, 2014


I never left, jeoc. I never left.
posted by ODiV at 4:18 PM on February 15, 2014


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