What is The Inkling?

The Inkling is a biannual mail-based trivia competition for the most serious of trivia buffs. Inkling #3 will be taking place in November 2017.

Who is it for?

If you were the star of your high school’s quiz bowl team (or an otherwise enthusiastic member). If you’re a Jeopardy! devotee. If your favorite day of the week is whatever day your local bar has trivia. Or it was, anyhow, until your friends stopped inviting you because you “take it too seriously.” Or maybe your friends are just as brilliantly nerdy as you and you all go every week and rock the place!

..then, my friend, The Inkling is for you!

Participants may sign up as individual players or two-person teams. There are separate divisions/rankings for individuals and partners.

How It Works

Competitors will receive a packet of 140 printed questions, along with a pin and other print item. Each participant or two-person team will then have about 3 weeks to fill out the provided answer sheets and return them (by real old-fashioned mail!). The Inkling Team will score the packets as they come in, and, once all packets are scored, post the rankings to the site for all to see. The top finisher overall in each division (individual and two-person) will receive a mystery prize (aka the TOLVU – Thing of Less Value, Unfortunately), but they can be assured that it will cost much less than the cost of entry.

What’s to stop players from cheating? In addition to a couple little things called honesty and honor, do you really want to be a person who cheats on a for-fun trivia competition with no material gains at stake? The Inkling is for the love of trivia and competition. We trust you to play accordingly.

The question topics range from academic (history, science) to pop culture/lifestyle (television, fads), leaning slightly toward the pop culture/lifestyle side. In addition to typical question-and-answer formats, there will also be some visual questions in each competition. The questions are difficult, but not impossible. See the sample below for an idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

Sample Questions

  • QUESTION: What is the title of both a 2011 Broadway musical and a book first published in 1830?
    • ANSWER: Book of Mormon
  • QUESTION: What U.S. State’s second-through-fifth most populated cities are Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Springdale, and Jonesboro?
    • ANSWER: Arkansas
  • QUESTION: What is the commonly used name of polytetrafluoroethene, the most slippery substance ever discovered?
    • ANSWER: Teflon
  • QUESTION: What post-impressionist’s works include The Painter of Sunflowers (French title: Le Peintre de Tournesols), The Yellow Christ (French title: Le Christ jaune), and Spirit of the Dead Watching (Maori Title: Manao tupapau)?
    • ANSWER: Paul Gauguin

You can view the full set of questions and answers from Inkling #2 here.

Getting Interested?

Register now! Or: read the full rules.

Is This Cheating?

If you’re asking, the answer is probably yes! Here are some examples of activities that are considered cheating.


  • Look up answers (of course!)
  • Look up information relevant to the question (Examples: Looking up definitions to words mentioned in the question; Looking up the nationality of a person mentioned in a question, even if the question is not directly asking their nationality.)
  • Consciously put yourself into a position where you may come across an answer to a question you’ve already read. (Example: If you read a question about a certain TV show that you’ve never watched, and you just happen to start watching that particular show later that day.)
  • Ask someone else for an answer (If playing as a team: do not ask anyone outside of you and your partner)
  • Ask someone else for a hint to an answer (If playing as a team: do not ask anyone outside of you and your partner for a hint to an answer)
  • Write down an answer that you came across “in the wild” after reading the question (Example: A question pertains a certain song’s lyrics, and that song comes on at a restaurant later that day.)

If you have any questions that are not answered above, please feel free to contact me.