Outliers!

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Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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113 Responses

  1. Avatar ScarletNumber says:

    19: North Dallas Forty isn’t about baseballReport

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    11: Raffles was a criminal, the others were detectives.Report

  3. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    15: In Dune, thinking machines are forbidden. The other three all involve apparently-sentient machine intelligences.Report

  4. Avatar dexter says:

    Wild guesses
    1. fitzgerald
    4. huckelberry
    6. samwise
    8. the tow
    10. silver blaze
    14.watership down
    18. George shaw
    20. little dorritReport

  5. Avatar KenB says:

    This is a really cool puzzle. A couple that have occurred to me so far:

    14: unlike the others, I don’t think Rabbit, Run includes an actual rabbit.
    18: George Bernard Shaw is the only non-pseudonymous George.Report

    • Avatar KenB in reply to KenB says:

      On #2, Omoo and Typee are both Melville novels but I don’t recognize the other two – perhaps one of them is another Melville and the other isn’t?Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    I promised myself I wouldn’t guess at any more, but… #4, in A Connecticut Yankee the titular character is a grown-up.Report

  7. Avatar Chris says:

    18. George Bernard Shaw is not a nom de plume. Only one whose actual name is George.Report

  8. Avatar Stillwater says:

    1. Faulkner. Born in the 19th century.

    The other ones are EASY. I just don’t wanna spoil the fun.Report

  9. Avatar Kolohe says:

    4. I think Prince and the Pauper is the only one told in the third person.Report

  10. Avatar aaron david says:

    1. Falkner
    2. Patusan
    3. Mr. Muliner
    4. Prince and the pauper
    5. Richard Stark
    6. Sam
    7. Samuel Vimes
    8. The town
    9. Galadriel
    10. Red headed league
    11. Sherlock Holmes
    12. Raffles
    13. Henry VIII
    14. Rabbit run
    15. 2001, a space Odyssey
    16. Happy Days
    17. Thank you Jeeves
    18. George Eliot
    19. Bang the Drum Slowly
    20. Vanity FairReport

  11. Recap so far:

    6: Michael Cain
    9: Stillwater
    11:Michael Cain
    14: KenB
    15: Michael Cain
    18: KenB
    19: Scarlet

    On 6, I was thinking they’re all part of the gentry except for Sam, but their being related is more or less the same thing.

    On 9, the other three are Maia: all Istari (wizards) are Maia, but not vice-versa. Close enough.Report

  12. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    13. Henry VII, the only king in the batch not to inherit his crown.Report

  13. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’m only a little bit in, but worried that I keep coming up with CReport

  14. Avatar KatherineMW says:

    6) Frodo, Merry, Pippin, Sam: Well, they’re all hobbits. Merry is the only one who never went to Mordor (Frodo and Sam went to Mount Doom; Pippin was at the Battle at the Black Gate).

    8) The Hamlet, The Mansion, The Reivers, The Town: The Reivers is the only one not named after a location.

    9) Gandalf, Galadriel, Saruman, Sauron: Galadriel is not a Maia, she is an elf.

    13) Henry V, Henry VI, Henry VII, Henry VIII: Shakespeare did not write a play named for Henry VII.

    18) George Eliot, George Orwell, George Sand, George Bernard Shaw: I believe George Bernard Shaw is the only person in that list who is going by his original name. The other three are all pen names.Report

  15. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    14 is my favorite so far: C, because Run Rabbit Run is the only one that doesn’t actually have a rabbit in it.Report

  16. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I think 7 is A, because Brutha is the only character from a single title not a series.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I can think of quite a few possibilities, but a lot of them are quite tenuous. I’ll skip over the 800-pound orangutan in the middle of the carpet and say (C) Vimes because he’s the only member of the nobility.Report

  17. Avatar aaron david says:

    1. Falkner Born in South
    2. Patusan Not Melville
    3. Mr. Muliner Not Wodehouse character
    4. Prince and the pauper Short story
    5. Richard Stark Pseudonym
    6. Sam Servant
    7. Samuel Vimes Guess
    8. The town Not Faulkner
    9. Galadriel Not wizard
    10. Red headed league Not Doyle story
    11. Sherlock Holmes Amateur
    12. Raffles Criminal
    13. Henry VIII Not a play
    14. Rabbit run No Rabbit in story
    15. 2001, a space Odyssey Movie, not story
    16. Happy Days TV Show
    17. Thank you Jeeves Not a Wodehouse story
    18. George Eliot Pseudonym
    19. Bang the Drum Slowly Not a sports novel (I am wrong)
    20. Vanity Fair Not 20th century

    I know I am wrong about some, but so it goes.Report

  18. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    20 is maybe A, since it’s the only one that takes place in outerspace?Report

  19. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    15 Dune, not on earthReport

  20. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    18 is C, because it’s not a manReport

  21. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    10) D. Study in Scarlet
    It’s a novella, while the rest are short storiesReport

  22. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    19 is ND40, football not baseballReport

  23. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    11 and maybe 12 are Raffles, who is the lone criminal amongst detectives.Report

  24. Further recap:

    2: Aaron
    7: Tod
    10: Alan
    13: Katharine

    In 2, Patusan is the setting for the last part of Conrad’s Lord Jim, while the others are books by Melville.

    Still outstanding: 1,3,4,5,8,12,16,17,20Report

  25. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    12: Marlowe, who tells his own stories. The others are related by companions (Watson for Holmes, Archie Goodwin for Wolfe, and I forget the name of the one for Raffles).Report

    • My grandmother addicted me to Nero Wolfe when I was a kid, over the course of a long Thanksgiving weekend when the weather was too bad to go outside. My dad could see that I was bored to tears and asked his mom if she had anything I could read. She went off somewhere and came back with a stack of Nero Wolfe paperbacks. One of the cool things was that, unlike too many other mystery writers, Stout always gave you everything that Wolfe was going to use to solve the mystery. In one of the stories a key clue was in a photograph. The publisher had bound one heavy page with a black-and-white photo on it into the book.Report

  26. And more:

    1. Dexter
    12. Michael Cain

    Still outstanding: 3,4,5,8,16,17,20Report

  27. Avatar kenB says:

    Oh, I just figured out #20, but I cheated and looked up one of the books, so I’ll rot13 it:

    Inavgl Snve – ab znva punenpgre anzrq NeguheReport

  28. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    For four, how about Prince & Pauper because it’s the only one that has no one from the Show Me state in it? (Or the US for that matter.)Report

  29. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’ve never read the Reivers, so this is a wild guess… It isn’t a book about the Snopes?Report

  30. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    For 16, I know that the last 2 are by HL Menken. I don’t know if the other two are. I’ll say… Bohemian Days because it isn’t by Menken?Report

  31. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Giving up on 5 and seventeen right now. (I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any of the names in 5.) Will ponder 20 tonight…Report

  32. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Is 20 OAFK because it’s the only one that isn’t supposed to be funny? (But which is… or at least book one, which is very funny.)Report

  33. Tod has gotten 8 and 16. The Reviers is not part of the Snopes Trilogy; it’s about members of the extended McCaslin-Edmons-Beauchump family from Go Down, Moses. Mencken’s Days series of autobiographical books consisted of Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heathen Days.

    Still unsolved: 3,4,5,17,20Report

  34. Avatar aaron david says:

    @mike-schilling
    5. Joe Gores. Not a pseudonym.
    20. Little Dorrit. Its author is the only one who didn’t go to public school.Report

  35. Avatar aaron david says:

    17. Irel tbbq Wrrirf vf n pbyyrpgvba, juvyr gur bguref ner abiryf.

    ( I researched, not sure if that is kosher…)Report

  36. Avatar J_a says:

    #4. Prince and Pauper is the only one in which no character is from the U.S.Report

  37. And Aaron has 5. All besides Joe Goes are pseudonyms for Donald Westlake.

    This leaves 3, 4, 17, and 20.

    One is about categories.
    One is about characters.
    One is about narrative style.
    One is about plots.Report

  38. Avatar aaron david says:

    20. Because one character is going back in time?Report

  39. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Is 4 Huck Finn because it’s the only first person narrative?Report

  40. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    As to number 3, is it the Oldest Member because that character is nameless?Report

  41. 3 is about narrative style.
    4 is about plots.
    17 is about categories.
    20 is about characters.Report

  42. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    AHA!!!

    20 is VF, because there isn’t a major character named Arthur.Report

  43. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Is 4 P’Wilson because it’s the only book where the titled character does not play a very big part of the plot?Report

  44. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    4: Yankee is the odd one out. Each of the others involves characters being mistaken for each other.Report

  45. The two remaining (3 and 17) are both Wodehouse, I suppose I should finally figure out not to use him in these quizzes. If there are no more guesses by tomorrow morning, I’ll post the answers.Report

    • #17 is easy if you cheat and look things up on Wikipedia, given your hint. #3 I’d never get — the only Wodehouse I ever read were some of the golf stories.Report

    • Wodehouse, for me at least, is difficult because I don’t read them as works… really just collections of stories – so even with Right Ho, Jeeves and Thank you, Jeeves on the bookshelf in front of me, I couldn’t begin to remember which story is in which book; similar to James Herriot’s books. I’m not even sure which books I haven’t read already. And, while my daughter has read widely beyond the Jeeves stories, I have only really tasted samples from Psmith, Blandings, and others. I’m always shocked at how vast was his output. But, that’s just me.Report

  46. 4:
    Towards the ens of Huckleberry Finn, Huck arrives at Tom Sawyer’s aunt’s farm and pretends to be Tom.

    The plot of The Prince and the Pauper is that they look alike and switch identities.

    The plot of Pudd’nhead Wilson is that two babies, one a white master and the other his one-drop-of-black-blood slave, are switched at birth.

    3: The Psmith books are told in third person, while the others are first-person narrators.

    17: Very Good ,Jeeves is a collection of short stories. The others are novels.Report

  47. Final scores:

    Michael Cain: 4 (6, 11,12, 15)
    Tod: 4 (7, 8, 16, 20)
    Aaron; 2 (2, 5)
    Alan: 2 (10, 4)
    KenB: 2 (14, 18)
    Dexter: 1 (1)
    Katharine: 1 (13)
    Scarlet: 1 (19)
    Still: 1 (9)

    Unsolved: 2 (3, 17)

    I haven’t given prizes for these in the past. Hmmm, how about Tod and Michael are welcome to write a joint post on any subject of their choosing.Report