Here is a novel pastime for those forced to remain cooped up at home during the coronavirus lock-down.
The entertainment in question is called the Instapundit game, and it should only be played, really, by veteran readers of the Glenn Reynolds blog (which happens to be celebrating its 20th birthday next year). Presently, you will see why.
The goal of the game is to read a post on Instapundit, while keeping the name of its author hidden below the bottom the screen.
(Alternatively, simply use a finger in front of the screen to hide the name…)
You do this by scrolling down slowly — very slowly — through each post.
The appearance of a blank line may indicate you are nearing the bottom of the post.
This is confirmed by the appearance at right of the top of the tail of a blue comic strip balloon (which gives the number of comments that the post has generated…)
Below are two screen shots, a smartphone screenshot and a computer screenshot.
• the iPhone screenshot:
|See the cropped comic book balloon at bottom right?|
• the computer screen shot:
|After a blank line, check out the top of the blue comic strip |
balloon (barely) appearing at bottom right; stop scrolling!
That's your cue! Stop! Stop now! Stop scrolling!
The author's name is right below that!
What you have to do now is figure out, to the best of your ability, who is the author of the post!
When you're done, scroll a little further, to check your answer and see if you guessed correctly.
That's the Instapundit game.
That's all there is to it.
(Hey! Wait a minute! I didn't say it would rival with Dungeons & Dragons! I didn't say it was particularly exhilarating — just… intellectually satisfying…)
So how good am I, you ask? What are my success statistics?
At the risk of sounding sexist, there are three contributors that I almost always identify before I have read more than a line of two of their posts (no matter how long or short they — the posts, not the contributors — turn out to be): they are the blog's three woman authors, Helen Smith (the Amazon lady), and Gail Heriot (her choice of language is unique), and Sarah Hoyt (just because she is Sarah Hoyt!).
But the ladies are not alone. A close contender is Austin Bay.
With the blog's three most prolific male contributors, it's more complicated. As you may tend to get them mixed up from time to time.
With Stephen Green, I would guess that I get the Vodkapundit posts correct about 85% of the time.
With Glenn Reynolds and Ed Driscoll, I would say that I have about a 70% success rate.
(FYI, in the Jerry Stiller example I used above, I bombed — I got the author wrong…)
Oh. And the question that is on every reader's lips:
Is there a way to know when you have become a master at the Instapundit game?
Yes, my son. You will have become a master, my son, when you've become reasonably good at correctly identifying posts by Mark Tapscott, by Robert Shibley, by David Bernstein, by Charles Glasser, and by John Tierney.
Feel free to try and beat me. I am sure that it can be done…
Just do not expect this to ever become an official contest in the Olympic Games…