Weekend Genius Challenge #17: Which Sandwich?

Being a genius is hard work. (I'm not saying that I'm a genius... it's a gimmick... just pretend with me.) As researchers and writers, my wife Kara and I spend long hours on the PC, at the library, at the bookstore, on the phone, and doing whatever else is necessary to find the information we need. As a result, we don't have time to cook three-course dinners, and we survive mostly by finding things to put between two slices of bread. You may know this as a "sandwich."

sandwich.jpgLong ago, Kara admitted to me that she sometimes ate onion sandwiches as a kid. (We're married, so she doesn't do that anymore.) I enjoy a good banana or pineapple sandwich every once in a while (with mayo). As a child, my mom served BST sandwiches -- bacon and tomato with a sprinkling of sugar. I even ate plain mustard sandwiches when times were tight.

So for this Weekend Genius Challenge, we're asking you geniuses to help us expand our palate by telling us some of your favorite sandwich combinations. Don't give us anything fancy, now... if it's more than $10 a pound or requires more than three items, forget it! But please share with us the ingredients and preparations to make the sandwich, along with any stories you have about how you developed them. On Monday, we'll select a few entries and head out to the local grocery store to buy ingredients. And on Thursday*, we'll have a sandwichfest in our office and choose a winner (or two, since our tastes may differ) to receive a free mental_floss T-shirt.

That's all there is to it: comment to this post with your favorite sandwich, along with the size (small through XXL), style (mens or womens) and design of T-shirt that you'd like to receive.

Good luck, and thanks in advance for giving us options beyond deviled ham or sardines.

UPDATE: We've had to move up the date for our "sandwichfest" to Thursday... we're helping put the final touches on a new issue of mental_floss magazine, and had NO idea that 350+ of you would chime in! So give us a little extra time to sort through the responses, and tomorrow, we'll choose our winner!

Gasp... Is This the End of the Weekend Genius Challenge?

It's been a struggle to come up with mental exercises that are difficult enough for the many, many brilliant folks who read mental_floss and visit It's difficult to develop puzzles that are (1) safe from Web searches, but (2) not impossible to solve. After seeing many difficult contests won in a matter of minutes, I'm taking this weekend off to reassess the Weekend Genius Challenge.

We get the most entries in creative-type challenges... having you write haikus using the two words from the ReCaptcha service, asking you to tell us where the "lost" hour went during Daylight Saving Time, and so forth. So we're considering going that route for future WGCs. What do you think? Ideas, suggestions, and comments are more than welcome. In fact, if you'll kindly take the time to chime in, we'll pick a random comment and send the responsible party the mental_floss T-shirt of his or her choice. Thanks in advance.

In the meantime, we'll continue to do Brain Games on a daily basis, with puzzles of varying description each weekday. And we'll have results for the last two WGCs in a day or two. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Genius Challenge #30: Unwritten Rules

We got SO many entries for last week's WGC that it may take us the rest of the weekend to sort through all the responses... but we'll choose a winner before Monday arrives. In the meantime, since you all seem to enjoy being creative, let's give away another T-shirt by unleashing Weekend Genius Challenge #30!

Many "unwritten rules" guide our planet. Here are a few I've jotted down over the years:

1. All really good architects must go by three names.

2. The number of leaves that end up in your yard in the fall has more to do with your neighbor's trees than your own.

3. During trip to a restaurant with someone else, when you ask for two orders of fries, both orders will be incredibly large and too much to eat. But the next time you go to that restaurant with someone else and ask for only a single order of fries -- thinking it will be enough to share -- the order will be incredibly small.

Your job is to fill us in on the "unwritten rules" that you've experienced in life. The mind behind the one we vote best will win a T-shirt of his or her choice from our online store. REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT: To be absolutely clear, your entries should have nothing to do with identity, race, color, religion, sexual preference, political preference, physical or mental issues, or anything bordering that. In other words, don't direct them towards any person or group of people who might possibly take offense. So be smart. Play nice. Sit up straight. And tell your sister you love her.

Also, please remember that all comments will be moderated before they're released, so it may take a while for them to appear on the site. Enter as many times as you like, but please put each entry in a separate comment. Good luck!


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