245 Countries in 10 Minutes
March 4, 2007 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by Ironic Sans's 50 States Game comes the more worldly (and difficult) 245 Countries in 10 minutes. Also pairs well with the previously posted GeoSense.

(Caveats/Minor Spoilers: Game has some questionable choices, like making you type in the long form of the country's name, i.e. "People's Republic of", rather than the common usage name. Some countries have "The" in front of them. Also, your spelling must be perfect, which can trip you up for those obscure island nations, and countries you know but don't know the exact spelling of. Good Luck!)
posted by wander (64 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
And don't forget the Ten Canadian Provinces and Two Territories in Two Minutes game.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oops, three territories.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2007

Okay, I gave up after not being able to name my own country.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2007

After reading your caveat: No. Good luck to those who do try, though.
posted by boo_radley at 11:38 AM on March 4, 2007

Some of these 245 aren't countries at all — the Falkland Islands, for example, are a British territory.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 11:50 AM on March 4, 2007

You forgot:Abkhazia, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Aland, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Aruba, Ascension Island, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands,
Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ivory Coast,
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia,
Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gabon, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greenland, Grenada, Guam,
Guatemala, Guernsey, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana,
Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Cyprus, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn Islands, Pridnestrovie, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somaliland, South Ossetia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Svalbard, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, The Bahamas, The Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tokelau, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United States Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia.

posted by carsonb at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2007

Yeah, I give up already. I didn't learn a song that would help me out.
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

I clobbered the 50 states game but only named 92 countries in ten minutes. Add maybe a dozen that I knew, but couldn't phrase or spell properly - Repulic of, and so on. I can imagine some people who'd be hard-pressed just to type all 245 of those in ten minutes, if they were looking at the list.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:53 AM on March 4, 2007

Just don't forget Poland.
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:54 AM on March 4, 2007

Yeah, I give up already. I didn't learn a song that would help me out.

This should do the trick.
posted by sourwookie at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2007

I didn't learn a song that would help me out.
Here ya go.

By the way, the ones I did name: Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:58 AM on March 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Christ. I got 150 countries but ran out of time before I could finish any more. There were definitely ones I would have missed though. All those fiddly tropical islands, and I didn't know the proper names of a number of countries (damn you Taiwan!).
posted by schroedinger at 12:00 PM on March 4, 2007

Yeah, I definitely agree that the time limit should be changed. I think it's basically impossible as it stands right now, but still a fun thing to do.

I thought it did a good job of not having the same problem as the 50 states game, though, where you would get every state but three in the first few minutes, and then spend the rest of the time trying to think of them. Here you can basically name every country you can think of for 10 minutes, and it's pretty interesting to see just how many of them you do remember.

The game needs work, and more leeway with country names (it's even vaguely political, like not accepting Taiwan? but the guy who made it is from the UK, and I guess I'm not sure if Taiwan is always referred to as Republic of China there?), but the 50 states game started off as just 50 blank fields with no spelling requirement, and then evolved from there. So hopefully this person will fix up this one.
posted by wander at 12:04 PM on March 4, 2007

That was frustrating. I got 101 before time ran out. Plus I wasted like thirty seconds trying to remember whether Maldives was a country or a territory of some other country!
posted by trip and a half at 12:06 PM on March 4, 2007

Totally my cup of tea! Love playing that! And really enjoy that fun song. Thanks so much.
posted by nickyskye at 12:09 PM on March 4, 2007

Wow. I got 108 and was basically typing the whole time, but I don't think I would've got more than another 10 or so given extra time, so whatever. Pretty cool. (Man, I've been spelling Liechtenstein wrong all these years...)

P.S. wander--it does accept Taiwan, as "Republic of China".
posted by equalpants at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2007

I had 148 left, but at one point I was typing in stuff just to see if it would be accepted. Lots and lots of places that aren't countries were in there. And it was very inconsistent about extra stuff on names - you had to have "Republic of Macedonia" and "The Gambia", but then it accepted just "Libya" or "Netherlands". If I didn't get a name on the first try, I started just skipping that one.
posted by dilettante at 12:12 PM on March 4, 2007

I got about 100 before time ran out, though there were others I knew and could have entered if I had more time.

Plus, it's a pain in the butt that it won't accept "North Korea" or "South Korea", etc., but requires the more formal name.

And finally, I calculate that even if you had all of the countries firmly in mind, you'd still have to be able to type better than 30-35 words per minute just to enter all th names in 10 minutes. So it's not only testing your country knowledge, but your typing skill, too.

Still, a fun exercise.
posted by darkstar at 12:13 PM on March 4, 2007

And werd on Gambia and Macedonia not being accepted...I wasted a fair amount of time on those and a few others trying to figure out what the heck I was doing wrong.

"Now, I KNOW Gambia is a country, man...(grumble, grumble)."
posted by darkstar at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2007

Glad some people are liking it, at least. Further exploration of his blog reveals that he used a list of countries from Wikipedia, and doesn't plan to change the time limit, as it's supposed to be a game (here's the comment page for the game).

Still, the fact that there's no Scotland or Wales does raise me hackles a little.
posted by wander at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2007

Yeah, I got tripped up on Macedonia, as well.
posted by trip and a half at 12:17 PM on March 4, 2007

Puerto Rico isn't a country! This test sucks!

so it's okay that my g/f and I only go 84 working together

posted by bbuda at 12:18 PM on March 4, 2007

palestine's a country?
posted by andywolf at 12:27 PM on March 4, 2007

I've actually memorized the Animaniacs song. Call me and I'll sing it to you.
posted by phaedon at 12:34 PM on March 4, 2007

*calls phaedon*
posted by wander at 12:37 PM on March 4, 2007

Don't forget Belgium. The Delaware of the international scene.
posted by fire&wings at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2007

Wallis and Futuna, I hardly knew ya.
posted by stargell at 12:48 PM on March 4, 2007

my roommate got about 140. And could have named nearly all of them verbally in the time limit. Of course anyone would miss some because different people count different countries.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 12:53 PM on March 4, 2007

It makes me type in "People's Republic Of China", and then just takes "United States"?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:56 PM on March 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

164. I think this game would have been much better if it limited itself to the 193 sovereign states, instead of expecting you to list disputed zones like Abkhazia or Northern Cyprus. And it expects you to list things that definitely aren't separate countries, like Puerto Rico or French Polynesia.

The ones I missed that I felt embarrassed to miss (not territories, disputed zones, inconsequential islands, or places I only missed because the game wanted the longer official name) were Andorra, Angola, Belarus, Brunei, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Mongolia, Philippines, Portugal, East Timor, and Turkmenistan.
posted by H-Bar at 1:21 PM on March 4, 2007

I gave up after trying "US", "USA", "United States of America" and "The United States of America". Its requirements for names seems random.
posted by justkevin at 1:22 PM on March 4, 2007

Fun! But yeah, the non-countries are annoying (partial list: Abkhazia, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Aland, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Jersey, Macao, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia); there are already way too many real ones to name in ten minutes.

The ones I'm most embarrassed about missing: Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Syria, Togo, Turkmenistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

I was surprised when I absent-mindedly typed in Somaliland and it worked!
posted by languagehat at 1:29 PM on March 4, 2007

Again, like I mentioned before (albeit not very clearly), the randomness of the naming requirements and inclusion of questionable territories is due to the fact that he used a list of countries from Wikipedia, and so the entire game is based on that. The name of the game should be edited to more accurately say "countries", or countries and territories.
posted by wander at 1:33 PM on March 4, 2007

This thing's quite poorly done (People's Republic of China, United States, wtf), and almost impossible to finish, so I did the Canadian one instead. Got em all in 30 seconds.
posted by tehloki at 1:36 PM on March 4, 2007

what the hell map are they basing these country names on. As endsofinvention stated the naming convention is completely screwed up
posted by subtle_squid at 1:49 PM on March 4, 2007

I spent 4 minutes trying to figure out why North Korea and South Korea wouldnt work... or USA... or Bosnia and Herzegovina... or Taiwan...
posted by subaruwrx at 1:53 PM on March 4, 2007

Don't forget POLAND!
posted by darkstar at 2:23 PM on March 4, 2007

Oh, and East Timor. Timor L'Este? Come on...
posted by subaruwrx at 2:29 PM on March 4, 2007

151 countries remain :(
posted by AwkwardPause at 2:35 PM on March 4, 2007

*raises hand*

This is mine (based on the 50 states/54 countries of Africa one) - so I'd like to clear a few things up.

* the 'countries' - the list is based on Wikipedia's 'List of countries', so it's countries and other de facto countries, autonomous regions, etc. There's a link to the Wikipedia page off the quiz page.

* the names - to make it slightly easier I changed a few of the countries that had international characters in them (such as Aland) to make it easier to type, but apart from 'Ivory Coast' I didn't change the spelling of any others, other than to reorder some (China, People's Republic Of => People's Republic Of China, for example)

The whole thing took me 10 minutes to put together, based on this, and was never meant to be a comprehensive, accurate list of what are considered to be countries (which in itself is subject to interpretation) - after all, it's only a game, and 'View source' will give you all the answers ;)
posted by robzster1977 at 2:38 PM on March 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

robzster1977: Fair enough, but it really would be a lot more fun (and/or less annoying) if you took the few extra minutes to weed out the list a little. After all, nobody's holding a gun to your head and forcing you to reproduce the entire Wikipedia list. And including more obvious versions of names (e.g., North Korea) would help too. Yeah, it's only a game, but you want it to be more fun than frustrating, right? There's just no point including things like "Akrotiri and Dhekelia."
posted by languagehat at 3:01 PM on March 4, 2007

I made a modified version with the 193 UN-recognized sovereign nations, and a more forgiving 15 minute time limit.

Country names are in English, with common names, no preceding "the" or "republic of", etc., except in cases of ambiguity (Congo vs. Democratic Republic of Congo) or when it's part of the common name. (Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, etc.)

If I were good at javascript I'd modify it to accept any possible correct answer, but I don't know an easy way to do that.

I hope you don't mind, Andy. And if you (or anyone else reading) want to host this version, feel free.
posted by H-Bar at 3:03 PM on March 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

languagehat: I hear you, and if you check it now, it's now the 192 UN member states, with their common spellings (i.e. China, Taiwan...oops, gave it away!).

H-Bar: ah, looks like we've both just done the same thing. As for modifying it, feel free - mine's essentially a modified version of the one on ironicsans.com :)

In all honesty, I didn't expect it to get as popular as it has done, but now it has, I suppose it's only fair for me to fix it ;)
posted by robzster1977 at 3:13 PM on March 4, 2007

"Saint Kitts and Nevis" = wtf.

Fun game, though. With some practice, I plan on winning a lot of bar bets.
posted by aliasless at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2007

I got 130. I could have got more, if I didn't spend so much time trying to type out "United Arab Emirates"
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:46 PM on March 4, 2007

Much better, thanks! I reduced my misses to under 50 this time (remembering the Comoros with seven seconds to go). Forgot Lebanon and Hungary again, dammit...
posted by languagehat at 3:49 PM on March 4, 2007

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines would be a great name for a band though.
posted by aubilenon at 4:47 PM on March 4, 2007

The best thing to come out of this whole thing is that I was reminded how awesome Animaniacs was.
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:08 PM on March 4, 2007

Woo hoo! I got 192! ... much better than I did on the US states game. (It helps to live out in the middle off all these little island nations, lol?)

This is a sign ... I should be traveling more.
posted by Surfurrus at 5:32 PM on March 4, 2007

I got around half of them - I forgot some incredibly obvious ones (how the hell did I miss Turkey?) but I included some random ones (I actually got Saint Kitts and Nevis). Not hugely impressive, but what upsets me more is my experience with the 50 states game:
I got 49 states in the first five minutes and then could not for the life of me figure out what one state I was forgetting. I went through the states alphabetically, then I pictured a map and went around region by region a few times, and I couldn't come up with anything. Five minutes of just racking my brains to come up with that one last state, and nothing.

It was Arkansas. I'm really sorry, Arkansans.
posted by naoko at 6:12 PM on March 4, 2007

When someone comes up with a game like this for punk bands of the 1970s, then I'll get excited.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:18 PM on March 4, 2007

i got most of the canadian provinces in 60 seconds, then it took me another 30 to remember Manitoba. Maybe if they could've held on to their hockey team i'd remember them . . . . <ducks>
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:42 PM on March 4, 2007

A version which actually allows synonyms is now up at http://xn13.com/countries/.

Someone (robzster1977?) should probably go in and actually add synonyms for the countries I don't know that well, then either rehost or email it back to me and I'll put it up.
posted by reventlov at 7:12 PM on March 4, 2007

A question that I have wondered about for some time - why is it we bother having names for countries other than what they call themselves? In some cases it's a translation of terms, like the French calling the United States, "L'Etats-Unis", but why don't we call Austria Osterriech or Switzerland the Helvetic Confederation?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:52 PM on March 4, 2007

Yeah, I give up already. I didn't learn a song that would help me out.

Here's one.
posted by jlub at 8:45 PM on March 4, 2007

23%! That's an F!
posted by 23skidoo at 8:57 PM on March 4, 2007

Originally by Erik Wannebo of www.ironicsans.com, modified for countries by Andy Smith, with modified country list and time by H-Bar, and synonyms and slight code cleanup by Ben Olmstead.

This is what I was hoping for, and the internet at its best. I feel like I should have the admins change the title of the post (and add the new links) and remove the caveats, as they are no longer relevant.

One other thing: The person that runs Ironic Sans's name is David. Erik Wannebo is a reader that saw the quiz and decided to help out with the code.

Also, the new version of Andy Smith's has 192 countries, while H-Bar's and reventlov's versions have 193. I'm curious as to what the 1 different country is between the two.
posted by wander at 10:15 PM on March 4, 2007

When someone comes up with a game like this for punk bands of the 1970s, then I'll get excited.

View source and then make your own. I really think everyone is going to need to show some restraint in posting these, since they're so remarkably simple to create.
posted by o0o0o at 10:59 PM on March 4, 2007

You forgot:Armenia, Comoros, East Timor, Ghana, Kiribati, Mali, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Tuvalu,

posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:55 PM on March 4, 2007

wander: the 193rd (or the one missing) is the Vatican City. It's not a UN member state, so I decided to leave it out.
posted by robzster1977 at 1:36 AM on March 5, 2007

wander: You are absolutely correct. (And I feel stupid, since I read Ironic Sans.) Updated the credits in mine.

When someone comes up with a game like this for punk bands of the 1970s, then I'll get excited.

It really is easy to save it off and modify the list, but I could probably whip up a web form to make these automatically if there were interest.

Although 30 seconds of web searching pulls up a list of 70s UK punk bands with 894 entries, so the test may be a bit hard...
posted by reventlov at 2:51 AM on March 5, 2007

Wow, the Animaniacs guys spelled "Israel" wrong.

That's a bummer.
posted by tzikeh at 9:03 AM on March 5, 2007

I forgot Poland.
posted by RakDaddy at 9:36 AM on March 5, 2007

Sourwookie, for a second there I thought for sure I'd finally found a complete performance of this...
posted by pax digita at 11:38 PM on March 5, 2007

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