First off, thanks to all of you for playing. I really enjoyed getting your emails, and seeing that many of you enjoyed playing the game. It was a long, hard contest. But in the end, there can be only one winner:
Congratulations to Julie Gunderson for getting the most correct the fastest!
If you don’t care about contest details and if you just want to just peruse the remainder of the table of contents entries I put up descriptions of them all right here! But if you want to see the contest questions and answers – with an explanation as to some of the real rat-bastard clues I put up, read on!
So first off, a discussion of my thinking here – around 60 questions were pretty easily found with light Googling. 10 required some crafty workarounds and thinking for your Google searches. Around 5 required some intense lateral thinking, and about 5 had intentional misdirection to mess with you.
All that said, there were a couple where the clue was too ambiguous – notably the clues for Anita Garibaldi and Jezebel. But even if I took those clues out, Julie would still have been the winner. So without further adieu, here’s the questions and answers:
- Some are born with silver spoons in their mouths – this goat-riding princess princess was born with a wooden one in her hand.
- Chaste before justice, this ancient doctor beat the charges levied against him-er, her.
- The reluctant royal who became the Maori’s greatest leader – but don’t call her princess.
Te Puea Herangi (the key was she was reluctant royalty)
- This undercover queen saved her people by finding the secret weakness of the Egungun.
- This American teen showed Paul Revere how midnight rides should be done.
- This crafty Kyrgyzstani ruler played the Russians and the Khans against each other.
- This clever Canario laid down the law.
Andamana (this required some hefty googling, she’s pretty obscure)
- Two Crimean nurses at opposite ends of a spectrum: one a cheery Kingstonian, one a lamp-wielding Victorian.
Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale
- Maybe now I can take down that warning on the “contact me” page.
Grace O’Malley (aka Granuaile, etc etc)
- The Wild West’s biggest, baddest babysitter (according to Gary Cooper).
“Stagecoach” Mary Fields (note: according to Gary Cooper)
- Farming doesn’t factor heavily into most acts of teen rebellion, but this Dagomba warrior princess was no ordinary teen.
- Polio, poverty, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, racism, whooping cough, and teenage pregnancy couldn’t stop this Tennessee native from making Olympic history.
- If Rapunzel had been a viking, maybe she would have gotten serpentine sidekicks, like this pirate princess.
- This griffin-riding amazon queen ruled California.
- This widow admiral kept the seas of 17th century Indonesia safe.
- Receiving the only gold medal the French Academy of Sports ever gave for All Sports (yes, all of them) was just a warmup for this woman’s life of sky-high adventure.
- This Susa-excavating archaeologist’s peculiar personal style made her a surprise fashion icon.
- This Imazighen queen led her people to a new land.
Tin Hinan – this was possibly my most rat-bastard clue of all, as the Tuareg are an Imazighen tribe, but almost all writeups use the outdated epithet of “Berber” for them. Note I said she led people to a new land, which Dihya al-Kahina, the overwhelmingly most popular guess, did not.
- An oft-misquoted genius once called her “the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began.”
- Honolulu’s controversial taboo-abolishing kuhina nui.
- Lady Hercules, suffragette, and strong woman, she did it all.
- Oscar Schindler was to the Holocaust as this woman was to the Inquisition.
Gracia Mendes Nasi aka Beatriz la Luna
- This Moroccan pirate queen had no shortage of titles, but nobody knows her name.
- If Canossa will not come to you, you must come to Canossa.
Matilda of Tuscany/Canossa
- This roaring girl ruled the London underground in Shakespeare’s day.
Moll Cutpurse aka Mary Frith
- Infiltrating insane asylums and exposing slavery rings were all in a day’s work for this enterprising journalist.
- Raced #26 – and Phileas Fogg – around the world.
- They may have only kept out invaders for a few short years, but Vietnam will never forget these sisters.
The Trung Sisters
- This queen mother started a war to protect the gilded soul of the Asante.
- This mountaineering adventurer literally showed Lawrence of Arabia how it’s done.
- These two legendary teen vigilantes left quite an impression on 17th century Potosi.
Eustaquia de Souza and Ana Lezama de Urinza (almost every online writeup spells it “Sonza,” but the actual book I have says it’s “Souza”)
- The spy who set fire to the Confederate White House.
- The reason new popes sat on a Roman birthing chair.
- The woman who jumped off a “women’s war” against British taxation.
- This “undutiful daughter” was the first woman on the books to build ships.
- Leprosy didn’t deter this Filipina from becoming a spy – it actually helped.
- This kindly patron of orphans and widows was in actuality the (very) secret weapon of Takeda Shingen.
- This Nigerian princess ran a roaming gang of roughneck lady teachers.
- The face of Jamaica’s $500 bill.
Nanny of the Maroons
- The devilish namesake of Xtebentun.
- This samurai, a match for any god or demon, actually made other samurai flee rather than face her.
- The chief detractor of this prostitute-turned-empress claimed her head fly about at night, vexing the citizens of Constantinople.
- Refusing to give up her Jhansi.
- Long before MC Hammer, Deborah celebrated this woman’s hammer time with a different song.
- This yellow-haired Islamic princess put the slam into slam poetry.
Wallada bint al-Mustakfi
- She needed no machine to help differentiate her from everyone, but she built a difference engine regardless – in her head.
- This 1800s heroine somehow managed to have high level positions in both Greek and Russian navies.
- Architect of the City of Ladies.
Christine de Pizan
- This Civil War-era Moses, as she was nicknamed, saved many through her faithful spirituals.
- This uneducated rebel preacher so undermined colonial authority that they founded Harvard University in part to prevent anyone like her from rising again.
- This best-beloved mother of Islam was at the center of the Sunni-Shi’a split.
A’isha bint abi Bakr – keys here were “best beloved” and the fact that she was at the center of the split (led the battle of the camel, etc)
- If the legend about how Genghis Khan took Volohai is true, he likely got the idea from this saintly Russian.
Olga of Kiev
- This deposed African queen came back from the country of the whites to a field of pineapples.
Agontime (this one was just goddamn hard.)
- This eye of the day was a decent dancer, but a terrible spy.
- This unparalleled black entertainer found her tribe in the realm of rainbows.
- When scholars can’t tell if your name means “woman of noble purpose” or “she-wolf,” as both totally fit, you know you’re pretty epic.
Dhat al-Himma aka Delhemma
- She may not show up on IMDB, but this movie-making detective was quite the Illinois celebrity back in the day.
Alice B Clement
- To avenge herself against an unstoppable warrior, this legendary gender-swapping Shiva devotee had to go down in flames first.
- In order to rescue her brother, this early Islamic warrior poet would need to do some rectifying of brains.
Khawlah bint al-Azwar
- Well, the fact that she added an extra syllable to the end of “Java” should have been your first sign that she wasn’t actually from there.
Princess Caraboo (who claimed to be from “Javasu”)
- Who sewed the Red Shirts?
Anita Garibaldi (a lot of you guessed Giuseppe Garibaldi was the Red Shirts reference, but few realized his wife had sewed the shirts, and was an unbelievable woman in her own right)
- “Pank! Pank! Pank!” read a trinket sold to further the work of this purple-clad notable’s organization.
Emmeline Pankhurst (although I gave half credit for the names of other WSPU notables)
- it’s a shame they cut off the title of Ali Baba’s story at the mention of the 40 thieves, as this badass deserves way more credit.
- When her uncle turned down a proposal from Charles II, betrothing her to an abusive husband, he set the stage for this memoir-writing hedonist to flee across Europe.
- Joined her sister, #64, in fleeing across Europe from escaping a husband who’d tried to poison her.
- The grandest seductress in the Bible, and she didn’t even have sex.
Jezebel (this was by far the most unfair question, and I basically didn’t count it, as it was too ambiguous)
- If she ever decided to return to China, this Qing dynasty critic told her supporters, they were to stab her with her own dagger.
- #67 didn’t live to meet her, but she would have hated this infamous Qing dynasty princess, who didn’t even go by a Chinese name.
- The warrior woman to whom all others are now compared.
Joan of Arc
- The Nazis almost never heard them coming – and when they did, they thought they were on brooms.
The Night Witches
- This mythical Moroccan is at the heart of al-Aita.
- She wanted to see New France, she just didn’t want to do so alone for several years.
Marguerite de la Rocque
- She was well on her way to changing the course of Korean history, yet we don’t even have any surviving photos of this assassinated empress.
- If amateurs talk tactics while professionals study logistics, Tupac Amaru II was the amateur to this woman’s professionalism.
Micaela Bastidas (half points went to answers for Tomasa Tito Condemayta, Gregoria Apaza, Bartolina Sisa, and other women in the Tupac Amaru rebellion – Micaela was handling most of the logistics though)
- In 1986, this chief flight attendant gave her life to save those of others from hijackers.
- The firebrand behind the Baroque’s most personal depiction of Judith and Holofernes.
- According to legend, when the Prince threatened her children, she informed him she could always make more.
- The male subjects of this ballsy Somali queen had a very understandably more negative take on her than the female ones.
- This 16th century Mexican interpreter is so reviled by some that her name has become an insult.
- This tough-as-nails dacoit royalty swapped her rifle for a seat in parliament.