Why Does the ‘Give Up’ Button Appear When It Does?

(Last Updated On: December 10, 2018)

A lost story about the Sporcle Quiz Countdown Timer

A few years ago, the Sporcle countdown timer used to show the ‘give up’ button after 17 seconds.

countdown timer

Sporcle user Hejman asked the powers that be why this was the case. Here was the reply.

Back in the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire continued to expand, and the Church of England decided to break away from the Roman Catholic church. Around this time, there was a young monk by the name of Gabriel, who was so named after the archangel, the messenger of God. When young Gabriel first became a monk, he often spent time in the barley fields (a century later these monks realized they could make a much more interesting substance from these field besides bread), wandering about, thinking holy thoughts, and pontificating on the meaning of existence. He never got very far on these deep thoughts, but his other brothers would often come to him for advice, since he was the most likely to have some kind of answer. One day, an older monk named Carl came and asked him if he knew what colors there were in the Flavian Rainbow.

See, the Flavian Dynasty, while short lived, had some very important influence on the rest of the Roman Empire. Besides the well known tax reform and Colosseum, they also did not believe that the rainbow had only 7 colors. They felt there were more in-between colors, such as yellow-orange and green-blue (another little known fact, the Crayola people actually built their original 16 crayons using some of the colors from the Flavian Rainbow).

Well, our young monk Gabriel did in fact know the answer to this question. He was a noted Flavian scholar, having gotten his pre-monk masters in the short lived sub dynasties of the Roman Empire, such as the Severan and the Constantinian. The Flavians were an odd bunch, having taken over not too long after the reign of Julius Caeser. They were fairly jealous of Julius, as he had gotten many things named after him, namely a salad and a ‘birthing’ method. They struggled to find something that people would remember them for, and when they had to constantly remind their subjects about their color system, they realized this was their ticket to long term memorability. And that is why today we all know about the 17 colors of the Flavian Rainbow, and also why when looking for an appropriate time to make people wait before they can cry uncle on a Sporcle quiz, it seemed the best way to help the world remember the contributions to the color system devised by the wise Flavians.

And so Gabriel answered to Carl, “Why naturally, they are: Bright Red, Red, Rorange, Orange, Orange-Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Yellow, Yorgeen, Green, Green-Blue, Bleegen, Blue, Burple, Indigo, Indivit, Violet, and Dark Violet.”

Sorry for the long winded answer, but it only seemed right to give you the full story.
Matt (4/10/11)

Editor’s Note: In recent years, the Flavians suffered yet another blow when Sporcle updated the countdown timer to show the ‘give up’ button after only 7 seconds. The Sporcle timer is now more in line with the standard ROYGBIV rainbow colors though various aspects of the site use the Rorange and Indivit color sets.

About the Author:

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Derek Pharr is the Chief Product Officer at Sporcle and a content creator.
He has been a writer and blogger for nearly two decades.
He enjoys writing about everything from productivity, memory and learning, leadership, life hacks, and trivia.
Derek writes a twice weekly newsletter called Chief Rabbit at www.chiefrabbit.com