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XIII: Emily C. conquers first two appearances

In her first two POPS PROPS entries, our champion has now bested the field twice.

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13. Is there a more controversial integer between 11 and 20? The triskaidekaphobiacs (those who fear or avoid 13) among us have been vexed by the number since 12 Norse gods hosted a dinner at Valhalla. Loki showed up uninvited as the 13th guest and convinced Höðr to shoot Baldr with a mistletoe-tipped spear. “Baldr died and the whole Earth got dark,” historian Donald Dossey wrote in his 1992 work, Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun. “The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day.” To this day, many buildings, including the landmark-formerly-known-as-the-Hotel-Burnham at 1 W Washington St., don’t list their 13th floor in their floor plans.

Here, at the nonprofit POPS PROPS Committee for Fairness and Integrity, our embrace of 13 is more in line with the traditions of Macau and Italy. The Macau people believe 13 is lucky, because it sounds like the Cantonese phrase sure to live. (Weirdly, 14 sounds like sure to die.) In Italian, the phrase fare tredici translates as “to do 13” and means “to hit the jackpot.”

With that positive spirit in mind, we’re pleased to announce that POPS PROPS XIII returns with 70 questions. If you’re game, kindly fill out our free entry form by 4:30 p.m. Central time on Sunday, Feb. 12 (one hour before the 5:30 p.m. kickoff):

Our ghouls are standing by to painstakingly score the spreadsheet of all entries. One entry per person, please. We’ll have real-time scoring, so you can see how you’re faring as the game progresses! We’ll send you a link so that you can follow along!

As always, the winner(s) of POPS PROPS will have his/her name(s) added to the POPS PROPS Hall of Champions on the POPS PROPS Championship Beverage Coasters. The winner(s) will be sent 6 of these coasters!

If you have a problem filling out your answers, send an email to Please feel free to forward this free contest to anyone you know who might have an interest. All are welcome to play. Glory goes to the winner, and we thank you for your time and interest.

Cordially yours,
The POPS PROPS XIII Committee For Fairness and Integrity



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