What is Qwikipedia?

Ever been on Wikipedia to look up an article? More often than not, we start with one topic, click a few links and within no time are reading about something else.

Qwikipedia is a game that tries to quench this curiosity in us. The objective is to get to a particular wiki page, starting from a specific article, using minimal clicks. There is no single correct answer, so we might surprise ourselves by finding new routes each time!

Thursday’s Trekker

Goundhog Day —> Timbuktu

Goundhog Day

The 2nd of February is celebrated as the Groundhog day.  It is believed since time immemorial that when the groundhog, (also called the woodchuck, whistle-pig)  comes out of the burrow on a cloudy day, then it announces the arrival of spring.  If it comes out on a sunny day, then it is said that the groundhog would see its own shadow and get back into the burrow. This means that winter would continue for six more weeks.

Even in modern times, the holiday is marked with early morning festivities.  In southeastern part of Pennsylvannia, the festival is celebrated with food and entertainment programmes.   The highlight of this festival is that only Pennsylvannia German dialect is spoken at the event and people who speak English are made to pay a penalty for it.


It is one of the four seasons of the year where temperatures are low making it the coldest season.  It comes between autumn and spring. During this season, the days are the shortest and the nights are the longest.   

The Earth is titled at an angle of 23.44 degrees to the plane of its orbit. This causes the latitudes to directly face the Sun as the earth moves through its orbit. This variation is the reason for the formation of seasons.  

The cold wet weather of the Little Ice Age that lasted for many centuries has caused great hardship.  It is seen as the prime reason for the Great Famine pf 1315-1317.

Little Ice Age

Little Ice Age does not refer to the true ice age, it was coined by Francois E Matthes into a scientific literature in the year 1939.  It is a period of cooling which followed the Medieval Warm Period. It has always been defined as a period from the 16th to the 19th century (from 1350 to 1850) but many disagree with the dates.

According to NASA, it is a cold period between 1550 AD and 1850AD which also had three extremely cold intervals.   Cyclical lows in solar radiation, increased volcanic activity, changes in the ocean circulation, changes in global climate and decreased human population are believed to be some of the causes for this. During this time,  Timbuktu was flooded 13 times by the Niger river.


Timbuktu is a town in West African nation of Mali.  The town is close to river Niger  on the south side of the Sahara Desert. It is the capital of the Timbuktu region which consists of eight regions of Mali.    

Recently, Timbuktu has been in news as French and Malian government troops began taking back the town from the Islamist rebels. The Islamist group has already fled northwards a few days before the arrival of the troops but they had set fire to the Ahmed Baba institute where many important manuscripts were kept.

So the path that we have traversed today is:

Goundhog Day —> Winter —> Little Ice Age —> Timbuktu

Three clicks!

Hop over. Its time for the next question:

Friday’s Free rider

Maldives —> King Richard III

Send in your paths for the above question to school@thehindu.co.in with the subject “Qwikipedia”. Do include your name, class and school!