Coffee woke up Europe from the Dark Ages

Answers for Globle, Chronogram, and Metazooa from Feb 12 - Feb 18

The Trainwreck Labs Newsletter

Coming to your inbox every Monday with educational fun-facts and all the answers to Trainwreck Labs games from the past week.

This week, we have…

  • A fun fact inspired by a recent Metaflora answer

  • Answers to last week's games

  • Linxicon launch!

Coffee woke up Europe from the Dark Ages

Coffee was essential to helping these philosophers formulate their best ideas, but they had to figure out how to drink it first. Image generated by DALL-E.

Of all the marvellous plants on planet Earth, only one is an essential part of every flat white and caramel macchiato: coffee (Plant #135 in Metaflora). But this miracle bean’s contribution to society goes beyond giving us enough buzz to get through our 9-to-5s. Some would go so far as to say that without coffee, we’d still live the Dark Ages.

So how did coffee wake up the world? The first java drinkers are believed to have lived in Ethiopia in the 16th century, and later Yemen and Turkey. According to folklore, coffee found its way into central Europe when the Ottomans invaded Vienna in 1683. The invasion was a failure, and in their retreat, the Turks left behind bags of coffee beans. Entrepreneurial Austrians used the loot to start Europe’s first cafés.

Over time, coffee became more than a hot new trend; it started to change the way that people thought. Before coffee, wine and beer were the daytime drinks of choice for Europeans. The switch to coffee happened around the time of the Enlightenment, and historians theorise that replacing a drink that dumbs people down with one that perks them up contributed to the blossoming of new ideas. These Enlightenment-era Starbucks forerunners became intellectual hubs, where new ideas about politics, philosophy, and literature were exchanged and debated. Some of the most profound ideas from this time, including the separation of church and state, equality before the law, and individual liberty, are fundamental to how Western societies are structured today.

For all these reasons, that CGP Gray called coffee the greatest addiction ever. Was he right? Don’t ask me until I’ve had morning Joe ☕

Answers to last week's games

Monday, February 12 to Sunday, February 18.


  • Feb 12 Micronesia

  • Feb 13 Georgia

  • Feb 14 Lithuania

  • Feb 15 Senegal

  • Feb 16 Taiwan

  • Feb 17 Afghanistan

  • Feb 18 Kuwait

  • Feb 19 Play now!

Globle: Capitals

  • Feb 12 Warsaw

  • Feb 13 Paris

  • Feb 14 Panama City

  • Feb 15 Kampala

  • Feb 16 Djibouti

  • Feb 17 Majuro

  • Feb 18 N'Djamena

  • Feb 19 Play now!


  • #317 Woodrow Wilson

  • #318 James Clerk Maxwell

  • #319 Rembrandt

  • #320 Julius Caesar

  • #321 Martin Luther

  • #322 Jimi Hendrix

  • #323 Alexander Hamilton

  • #324 Play now!


  • #85 Sarah Connor

  • #86 Frank Underwood

  • #87 Tom Joad

  • #88 James Henry Trotter

  • #89 Luke Jackson

  • #90 Benjy Compson

  • #91 Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle

  • #92 Play now!


  • #196 Emu

  • #197 Mink

  • #198 Human

  • #199 Iguana

  • #200 Elk

  • #201 Snapping turtle

  • #202 Meerkat

  • #203 Play now!


  • #135 Coffee

  • #136 Walnut

  • #137 Clover

  • #138 Cactus

  • #139 Mistletoe

  • #140 Carnation

  • #141 Pear

  • #142 Play now!


"A Vase with Flowers" by Jacob Vosmaer

Forgery of week, from Feb 13
90.8% accurate

Vosmaer, Jacob. A Vase with Flowers. 1613, oil paint on panel, 85 cm x 63 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no. 437920.

Play Forgeous for Feb 18.

New Game Launch

After a week in beta, Linxicon is finally live! Thank you to all the test players in the Trainwreck Labs Discord server for helping me work out the bugs and add the finishing touches. If there’s a Wordle-lover in your life that’s craving a fresh word-based daily challenge, send them this link:

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading!

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