Remember last week, when I promised to make these things more difficult? Either I completely failed to deliver, or you guys are getting smarter. At any rate, once again we've got a ton of correct answers (although I will note, disapprovingly, that a total of zero people submitted their answer on the back of an iPhone 6 as I asked).
Ray Harwood's answer made me lol in real life. Ray, I admire your cynicism but the answer had nothing to do with IQ.
@_cingraham Number of digits in the average IQ?
— Ray Harwood (@rayharwood) September 26, 2014
Ashley Matthews submitted this creative answer, perhaps taking a cue from the map's color scheme?
Similarly, Kira Johnson stuck with the apple theme - y'all must have had apples on the mind this week.
Another cohort of readers thought it might have something to do with coffee:
The correct answer is indeed stimulant-related -- not caffeine, but nicotine. The map shows state-level cigarette taxes, per pack.
Some of you scoundrels simply took to Google to arrive at the right answer. Reader "AB" e-mailed to say "Ashamed... so ashamed. Couldn't figure it out within 30 seconds so cheated:
HuffPo's Ariel Edwards-Levy was the first with the correct answer, good enough for one Early Bird Prize for Prompt and Expeditious Accuracy.
@_cingraham Cigarette tax per state
— Ariel Edwards-Levy (@aedwardslevy) September 26, 2014
I also want to call out Twitter user Brandon J. Call for his appropriate use of the #DataIsSexy hashtag in his correct answer:
— Brandon J. Call (@brandonjcall) September 26, 2014
Brandon, you're absolutely right: Data *is* sexy.
But among the universe of correct answers, one respondent nailed it down to the source -- that was commenter econreader, who identified the numbers as coming from the Tax Foundation. Econreader, you are hereby named a Wonkblog-Certified Data Wizard. Congratulations!
Everyone else, this week's challenge will be harder. Much. Harder.