by | Jun 15, 2016 | Gayle Lynds | 7 comments

Gayle Lynds:  Ever consider becoming a spy?  Over the next two weeks here at RWW we’re going to be blogging about our favorite spies.  CIA?  Mossad?  George Washington’s irregulars?  Here are ten questions that’ll give you a clue about how much you already know about the clandestine world in which spies thrive. The answers are at the very end, so have fun . . . but control yourself!  Good spy, good spy.

1. Who or what is a Juliet spy?
    a. A female operator who uses acting as a cover story.
    b. A woman who has been tricked into working as a spy.
    c. A female intelligence officer who seduces for her country.
    d. A male intelligence officer who disguises himself as a woman.

2. In the United States, what is MI-6’s equivalent agency?
    a. The NSA
    b. The CIA
    c. Army intelligence
    d. The FBI

3. What is blowback?
    a. An important event that happens behind an operative’s back, out of sight.
    b. A lie that’s planted abroad but is accepted as truth when it blows back home.
    c. Drugs given to someone who is being questioned.
    d. A term from World War I that originally described a strong wind that blew carrier pigeons off course.   

4. Who receives the U.S. President’s Daily Brief?
    a. The laundry, for washing.
    b. The press, so they can be kept up to date about the president’s schedule that day.
    c. The White House staff, so they have their day’s assignments.
    d. The president, vice president, and a hand-picked group of cabinet-level officials chosen by the president.

5. What is a covert action?
    a. A mission designed to be so secret that it can’t be traced back to its sponsoring agency or country.
    b. Anything underhanded or illegal that an intelligence officer does.
    c. A hidden espionage agenda.
    d. A clandestine romantic assignation between two spies.

6. What is the most popular dead drop location?
    a. Train station locker
    b. Under a bridge
    c. A public bathroom
    d. The underside of a mailbox

7. What is a penetration agent?
    a. Special chemical used to make invisible ink readable
    b. Undercover operative sent secretly into a group to collect information
    c. Spy who is particularly skilled at the technology of espionage
    d. Accountant employed by an intelligence service to trace funds

8. Which vehicle is seldom used in surveillance?
    a. Motorcycle
    b. Bicycle
    c. Sports car
    d. SUV

9. Who was Wild Bill Donovan?
    a. Director of the OSS, which was the forerunner of the CIA
    b. Inventor of a special radio transmitter distributed to European resistance groups in World War II
    c. Famous spymaster seen in a popular series of 1930s movies
    d. CIA mole executed by the Soviets in 1981

10. If you use a legend to gain intel, what have you done?
    a. Mined mythology for interesting anecdotes to distract those you need to deceive
    b. Analyzed a historical event to understand a current problem
    c. Exploited a celebrated person to help you accomplish your mission
    d. Created or been given a false identity to go undercover

1: c    
2: b    
3: b    
4: d    
5: a    
6: c    
7: b    
8: c    
9: a    
10: d

10 correct = you’re ready to serve
8 correct = you’re recruitable
6 correct = you’re a potential candidate
4 correct = you’re a nice person
2 correct = you’ve been living in a remote Peruvian jungle
0 correct = please get your pulse checked.

Do you have a favorite spy?  Please tell us!  And when you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and visit my World of Espionage!

Y’rs in tradecraft, Gayle Lynds 

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. S. Lee Manning

    Great quiz! The only one that worried me for a minute was which vehicle was seldom used in surveillance, but then I decided that a sports car would be too conspicuous.

  2. Gayle Lynds

    S. Lee Manning, you are so right! Exactly. Unless of course the surveillance was at the Congressional Country Club where BMWs, Mercedeses, Jaguars, etc go to roost. You are spy material!

  3. Sonja Stone

    Gayle, what a fun quiz! I'm happy to report that I'm recruitable!

  4. Francine Mathews

    I grew up playing golf at Congressional Country Club. But back then the cars were Thunderbirds. 🙂 And the spooks were leaving dead drops in the ball-washing stands at the tenth hole…

    Seriously fun. Thanks, Gayle!

  5. Gayle Lynds

    Glad you enjoyed Sonja & Francine! I'd spy with you guys anytime! 🙂

  6. Jamie Freveletti

    Love the Daily brief/laundry suggestion! And figure that with all the cyber hacking going on the agency may just have to return to using the golf ball cleaners for dead drops again. Great post.

  7. Robin Burcell

    Fun quiz! I am between a potential candidate and recruitable. Just need to brush up a little more!