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Mind-reading is the process of attempting to figure out where a bad quizbowl question is going based solely on known aspects of the question writer. It differs from lateral thinking in that the player relies not on past factual knowledge or deductive thinking but rather from heuristics like "The only Romanian leader they ask about is Ceausescu" to buzz in after a question starts "This Romanian leader."

Questions that reward mind-reading are the worst kind of speed checks in that they often punish players who might know about more about a subject (e.g. Romanian leaders other than Ceausescu).