Re: WSPR: Is there a legit way (now) to make LOTW acceptable 2-way QSO's using WSPR?
Yes, there once was a WSPR QSO mode. It was introduced in 2008, in version 7 of program WSJT. You can read about it here: https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/WSPR_mode.pdf.
It was a nice idea, from an experimenter's point of view. The mode had WSPR sensitivity: we even made some easy EME QSOs with it! However, it never gained much popularity. QSO message formats are restricted enough, even with 72 or 77-bit payloads. Making 50-bit payloads serve for 2-way QSOs was probably too much of a stretch.
Your core development team enjoys pushing the communication-theory limits in whatever ways seem applicable to Amateur Radio. We are currently experimenting with a possible mode that would likely have many sub-modes: a wide range of T/R sequence lengths, perhaps 15 s to 5 minutes; occupied bandwidths from 60 Hz down to about 2 Hz; threshold sensitivities down to SNR = -37 dB for the longest T/R sequence lengths; and message formats suitable for both 2-way QSOs and WSPR-like applications.
No promises about when (or whether) such a mode might see the light of day.
-- 73, Joe, K1JT