Sunday, June 12, 2005

Guessing the Google

Google is perhaps my most “revered” site on the internet.  Their technology for the most part “just works”. 

And now someone has made a game of it!

If enough people read this and play the "guess the google" game, I expect I’ll be responsible for billions of dollars of lost productivity!  I stumbled on it last night and my son and I played for quite a while.  The concept is simple – they run a one word keyword search against and create a montage out of the first 20 images.  You then have to beat the clock trying to guess what keyword they used.  You get points for guessing right and guessing fast.  You get 10 sets of montages and if you have one of the top ten high scores, your name goes on display.

Warning, you probably won’t be able to play it just once.



Anonymous Anonymous said....

you're right...I don't think my wife will be too happy about this...I got 199 points on my first try and I'm already addicted

Sun Jun 12, 03:09:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Damn, its really difficult. I couldnt get a single one right in the first 5 games I played!

Sun Jun 12, 05:00:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Raj @ CT said....

You are right Tom, it is addicting. First attempt 142, average time 15 seconds.

Well, I still have to be in office for next 30 minutes ... so...

Sun Jun 12, 05:09:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Niall said....

so 270 first time, maybe beginners luck, just required a little thought my lot.

Sun Jun 12, 05:17:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Howard J. Rogers said....

How embarrassing. 66 points, and most of those only because nearly all the pictures on one go had the word 'Kitsch' appearing throughout!

Infuriatingly hard, I would say. Which means it's a very good game indeed!

Sun Jun 12, 09:31:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Justis Durkee said....

This may be a little too far off base, but since we are on the topic of time wasters that require the grey cells to churn.


It's a good thing software isn't made like this, or is it?

Sun Jun 12, 10:51:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Arun Mathur said....


You've inspired me. I started my own blog after visiting yours (


Mon Jun 13, 12:17:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

First googlewhacking, now guess the google...

Mon Jun 13, 08:08:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Don Seiler said....

Things didn't look good when I didn't even answer the first one. But I came back strong for a score of 311.

Those top scores of 390+ would be most impressive!

Mon Jun 13, 09:59:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

355 for a non-native speaker ...

Whoa, let's call it a day :)

Mon Jun 13, 02:34:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

399 points out of possible 400, means guessing all the 10 answers in less than a second...impressive, eh?

Mon Jun 13, 03:30:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Jeff said....

Howard J. Rogers approved of the game, so we can all appreciate its worth and start playing it now. He seems to think it's a good game because it's hard for him. Doubt if anyone gives a darn about his opinion.

Mon Jun 13, 07:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Jeff, thanks much for the insightful comments! ;)

Mon Jun 13, 08:20:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Amar said....

Want to smack your boss, play smack the pingu

Tue Jun 14, 12:38:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I was playing the google-game with the kids. The word "Kitch" came up and it had a kinky picture of a topless woman caning another woman bent over. What the ??? Don't these bozos realize that kids will be playing this game !!

Tue Jun 14, 05:40:00 AM EDT  

Blogger bricklen said....

"Don't these bozos realize that kids will be playing this game !!"

Are you referring to Google? I'm willing to wager that the only filtering that goes on is done on Google's end, so if anything gets through you can lay the blame at their feet.

Tue Jun 14, 10:45:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

The game itself appears to reuse a fixed and chosen set of words. "Kitsch" seems to crop up very often and one of the pictures shows some kind of sadomasochistic sex scene and another an erect phallus ornament of some sort.

Pretty bizarre word choice considering the richness of the english language, the images that this word throws up and the fact that this could be considered a family game !!

Tue Jun 14, 11:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous S said....

I’m impressed too but a little disappointed seeing a lot of too smart people.
I think it’s absolutely not possible to fairly get scores like 399 out of 400 (the max score), guessing all answers in less than one second: there’s no time to type them!!
Let me explain how those people can appear so clever: this game is a flash application running in our browser, so simply sniffing all http requests the flash application is doing to query Google for images (there’s a plugin for Firefox named that can show you all those requests) and looking (using grep or regular expression) for URLs like: proxy.asp?url= /images?q=dread
a cunning player can immediately see all answers (dread in this example) and cut&paste them.
It's simple in such a way to get a complete list of all words this game uses...
De Coubertin spirit ;-)

Tue Jun 14, 12:25:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

for the "kids" version -- use your preferences to to "safe search", you get a totally different set of (innocent) pictures.

I would imagine any of the words you through at google images could return "questionable material". Enable the safe search and it seems pretty "clean"

But at least I did learn a new word today.

Tue Jun 14, 01:24:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

But at least I did learn a new word today
And i learnt a new meaning for it, my English is "improving" by the minute ;)

Tue Jun 14, 02:57:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

My quick research reveals that gay-kitsch is a fashion subculture. Don't know anything about the game author other than what's on his website but he does seem to be spending a lot of time in england ;-)

Tue Jun 14, 03:57:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Venkat Ram said....

I made 366..I cant beleive how some guy made 399..I got all the questions right..but i need some time to type:)

Wed Jun 15, 06:26:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous haylie said....

i made 369 without cheating! who are these super people who get nearly 400?? how is that possible?

Tue Aug 14, 11:53:00 PM EDT  


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