Home | FAQ | Results

Googol Founders Make Late Appearance at Mars Open House

THARSIS PLATEAU, Mars. – June 26, 2007 — Googol Conglomerate Founders Perry Leaf and Lergey Salin made a delayed appearance at the Mars office Open House this weekend, showing up only at the very end. "Sorry for the delay, we had some catching up to do with our grad school advisor, Donna Nooth," commented Leaf. Despite the late arrival of the founders, Open House attendees enjoyed a weekend of fun but challenging activities held around the entire Googol campus. CEO Schmeric Idt was cool to the idea of he and the Board organizing another Open House anytime soon, but it was clear that attendees would be very welcome to host the next event. "Our Board members plan to spend time focusing on other duties unrelated to the Googol Conglomerate but they're all very happy to provide advice for anyone wishing to build their own G.C."

Thanks again for everyone who took part in the Googol Conglomerate's Open House. We hope you enjoyed your experience this weekend on Mars; we certainly enjoyed hosting everyone for the event. Through your hard work all Googol's missing employees have been located and freed from their Gazillion Corporation captors, and Donna Nooth's plot to ensnare our founders and force them to finally finish their Ph.D.s has been foiled. Some specific congratulations are in order:

  • To Everyone, for having pieced together the message left by the AAs, discovering that Melissa didn't actually quit Googol, and helping provide valuable data about Gazillion's inner workings to the Googol Board;
  • To Phobos-Grunt, for being the first team to find and free Perry & Lergey, at 7:00a Sunday morning;
  • To In Space, No One Can Hear You Moo, for also reaching Perry & Lergey, only 20 minutes behind Phobos-Grunt;
  • To Co-ed Astronomy, to Wrong Ideas That Appeal To You, and to Second Breakfast, for also completing the entire event and reaching Perry & Lergey before it was too late;
  • and again to Everyone, for having solved a lot of puzzles, and for taking part in (what we hope will be) the first Google Puzzlehunt.

A few interesting bits of trivia:

  • During the course of the weekend we processed a bit more than 1000 e-mail messages. We sent so many, in fact, that our e-mail provider (Google Apps) locked us out at one point!
  • Some teams discovered that you could make inferences about puzzle answers based on the meta puzzles they fed in to. Perhaps the most surprising instance of this backsolving was when In Space, No One Can Hear You Moo submitted the correct answer to the Emcee puzzle (the game show) about twenty minutes before the game show even started!
  • Puzzles could also be solved forwards as well with a bit (or a lot) of luck. Co-ed Astronomy divined the correct answer to Mathematician without ever collecting the data from the funball bit in B42.
  • The org chart app you used during the event let us monitor everyone's progress pretty easily from the Board Room. For example, while each of you saw only your individual teams' org chart, we had a "heatmap" of all the teams activities put together. The results page shows how this heatmap progressed hour by hour through the event.

Finally, we'd like to thank everyone who made this event possible:

  • Our volunteers, Elaine Blank, Wendy Fong, Pam Greene, Larry Hosken, Jess Jenkins, Hareesh Nagarajan, and David Stafford, helped GC out from dawn Saturday through Sunday evening, setting up puzzles, answering questions, looking out for teams lost while walking around campus, and generally being extra hands for us.
  • Our playtesters: Sharkbait, Galactic Consortium, Martian Planktonauts, Mass Avatar, Everyday Heroes, Pirata Codex, Motley Crew.
  • Several people who helped create specific puzzles: Ben Jai (burning ROMs for the pinball machine); Ken Chaney & TJ Beyer (resistance bicycle for Member of the Resistance); Erin Christie (Richard Scarry Spice artwork); Darcy Krasne and Sinclair Lewis (writing for Author); and David Stafford (radio work for Broadcaster).
  • Google Security, Google Facilities, and Google A/V, who helped make sure that rooms would be unlocked, available, and properly equipped.
  • The Bay Area Game tradition, the MIT Mystery Hunt, and especially the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt, in that we were able to learn from their experiences instead of completely reinventing the wheel.
  • Friends and family for putting up with a bunch of over-stressed Googol Conglomerate Board members, especially in the weeks immediately leading up to the Open House.

Thanks again for taking part. We're looking forward to playing in the second Google puzzlehunt.

The Googol Conglomerate

(in alphabetic order:) Corin Anderson, Dan Egnor, Wei-Hwa Huang, Trisha Lantznester, Melinda Owens, Ian Tullis, and Doug Zongker