'A Google a Day' to Appear in The New York Times

By Ed Silverstein April 12, 2011

Google has come up with a new puzzle and it’s going to put users’ search skills to the test.

Google is partnering with The New York Times on a new game which will appear on the same page as the newspaper’s crossword puzzle, and likely require Google search to come up with the answer.

The trivia game is known as A Google a Day.

Puzzles, given in the form of questions, will be posted daily on www.agoogleaday.com and printed in the newspaper above the famed New York Times crossword puzzle.

“We’ll reveal each puzzle’s answer the next day in the Times and on agoogleaday.com, along with the search tips and features used to find it,” said Dan Russell, User Experience researcher at Google, said in a blog post.

He notes that “Traditional trivia games have a rule … —you can't look things up in books, you can't ask your friends and you certainly can't ask Google.”

But in this case, questions will likely be more challenging to answer given readers/viewers are encouraged to search for answers using Google, Russell said. The difficulty of the questions increases as the week continues, so Monday’s may be relatively easier to answer but Friday’s is going to be a major challenge.

Google provides the following sample question and approach to finding the answer:

“My name is Robert. One day before my brother Rohan’s 19th birthday, our father had an album on the Billboard 200. Name the album.”

Here’s how to find the answer: “Search [Robert and Rohan brothers]. Learn that Robert is actually Bob Marley Jr. Search [Rohan Marley] and find he was born on May 19, 1972. Search [Bob Marley album May 18 1991]. Learn the album was ‘Talkin' Blues.’"

The new puzzle is an example of how Google is trying to make the search experience fun and creative rather than routine. In another recent example, as reported by TechZone360’s Juliana Kenny on March 24, was when Google's Doodle wished famed magician and illusionist Harry Houdini a “Happy Birthday.” Google used “antiqued imagery of the magician against a red banner with Google’s logo,” Kenny reported.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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