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Last month’s microgolf champion Dan Stephens recounts how he fared in an office game of Googlewhacking

Inspired by the growing internet sensation and well publicised by the comedian Dave Gorman’s novel, we at Gambling towers decided to put our wordsmithery to the test and try our hands at Googlewhacking.

For those who haven’t yet come across it, Googlewhacking is a internet search engine game that promises to leave anyone glancing at your browse history completely baffled at just what you were thinking when you typed that in. The aim of the competition is to find two words that typed together into Google will yield fewest possible hits with one being the optimum – referred to as a Googlewhack. Each word has to be recognised by Google to count. If both words are underlined in blue after you hit ‘search’ then they’re officially recognised by Google’s dictionary of choice.

So today instead of slipping out of the office for a cheeky game of lunchtime hold’em we set the timer for 45 minutes and began to wrack our brains for the most obscure adjectives to try and claim victory in this latest challenge. Without any previous experience you could be forgiven for thinking that this Googlewhack thing would be pretty easy as long as you consider your vocabulary to be exceptional – like everyone in the office unequivocally does. However an active imagination is quite possibly even more important than an expansive knowledge of the King’s English and a lot of patience is also essential for victory.

Since in our game duplication of words was against the rules any good ideas would have to be used well and tactically placed next to another obscure expression for the maximum potential. The office dictionary and thesaurus were off-limits too. Any hopes I had about claiming victory in this latest Gambling challenge were quickly dashed as I realised as my paint-by-numbers ideas were yielding results of over 400 hits every time. The others didn’t seem to be having these kinds of problems however as I heard both my opponents talking up their successes from across the office and by my count I was at least three down by the 20-minute mark.

Despite wracking my brains I couldn’t seem to come up with anything yielding fewer than 50 hits even though by now I was relying on childhood memories of the most obscure dinosaurs I could think of, coupled with a bunch of ambiguous adjectives. But who knew that there are 374 websites dedicated to bringing you the reader news of presbyterian compsognathus.

With fellow wordmongers Duncan and Chris charging ahead citing successes such as polyneural omnisexuality and highfaluting scuzzbuckets I was starting to worry I wouldn’t even be capable of finding a single Googlewhack before the time limit. It would be an abject capitulation that would be rightly mocked afterwards. The clock had passed the 25-minute mark before I finally found success with a combination of putdownable and moonscapes – meaning at least I had avoided a whitewash.

With the 45 minutes well and truly up and having found only one additional Googlewhack in the last 20 minutes I knew that I would be finishing last in this particular three-horse race. Chris and Duncan had scored more than me with registering seven Googlewhacks each. However there was a point of conjuncture that left a sour taste in the mouth of any Googlewhack purist – as I examined the results I realised that had Chris had used a duplicate word in his list. He was deducted a point but was content that we hadn’t thrown him out of the challenge completely. All this meant that Duncan had edged the victory and his sense of elation would no doubt help to erase the memory of last month’s challenge, and his capitulation in the microgolf challenge.

At least Chris could console himself with coming up with the two funniest sounding Googlewhacks. Nightclubby spambot sounding like some retro-futuristic droid unwinding on an evening out after a hard week of delivering junk mail. Postcoitally scrunchable on the other hand conjures up images that probably shouldn’t be committed to print in a gambling magazine.

So I’d lost out on the challenge and lost £20 in the meekest manner possible, but then I again I can’t say it didn’t teach me something – who knew that ‘radioimmunoassay’ pertained to a test procedure that integrates immunologic and radiolabelling techniques to measure minute quantities of a substance, as a protein, hormone, or drug, in a given sample of body fluid or tissue? £20 and 45 minutes is a small price to pay for such wisdom.


Duncan - 7

Chris - 6

Dan - 2


Strange times
Another downright silly bundle
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This month’s novelties include
Guessing games
The Gambling office had
Last month’s microgolf champion
It’s a mixed bag
There’s a race on
Breaking new ground
Dan Stephens gets stuck
European Commission Slams U.S. Gambling Law
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