Breakfast Combo – the game

by Bernie DeKoven on October 2, 2012

My plus friend +Allen Firstenberg gifted me with news of a word game taking place on Google Plus. Ir’s called Breakfast Combo, and to save you from extra clicking, I’ve copied the bulk of the rules below:

The objective of the participants is to guess what the “server” is serving for “breakfast”. (Note: The answer need not actually be food or plausible as a breakfast item.) On Google+, the server starts the game by making a post stating “Breakfast is served!” and generally a link to the rules and other comments, and participants guess in the comments. Participants may guess in any order; the only restrictions are that once you have guessed, you must wait until your guess has been answered and at least one other person has made a guess (after your guess, not necessarily after your answer) before guessing again.

In response to a guess, the server will do one of two things. If the guess is more similar to the answer than the current best guess, the server will state this fact. Alternately, if the guess is less similar, the server will state this and additionally mention one way the new guess is similar to the actual answer.

Guesses are for specific possible answers, not attributes of the answer; for instance, “Is it red?” is only valid if the questioner is asking whether the answer is “the color red”. (A guess of a generic item such as “a plant” is valid, but means “any generic undifferentiated plant” as opposed to a specific type of plant; this is unlikely to be a correct or even useful guess.) In cases where you are feeling lost, sometimes a “weird” guess can be helpful in getting some new information about a characteristic of the correct answer.

(Do consider going to the link for the fullness of the rules therein.)

Allen directed me to +Yonatan Zunger whereupon recorded was a game that, by happy coincidence, Allen himself had solved. For explicatory purposes only, I forthwith forward an only slightly edited version of that particular Breakfast Combo instantiation which I found therewithin.

 
Buddhini Samarasinghe5:12 PM

Is it a chocolate cake?

Jon Eric5:12 PM

Is it the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

Jason Nichols5:12 PM

Is it Alan Turing?

Theresa Mecklenborg5:13 PM

Is it a fossil?

Melissa Hall5:13 PM

Is it spanish moss?

Isaac Clerencia5:13 PM

Is it Melinda Gates?

Allen Firstenberg5:13 PM

+1
Is it the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

Yonatan Zunger5:13 PM

+7
+Buddhini Samarasinghe It is more like a chocolate cake than it is like the null guess. Also, I would like some chocolate cake.

Arthur Gwynne5:13 PM

Is it waffles?

Jennifer Freeman5:13 PM

Is it a towel, ala Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

Cindy Brown5:14 PM

is it a hunk of well aged cheese?

Yonatan Zunger5:18 PM

+Jon Eric It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like a chocolate cake.
+Jason Nichols It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like Alan Turing; but like Alan Turing, it was the conduit for significant innovations in technology.
+Theresa Mecklenborg It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like a fossil, but someone using it would be reasonably likely to encounter fossils.
+Melissa Hall It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like Spanish moss, but like Spanish moss, it has many human uses.
+Isaac Clerencia It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like Melinda Gates, but like Melinda Gates, it was associated with great wealth.
+Allen Firstenberg It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but like the answer, people often spent their lives on it.

Isaac Clerencia5:19 PM

Is it the Library of Alexandria?

Filip H.F. Slagter5:19 PM

is it a hunting knife?

Cindy Brown5:21 PM (edited)

Is it the IBM PC, aka the first personal computer?
(argh, cheese wasn’t answered yet)

Arthur Gwynne5:20 PM

CERN?

Andy Dillon5:20 PM

Is it eternity? Not some 80′s fragrance, but the time it would take to play this game in the long ago.

Yonatan Zunger5:20 PM

+3
+Arthur Gwynne It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like waffles. But like waffles, it was considered a strange and foreign thing by many, once.
+Jennifer Freeman It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like a towel. But like those who use towels, those who used this often ended up very dry.
+Cindy Brown It is more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa than it is like a hunk of well-aged cheese. But like a hunk of well-aged cheese, it required no more than medieval technology to achieve.
Also, well-aged cheese sounds really good. I think I’m just generally hungry.

Buddhini Samarasinghe5:20 PM

Is it an oil drill?

Allen Firstenberg5:20 PM

Was it Colossus? (The computer system this time)

Jason Nichols5:21 PM

Is it a house?

Filip H.F. Slagter5:21 PM

is it magic?

Cindy Brown5:22 PM

Is it the IBM-PC, the first mass purchased personal computer?

Yonatan Zunger5:22 PM

+Isaac Clerencia It is slightly more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
+Filip H.F. Slagter It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like a hunting knife; but a hunting knife was an invaluable tool for anyone who wished to use it.
+Cindy Brown It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like an IBM PC, but like the IBM PC, it blazed a new trail.
+Arthur Gwynne It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like CERN; but like CERN, it brought together minds from all over the world.
+Andy Dillon It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like eternity, but like eternity, it is very long.

Sharon Strandskov5:23 PM

Is it fire?

Jason Nichols5:23 PM

Is it the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton?

Siw Falch5:23 PM

Is it gunpowder?

Cindy Brown5:23 PM

Is it an abacus?

Jennifer Freeman5:23 PM

Is it the Library of Congress?

Arthur Gwynne5:24 PM

+1
Tower of Babel?

Stephanie Dreyfürst5:24 PM

Is it reason?

Sordatos Cáceres5:24 PM

Is the Babel library?

Yonatan Zunger5:24 PM

+Buddhini Samarasinghe It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like an oil drill, but if you were to examine it today, you would be likely to come across some oil drills in the process.
+Allen Firstenberg It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like Colossus, but like Colossus, some very important attempts to steal government secrets used it.
+Jason Nichols It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like a house, but like a house, it is a thing made by the hands of man.
+Filip H.F. Slagter It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like magic, but like magic, it became deeply rooted in legends and stories.
+Cindy Brown I didn’t notice earlier and in fact answered about the IBM PC above. :)

Allen Firstenberg5:25 PM

+4
Is it the silk road?

Filip H.F. Slagter5:26 PM

Is it a Gorn?

Nate Dietrich5:26 PM

Is it flight?

Andy Dillon5:27 PM

+1
Is it the Great Wall of China?

Yonatan Zunger5:27 PM

+Sharon Strandskov It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like fire, but like fire, it helped greatly enrich several civilizations.
+Jason Nichols It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like the IAS, but like the IAS, it was not under the control of any one organization.
+Siw Falch It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like gunpowder, but it played a significant part in gunpowder’s history.
+Cindy Brown It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like an abacus, but like the abacus, it was of great importance in Asia.

Sarah Pagan5:27 PM

Is it the mathematical proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem?

Yonatan Zunger5:29 PM

+Jennifer Freeman It is more like the Library of Alexandria than it is like the Library of Congress, but it was a significant channel of knowledge.
+Arthur Gwynne It is more like the Tower of Babel than it is like the Library of Alexandria.
+Stephanie Dreyfürst It is more like the Tower of Babel than it is like pure reason, but like reason, it existed primarily as an idea, and only secondarily as a physical entity.
+Sordatos Cáceres It is more like the Tower of Babel than the Library of Babel, but like that library it was very large, perhaps infinite.

Yonatan Zunger5:29 PM

+7
+Allen Firstenberg It is, in fact, the Silk Road! Nicely done. :)



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