Treebeard's Homepage : Stumpers

Treebeard's Stumper
25 April 2003

Google Whacking

The Google search engine is my home library. DMS students are working on Science and Renaissance Fair projects, so we've all been "googling" lately! Getting zero hits or millions of hits is no help. My stumper is to find searches with two or three words that return exactly one hit. There are a few rules. Quotes are not allowed (too easy). All words must be at (and linked on the top blue Google bar), so only real words are legal. Glossaries and word list entries don't count. Check out for inspiration.

You can start searching for the one true hit right here. It's harder than it sounds!


Gary Stock first described (and named) this game of Google Whacking in January 2002. The GoogleWhack web site tells the story and maintains the Whack Stack of accepted whacks. Note they only accept doublewhacks of two words, even though it's hard enough to find a triplewhack of three words. You can submit your own whacks to the stack.

It helps that my nickname "treebeard" is listed in the dictionary as a "pendulous branching lichen". I found this good whack today and added it to the Whack Stack list, but if I tell, it will vanish. (Why?) Try this without the spaces:

   t_r_e_e_b_e_a_r_d    r_a_z_z_m_a_t_a_z_z
You might find some surprising web sites as you search. Let me know what true whacks you find!

Pendulous branching "Treebeard"
lichen near Santa Barbara, CA.
(Is it Ramalina utriculata?)


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Copyright © 2003 by Marc Kummel /