Aaron Shurtleff | February 15, 2012
What? No one wants to be the one to start the conversation? I'll do it.

What are you all thinking out there? Any personal favorites? Anyone in particular you are pulling for? Think we'll have a new champ, or the will the usual greats shine through?

Also, my goal for this tournament is to solve one GOO faster than than anyone else. I think winning the tournament is unlikely for me, honestly, but I think I might be able to accomplish a smaller goal...

...ok, I want to solve one faster than Steve Dunn, I admit it! I come close (except for tournament GOO #1, but holy crap!) but I haven't done it yet. Soon. lol Honestly, I got a feeling this is Steve's tournament for some reason. No one will be happier to be wrong though. :D

Aaron Shurtleff | February 15, 2012
Also, since it is also falling in the same general area of time, the 2012 GOO Hall of Fame inductee. Any guesses? I am not 100% certain of all the criteria that you need to accomplish, but Justin is a strong competitor, and if it's not this year, it's just a matter of time. I also think Chris is a dark horse candidate. He doesn't have all the victories that some others do, but he is always submitting GOOs and he is a constant and strong player.

Anyone else got thoughts? I'm just thinking out loud here, and I am sure I am overlooking some others. I tend to think in the current, and I bet there are some others who are not so recent players that made great contributions to the game.

Chris Lemler | February 15, 2012
Well Aaron to me I think whoever makes it into the HOF this year is gonna deserves it. Like I said before there are some really great competition out there. I really don't have any favorites for the HOF cause to me everyone on this site is really nice and great people. In my book everyone should be put into the HOF. Everyone plays the goo game exceptionally well as for PP. Even when RB was still around!!!!! :) So this year I would like to say to everyone the best of luck of being picked to go into the HOF and I really enjoy this site and enjoy all the challenges in PP from everyone :) Good Luck all

Erik Bates | February 15, 2012
I'll tell you this much: I'm not going to win if I keep making dumb mistakes like I just did.

Scott Hardie | February 16, 2012
I'll decline to pick favorites or make predictions out of respect for everybody, but I'm happy to read what you all have to say. It's definitely been exciting for the first few days, and I think this is going to turn out to be a wild finish.

This is maybe not what you want to hear at the moment, but I'm glad to see that today's tricky Humanitarianism goo worked out as I hoped it would: A few players guessing wrong, and the rest forced to take longer to ponder their guesses. It feels like it's more about skill than speed that way. Yesterday's Medicine goo apparently turned out the same way, although that wasn't intentional. There are so many hard end-of-season goos that I put so much work into, only to see players solve them in seconds, that been it's gratifying to have a "just right" level of difficulty this week.

That said, I expected some fast solves on Monday's Sports goo, and you didn't disappoint. Nine seconds! Impressive!

For the foreseeable future, we're done with the ridiculously impossible goos of seasons past, unless I create one by accident. I might slip one into the bonus goos now and then because some players still enjoy the challenge, but I don't like disrupting the regular season or the tournament with those.

Everything Chris said: I feel the same way. :-D

Steve Dunn | February 16, 2012
It's a crapshoot at this point. So much depends on who you happen to get matched up with and what you happen to know. I was actually disappointed in my 9s time on the sports goo - I knew it instantly and I should have typed faster! I think we've seen faster times in the competition before, right?

I suspect there are some twists and turns to come. Good luck to all (except Shurtleff).

Steve Dunn | February 16, 2012
Kind of a bummer we keep seeing the same matchups over and over.

I'm impressed by Samir's times. I think if I were in his position, I'd take a leisurely several hours to solve each goo, just because I could!

Samir Mehta | February 16, 2012
[hidden by request]

Aaron Shurtleff | February 16, 2012
Argh! I panicked. There goes my one re-do. :P

If things go right, Samir, I might be your first actual opponent. Note that I didn't call myself competition, just an opponent! lol

Chris Lemler | February 16, 2012

Aaron Shurtleff | February 17, 2012
Nope. I get Russ again tomorrow it looks like. Let's see if I can keep going...

Scott Hardie | February 17, 2012
Steve: Unfortunately, data prior to the redesign of the game in late 2010 is not easy to compare. I might write a script sometime to clean it up and create another "player achievement" out of fastest solve time. But for now, looking only at the current era of the game, your 9 seconds on Monday's Sports goo is the fastest solve. The next fastest are Samir's 11 seconds on Matisyahu, Steve West's 15 seconds on Rod Serling, Joanna's 24 seconds on Matisyahu, Mike's 26 seconds on Monday's Sports goo, and Ryan's 28 seconds on Eva Braun. I expected some incorrect guesses to be among the fastest, due to the increased likelihood of guessing wrong at that speed, but no; the fastest incorrect guess came in at 41 seconds, and I'll spare that player the indignity of being named (the goo was Rod Serling).

Steve again: I agree, it does lessen the excitement a little to keep seeing the same players paired in brackets for a few days in a row. But it beats randomizing the order -- as you said, luck has enough to do with this already -- and the order always shifts within a few days, so I'm happy to live with it that way. Case in point, although it's sad (from where I'm sitting) to see Matthew and Ryan knocked out, today's events will shift most pairings for tomorrow. Denise and LaVonne, good job hanging on today.

Steve Dunn | February 17, 2012
Upon further reflection, I am comfortable with the idea that my 9-second time is the fastest ever. YEAH!

LaVonne Lemler | February 17, 2012
Thanks, Scott.......UNBELIEVABLE! - my first win EVER against an opponent in a timed competition! I'm so excited --- temporarily, that is, as it appears my next match may be against "9-Second Steve"!
Remember, Steve, be kind to your "elders"! :D

Steve Dunn | February 17, 2012
Oh Lavonne, I'm afraid I was disrespectful of my elders and knew the goo immediately.

Bravo to you for winning your first timed competition! And also for getting today's goo in a very respectable time. Well played.

Denise Sawicki | February 17, 2012
I don't understand this. I don't think I had even gotten a tournament goo right in years and now I beat Steve West on one?!?

Erik Bates | February 17, 2012
Lavonne, I feel your pain. Of course, I haven't timed in faster at all yet this round, and when I finally get out from under Ryan "Too fast for his own damn good" Dunn, I get paired up with Justin "I will destroy you and everything you hold dear" Woods.

Steve West | February 17, 2012
Damn! You go killa! I thought my time was okay - not great but maybe good enough. Apparently not.

Justin Woods | February 17, 2012
LOL Erik, Sorry!!!

Chris Lemler | February 17, 2012
If you can't respect my elder, then at least give this young whipper snapper a chance.....LOL . If you're my next opponent. :)

Erik Bates | February 17, 2012
Damn you, Woods.

LaVonne Lemler | February 18, 2012
Steve D., thanks for your kind comments! Since you apparently knew the goo immediately, you're forgiven; however, I was somewhat disappointed with your 15 second answer. You better step it up again for the next goo! :) You're on a roll.....keep it up! :)

LaVonne Lemler | February 18, 2012
Erik, what rotten luck! You're much too nice to have been dealt that kind of torture this round!
You'll be back next round, hopefully with better opponents......like me! :D

Steve Dunn | February 20, 2012
Chris, well played! I am amazed so many people got the goo so fast. Just goes to show, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn't.

Chris Lemler | February 20, 2012
Thank you!!!! Your one of the tough competitors in this goo game and I wish you the best of luck in the rest of the tourney as well as for everyone else that's in the tourney :) Good luck tonight!!!!!

Chris Lemler | February 21, 2012
Mike, well played!!!!! That goo I thought i would have in hours but the better player won this battle Nice Job

Scott Hardie | February 22, 2012
As I write this, the following warning appears under today's tournament brackets:

Warning: There is a pending guess from Aaron Shurtleff on yesterday's goo. If the outcome of this guess causes an elimination from the tournament, then today's brackets will shift automatically, giving some players different opponents.

A couple of people have asked for clarification, so I thought I'd answer publicly.

That warning appears whenever there's a pending guess in the system for yesterday's tournament goo while players are busy playing today's tournament goo. Aaron recorded his guess late at night after I went to bed, so I'm just now seeing it in the morning.

Aaron is no longer in the tournament, so his guess won't have any bearing. That warning is better-safe-than-sorry; it appears no matter who the pending guess came from or whether they're still in.

If the pending guess came from, say, Joanna, then that would make a big difference and the warning would mean something: Without me being awake to approve Joanna's guess before midnight, the site would be unable to tell whether it was Joanna or Russ who was eliminated yesterday. Today would begin with both of them still active and still in a bracket against each other. When I signed in at 7am and approved her guess, then either Joanna or Russ would be retroactively eliminated as of yesterday, and today's bracket opponents would shift to match the new reality. Samir would have originally been up against a bye, then the shift would have had him suddenly facing Joanna or Russ instead. Were Joanna and Russ closer to the middle of the rankings, it would have shifted all opponents. Someone eliminated in early guessing this morning might suddenly be back in. It can be chaotic and game-changing. Thus, the bold red warning that it might happen. :-)

The chaos that can arise from late guesses are a pain, I know, but the solutions are worse. The only ways to avoid it are 1) for me to stay up until midnight every night for 2.5 weeks to approve any late guesses, which I used to do but became way too sleep-depriving, or 2) to reprogram the site to publish goos at a different hour than midnight, which as I've explained elsewhere, would a huge undertaking requiring many hours of work, or 3) to require guesses to be in before 9pm or some early hour so that I can get some sleep, which potentially costs players some valuable guessing time. I'm leaving it the way it is for a while. Luckily, it's rare that this scenario happens.

Now I'm going to approve Aaron's guess and make that warning go away.

Scott Hardie | February 23, 2012
You players are bringing it this time. This week and a half has been the best that players have done on a series of tournament goos in a long time. Very impressive. Too bad for those who were eliminated despite all that effort.

Chris Lemler | February 23, 2012
Well this tournament was fun and Good Luck to all who is in it :)

Scott Hardie | February 23, 2012
Choosing just one player to induct into the Hall of Fame this year was difficult. I must have gotten spoiled by so many years of having only one eligible candidate at a time. This year, there were three players who met the qualifications. In my mind, they're all worthy, and it was really tough to pick one over the others. I even weighed each of the possible criteria for inclusion numerically and assigned a score to each player, and it came out a tie! In the end, I used an arbitrary but appropriate metric for deciding which of them to induct this year. The others are likely to be added in 2013 and 2014, if they're still eligible.

I say that to avoid any mystery over why you yourself, or your favorite fellow player, didn't "make the cut." It should in no way take away from the player who did get the recognition, as he's one of the game's best: A multiple winner, a strong competitor, a real enthusiast, and an all-around good guy. It's my pleasure to make him this year's member of the Hall of Fame.

Programming note: It has become awkward to publish this in the middle of a tournament, as players are busy competing for a different title. I'm moving the Hall of Fame schedule to happen on St. Patrick's Day instead, starting next year. May the luck of the Irish aid in your future induction.

Steve Dunn | February 23, 2012
Justin Woods got robbed.

Justin Woods | February 23, 2012
Thanks Steve, congrats. I guess my numbers aren't enough I might have to talk more on TC...

Chris Lemler | February 23, 2012
Congrats Steve

Steve West | February 23, 2012
Congratulations on a well-deserved recognition.

Aaron Shurtleff | February 23, 2012
Scott, your link is broken above, because the person it links to cannot be described as an "all-around good guy".

Aaron Shurtleff | February 23, 2012
In all seriousness, congratulations! Now if nothing else, I am mentioned in the Hall of Fame. I'll take what I can get!!!

Also, my best streak is 55. :)

Samir Mehta | February 23, 2012
[hidden by request]

Russ Wilhelm | February 23, 2012
Way to go Steve!!!!! Congratulations.

Steve Dunn | February 23, 2012
Thanks everyone!

Erik Bates | February 23, 2012
Well done, sir.

Scott Hardie | February 24, 2012
On the occasion of the goo game's 14th anniversary, I observe that it can still surprise me.

1) Justin was eliminated! The numbers weren't in his favor going into today, but he has dominated the recent past of this game, and will probably continue to do so in the future. It's surprising, and saddening, to see him knocked out.

2) Today's Technology goo is being solved quickly! I thought it would be another like Tuesday's Comics goo, where you really had to think about it for a while. I certainly didn't expect any guesses under a minute. Well done, players.

LaVonne Lemler | February 24, 2012
Steve, congratulations on your Hall of Fame induction! It's certainly well deserved recognition for your many contributions to the site!

Denise Sawicki | February 24, 2012
Too bad I wasn't timed on the comics goo because I think I may have been among the fastest :P

Steve Dunn | February 24, 2012
Nice time, Mike Rothstein!

OK, so....

All I have to do to win this round is beat Mike Rothstein twice, then beat Samir four times in a row, without losing a single time.

Piece of cake!

Samir Mehta | February 24, 2012
[hidden by request]

Steve West | February 25, 2012
Oh, I'm gonna find a way to take some pirate gold for that comment!

Scott Hardie | February 27, 2012
The Wallis Simpson goo was inspired by the music I've been enjoying for the last couple of weeks: Abel Korzeniowski's wonderful score for W./E.. The movie is getting some unflattering reviews, so I don't know if I'll get around to actually seeing it, but I adore the music. This is some great stuff.

Steve Dunn | February 27, 2012
Scott, you ever listen to classical music? Based on your affinity for that W.E. piece you might appreciate the Grieg piano concerto - here's the second movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4dZV5JzE6g

Steve Dunn | February 28, 2012
Mike Rothstein, I don't know if you ever read TC, but I want to publicly acknowledge you're a great goo player and you played a great round. I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten past you and I am sure we'll see you in the winner's circle before long.

As for Samir...

Well, it's possible that you'll only have to beat me twice if I get both of the next two goos wrong... :-)

You missed yesterday just to taunt me, didn't you? ;-)

Scott Hardie | February 29, 2012
When I'm not listening non-stop to punk rock, yes, I like classical. I'm enjoying the Grieg now; thank you.

Mike... So sorry to see you knocked out. You played a hell of a strong season, maybe your best yet. I join Steve in hoping to see you win this game soon.

Samir, Steve, good luck.

Samir Mehta | February 29, 2012
[hidden by request]

Steve Dunn | February 29, 2012
Whoa, dude, you're playing the goo game while taking the bar?

That definitely beats my playing from Barcelona!

Samir Mehta | March 2, 2012
[hidden by request]

Steve Dunn | March 2, 2012
Man, I'm just glad you finally guessed! I've been checking the site obsessively all day. Last night I was held in suspense until midnight!

So it comes down to this... one last goo for all the marbles.

Samir, whichever way it goes, let it be known I think you're a great competitor and either of us is deserving of the win. You've put up some great times in this tournament. I feel very, very fortunate to still be alive with a chance at the end.

Scott Hardie | March 2, 2012
Amazing! I predicted last month that this was going to be a wild tournament, and it hasn't disappointed.

Samir, Steve, whoever wins tomorrow has definitely earned this. Good luck! I will be offline for much of the day, but unless one of you enters a pending guess that needs me to review it, the Current Scores page should declare one of you the winner automatically, based on your times.

We have no need for bonus goos, since the new season will begin on Monday. Stay tuned this weekend for an announcement about the game.

Mike Rothstein | March 2, 2012
Congrats to Samir for the win, and to Steve for knocking me out. In hindsight, my losing goo was pretty easy, but I immediately went to the wrong St. Petersburg, and never could've beaten Steve's time. I'm curious to see what 2/27 was. I thought of 1 guess right away, but couldn't find a picture and wound up going with something else. I'll be relieved if my initial guess was wrong too.

Scott Hardie | March 2, 2012
We have a winner! Congratulations on your first victory in the game, Samir, and welcome to the winners circle. :-)

That was one crazy tournament. There's a 50/50 chance of a bye on any given day, but we wound up with 9 out 12 days being byes until there were only two players left. It would be tempting to credit Samir's victory to all those byes, if he hadn't solved so many goos so quickly, even when he didn't need to. He dominated this season.

Steve played a hell of a good season too, as did Mike, Justin, and numerous others who fell before them. Steve, you played your heart out, and came within seconds of victory. You continue to be excellent at this game after many years.

I can't wait to start a new season -- good thing it starts so soon. See you Monday! :-)

Chris Lemler | March 2, 2012
Congrats Samir on your first victory

Aaron Shurtleff | March 2, 2012
Congrats to Samir, and everyone else who did so well in the tournament!!

Steve West | March 2, 2012
Wow! Just, wow! Congrats to you, Samir. And Steve, nothing but respect for coming that far.

Samir Mehta | March 2, 2012
[hidden by request]

Ryan Dunn | March 2, 2012
Instead, Steve ended up like the 2001 Yankees...

Congrats to both on a well played final.

Steve Dunn | March 2, 2012
Congrats, Samir. You deserve it!

Russ Wilhelm | March 3, 2012
Great job Samir!

LaVonne Lemler | March 3, 2012
Way to go, Samir, on a terrific win --- sweet first victory! This was, by far, the best tournament yet.....two strong competitors to a "nail biter" finish! Very well played, Samir and Steve!

Erik Bates | March 5, 2012
Making St. Louis proud.

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