The business released a unique (and extremely challenging!) puzzle in advance of the announcement of Google I/O 2022 to tease the conference. Put your analytical thinking cap on because we’re about to explore this puzzle and its answers.
The Google I/O teaser puzzle has always had a certain sense of mystery around it. Before Google would announce the precise dates of its yearly Google I/O developer conference, someone would often need to solve the riddle. In addition to the basic bragging rights of being the first to figure out the puzzle, Google would frequently give the first person to succeed a complimentary conference ticket (worth over $1000).
About the I/O 2022 puzzle Tips and tricks Sequence A solution Clue 1 Sequence B solution Clue 2 Clue 3 Sequence C solution Clue 4 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 0 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 1 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 2 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 3 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 4 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 5 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 6 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 7 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 8 About the I/O 2022 puzzle 9 Tips and tricks 0 Tips and tricks 1 Tips and tricks 2 Tips and tricks 3 A PROBLEM WITH I/O 2022 First off, it would be an understatement to refer to this year’s Google I/O teaser as just a puzzle. Instead, consider it a musical toy that can be played online that also has a puzzle. As a result, the first thing you should do on the I/O 2022 teaser page is turn on the sound, even only for a little while.
The teaser is made up of four sequences (A, B, C, and D), each of which controls the playing of a different instrument in a beautifully mellow piece of music. Each of these instruments can be muted (M) or you can choose one to play solo (S) for a while using the provided control panel. Although those tools aren’t a piece of the jigsaw, they do demonstrate the level of attention to detail Google’s developers put into this teaser.
When you click or tap on a sequence, further controls to change that song’s instrument are presented to you. You can adjust the number of beats in each measure of the song using the plus and minus buttons in the top left corner. There is a strip displaying the beats next to it. You can add a note to any rhythm by clicking on it. These two controls are the primary tools we’ll be using to solve puzzles today, in addition to their function in adjusting the song’s sound.
Each sequence begins with a wildly jumbled shape filled with dots that stand in for each beat or note. Our objective is to Tips and tricks 4, as Google stated in their initial puzzle teaser tweets. All we have to do to do this is determine the appropriate beat count and note location for each song sequence. Although it seems straightforward, the difficult part is figuring out the hints that are used to establish those positions.
In fact, this puzzle is so challenging that no one was able to finish it before CEO Sundar Pichai made the conference dates official last month. Last month, we were able to complete half of the solution, but the remaining portion required consultation with the merry band of puzzle creators on the Google I/O team.
TACTICS AND TIPS The teaser puzzle is targeted towards developers because Google I/O is a conference that emphasizes engineers. Even though you might be able to solve some of the puzzle on a mobile device, there will be times when you’ll need a desktop or laptop with access to Chrome’s DevTools.
More specifically, the Console tab of DevTools, as well as the main puzzle page and each individual clues window, both contain a wealth of information. You can write hint() into the console while on one of the clue pages if you want to try to solve the puzzles on your own without looking at the solutions below but you still need a little assistance. The majority of clues contain several indications that should guide you toward a solution.
Additionally, Google has made it simple to utilize the console to enter the whole solution for a sequence once you have the solutions to all of the clues for a specific sequence. You must use the updateSequence command, which requires the final answer’s digits plus one of the following letters: A, B, C, or D. Here is an illustration:
updateSequence (A, 0000111100001111)
The ability to enter sequences using the console is helpful because each hint provides a binary answer, and the solution to each sequence is determined by adding the separate binary answers (0101 0001 = 0102, for example). For treating this like a musical toy, the in-game controls for changing notes or adding beats are entertaining, but entering the final solution one note at a time becomes tiresome.
Notably, Google has used alt text—the accessibility language that appears when a mouse is hovered over an image—exhaustively in each clue. These snippets of alt language can offer shortcuts to locating the most crucial elements of each clue’s design in addition to making the I/O 2022 puzzle solvable for the blind. Keep an eye out for them!
The majority of the information you need may be easily discovered with a Google search, while some prior knowledge may be helpful for deciphering the puzzle’s hints.
A SOLUTION IN SEQUENCE Google makes solving the I/O 2022 puzzle’s Sequence A rather simple. An symbol of the number 31 is displayed when you click the equal sign in the corner. This symbol displays our first clue in a popup window.
CLUE 1 In Clue 1, we were handed a 44-grid of seemingly random numbers and a button with a question mark in the corner. To provide some cryptic background for the current clue, click this: The truth is mostly strange.
We are given two criteria by these hints to find the truth. Primarily is a pun on prime, and odd denotes that we only want odd numbers. Putting everything together, we want to highlight the prime numbers in this grid that are also odd, specifically 19 and 73. The only prime number that is also even is 2, which is also a prime number.
How can we then use that information to solve the music puzzle? The grid is first treated like a straightforward list of numbers. We must add beats till we reach 16 due to the fact that there are 16 numbers. Then, where 19 and 73 would be the second and tenth positions, we need to add a remark. The final Sequence A solution will be entered as follows:
Alternatively, you may simply use the updateSequence command in the DevTools interface, as shown below:
updateSequence (A, 0100000001000000)
Solution for Sequence B The I/O 2022 puzzle’s Sequence B is where things really pick up speed. To begin with, there are now two options for notes on each beat. The ultimate solution can be found by simultaneously resolving two different clues.
CLUE 2 The second hint, Start seeing in binary, features the iconic T-Rex mascot from Chrome’s Dino Run game standing on green grass beneath a blue sky. The term “seeing” here has two meanings. It first refers to the dinosaur’s eye.
The CSS/hex color can be seen in the alt text by hovering over each component of the clue. The eye is not a genuine black, but rather the CSS/hex color #202821. The number must then be seen in binary form. Hexadecimal is converted to binary, giving us the 24-digit long number 001000000010100000100001.
CLUE 3 Next, in Clue 3, instead of the typical binary 1s and 0s, we have a 64-by-64 grid of the letters I and O (for Google I/O, of course). What would Morton do? is the hint for the clue.
Z-order, also known as Morton order in computer science, has the key to this problem. Its application in computers involves arranging intricate, multidimensional data shards into a single-dimensional line. What we’ll do is traverse the grid using the Morton order’s Z-shaped pattern, as shown below. 000010010010000100001001 is the second binary number that results from this.
The way the clues are displayed in the main problem view is the last stage in resolving Sequence B. They are listed vertically, with a plus sign separating them, and an equals sign is located underneath. We are aware that we were not seeking for a real binary number because there are two different notes to choose from. Instead, let’s simply combine the two figures as follows:
001000000010100000100001 000010010010000100001001= 001010010020100100101002
Using that final number as a guide, increase the amount of beats in the sequence until there are 24, then add the notes appropriately. The white notes are represented by the number 1, and the blue notes by the number 2. Sequence B’s answer will resemble this:
updateSequence (B, 001010010020100100101002)
Solution for Sequence C Sequence C comprises three clues, the answers to which must be added together to continue the gradual increase.
CLUE 4 We uncover a small piece of sheet music with 12 similar phrases starting with clue 4. The primary implication is that not all motifs are ideal.
Fortunately, Google provides all the information we need about this clue in the alt text (since I can’t actually read sheet music). Each song’s snippet is extensively described:
Beginning with an eighth note, decreasing to a quarter note, and finishing with a half note is the first fragment.
Fragment 4 starts with an eighth note and progresses to a quarter note before finishing with a quarter note that has been slurred to a quarter note.
When we examine the extra clues provided in the console, we learn that Where You Start and Where You End Are Equally Important and That What Goes Down Must Come Up. Or is the situation reversed? We can infer from this that we must distinguish between the components that ascend and descend, giving us the solution of 000100100100.
CLUE 5 Next, on clue 5, there is a grid of cards with musical notes on them. Four main characteristics can be used to categorize these cards: the backdrop color (red, blue, or yellow), the number of notes (two, three, or four), the note length (half, eighth, or quarter), and the direction (ascending, descending, and straight).
based on the provided hints Do you adopt a particular viewpoint? This is a variation of the Tips and tricks 5, as we can see. What we need to do is determine which cards, in light of the game’s rules, can be a part of a legitimate set. In other words, either all three cards have the same property, or they all have a different one, for each attribute.
The three red cards, for instance, can be combined because:
They share a similar backdrop hue. Their paths are parallel. The notes are the same length. There are many note numbers (2, 3, 4). These 12 cards can be used to create the following sets:
The answer to hint 5 is to label the four outlier cards—those not part of a set—as 1 and the remaining cards as 0, as in the following formula: 100100100100.
CLUE 6 For Clue 6, we come across another another piece of musical staff, but this time, it just displays the intervals between the 12 notes, not the notes themselves. The interval, which is the change in pitch between two separate sounds or notes, is our first indication that we need to understand a little bit of music theory. Once more, Google specifies each note in the alt text so that users do not need to be able to read a musical staff.
The major suggestion is that harmony cannot exist without tension, and consonance vs. dissonance is one of the numerous hints provided in the console. We may get a list of note intervals that are regarded as discordant or tension-building rather than pleasant sounding with a little assistance from Tips and tricks 6 online music theory book.
We receive an answer of 000000100100 because only the seventh and tenth intervals in the staff are regarded as discordant.
When we combine the three answers, we arrive at the final solution for Sequence C, which is 100200300300. The yellow note is represented by 1, the red note by 2, and the blue note by 3. As always, you can enter the solution using the console as follows:
updateSequence (C, 100200300300)
SECTION D Our last set of hints takes us away from the musical theme and takes us deeper, requiring us to add up four alternative solutions.
CLUE 7 We were shown an airline ticket with a number of flags on it in clue 7. These flags are employed in the International Code of Signals to symbolize, among other things, the different alphabetic letters.
Based on it, we can interpret the airline ticket as HEL??? SFO, which denotes a flight with a layover from the Helsinki Airport to the San Francisco International Airport. There are five potential layover airports listed beneath the ticket: Copenhagen (CPH), Sydney (SYD), Tokyo (HND), Hanoi (BAI), and Cape Town (CPT).
Next, we examine the suggestion that is included but is not overtly direct. The shortest route from Helsinki to San Francisco among the available options is through Copenhagen because it is thousands of miles less than the other possibilities. The distance tool on Google Maps makes it simple to calculate this.
The airport code, CPH, needs to be converted into a binary response as the final step. This is accomplished by converting the letters from Tips and tricks 7, yielding the 24-digit answer 01000011 01010000 01001000.
CLUE 8 The eighth clue is the one that has caused the most difficulty for both us and other solvers. In reality, Google’s puzzle designers changed the design in response to user comments, leaving less room for creative interpretations.
This clue shows a tennis court with 54 points marked by black and white pill shapes in the middle of the court. Additionally, there is a serving indicator in the corner; specifically, player 1 is indicated by the alt text.
The key cue is You’ve mastered the fundamentals by this point, and the only other tip in the console is Dueling while down two.
We need to familiarize ourselves with tennis scoring and score calling in order to solve this specific clue. First three points are scored in this order: 15, 30, 45. A player wins if they reach 45 before their rival and score once more.
Otherwise, the game reaches a condition of deuce if both players reach 45. When either player scores after a deuce, that player is then in the lead. The score is referred to as advantage-in if the player with the advantage is the one serving; otherwise, it is referred to as advantage-out. If the opponent scores while one player is favored, the score is reset to a deuce. Finally, the game is won if the player with the advantage scores once more.
Going back to the suggested answer of We appear to need to use the point markers to keep track of the game’s score and pay attention to the calls of advantage-in and advantage-out now that you’ve mastered the ins and outs.
As the serving indicator is on the top side of the board, we’ll presume that the serving player has scored when the black mark is on the top side of the point indicator, and vice versa. If everything were to start over, the game would enter deuce (45/45) after the sixth point. From then on, we discover 24 instances of advantage-in or out, providing us with the answer 00001001 01000011 00010010.
CLUE 9 Clue 9 is simple in comparison to the preceding clue. Were given the tip “O is for office” and a grid with 24 sets of coordinates. Simply enter them into Google Maps to find the closest Google-owned location.
While office buildings make up the majority of the locations, the list also includes a few Google data centers. Additionally, if O (or 0) stands for “office,” then all other places must be “1.”
The order in which we must read the answers in this puzzle is another crucial component. We discover that we must move through the list from top to bottom and then from left to right by repeatedly tapping the Tab key. With three columns of eight, we can calculate the final solution, which is 00000010 01011010 00001011.
CLUE 10 A grid of clocks and the hint were provided as the final clue for Sequence D. London time is 12:30. Unfortunately, none of the timepieces display AM or PM. In this puzzle, the alt text is more important than the previous clues because each clock also has a location/time zone attached to it. For example:
9:30 in Buenos Aires
We may deduce that we need to categorize which time zones are before GMT/UTC and which ones are after from the console’s tip, Before and after UTC. For instance, Hong Kong is at UTC-8 while Buenos Aires is in UTC-3.
The possible response is: 00010001 01010011 00001011 based on the supposition that the time zones before UTC are 0 and the ones following are 1.
We may now return to the DevTools console in the main puzzle window after figuring out the solutions to all four of the hints.
updateSequence (D, 010110230403103201013032)
THE GOLDEN RECORD / OFFSETS The offsets must be adjusted in order to finish the Google I/O puzzles symphony. In order to improve synchronization between the four melodies, we essentially need to change the starting places of the four melodies. Click on the record-shaped symbol located in the bottom-left corner of the program to do this.
By doing this, the previous puzzle will slip out of the way, exposing the four unraveled strings that are encircling one another. You’ll see an equals sign in the bottom-right corner once more, delivering the eleventh and last clue.
CLUE 11 Clue 11 is actually made up of four separate small riddles that must all be answered to keep us all on our toes. We are (in one way or another) shown in each puzzle how the sequence appears when the offset is set correctly. Each sub-clue displays the letter of the note played rather than a number, thus we must also figure out how to convert the letters back to numbers.
The answer guides below show how to use the updateOffset command in the DevTools console to change the offsets much like when entering the answers to the sequences.
A OFFSET We begin with a series of zeros and the letter C, which resembles slightly modified binary code.
In the solution to Sequence A, we can suppose that the letter C is substituting for the number 1. So let’s compare the original response (labeled O) with the expected appearance of the correctly offset version (labeled C).
O: 0100000001000000C: 0000100000001000
We discover that we must move five spaces in order to obtain the new answer by moving the leading digit to the end and gradually relocating the start point. Consequently, our offset is 5.
updateOffset (A, 5)
INSET B With the exception of the bottom-right corner, there are 55 squares in the second mini-puzzle that are either blank or have the letters C or E in them. We can quite easily follow the sequence by reading it from left to right.
0C00C00C 0C00E00C 0C00C00E
The letter E appears only twice in this offset hint, just as there are only two instances of the number 2 in the solution to Sequence B. As a result, we can review it as follows:
O: 001010010020100100101002C: 010010010100200101001002
Once more, we find that the correct offset is 11, by altering the initial digit. You might have picked up on a trend in the answers by now, but let’s move on to the next offset!
updateOffset(B, 11) (B, 11)
INSET C Our next crossword problem, read clockwise, features several circles resembling a vinyl record, surrounded by a circle made of shattered line segments and the letters C, F, G, and G. This offset puzzle contains a letter followed by two line segments, just like the solution to sequence C has a note followed by two blanks.
The notes that go with each number must then be determined. The repeated letter G, which corresponds to the repeated number 3 in the solution to sequence C, makes this simple to accomplish. Thus, the F should come before the number 2, and the C should come before the number 1. We discover the following when we compare the offset displayed to the initial response:
O: 100200300300C: 100200300300
They are identical, that is true. Since no adjustment was required, our initial thought for this component of the puzzle was to leave the offset at 0. But there are actually other angles from which to see it. We must circle back to the start for reasons that will become evident soon, giving us a solution of 12.
updateOffset (C, 12)
INSET D The last stage of this puzzle-solving adventure has twenty-four points radiating out from a central point with lines of varied lengths, resembling the points of a star. Each line is a different letter, with the lengths corresponding to those letters in the order E, F, G, and C.
By measuring the length of each line and using that information to identify the appropriate letter, we could solve this puzzle by hand. To make things simple, we may expose the letter combination by using the alt text for each point:
The only repeated letters in the hint, EE, hold the key to determining which letter is whose. Returning to Sequence D, we discover that the lone pair is 11. From there, everything comes into place, providing us our authentic and updated responses:
O: 010110230403103201013032C: 320101102304031032010130
We must almost come full circle with a final result of 22, in order to correctly calculate this offset.
updateOffset (D, 22)
FIXED THE PUZZLE! When the last offset is figured out and submitted, the Google I/O 2022 puzzle’s grand climax is reached. The offset numbers (5, 11, 12, 22) might have contributed to the discovery that Google I/O will take place on May 11 and 12, 2022, otherwise written as 5/11 12/22, had the puzzle been solved before the event’s full announcement.
The puzzle design team for Google I/O has our sincere gratitude!