Friday, August 21, 2015

Pie (and Google) Watch: DWT commenters, have you had to solve the deadly Google Pie Perplex? Sorry, that's Google, not us!


by Ken

Usually when I want to add a comment to a post, since I'm already logged into the Blogspot software it knows who I am, and even addresses me by name, or at least the name it knows me by, but even so it asks me to prove that I'm not a robot. Usually I think I can bypass this, which is helpful if I'm not feeling confident about proving my non-roboticity, but when it was just your old-style "captcha," where you just type in a few letters or numbers -- the only problem being that, as we all know, the numbers and letters are frequently stylized into illegibility.

Suddenly today I was confronted by the above mega-captcha, what I think of as a giant Google Pie Perplex. I've spent a fair amount of time looking at this thing, and I'm still not sure I could get through this if I had to.


Let's first number the Possibly Pie Illustrations from 1 to 10, starting with the slice of pie (cherry, would you say?) at the top right as No. 1, then continuing with the rows as Nos. 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10, left to right. On preliminary examination, three of the 10 specimens can be dealt with easily. No. 1 may not look terribly appetizing, but it seems almost certainly pie. Clearly No. 9 is watermelon; I suppose for our purposes we don't need to concern ourselves with why what has been done to it has been done to it. No. 4 also seems an easy call; it could be peanuts, or it could be larvae, but whatever the heck it is, it's hard to see how it could be pie.

I would apply basically the same reasoning to No. 3, which in this poor-quality thumbnail looks kind of like a bunch of fresh-out-of-the-oven loaves of bread. It could be other sorts of similarly shaped baked goods, but I'm hard put to get "Pie" out of it.

It would appear that, in addition to No. 1, the leading candidates are Nos. 2 and 10. No. 2 actually appears to be sitting in a pie tin, and since that could certainly be a crumble top we're looking at, I would be inclined to put this on my Pie List. I'm a lot less sure about No. 10, though. Yes, it's round and flattish, certainly pie qualities, but that top surface doesn't look very pie-like, does it? It has more of a brioche-y or babka-esque look, no?

Certainly a case could be made for No. 7. If we accept the top of No. 2 as a crumble pie top, can we be sure that in No. 7 that isn't some sort of lattice top? Of course with No. 7 we don't have, as we do with No. 2, the reassuring size and shape of pie-ness, and I don't know what exactly the latticework of No. 7 is sitting on top of, but I'm far from sure that we can with certainty put this on our "Not Pie" list.

No. 8 seems clearly a cake, but I worry about this too, keeping in mind the example of Boston cream pie.

Yeah, you could cut me a slice of this Boston cream pie.

No. 8 doesn't necessarily look like even a modern adaptation of the classic BCP (yum!), though again I don't think we can rule this out. And what about the possibility of some other sort of confection analogous to a BCP? I don't happen to be familiar with any known varieties, but that isn't to say that there aren't any. Or it could just be some baker's takeoff on the concept. Of course a BCP itself is in fact a cake rather than a pie, but it's got pie right there in the name: Boston cream pie. If there were an image of an actual BCP, would that go on the "Pie" or "Not Pie" list? Would you want your captcha-plus life to depend on getting the call right?

Which leaves Nos. 5 and 6, and I can't say that I see any pie in either. But then, I'd have a tough time saying what it is that I do see, and No. 5 in particular has so much going on in it that I would hardly be flabbergasted to learn that somewhere in there there's pie of some sort. This seems less likely with No. 6, which I'm almost prepared to put on the "Not Pie" list, but that leaves enough questions that I'm not feeling terribly confident with my pie scorecard.

Frankly, I don't know what all to make of this assemblage. Somebody presumably thought it would be clever as well as functional, which on my scorecard makes that someone 0-2. As a matter of fact, I've changed my mind, and think I would like an explanation after all for why that heart-shaped chunk was cut out of the slice of watermelon -- and then left right beside it. I'm not sure we dare leave these questions unasked, considering where this sort of behavior might leave if left unchecked.

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At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also don't like having to allow Google past my spam filter just to comment.


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