Encouraged by the reasonable success of my first ngram puzzle Assassinate Shakespeare! I've decided to explore the idea further.

Here is a new ngram. Your task is to reproduce it exactly by entering the relevant search terms into Google ngram.

enter image description here

Detail enter image description here

The answer

The correct answer will be a link to the Google ngram viewer showing the exact same graph as I have given but with the mystery text filled in.

How to proceed

This puzzle is designed to be difficult but not impossible. I thought my first ngram puzzle was difficult and yet within three hours someone had solved it. This time I decided to pitch the level at those in the community who are super-quick and give them a little more of a challenge.

Finding a solution does not rely on brute-force methods. If you observe all aspects of the diagram carefully and take note of the Knowledge tag, you should be able to arrive at a partial answer and then a very small amount of fine-tuning will complete the solution.

  • $\begingroup$ The peaks are roughly at 1974, 1977, 1981, 1989. Would this be helpful? $\endgroup$ – Gamow Oct 13 '15 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Gamow - Keep thinking along those lines. $\endgroup$ – chasly - reinstate Monica Oct 13 '15 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Is it Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush? $\endgroup$ – Gamow Oct 13 '15 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ You are still on the right track. You can check if an answer is correct by plotting it on ngram. Remember to set the other parameters exactly as I show in the diagram. $\endgroup$ – chasly - reinstate Monica Oct 13 '15 at 17:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think 'case-insensitive' should at least be ticked, to avoid people getting the right answer but the wrong combination of upper case and lower case $\endgroup$ – Callum Bradbury Oct 16 '15 at 11:00

The answer is:

Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon

(in this order, to make the colors match correctly.)

Link to Google ngram

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.