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Iautah  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 91)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 9:33 AM


Starting with the quizzes that end during the month of November, I plan on posting tournament points rankings on a monthly basis. The rules are simple:

1) The scoring system for each tournament is as follows:
1st Highest Percentage 5 points
2nd Highest Percentage 4 points
3nd Highest Percentage 3 points
4th Highest Percentage 2 points
5th Highest Percentage 1 point

2) Anyone who takes more than 5,000 minutes to answer the quizzes in a tournament will be disqualified from receiving my ranking points.

The quizzes ending in November run from the Candy quiz to the Thanksgiving quiz.

Please note that in some months I may not post the rankings until a few days after the end of the preceding month.

Iautah  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 91)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 9:42 AM

Scoring System Example:

Outer Space - in Fiction and on Film
Daveguth 5 points
Davidf 4 points
Meccles 3 points
Itrollout 2 points
Jp1970 1 points

Ancient Empires
Meccles 5 points
Taco24 4 points
Cjdyson9 3 points
Bradd 2 points
Klukblazen 1 point

If there were only these two tournaments in a month, then Meccles would win the month with 8 points.

Davidf  (Level: 102.1 - Posts: 746)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 10:52 AM

Sounds fun

Foogs  (Level: 282.5 - Posts: 847)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 10:55 AM

Do you mean 5,000 seconds?

Kaufman  (Level: 270.0 - Posts: 3941)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 12:12 PM

And maybe rather than a flat 5000, it should be prorated per the number of required quizzes. I'm not sure a 20-quiz tournament should have to be done as quickly as a 10.

Suzer22  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 1982)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 1:53 PM

Maybe rather than a flat 5000, you could disqualify anyone who took more than twice as long as the average.

Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3352)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 6:20 PM

I love that you're doing this. I want to chime in and agree with Suzer. I've been personally annoyed by those who obviously research the quiz questions so that they'll get higher rankings; it's one of my pet peeves, and it certainly makes tournaments less fun - you know if you do it honestly, even if you really know the topic, you are going down! If the majority of folks score in the 1,000-2,000 second range on a particular tournament, I think 5,000 is being overly generous.

Taco24  (Level: 142.3 - Posts: 589)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 6:25 PM

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.5 - Posts: 3847)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 6:44 PM

My home computer is slow. I was relegated to it by my wife and daughter. They took possession of the new one, I bought a couple of years ago. Mine is powered by a system starting with a waterwheel that has lost a few slats over time and is fairly leaky. The wheel turns a small millstone that grinds grain to feed a pair of gout infected, asthmatic hamsters who hobble on a wire wheel to receive their food, and in turn provides enough electricity to heat a small steam boiler that powers my computer. My speed on puzzles is slow because I usually wait 10-15 between question. I DO NOT google, but my times often look that way. Anyone slower than my times is either googling, multi-tasking several things, or has a mate to my

Iautah  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 91)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 11:57 PM

Yes - I meant 5,000 seconds. I was looking for a number of seconds that would not disqualify someone for being really slow on one or two quizzes, yet deal with those people who take an excessive amount of time on every quiz. I was also looking for a time that would be fair in a 20 quiz tournament.

While I agree with the concept of changing the time relative to the number of quizzes in a tournament, I do not see how this can work in practice. If I do not compete in a Country Music Tournament, then I would have no way of knowing how many quizzes were needed to get a score entered in the tournament.

That said - would 4,000 seconds be a better time limit than 5,000 seconds?

Iautah  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 91)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 12:07 AM

I went back through all of the tournaments that ended in September and October, and I did not find any cases of you taking more than 4,000 seconds to complete a tournament. That's that point, I don't want to disqualify people who happen to have slow Internet connections - just those people who take excessive time googling most questions.

Nelly  (Level: 181.0 - Posts: 1167)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 3:14 AM

Great idea, Steve! (Especially as nothing appears to be happening in this area officially!)

I didn't bother with tournaments after the first couple in view of the results - invariably same names/extremely lengthy times. I am very slow because I tend to carefully consider every answer (especially the ones I don't know) and Rictic will tell you I'm very indecisive! lol. However, some of these times are just ridiculous (on a repeated basis and on virtually every subject). I would be extremely unlikely to place in a tournament anyway, but I would be interested to see how I compared to others in areas of interest.

I think it may have been Linda who suggested once before that there should be an option for people to select - those who wish to research and learn or those who wish to test knowledge (this was an excellent idea and should satisfy everyone). On that basis, I may also be tempted to take part on a research basis occasionally.

Good luck with it (and good on you for volunteering your time)!


Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3352)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 6:26 AM

I enter them all, but just tend to finish up the ones where I find the topic is fun. You can bet I'll be right there for the Candy tournament - but since I won't look up what year X candy debuted, or how many of Y candy are sold in a year or what the leading candy is in Z country (you know those questions are going to come up) I know I won't do well.

4,000 sounds better to me!

Suzer22  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 1982)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 9:12 AM

To those who do google to learn more about a topic:
Research for the sake of learning is a wonderful thing, but do it AFTER you take the quiz, not during. Just because you have the entire internet at your disposal doesn't mean that the quizzes here are meant to be open book tests!

Challenge yourself to do the best you can - consider it a "pre-test" to see what you know. Then look up answers AFTER the test is over. Or read up on the subject matter (ie study) BEFORE you take the quiz.

Then the results of Tournaments will be a more realistic representation of who actually knows something about the topic!

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.5 - Posts: 3847)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 11:48 AM

Yes, my point was my score is definitely the outer edge of the non-googlers.If anyone is slower than me, and not googling, they are probably also listed on the obit page.

Bbear  (Level: 168.0 - Posts: 2291)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 11:54 AM

I tend to do tournaments during work (don't tell my boss) and therefore have to stop a lot to answer the phone, deal with my employees when they come in, etc. And...yes I admit once in a while if I'm really stumped (the explorers tourney was a good example) I do look it up. But sometimes I leave a quiz for a long time because of work.

I think Linda's idea of pre-signing up on a small drop-down menu (do you plan to research?) and basically have two separate tourneys is a good idea, if not too difficult to create that program.

Tresgatos  (Level: 217.4 - Posts: 4453)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 5:51 PM

Please refer to these threads for previous discussions on this topic:



Some comments:
1. I agree with Suzer's recommendations for taking quizzes, i.e. don't google during a quiz. And this would apply to all quizzes, whether or not they're part of a tournament. (Remember that any quiz can be chosen to be in a future tournament.)

2. Iautah, perhaps if you ask, the editors could post the number of quizzes necessary to post a score for each tournament in the tournament's introduction. That way, you'd know the number of quizzes involved whether you entered a tournament or not.

3. If there are 20 quizzes total in a tournament and you allot a maximum of 5000 seconds to qualify for a spot on your leaderboard, that means you'd be allowing an average of 25 seconds per question per quiz, assuming there are 10 questions per quiz. 25 seconds sounds like plenty of time, but it may not be enough time for some people on dial-up or WebTV. Please refer to the previous thread, entitled "Time Limits." In it, Kaelin talked about her very slow connection. She noted that she doesn't google, but like Tuzilla, her times make it appear as if she does. She noted that if time restrictions were placed on tournaments that she'd likely have to stop participating.

4. Aside from people who may have technological limitations, we have Sploofusers with physical limitations that might prevent them from completing a 20-quiz tournament in 5000 seconds. (See Chyenn's posts in the Time Limits threads.)

5. I completely agree that some changes need to be implemented when it comes to tournaments, and having a time limit is one approach. However, I wouldn't want that limit to end up excluding people with technological and/or physical limitations from earning a place on a leaderboard.

-- Geri

Kaufman  (Level: 270.0 - Posts: 3941)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 6:20 PM

Even for dial-ups, 25 seconds per question is overkill. The only people for whom 25 should be an issue is the Flintstones, who have to wait for a bird to peck the whole screen out on a rock.

Bigbird  (Level: 250.5 - Posts: 3352)
Mon, 20th Oct '08 8:25 PM

Geri - Right now, the only folks who are excluded from a place on the tournament leaderboards are those players who do not google. This is one place where honesty is generally not rewarded.

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2402)
Wed, 22nd Oct '08 7:08 AM

Some of those questions can be quite long.

I know a couple of authors who write great quizzes that are very informative, but have questions that take at least a minute to scan and comprehend. I feel that if I speed thru, then that author's work becomes cheapened, because I did not read every word of the question, and learn wondrous snippets of knowledge.

I like to read it all, learn something new, and ponder an answer before clicking my selection. I guess that means I won't do well on the Tournaments, but never mind.....I am not that hell-bent on winning, anyway. I am here for the journey, not a destination.


Berylm  (Level: 163.9 - Posts: 478)
Wed, 22nd Oct '08 4:02 PM

Hi Bev, thing is, even if some quizzes have longish questions (and I'm one of the authors who tend to write quizzes like that!) the likelihood that ALL 10 or more quizzes in the tournament are like that is pretty slim, isn't it? So even if you take 10 minutes to do one quiz, you can normally whiz through several others and it'll all even out, timewise - it's only those who try to look up every answer they don't know that will take that long or more on EVERY quiz in the tournament - don't you think?

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2402)
Thu, 23rd Oct '08 6:06 AM

Yup are SO correct! I have found the Tournament quizzes to be a nice mix of speed and content.
I do prefer to slow down on YOURS though!

There are a couple of other authors who write long, informative questions too. At times the actual question is not immediately obvious, and requires a second reading to enable me to discern a correct answer.

Yup, I can understand how my times could be perceived and misinterpreted.


Iautah  (Level: 213.6 - Posts: 91)
Sat, 25th Oct '08 9:59 AM

A few points:

I agree with Big Bird, the players being excluded from the leader boards are the ones who don't Google, which is the majority of Sploofus players. It is very unfair to have a few suspected cheats clog up the leader board.

If it takes one minute per question to do a quiz with long questions, and the other quizzes are done in an average amount of time, then that person's tournament entry should be well under 5,000 seconds.

A person who wants to Google or be slow doing the quizzes at work, can still compete in a tournament and place on the Sploofus leader board. They just would be disqualified from receiving my tournament points if they go over 5,000 seconds.

Finally, even if a person decides to Google, the current system favors those that have not taken many quizzes in the past. Let's say that the topic is country music. Let's say that you are an expert on country music, and I am not. Being an expert on country music, you usually take country music quizzes whenever they come out on Sploofus, and usually score very well. When it comes County Music Tournament time, when you hit the enter tournament button, you find that you have previously taken all but one of the quizzes. You Google while taking the only quiz remaining and score 100%, but it does not change your overall score that much. I had not previously taken an country music quizzes, and I don't know much about country music. I enter the tournament, Google extensively, end up taking 10,000 seconds to complete the tournament and score higher than you. How is this fair? Why shouldn't my score be disqualified?


Tuzilla  (Level: 146.5 - Posts: 3847)
Sat, 25th Oct '08 10:00 AM

Strange. I have the Flintstone's old computer from when they upgraded to charcoal power.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 25th Oct '08 10:07 AM

What Nelly said.
I like this idea. This (the extensive times posted by repeated winners) is the reason why I stopped doing tournaments early on. The only reason I click on the tournament link now is just to see the selection of quizzes under that topic in case I'm interested in taking one or two.

Bradd  (Level: 204.5 - Posts: 43)
Thu, 30th Oct '08 2:44 AM

Lautah - I'm looking forward to seeing your November results with a limited amount of time. I'd even go to 4000 instead of 5000 minutes.

Madmario  (Level: 27.3 - Posts: 33)
Thu, 30th Oct '08 3:33 AM

Just a thought, not sure if it would work, but isn't there a way of finding out the finishing times of everyone who enters a tournament? Surely the editors would have access to this information. Couldn't you just take an average of everyone's time and add, say 50% (or some other percentage), and make that the cut-off time for qualifying for the tournament. It would solve the problem of longer quizzes taking more than 4,000 seconds, and no one would know if they'd qualified til after the tournament had closed. Would it work?

Bradd  (Level: 204.5 - Posts: 43)
Thu, 30th Oct '08 3:49 PM

4000 seconds, I meant, not minutes !

Toledosugar  (Level: 51.4 - Posts: 279)
Thu, 30th Oct '08 11:13 PM

I am the first to admit that I am very slow when it comes to taking quizzes, or the phone rings, the dogs want in or out. I also have to admit that I have no idea how to Google. It really doesn't matter because in the tournaments I always come in below third place, so I won't be in the running. Just remember some of us older members have to read each question and think about the answer before we choose what we think is answer. Even the ones I know right away, I always rethink (to my detriment). So just because some of us are very slow it doesn't mean we are taking an open book quiz.

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