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Daveguth  (Level: 250.2 - Posts: 1636)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:00 PM


First of all, my apologies if the following is an old and tired topic on Salty Dog. I’m relatively new to posting comments, and I haven’t seen much of a discussion on the topic. I also apologize (and warn you) that this is a very long post.

I’ve noticed several suggestions that “Googling” is not a completely legitimate tool for solving the various Sploofus contests. I’ve seen many comments commending Word Puzzles because that can’t be Googled. I remember folks saying that the Tournaments are tainted because the “Googlers” frequently have the best scores. (There was even a Salty Dog thread awhile back about a monthly summary of Tournament scores that tossed out the Googlers.) And no doubt there are some who frantically Google during the Question of the Day or Showdowns in a desperate attempt for an advantage.

No doubt, many of the best Sploofusers frequently “sneak a peak” at Google, or some other source on the Web. In fact, Slicko, one of the very best Sploofus competitors (if not the best), recently posted that he was “sort of a Googler.” (To the hard core non-Googlers, this “admission of guilt” might sound like Alex Rodriguez saying that he only occasionally used steroids.)

Has the purity of Sploofus been compromised? Should the winning scores of Slicko and the rest of us who Google (whether it’s “sort of Googling” or hard core Google dependency) receive an asterisk? Do we need two versions of Sploofus: Sploofus Pure and Sploofus for Googlers?

Well, I’m guessing most of you probably agree there’s room for both Googlers and non-Googlers on Sploofus. How, then, do will reconcile this uncomfortable dilemma?

I believe the answer is in how the game is structured. I was initially drawn to Sploofus because it was the one online trivia site that considered both accuracy and speed. Back when I started, there was a Sploofactor list that rewarded excellence in both areas. There was a built-in disincentive to Google because your Sploofactor would suffer. Unfortunately, Sploofactor has since been dropped, so that disincentive has gone away.

However, there are Googling disincentives in other Sploofus contests. Clearly the Word Rounds and Matches are not for the Google crowd. The Question of the Day generously awards the quick, and therefore penalizes the Googler. The issue seems to be greatest in games where speed’s only value is to break ties. In the Word Puzzles and the Tournaments, it just makes strategic sense to build up your accuracy with Google given the small cost of losing an occasional tie.

The ideal solution, I believe, is that Word Puzzle and Tournament scoring be modified to greater penalize those with slow times. You can Google all you want, but don’t expect to win if you doddle out there all day.

Of course, it’s pretty naïve to expect any modifications to the Sploofus site at this time.

Until that happens, we should really understand that folks will do whatever they can to score high—within the rules as they are written. As long as Googling can be used to one’s advantage, it will continue. I think it’s pretty hopeless to expect folks to forego strategies that will benefit them. So, until the rules are changed someday, I suggest that folks live with all of the Googling because it’s just not going away.

Tuzilla  (Level: 130.9 - Posts: 3769)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:02 PM

I seldom do it, but consider it a matter of personal choice. There is nothing written banning or discouraging it.

Oogie54  (Level: 198.8 - Posts: 1120)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:19 PM

Hello, my name is Oogie and I'm a's been five minutes since my last google,last night I googled down a whole word puzzle....I'm not trying to quit any more....and I aint coming to any more of these meetings either....Googlers Unite...Viva La Wikipedia!!!

Felix  (Level: 109.3 - Posts: 2500)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:22 PM

The Nuns said that I could potentially go blind from Googling.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:25 PM

No, that is non-sins.

And not mortal. In fact, it has helped create several immortals here!

Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:29 PM

I ogle oogie all the time!

Oh! Wrong word....


Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:31 PM

I really don't know how the WTHAI puzzles can be solved without Googling. Most of them consist of people/places that even the winners have probably never heard of until the Google factor. Before I quit the WP's I Googled practically all of them. Fact is, if Google wasn't available there would be very few members doing the puzzles.

Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:47 PM

First of all thanks for the incredible compliment Dave.
Since I made my "True Confession" I'll add my two cents. As I mentioned I try not to Google but sometimes the words are so obscure that you'll blow every letter trying to figure it out. I've never been to Wales (although I hear it's amazing) - therefore never heard of the Bragdy Gwynant brewery that was in the puzzle a couple days ago. I would have wasted nearly every letter in the alphabet trying to figure that one out so did search for it.
Some type of time bonus is a really nice idea but that might disrupt the whole goal of trying to solve with the least amount of letters. Most of my longer times on word puzzles are not spent googling but playing around with letter combinations - sometimes to the point of writing them out because of my obstinate desire to use as few letters as possible.
With so many folks doing the word puzzles these days perhaps two lists of finishers could be possible - speed demons and snails.
Agree with you completely about the tournaments - Googling on quizzes just doesn't make sense - and I liked it when someone was adjusting the standings to reward those who were faster - I'd like to see that come back - especially now that the timer and connections seems to be working better. Some people might miss out on some fascinating information especially for EA quizzes and I usually like to read through the whole question - heck on the time.
Guess it's time for me to head out to San Francisco to meet up with my buddies from BALCO.

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:53 PM

Googling on most quizzes and WPs is a mortal sin in that it atrophies the brain.

Caramel1  (Level: 126.0 - Posts: 21555)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:58 PM

Happy St. David's Day to you too, Ken

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 12:59 PM

Why, thank you! Have a lovely one.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:18 PM

I've never googled on a quiz and I used to be pretty vocally against the googling of WPs. My favorites are the ones that can't be googled, but I like to win so I'll do it if I have to.

1mks  (Level: 208.1 - Posts: 5864)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:30 PM

Personally, and in my humble opinion, googling on a quiz is out in left field. I enjoy learning things more than I worry about getting a great score on a quiz. As for the word puzzles, I think that is a personal preference. Some people try to keep their points, some try to see how fast they can do it and then there are those that will agonize over it for awhile. Each to his own.

Goddess28  (Level: 92.6 - Posts: 5236)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:34 PM

Google is my friend.

Headylamar  (Level: 149.5 - Posts: 740)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:36 PM

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:39 PM

Mia Farrow, Mamma Mia, Mia Zadora ...

Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:46 PM

I think Google should be used only for what it was created for - stalking!

Lucimoore  (Level: 181.1 - Posts: 1679)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:51 PM

Dang it Ken, you just had to say that.

Love that movie! Yes indeedy I do.
... ...

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:53 PM

Pia Zadora.

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 1:56 PM

That was her Martian name

Tuzilla  (Level: 130.9 - Posts: 3769)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 2:21 PM

Atrophied Brains??? I played with those guys, once. They couldn't remember any tunes.

Alvandy  (Level: 225.6 - Posts: 7525)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 2:47 PM

Sploofus is a great trivia site that a player's claim to fame is based on acquiring POINTS and LEVELS.
Longevity and paid membership benefits offer more opportunity to do that.

"googling" or using other search engines is permissible so it's up to the player to incorporate it as a strategy.

I enjoy playing word puzzles the most, and I really like solving them when I don't need to google, but seeing the "Sorry you lose three moves" is no fun!
Like Slicko, I had the bragdy gwynant phrase also the other day.
That's justification for googling. There are hordes of similar "point preservation" strategy examples in the approx. 730 puzzles we can possibly play each year .

I don't need to google peppermint patties however. I've learned to spell [and eat] them a long time ago.

Foogs  (Level: 264.1 - Posts: 848)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 3:33 PM

Not a sin and not an issue (in my book). I would
rather be slow and right than fast and wrong so
I Google pretty much anything and everything.

I now have to assess my students on Information
Literacy, which is at least partly info seeking skill
and ability. There's less incentive to memorize
when the answer is just a click away. The biggest
problem I have is getting students to look at
Google hits critically and to consider the sources
of the information.

Virtus  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 2448)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 3:52 PM

I google when necessary and I am a snail (sometimes I just stare at the letters until inspiration strikes). Some puzzles are so interesting I just get lost in reading. I love word puzzles and learning new things. I also enjoy puzzles that can't be googled. Anne

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 4:39 PM

I google when I need to, I also copy and paste the whole phrase even on non-google puzzles because both my spelling & typing are suspect. I didn't used to google at all but got sick of being number 11. I now love googling, its helped me learn many new things & like Anne/Virtus I get lost in articles as my snail-like times attest. Sometimes my slow times cost me quite a few places but that's life. I tend to be slow even on non-google puzzles too, I've stared at a puzzle for over 20 minutes many a time resisting the urge to add a letter. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. One of the attractions to WP's for me is that it is not solely based on time, don't need the pressure, got enough of that it in real life. I'm built for comfort not for speed

I'd probably quit doing WP's if it was reprogrammed to be solely on speed. You can also tell how my health is based on my times.

I never google quizzes & like to read every word of the long winded ones. I feel I should take the time because the author did & I just might learn something interesting

Lucimoore  (Level: 181.1 - Posts: 1679)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 4:55 PM

Exactly what Randy said.

Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 5:03 PM

Ditto Randy too...It's like she read my mind and has been watching's that Oldcougar madness.


Bigbird  (Level: 236.1 - Posts: 3300)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 5:05 PM

I never Google quizzes. I see no point in taking a quiz if you are just going to google the answers. And it really annoys me to see tournament times that go beyond the possibilities of "slow connections".

I love the Word Puzzles. They are the reason I became a paying member in the first place. Googling takes away part of the game. That said, I do Google when it involves musical groups, since I know absolutely nothing.

My favorite WPs are the ones that are totally unGoogleable - though I will admit that this type is rare. A dedicated Googler can always find something to look up. I feel that I only am working on a level playing field when there is nothing that can be Googled. Then, I tend to do relatively well.

Caramel1  (Level: 126.0 - Posts: 21555)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 6:18 PM

LOL the funny comments here make more sense than folks complicated explanations as to why and when-but not often mind you - they do something that others think-but not always-might not be honest. Guess this makes as much sense to some as my political posts do to others Quoting one of my favorite folks here. "Onward and Upward" !! Linda

Foogs  (Level: 264.1 - Posts: 848)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 6:38 PM



Simplify. One idea to a sentence.

Kaufman  (Level: 253.9 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 7:00 PM

Anne, Randy, when is it ever NECESSARY? Will you be stuck in the puzzle forever or something? I mean, in theory, a WP is always solvable. You may have to enter 25 letters, but at theat point, the solution is evident.

The only times I have googled are in those rare cases when the puzzle content not only is unknowable by me, the puzzle doesn't even provide any linguistic cues to favor one letter over another. And if that happens, I regard it as a total failure on the part of the puzzles author.

Caramel1  (Level: 126.0 - Posts: 21555)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 7:01 PM

I suppose there was some "needed" point to that last post. LOL Linda

Caramel1  (Level: 126.0 - Posts: 21555)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 7:04 PM

You guys are way too quick for me-was replying to a post or now maybe more back from yours, Ken.

Barb1111  (Level: 101.9 - Posts: 215)
Sun, 1st Mar '09 7:07 PM

With regard to the WTHAI puzzles, I wouldn't even know how to start to Google for a person or place. If someone has a strategy for that, please let me know.

Newyorkgoomba  (Level: 211.6 - Posts: 58)
Mon, 2nd Mar '09 3:12 AM

Googlers are boring. In the tournaments they so obviously are doing so to gain advantage over the trivia quiz lovers who are taking the quiz to test their skills, memory, luck, whatever. There is plenty of time to Google afterwards to check the answer and learn something more about the subject. I love to spend time researching, writing, fact checking and developing quizzes that challenge people with trivia about a certain subject, share information they might not be aware of, give them something to think about on the subject, etc. So when the quiz goes through the rounds and seems to be a challenge to all takers, and then appears in a tournament and some googler spends 30 minutes to get a 100 rating, I laugh, but I also get pissed off at them and their mocking of our efforts. I enjoy writing, enjoy the experience of testing myself on other's challenges and testing them on mine.. Simply put, googling is not a sin. It is within the constructs of this lovely site. It is just boring when used to elevate one's score above others. It is not cheating, per se, as there is no gain to be had, other than bragging rights. And I will continue to highlight such in my neverending campaign for truth, justice and the trivial way. Live long and prosper! God, I just got off work and what the hell am I doing typing away on this board....good night


Garrybl  (Level: 275.9 - Posts: 6608)
Mon, 2nd Mar '09 3:32 AM

My instincts are that we have reached a position where when you do a WP you know others will google.
That does not mean you should or sould not do so, just that if your objective is to finish well you may decide your best chance is to google.
Your score is affected by how others do. You may decide --as I do -- that you'll sacrifice time on some occasions to get your score low, because you'll do better overall that way.

In quizzes you are competing against par; how others do is irrelevant -- unless like me you want to see your name on the leader-board in which case you can't google because it takes too long. Getting a perfect score will get you max marks --regardless of how others do.

In summary; googling a WP does not take away any pleasure from your own performance, and nobody really objects because those who do seem to be close to the norm rather than the exceptions. And it may get you to finish higher/score more.
Googling quizzes (especially to finish high in a tournament) seems to be considered declasse by the majority.

But really in a free society why should we object to anybody doing anything that is not specifically outlawed (and thus should be deemed to be acceptable)?

Oldcougar  (Level: 217.3 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 2nd Mar '09 5:26 AM

Sometimes I want to google but sometimes I need to. Why? It has to do with my health, I have Fibromyalgia & one of the symptoms is "foggy brain". I know there are others here with it, like Anne/Virtus & Donna/Smoke & more & as many with others with illnesses or disabilities that affect their thinking abilities. I can't speak for them but I find it frustrating & even embarrassing (though why I don't know, no one can see me here) when I can't remember something simple when I'm doing a puzzle. The information I'm seeking rattles around in the ever increasing vacuum between my ears & it wounds me. It is depressing & stressful, which merely acerbates my symptoms, so when I get stuck on something I know I should know, I google after I've given it a good stare. When I first joined up with Sploofus, I was just getting past a stage when I actually thought I was losing my memory (I'd have said going crazy but some of you know I still am). Sploofus has really helped me work my brain & regain some confidence. I love it

And all the nice people I've met are a special bonus

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