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1mks  (Level: 219.4 - Posts: 5925)
Wed, 12th May '10 9:56 AM


Very clever. One of my puzzles was just that.......totally puzzling......enjoyable none the less.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Wed, 12th May '10 10:25 AM

I have a question about one of the clues.

Dasfunk  (Level: 194.8 - Posts: 2310)
Wed, 12th May '10 10:57 AM

I suspect that I have the exact same question. I still haven't figured it out, and await the opportunity to learn something new.

Garrybl  (Level: 291.5 - Posts: 6769)
Wed, 12th May '10 11:20 AM

I've posted a help notice to correct a clue... the phrase is fine the clue is not.
Many apologies; I suspect I changed a phrase and left the clue without updating it in full.

Entirely my fault.


Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Wed, 12th May '10 11:25 AM

Must have missed that one, unless it's been fixed already. You are either a genius or totally warped Barry, but those were very clever.

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.0 - Posts: 1732)
Wed, 12th May '10 12:22 PM

Gypsylady  (Level: 148.1 - Posts: 6096)
Wed, 12th May '10 12:23 PM

Too clever for me, didn't know where it was going, but I guess I got lucky.


4getful1  (Level: 182.9 - Posts: 3055)
Wed, 12th May '10 12:53 PM

Very clever, indeed. Challenging, but fun too.

Dasfunk  (Level: 194.8 - Posts: 2310)
Wed, 12th May '10 1:25 PM

Innocent question, and I'm just curious for opinions, not trying to push an agenda, so bear with me....

My gut impression is that changing WP clues, mid-stream, provides an advantage to those who tackle the puzzle after the correction, especially in a situation like this where the clue change is of a factual nature. This is my opinion only, but I stared long and hard at the puzzle that we're talking about, trying to associate anything about the clue to (what turned out to be) the correct answer. Again, opinion only, but I suspect that I would have completed the puzzle with at least one less letter guessed, and in far less time, had I had the benefit of the corrected clue (which I haven't seen).

Please - I'm not asking for the puzzle to be tossed out, or for a single score to be adjusted, I'm just curious to hear what other puzzle players think would be a good protocol for dealing with this type of situation. I respectfully note that I'm not a grey-bearded veteran of hundreds or thousands of Word Puzzles, and there probably already is a well-established procedure. In that case, I'd love to hear about it.

My not-so-deep thought is that puzzles should be left unadjusted, so that everyone has the same experience with the clues.

Thanks for reading!

Asor  (Level: 162.1 - Posts: 594)
Wed, 12th May '10 1:46 PM

Dadfunk, I agree completely. I've always thought it was a strange choice to correct errors midstream, which puts early birds at a distinct disadvantage. Far better to keep the playing field level, IMO.

Daveguth  (Level: 266.5 - Posts: 1636)
Wed, 12th May '10 2:03 PM

Excellent post, Dasfunk. I think this is a very good question, and I sure like the way you presented it.

There's no doubt that fixing a puzzle in the middle of a game can give some folks an advantage over others. Take a look at the thread on 1MK's Useless Trivia WP. You'll see that Asor and Lucimoore suffered through the mistaken Barbie puzzle, while those that followed me took the corrected version. Asor and Lucimoore undoubtedly lost points and fell lower in the standings.

However, I'm not sure that leaving a mistake in a puzzle is the right thing to do. For most folks, the WPs are not about the standings, but more about the fun of taking them. Leaving a puzzle incorrect has two negative effects: 1) it passes on misinformation, and 2) it just continues to frustrate folks who will take that WP. It may not be completely fair, but it's better to frustrate only a small portion of the group as opposed to all of the group. (Well, 50% of the group--remember that half of the WP takers won't see the problematic puzzle because of random luck.)

I think the best solution is to have that error fixed as soon as possible. A problem, I'm guessing, is that some WP takers don't identify errors because they think their competitors should also have to suffer through the problem puzzle. So they don't report it. There's needs to be some sort of incentive. So yesterday, I went ahead and reported it, with the "incentive" being that I might get me a reset. Thanks, to the editors, I got it--by reporting the error, I no longer had that "Barbie" error weighing down my score.

But, like you, Dasfunk, I'm curious as to what others think.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Wed, 12th May '10 4:55 PM

It never occurred to me to ask for a puzzle reset when I turn in a problem. The one from today, I sent directly to the author.

Daveguth  (Level: 266.5 - Posts: 1636)
Wed, 12th May '10 5:08 PM

And thanks for doing that, Pepperdoc. I don't know what the error was, but I'm sure glad I didn't get it.

You can see the advantage of reporting the error with a support ticket. It looks like a reset would have helped your score a lot.

By the way, an important caveat to this policy would need to be that only the first person correctly identifying a (non-trivial) error would get a reset--and only if they bailed the game at that point so they see as little of the WP as possible. Those that finished the game couldn't jump on the bandwagon and ask for a do-over.

Dasfunk  (Level: 194.8 - Posts: 2310)
Wed, 12th May '10 5:22 PM


I don't want to get myself into trouble by "revealing" anything, but at this point, I'm operating under the assumption that the clue erroneous clue was reset, at the request of the puzzle author. I don't believe that anyone has seen the incorrect clue since this morning.

I thank you for your thoughtful comments with regard to the proper protocol for dealing with factual errors in the clues, but I'm not sure that I'm in agreement with your proposed solution - in that:

1) Your solution offers a significant benefit to just one player (the "error reporter") and does nothing to provide for the other players who slogged through it


2) Particular to today's puzzle, the error occurred in the final clue - and of course, there was no way for a player to know that the clue was incorrect until the puzzle was actually solved. One of the names given in the two part clue bore absolutely no connection to the solution, but that could only be verified once the puzzle was solved. In that way, there is absolutely no benefit to a rule that would allow a "reset" for the one player who "hadn't seen much of the puzzle". The position of today's error was such that the player would have seen the entire puzzle by the time they "discovered" the error.

I'm also not convinced that saying to the "error reporter"; "If you catch and report an error, we'll let you go back and answer the first X puzzles without a single letter guess (as long as you remember what the answers were)."

I'm not playing this game cut-throat by any stretch of the imagination, but there's something that would bother me about feeling that other people were playing the same game with different rules. If no one measured themselves by their relative performance, there wouldn't be any point to the standings report, and the puzzle would end every day with "Good for you. You did it."

I don't want to play a baseball game where I start the game down 10-0 to the other team, and the argument that "You still get the personal challenge of trying to hit the pitches, and make all of the defensive plays, so you shouldn't worry about the outcome of the game." doesn't work for me, I'm sorry. I play the Word Puzzle for fun, but I still do look to see how I have performed relative to everyone else, and pride myself on a good score. I suspect that you do, too.

But honestly - thanks again for your opinion. You're an outstanding player, and very much entitled to disagree with me 100%.

Bbear  (Level: 166.9 - Posts: 2297)
Wed, 12th May '10 8:00 PM

For me, when it comes to Barry's WPs I just usually shake my head and hit letters anyway.

My editor once found a spelling mistake in the middle of one that I wrote and s/he did correct it, which I think was a good idea. However, perhaps maybe anyone that had gotten tripped up by that probably should have gotten a reset had they asked for one. Couldn't hurt anything.

Daveguth  (Level: 266.5 - Posts: 1636)
Wed, 12th May '10 8:07 PM

Dasfunk, I understand your concern. That would be unfair for folks to use their memory to answer the puzzles in the reset game with no letters.

However, the editors make it very clear in their messages granting a reset that you should enter the same letters you used the first time you saw the puzzle. (This policy has also been stated on the Salty Dog.) So, if you're following that rule, there is no advantage to seeing a puzzle the second time. (Also, remember that you're only seeing 5 of the 10 puzzles that were written for that WP, so there's a good chance you'll get several new puzzles during your reset game.)

Yeah, I suppose somebody has abused this situation. But generally the folks who play the WPs on Sploofus are honest folks who believe competition is only enjoyable if conducted fairly. And again, most folks are playing for the fun of it. And I can tell you with no doubts that the folks you usually see at the top of the leaderboard are incredibly fair and honest players, e.g., Virtus, Slicko, Digs, Lamizell, Garrybl.

Another thing to consider: resets are fairly common for WPs simply because folks can get bumped out of games for a variety of reasons, e.g., system outages. (And don't ever hit that Back Button!) So this trust relationship is just part of the game. If you don't think a reset is fair for someone who is basically helping others by reporting an error, then you would have to deny resets to those poor souls who lost their connection in the middle of a game. And that just doesn't seem like a good approach.

Diva305  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 1655)
Wed, 12th May '10 8:11 PM

Oy Vey!

Collioure  (Level: 113.7 - Posts: 9952)
Wed, 12th May '10 8:18 PM

Dave, the Back button is no longer a demon. I survive most of them now.

Marynuala  (Level: 139.8 - Posts: 996)
Wed, 12th May '10 8:41 PM

Very clever and challenging puzzle. I would love to do another one like this.

Garrybl  (Level: 291.5 - Posts: 6769)
Wed, 12th May '10 10:25 PM

Just so you all know knife in the water lilies had a 'fake' star.

Sorry sorry sorry!

I changed it to Roman (polanski) who was both in the movie and directed it. What I should have done was use a different water movie and please dont ask me why I didn't -- I cant tell you....

However on the wider subject of WP and errors. I always do them early and alway report errors; you wont find many peope more competitive than me but i think of it as karma, reporting errors will lead to more people playing and enjoying and I hope that will lead to the errors if any being corrected before i play.


Kaufman  (Level: 267.7 - Posts: 3941)
Wed, 12th May '10 10:50 PM

My preference is fix problems as soon as possible. When playing trivia, NOTHING is worse than a correct answer being ruled incorrect or vice versa. Similarly, I want to see the same in Word Puzzles. The clue and the puzzle should form a coherent whole that's correct in the context of the puzzle. And if it couldn't be correct for me, I still want it to be for the next person that does the puzzle, even if I'll curse my luck yet again.

My personal opinion. If it's in the minority, I'm used to it.

Kaufman  (Level: 267.7 - Posts: 3941)
Wed, 12th May '10 10:53 PM

PS: Re the baseball analogy, to me I'm not (directly) playing against any or all of you; my true nemesis is the puzzle and its author. Hence an error therein is akin to a spitball ...

Alvandy  (Level: 240.1 - Posts: 7692)
Wed, 12th May '10 11:54 PM

My two cents;
I have written a word puzzle that launches Thursday night. I wrote it quickly and just recently [note the title] and thanks to quick editing by Sploofernatural- it was placed on the queue in a speedy manner.
If , however someone identifies a glaring error , I would want it corrected as soon as possible while it is live.

I can blame myself when I make mistakes solving----- but I hope puzzles are error free from an editing standpoint.

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