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Guess limits
Like them a lot
23%
 23%  [ 10 ]
They're okay, I guess
18%
 18%  [ 8 ]
Indifferent
30%
 30%  [ 13 ]
I don't like them much
16%
 16%  [ 7 ]
Argh, I hate them, I hate you and I'll leave forever if you have them
9%
 9%  [ 4 ]
Other (please leave a comment)
2%
 2%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 43

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Titanium22
your chamber lye breeds fleas


Joined: 14 Sep 2003
Posts: 12253

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaisyDeepdelver wrote:
Puzzlemakers could use a list of guesses to see which wrong ideas are provoced by their puzzles (and enjoy themselves besides improve their next puzzles I think).

Contest writers *do* see all the attempted answers that have been submitted.

bethfay wrote:
Both as a puzzle-solver and as a puzzle-setter, I have seen that sheer guessing is almost always useless as a well-designed puzzle is solveable and the answer is virtually unguessable.

Bethfay is absolutely right in what she says. In the vast majority of cases, we can see very clearly that people are just entering random guesses with no understanding at all of how a puzzle works.

Occasionally we can see that people have the right idea - for example they have typed something incorrectly or they have found a few correct letters and are trying to guess the answer without doing any more work - but a guess limit of (say) 15 would certainly create no problem under those circumstances.


T22
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ASA
Thou craven dread-bolted clotpole


Joined: 03 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaisyDeepdelver wrote:
Puzzlemakers could use a list of guesses to see which wrong ideas are provoced by their puzzles (and enjoy themselves besides improve their next puzzles I think).



I got the ideas for the gateways of ASA III, from the wrong answers submitted to the gateways of ASA II
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mistermickster
Thou detestable maw


Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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Location: Nottingham, England

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe we should create a contest for the people who like to guess or brute force the answers.

We could have a set of 'puzzles', consisting of nothing but a blank screen with a submit box. A guessers paradise. Razz
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xyphic
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mistermickster wrote:
Maybe we should create a contest for the people who like to guess or brute force the answers.

We could have a set of 'puzzles', consisting of nothing but a blank screen with a submit box. A guessers paradise. Razz

Heh, won't somebody please think of the database! Razz
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stozz
Thou knotty pated fool


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I can see no added value to this gimmick. If I may ask, why do you want a restriction on guesses? Is the server not coping?

Let's be honest - there are some puzzles out there that, to put it mildly, aren't great. I have resulted to blind guessing in the past, usually when I have found a puzzle so unworkable that the only way to get through it is to blast some guesses through while waiting for a decipherable hint. I also occasionally use the art of blind guessing as a medium for conveying my opinions about a puzzle - I don't know if this has ever come across as intended.

Some puzzles have ambiguous answers, some (very very few) puzzles have incorrect answers. By administering a guess count you are saying that your puzzles are completely devoid of ambiguity, have no controversial aspects, and are 100% logical; no offence to everyone but I haven't seen a contest like that on any website for a long while (okay so Labyrinth is different because SP never makes mistakes Smile ).

I completely agree with the comment that you should be allowed to see what guesses you have already made on a puzzle. I frequently end up typing in an answer twice, or even thrice, because I'm not 100% sure I've tried it before and it's better to be safe than sorry. This will have to come in if the guess limiter is approved.

Going back to my previous point, I would prefer to look at *why* some puzzles are subjected to brute force and blind guessing and learn from those mistakes.

Jon


Last edited by stozz on Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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SparkPlug
Because I can


Joined: 30 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I wanted to introduce it was simply to prevent/deter people from attempting to pass puzzles without actually trying to solve them.

The reason I did introduce it was because I was confident that this would have absolutely no impact on those people who do try to solve properly. In fact, I was confident that these people would ultimately stop noticing that it was even there!

Now, why did I want to prevent people from 'passing' rather than solving puzzles? Well, for the same reason we devoted so much time to monitoring external forums and policing our own... to ensure that, as far as possible, the podium (hall of fame) contains only those people who deserve to be there and that, in turn, they can remain proud to be one of the few (3%) who actually escaped!

Curiously, I had been pondering whether or not to retain it (for those of you mental enough to re-enter the Labyrinth) and this poll, together with the general feedback, have convinced me that I should.

I too have resorted to "guessing while waiting" in the past. For me also it was a means of venting frustration and conveying my thoughts (though I suspect my submissions were probably less subtle than stozz's). However, these were never really serious attempts to pass the puzzle (even if the occasional pleasant theme-tune of a surprise did materialise!) and, had the restriction been in place, I would have been perfectly happy to kick the cat instead!
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The Hirsute One
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With reference to the previous post, and on the grounds of animal safety, may I suggest that those people with cats vote against a guess limit.
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SparkPlug
Because I can


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It originally said "wife" but I edited.
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xyphic
Forum git


Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the applications of a guess limit that I find fairly nice (okay, amusing) is that the limit could be graded throughout the contest. For early, easy puzzles, there may not even be a limit. This would encourage newcomers to carry on. (Or the limit could be say 20 guesses per hour, which would encourage them to try things out but not to brute force).

For later puzzles, a very restrictive guess limit could be applied where you can only have one guess every 10 minutes for instance. This would discourage random guesswork, and eliminate the element of luck that sometimes helps one team gain a critical advantage.

I'm not saying that's how it *will* be used, or even if it will be used at all. But it's one application. Whether it adds to the fun or just makes it tedious is something that we'll only know by trying it out.

On a related note, I'm thinking about how to deal with guesses you've tried before. It'll be easy enough to discount previous attempts for a puzzle (so even if you do enter something you've already tried, it won't register as a guess) but in general it'd be nice to know what you've tried. Does anyone have any feel for how this should appear to the user? I was thinking of doing something technical like make a list of answers you've already tried appear as you're typing.
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T_Hunter
Thou whoreson cullionly barbermonger


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With respect to the guess limit, I think that's a pretty reasonable approach xyphic ... especially taking a graded approach (but I would never resort to 1 per unit of time because of risk of a typo) ...

Regarding prior guesses, I would lay it out as follows (of course, I can't center this, so I'll use the quote tag and fake it badly):

'centered text' wrote:

[ answer entry box ] [SUBMIT]
______________________________________<HR>

previous attempts: first attempt, second attempt

Once the correct answer has been accepted, then:

'centered text' wrote:

Answer = correct answer
______________________________________<HR>

previous attempts: first attempt, second attempt


Of course, previous attempts could be placed in order of most recent first, and then, perhaps showing only the most recent 10 or 20 maximum.
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The Hirsute One
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T_Hunter wrote:
With respect to the guess limit, I think that's a pretty reasonable approach xyphic ... especially taking a graded approach (but I would never resort to 1 per unit of time because of risk of a typo) ...
Must agree with that... how gutting to lose a contest while waiting for a retry after a typo Mad

T_Hunter wrote:
Regarding prior guesses, I would lay it out as follows
Hmmm - is it just me or do previous attempts come up automatically as an alphabetical drop down list when typing in a similar answer? I have used this several times to check whether I have tried a particular format for an answer.
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T_Hunter
Thou whoreson cullionly barbermonger


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a browser feature, certainly with IE and I imagine Firefox as well. With IE, it is referred to as AutoComplete (Tools, Internet Options ..., Content tab, Autocomplete).

It's generally recommended that you disable this for forms, and especially, user names and passwords on forms ... for obvious reasons, i.e. someone else using your PC, or a PC you were using, could see what you have entered previously.

The Hirsute One wrote:

Hmmm - is it just me or do previous attempts come up automatically as an alphabetical drop down list when typing in a similar answer? I have used this several times to check whether I have tried a particular format for an answer.

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mistermickster
Thou detestable maw


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused. Confused

Only a short time ago, I was reading T22's excellent post on this issue, and now it appears to have gone.

Must have hit somebody's raw nerve Razz
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Titanium22
your chamber lye breeds fleas


Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mistermickster wrote:
Only a short time ago, I was reading T22's excellent post on this issue, and now it appears to have gone.

Must have hit somebody's raw nerve Razz

Indeed. Xyphic has also removed his own post in response to mine, but I reinstate it here.

Xyphic wrote:
I'm moving this out for now, as I've already had one complaint about it and I feel it might serve to alienate some of our regular members (as they're very likely to recognise themselves in it!). I understand the sentiment, and agree with it, but I think it's a bit strong.


If there is any interest in free speech and open debate, I can also reinstate my own post if people want to see it. Lucky that I kept a copy in anticipation of whingers, isn't it...LOL!


T22
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stozz
Thou knotty pated fool


Joined: 23 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would very much like to see it - especially if I have the enjoyment of working out which bits have a dig at me Very Happy

T22, how about you send me a PM with it? Wink

Jon

EDIT: Rofl (almost literally) having now read the deleted post. It was slightly easy to work out which bit related to me though Sad
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