You Are The Ref

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James Laverty
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by James Laverty » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:44 pm

16. It's crucial conundrum time, with C1 holding a narrow lead. The conundrum is shown and C1 buzzes in but the clock does not stop due to a technical hitch. The contestant gives his answer over the clock but the round is declared null and void.

A new conundrum is shown, and this time C2 buzzes in correctly and takes the game. C1 complains he would have won without the hitch and that he should have been granted the win with the first conundrum.

SPOILER ALERT

Something similar happened at a recent CD recording, although thankfully not in a crucial situation. As it did not effect the game they let it pass, but Greg Scott (standing in for Dudley that day) stated he wasn't sure what would have happened if it had been a crucial
Definitely not Jamie McNeill or Schrodinger's Cat....

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Graeme Cole
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:16 pm

James Laverty wrote:16. It's crucial conundrum time, with C1 holding a narrow lead. The conundrum is shown and C1 buzzes in but the clock does not stop due to a technical hitch. The contestant gives his answer over the clock but the round is declared null and void.

A new conundrum is shown, and this time C2 buzzes in correctly and takes the game. C1 complains he would have won without the hitch and that he should have been granted the win with the first conundrum.
IMO scrapping the round and doing a new one was the wrong decision here, and, if it's crucial, C1 has a legitimate complaint. If it is clear C1 attempted to buzz first, and was only prevented from buzzing by a technical fault then it should count. For TV purposes they might want to re-record the same round with C1 buzzing at the appropriate time, but still, 10 points to C1.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon O'Neill » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:35 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
James Laverty wrote:16. It's crucial conundrum time, with C1 holding a narrow lead. The conundrum is shown and C1 buzzes in but the clock does not stop due to a technical hitch. The contestant gives his answer over the clock but the round is declared null and void.

A new conundrum is shown, and this time C2 buzzes in correctly and takes the game. C1 complains he would have won without the hitch and that he should have been granted the win with the first conundrum.
IMO scrapping the round and doing a new one was the wrong decision here, and, if it's crucial, C1 has a legitimate complaint. If it is clear C1 attempted to buzz first, and was only prevented from buzzing by a technical fault then it should count. For TV purposes they might want to re-record the same round with C1 buzzing at the appropriate time, but still, 10 points to C1.
What happens if you have the same problem but the phantom buzz is somewhere between 29.999 and 30.001 seconds?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:53 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Graeme Cole wrote:
James Laverty wrote:16. It's crucial conundrum time, with C1 holding a narrow lead. The conundrum is shown and C1 buzzes in but the clock does not stop due to a technical hitch. The contestant gives his answer over the clock but the round is declared null and void.

A new conundrum is shown, and this time C2 buzzes in correctly and takes the game. C1 complains he would have won without the hitch and that he should have been granted the win with the first conundrum.
IMO scrapping the round and doing a new one was the wrong decision here, and, if it's crucial, C1 has a legitimate complaint. If it is clear C1 attempted to buzz first, and was only prevented from buzzing by a technical fault then it should count. For TV purposes they might want to re-record the same round with C1 buzzing at the appropriate time, but still, 10 points to C1.
What happens if you have the same problem but the phantom buzz is somewhere between 29.999 and 30.001 seconds?
Sometimes you have to take a more pragmatic approach. Like with the example where a word is disallowed and then the decision overturned resulting in someone saying they would have picked differently for the numbers. I would say replay the numbers, but not necessarily replay the whole game from the error even though it would in some sense be fairer. Or if someone ends up winning by 60 points, do you replay the whole game from the error in case the losing player was psychologically affected? So here, the pragmatic approach is to award it to C1 even though you could logically come up with a borderline case.

If someone does actually buzz on about 30 seconds, I'd be tempted to award it.

You could also have the problem of both contestants buzzing at about the same time but it not stopping. This also raises the possibility that one player's buzzer could be working and not the other. Then when they both buzz at about the same time and the wrong player's buzzer goes off, no-one would even know.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Stitcher » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:16 am

Graeme Cole wrote: 6. C1 and C2 are seated with the game about to start. C1 writes the 75 times table, from memory, on one of the provided sheets of paper. C2 spots this and complains to you, saying C1 isn't allowed to use a times table list. Should C1 be allowed to keep the list?
This was the first thing I did when I sat down in the chair, I believe it's perfectly valid as is writing down the 4L tricks, you just can't bring any cheat sheets with you.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Ben Wilson » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:11 pm

Jon Stitcher wrote:
Graeme Cole wrote: 6. C1 and C2 are seated with the game about to start. C1 writes the 75 times table, from memory, on one of the provided sheets of paper. C2 spots this and complains to you, saying C1 isn't allowed to use a times table list. Should C1 be allowed to keep the list?
This was the first thing I did when I sat down in the chair, I believe it's perfectly valid as is writing down the 4L tricks, you just can't bring any cheat sheets with you.
It was always my understanding that doing this was actually against the rules if you did it at the start of a game, but if you did it at the start of a numbers round (say, whilst Rachel is picking the numbers) then it's fine.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Stitcher » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:08 pm

Ben Wilson wrote:
Jon Stitcher wrote:
Graeme Cole wrote: 6. C1 and C2 are seated with the game about to start. C1 writes the 75 times table, from memory, on one of the provided sheets of paper. C2 spots this and complains to you, saying C1 isn't allowed to use a times table list. Should C1 be allowed to keep the list?
This was the first thing I did when I sat down in the chair, I believe it's perfectly valid as is writing down the 4L tricks, you just can't bring any cheat sheets with you.
It was always my understanding that doing this was actually against the rules if you did it at the start of a game, but if you did it at the start of a numbers round (say, whilst Rachel is picking the numbers) then it's fine.
No one saw me doing it I guess, pretty sure I didn't do it before my 2nd days recording. Would be nice to get a definitive on the rules of things like this

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by David Williams » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:58 pm

It's not against the rules I've got - "You are not allowed to bring anything on to the set . . .", but, from what others have said, it's not allowed.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Stitcher » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:15 pm

What happens in this situation.

Numbers round 75 7 10 1 6 9 - 729

Player 1 declares they have it and says the following....

75+6+81
81x9 = 719
719+10 = 729

Rachel says, no, 81x9 = 729.

Do they get the points?

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Jon Corby
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:29 pm

Jon Stitcher wrote:What happens in this situation.

Numbers round 75 7 10 1 6 9 - 729

Player 1 declares they have it and says the following....

75+6+81
81x9 = 719
719+10 = 729

Rachel says, no, 81x9 = 729.

Do they get the points?
No, cos they started 75+6+81 which equals 162 anyway

LOL

But no, it is an interesting point, I don't think there's any clear stance on whether the contestant actually needs to know the answers to the sums, often people will just say the sum and wait for Rachel to tell them the answer, so it seems a bit harsh to penalise a contestant that tries to fill in the gaps themselves. Indeed, you often might not necessarily know - if I've multiplied some big number by 7 which I think will get nearish the target, and I find that it's actually only 11 out but I've got a 2 and 3 left, I can use these to get it spot on. I'll often not really be sure of what the intermediate answers to the sums are (did it leave me 3 above, or 3 below the target with the 3 left?). It's probably particularly relevant to the guys that do the crazy four-large methods that go up into the thousands.

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Jon O'Neill
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon O'Neill » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:22 pm

I think in James Martin's 952 he actually says "and then x times y... whatever that is". I think you should have to know, but it's probably not enforced.

I don't think you should be allowed the points in the numbers game.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Fred Mumford » Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:38 pm

I would disallow on the grounds the answer arrived at by following his instructions is 739, not 729.

However, I don't think a player should need to know the answers to the immediate steps as long as the final outcome is correct.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Stitcher » Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:49 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:I think in James Martin's 952 he actually says "and then x times y... whatever that is". I think you should have to know, but it's probably not enforced.

I don't think you should be allowed the points in the numbers game.
James said something along the lines of 'I don't know what that is' But this contestant has made a mistake in their working and accidentally arrived at the correct answer.

I only mention it because I just did this in a game on apterous and wondered why it froze before I did my -10

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Mark James » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:47 pm

Jon Stitcher wrote:What happens in this situation.

Numbers round 75 7 10 1 6 9 - 729

Player 1 declares they have it and says the following....

75+6+81
81x9 = 719
719+10 = 729

Rachel says, no, 81x9 = 729.

Do they get the points?
The way you declare numbers would save him. When the contestant says 81x9 Rachel would immediately say 729 before the contestant had a chance to say to subtract the 10 so its kind of moot. The problem would be if it was contestant 2 who had to show their working and had it written down that wrong way. I doubt he would get the points.

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Jon Corby
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:08 pm

Ooh yeah, that's a really good point Mark. Incidentally, has anyone EVER (I assume it wouldn't make it to the screen?) shown their paper and had it rejected by their opponent?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by sean d » Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:47 am

Yes, if someone fluked the correct answer during their working Rachel would just affirm it. It's a minor irritation of mine that Rachel can be quite leading when writing up someone's solution, especially when someone is clearly unsure. You'll often hear a contestant start with an an almost apologetic "75+3 =78 ?" and you can tell from her tone of voice whether Rachel has gone that route. Conversely on a difficult solve if you've used a different method to her she'll sound dubious enough to make you question yourself!

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:09 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:4. C2 is 15 points behind going into the last numbers round. He asks for 6 small in the hope of getting a difficult round on which he can beat C1. The round is difficult, but C1 gets it spot on and C2 doesn't. C2 is now 25 behind. Then, just before you go into the conundrum, DC informs you that a mistake has been discovered in an earlier round in which C1 offered an eight and C2 offered a nine. C2's nine was disallowed, but on closer inspection of the dictionary the word has been found to be acceptable. The scores are corrected: C1 has 8 points taken away, and C2 is given 18 points. C2 is now one point ahead. C2 now complains that had he known he was 11 ahead going into the last numbers, he would have picked 1 large, not 6 small, and claims the numbers round should be replayed. C1, who is now behind going into a conundrum when he thought he was unassailably ahead, says C2 is pushing his luck. What do you do?
17. C2 is 5 points behind going into the final numbers. He says "Because I'm behind, the best I can do is a crucial conundrum so I'll stick with one large." The numbers game turns out to be easy and both players get it. Then it turns out that C2 had a word wrongly disallowed earlier. The seven extra points put him two ahead. No-one gets the conundrum and C2 wins. C1 then complains that had the points been correct earlier, C2 would have gone for a more risky numbers and C1 would have had the chance to get ahead on the numbers and win the game. He argues that the game should be replayed from that point. So now we have a situation a bit like number 4, except that it's the player who didn't pick the numbers who is complaining. What do you do here?

18. The game finishes and C2 wins. But immediately afterwards (the cameras are still rolling), it turns out that C1 wrongly had a word disallowed earlier in the game. The extra points would give him the win. What do you do here?

19. Going into the conundrum, C2 has an 11-point lead. So the game is effectively over. C2 is guaranteed to win. But then it turns out that in an earlier round, C1 incorrectly had a nine disallowed where C2 scored with a seven, and the scores are adjusted accordingly. C1 now has a 14-point lead and is guaranteed to win! What should happen in this case? In a case like this, is reversing the decision before the conundrum any different from reversing it after the conundrum?

Does any of this cause you to change your mind on question 4? Generally speaking, what should happen if a mistake is realised? Should the points always be readjusted there and then, and the game carry on from the point they'd already reached, or does it depend on the situation?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:27 pm

Ideally speaking, my preference in all of these cases (as it was in Q4) is to replay the whole game from the point at which the error was made. Where it's logistically possible to do so, I'd do that regardless of the precise details of what happened after the error. Where it isn't, then to be honest there isn't really any categorical policy I'd be satisfied with - it's a mess of a situation and someone's going to have reasonable grounds to complain no matter what.

If it's a heat game, then for the sake of consistency and objectivity I'd be inclined to just carry on from the point they'd reached when they discovered the error, and if there's any reasonable case at all to be made that the result might have been different were it not for the error then I'd invite the loser back to play another game as soon as possible. If it's a knockout game, and there's no possibility of replaying the game from the point of error (or scrapping the game and trying it again at another recording session) then if only for the sake of having an objective approach I think I'd still opt to carry on from the point of realisation in all cases - I'm not keen on the idea of the result being contingent upon a snap judgement call of how many rounds should be replayed. But this solution is clearly far from perfect too, and you're entirely right to suggest so. I can't think of one that isn't. What would your policy be?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:43 pm

Personally I take a completely opposite view. IMO changing the result of a round retrospectively is worse than the problem it's attempting to resolve. Once a round is completed, the adjudication should stand, no matter what. This is the way practically all competitive activities with a formal set of rules are conducted. One possible exception is horse racing, where results can be amended on appeal and the record books altered, but that's not quite the same thing.

The one issue I have with this idea is that if it's not possible for production team to alter scores retrospectively, there needs to be a proper way for contestants to challenge adjudications when they occur. Borrowing an idea from another sport, maybe players could be allowed two challenges per game, thereby preventing them from making frequent challenges to upset opponents but making sure everyone has a fair chance to question what seems to be a really bad call.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:54 pm

Innis Carson wrote:Ideally speaking, my preference in all of these cases (as it was in Q4) is to replay the whole game from the point at which the error was made. Where it's logistically possible to do so, I'd do that regardless of the precise details of what happened after the error. Where it isn't, then to be honest there isn't really any categorical policy I'd be satisfied with - it's a mess of a situation and someone's going to have reasonable grounds to complain no matter what.

If it's a heat game, then for the sake of consistency and objectivity I'd be inclined to just carry on from the point they'd reached when they discovered the error, and if there's any reasonable case at all to be made that the result might have been different were it not for the error then I'd invite the loser back to play another game as soon as possible. If it's a knockout game, and there's no possibility of replaying the game from the point of error (or scrapping the game and trying it again at another recording session) then if only for the sake of having an objective approach I think I'd still opt to carry on from the point of realisation in all cases - I'm not keen on the idea of the result being contingent upon a snap judgement call of how many rounds should be replayed. But this solution is clearly far from perfect too, and you're entirely right to suggest so. I can't think of one that isn't. What would your policy be?
Do you think carrying on from when they discovered the error includes overturning a result if they discover the mistake immediately after the conundrum?

But I agree it's a very difficult situation, and while I dislike arbitrary make-it-up-as-you-go-along rules, I do think that there could be some flexibility. Well, it doesn't even need to be flexibility - there could be definite rules, just slightly more complex than either go back to the error or don't replay any rounds.

I don't think it necessarily would always even be desirable to go back to the round where the error was if it's logistically possible. Imagine this scenario: In round one, both players declare 7. C2 has his incorrectly disallowed, and it's 7-0 to C1. The game carries on. Then just before the conundrum, they notice the error. The score is now 140 to C1 and 20 to C2. C1 is on for a record score of 150 if he gets the conundrum. Yes, C2 might have been psychologically affected by the early loss, but even with all the studio time in the world, I would not want this game replayed from round 2. If I felt bad for them, I'd invite them back.

In a heat game I would actually be tempted to go with what Clive says. If an error is spotted after any other round has been played, then the error stands. But if it was a close game so that it might have made a difference, then definitely ask the losing player back. But also if simply reverting the error would have changed the winner, then when you invite them back, then they carry on their run as if they'd won that game and got all the points. Also if there's an error that affects the points but not the winner, you could announce it at the end of the game, and adjust the points accordingly, because I think it would be harmless. I also think that players' heats totals should be adjusted for errors in general.

Knockout games are different though. It does seem more urgent to settle it on the day. But even then, if there is an error, it's likely not to be spotted until afterwards anyway (by someone on here probably), so do we really need a special case for the small number of errors that are spotted between when they are made and the end of the game? In these cases, if you have to invite someone back, then they could have an automatic place in the round they were in in the next series. But that would be a bit weird if it was the final. A whole series of players competing for one final place. What if you end up in the wrong half of the draw, where the final place is already taken? Maybe a place in the quarter finals and leave it at that. But then they could theoretically be depriving someone of a place in the quarters who had a better heat record than them. Well, that's just tough.

I think there's probably an answer in the above somewhere. But what I would do is make a special effort to make sure that this sort of thing doesn't happen! Get round a table, agree the rules and train your DC staff in how to implement them!

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by George Pryn » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:08 am

Clive Brooker wrote:Personally I take a completely opposite view. IMO changing the result of a round retrospectively is worse than the problem it's attempting to resolve. Once a round is completed, the adjudication should stand, no matter what. This is the way practically all competitive activities with a formal set of rules are conducted. One possible exception is horse racing, where results can be amended on appeal and the record books altered, but that's not quite the same thing.

The one issue I have with this idea is that if it's not possible for production team to alter scores retrospectively, there needs to be a proper way for contestants to challenge adjudications when they occur. Borrowing an idea from another sport, maybe players could be allowed two challenges per game, thereby preventing them from making frequent challenges to upset opponents but making sure everyone has a fair chance to question what seems to be a really bad call.
I only agree with this if the mistake has been noticed after the episode has finished recording.

Once an episode is recorded and everyone gets ready for the next one, no changes should be made. The episode goes out with them in, as they simply should've been noticed sooner. Reverting any score/round/anything when everyone's gone home and accepted the result doesn't make any sense whatsoever. People should email a complaint or scowl on a forum if they disagree with anything that's gone on.

However, if the mistake is spotted during recording at ANY POINT, the game should be reset from when the error was made. Including if the mistake is noticed during round 14 about a mistake in round 2, and C1 is winning by 120 points. It simply isn't fair to do it any other way.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:55 am

Clive Brooker wrote:Personally I take a completely opposite view. IMO changing the result of a round retrospectively is worse than the problem it's attempting to resolve. Once a round is completed, the adjudication should stand, no matter what. This is the way practically all competitive activities with a formal set of rules are conducted. One possible exception is horse racing, where results can be amended on appeal and the record books altered, but that's not quite the same thing.
I think this is too restrictive. There was an incident recently where GOLIATH was incorrectly disallowed, I think it was in round 2, then shortly afterwards (maybe after round 4?) the mistake was noticed and corrected. If it's still early in the game, and you realise that a ruling made a couple of rounds ago was wrong, why would you not correct it?
Clive Brooker wrote:The one issue I have with this idea is that if it's not possible for production team to alter scores retrospectively, there needs to be a proper way for contestants to challenge adjudications when they occur. Borrowing an idea from another sport, maybe players could be allowed two challenges per game, thereby preventing them from making frequent challenges to upset opponents but making sure everyone has a fair chance to question what seems to be a really bad call.
It's not fair to expect the contestant to decide then and there if it's a bad call, or forever hold their peace. If Susie's looked up a word on the laptop and she says it's not there, most of the time that's the end of it and there's no room for argument. Even if she's misinterpreted the dictionary, as might have happened the other day, a contestant would have to be really, really confident in their knowledge of the dictionary to say something like "I think the mass noun tag comes after the item number, not before". Has there ever been an occasion when a contestant has been invited back for another go after a bad call by DC, which the contestant realised was a bad call at the time and would have been confident enough to challenge it? James Hall's TOUGHED was later decided to be correct not because James disputed it then or later on, but because the production team queried it with OUP themselves, and James got a call out of the blue a few weeks later.
George Pryn wrote:Once an episode is recorded and everyone gets ready for the next one, no changes should be made. The episode goes out with them in, as they simply should've been noticed sooner. Reverting any score/round/anything when everyone's gone home and accepted the result doesn't make any sense whatsoever. People should email a complaint or scowl on a forum if they disagree with anything that's gone on.
I agree with this regarding deciding the winner, and I believe this is the rule they go by - I don't think anyone has ever had a win retrospectively taken away from them because a mistake was found. Giving someone another go in the following series because they lost unfairly is fine, though.
George Pryn wrote:However, if the mistake is spotted during recording at ANY POINT, the game should be reset from when the error was made. Including if the mistake is noticed during round 14 about a mistake in round 2, and C1 is winning by 120 points. It simply isn't fair to do it any other way.
If in round 1 C2 gets a word wrongly disallowed, and C1 goes 7-0 ahead, and then in round 2 C1 spots an obscure nine and goes 25-0 ahead, then round 1's mistake is spotted, is it really fair on C1 to scrap round 2 as well, rather than just correct the score?

What if the mistake in round 1 had been the other way round, and the score after round 1 was 7-0 to C2 when it should have been 7-7? Are they really going to say "C1, we made a mistake in round 1 and you're owed an extra seven points, but we're also going to replay round 2, so we're taking those 18 points off you"?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:23 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:Personally I take a completely opposite view. IMO changing the result of a round retrospectively is worse than the problem it's attempting to resolve. Once a round is completed, the adjudication should stand, no matter what. This is the way practically all competitive activities with a formal set of rules are conducted. One possible exception is horse racing, where results can be amended on appeal and the record books altered, but that's not quite the same thing.
I think this is too restrictive. There was an incident recently where GOLIATH was incorrectly disallowed, I think it was in round 2, then shortly afterwards (maybe after round 4?) the mistake was noticed and corrected. If it's still early in the game, and you realise that a ruling made a couple of rounds ago was wrong, why would you not correct it?
Even early in the game (round 3) people might pick numbers based on the score. Also, while it's rare for a letters choice to reflect such tactical thinking, someone might still decide to risk a word or not depending on the current score. So it's difficult to know where you draw the line, even if there might be some cases where you'd say that's it's very unlikely to have made a difference to anything.

The real solution is to take a more objective approach to which words should be allowed. They had the chance to improve it with the online dictionary but they seem not to have taken the opportunity. Also, while they might think it improves their intellectual credentials to have a lexicographer on the show, I think they've left too much in her hands. It's not a job that requires someone to look at the dictionary from the perspective of years of knowledge and opinion of words and how they might be formed. It needs someone to rigidly apply a basic set of rules. That person can be a lexicographer as long they know that they should leave all their knowledge of lexicography at the door. But equally it could be a dustman.

Graeme, do you have any data on games where errors have been corrected during the game?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:05 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Graeme, do you have any data on games where errors have been corrected during the game?
No. The data I have comes from the episode recaps on the wiki, and if a mistake was made and corrected mid-game, the wikicap shows the game as if the mistake never happened. The closest we have on the wiki is a category named Episodes affected by administrative errors, but even that doesn't help us because it doesn't seem to include episodes with errors that were fixed within the same episode, like this one.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Clive Brooker » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:12 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Even early in the game (round 3) people might pick numbers based on the score. Also, while it's rare for a letters choice to reflect such tactical thinking, someone might still decide to risk a word or not depending on the current score. So it's difficult to know where you draw the line, even if there might be some cases where you'd say that's it's very unlikely to have made a difference to anything.
There is also the psychological aspect, as shown by this example, where the challenger's offering in R12 was initially accepted but the ruling was reversed after R13. With the game very much in the balance, there was a bit of banter between RW and the player which seemed to cause Susie to lose concentration for a moment - long enough for her not to check properly until it was a little too late. The player seemed visibly upset afterwards and her challenge collapsed. Fantastic choice of conundrum in the circumstances.
Gavin Chipper wrote:Graeme, do you have any data on games where errors have been corrected during the game?
You'll only find the one I've quoted in you happen to remember it or if you trawl through Mike Brown's scans. Sadly, in the mad rush to complete the historical recapping project, nuggets of information like this were largely ignored. Rant over.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Johnny Canuck » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:46 pm

Salvador de Conúndros is a Latin American diplomat and word-game enthusiast who has lived in London for the past five years. He first applied to Countdown two years ago and failed his audition. However, he has since begun training rigorously, becoming one of the top 5 human players on Apterous, and has recently undergone another audition and passed. Salvador is due to debut in the seventh-from-last heat game of Series 99. However, shortly after the Series 99 finals are filmed, he will be returning permanently to his homeland of Val Verde, thus making him unavailable to compete in any part of Series 100 (heats or finals).

Salvador wins his debut and the six remaining heats after it by large margins, achieving a total of 790 points over his seven games. With Series 99 being a fairly weak one, he is also #2 on the series' leaderboard behind Buzz Quigley, an octochamp with 780 points. Given his much higher average, Salvador would almost certainly be the strongest contender for the Series 99 finals. However, he would nominally not be eligible to enter these finals as he has not yet lost a game nor won eight. It is again emphasised that Salvador will not be available to compete at any foreseeable time after these finals.

Do you:
(a) deny Salvador entry to the Series 99 finals;
(b) enter Salvador into the Series 99 finals as #2 seed; or
(c) enter Salvador into the Series 99 finals as #1 seed, given that he would have been such had he been able to play an eighth game (assuming he won)?
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:52 pm

I was under the impression that those in said position could choose. B.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:24 pm

The ref thinks Salvador is a bloomin' eejit for applying right before he needs to move back home. I imagine B would probably be acceptable though, C definitely not as you can't assume someone's DEFINITELY going to win a game.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Johnny Canuck » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:01 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:The ref thinks Salvador is a bloomin' eejit for applying right before he needs to move back home.
Aha, I had considered this mentality, and mentioning the fact that he applied previously (two years ago) and failed to make it on was an attempt to counterbalance it.

I guess we could assume that Salvador has only just recently found out that he is moving back home.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by David Pooley » Wed May 13, 2015 10:13 am

James Laverty wrote:16. It's crucial conundrum time, with C1 holding a narrow lead. The conundrum is shown and C1 buzzes in but the clock does not stop due to a technical hitch. The contestant gives his answer over the clock but the round is declared null and void.

A new conundrum is shown, and this time C2 buzzes in correctly and takes the game. C1 complains he would have won without the hitch and that he should have been granted the win with the first conundrum.
I was present at the recording of this game and that pretty much happened. Robert buzzed in and answered correctly but the clock didn't stop. They just re-filmed it and asked Robert to buzz in around the same time again. Liam had to sit there and not buzz even though he knew the answer!

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Charlie Reams » Sun May 17, 2015 11:05 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Graeme, do you have any data on games where errors have been corrected during the game?
You'll only find the one I've quoted in you happen to remember it or if you trawl through Mike Brown's scans. Sadly, in the mad rush to complete the historical recapping project, nuggets of information like this were largely ignored. Rant over.
Is this you volunteering to go through them and record all the extra information? We still have the scans.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Clive Brooker » Mon May 18, 2015 8:17 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
Clive Brooker wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Graeme, do you have any data on games where errors have been corrected during the game?
You'll only find the one I've quoted in you happen to remember it or if you trawl through Mike Brown's scans. Sadly, in the mad rush to complete the historical recapping project, nuggets of information like this were largely ignored. Rant over.
Is this you volunteering to go through them and record all the extra information? We still have the scans.
On the evidence of the post you've quoted I'd say I used to be more concerned about things like this than I am now.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Adam Dexter » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:15 pm

Imagine this:

Numbers round - 100 1 1 7 5 2 -----> 735

C1 declares 735.

He says 100 + 5 = 105
105 x 7 = 745

Now he is 10 away, and can't make the declaration. As his maths was correct for 735, should he be given 10 points?

I note that in Apterous it's quite possible to chance upon an answer in (to you) a mid-calculation. You would be given the 10 points in Apterous, but would you be given it on screen?
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:44 pm

Adam Dexter wrote:Imagine this:

Numbers round - 100 1 1 7 5 2 -----> 735

C1 declares 735.

He says 100 + 5 = 105
105 x 7 = 745

Now he is 10 away, and can't make the declaration. As his maths was correct for 735, should he be given 10 points?

I note that in Apterous it's quite possible to chance upon an answer in (to you) a mid-calculation. You would be given the 10 points in Apterous, but would you be given it on screen?
I'd probably say give it to him. I don't think announcing intermediate targets is even necessary.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:06 pm

C1 and C2 both declare the same target in a numbers round, both not written down. C2, who declares second, transcribes his method to Rachel, who accepts it. C1 says "I've done it the same way". As there is no way of proving this, C2 (playing devil's advocate) says that C1 may have cocked up and just copied C2. What do you do?
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:19 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:C1 and C2 both declare the same target in a numbers round, both not written down. C2, who declares second, transcribes his method to Rachel, who accepts it. C1 says "I've done it the same way". As there is no way of proving this, C2 (playing devil's advocate) says that C1 may have cocked up and just copied C2. What do you do?
If they both declare not written down, they should be told to write it down first. Give them a few seconds to do this. I think this has happened before.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Sean Fletcher » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:39 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:C1 and C2 both declare the same target in a numbers round, both not written down. C2, who declares second, transcribes his method to Rachel, who accepts it. C1 says "I've done it the same way". As there is no way of proving this, C2 (playing devil's advocate) says that C1 may have cocked up and just copied C2. What do you do?
If they both declare not written down, they should be told to write it down first. Give them a few seconds to do this. I think this has happened before.

This happened on my 4th show and we were given time to write out our method and then had to re-declare without the not written down part

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Charlie Reams » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:33 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:C1 and C2 both declare the same target in a numbers round, both not written down. C2, who declares second, transcribes his method to Rachel, who accepts it. C1 says "I've done it the same way". As there is no way of proving this, C2 (playing devil's advocate) says that C1 may have cocked up and just copied C2. What do you do?
If they both declare not written down, they should be told to write it down first. Give them a few seconds to do this. I think this has happened before.
True, but to answer the actual scenario posed, I think you have to give both contestants the points. The error is yours and C1 shouldn't be punished for that.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by James Laverty » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:45 pm

In the last heat game of a series, Andy Becker (totally made up name) is finishing of his octorun. His total is nowhere near good enough to challenge the all conquering no 1 seed, but has a good chance of overtaking Sue McEnroe (another made up name but it's pretty obvious I'm watching the tennis making these names up isn't it?) as no 2 seed if he scores 97 or more in his final heat game.

At origins of words Andy leads 94-37 and has the game sown up, but now he is thinking about his seeding position. If he stays at no 3 seed he will play the lowest scoring octochamp Tim Murray, but if he overtakes Sue to become no 2 seed he will play Richard Barker, who only won 7 games due to running into the no 1 seed in his final heat game. Richard has an average score much higher than Tim and is considered a better player. So Andy throws the last few rounds, passing up on easy maxes in the last two letters and numbers round, and leaving the conundrum to stay as no 3 seed.

Sue is watching in the audience and unhappy at Andy's blatant gamesmanship and complains that the last few rounds should be replayed with Andy playing properly. Should Andy have to replay the final rounds?


I know this is extremely unlikely to happen and even less so that they would replay but it opens up a moral grey area in Countdown.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:04 pm

James Laverty wrote:Should Andy have to replay the final rounds?
Of course not, I don't even see a debate and I'm the most anal person in the world about fair play etc.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Innis Carson » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:49 pm

No, the producers shouldn't be taking action to enforce a subjective notion of who "should" be in what seeding position.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:40 pm

In any case, Andy can always claim he was playing at his best, and that would be an end of it. I had some grey areas in my run. For example, Nick went to Pat first in my sixth game when he should have gone to me, which helped me, as Pat had seven and I couldn't decide between six and seven. I don't have any quarms about that, and I probably would have gone for the seven anyway.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:04 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:I don't have any quarms about that
Do you have any qualms about it though?
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:48 pm

Where do you all stand on this?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:21 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Where do you all stand on this?
Laws of sports generally have a rule near the start which says players must play within the spirit of the game, or words to that effect. Obviously this is open to interpretation, but it does give officials a convenient way of dealing with extreme cases of players taking the piss, which I'd argue this was.

In the specific case of badminton, there's even a rule (linked from here) which forbids "not using one's best efforts to win a match".

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon O'Neill » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:24 pm

Rules like that are ridiculous. If you design your tournament in such a way as it can be exploited to get a significant advantage then that's your problem.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:55 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:Rules like that are ridiculous. If you design your tournament in such a way as it can be exploited to get a significant advantage then that's your problem.
I agree. You can't make it beneficial for someone to throw a match and expect people not to do this.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:17 am

Jennifer Steadman wrote:
Rhys Benjamin wrote:I don't have any quarms about that
Do you have any qualms about it though?
Maybe "quarms" was the six he was undecided about?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Thomas Carey » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:37 pm

Situation: It's crucial time and C1 is like 5 points ahead. The scramble is BOOWHURDS . C1 instantly sees BRUSH and WOOD and knows it'll be a combination of the two, but can't decide which. (I should probably have used SPACELOAD as the example.) C1 thinks that they can't risk buzzing in with either one because they know that if they're wrong C2 will buzz in with the other option and take the game, and they can't leave it because they know that C2 probably knows which one it is and will spot it soon. In a moment of panic, they buzz and say "It's either WOODBRUSH or BRUSHWOOD but I don't know which one it is". What should you (as the ref) do?

If C2 is not allowed to buzz, then that's game to C1. Should you scrap it, and show a new conundrum? Should you accept it as a buzz for WOODBRUSH as that's what C1 said first, and refilm? Should you refilm and allow C2 to buzz first with which answer they think is correct (pretend C2 is a wise old person who'd probably know of brushwood, hence C1's panic)? Should you roll a new conundrum and forbid C1 from buzzing because of that last thing? Any other ideas? You are the ref.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:01 pm

Thomas Carey wrote:Situation: It's crucial time and C1 is like 5 points ahead. The scramble is BOOWHURDS . C1 instantly sees BRUSH and WOOD and knows it'll be a combination of the two, but can't decide which. (I should probably have used SPACELOAD as the example.) C1 thinks that they can't risk buzzing in with either one because they know that if they're wrong C2 will buzz in with the other option and take the game, and they can't leave it because they know that C2 probably knows which one it is and will spot it soon. In a moment of panic, they buzz and say "It's either WOODBRUSH or BRUSHWOOD but I don't know which one it is". What should you (as the ref) do?

If C2 is not allowed to buzz, then that's game to C1. Should you scrap it, and show a new conundrum? Should you accept it as a buzz for WOODBRUSH as that's what C1 said first, and refilm? Should you refilm and allow C2 to buzz first with which answer they think is correct (pretend C2 is a wise old person who'd probably know of brushwood, hence C1's panic)? Should you roll a new conundrum and forbid C1 from buzzing because of that last thing? Any other ideas? You are the ref.
I think the correct decision here is to take C1's first answer, which was WOODBRUSH. It's wrong. Give the rest of the time to C2 as normal. No refilming necessary. (Edit: also tell the players that you're taking WOODBRUSH as C1's answer because that's the first answer they gave, so as not to leave C2 in doubt as to which answer was rejected.)

A possible alternative is to ask C1 "which one are you going for?" and if they hesitate too long, pass the rest of the time to C2. Not sure I like this though. C1's done something pretty silly here in buzzing and giving two answers, so can't really complain if you take the first answer they gave.

Relevant: the conundrum in this game.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:59 am

Hmm, quite possibly for the first time I don't really like your answer Graeme. You seem to be suggesting that if they had said "it's either [correct answer] or [wrong answer]" that you would accept their first answer and award them the points? If not, it seems a little harsh.

I think I would just tell C1 that their answer is invalid (possibly explaining that they're not allowed to buzz in with multiple guesses, although this shouldn't necessarily make the final edit) and continue from there as if they had buzzed in with nothing at all. Nothing at all. Nothing at all.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Graeme Cole » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:21 am

Jon Corby wrote:Hmm, quite possibly for the first time I don't really like your answer Graeme. You seem to be suggesting that if they had said "it's either [correct answer] or [wrong answer]" that you would accept their first answer and award them the points? If not, it seems a little harsh.
Yes. If C1 said "it's either BRUSHWOOD or WOODBRUSH", I'd take their answer as BRUSHWOOD, make it clear that's what I was doing, and give C1 the points. It's the same as in other quiz shows - if a contestant gives two answers the first one is taken. See the TOOTHCOMB example in the link above.

This is consistent with what they do in the letters round. The contestant guidelines tell you not to offer more than one word (the phrase "viewers are not impressed by clever dicks" might also appear), and if you do, your first word will be taken.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:33 am

As the host/ref, I would have said, "pick one" instintively.
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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:23 am

Hmm... that's interesting about the contestant guidelines, but since it doesn't specifically mention the conundrum I think I would just rule their answer as wrong and give the rest of the time to C2. Since the rule isn't formally stated, the contestant on the wrong end of the decision would possibly feel aggrieved that it has worked against them by the host just winging it.

Unswayed. C1's answer is deemed incorrect, and we continue (without any confirmation as to either answer's wrongness).

Edit: just to add that Mark's suggestion of "pick one" seems like the obvious instant response, but all the while we're still giving C1 extra time to solve once his buzzer has been pressed. Perhaps saying them aloud has helped him realise that one sounds right and one doesn't? He has to pick one before he presses his buzzer. It's not fair on C2 otherwise, many people would get to the "it's got be BRUSHWOOD or WOODBRUSH - which seems more likely?" stage - you can't buzz in at that point and freeze your opponent out while you decide.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:04 pm

There's no way I'd accept BRUSHWOOD if someone said "It's either BRUSHWOOD or WOODBRUSH". It's not the same as taking their first answer in cases where they give an answer and then correct themselves. They've buzzed in with both answers and just happened to say one of them first, because you can't say two words simultaneously (so very different from TOOTHCOMB, Graeme!). It would come across as grossly unfair and I think it would be unfair. My first thought was to say "Pick one" and make them say instantly, but I think it would be better to just exclude them from the round and reshoot as necessary. Let the other player then pick which they think is the right one in their own time. They've not done what they're supposed to do. They're supposed to buzz in with an answer but they (completely unrealistically and this would never happen so why are we discussing it?) have decided to buzz in with two answers. What a cunt. Disqualify them.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:07 pm

You could have simply said "I agree 100% with Corby, he's always right" and saved some keypresses there Gev.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:09 pm

Well, I would have used a semicolon, you obviously haven't learnt about them yet.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:26 pm

I agree with Graeme. The "take the first answer" rule is so ubiquitous that it's often not even stated, so (since some rule has to be taken as the default) it makes sense to use that one. Then fix the rules for next time. If you clearly state "I have to take your first answer" then neither contestant could really feel aggrieved.

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:27 pm

(Not rules so much but just a general judgment question): If a nine came up in the letters round that you had planned to set as the conundrum, would you change it? Would it matter if either/both/neither contestant had got the nine?

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Re: You Are The Ref

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:54 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:(Not rules so much but just a general judgment question): If a nine came up in the letters round that you had planned to set as the conundrum, would you change it? Would it matter if either/both/neither contestant had got the nine?
I probably wouldn't. You'd also have to worry about similar words coming out. The conundrum could be MANIFESTO and MANIFEST might come out in the game. Would that matter? What if the conundrum was HORSESHIT and the first eight letters out of the box in one of the rounds were HORSESHI? It would be on their minds even if it hasn't actually come up. That said, I don't think it would be egregiously awful if someone did change the conundrum, but I would worry that any sort of leeway gives the potential for bias even if it's unintentional and that in 99.9% of cases there would be no particular bias. I don't think human-picked conundrums are ideal generally, and I quite like the "impartiality" of the other rounds.

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