Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Discuss anything that happened in recent games. This is the place to post any words you got that beat Dictionary Corner, or numbers games that evaded Rachel.

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Tony Atkins
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Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Tony Atkins » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Pleased to not only beat John today but also beat Rachel on the third numbers.

Also did the first numbers the easy way of 69x10-1.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Mark Kudlowski » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:56 pm

4th nos alt : ((75 + 3) x 5) + 25

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Philip Wilson » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:47 pm

Tony Atkins wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:55 pm
Pleased to not only beat John today but also beat Rachel on the third numbers.

Also did the first numbers the easy way of 69x10-1.
I made use of that handy 69 too - very useful!
Seeing I'm here I may as well declare my last numbers: (75 + 25 - 10 - 7) x 5. Hate 2L!

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Adam Dexter » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:40 pm

Really pleased with my play today. Beat John by 66 points and got the numbers that Rachel missed.

Think that's my biggest margin of victory against a (presumably) octochamp ever. :) :) :)
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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:13 pm

Adam Dexter wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:40 pm
Beat John by 66 points
That is quite something!
I doubt many put that much fresh air between themselves and John...
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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:58 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:13 pm
Adam Dexter wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:40 pm
Beat John by 66 points
That is quite something!
I doubt many put that much fresh air between themselves and John...
Aye tis.
I didn't keep track but I bet I beat him by that or more which pleases me.

Good to see he's not dirty playing the cons now.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Tim Down » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:25 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:58 pm
Good to see he's not dirty playing the cons now.
Have you watched today's game?

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:03 am

Tim Down wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:25 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:58 pm
Good to see he's not dirty playing the cons now.
Have you watched today's game?
Aye, he switched back to playing dirty :x

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:41 pm

Admittedly I haven't been watching, but going by the wikicaps, this doesn't really look like Hansfording to me. Why would he do it on some occasions but not others? Isn't it miraculously lucky that he decides not to Hansford every time he doesn't get the answer (or a very understandable guess) quickly? For a letters player as strong as he clearly is, solving conundrums in around 1 second (or even less) is not at all surprising or suspicious.

And as for continuing to look at the screen after buzzing (as someone else in a different thread commented on), that's a fairly understandable thing to do. It's not surprising that it wouldn't cross somebody's mind to make an ostentatious display of looking away just to prove to some viewers somewhere that he isn't cheating. I'll repost this remarkable clip as a reminder of just how non-universal this forum's notions of conundrum etiquette are.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Admittedly I haven't been watching, but going by the wikicaps, this doesn't really look like Hansfording to me. Why would he do it on some occasions but not others? Isn't it miraculously lucky that he decides not to Hansford every time he doesn't get the answer (or a very understandable guess) quickly? For a letters player as strong as he clearly is, solving conundrums in around 1 second (or even less) is not at all surprising or suspicious.

And as for continuing to look at the screen after buzzing (as someone else in a different thread commented on), that's a fairly understandable thing to do. It's not surprising that it wouldn't cross somebody's mind to make an ostentatious display of looking away just to prove to some viewers somewhere that he isn't cheating. I'll repost this remarkable clip as a reminder of just how non-universal this forum's notions of conundrum etiquette are.
Noone who has been dubbed a Hansforder has done it every time, heck even Hansford himself didn't. My mum probably hit the nail on the head with that he was doing it because he had a reputation to defend and knew he could probably get away with it providing it wasn't something horrendously obscure. The one he didn't get, he clearly tried to do it because he stared at it for a while and stuttered an answer out that you could tell was something he was doing to save face as opposed to thinking it was the answer.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:28 pm

Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:08 pm
Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Admittedly I haven't been watching, but going by the wikicaps, this doesn't really look like Hansfording to me. Why would he do it on some occasions but not others? Isn't it miraculously lucky that he decides not to Hansford every time he doesn't get the answer (or a very understandable guess) quickly? For a letters player as strong as he clearly is, solving conundrums in around 1 second (or even less) is not at all surprising or suspicious.

And as for continuing to look at the screen after buzzing (as someone else in a different thread commented on), that's a fairly understandable thing to do. It's not surprising that it wouldn't cross somebody's mind to make an ostentatious display of looking away just to prove to some viewers somewhere that he isn't cheating. I'll repost this remarkable clip as a reminder of just how non-universal this forum's notions of conundrum etiquette are.
Noone who has been dubbed a Hansforder has done it every time, heck even Hansford himself didn't. My mum probably hit the nail on the head with that he was doing it because he had a reputation to defend and knew he could probably get away with it providing it wasn't something horrendously obscure. The one he didn't get, he clearly tried to do it because he stared at it for a while and stuttered an answer out that you could tell was something he was doing to save face as opposed to thinking it was the answer.
This all seems very speculative. As was suggested on that day's thread, an explanation which seems much simpler to me is that he buzzed in believing the answer was LITERALLY (an extremely easy mistake to make, I'm sure I've done exactly the same more than once) and then had a go at correcting his answer once he realised the letters didn't fit. I can't see anything else about any of his conundrum solves to suggest they're anything other than genuine solves by a strong player (apart from his rather unnatural-seeming delivery and mannerisms, but that doesn't seem to be something he can help).

I think people overuse the term 'Hansfording' a bit. What Hansford actually did in his series finals (in which he did in fact try it every time) was buzz in immediately, before he or his opponent could even plausibly have read the letters, and thus deprive his opponent of a fair chance to beat him to the buzzer. While John's conundrum buzzes have been pretty fast, they've not been so fast that he couldn't reasonably have been beaten by a sharp opponent, nor have they been fast enough to create any reasonable doubt that he could legitimately have come up with his answer before buzzing. I don't think there's any comparison.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:12 pm

Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:28 pm
Elliott Mellor wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:08 pm
Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Admittedly I haven't been watching, but going by the wikicaps, this doesn't really look like Hansfording to me. Why would he do it on some occasions but not others? Isn't it miraculously lucky that he decides not to Hansford every time he doesn't get the answer (or a very understandable guess) quickly? For a letters player as strong as he clearly is, solving conundrums in around 1 second (or even less) is not at all surprising or suspicious.

And as for continuing to look at the screen after buzzing (as someone else in a different thread commented on), that's a fairly understandable thing to do. It's not surprising that it wouldn't cross somebody's mind to make an ostentatious display of looking away just to prove to some viewers somewhere that he isn't cheating. I'll repost this remarkable clip as a reminder of just how non-universal this forum's notions of conundrum etiquette are.
Noone who has been dubbed a Hansforder has done it every time, heck even Hansford himself didn't. My mum probably hit the nail on the head with that he was doing it because he had a reputation to defend and knew he could probably get away with it providing it wasn't something horrendously obscure. The one he didn't get, he clearly tried to do it because he stared at it for a while and stuttered an answer out that you could tell was something he was doing to save face as opposed to thinking it was the answer.
This all seems very speculative. As was suggested on that day's thread, an explanation which seems much simpler to me is that he buzzed in believing the answer was LITERALLY (an extremely easy mistake to make, I'm sure I've done exactly the same more than once) and then had a go at correcting his answer once he realised the letters didn't fit. I can't see anything else about any of his conundrum solves to suggest they're anything other than genuine solves by a strong player (apart from his rather unnatural-seeming delivery and mannerisms, but that doesn't seem to be something he can help).

I think people overuse the term 'Hansfording' a bit. What Hansford actually did in his series finals (in which he did in fact try it every time) was buzz in immediately, before he or his opponent could even plausibly have read the letters, and thus deprive his opponent of a fair chance to beat him to the buzzer. While John's conundrum buzzes have been pretty fast, they've not been so fast that he couldn't reasonably have been beaten by a sharp opponent, nor have they been fast enough to create any reasonable doubt that he could legitimately have come up with his answer before buzzing. I don't think there's any comparison.
You make some fair points, but having watched this particular episode and his others I feel my explanation is much more likely - he stared at it for a good second or so before stumbling out a rather nonsensical answer that resembled LITERALLY. That isn't the same as buzzing in genuinely with a fast time and getting the answer wrong when you actually believe it to be what you say.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:57 am

JC obviously has skills that are well above average... it would be impossible to "Hansford" without them.
But it does seem to me that John used the speculative buzzing method, just as Jeffrey did before him. You can see the cogs of his mind still turning, trying to unravel the scramble during the two seconds between the buzz and the delivery. And for someone with the genuinely impressive conundrum skills of Hansford or Cowen, 1 or 2 seconds is enough.

If you want a good contrast... look at Elliott Mack from S76. Now there is a man who has similar skills to JC and JH, but you can see from his conundrum play... including prodigiously fast solves, that he buzzes because he knows the answer, and not because he knows he will know... there is a subtle difference... a difference that a wiki-recap does not capture, but the human eye does.
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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:00 am

ftr, I am of the opinion that so-called Hansfording is a tactic than can be employed by supremely talented conundrumists.
A tactic, rather than a cheat...
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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:54 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:00 am
ftr, I am of the opinion that so-called Hansfording is a tactic than can be employed by supremely talented conundrumists.
A tactic, rather than a cheat...
I do admire the skill of people like Hansford who were able to pull it off, however it's a bit of a risky tactic it must be said and definitely not something I'd do on the show. There's always the chance it'll be something really rock solid eg INGLENOOK and you'll just look like an idiot because you don't know the answer.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Elliott Mellor » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:55 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:57 am
JC obviously has skills that are well above average... it would be impossible to "Hansford" without them.
But it does seem to me that John used the speculative buzzing method, just as Jeffrey did before him. You can see the cogs of his mind still turning, trying to unravel the scramble during the two seconds between the buzz and the delivery. And for someone with the genuinely impressive conundrum skills of Hansford or Cowen, 1 or 2 seconds is enough.

If you want a good contrast... look at Elliott Mack from S76. Now there is a man who has similar skills to JC and JH, but you can see from his conundrum play... including prodigiously fast solves, that he buzzes because he knows the answer, and not because he knows he will know... there is a subtle difference... a difference that a wiki-recap does not capture, but the human eye does.
Couldn't have put it better myself.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by James Laverty » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:44 pm

Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:28 pm
I think people overuse the term 'Hansfording' a bit. What Hansford actually did in his series finals (in which he did in fact try it every time) was buzz in immediately, before he or his opponent could even plausibly have read the letters, and thus deprive his opponent of a fair chance to beat him to the buzzer. While John's conundrum buzzes have been pretty fast, they've not been so fast that he couldn't reasonably have been beaten by a sharp opponent, nor have they been fast enough to create any reasonable doubt that he could legitimately have come up with his answer before buzzing. I don't think there's any comparison.
This is more or elss the view I agree with, and that particuarly in the last few years, the term "Hansfording" has begun to be overused and people are now just looking to shout foul.

The original Hansfording saga was, as Innis says, was Hansford buzzing in as soon as Des 2 started the clock, and there have been suggestions that in the QF the board hadn't even fully turned over. He tried this again in the SF but was too slow to answer. OK yes, some people have probably tried to use this tactic over the years since, not mentioning any names, but over the last 18 months or so it seems are a little trigger happy to play the foul card.

I don't think John has been Handsfording, he clearly has the ability to be able to make quick spots, but was maybe a little over confident with his answer and thinking he'd get it straight away. None of the conundrums were in a crucial situation, and that could have changed matters for me. If John had buzzed in straight away during a crucial, I think I might see the situation differently.

Just a footnote to add to this, but when he started as host, Nick seemed to be taking a few seconds to acknowledge the buzz from the conundrum, and I even wondered at the time (I had just joined apterous at this point), whether people could Hansford and then spend the few seconds looking. Obvs you'd have to be confident in your ability to do this, but now Nick is more settled into the role he's a lot sharper on this, and I can remember a few situations where he has disallowed conundrums from people trying to gain a few more seconds, and prompted people obviously trying to fudge numbers games.
Definitely not Jamie McNeill or Schrodinger's Cat....

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Tim Down » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:40 pm

Fair enough. I thought I should probably have kept my half-formed, speculative opinions on this particular player's conundrums to myself and I wish I had done now. Sorry everyone.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Noel Mc » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:03 am

Tim Down wrote:
Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:40 pm
Fair enough. I thought I should probably have kept my half-formed, speculative opinions on this particular player's conundrums to myself and I wish I had done now. Sorry everyone.
Well done for acknowledging your failings. You are forgiven.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:12 am

Dunno who you're apologising to, Tim. Hopefully not to the dude who hasn't watched the shows in question. ;) That would be weird.
The consensus from the regular viewers commentating here, is that he was being speculative, and mostly buzzing in without knowing the answer yet. You saw it yourself, sure. Trust your instincts.

The only thing that I would disagree with is calling Hansfording "dirty play".
It's a tactic that good conundrumists have the luxury of being able to use.
The only downside is on those rare occasions (like in Jeffrey's semi-final) when the tactic doesn't work and they lose out. It's risky.

What would be cheating is if someone buzzed before the clock's started. No-one has done that on the show, so it's not an issue (as yet anyway).

The best thing on this thread so far is actually this...
Innis Carson wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 1:41 pm
this
If you haven't watched it yet, do now.
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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Tim Down » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:46 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:12 am
Dunno who you're apologising to, Tim. Hopefully not to the dude who hasn't watched the shows in question. ;)
I'm apologising for making insinuations on here that John sometimes buzzed in without having solved the conundrum at the point at which he buzzed because I don't think it's constructive to do that in a public forum, particularly when it's not at all clear-cut whether a) he was actually doing that, and b) whether it is actually cheating.

I'm not apologising for speculating, just for doing it in public.

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Re: Spoilers for Thursday 27 July 2017 (Series 77, Prelim 186)

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:26 am

Personally I hadn't really noticed the alleged Hansfording - but that doesn't say much about whether it happened as I wasn't necessarily paying much attention. It's also worth noting that other players have continued to look at the screen after buzzing (e.g. Giles Hutchings) but without any suspicions being aroused. I don't think it's a particularly unnatural thing to do.

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