Co-Event Suggestion Box

Discussion and announcements relating to unofficial Countdown competitions, held online or in real life. Observation, discussion, reflection, and other stuff ending in -ion.
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Graeme Cole
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Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

Here's a thread for everyone's suggestions on how co-events could be improved.

Naturally people normally post these in the thread corresponding to the most recent co-event, because the improvement they thought of is fresh in their mind. However, to avoid these looking like criticisms of one specific event which they almost always aren't, general suggestions useful to all event organisers can be posted here.

IMO the most useful contributions here would be simple, low-cost, and hopefully uncontroversial changes that improve people's experiences at events. Opinions on long-standing debates dressed up as suggestions, such as "make all co-events Lincoln style" or "make all co-events Bristol style", are unlikely to be useful or result in any change.

We already have:
Here are some of my own, for event organisers to read and do with as they wish:

Use table numbers. If you're a regular at events, you might not immediately understand why these are necessary - you just need to know who you're playing and then you can find any table, right? Now imagine you're a newbie at your first event who doesn't know anyone. "Go to table 10 and you'll find your opponent" is a whole lot easier than "you're playing Jimmy McFlopsworth" when you have no idea who that is or what they look like.

How to collect the scores at Bristol-style events? One way to do this is to interrupt everyone's post-game conversations, call for quiet, ask each pair in turn for their score, ask them to speak up, call for quiet again, ask them to repeat the score one more time, and so on, during which time everyone has to sit and wait. A better way to do this is to distribute scoresheet slips on which the players can fill in the final score. These can then be handed in at the front in the usual way, and everyone can get on with their post-game analysis without disrupting anything. To this end, my scoresheet printer now has a "score slips" feature that will print you some slips for "just the final score" without any round details.
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Graeme Cole
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

Written as a separate post as I think this one's important enough to deserve it.

I was disappointed to hear recently that someone who used to come to events no longer does, because of certain people and their continued disrespect of boundaries. It's a tiny minority, but it's always the same men's names that crop up, and it's not even the first time someone's stepped back from events because of this issue. I've been part of this arbitrary TV-game-show-related social group for 12 years and I know we can do better.

So...

Better publicising of the FOCAL Code of Conduct and who to contact about it.

Putting something like "Attending or organising a FOCAL event is subject to the FOCAL Code of Conduct" on every co-event description was a good start, but I think we can improve on it.

My suggestion is that all event posts on C4C, Facebook etc should also include at least one named individual to whom any code of conduct issues relating to the event can be reported. This could be, for example, the event organiser and one FOCAL committee member.

It doesn't need to be a dry, formal announcement of foreboding, just something like "We want everyone to enjoy the event and have a good time. All attendees or organisers of FOCAL events are bound by the FOCAL Code of Conduct regarding respect for boundaries, respect for opponents and fair play. Any breaches of the Code of Conduct can be discussed in confidence with..."

Incidentally, at the time of writing, there are six future co-events advertised in threads on this forum, and zero (0) of them mention the FOCAL Code of Conduct, so straight away there's an easy low-cost improvement to be made there.

There are three reasons why I think event posts should continue to draw attention to the Code of Conduct and emphasise how breaches of it can be reported:
  1. So that everyone who attends an event and doesn't respect boundaries can't later claim they didn't know their creepy behaviour wasn't allowed.
  2. So that if someone has a bad experience, they know they can report it to a named individual, with a better expectation that something will be done about it. The problem with a generic "complaints@..." email address or similar is that you can email it and get no response because two people each think the other is dealing with it, and when this happens it's not obvious who to complain to.
  3. So that everyone knows that it's easy to report breaches, including those responsible for creepy behaviour. If they know that it's so easy to make a report, perhaps they might think twice about misbehaving in the future, especially if they've been warned beforehand and know that another report is likely to result in a ban. (If you're reading this and you've had a warning about creepy behaviour at and around events, then yes, I'm talking about you.)
Also consider: you know that bit at the start of the event where the host announces all the admin like the timetable, how many games, and where the fire exits and toilets are? A quick reminder at the same time that all attendees are subject to the FOCAL Code of Conduct regarding harassment, fair play etc, and that any breaches of same at and around this event can be reported in confidence to X or Y or Z, wouldn't go amiss. It would act as a reminder to those on their "last warning" that everyone knows how to report this stuff now, so knock it off.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

1) Extra Time for Writing Numbers Down:
Should a player be given considerable extra time to write the numbers down before revealing the target? This deviation from the show's format happened for Tim on Saturday. It inadvertently provides extra thinking time for everyone. In games like 6 small, this time can be used to calculate potential products of bigger numbers, which can be a strategic advantage.

2) Prizes at Events:
The variation in prizes between events is fine, and I have no suggestions for improvements. Hosts are doing a great job with prizes. While trophies are a nice reward for winning an event, I understand that sourcing them adds extra time and financial burdens for hosts, so their occasional absence is completely forgivable.

3) Audience Behaviour During Grand Finals:
The audience behaviour during rounds in grand finals could be much improved. While it's understandable that some attendees might be distracted, thinking about post-event activities, the grand finals are the climax of the day and should be treated with respect. Distractions like the sound of Rubik's cubes or overhearing whispered solutions can be very disruptive for the players.

I actually don't care at all about the behaviour BETWEEN rounds. It should be like tennis, shout and cheer and discuss all you like after declarations, but as soon as the player is ready to serve (pick next round), settle down again and respect the players' need to concentrate.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

On writing the numbers down, how much time should there be and when does it become "extra"? It can be quite awkward watching the numbers come up quickly and then having to write them down (backwards, because of the weird Countdown tradition from decades on the television) and a bit of time is required to get them down.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am 1) Extra Time for Writing Numbers Down:
Should a player be given considerable extra time to write the numbers down before revealing the target? This deviation from the show's format happened for Tim on Saturday. It inadvertently provides extra thinking time for everyone. In games like 6 small, this time can be used to calculate potential products of bigger numbers, which can be a strategic advantage.
If someone has a motor impairment, or disability, or whatever it is (not wishing to stick a label on Tim) that means they can't write down the numbers as quickly as everyone else, then yes, there should be reasonable allowances made. If that means everyone else gets five extra seconds looking at the numbers before the target comes up, so be it. I don't think it was "considerable" extra time, and it was the same for everyone anyway.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:18 am On writing the numbers down, how much time should there be and when does it become "extra"? It can be quite awkward watching the numbers come up quickly and then having to write them down (backwards, because of the weird Countdown tradition from decades on the television) and a bit of time is required to get them down.
If it's awkward to copy the numbers down from right to left, then perhaps the easy answer is to have them appear from left to right? The only reason the TV show does it right to left is because the target button is on the left so it makes sense for Rachel to be there after putting the numbers up. This consideration doesn't apply to the graphics at co-events.

Compare: at events, the conundrum is always displayed at the top of the screen, rather than at the bottom like on TV. Some events years ago used to have it at the bottom, but it was moved because it was so difficult to see it over other people's heads.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Callum Todd »

Graeme Cole wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:52 am If it's awkward to copy the numbers down from right to left, then perhaps the easy answer is to have them appear from left to right? The only reason the TV show does it right to left is because the target button is on the left so it makes sense for Rachel to be there after putting the numbers up. This consideration doesn't apply to the graphics at co-events.
Not really bothered about left/right but I think it's important that the small numbers are revealed before the larges. Particularly in 4 large this distinction is significant.

Given most people write the numbers down anyway I don't think it really matters how they're displayed on the screen, people can then write them down in whatever order they want.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Graeme Cole wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 10:43 am
JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am 1) Extra Time for Writing Numbers Down:
Should a player be given considerable extra time to write the numbers down before revealing the target? This deviation from the show's format happened for Tim on Saturday. It inadvertently provides extra thinking time for everyone. In games like 6 small, this time can be used to calculate potential products of bigger numbers, which can be a strategic advantage.
If someone has a motor impairment, or disability, or whatever it is (not wishing to stick a label on Tim) that means they can't write down the numbers as quickly as everyone else, then yes, there should be reasonable allowances made. If that means everyone else gets five extra seconds looking at the numbers before the target comes up, so be it. I don't think it was "considerable" extra time, and it was the same for everyone anyway.
Yep that seems fair! I suppose you don't see it on the show because it's catering to 2 people at a time, whereas at events you might be catering to 50+ people at a time.
Callum Todd wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:03 am it's important that the small numbers are revealed before the larges. Particularly in 4 large this distinction is significant.
100% agreed. I also have a strong preference for larges always being on the left, as that's the canonical way of seeing them, and I never write them down. Frankly, it's an absurd suggestion to reveal the selection backwards because a minority of people lack the ability to space their writing well enough to cope with the right to left reveal.

Not sure Graeme's argument of the Conundrum positioning in an appropriate parallel. That's like saying "It's the same set of letters regardless, so all conundrum shuffles will be the letters in alphabetical order". The relative positioning on the screen is not the same as the relative positioning within the scramble.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:14 am
Callum Todd wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:03 am it's important that the small numbers are revealed before the larges. Particularly in 4 large this distinction is significant.
100% agreed. I also have a strong preference for larges always being on the left, as that's the canonical way of seeing them, and I never write them down. Frankly, it's an absurd suggestion to reveal the selection backwards because a minority of people lack the ability to space their writing well enough to cope with the right to left reveal.

Not sure Graeme's argument of the Conundrum positioning in an appropriate parallel. That's like saying "It's the same set of letters regardless, so all conundrum shuffles will be the letters in alphabetical order". The relative positioning on the screen is not the same as the relative positioning within the scramble.
To clarify: I'm only suggesting the numbers could be revealed left to right rather than right to left. I'm not suggesting the horizontal order of the numbers should change. The large numbers would still be on the left, they'd just be revealed first.

Yes, it would have a small effect on your thinking time for 4 large because you have to wait a bit longer to see the important numbers, but surely you can make the same argument the other way round for 1 large? Players who pick 1 large already have to wait until the end to see the most important number.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Dan Byrom »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am
2) Prizes at Events:
The variation in prizes between events is fine, and I have no suggestions for improvements. Hosts are doing a great job with prizes. While trophies are a nice reward for winning an event, I understand that sourcing them adds extra time and financial burdens for hosts, so their occasional absence is completely forgivable.
It's crossed my mind that Co:Events are much better value for money for stronger players, because over the course of a season they can expect to get a fair few bottles of wine / boxes of chocolates. So I think having extra prizes available for rudest word, toughest opponents, tightest margins etc. are a good thing.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Jonathan Wynn »

Not really an addition as much as a 'keep it up' but I thought the adjudication of the crucial conundrums on Saturday by other players was a great idea and I would love to see it kept up if possible. I've not done a Bristol style event in years but this definitely made it much more enjoyable and fair in my opinion.

Quite how you'd do this outside of the finals where you don't have 8 players free at the same time could be tricky of course......
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Callum Todd »

Jonathan Wynn wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:24 pm Not really an addition as much as a 'keep it up' but I thought the adjudication of the crucial conundrums on Saturday by other players was a great idea and I would love to see it kept up if possible. I've not done a Bristol style event in years but this definitely made it much more enjoyable and fair in my opinion.

Quite how you'd do this outside of the finals where you don't have 8 players free at the same time could be tricky of course......
I think someone (probably Graeme, as it sounds such a sensible idea) suggested before that this could be managed at a normal Bristol-style event by simply having A and B conundrums. So half the room plays conundrum A, with the other half adjudicating, and then vice versa. This could be done by table number, so even table numbers play A and odd play B.

Or for events that go into divisions for the last few games, it's quite common for the divisions to have different conundrums anyway so that would be easily done.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

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Callum Todd wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:31 pm I think someone (probably Graeme, as it sounds such a sensible idea) suggested before that this could be managed at a normal Bristol-style event by simply having A and B conundrums. So half the room plays conundrum A, with the other half adjudicating, and then vice versa. This could be done by table number, so even table numbers play A and odd play B.

Or for events that go into divisions for the last few games, it's quite common for the divisions to have different conundrums anyway so that would be easily done.
Yeah this feels like a no brainer to me, great shout.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Graeme Cole »

Callum Todd wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:31 pm (probably Graeme, as it sounds such a sensible idea)
It's an interesting suggestion but I don't remember making it, so I don't think I can take the credit for it.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Another thing people were doing well when adjudicating the conundrums:
- Using their phone so there was a video record in case the buzzes were super close
- Prioritising getting a good video / good view of the players buzzes, rather than being able to see the Conundrum. You don't need to see the Conundrum/Be playing along to simply say who buzzed first.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

Graeme Cole wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:24 am
To clarify: I'm only suggesting the numbers could be revealed left to right rather than right to left. I'm not suggesting the horizontal order of the numbers should change. The large numbers would still be on the left, they'd just be revealed first.

Yes, it would have a small effect on your thinking time for 4 large because you have to wait a bit longer to see the important numbers, but surely you can make the same argument the other way round for 1 large? Players who pick 1 large already have to wait until the end to see the most important number.
This is what I've always thought should really be the case on the show, and as CO-events are not Countdown, there's nothing stopping CO-events adopting the superior method.

I see no reason why the small numbers must be revealed first in 4 large. Callum says they should be, but this whole discussion stemmed from people possibly getting too much thinking time before the target is revealed, so left to right starting with larges would be better in this respect. It would seem weird if the idea is that 4-large specialists should get this extra advantage of working out what targets are gettable before the target is revealed. That's exactly what you want to minimise.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Another one for the "keep it up" list - Adam and Jeff + Rachel at the last two classroom events nailed it in terms of post-round debriefs. It's very easy to make these too long and it slows down the rhythm of the game, and conversely it's easy to make them too quick and leave players confused/missing info. Letter rounds, rattle through the valid words relatively quickly, giving out at most one interesting definition (none is sometimes fine). Numbers rounds most of the time you can just crack on with without looking it up, but on the occasions where its tricky, look up at most one/two of the 5 selections.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

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Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:55 pm the superior method.
*superior in your opinion

So far in this thread we've had 2 against and 2 for your idea. If we end up with a clear majority agreeing that your system is superior, then let's go for it. Otherwise, the tried and tested stays.

I genuinely believe you should just get better at writing right to left as the solution tbh. You go to enough of these events that you should be able to figure out the spacing of your handwriting by now! You're even one of the few people who uses pen and paper to play apterous!!!!!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:52 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:55 pm the superior method.
*superior in your opinion

So far in this thread we've had 2 against and 2 for your idea. If we end up with a clear majority agreeing that your system is superior, then let's go for it. Otherwise, the tried and tested stays.

I genuinely believe you should just get better at writing right to left as the solution tbh. You go to enough of these events that you should be able to figure out the spacing of your handwriting by now! You're even one of the few people who uses pen and paper to play apterous!!!!!
Another vote for as-is!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Sorry if I'm spouting bollocks but could you have a ratings system so that groups of players can be paired or grouped with players of similar ability.
Having not broken my Co event duck yet I'm not sure how things work over a season.
You could also have spot prizes for lowest winning score or highest losing score or have a random themed word
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 1:52 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 12:55 pm the superior method.
*superior in your opinion

So far in this thread we've had 2 against and 2 for your idea. If we end up with a clear majority agreeing that your system is superior, then let's go for it. Otherwise, the tried and tested stays.

I genuinely believe you should just get better at writing right to left as the solution tbh. You go to enough of these events that you should be able to figure out the spacing of your handwriting by now! You're even one of the few people who uses pen and paper to play apterous!!!!!
Fiona T wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 3:09 pm
Another vote for as-is!
OK, point taken. I think there is something to be said for sticking with the status quo as everyone is used to it and knows what to expect. But I do think it's one of those things that if it was the other way round and had been from the start, no-one would be suggesting changing it to how it is now. Right to left? It's insane!

But going back to the original point, I think it is important that people have enough time to write down the numbers without feeling rushed. If you're standing at the front, it's probably difficult to tell exactly how long people need. I think it's a bit quick on the show as well, which I've said before on this forum.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Is the target revealed BEFORE the numbers are chosen?
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

Marc Meakin wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:01 pm Is the target revealed BEFORE the numbers are chosen?
No, it's the same as the show
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Fiona T wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:10 pm
Marc Meakin wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:01 pm Is the target revealed BEFORE the numbers are chosen?
No, it's the same as the show
So if the target is not revealed until the TD is happy that everyone has written the numbers down then how is there any advantage on numbers?
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

Marc Meakin wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:43 pm
Fiona T wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:10 pm
Marc Meakin wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:01 pm Is the target revealed BEFORE the numbers are chosen?
No, it's the same as the show
So if the target is not revealed until the TD is happy that everyone has written the numbers down then how is there any advantage on numbers?
If there is a long time delay, people can start working out what solutions might be possible with the numbers. With 6-small they could start multiplying the numbers together and see where it gets them. It's the same for everyone in that sense, but it should be consistent.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:53 pm
Marc Meakin wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:43 pm
Fiona T wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 5:10 pm

No, it's the same as the show
So if the target is not revealed until the TD is happy that everyone has written the numbers down then how is there any advantage on numbers?
If there is a long time delay, people can start working out what solutions might be possible with the numbers. With 6-small they could start multiplying the numbers together and see where it gets them. It's the same for everyone in that sense, but it should be consistent.
It's weird to me as although with letters rounds it makes sense to mentally make words as each letter is added, I don't even consider doing any calculations beyond being relieved if there is a 10 or there isn't a 75.
Im crap at maths and have no desire to improve it would seem 😊.

In fact I played scrabble in a tournament 2 weekends ago and in one game under scored myself in 8 of my 12 moves, luckily for me my opponent was happy to correct my score, I won by 8 and my opponent did a recount which I thought was funny as he'd virtually scored for both of us but I was embarrassed as I would have lost if he didn't check my arithmetic.

I'm now wondering how many close games I've lost in this way
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Jon O'Neill »

For all conundrums:
Buzz by tapping the table with a pen rather than a handslap. Many advantages:

1. Easier to adjudicate who buzzed first as the sound is crisper
2. Less chance of a half-buzz
3. Less distracting for other tables
4. Less stress-inducing for those sensitive to loud noises

It's actually quicker to do than a slap so I've always done it for the competitive advantage anyway.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Jon O'Neill wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:45 pm For all conundrums:
Buzz by tapping the table with a pen rather than a handslap. Many advantages:

1. Easier to adjudicate who buzzed first as the sound is crisper
2. Less chance of a half-buzz
3. Less distracting for other tables
4. Less stress-inducing for those sensitive to loud noises

It's actually quicker to do than a slap so I've always done it for the competitive advantage anyway.
"I swear I didn't buzz, I was just writing the scramble down in a different arrangement" 😄

Some people would definitely drop the pen.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

By the way, on the topic of writing numbers down, I would advise players to try one classroom event where they don't write the numbers down and see if they feel it's better for them. Unless you have eyesight problems, or are really far away from the screen, then not writing numbers down has multiple benefits:

- You don't get distracted by having to write them down. This gives you more thinking time and helps you get focused on solving the round
- The display writing is perfect, much better than your handwriting, and much closer to whatever format you are used to seeing it in.

Once I stopped writing down numbers in classroom events I never went back. It's a total waste of time for me.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Callum Todd »

JackHurst wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:48 am By the way, on the topic of writing numbers down, I would advise players to try one classroom event where they don't write the numbers down and see if they feel it's better for them. Unless you have eyesight problems, or are really far away from the screen, then not writing numbers down has multiple benefits:

- You don't get distracted by having to write them down. This gives you more thinking time and helps you get focused on solving the round
- The display writing is perfect, much better than your handwriting, and much closer to whatever format you are used to seeing it in.

Once I stopped writing down numbers in classroom events I never went back. It's a total waste of time for me.
I absolutely feel this way about letters but think numbers may be a bridge too far for me, especially with the numbers display of all the selections. I'd be worried I'd look at a number from the wrong selection and use it by mistake.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

I also think it's visually harder to deal with numbers (and letters) further away. Also you can't put your fingers over them!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:59 pm
Jon O'Neill wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 6:45 pm For all conundrums:
Buzz by tapping the table with a pen rather than a handslap. Many advantages:

1. Easier to adjudicate who buzzed first as the sound is crisper
2. Less chance of a half-buzz
3. Less distracting for other tables
4. Less stress-inducing for those sensitive to loud noises

It's actually quicker to do than a slap so I've always done it for the competitive advantage anyway.
"I swear I didn't buzz, I was just writing the scramble down in a different arrangement" 😄

Some people would definitely drop the pen.
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Callum Todd
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Callum Todd »

Dan Byrom wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:27 am
JackHurst wrote: Tue Nov 28, 2023 9:38 am
2) Prizes at Events:
The variation in prizes between events is fine, and I have no suggestions for improvements. Hosts are doing a great job with prizes. While trophies are a nice reward for winning an event, I understand that sourcing them adds extra time and financial burdens for hosts, so their occasional absence is completely forgivable.
It's crossed my mind that Co:Events are much better value for money for stronger players, because over the course of a season they can expect to get a fair few bottles of wine / boxes of chocolates. So I think having extra prizes available for rudest word, toughest opponents, tightest margins etc. are a good thing.
Some thoughts on prizes from a now fairly experienced event organiser:

In my experience prizes are usually a later and lesser consideration for event organisers, precisely because they don't impact everyone. Normally, planning an event goes something like this:

1 - Find and book a venue
2 - Based on the cost of the venue and how many people you anticipate might sign up to your event, set the entry price
3 - Wait for the entries to come in and see what your budget is going to be
4 - If you get more entries than expected so have a decent surplus in your budget after venue has been paid for, start buying some actual prizes rather than just token rubbish

In my recent experience or organising events this has led to:

MK 2022: Entries were lower than expected due to train strikes so there was very little room in the budget for prizes but with it being end-of-year showpiece I thought some prizes should be expected so managed to get some beers and wine by taking free trials at subscription services and just paying for delivery.

Leeds 2023: Entry fees never recouped the cost of the venue so the event ran at a loss, the budget for prizes never even reached 0. No prizes bought. Luckily I got given a goat-themed drink in a goodie bag for a race I did the week before the event so chucked that in.

MK 2023: Entries were initially slightly lower than anticipated so, accounting for late sign-ups, bought some niceish prizes without going overboard a few weeks before the event. Entries then doubled in the last month, inflating the budget considerably. Due to the nature of funding of Finals events there was no need to spend all this as it can save money from the FOCAL coffers for next year, so no extra prizes were bought at short notice.

With MK accounting for two tournaments and some prizes to recognise efforts over the full year, there was little room for spot prizes given the limited prizes bought on the initially expected budget. Had I had more time in the few days before the event this year when entries (and therefore funds) were continuing to flood in, I would have gone out and bought some chocolates to come up with more spot prizes. But I didn't. It did also occur to me that if I were to buy chocolates I would personally only be comfortable buying chocolates that do not contain any animal products. These chocolates are typically harder to come by, more expensive, and less popular than common brands that the recipients of the prizes might find more welcome and better value for money, so I was conflicted about spending eventgoer's money on prizes in a way that they might deem inefficient due to my own personal beliefs.

Basically what I'm getting at with these examples for the understanding of those who have never organised an event themselves is: it's hard to control the quantity and quality of prizes as they can only be bought with the surplus money generated by extra entries, which typically come too late to allow sufficient time to budget for and buy extra prizes, and sometimes don't come at all. Alternatives could be:

- Have a cut-off date for entries (e.g. all entry fees must be paid no later than 2 weeks before event date): I think this would be a shame when it is not necessary for operational reasons as some people would inevitably miss out. I've always accepted entries at very short notice, even when it can cause some organisational headaches (we had to rejig the tables in a hurry at MK this weekend as we had two unexpected arrivals in the half hour before the event started!) as it's always the more, the merrier for me.

- Set the entry fee higher to deliberately allow room to spend money on prizes: I don't like this idea either as I really don't think a significant portion of an event budget should be spent on prizes for the reasons given by others in this thread: they disproportionately go to higher-skilled players. But the money being spent is sourced equally from players of all abilities so in my opinion (discounting trophies, which I think are a justifiable expense within reason) the spending of the money should benefit all entrants equally.

So it's hard to come up with a solution for prizes that will work for any events, let alone most of them. I do think though that where there is a decent budget for prizes it is right to make as many as possible of them available to players who might not win one of the podium positions. Examples of these in the past have been:

- The 'Tuff Luck' award, which can be calculated by Graeme's excellent atropine software
- The 'Tim Down' award, which can be calculated by Graeme's excellent atropine software
- Match of the Day prize, where a prize is given to the best/closest game of the day; this could easily be a closely fought but lower-scoring game between two players in the lower half of the standings for the day
- Best word spot of the day*: this doesn't have to be some fancy anagrammy one, at many events the best spot of the day is a more everyday word from players who aren't winning the event with crazy learned words (examples I remember from some of my events in the past: CIABATTA and MASCARAED)
- Rude word prize*: it's a bit juvenile but it's fun and anyone can win it. Given a lot of the ruder words are 4s and 5s there's a good chance the top players aren't as likely to declare them as players who score lower.
- Random spot prizes: these could be drawn entirely randomly, which is fair but a bit boring, or you could set something up like 'whoever picks a numbers round with a target closest to this number*' or 'closest points total to this number' or 'whoever finishes in this random position' (preferably a position lower in the table!), etc.

* = these are difficult to do in Bristol style events as everyone plays to the same rounds. In Lincoln-style events I really like prizes like these to recognise the standout rounds of the day that most of the room won't have seen, although it does require the host to have time to sift through all the scorecards to check rounds.

Oh and PS. while I recognise my alcohol-free spirits approach at MK this year may have been a bit overboard (but forgivably balanced in contrast to last year's all-alcohol selection), I do think that alcoholic prizes should only make up a very small portion of the prizes. Like, 2 or 3 at most unless there are dozens of prizes. There are many in the community who don't partake in alcohol for a variety of reasons, and it would be pretty awkward if an under-18 won a prize (not sure if this has happened before with whizzkids like Conor, Maus, Ronan?) and only had alcohol to choose from. I think Robbo has done briliantly here with his Robinson's fruit juice prizes. They're quirky and fun and he picks some great flavours!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

On the note of prizes...

All of the Scrabble tournaments I've attended have had cash prizes. Some charge very high entry fees and have very substantial prizes. The recent Malta tournaments I attended had a prize fund of 4.5K euros across the 4 events (2K for each of the two main events) - personally I would have preferred them to drastically reduce the very expensive cost of entering and hand out £10 trophies! It means some people take stuff very seriously - there's a lot of dosh at stake!

I don't think most co:eventers are too bothered about the prizes. They're a nice to have as an acknowledgement of good performances and to make a display at the front and enable a prize-giving ceremony, but definitely not why we're there. Personally I'm a fan of nice trophies. I get that the players who've won dozens of them might just chuck them in a box under the stairs, but if I ever manage to podium at a co:event, I'd love a trophy to mark my achievement, and I confess I'd be a bit disappointed if there wasn't one!

I think I speak for all event organisers in saying that if you know you're going to attend an event, please sign up (and pay!) sooner rather than later. Most events seem to get a lot of signups in the last few days, which really doesn't help with budgeting and planning!

But yep, prizes are a nice to have extra where the budget permits, but I doubt anyone is attending with the primary aim of taking home that giant toblerone!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Maybe a weekend tournament with a variety of different ganes like 9 rounders 15 rounders
Numbers only
Letters only
Scrabble /Countdown crossovers
Scrabble with vowel and consonant bags to pick frim but OED dictionary

Or even a two day event with say saturday Countdown and Sunday Scrabble or vice versa
Players can enter either day or both
I would say round Robin groups for Scrabble for simplicity.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Fiona T wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:44 pm Personally I'm a fan of nice trophies.
Me too!
Fiona T wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:44 pm I get that the players who've won dozens of them might just chuck them in a box under the stairs
I hope nobody does this. I'm quite a way off the "dozens" mark, but if I'm ever lucky enough to get there then I'll be building a bloody trophy cabinet in the process!
Fiona T wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:44 pm if I ever manage to podium at a co:event, I'd love a trophy to mark my achievement, and I confess I'd be a bit disappointed if there wasn't one!
Agreed it would be a bit sad to see a first time event winner miss out on a trophy!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

On prizes, I'd say consumables are better than random stuff. People build up clutter and it's likely to get chucked at some point. I've already said about drinks, so vegan chocolates are the way forward I think.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Matt Rutherford »

Marc Meakin wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:04 pm Maybe a weekend tournament with a variety of different ganes like 9 rounders 15 rounders
Numbers only
Letters only
Scrabble /Countdown crossovers
Scrabble with vowel and consonant bags to pick frim but OED dictionary

Or even a two day event with say saturday Countdown and Sunday Scrabble or vice versa
Players can enter either day or both
I would say round Robin groups for Scrabble for simplicity.
Having seen both communities, I cannot see there being much room for Scrabble/Countdown crossover. Aside from the fact each plays with radically different dictionaries (which alone would hack people off), I can see each side making the other quite miffed.

Scrabblers would get angry at CoEventers as we speak to each other during games-there is a hubbub (especially in Lincoln-style table tournaments) that doesn't distract from playing. Talking, even quietly, during a Scrabble tournament can garner the same reaction you'd get if you walk into a nunnery and fart the Ave Maria.

In the same vein, CoEventers would be miffed at Scrabblers as they start taking it to a whole new level of serious. I know I (we all) can take things seriously sometimes, but Scrabble tournaments are hugely different. Janking up the rules of both games I cannot see gathering much interest.

Maybe I'm being cynical here. But so much of each game would change just enough to have both communities lose interest...In my view. Happy to be proven wrong
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

When I play Scrabble at my Scrabble club it's much more relaxed..
Pre Covid there was a TabScrab community playing face to face scrabble on phones and tablets and they were held in pubs and noise wasn't discouraged.
Its a shame as I embraced TabScrab as there was no maths needed and no phonies and games were quick.
I think the exam like conditions in Tournament Scrabble is a big problem why it's not as popular az it should be
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Marc Meakin »

Can the Countdown app be modified for face to face games making organising a Co event much easier
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

Marc Meakin wrote: Thu Nov 30, 2023 3:44 pm Can the Countdown app be modified for face to face games making organising a Co event much easier
Personally not a big fan of this - if you're gonna play on an app you might as well play on apterous.


Edit to say that the app (or similar) generating the letters/numbers selections seems reasonable (although you'd ideally have it on a tablet for visibility), but the game should still be hosted and players playing with pen and paper.
Last edited by Fiona T on Thu Nov 30, 2023 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Callum Todd »

JackHurst wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 8:23 pm
Fiona T wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2023 7:44 pm I get that the players who've won dozens of them might just chuck them in a box under the stairs
I hope nobody does this.
I do very literally this. I have above-ground space for one or two trophies so the most recent one or two take pride of place. The rest go subterranean.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Stewart Gordon »

Graeme Cole wrote: Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:46 pm
There's really no excuse for not doing this. This brings me to my next point: Always have the letters and numbers in clear view, be it on a screen or on a board. It defeats the whole point of having a final if people can't see what's going on. Making sure we can hear what's going on is also important.

Two further suggestions:
  • Bring back on-site lunch arrangements. I'll start a separate thread about this later.
  • Provide copies of the sheets I use while playing, for people to take and use if they wish. I realise gauging how many people will use them if provided and hence how many to print may be a challenge.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Rhys Benjamin »

Should be noted that on number ordering, it's only since Rachel took over that the large numbers have always been on the left. Carol always did it in reverse order of how the contestant said it (which I personally prefer) so there are several examples of large numbers NOT being in the middle. Off the top of my head, we have the Gotcha ("can I have 5 from the second row and 1 from the top" - selection had 100 on the right), Jono in his quarter final ("1 from the top, 2 small, and 3 more from the top" so the smalls were in the second and third positions rom the left). Et al.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

Yeah, I remember big numbers in other places under Carol's reign.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Stewart Gordon »

Rhys Benjamin wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:53 pm Should be noted that on number ordering, it's only since Rachel took over that the large numbers have always been on the left. Carol always did it in reverse order of how the contestant said it (which I personally prefer) so there are several examples of large numbers NOT being in the middle. Off the top of my head, we have the Gotcha ("can I have 5 from the second row and 1 from the top" - selection had 100 on the right), Jono in his quarter final ("1 from the top, 2 small, and 3 more from the top" so the smalls were in the second and third positions rom the left). Et al.
What do you mean? Both Carol and Rachel have normally taken numbers from the top first, and stacked them in such a way that they are put on the board in reverse order, from right to left, such that the large numbers end up on the left. I think the only times it's been different have been rare occasions when a contestant has asked for the numbers in an unusual sequence - like the Gotcha round you mention. I've a feeling there may have been an instance of "one big, two small, one big, two small" once or twice.

What varies a lot is the order in which people turn them up when hosting games at Lincoln-style Co-events.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Rhys Benjamin »

Stewart Gordon wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 11:54 pm
Rhys Benjamin wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:53 pm Should be noted that on number ordering, it's only since Rachel took over that the large numbers have always been on the left. Carol always did it in reverse order of how the contestant said it (which I personally prefer) so there are several examples of large numbers NOT being in the middle. Off the top of my head, we have the Gotcha ("can I have 5 from the second row and 1 from the top" - selection had 100 on the right), Jono in his quarter final ("1 from the top, 2 small, and 3 more from the top" so the smalls were in the second and third positions rom the left). Et al.
What do you mean? Both Carol and Rachel have normally taken numbers from the top first, and stacked them in such a way that they are put on the board in reverse order, from right to left, such that the large numbers end up on the left. I think the only times it's been different have been rare occasions when a contestant has asked for the numbers in an unusual sequence - like the Gotcha round you mention. I've a feeling there may have been an instance of "one big, two small, one big, two small" once or twice.

What varies a lot is the order in which people turn them up when hosting games at Lincoln-style Co-events.
What I mean is that when people ask for them in the "wrong" order Rachel will "correct" them and always - always - put the large numbers on screen left. Carol did not "correct" them. You are right that normally it's "one from the top and 5 small", but not always.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Does anybody have some low effort high impact suggestions for reducing the % of botched printed conundrum reveals?

I had a botched conundrum given to me in at least 5/8 of the events I attended in 2023 which had paper conundrums.

Reasons for botched conundrums reveals could be any of (but not limited to):
- Wonky
- Upside down (correctly oriented relative to host rather than players)
- Face down
- Accidentally revealed while setting up to reveal
- Stuck to a clammy hand when the hand is pulled away
- Blown over by a gust of air caused by the action of revealing
- Answer still attached!

I accept that botched conundrums will always happen, but I am sure there's something simple we can do to reduce it significantly!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Thomas Cappleman »

Having the players turn away/close eyes while the host sets up would help with most of them. Then they're free to set it up without having to do some complicated manoeuvre to get it in the right place while never being visible along the way.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Gavin Chipper »

As TCap says, get the players to look away if need be. Put the conundrum in the right orientation on the table and cover it with an object other than your hand. Something like a phone works well. Don't have the object physically touching the conundrum paper though. Place one edge of the phone in front of the conundrum (nearer the players) and have it covering the conundrum diagonally backwards. Then something like 3-2-1 Go (Go is simultaneous with you lifting the phone/object upwards and starting the timer).
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

I think slightly bigger slips help with both manhandling and ease of use
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Adam Beach »

JackHurst wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:06 pm Does anybody have some low effort high impact suggestions for reducing the % of botched printed conundrum reveals?

I had a botched conundrum given to me in at least 5/8 of the events I attended in 2023 which had paper conundrums.

Reasons for botched conundrums reveals could be any of (but not limited to):
- Wonky
- Upside down (correctly oriented relative to host rather than players)
- Face down
- Accidentally revealed while setting up to reveal
- Stuck to a clammy hand when the hand is pulled away
- Blown over by a gust of air caused by the action of revealing
- Answer still attached!

I accept that botched conundrums will always happen, but I am sure there's something simple we can do to reduce it significantly!
This is something on my to-do list, because I've overheard it happening a lot.

I'm on making a new batch of the foldable conundrum 'tents' as we speak, and will ensure they are included with every set of cards going forward. A stupid idea, to reduce the wonkiness issue pointed out, is to have a piece of Blu-Tac on the back face, which the game host can stick the conundrum slip to (with the answer folded behind/torn off). Host then turns it over for the contestants to see. Issues with this, however: (1) host will have to stick it on upside down on the back face for it to be the correct way up when flipped. (2) The Blu-Tac will undoubtedly end up coming off and getting lost at some stage. Solution: just stuck with placing the conundrum slip under the 'tent' as is currently done with those sets of cards that actually have them.

—————

Also, I'm considering uploading my conundrum template for event hosts to use, which features the style I produced for the Birmingham double-header this year. This is where each slip consists of the two rows of letters — scramble and solution — and they are folded horizontally (preferably by the event host beforehand). The answer will still be hidden, as it will be face down. These slips are also bigger, so could be easier to manage. While there's a colour version (in the blue and white format seen on the show), there will be a black and white version available to any hosts who don't have access to a colour printer. I'm still working on all of this to make it as user-friendly as possible, so bear with if you'd be interested.

How it looks:

Image

Feedback welcome :)
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:48 pm As TCap says, get the players to look away if need be. Put the conundrum in the right orientation on the table and cover it with an object other than your hand. Something like a phone works well. Don't have the object physically touching the conundrum paper though. Place one edge of the phone in front of the conundrum (nearer the players) and have it covering the conundrum diagonally backwards. Then something like 3-2-1 Go (Go is simultaneous with you lifting the phone/object upwards and starting the timer).
Yeah this is pretty much what I try to do, and it great advice.

Unfortunately a lot of people don't know/don't think/forget to do this. I've had hosts reveal on me while I'm still politely looking away (having asked them to tell me when its safe to look!)
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by JackHurst »

Adam Beach wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:23 pm This is something on my to-do list, because I've overheard it happening a lot.

I'm on making a new batch of the foldable conundrum 'tents' as we speak, and will ensure they are included with every set of cards going forward. A stupid idea, to reduce the wonkiness issue pointed out, is to have a piece of Blu-Tac on the back face, which the game host can stick the conundrum slip to (with the answer folded behind/torn off). Host then turns it over for the contestants to see. Issues with this, however: (1) host will have to stick it on upside down on the back face for it to be the correct way up when flipped. (2) The Blu-Tac will undoubtedly end up coming off and getting lost at some stage. Solution: just stuck with placing the conundrum slip under the 'tent' as is currently done with those sets of cards that actually have them.

—————

Also, I'm considering uploading my conundrum template for event hosts to use, which features the style I produced for the Birmingham double-header this year. This is where each slip consists of the two rows of letters — scramble and solution — and they are folded horizontally (preferably by the event host beforehand). The answer will still be hidden, as it will be face down. These slips are also bigger, so could be easier to manage. While there's a colour version (in the blue and white format seen on the show), there will be a black and white version available to any hosts who don't have access to a colour printer. I'm still working on all of this to make it as user-friendly as possible, so bear with if you'd be interested.

How it looks:

Image

Feedback welcome :)
This all looks great Adam, nice work! If the pyramids are made out of card, would a viable alternative without the need to use blue tac be to have a flat part of the 'ten't that rests on the table surface with a couple of slits/notches that hold the conundrum in place?

If hosts use the same template/tool for the conundrum cards I think that would be a great way to standardise them. I know printing in colour adds an extra expense for events, but personally worth it IMO if the conundrums look nice. Surely it would increase the cost of entry per player by something like 20p max which IMO is worth it.
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Fiona T »

You can often get slightly striped effects when printing blocks of colour, so really does depend on what the host has available. I know when I made my cards I got through a couple of crazy expensive blue ink cartridges, so will be avoiding colour backgrounds going forward!
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Adam Beach »

Fiona T wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 7:03 pm You can often get slightly striped effects when printing blocks of colour, so really does depend on what the host has available. I know when I made my cards I got through a couple of crazy expensive blue ink cartridges, so will be avoiding colour backgrounds going forward!
Printing in colour is a complete ballache. It's one of the reasons I stopped doing the certificates — that, and the fact they were completely pointless. I would do them on this special photo paper that wasn't cheap, only to get spots that hadn't even been covered. Wtf. Had to fill them in with blue pen. Luckily with the conundrums, they are only small patches and worked out for Brum. :lol:

Honestly, the price of printer cartridges is, like everything else, disgraceful. Thankfully, I have an HP printer with an Instant Ink subscription, so get the cartridges dead cheap, otherwise bollocks to it. Even the £3-a-month subscription is only worth it if you print regularly, which people seldom do in 2023.

A black and white template will be available. :)
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Adam Beach »

JackHurst wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:52 pm
Adam Beach wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:23 pm This is something on my to-do list, because I've overheard it happening a lot.

I'm on making a new batch of the foldable conundrum 'tents' as we speak, and will ensure they are included with every set of cards going forward. A stupid idea, to reduce the wonkiness issue pointed out, is to have a piece of Blu-Tac on the back face, which the game host can stick the conundrum slip to (with the answer folded behind/torn off). Host then turns it over for the contestants to see. Issues with this, however: (1) host will have to stick it on upside down on the back face for it to be the correct way up when flipped. (2) The Blu-Tac will undoubtedly end up coming off and getting lost at some stage. Solution: just stuck with placing the conundrum slip under the 'tent' as is currently done with those sets of cards that actually have them.

—————

Also, I'm considering uploading my conundrum template for event hosts to use, which features the style I produced for the Birmingham double-header this year. This is where each slip consists of the two rows of letters — scramble and solution — and they are folded horizontally (preferably by the event host beforehand). The answer will still be hidden, as it will be face down. These slips are also bigger, so could be easier to manage. While there's a colour version (in the blue and white format seen on the show), there will be a black and white version available to any hosts who don't have access to a colour printer. I'm still working on all of this to make it as user-friendly as possible, so bear with if you'd be interested.

How it looks:

Image

Feedback welcome :)
This all looks great Adam, nice work! If the pyramids are made out of card, would a viable alternative without the need to use blue tac be to have a flat part of the 'ten't that rests on the table surface with a couple of slits/notches that hold the conundrum in place?

If hosts use the same template/tool for the conundrum cards I think that would be a great way to standardise them. I know printing in colour adds an extra expense for events, but personally worth it IMO if the conundrums look nice. Surely it would increase the cost of entry per player by something like 20p max which IMO is worth it.
Cheers champ. I printed them on card for Brum, but also ran along the fold line with a special scoring board that allowed them to be placed on a tilt for players to look at without having to hunch over the table. I'll be doing the same for Durham and then Brum next year, should I cohost that. None of this is necessary for something that is going to be glanced at then binned; it was mainly for improved viewing and aesthetics. A conundrum is a conundrum — as much as I like to resemble the letters on the show for my own events, the simple design done by Graeme works just as well, and is easy for everyone to navigate.
Stewart Gordon
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Stewart Gordon »

JackHurst wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:06 pmDoes anybody have some low effort high impact suggestions for reducing the % of botched printed conundrum reveals?

I had a botched conundrum given to me in at least 5/8 of the events I attended in 2023 which had paper conundrums.

Reasons for botched conundrums reveals could be any of (but not limited to):
- Wonky
- Upside down (correctly oriented relative to host rather than players)
- Face down
- Accidentally revealed while setting up to reveal
- Stuck to a clammy hand when the hand is pulled away
- Blown over by a gust of air caused by the action of revealing
- Answer still attached!

I accept that botched conundrums will always happen, but I am sure there's something simple we can do to reduce it significantly!
Another possible way to botch: Not having the timer ready when you reveal.

Good way to do it:
  • If the answer is attached, tear it off immediately and put it in your pocket or somewhere it can't be seen.
  • Carry the slip face to your palm as you go back from the front desk to your table. (I think they're always small enough to be fully concealed in this way?)
  • Place your hand on the table, with the slip still under it.
  • Turn your hand to a vertical position, leaving the slip on the table behind it, still hidden from the players.
  • Make sure the slip is the right way round and up.
  • Double-check that your timer is ready.
  • Reveal!
Of course, getting everyone to follow such a process is much easier said than done.
Stewart Gordon
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Stewart Gordon »

Gavin Chipper wrote: Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:48 pm As TCap says, get the players to look away if need be. Put the conundrum in the right orientation on the table and cover it with an object other than your hand. Something like a phone works well. Don't have the object physically touching the conundrum paper though. Place one edge of the phone in front of the conundrum (nearer the players) and have it covering the conundrum diagonally backwards. Then something like 3-2-1 Go (Go is simultaneous with you lifting the phone/object upwards and starting the timer).
Oh yes. That's similar to my suggestion, albeit using another object rather than your hand.

This brings me to something else I've been wondering for ages. Where has the habit of counting 3-2-1 when revealing the conundrum come from? This has never been done on the show.
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Matt Morrison
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Re: Co-Event Suggestion Box

Post by Matt Morrison »

no crisps before conundrums
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