Muggle nudge culture

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boharr
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Re: Muggle nudge culture

#21

Post by boharr » Wed Oct 21, 2020 5:05 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:53 pm
The competitive spirit might be what's required to learn from nudges and hints. After deadline, the solution may be thought of as yesterday's news. With the stakes so low, I doubt that the prize is the goal, rather beating the timer is.

I see nudges & hints as a way to welcome new muggles and to help them learn the methods & culture. This is a great and growing community. The more the merrier, please. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Let's help.

I have been inconsistent, but look to be more uniform in my approach going forward. I will reply to nudge requests, whether direct or posted on the topic, with the following:
  • Tell me the level of help you are seeking. Do you want a simple yes/no validation of a solution or first few steps, or more?
  • Send me what you have, so far, please. Leave nothing out. However, as you write, see if new ideas occur to you. You may find the solution by reframing your thoughts. Also, see if the act of putting your ideas into words doesn't make you realize that you are going too far. Most solutions, no matter how difficult, are simple to explain. If your methodology is 3, 4, or more steps past your initial thoughts, try walking away.
  • I will return questions for you which will guide you toward the basic and excellent solving methods at play, which can be found here. Consulting them before replying is a great idea.
  • I will quote your PMs back to you & remove anything that doesn't help you solve. That, in itself, can be a powerful hint. Please do not continue to argue ignored points. I truly enjoy offbeat & unintended answers that have some validity (and have found a couple, in the past), but these are best left for Monday's discussions.
  • You will not be given the answer, because I will try to preserve your AHA! moment as best I can.
  • Whether you submit for the mug, or not, means nothing to me. This is entirely up to you. If you do win, expect me to sincerely congratulate you.
  • I prefer that our discussions remain confidential, please.
This is really great, Joe. Thank you. New muggles will be grateful and encouraged. I see that as a very good thing.

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Cosmo
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#22

Post by Cosmo » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:25 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:53 pm
The competitive spirit might be what's required to learn from nudges and hints. After deadline, the solution may be thought of as yesterday's news. With the stakes so low, I doubt that the prize is the goal, rather beating the timer is.

I see nudges & hints as a way to welcome new muggles and to help them learn the methods & culture. This is a great and growing community. The more the merrier, please. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Let's help.

I have been inconsistent, but look to be more uniform in my approach going forward. I will reply to nudge requests, whether direct or posted on the topic, with the following:
  • Tell me the level of help you are seeking. Do you want a simple yes/no validation of a solution or first few steps, or more?
  • Send me what you have, so far, please. Leave nothing out. However, as you write, see if new ideas occur to you. You may find the solution by reframing your thoughts. Also, see if the act of putting your ideas into words doesn't make you realize that you are going too far. Most solutions, no matter how difficult, are simple to explain. If your methodology is 3, 4, or more steps past your initial thoughts, try walking away.
  • I will return questions for you which will guide you toward the basic and excellent solving methods at play, which can be found here. Consulting them before replying is a great idea.
  • I will quote your PMs back to you & remove anything that doesn't help you solve. That, in itself, can be a powerful hint. Please do not continue to argue ignored points. I truly enjoy offbeat & unintended answers that have some validity (and have found a couple, in the past), but these are best left for Monday's discussions.
  • You will not be given the answer, because I will try to preserve your AHA! moment as best I can.
  • Whether you submit for the mug, or not, means nothing to me. This is entirely up to you. If you do win, expect me to sincerely congratulate you.
  • I prefer that our discussions remain confidential, please.
Well said, Joe! You make a great point that the community is more important than the mug!
It's a coffee table book about coffee tables

GlennG
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#23

Post by GlennG » Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:13 am

Joe Ross wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:53 pm
The competitive spirit might be what's required to learn from nudges and hints. After deadline, the solution may be thought of as yesterday's news. With the stakes so low, I doubt that the prize is the goal, rather beating the timer is.

I see nudges & hints as a way to welcome new muggles and to help them learn the methods & culture. This is a great and growing community. The more the merrier, please. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Let's help.
Good post for sure! That's part of the reason why I made the post here (viewtopic.php?f=13&t=617) . I'm not sure it'll get a good cross-section of people that are being completely honest, but it's something I've wondered a lot of times. How much of this is the mug (or whatever), and how much of it is solving the puzzle? I'd hazard to say that alot of the crowd would go away at the WSJ (for sure) if the mug stopped being a thing - people have been known to get hyper-competitive and even cheat for the smallest things. Or elsewhere for that matter.

Unfortunately though, any degree of competitiveness expressed when people seek help is certainly going to push away people. But like I said elsewhere, it's going to be hard to find a way to be welcoming and help in a way that feels fair to everyone else, especially since you know on some level there's someone hoping to win the mug that's going to feel slighted because the odds swung against them for someone handing out the answers.

Hopefully a good solution can come out of this.

boharr
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#24

Post by boharr » Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:24 am

GlennG wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:13 am
Joe Ross wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:53 pm
The competitive spirit might be what's required to learn from nudges and hints. After deadline, the solution may be thought of as yesterday's news. With the stakes so low, I doubt that the prize is the goal, rather beating the timer is.

I see nudges & hints as a way to welcome new muggles and to help them learn the methods & culture. This is a great and growing community. The more the merrier, please. Everyone wants to belong somewhere. Let's help.
Good post for sure! That's part of the reason why I made the post here (viewtopic.php?f=13&t=617) . I'm not sure it'll get a good cross-section of people that are being completely honest, but it's something I've wondered a lot of times. How much of this is the mug (or whatever), and how much of it is solving the puzzle? I'd hazard to say that alot of the crowd would go away at the WSJ (for sure) if the mug stopped being a thing - people have been known to get hyper-competitive and even cheat for the smallest things. Or elsewhere for that matter.

Unfortunately though, any degree of competitiveness expressed when people seek help is certainly going to push away people. But like I said elsewhere, it's going to be hard to find a way to be welcoming and help in a way that feels fair to everyone else, especially since you know on some level there's someone hoping to win the mug that's going to feel slighted because the odds swung against them for someone handing out the answers.

Hopefully a good solution can come out of this.
I believe the vast majority of muggles do not lie and "cheat." I believe them when they say that they are not submitting an answer because they got a nudge. And I agree with what Joe said: Personally, I could care less if someone wins a mug after getting a nudge. Mostly though, I seriously doubt there are muggles "handing out the answers." Whoa. That's not what a nudge is.

GlennG
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#25

Post by GlennG » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:42 pm

boharr wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:24 am
I believe the vast majority of muggles do not lie and "cheat." I believe them when they say that they are not submitting an answer because they got a nudge. And I agree with what Joe said: Personally, I could care less if someone wins a mug after getting a nudge. Mostly though, I seriously doubt there are muggles "handing out the answers." Whoa. That's not what a nudge is.
I believe the same. I'm just saying there's potentially going to be someone that's going to believe it's a "cheat" to get a nudge. After all, it's hard to know how many "honest" (they got it all themselves) submissions there are. Personally, I don't care, but saying there's people that are going to care and feel slighted because they believe (whether factually or not) there are people that got help in the drawings (I know, I've encountered them in the past).

boharr
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#26

Post by boharr » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:49 pm

GlennG wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:42 pm
boharr wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:24 am
I believe the vast majority of muggles do not lie and "cheat." I believe them when they say that they are not submitting an answer because they got a nudge. And I agree with what Joe said: Personally, I could care less if someone wins a mug after getting a nudge. Mostly though, I seriously doubt there are muggles "handing out the answers." Whoa. That's not what a nudge is.
I believe the same. I'm just saying there's potentially going to be someone that's going to believe it's a "cheat" to get a nudge. After all, it's hard to know how many "honest" (they got it all themselves) submissions there are. Personally, I don't care, but saying there's people that are going to care and feel slighted because they believe (whether factually or not) there are people that got help in the drawings (I know, I've encountered them in the past).
The problem is, of course, honest and dishonest submissions are in no way dependent of those in this community. There are lots of ways to cheat without being a muggle. And I don't think the WSJ would want to set up a police force to monitor its readers. And what of those who solve with a spouse and/or family members or with good friends (often made here)? They aren't solo solvers, but I don't think they are cheats.

GlennG
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#27

Post by GlennG » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:31 pm

boharr wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:49 pm
The problem is, of course, honest and dishonest submissions are in no way dependent of those in this community. There are lots of ways to cheat without being a muggle. And I don't think the WSJ would want to set up a police force to monitor its readers. And what of those who solve with a spouse and/or family members or with good friends (often made here)? They aren't solo solvers, but I don't think they are cheats.
I don't know why you are associating anything in this discussion with this specific community. It's a specific discussion related to metas and how they are handled. That isn't dependent on this community or any other one but a general question applicable to any place on the Internet or real life.

boharr
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#28

Post by boharr » Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:41 pm

GlennG wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 2:31 pm
boharr wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:49 pm
The problem is, of course, honest and dishonest submissions are in no way dependent of those in this community. There are lots of ways to cheat without being a muggle. And I don't think the WSJ would want to set up a police force to monitor its readers. And what of those who solve with a spouse and/or family members or with good friends (often made here)? They aren't solo solvers, but I don't think they are cheats.
I don't know why you are associating anything in this discussion with this specific community. It's a specific discussion related to metas and how they are handled. That isn't dependent on this community or any other one but a general question applicable to any place on the Internet or real life.
I was associating the discussion with this specific community because that's where you've been opining and where you have your "poll." But you are right. I think many more non-muggles than muggles submit answers. And it's easy to imagine a non-muggle calling up a non-muggle friend to get a direct answer. Then calling up another dozen or so non-muggle friends and urging them to submit those answers too so they might win a mug. All to keep a worthy solo solver from winning a mug. Now that's a scenario truly worthy of such paranoia.

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C=64
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#29

Post by C=64 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:14 pm

I'm curious whether people's views are different with regards to the MMMM (Muller Monthly Music Meta), which has a year-long leaderboard with more points awarded for earlier submissions. Giving hints on that seems inappropriate to me because of the scoreboard.

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Wendy Walker
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#30

Post by Wendy Walker » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:10 pm

I just happened upon this discussion. Last week I changed my Forum "signature" to indicate that I wouldn't give nudges before Sunday. It goes against my nature in a way, and I don't want to sound like an old-school doctor talking about how interns today have it too easy being on call for only 12 hours at a time, but I really think that to hone your skills you NEED to spend hours (sometimes days) devising and trying out different tactics. If you are a competitive sort like many of us, yes, it can be miserable. Yes, you can end up losing sleep and/or dreaming about the puzzle. Yes, Three Musketeers candy bars can become a trigger (I missed a meta puzzle that involved the names of the actual Musketeers). But that's how you learn. How can we best encourage newbies? By including them, welcoming them to the community and suggesting they try to do previous puzzles.
As far as cheating goes, that's something over which I have no control, and frankly the odds of winning a mug are so insignificant that I doubt they're significantly affected. I also think that this Muggle Forum is a small piece of Heaven in terms of friendliness and ethical standards.
Thanks!
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.

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KscX
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#31

Post by KscX » Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:52 pm

I’ve been a nudge consumer as a newcomer. The advantage of the half-nudge is it gives you a chance to get the next step on your own and learn/push yourself. Seeing the whole solution spoonfeeds it all and doesn’t allow for growth. And yes, I usually wait until I’ve exhausted all options on Sunday, but get it that life circumstances may prevent others from lolling around in the puzzle through the weekend. Having said that thanks to many of you for help!

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Kas
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#32

Post by Kas » Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:45 am

FYIW. I have mixed feelings--and I just stumbled across this thread, so: a) I haven't read it top to bottom; and b) Apologies for any retreading of ground already trodden, but in short:
1. Part of me thinks nudging is unfair...the answer comes soon enough/Monday;
2. With that said, *superb* point above by KscX re: Nudging people partway is a great teaching aid to solving Metas (and I'm waffling about whether to add, "...especially for newcomers" but I'm not sure that's actually relevant);
3. In the early days of Muggledom, I used to love culling the comments thread (then on the WSJ site/pre- x-word-muggles.com) for hints, which people would drop here and there...and I used to hide hints from time to time via anagrams and acrostics in my posted comments, just to see if people caught them...;
4. With that said, I completely understand the subjective, very murky territory between "hint" (good?) and "spoiler" (Thou Shalt Not), so the current "No Hints" rule in the Muggle comments probably makes sense; and
5. It occurs to me--and I struggle to define precisely why this is, but I'm glad for it--that I have a strong sense of trust in the Muggle community, i.e., that nobody would break the rule/accept a nudge, but then still submit the answer to the WSJ.

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Al Sisti
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#33

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:17 pm

Here's my most recent opinion of nudges, and it relates to (my personal) definition of a "group solve," as Matt calls them. If you solved by working with another person(s), bouncing ideas back and forth, feeding each other, etc., that to me is a legitimate group solve. If you're floundering and you get a nudge from someone who has already solved it that says only "you're on the right track," that's straddling the line of "group solve." But if you're totally lost, either with nothing or following a wrong track, and someone who has solved it gives you a hint that you hadn't or even wouldn't have seen, that to me isn't a group solve. In retrospect, I've counted them all in my quest to continue a streak... but I'm ready to be honest and follow my new definition, and let the chips -- and the streaks -- fall where they may.

Inca
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#34

Post by Inca » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:58 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:17 pm
Here's my most recent opinion of nudges, and it relates to (my personal) definition of a "group solve," as Matt calls them. If you solved by working with another person(s), bouncing ideas back and forth, feeding each other, etc., that to me is a legitimate group solve. If you're floundering and you get a nudge from someone who has already solved it that says only "you're on the right track," that's straddling the line of "group solve." But if you're totally lost, either with nothing or following a wrong track, and someone who has solved it gives you a hint that you hadn't or even wouldn't have seen, that to me isn't a group solve. In retrospect, I've counted them all in my quest to continue a streak... but I'm ready to be honest and follow my new definition, and let the chips -- and the streaks -- fall where they may.
I long ago stopped caring about nudges, hints or any other kind of help being given when asked. The only thing that would upset me is a spoiler that isn't hidden under a "spoiler" button or at least clearly marked right at the start SPOILER because I might inadvertently get a spoiler that I didn't want to see.

Having said that, when someone is part of a "group solve", usually one of the group comes up with "the" idea, and it may very well be one the others would never have come up with. So is it really so different after all? Like I said, it really doesn't bother me at all either way. I just concentrate on solving the way I want to and the way I feel comfortable.

Inca
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#35

Post by Inca » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:00 pm

Kas wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:45 am

3. In the early days of Muggledom, I used to love culling the comments thread (then on the WSJ site/pre- x-word-muggles.com) for hints, which people would drop here and there...and I used to hide hints from time to time via anagrams and acrostics in my posted comments, just to see if people caught them...;
I miss those clever comments. I really didn't consider them spoilers because if no one called them out as a spoiler they were not recognized as one unless you had already solved the puzzle.

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Tom Shea
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#36

Post by Tom Shea » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:11 pm

Inca wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:58 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:17 pm
Here's my most recent opinion of nudges, and it relates to (my personal) definition of a "group solve," as Matt calls them. If you solved by working with another person(s), bouncing ideas back and forth, feeding each other, etc., that to me is a legitimate group solve. If you're floundering and you get a nudge from someone who has already solved it that says only "you're on the right track," that's straddling the line of "group solve." But if you're totally lost, either with nothing or following a wrong track, and someone who has solved it gives you a hint that you hadn't or even wouldn't have seen, that to me isn't a group solve. In retrospect, I've counted them all in my quest to continue a streak... but I'm ready to be honest and follow my new definition, and let the chips -- and the streaks -- fall where they may.
I long ago stopped caring about nudges, hints or any other kind of help being given when asked. The only thing that would upset me is a spoiler that isn't hidden under a "spoiler" button or at least clearly marked right at the start SPOILER because I might inadvertently get a spoiler that I didn't want to see.

Having said that, when someone is part of a "group solve", usually one of the group comes up with "the" idea, and it may very well be one the others would never have come up with. So is it really so different after all? Like I said, it really doesn't bother me at all either way. I just concentrate on solving the way I want to and the way I feel comfortable.
Wish I could be 'pure' and say I never want a nudge. I can be pure enough to say I've never submitted after having received one. After all the would have increased my odds from 0.00000000001 to 0.000000001 and that wouldn't be fair.

But something tells me I'd rather torture myself until monday and then say DOH!! Just because if I get a last minute epiphany, it would be much more satisfying.

Then again, to each his own.
Rufus T. Firefly

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FrankH
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#37

Post by FrankH » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:37 pm

Inca wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:00 pm
Kas wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:45 am

3. In the early days of Muggledom, I used to love culling the comments thread (then on the WSJ site/pre- x-word-muggles.com) for hints, which people would drop here and there...and I used to hide hints from time to time via anagrams and acrostics in my posted comments, just to see if people caught them...;
I miss those clever comments. I really didn't consider them spoilers because if no one called them out as a spoiler they were not recognized as one unless you had already solved the puzzle.
And you posted some of those too.

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MajordomoTom
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#38

Post by MajordomoTom » Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:43 pm

for the current WSJ puzzle, someone asked for a nudge. My response was the standard "what do you have and what are you thinking?"

... they laid out the 4 or 5 or 6 thing they had been working with.

I simply highlighted their very first one and said "keep working on this idea" and they replied back very quickly with a "DOH - I just saw it, I just had to look at it again" ...

... there's sometimes very little difference between a nudge and a "group solve" - when someone tells you that you're on the right track, all they're doing is helping you learn to solve these puzzles, not giving you the answer.

but that's just my 2 cents. Don't spend it all in one place - and if you're going to Starbucks, you'll need to take a bit more with you.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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