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This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    The Puzzle Files Forum Index -> Site Information -> Contest Information
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Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Posts: 12

PostPosted: 06 Nov 2005 7:43 pm    Post subject: Contest Information Reply with quote

Reading this could save you a lot of heartache.

When selecting a contest from the Contests Index in order to access that contest or view it's statistics,
you are taken to the "info" page. While it may be tempting to ignore this, you shouldn't. Here's why:

This site has a very flexible contest "engine" and can accommodate a number of features (just some are listed below). Precisely which apply to the contest you are about to start, and to what extent, will normally only be detailed on the "info" page... and nowhere else!

Time Zone Settings
You may wish to ensure that the time shown below the forum logo is correct. If it is not, then you can rectify this by selecting the proper time zone in your profile. You can also change the way the date/time is displayed. The contest engine uses these settings to display statistics and progress in your local time.

Team Registration
Certain contests will require that groups of members register as a team. Team members will still participate normally. However their stats will be consolidated into a single entry on the leader-board.

Multiple Correct Answers (MCA)
Not to be confused with variations of what is essentially a single correct answer, MCA means that the correct answer you give will determine which puzzle you are presented with next. Obviously, knowing in advance that a puzzle may have several different answers should help you.

Often used in contests where "direction" isnít immediately obvious, these are pages which appear upon entering pre-selected wrong guesses to let you know you are on the right/wrong track. They may also provide additional clues.

Question Availability
Most contests will work on the usual basis, whereby you only have access to one puzzle and cannot move on until it is solved. However, certain contests may allow you access to several puzzles at a time which can be selected from a list.

Code/Text Grabbing

If a puzzle contains a sizable amount of code or text which, for aesthetic purposes, has been presented as an image, the above icon will be displayed in the top-left corner. If you click on this, a window will open containing the text from the puzzle to save you the arbitrary task of retyping it.

Sound Warning/Icons

Some puzzles may include sound bites which are instrumental in their solving. The "info" page will forewarn you if a contest includes any of these, and will also specify whether or not the above icon will appear in the top-right corner of the relevant puzzles.

Last, and definitely not least...

Guess Count Restriction

A defense designed to prevent/deter wild guessing and manual or automated brute-forcing (the mass entering of all possible combinations for an answer). If deployed, you will be advised of how many wrong guesses per question you are allowed, and for how long you will be frozen out should this limit be reached. On the actual puzzle screen, indicators will appear below the answer box (see above) to show that a limit applies to that particular question and how much of it has been used. Now, for the avoidance of doubt:
  • The limit is per question and so will be at zero each time you move to a new question. Furthermore, it will also reset to zero if the requisite time has elapsed since your last guess;
  • Should you be frozen out, the time starts then - not when you entered the first wrong answer;
  • This is an automated process, which will not be over-ridden under any circumstances.
Please note: anyone caught exploiting the fact that this hasnít been deployed may, without warning, have their membership terminated and their IP banned.
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