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Site Related Issues

Posted by Admin on February 17th, 2009


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42 Responses to “Site Related Issues”

  1. Paul B says:

    Dupin_1 another setter yet to be honoured by the Queen? God, I know the feeling.

  2. Chatmeister says:

    Paul B
    Yet another comment that is meaningless to anyone other than yourself. Please desist otherwise these comments will be sent where they belong. Consider this a final warning.

  3. Paul B says:

    Meaningless to you perhaps, Chatmeister, and things you can’t understand annoy you so very much, don’t they.

    If Neil Wellard is going to insist on employing a policeman for this board, let that officer at least reflect to some extent the level of intelligence on general display. This seemingly wilful misinterpretation is rapidly becoming a bore.

  4. Paul B says:

    According to a recent exchange of mail with the aforementioned Mr Wellard, it seems he has passed overall authority for the blog and comments to none other than … who, might you suppose?

    Well, you guessed it. Naturally I hope the changeover goes well: and also that in the fullness of time, those persons concerned are able to acquaint themselves sufficiently well with issues pertaining currently in Crosswordland to be able to understand what commenters are saying, however apparently oblique, rather than waste time creating localised firestorms – and concurrent bad feeling – as a result of simple misunderstanding.

  5. Chatmeister says:

    Paul B
    Regarding your comments #3 and 4.

    You are not in a position to judge what does and does not annoy me and to call into question the level of my intelligence was unjustified.

    I am not alone in finding a number of your comments in recent months obscure or, if you prefer, oblique. These posts are published to promote discussion about specific puzzles not “issues pertaining currently in Crosswordland” therefore there should be no need for any knowledge of the latter in order to be able to understand a comment. If a comment is about “issues …..”, either in plain language or obliquely, it is off-topic and shouldn’t have been made in the first place (or it should have been made in the General Crossword Discussion post).

    My aim is to try and ensure that comments remain relevant to the puzzle under discussion and, if my memory serves me correctly, you were one of the people complaining earlier in the year about the number of off-topic comments being made in posts.

    You refer to “simple misunderstanding”. In my experience the main reason for any misunderstanding is due to a lack of clarity by the original author.

    There has now been enough off-topic content in this post so any further discussion should take place elsewhere.

  6. Paul B says:

    And where else could I reply but here, would you suggest? I’ll take your comments off-line if you prefer, at surfcake at tiscali dot co dot uk, and if you do I won’t post anything further on the matter here. However, for now:

    Briefly, yes I was one of those who first drew to your (several) attention(s) the fact that, as of some identifiable date or other, certain posts were so wildly off-beam as to seem to be constitutive of an effort to derail the whole 15/2 proceedings.

    However, there is a difference between that and the kinds of information I and others sometimes invoke in replying to posts. Say, for example, excerpts from or opinions (already in the public domain) relating to the ongoing saga of Ximeneans/ Azedians v Araucarians/ Libertarians: e.g. the perceived status of the personalities involved.

    You had no idea, apparently, what was being referred to despite its clear relevance to the remark, made by Dupin_X (that for some reason you allowed to stand), instead reverting to what seems to have become your default position: namely that if you don’t get it, someone must be having a go.

    I just think someone policing remarks on *this* board ought to be a bit sharper than that, that’s all. And if this had been your only failure to grasp the essence of an argument, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. But, unfortunately, it ain’t.

    Any e-mail from you at the above-quoted is address is most welcome.

  7. Chatmeister says:

    Firstly, for the benefit of those of us who don’t understand it, perhaps you would explain what comment #1 meant and how it was relevant to the Virgilius puzzle.

    Moving on to comment #5, regarding your third paragraph the type of information you describe is fine in the General Crossword Discussion post but not in one relating to a specific puzzle unless it has some direct relevance to a particular clue/answer.

    In your fifth paragraph you are again trying to attack my character and ability and as for “if this had been your only failure …..” that is only your opinion yet you have expressed it as a statement of fact.

    On your own admission, some of your comments are oblique (presumably deliberately). In my opinion, it can be difficult at times to determine if one of your comments is serious, said tongue-in-cheek or sarcastic and it is left up to the reader to try and guess what was actually intended. Without the benefit of facial clues and other body language, text needs some additional indication of how the words should be interpreted to reveal the intended meaning.

  8. Fletch says:

    Paul B in #4 above assumes that everyone can guess the identity of the new chatmeister.

    He is clearly privy to this information following correspondence with Neil Wellard but is there any announcement in the pipeline to enlighten the rest of us?

  9. Testy says:

    I’ll admit that some of Paul B’s comments often do leave me scratching my head but in this instance I thought that it was relatively understandable. I thought that in post #1 above, which I think originally appeared in the comments to the recent Virgilius blog, he was simply saying to Dupin_1 that he agreed that Virgilius was a superb setter who deserved to be honoured by the Queen and echoing Dupin_1’s exasperation with Araucaria.

    As my handle suggests, I often get exasperated myself. However, given that things have tended to get a little overheated of late, I have decided to adopt a new ethos and now whenever there is something posted that I feel to be willfully obscure I just ignore it; where it seems provocative and argumentative, I think it is better not to rise to the bait.

    If anyone feels that someone is just trying to stir things, why not starve them of the oxygen publicity instead of fanning the flames by entering into a slanging match.

    I think Coventry is a great place for troublemakers.

    I hope everyone can just calm down a bit. I really believe that we can do this and still engage in lively debate, disagree about issues, enjoy some banter and not be too po-faced.

    And now, having said that, I think I’ll take some of my own advice and shut up.

  10. Gaufrid says:

    In reply to your comment #8, it is I, as it has been since the inception of “Chatmeister”.

  11. Gaufrid says:

    Thank you for your new ethos. What we need is constructive comment not argument. Your comment is much appreciated and reflects my own thinking.

  12. Fletch says:

    Thanks for #10, Gaufrid, that explains a lot.

  13. Paul B says:

    Thanks indeed, although I note that the thread you direct us to has now been hijacked by idiots. Forgive me, but I don’t think I’ll be bothering to engage you there.

    If in future you don’t quite understand something, just ask.

  14. Gaufrid says:

    Paul B thinks this post has been “hijacked by idiots”, his words. I will move his full post here shortly.

  15. Monica M says:

    Get a grip … my mates refer to this as my nerdy crossword site. We’re doing crosswords, for crying out loud !!!!

    In the greater scheme, this is not important … please. please find some perspective. Stop being so antagonistic.

    It is so unnecessary and unwanted (by, and I’m assuming here … the rest of us that post).

    My advice …. GROW UP !!!!!!!

  16. Monica M says:

    …. and you nearly shamed me into saying … Gawd Strewth.

    My apologies to anyone I may have offended, I just think that crosswords aren’t important enough to get indignant about … for me they are a hobby….

  17. Bella says:

    Might I suggest that since Paul B is so antagonistic to most of the contributors to this site, he should start his own and let the rest of us live in peace & harmony, gently pointing out obscure interpretations to each other, and having the odd chuckle at the little foibles of setters.

    This, I might add, is the man who RANG me in Brisbane to make sure I was a real person & not some pseudonymous multiple personality hi-jacker of the blog, sent to try him alone.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  18. Gaufrid says:

    Thank you, a very valid comment.

  19. liz says:

    Sometimes, I have to admit, Paul B contributes to the gaiety of nations. At other times, I wonder what he is doing here. The company seems to upset him so much.

    I agree with Monica and Bella — these are crosswords, for heaven’s sake.

    15/2 has helped me finish crosswords I would otherwise have struggled with (despite Shed today). I enjoy its gentle politeness, the way other bloggers share their knowledge and admit their mistakes. I don’t like the backbiting.

  20. Fletch says:

    I find it astonishing that a setter is permitted to go charging about calling everyone idiots. I can’t imagine this sort of behaviour would be tolerated anywhere else.

  21. Garry says:

    Can we have Quantum added to please?

  22. verbose says:

    I don’t seem to be able to find the discussion of FT 13,197 (Viking). Hasn’t one been posted yet? I’m curious to find out how a couple of the clues work. Thanks!

  23. Simon G says:

    I’m a little puzzled by the structure of the chat room in that under each category there is only a single post that is getting longer and longer…

    Wouldn’t it be easier and clearer to create a new thread for each new topic?

    Just a thought from a newcomer…

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    I was just looking at today’s Guardian/Rufus and noticed my reply details have vanished!!! Help please.

    I seem to have 3 cookies for this site at the moment, would it help if I sent them to you? If so please send me an e-mail. Only 2 of the cookies have fields for that data, and one of those has not been updated since 9/10/09. The one without this data has been updated as I type, the one with was last updated two days ago.

    I am using Cookie Monster to inspect the data.

    [email protected][2].txt has the fields but is old
    [email protected][3].txt has the fields 2 days ago
    [email protected][4].txt latest does not have the fields

    How many cookies should I have BTW?

  25. Derek Lazenby says:

    HAH, doing that post, it has now magically reappeared, sorry. But it is a bit wierd nonetheless. It would still be nice to know which cookies I can delete.

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    For some reason, cookie [4] has now vanished, [1] has reappeared complete with all fields, something definitely wierd.

  27. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Derek
    I’ll email you shortly (after I’ve had something to eat) and we can discuss this off-line.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Just testing, I deleted ‘em all in the end! This can be deleted later.

  29. Val says:

    I can’t find a blog or a placeholder for Guardian’s Gordius 28/04/2010 (24,996). I know it’s quite feasible for a blogger to have problems or the roster to fall foul of some unexpected event but just want to make quite sure I’m not missing it somewhere. I thought a placeholder was usually set up if a crossword wasn’t blogged for some reason so anyone could jump in with their comments from 15:30 onwards.

  30. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Val
    I was out until just after 4pm due to my weekly shopping trip and by then I decided that it would be nearly as quick to prepare a blog as it would have been to post a placeholder. Sorry for the delay in the appearance of today’s blog but it was due to circumstances outside the control of the person scheduled to cover it.

  31. Val says:

    Thanks! Much appreciated.

  32. FumbleFingers says:

    I notice that when I want to post a comment in “General Crossword Discussion”, I always have to enter my username & email under “Leave a Reply”. So far as I’m aware, these fields are automatically filled in for me in every other place where I might post within the site.

    I don’t really understand how such things work (cookies?) – but it seems at least possible to me it’s just a matter of copying a bit of script from a page where this feature does work, and using it to replace the corresponding bit in the one that doesn’t.

    If it’s more complex than that, I apologise for raising what is in any case a trivial issue.

  33. Gaufrid says:

    Hi FumbleFingers
    The posts in the Chat Room were created in exactly the same way as those in other parts of the site and so they should contain the same code and scripts.

    The only difference is that these posts have been linked to via a page so that there can be a ‘chat room’ button on the menu bar at the top of the screen and this may be affecting the auto-completion of the name/email boxes.

    I will investigate further and will let you know if I find a way round this problem.

  34. Gaufrid says:

    I have looked into this further and have found the reason for this discrepancy. Some time ago I installed a plug-in which pages the comments in posts that have more than 50 comments in order to speed up download times for those people with a slow connection or using a mobile device.

    This ‘paging’ plug-in is only activated for some of the posts in the Chat Room because we seldom get more than 50 comments in a post on other parts of the site. It is this plug-in that is preventing the auto-fill of the name/email boxes when you want to add a comment to one of these posts in the Chat Room.

    When I have some spare time this evening I will have a look to see if the plug-in can be modified to rectify this but I am not optimistic that I will be able to find a solution.

  35. FumbleFingers says:

    Sacre bleu, Gaufrid! I now almost regret pointing out the problem, in that you’ve probably already spent more time on it than is justified. I am ever aware that fifteensquared is a labour of love, and would not wish to make it burdensome to you.

    Speaking as an (ex-) programmer myself though, I would say that I’ve often got a buzz out of diagnosing the precise reason for a problem even if it turns out to impractical or impossible to resolve. They say knowledge is power, but sometimes just the satisfaction of knowing can be reward enough!

  36. sidey says:

    Tiny point Gaufrid, Azed 1992 is labelled 1192. Might confuddle searching in the future.

  37. Stella Heath says:

    I’m not sure if this is the right place for this suggestion, which I also made last week in the general blog, but here goes:

    Given that the Guardian Quiptic puzzles are often on a par, regarding difficulty, with Rufus, for example, and that one of their purposes is to encourage newcomers to the world of cryptics, I think it would be interesting to cover them in a weekly blog

  38. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks sidey, error now corrected.

  39. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Stella
    Are you offering to write the blogs? ;)

    I have no objections to the Quiptic being added to the site if there is some interest in it but this would depend on finding one or more people prepared to cover it. I will post an announcement and will see what response it brings.

  40. linxit says:

    One for Gaufrid (or anyone else who’s had a similar comment):

    I used to blog Guardian and Mephisto puzzles here, but stopped due to workload a couple of years ago. Today I received a comment on an Araucaria puzzle I blogged on Jan 30th 2008 (see below). While I’m feeling slightly flattered at the gushing praise for my (no more than average) posting, what’s the crack? Has anyone else had similar messages from “Poker”? I assume it’s just a stealth spam hoping for people to go to his website I can’t see any other angle, and I can’t believe it’s for real.

    New comment on your post “Guardian 24298/Araucaria”
    Author : Poker (IP: ,
    E-mail : [email protected]
    URL :
    Whois :
    Simply want to say your article is astounding. The clarity in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with succeeding post. Thanks a million and please keep up the respectable work.

    You can see all comments on this post here:

    Trash it:
    Spam it:

  41. Gaufrid says:

    Hi linxit
    This was just one of the many spam comments that the site receives. Most are intercepted by the Akismet spam filter but yesterday half a dozen or so from Poker slipped through. I deleted them manually but of course by that time it was too late to prevent the automatic email notifications from being sent out nor to stop them appearing in the RSS feed.

  42. nmsindy says:

    An appropriate time to express appreciation for all the work Gaufrid does on this website. I too noticed the unusually high traffic in those strange messages in the last day or two.