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Still Searching #1 - Round #7



What a lovely mystery word :smiley:

Lovely :heart:

Now, these two Q&A assertions:
Q: Is it bigger than an average man-sized hand?
A: No.

Q: is it commonly found in the city?
A: No.

are false.

The role of the GM for the next round will be assumed by the one who provides an explanation as to why that is, and how making such assertions could be avoided.
If it takes more than one person to provide a comprehensive explanation, I will select the GM with discobot’s assistance.


You can avoid that kind of mistakes by using google haha


If Swallows are common in New York city I don’t know why would he aswer no, you can find them in other big cities too.


@FacuBlues That’s what I did when I was hosting Round 1 in the Still Searching #2 thread, haha. I wanted to be able to give out a proper/detailed response to any questions that I was asked (more so if it’s something that has a Yes/No answer) while avoiding any mistakes possible. It’s always a good idea to look things up if you’re unsure (or even if you aren’t), especially when there are multiple variants of the mystery word involved.

@SeekerSupreme FacuBlues already showed some pretty good examples of why those answers were false, but I’d like to tackle the whole why/how to avoid thing.

Why are mistakes like this made?

Depending on what the mystery word is, there can be many variables that someone could be mistaken about. In this case, it was the bird known as a swallow. Perhaps the GM was only familiar with one particular type of swallow and made the assumption that it was either the only one in existence or that all types of swallow are of the same size. Who knows. Another reason why this mistake may have slipped by is because a GM is only allowed to use a single word, even if something (ie. a particular type or variant of the MW) has two words or more for clarification, such as the adorable yet funny named blue-footed booby.

The same thing can be said about the location where swallows can be found. If none of them happen to be commonly found in the area the GM lives in (let’s assume it’s also a city in this example), then it’s no surprise that they would make this particular mistake.

Ways to avoid making mistakes

As mentioned in the earlier posts, a simple Google search can help you avoid them. There’s more than one detailed source for most things after all. You could also cross-reference a book if you want to do it the old fashioned way, though that’ll take longer and there’s a small chance that it contains outdated information too.

Here’s a few suggestions on how such mistakes can be avoided:

  • If the MW is something that has multiple variants or types and the GM is thinking of one in particular, allow them to mention this right from the start. If it’s impossible to mention it without giving the MW away, another word must be chosen before starting the game. (ie. Mystery Word: Blue, Type: Sky, Type Hint: Light) One possible downside to this is that it might make the game take longer to finish, if not done properly.

  • Another way to do the above would be to word the type hint like this:
    —Type Hint: I’m thinking about something hard.
    ----Example of the GM’s correct info: MW: ball, Type: billiards/pool

  • Allow a separate amount of questions to be made in regards to types/variants. Questions regarding a MW’s type are separate from the general one. If the type of the MW has been found, these questions can no longer be made. This might cause confusion between players if the round’s GM doesn’t specify how players need to submit their questions.
    –Here are some examples, both a proper one and two wrong ones:
    —Question (Only 1 allowed):
    _ie. Is it a color? (Answer is yes in this example)
    —Type Question (Only 3 allowed; type questions also work as an answer for the Type slot. If the correct type is asked, it’ll be revealed by the GM; Depending on the GM, the Type slot can be used as an optional hint or a requirement needed to complete the game):
    ie. Is it sky? (Answer is yes in this example; the Type slot’s word is officially revealed/confirmed)

—In this example, the full answer would be formatted as follows:
If you’re the GM revealing the MW:
Mystery Word: blue
Type: sky

If you’re a player attempting to guess it on the first go:
***If the round’s GM requires the type to be correctly found before the MW can actually end/win the game.
***The GM can decide if the type must always be stated alongside each player’s guess.
Guess: blue
Type: sky

–Bad Examples:
—1. The general and type questions are swapped. They’re using the wrong fields.
—Question: Is it sky? (They’re asking about the color type, not the MW itself)
—Type Question: Is it a color?

—2. The person is (poorly) attempting to abuse the type question field by making general questions instead.
—Question: Is it a type of leaf?
—Type Question: Is it a fish?

As you’ve probably noticed in some of the examples, there’s also an issue with questions that could count as both a general or type one depending on how they’re worded. This might end up being a bit of a pain to keep track of and have the GM question some player’s posts to confirm that each field has been properly filled.

Also, while this is completely unrelated to the matter at hand, I’ve noticed that nobody’s been using the photo option to ask questions (seeing as, currently, it also counts as your 1-time question). Perhaps encourage players to use it by making it into its own separate 1-time thing.


I disagree.
The size question I based not off of measurements because the question was not if it was specifically longer, wider or have a larger volume. The question is about a sense of size and if I can hold a thing in my hand, even partially enveloped by it, then I would not consider it larger than my hand even if a tail feather or wingtip might poke out. I’d agree the swallow might well be on the limit of things, it was hard decision to make. I felt that it was better classified as a sub-hand-size item than as one that is larger. It is in the category of small birds and that’s where I wanted people to look.

City I already explained my reasoning for. They exist in New york, sure. New york does have a lot of water ways, parks and green areas for them. I don’t know if he meant new york specifically by “the city” but I opted to ignore the definite article and figured he meant cities rather than ask which particular city he meant.

As I said I would consider pigeons common, swallows can be found but still not in all cities. Thus I called it not common.




Why did those answers happen?
Because a binary response was applied to answer a question that did not have a fully or widely accepted binary answer.

How can it be avoided?
Add a small explanation after the binary answer or not answer with a binary answer when it can’t be answered that way, but the explanation shouldn’t give to much away. I know Fraggles was trying to avoid this as it just makes some questions feel like they give you no new information, but I feel sometimes it may be necessary

Is it commonly found in the city?
Yes in some cities, but not all cities.

Although it does not really help as much as a straight yes/no answer the nature of the question made it so, and answering like that sometimes is better than leading people to exclude the actual answer through misinterpretation (not saying thats what you did Fraggles, I am talking in general here).


Alright, nice.

To recap - there are three keys aspects:

  • Exploring sources of knowledge. (Google is our friend.)

  • Recognizing sets. (Semantics is the key.)

  • Applying logic to assertions. (Laaaaaagic.)

Let’s apply those principles to our lovely subject, and one of the examples provided:
Q: Is [swallow] bigger than an average man-sized hand?

Two crucially important sets can be recognized: Swallow, Bigger

Swallow is a family of birds comprising around 90 species. No single specie is called a swallow, neither by ornithologists, nor (universally) by layman.
No disambiguation is needed, the set is clear.

Bigger - relating to size, magnitude etc. How should we measure it and compare it? Using which criteria?
Extreme dimensions?
All dimensions?
By trying to fit one into the other?
By trying to cover one by the other?
Some other way?
Without disambiguation, we need to account for all of those possible criteria - which comprise the set.

Brief fact checking tells us that various species of swallows range from ca 10 to 24 cm in length. Wing spans range from ca 20 to 40 cm. Volume unknown, silhouette surface areas unknown, we can only assume.

For a Q&A assertion to be true, it needs to be true for all the included sets (which include any possible combinations of their subsets).
Playing around with various combinations of subsets we arrive at various answer to the question.

Therefore, both of these assertions:

Q: Is it bigger than an average man-sized hand?
A: No.

Q: Is it bigger than an average man-sized hand?
A: Yes.

are false.

Thank you @Luxen and @PeteMcc, that about covers what I was looking for.
It also nicely expands on what I’ve already illustrated here: Looking for a Thing - which wasn’t enough, apparently.

@FacuBlues, a fair attempt, yet better covered by the aforementioned two. Pro-tip: when advertising the size of your cock, don’t measure it the way you did with the hand;)

Based on the explanations provided, I’ve assigned three ranges:

1 - 1 FacuBlues
2 - 4 Luxen
5 - 7 PeteMcc

Discobot will choose the next GM from those ranges: @discobot roll 1d7

There’s one more subject worth commenting on, as it was brought up by Luxen:
swallow’ (from swelgan) and swallow’’ (from swealwe) are two separate words. They’re homonyms, even better, they’re both homographs and homophones, but still, they are two different words with their separate entries in dictionaries.
The recognition of homonymity allows the GM to focus on a particular mystery word (a family of birds in this case), without concerning himself with its homonyms.

Now, both of those homonyms are also (independently) polysemes (with vastly different capacities), and polysemy might indeed introduce some issues. Still even here there are ways of avoiding ambiguity by applying linguistics. And then there’s also the choice of using one’s foresight and avoiding especially problematic polysemes altogether.
Regulating this aspect would be inherently very complex and arduous (as partially illustrated by Luxen’s attempt). Therefore we need to rely on our better judgment and try not to make life harder for ourselves.


:game_die: 3


@Luxen, you have the power to become/nominate the GM for Round #3.


I reject the idea that for something to be true it has to be true in every capacity. If I measure a bicycle by length and a car by width I might very well find cars which would fit the idea of being smaller but no reasonable person would look at a bike and a car and figure the bike to ever be considered the larger of the two. Or argue that the car can’t be consider larger than the bike because the bike wont fit parked sideways behind it. The question “is a bike larger than a car” should be in all cases considered no.

In the case of swallow and a hand then the swallow clearly have dimensions in which it is larger than a hand, I gave more thought to what I described as my “sense of size” and realized that it is probably better described by an item’s displacement. I believe that would be a fairly common idea of what unspecified size of a thing is comparable to another. I believe were I to dip a cooperative, or dead, swallow in a tank and compare to “the average man sized hand” the hand would have the higher displacement, though it might well be close for any of the larger species of swallow.

Reason I’m arguing this further on this is because you do not seem to take into account what I believe to be the most fundamental quality of this answer/question system which is not necessarily to be fully factually correct but to lead the questioning participants towards the answer. Though the two goes hand in hand for the vast majority of times however some times the common perception of something, even if incorrect, might be more helpful. This also depends a lot on how any specific question is formulated.

My run was an experiment to see if it would be possible to run this with strict yes/no answers. Having stated so from the start I was hoping people would ask questions that would not lead to ambiguous answers and also picking a subject with which there shouldn’t have been much disagreement or variance around. It’s a shame the experiment had to be aborted due to dry question pool.

Whenever I felt a question was hard to answer my default was towards what I thought would lead the most people to the right answer. Not to try and be tricky and deceptive by trying to find the weirdest way to interpret a question. No one is really interested in a fail state after all.


I accept they did better, I explained it the lazy way lol.



The rest of the argument is mute. Without a common language, there’s no point discussing how we’re arriving at vastly different conclusions.

I did not assume any ill will on your end.

I will not allow any kind of logic, other than mathematical logic, to be applied for running the game.


By the ever-flexing grace of Discobot and its legion of bodybuilders, I’ve been brought back to host another round of this game. As their powers keep on growing stronger, so too do their muscles as they reach outstanding frames and heights. Perhaps they’ll let me join Chrono’s Swole-lympia 2020 (this event is surely unrelated to the real bodybuilding Olympia), who knows. Their pecs work in mysteriously arousing ways.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with me, I was the one who hosted Round 1 in the Still Searching #2 thread. It was pretty fun being able to host the game back then and I’m glad to be able to do so once again. Of course, to keep things fresh I’ll be using a completely different word.

MW: gwEowtFyM3zvbhwqIqxFzw==


  • All guesses (G) and questions (Q) must be marked/submitted as in the example below:

G: Trumpet
Q: Is it food?

  • Please tag my username whenever you post a Guess or a Question. This will ensure that I’ll see your posts quicker.

The rest of the rules remain the same as stated in the OP.


Q: is it edible?

(in that it is suitable or safe for eating)


@Luxen, Once again our Bodybuilder GM will leads us to the victory… For the EMPEROR… oh i got excited

Q: Is man made?


Guess: stool

I got it for sure this time!



No, it isn’t edible at all. You can’t eat it.

Both bodybuilding and conquering requires excitement! The rush of adrenaline will make your strength and muscles grow tenfold!

Ahem, as for your question: Yes, it is.

Unfortunately, your guess is incorrect. It is not yet time for such a MW. :toilet:
I did think about it last night, in the event that I were to be chosen again, and had a good laugh about it though. It seems to be a highly requested category for the MW by now.


Q: is it found in people’s homes in general?


No, it’s not found in people’s homes in general.

Items used for the thing can only be found in the homes of people who are interested in it; you can also buy a variety of items of it (in different sizes and setups) to use at home. Depending on which one you buy, it can be used just for fun or practice.

To avoid confusion: An item that’s used at home isn’t restricted to being indoors-only. Some homes do have backyards, among other outdoor areas, that you’ll need to take into account as well. Please think carefully about this.