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Subject: Valid Clue? rss

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D C

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Please help us end this debate. The agent card is "Scientist", the clue given is "Science:1" . Is that a valid clue? One argument is that it has part of the word therefore it is invalid. The other argument is that its definitions are different but relate so it is valid. I need a tiebreaker! Thanks!
 
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Kirk Monsen
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If the opposing spymaster says it is valid, then it is valid. If they say it is not, then it is not.
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Andrea R
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I would vote it as not valid.
But I agree that the opposing spymaster in this case would have the last word (although i guess it would be counted as invalid from him\her a well)
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Emmanuel B
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For me that would definitely be invalid. I quote the rulebook, from the Firm Rules section:
Quote:
You can't say any form of a visible word on the table. Until BREAK is covered up by a card, you can't say break, broken, breakage, or breakdown.

As an aside, even if you decide to allow it, it's a particularly boring way to give a clue.
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Matt Williams
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It is clearly invalid, as stated by manur above. I'm not really sure why there would be a debate on this one.
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Russ Williams
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In the OP's defense, I can see why there would be uncertainty. What is a "form" of a word? The rules don't define it at all (and I posit that it cannot really be defined coherently or clearly - it's an inherently hand-waving vague intuitive concept, so debates seem inevitable); they only give a (very small!) number of examples.

So is "scientist" really a "form" of the word "science"? For "form", the rulebook gives examples of conjugation / grammatical inflection of the same specific word (break, broke, broken - similarly we can suppose that "breaks" would be invalid) and of compounds literally using the same specific word (breakage, breakdown).

But "scientist" is neither a grammatical inflected form of "science" ("sciences" clearly would be), nor a compound with "science" in it ("conscience" arguably would be).

Certainly "science" and "scientist" are etymologically related (both coming from the same Latin root)... but then by the etymological argument, if the codeword was "car" then the clue "chariot" should be invalid, and if the codeword was "hat" then the clue "hood" should be invalid, but I believe that many people would happily allow them, despite their shared etymologies.

If the codeword was the first person pronoun "I", would "me", "we", "us" be invalid, since "me", "we", "us" are inflected forms of the first person pronoun "I" (object and plural forms), yet they have literally no letters in common and sound completely different? Would "you" and "he" be invalid as they inflect the pronoun by number?

If the codeword was "hat", would "hate", "hatch", "that", "sulphate" all be invalid since they all directly include "hat"? Or some are valid and some invalid? (I hypothesize that more people would allow "sulphate" than "hate" or "hatch", for example.)

I.e. this kind of problem in word/clue games seems inherently murky, and reasonable people can have different opinions, I think.
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Emmanuel B
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Yes, for any group of "reasonable players" with no particular mastering of linguistic or Ancient Greek, Latin or Old Saxon engaging in a friendly party game, Scientist is a form of the base word Science, and Hood is not a form of the base word Hat.

Fair enough, this is "vague" and "intuitive", and the meaning of form here can't be scientifically defined, but there's no reason to think the OP was trying to be pedantic.
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Russ Williams
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manur wrote:
Fair enough, this is "vague" and "intuitive", and the meaning of form here can't be scientifically defined, but there's no reason to think the OP was trying to be pedantic.

If that's replying to me, I certainly didn't think that the OP was trying to be pedantic, and I hope that nothing I wrote suggests otherwise. My point was simply that different people really do sincerely often disagree in these kind of word-clue games, and that I don't believe this example was really as obvious and clear-cut as many replies seem to suggest.
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Max DuBoff
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russ wrote:
manur wrote:
Fair enough, this is "vague" and "intuitive", and the meaning of form here can't be scientifically defined, but there's no reason to think the OP was trying to be pedantic.

If that's replying to me, I certainly didn't think that the OP was trying to be pedantic, and I hope that nothing I wrote suggests otherwise. My point was simply that different people really do sincerely often disagree in these kind of word-clue games, and that I don't believe this example was really as obvious and clear-cut as many replies seem to suggest.


On one hand I agree (and appreciate the linguistic discussion), but on the other hand they look almost identical, which makes it pretty clear that the clue isnt permissible. I'm not sure we're ever going to find a full definition of "form," but if the same root appears with the same spelling and a very similar meaning, it counts as a form for these purposes.
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Tony C
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In this example I'd say not a valid clue - unless the opposing spymaster says it's OK.
 
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Max DuBoff
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Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.
 
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Kirk Monsen
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MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.
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mfl134
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MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.
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Robert Stewart
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I'm also in the "it could be allowed, but I wouldn't" camp.
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Steve Bachman
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mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.

At some point at the other end of the spectrum, you are no longer playing a party game.
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Kirk Monsen
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mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.


How is quoting and following the rules playing a variant?
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Jesse Moore
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This is actually easy to deal with.

You can look up the word in a dictionary to see its morphology.

Scientist is 'Science + ist'

So, it is ruled out because it is a combination of the original word and a suffix, as in the rules example of 'breakage', though neither of these are compound words. Some letters of the original word change when you add a suffix, and so you cannot always expect to find the exact letters.
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Max DuBoff
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MunchWolf wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.


How is quoting and following the rules playing a variant?


Eh, the spymaster should follow the hard guidelines in the rules. Otherwise it gets gamey and not in the spirit of the game.
 
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mfl134
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Ward wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.

At some point at the other end of the spectrum, you are no longer playing a party game.


Well, I define party game and party activity separately. Party game can still be strict and competitive (and fun). To me playing without rules or trying to abuse them sucks the fun out of the game. But in a party activity, winning isn't important, so do whatever provides the most fun.
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mfl134
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MunchWolf wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.


How is quoting and following the rules playing a variant?


manur wrote:
For me that would definitely be invalid. I quote the rulebook, from the Firm Rules section:
Quote:
You can't say any form of a visible word on the table. Until BREAK is covered up by a card, you can't say break, broken, breakage, or breakdown.

As an aside, even if you decide to allow it, it's a particularly boring way to give a clue.


Because there is little value in selective quoting ignoring other sections that specifically address such a case.
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Kirk Monsen
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mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.


How is quoting and following the rules playing a variant?


manur wrote:
For me that would definitely be invalid. I quote the rulebook, from the Firm Rules section:
Quote:
You can't say any form of a visible word on the table. Until BREAK is covered up by a card, you can't say break, broken, breakage, or breakdown.

As an aside, even if you decide to allow it, it's a particularly boring way to give a clue.


Because there is little value in selective quoting ignoring other sections that specifically address such a case.


The case is, someone doesn't know if a clue is valid or not ... so the PRIMARY rule that applies in that case, 'ask your fellow spymaster'. If they say yes, then it does. If they say no, then it doesn't. There is NO debate. No pulling out the rules ... none of that. It is the judgement of your fellow spymaster, and only that.

It is not someone gaming the system.

as for why there is confusion, one example in the rules says Horse is not allowed as a clue for horseshoe ... but land is allowed as a clue for England, so I can see someone being confused.

Considering everyone seriously responding to this has said No, most likely in the case the person who didn't know would ask his fellow spymaster, who would say No, and the discussion during the game stops there. He could then ask his fellow players, after the game has ended, and most would probably say No, and some may say Yes, which means in future games with that group, if the same situation crazily reoccured, the answer would be No.
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Max DuBoff
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MunchWolf wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
mfl134 wrote:
MunchWolf wrote:
MD1616 wrote:
Folks, the opposing spymaster can only give it the OK in one of the many situations not covered by the rules. This is clearly covered by the rules.


From the rules (section, Don't Be Too Strict)
Quote:
If the opposing spymaster allows it, the clue is valid.


note, from that section also comes this bit which is relevant to this thread:
Quote:
England and island were originally compound words, but in this century, island is a valid clue for ENGLAND. Even land is a valid clue for ENGLAND. And anybody who says you can't say sparrow when ROW is on the table is just trying to cause trouble.


at some point, you are playing a variant.


How is quoting and following the rules playing a variant?


manur wrote:
For me that would definitely be invalid. I quote the rulebook, from the Firm Rules section:
Quote:
You can't say any form of a visible word on the table. Until BREAK is covered up by a card, you can't say break, broken, breakage, or breakdown.

As an aside, even if you decide to allow it, it's a particularly boring way to give a clue.


Because there is little value in selective quoting ignoring other sections that specifically address such a case.


The case is, someone doesn't know if a clue is valid or not ... so the PRIMARY rule that applies in that case, 'ask your fellow spymaster'. If they say yes, then it does. If they say no, then it doesn't. There is NO debate. No pulling out the rules ... none of that. It is the judgement of your fellow spymaster, and only that.

It is not someone gaming the system.

as for why there is confusion, one example in the rules says Horse is not allowed as a clue for horseshoe ... but land is allowed as a clue for England, so I can see someone being confused.

Considering everyone seriously responding to this has said No, most likely in the case the person who didn't know would ask his fellow spymaster, who would say No, and the discussion during the game stops there. He could then ask his fellow players, after the game has ended, and most would probably say No, and some may say Yes, which means in future games with that group, if the same situation crazily reoccured, the answer would be No.


That's not confusing at all. No one uses ENGLAND as a compound word nowadays. And the OP was clearly looking for what's right; after all, the opposing spymaster needs to know what to do. Yeah, it's based on what the opposing spymaster says, but it's not supposed to be arbitrary.
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