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Subject: Is there a lexicon for Decktet terms? rss

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Justus
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I know that looney labs has gone a little crazy with their terminologies, but as I was writing the rough drafts to my rules I was wondering if there was any standard terminology for sets in the games.

To jump start things here are some things I was thinking about

Quote:
cards that share one suit. flush?

a series of cards that are connected by suit(ie 8-waves/leaves, 3-moon/wave, 2-moon/knot). (this might need to be defined on a game to game basis)

A set of cards that show exactly 6 suit pips none of them being the same. Bharg set?

Cards that are in rank order (456). sequence?

Multiple Cards of the same rank (445566) staircase?


I think those are the main ones in my mind...
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aaarg_ink wrote:
I know that looney labs has gone a little crazy with their terminologies, but as I was writing the rough drafts to my rules I was wondering if there was any standard terminology for sets in the games.
I think this is a great idea! It would help to streamline rulesets and make things easier to learn and teach different games using the Decktet system.

There are many Decktet games that use certain key terms from traditional card games in the same contexts (particularly those designed by P.D. Magnus himself, which tend to be explained clearly). It makes things easy for the Decktet novice to pick up these games. Wherever possible, I would suggest we continue to use these standardized terms.

Quote:
cards that share one suit. flush?
This makes the most sense, to port this term from the 52-card deck, and it's what I've seen used in Decktet game rules, usually with a definition to the effect that a flush only requires one of the suits to match across all of them. Poker aficionados will note that a flush technically is comprised of 5 cards. But given that one can simply say "a four-card flush" to get around this problem, it's not a big deal.

Quote:
Cards that are in rank order (456). sequence?
Again, in keeping with the above, why not simply a "straight"? This keeps the symmetry with traditional card games, and is not terribly difficult to explain (e.g., "a three-card straight").

One you did not mention is one that comes from rummy or set-collection games (of which there are many for the Decktet). This term used is either a "sequence" or "run" and (in traditional cards) refers to a set of cards in numerical order, all of the same suit. With a Decktet, I'd suggest that a "sequence" is a set of cards in numerical order, all of which share a single suit. We could also call it a "run," as I believe David L. Van Slyke does in his rules for the game Head Solitaire.
(EDITED to credit correct designer)

Quote:
a series of cards that are connected by suit(ie 8-waves/leaves, 3-moon/wave, 2-moon/knot). (this might need to be defined on a game to game basis)
This one I suspect would be defined by a designer thematically, as it's unique to the Decktet. If we need a specific definition, perhaps it could be termed a "string" of cards? The logic of such a name is that these are not properly a "set" of any kind at all, not sharing a single attribute in common amongst them. That said, this pairing highlights the coolness of the Decktet, the ability to shift more rapidly from rank to rank and between suits, so I too would like to see some usable term. The term "thread" seems more evocative to me, rather than "string," I suppose because it is suggestive of weaving...?

Quote:
A set of cards that show exactly 6 suit pips none of them being the same. Bharg set?
There actually does exist another term for this -- "turtle butt"! -- in a few games, notably, the eponymous Turtle Butt, and its branches, Terrapin and Turtle Soup. It might not work well to use this as the term in for all games, though, as it seems very thematically linked. Also, a similar problem arises for a "Bharg set" as it sort of refers to another game. I'd prefer to think of each game as separate, though united by using the Decktet system, rather than as some as being "essential" to learn first. Especially as the number of games grows, anticipating which games a newcomer starts with gets harder. (Heck, I myself have not yet played Bharg, though I have read the rules and am familiar with the idea).
We *could* repurpose the term "full house" but that seems not quite a propos to my mind. A "full season," perhaps, trying to draw on the themes of the Decktet itself? Or a "story"? I really find the artwork and suits quite compelling, though I can't quite put my finger on defining it. At some point, I should I

Quote:
Multiple Cards of the same rank (445566) staircase?

I like this one, too. It would work especially well for "climbing" games, where this type of card play is encouraged. Of course, such a play is much harder in the Decktet than in a traditional card game, given that there is one fewer card of each numbered rank, and one fewer numbered rank (no 10). Including Aces, Crowns, Pawns, and Courts throws off the odds even more (even if you could decide what the order of those suits is!).

-K
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Justus
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In general I agree with you so I won't reply in detail so here's some quick hits.

I'm not sure how I totally blanked on the word "straight" for the all of the past week!

I personally would think "sequence" makes sense for a suited straight. The term "run" is a little more open and as a short three letter word it feels less specific than the long word with a q and multiple vowels in it.edit: clearly straight flush is simpler and more common a use for that situation. I think it skipped my mind cause I have a tendency to think of flush as 100% pure which is rare in the decktet.

I like the idea of "thread", though "string" sounds good to me also. But thread is easier to use as a vowel such as in a "threaded straight". edit: the word "chain" was brought up and it is clearly the right word.

Turtle butt! How could I forget that! (its cause we've played but haven't got to Turttle Butt yet =) Maybe something in line with "family" or "collection". I'm certain PD Magnus will come up with a perfect term.

Cheers!
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I think (while we are establishing terminology) that its worth distinguishing between cards that all share a common suit (eg emu ranchers) with the series that you're describing where you can make a chain of cards, each sharing one suit with the one before.

Perhaps something like thread or string for the former concept, as there is something in common with all cards (I'm thinking as the string that is the common suit, with the cards being threaded onto the string), with the second concept as something like streaming?
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timbledum wrote:
the series that you're describing where you can make a chain of cards, each sharing one suit with the one before.


I like the word chain.
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timbledum wrote:
I think (while we are establishing terminology) that its worth distinguishing between cards that all share a common suit (eg emu ranchers) with the series that you're describing where you can make a chain of cards, each sharing one suit with the one before.

Perhaps something like thread or string for the former concept, as there is something in common with all cards (I'm thinking as the string that is the common suit, with the cards being threaded onto the string), with the second concept as something like streaming?


I agree with the word Chain.

I would also agree that "thread" could be used for cards that share a suit, which would leave "flush" for pure flushes where all suits are shared on the cards. But if that seems to be adding too many words to the lexicon, I would certainly be open to "pure/impure flushes" to describe those different situations.
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Krishna Sampath
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Oh, I thought the "all cards share a single suit" term would be a "flush," not only sets of cards with *all* the same suits. Here is why -- a set where all of the suits appear on multiple cards is *extremely* rare. In fact, I just checked, and there are only three possibilities for such an exact pairing to include multiple cards:
4 and 8 and 9 of Moons/Suns
2 and 4 and 8 of Waves/Leaves
4 and 5 and 8 of Wyrms/Knots

In addition, there are only 6 more *pairs* that share both suits.
5 and 7 of Moons/Leaves
3 and 6 of Moons/Water
2 and 6 of Suns/Wyrms
3 and 7 of Suns/Knots
7 and 9 of Waves/Wyrms
6 and 9 of Leaves/Knots

Given that, it's not really a viable option in any game extant that I have seen, to require a special term for those a three-card set of the type describes, where all share all their suits. (But if it were, I'd suggest "triad" or "perfect trio" or somesuch, as this can never be longer than three cards.

I still think that "Flush" would serve perfectly well to describe the rather more common case of a set of multiple cards, with ALL of them sharing the same suit. Plus it has the added advantage that that is what Decktet designers have already been doing, so there are fewer rulesets to edit.

Example:
2 of Moons/Knots + 4 of Wyrms/Knots + Court of Suns/Leaves/Knots + Crown of Knots
(Knots is the ONLY thing common among these four cards, just as Spades is the only attribute in common in a 2579K flush in Poker).

I do also like "stream" as another possibility for the "cards share one suit with the subsequent card, but not necessarily with other cards played" situation, along with "thread", though I think "chain" sounds a bit too CCG-ish for my taste (or 2D fighting game).

Example:
Ace of Suns + 3 of Suns/Knots + Pawn of Moons/Wyrms/Knots + Crown of Wyrms
(In this case, none of the four cards has anything in common with any card but the one immediately preceding it -- a useful group of cards to have in, say, Decktet Pass Not, going around the protective circle.

-K
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Some of these seem natural:

A flush is a collection of cards that all share a suit.

A straight is a collection of cards in rank order. ('Run' is also common, but I don't typically use it. Head Solitaire is somebody else's game.)

A straight flush is a collection of cards in rank order that all share a suit.

The word turtle butt has been used in at least two games (Terrapin and Turtle Soup) for a collection of cards with one or more of each suit. If you want a general term for such a collection, that's it.

Note that turtle butt is different than a 'Bharg set', because a set in Bharg must have exactly one occurrence of each suit. There isn't a natural, game-neutral term for a Bharg set.

There is no a game-neutral term for a series of cards where each shares a suit with its neighbors, where they might or might not all share one suit. The first game to exploit this kind of series was Biscuit. So when Cristyn and I discuss games, we say that the cards in such a series 'biscuited'.

I'm not sure that it would help to have a developed bit of jargon, because I think it would potentially make the Decktet less accessible. I don't want to create a kind of code that beginners have to learn before they can even parse game rules. In Caravan, for example, a 'caravan' is a biscuited straight. Although I might use that in reminding someone how the game goes, I wouldn't say it that way when writing rules. Even if there were a fancy term like 'threaded straight', it would be better to explain it in plain terms: "A caravan is a collection of sequential number cards. Each card in the sequence must share a suit symbol with each adjacent card."

The discussion so far has also included things like a straight of pairs, e.g. 445566. I can't think of any existing game that needs a term for such a thing, so defining a game-neutral term for it would be putting the cart before the horse.

As a final example, in the Decktet book I called the three suit combinations that occur most often in the deck the 'sympathetic' combinations. I called the three suit combinations that do not occur in the basic deck the 'antipathetic' combinations. This was offered as a way to get a grip on a structural feature of the deck that can matter strategically. It doesn't help to make too much of the jargon, and I personally don't ever use the terms in writing game rules.
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FWIW, the terms I used in Boojum are

Straight (sometimes called a Nate - a run in a single suit - same as straight flush if that term is used)
Set (a collection of cards all of the same rank)
Flush (a collection of cards with one suit in common)
Run (cards of consecutive rank of any suit)
'Biscuits' (as per the above) are used but not named.
Also used but not named are collections of cards with the same 'interpretive type' (to use PDs term) such as 3 locations or 3 personalities.

Clearly these terms could be changed if a glossary of terms is agreed.
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pmagnus wrote:
There isn't a natural, game-neutral term for a Bharg set.


On second thought, there is a bad joke to be made about 'Bharg set' becoming the bog standard term.
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pmagnus wrote:

There is no a game-neutral term for a series of cards where each shares a suit with its neighbors, where they might or might not all share one suit. The first game to exploit this kind of series was Biscuit. So when Cristyn and I discuss games, we say that the cards in such a series 'biscuited'.

I'm not sure that it would help to have a developed bit of jargon, because I think it would potentially make the Decktet less accessible. I don't want to create a kind of code that beginners have to learn before they can even parse game rules. In Caravan, for example, a 'caravan' is a biscuited straight. Although I might use that in reminding someone how the game goes, I wouldn't say it that way when writing rules. Even if there were a fancy term like 'threaded straight', it would be better to explain it in plain terms: "A caravan is a collection of sequential number cards. Each card in the sequence must share a suit symbol with each adjacent card."


I agree in that each set of rules should stand on their own without knowledge of the any decktet lexicon -- this issue is certainly a barrier to reading rules in the icehouse system. However, it would be nice to have a body of standard terms to pick out, even if it is understood that writers should still define the terms in the body of the text. I mean if Pagat does that for essentially every game on his website, we could all do that here also....

It seems however you are comfortable with a proliferation of terms and I won't argue too much cause "A chained straight is a collection of sequential number cards. Each card in the sequence must share a suit symbol with each adjacent card" doesn't nearly have as much thematic juice as "caravan". That and I'm not sure I'd want to see the canonization of terms that refer to specific games and don't naturally give a clue as to the formation of the set (ala Turtle Butt, Biscuits, or Bharg).

Cheers!
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I don't want specialized terminology to become a kind of secret handshake, but making up jargon can be fun.

Something else that occurs to me: A Decktet lexicon would need to include Crown in boldface. I get irrationally perturbed when people call them kings. shake

Quote:

It seems however you are comfortable with a proliferation of terms...


To an extent, yeah. But it can help to keep some terminology in mind when writing rules. For example, straights and flushes. (The fact that 'straight' and 'run' mean different things in Boojum did confuse me, when I read the rules the first time.)

aaarg_ink wrote:

I'm not sure I'd want to see the canonization of terms that refer to specific games and don't naturally give a clue as to the formation of the set (ala Turtle Butt, Biscuits, or Bharg).


It is pretty easy to describe straights in which each card shares a suit with its neighbors (like in Caravan) so I'm not sure there needs to be another general purpose term for them. If people want to start calling them something-or-other, that's fine by me.

A Bharg-set is something that is a bit harder to describe concisely, because it is peculiar to the Decktet. It might help if there were a term for it. Hmm... maybe a 'suit suite'.
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AnnuverScotinExile wrote:
FWIW, the terms I used in Boojum are

Straight (sometimes called a Nate - a run in a single suit - same as straight flush if that term is used)


HA!

If you're serious [and if this refers to me, which I guess is presumptuous], I am both honored and amused.
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As to the rest, I'm not sure it really matters or is desirable. God knows there's no consistency among traditional card game lexicographers. You mentioned Pagat, but I just clicked two random games that seemed apt to have similar "things" involved [they were 3-card Poker and Zheng Fen if you want to check me], and found "Three of a kind" vs "Triple" and "Straight Flush" vs "Suit Sequence". This is just what I'd expected.

It seems the best thing wouldn't be to try to nail down every possible type of thing with a single unambiguous term [the Decktet celebrates ambiguity, after all], but rather to pin some less complicated terms [however many necessary] onto the few things that don't occur naturally in our-world-traditional games [and so lack the benefit of a well-established, though diverse, lexicon]: The "Bharg set", "Turtle Butt", "Chained" straights, etc.

For writing rules, it seems best just to pick whatever terms you like best and then give a detailed example, since it's by no means certain that everyone will share your lexicon. As to Looney Labs, the lexicon has hurt the pyramids, not helped. "Large", "medium", and "small" were just fine. Making a "rainbow stash" a new thing rather than keeping up the elegant 15-piece "stash" as the basis for everything has diffused the system.

Now, internal to yourself, I think you should be consistent. Pagat probably should [as much as is possible with the sheer number of games housed there] use a consistent authorial tone / tome throughout. But this doesn't mean that Hoyle, Parlett, Scarne, or anyone else is obligated to do the same. They should pick the terms that suit their style, their time, their needs [including the specific catalogue of games offered], and just run with that.
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aaarg_ink wrote:
I personally would think "sequence" makes sense for a suited straight. The term "run" is a little more open and as a short three letter word it feels less specific than the long word with a q and multiple vowels in it.


I don't share your preference here. "Sequence" is a description, not a name: "Three cards in sequence" [c.f. "Three cards in rank order" and "Three cards in suit sequence"].

The best term to refer to a suited straight is also the most common: "Straight Flush". This has a few problems for Decktet's multiple suits, but it's not a deal killer; just define it first.
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pmagnus wrote:
Something else that occurs to me: A Decktet lexicon would need to include Crown in boldface. I get irrationally perturbed when people call them kings. shake


Right. These uniquely Decktet things are probably the few things that really need names:

Crown
Court
Pawn
Sympathetic
Antipathetic
Personality
Location
Event
Ace

And so on.

Fortunately, most of them already have names thanks to you and the wonderful Decktet book.

Quote:
A Bharg-set is something that is a bit harder to describe concisely, because it is peculiar to the Decktet. It might help if there were a term for it. Hmm... maybe a 'suit suite'.


This is the one thing that I think does need a term, as it's very specific and is likely to turn up more.

I think just "Suite" might be cute / nice. Or maybe "Full Suite" to rival / parallel "Full House".
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NateStraight wrote:

As to Looney Labs, the lexicon has hurt the pyramids, not helped. "Large", "medium", and "small" were just fine. Making a "rainbow stash" a new thing rather than keeping up the elegant 15-piece "stash" as the basis for everything has diffused the system.


The problem is that the old use of 'stash' referred to 15 pieces in one colour, and they haven't sold pyramids that way for a long time. More recently, they have sold 15 piece sets in five colours, such as the Rainbow Treehouse set. Inventing the term 'Rainbow stash' was part of their program to make the whole system 'Looney pyramids' rather than named for some specific game like Icehouse or Treehouse. With the new retail formats, they'll be selling sets of 15 pieces in five colours (for Treehouse) and sets of 30 pieces in five colours (for Ice Dice). It makes sense to say that the Treehouse bag is one something-something and that the Ice Dice bag is two of those; 'Rainbow stash', as I understand it, is the word for that something-something.


Quote:

Sympathetic,Antipathetic


I only made up these terms because it made writing that bit of the book easier. It's a mistake to reify them. For game rules, they don't need to be mentioned explicitly. For thinking about strategy, it suffices to think about 'the suits that occur together most often' and 'the suits that do not occur together at all'.
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pmagnus wrote:
There is no a game-neutral term for a series of cards where each shares a suit with its neighbors, where they might or might not all share one suit.


The closest to this, uh, biscuiting, is in dominoes, where you build a chain of tiles, each matching the end number of the last. As you point out, you could have a stack of cards, the only common factor between successive ones being a single suit, which is not the same at all as dominoes. However, in trying to describe a game that uses a biscuiting mechanic, I might say something like, "The card you play has to match one of the previous suits, kind of like in dominoes."
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pmagnus wrote:
NateStraight wrote:

As to Looney Labs, the lexicon has hurt the pyramids, not helped. "Large", "medium", and "small" were just fine. Making a "rainbow stash" a new thing rather than keeping up the elegant 15-piece "stash" as the basis for everything has diffused the system.


The problem is that the old use of 'stash' referred to 15 pieces in one colour, and they haven't sold pyramids that way for a long time. More recently, they have sold 15 piece sets in five colours, such as the Rainbow Treehouse set. Inventing the term 'Rainbow stash' was part of their program to make the whole system 'Looney pyramids' rather than named for some specific game like Icehouse or Treehouse. With the new retail formats, they'll be selling sets of 15 pieces in five colours (for Treehouse) and sets of 30 pieces in five colours (for Ice Dice). It makes sense to say that the Treehouse bag is one something-something and that the Ice Dice bag is two of those; 'Rainbow stash', as I understand it, is the word for that something-something.


Yes, I know... and the first three words of your post above describe how I feel about what LL has done to Icehouse.

 
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pmagnus wrote:
Quote:

Sympathetic,Antipathetic


I only made up these terms because it made writing that bit of the book easier. It's a mistake to reify them. For game rules, they don't need to be mentioned explicitly. For thinking about strategy, it suffices to think about 'the suits that occur together most often' and 'the suits that do not occur together at all'.


Here's a "for the sake of argument" argument... for the sake of it:

Say I wanted to make a game like Euchre or Cinch, where within a given trump suit a particular card from the other suit "of the same color" is treated as trump or otherwise given special significance.

The analogue within Decktet [since there are no like-colored suits] might be something like suit antipathy / sympathy. Let's say in my example game that the 3 and 7 of the sympathetic suit became trump.

I could describe this in detail in the rules [and would], but wouldn't there be some value in having a smaller term to consolidate the whole process instead of spelling out three separate suit relationships?

Maybe I should invent this game and see how people talk about it.
 
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NateStraight wrote:
[q="pmagnus"]
I think just "Suite" might be cute / nice. Or maybe "Full Suite" to rival / parallel "Full House".


Interesting, I've always thought of a Bharg set as an exercise in editing...the opposite of "full" =) Not sure what would be the right word.

Are there any traditional card games that require plays that involve all four suits?

And generally I do agree with your other posts. However, I suspect you misunderstood me when I brought up Pagat. I did not to say that he has a lexicon -- he certainly doesn't -- but I was noting that he makes a point to explain all his terms in each of his individual game pages.

And not sure why I didn't think of "straight flush" earlier....I think I have a mental block vs the word "straight".

damn I just realized it was a (bad) pun....whistle
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aaarg_ink wrote:
Are there any traditional card games that require plays that involve all four suits?


Seems Pinochle has a bonus for aces / kings / queens / jacks "around" [according to Pagat]. Nothing else comes to mind.

Pagat also turns up "dog from every county" as slang for a hand with all four suits [obviously bad in Euchre].

Quote:
However, I suspect you misunderstood me when I brought up Pagat. I did not to say that he has a lexicon -- he certainly doesn't -- but I was noting that he makes a point to explain all his terms in each of his individual game pages.


Ah! Ok.
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Chris A
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The 5-suited stardeck of semi-regular playing cards has rules for 5-suit poker. In that game, they originally used "Flash" for a hand with one of each suit, as in a straight with one card of each suit would be a Flash Straight. More recently, they seem to use "prime" as in "Prime Straight". I think I liked "Flash" better for closeness to flush, but maybe that was the problem.

In a game/deck I was working on, I called a 5-suit hand "Colored" or "all colors", as in a Colors Straight.
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Justus
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CodexArcanum wrote:
The 5-suited stardeck of semi-regular playing cards has rules for 5-suit poker. In that game, they originally used "Flash" for a hand with one of each suit, as in a straight with one card of each suit would be a Flash Straight. More recently, they seem to use "prime" as in "Prime Straight". I think I liked "Flash" better for closeness to flush, but maybe that was the problem.

In a game/deck I was working on, I called a 5-suit hand "Colored" or "all colors", as in a Colors Straight.


I could see a "prime set" or something. I suspect that there will be a few terms bandied about (depending on the themes of the individual games) for the Bharg and Turtle Butt types sets until something perfect shows up....I'm thinking maybe something really simple for now - "six pip" sets or something.
 
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P.D. Magnus
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aaarg_ink wrote:
something really simple for now - "six pip" sets or something.


Except that many people think of 'pips' as number ranks.
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