Player FAQs

If you are playing the Summer Hiatus Challenge, this is the section that will likely be most useful for you.

How do I play the Summer Hiatus Challenge?

To play the Summer Hiatus Challenge, create an account at Also, be sure to check the Summer Hiatus Challenge rules.

How does this scoring website work?

A computer program is regularly run to collect posts made in the SHC game threads. These posts are automatically parsed, and the responses are entered into the database. Then, each response is compared to a list of right and wrong response patterns, on which basis it is scored. For more technical information, see the "Grading" section of this page.

My responses are not appearing!

Likely, the program collecting the posts has not run yet. Be patient: your responses will soon be collected and recorded. The script is initiated manually.

What does it mean that I have ungraded responses?

One or more of your responses does not match a right or wrong answer pattern. Not every possible response (right or wrong) can be predicted. Ungraded responses are flagged for further review, and additional response patterns will be added so that every response will be correctly marked as right or wrong.

My score is incorrect. What happened?

The computer program or I could have made a mistake, either in parsing your response or in grading it as right or wrong. Please feel free to post such issues in the corresponding week's "Instant Replay" thread. You can also send a PM on to user rjaguar3.


How grading works

Each question has a list of pre-defined responses. Each response is a regular expression. The main points you need to keep in mind for writing responses are the following:

Here are some examples of regular expressions:

For each player response, SHC manager tries to match the player response against each response for the corresponding clue. If it matches at least one correct response, the player response is counted as correct. If it does not match at least one correct response, but it matches at least one incorrect response, the player response is counted as incorrect. If the player response does not match any given responses for that clue, the response is not scored and is flagged as ungraded.

Completely blank player responses and non-existent player responses are treated as "CLAM"s: they are not scored and they are not flagged as ungraded responses.

How to enter responses

Click on "View/edit responses", and then select the player and category whose responses you want to edit. Enter each player response, as given on the forum, beside the corresponding clue. Leave out extraneous text that is not part of a response (such as editorializing, phrasing in question form, etc.). If the player chooses to "CLAM" in response to a clue, leave the response field blank.

How to grade responses

To grade the responses to a clue, click on the (grade) link next to any clue in the category view, or click on (edit responses) in the clue editor for that clue.

The grading window contains all responses, right or wrong, that are listed with the question. Additionally, each ungraded response appears below the given responses.

Use the radio buttons to change whether each response is to be considered right or wrong.