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#971929 - Tue Mar 12 2013 05:47 PM Crystal Ball Glitch?
sportsherald Offline
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Registered: Sat Feb 18 2012
Posts: 30
Loc: Canada
I have only seen it happen occasionally, and I wasn't there to see it today, but I have sometimes seen a momentary preview of the coming hour's "Crystal Ball" word at the beginning of that hour. I have to wonder if it happened again today:

Mar 12 13 2:45 PM: gracie3 : fthm (59 guesses)
Runners up: snapcracker Jennifer5 missmess Verbonica eunice2 Windswept Tekka dcandler RogerW1nz wally119 kath1966 Retired2006 HurricaneBill


How else would 59 people all guess a word like "fthm" as their first guess of the hour? I'm not accusing any one of anything- I just think that there is a glitch that occurs sometimes in the transition from one hour to the next.

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#971934 - Tue Mar 12 2013 06:07 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 6540
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
As Ann Elk said on Monty Python long ago, 'I have a theory', ahem. Plus it may have happened before and some people remembered. But there were only 14 people who got it right, 59 was the number of the one which won it.


Edited by satguru (Tue Mar 12 2013 06:08 PM)
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#971941 - Tue Mar 12 2013 06:30 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8240
Loc: Colorado USA
Also, there aren't many words that start with "ft"... So 59 correct guesses is not impossible. It happens multiple times with "tc". Tchotchke has won a few times.
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#971943 - Tue Mar 12 2013 07:06 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
satguru Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 6540
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
I'd go a step further and suggest there are no words which start with ft. The ones with dots appear to have gone now but when the system has some abbreviations without them it's pretty hard this end for it to spot them and take them out. s.t.p. was the usual one but hoping that was the last we'd seen of it then.
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"The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

UN IPCC

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#971947 - Tue Mar 12 2013 07:26 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
looney_tunes Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Jan 20 2009
Posts: 3135
Loc: Briar Hill Victoria Australia 
The Free Dictionary thinks fthm is a word, a synonym of fathom (but not shown as an abbreviation) and gives two different definitions.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fthm
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#971953 - Tue Mar 12 2013 08:29 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
salami_swami Offline
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Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8240
Loc: Colorado USA
And I found some random chemical that starts with ft. Not sure it's a word, but oh well. wink
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#971966 - Tue Mar 12 2013 10:20 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
sportsherald Offline
Participant

Registered: Sat Feb 18 2012
Posts: 30
Loc: Canada
Fair enough, that there aren't *many* words that start with "ft." so this may not be an example of what I'm talking about. I've nevertheless seen the glitch occur myself, months ago, when the coming hour's word was revealed, just as it began, only to be revealed again 45 minutes later (with multiple correct "guesses").

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#971974 - Tue Mar 12 2013 11:29 PM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
ASA Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Oct 15 2002
Posts: 4220
Loc: Adelaide
  SA Australia   
This known bug was fixed in May 2012, and has not been seen since. It used to occur on the FT midnight run, further details can be found in the thread "Crystal Ball- Lets sort this out"
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#971996 - Wed Mar 13 2013 01:45 AM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
Tekka Offline
Explorer

Registered: Fri Sep 07 2012
Posts: 50
Loc: Vancouver
BC Canada
I was one of the 13 runners up and certainly didn't see a momentary preview as suggested. As has been mentioned above, 'ft' leaves very little choice but 45 people didn't guess it. I remember when 'oyster' was the word chosen by almost 50 people as choice was also very limited.

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#972048 - Wed Mar 13 2013 05:10 AM Re: Crystal Ball Glitch? [Re: sportsherald]
rossian Online   content
Prolific

Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 1593
Loc: Merseyside UK 
I guessed 'ftse', because that is in my dictionary whereas 'fthm' isn't. Occasionally, starter letters come up which have very few options, and a couple of examples have already been given. No cheating, previews, collusion or anything underhand was involved.
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