Panglossian Rally 2010

Round 2 - Panglossian Rally

I've had a busy week on the forum and the results are now FINAL.

Congratulations to Chris Towers our overall winner, who scored an excellent 95 without having to put forward any queries to the forum between provisional and final results to try to raise his score. This time the winner showed that taking time to get things right was a better approach than aiming for high speed completion. It was close though, with Gavin Rogers in second place, just one point behind and many days shorter on time, followed by David Bell in third place, surpassing Peter Davies on time taken. Steve Barber was close in 5th place, only three points adrift from the winner but with a time faster than all four competitors above him.

Jon Lunn was again the clear Expert winner with another satisfying maximum 50 points. Paul Megretton was three points behind and Richard Strawson was another two points adrift in third.

Grantley Cleaver headed the Novices once again, this time even better with a maximum 25. Jonathan Forrest was second with 23 and third place went to Sarah Harmer, competing on her first internet TTR!

Commendations are due too.
Chris Bean a relative newbie from the US excelled again with 7th overall.
Peter Robertson and Dee Rampling Lee for very helpful comments with their answers throughout.
Monica Dawson for her heart-felt comments and sense of humour.
Bart den Hartog who was responsible for clarification of some key points via the forum, in the first throws of the competition.
Our top ranked contenders of Iain Tullie, Gavin Rogers, Robert Owen, David Bell and Steve Barber came home in 6th, 2nd, 14th, 3rd and 5th.

"Crow" will be contacting the category winners about their awards shortly.

I again used the new plotting and puzzle methods introduced in Round 1. However, the established grid line crossing and helicopter puzzles were the best liked. This time you hated the footpath challenge but I feel I should take responsibility for that, for choosing a map with just too many footpaths!

My route cards requiring the Masters to find shortest routes probably showed by non-Master ability. When I competed on these TTRs years ago, I was only at Expert level, but we all strive to keep improving, don't we? Having rarely picked up a map between the last TTR (two years ago) and now, I gave you quite a challenge on some of the routes and I’m keeping all of my paperwork so IF I do this again, I will have improved. Believe me, I get more agitated by all of my hapless mistakes and the comments they attract than you do trying to cope with them.

In the links below you can access each Route card to study the solutions. This covers: the required answers, a commentary about marking, a display map and a PDF map of the model route(s). Some of the display maps show extra clickable markers for the location of the (difficult) Route Checks. Showing the location of all the Route Checks would an onerous task. The PDF maps just show the route.

You kept me busy on the forum, with the last message being posted only five minutes before the 22:30 deadline on Sunday. The Panglossian section has been locked since then but will be re-opened soon if you want a second look. Then the forum stays open for another seven days so that you can add more comments in the Feedback section if you wish.

The Schoolfrenz Rally starts on June 2. Gavin Rogers is in charge for Round 3. He's a fellow competitor so is likely to produce a better structured challenge than I could, without the need for multiple route answers.

Look out for the next Bulletin, yet to be published, which will announce a few tidy-ups to the regulations for the next round.


11 May 2010 @ 13:00

Here's a few handy links:

... Only old stuff below ...

After four days of very hard studying of comments and maps I’ve got RSI, but I have managed to complete the Panglossian TTR Map Solutions and provisional results are now available.

Provisional congratulations go to Chris Towers (Masters leader with 95 points), John Lunn (Experts leader with a magnificent 50/50) and Grantley Cleaver (Novice leader with a full 25/25).
Enjoy the splendour for 7 days whilst your fellow competitors pour over the results to see if they can improve their scores.

It’s been two years since I last tackled this TTR business and didn’t I say “Never again!” last time? Maybe, but doesn’t memory have a habit of forgetting the worst experiences?
Having rarely picked up a map between then and now, I gave you quite a challenge on some of the routes and I’m keeping all of my paperwork so IF I do this again, I will have improved. Believe me, I get more agitated by all of my hapless mistakes than you do trying to cope with them.

I am very grateful to all of you who submitted constructive comments which allowed me to see why answers differed and pointed out all of the missing spot height dots, letters, number, green circles and red diamonds which might or might not apply! I might wish for “better” printed OS maps, you might wish that I selected “better” route checks. Comments are always useful and result in more points for you where you are illustrating a dodgy feature or an alternative route which I have not seen.

Thanks also to those who ranked the enjoyment level of each card. This gives you the chance to guide the future content of the TTR, although I hope we will still come up with new ideas to tease you. Perhaps one of you has an idea you’d like us to try? Feel free to make suggestions.

So now it’s over to you for seven days. There were lots of very detailed remarks submitted with your answers, so please be kind if you feel I missed something and you are repeating yourself. You’ve got until 22:30 on Sunday 9 May 2010 to review the published solutions and submit any further comments via the Forum. After that, the final results will be declared.

Best wishes


2 May, 2010 @ 22:30

A few words from me to express my appreciation for "Chick's" enormous effort in bringing the Panglossian Rally to you. It's a tough job slaving over maps, route cards, solutions and answers, and I sympathise with the despair an organiser goes through in trying to be as fair as possible to keep the majority happy. Well Done!


Welcome to The Panglossian Rally, the second round of the 2010 Championship. After much effort (when I should really be in the garden preparing for the growing season), I have 12 Route Cards for you, which I hope the Masters will find thought provoking and the Experts/Novices just taxing enough. No serial killer voices this time to test your hearing but sharp and lubricated eyes will be necessary.

You may have noticed already that we have now raised over £2400 for charity, so thanks again for your support.

Remember to make sure you read the Route Card Status page before you start any Route Card.

Don't panic if you your score is less than expected. Last time some of you had great fun pointing out the error of my ways! No doubt I'll be spending more time measuring various routes to verify the shortest one.

If you have queries please ask them against the appropriate Route Card number in The Panglossian Rally section in the forum. Very specific questions will receive an answer of "No Comment", so please generalise so that you don't give away information to other competitors.

Just to remind you of Crow's original sound advice:

  • Make sure you understand the meaning of the legends for the Route Check answers and enter your answers in the correct format. Common mistakes from the past are not separating lists of numbers/letters with just a comma (e.g. a spot height list 12,34,67) and using the wrong case for, say, an answer requiring yes/no - just enter Y or N. Take a few extra seconds to check your answers before hitting the Submit button. It's not possible to mark each set of answers manually - the computer does most of the work and has rules to follow.

  • When you enter your answers there is a new field for you to rate (scale 1-10) how much you enjoyed the Route Card. This has already provided valuable feedback for guiding the content of this second round, but more feedback is always helpful.

And note below:

  • The regulations have been revised in a few places as a result of queries on the previous event.

  • Bulletin 20 consolidates relevant information.

The Panglossian Rally 2010 Login will open at 22:00 on Wednesday, March 31.

Best of luck.


27 March 2010

You have to be mad to organise table-top rallies. This photo proves it.

"Crow", masquerading under his geocaching pseudonym of "Schoolfrenz", recently found time to navigate to his 500th geocache.

A fellow geocacher presented him with a prize of a handsome plastic crow to which "Crow" has become rather attached.

He's even threatening to take his new bird with him on the next real rally he does.

Of caws, he's quite insane!