David B sent me this and it is rather curious – anyone know why the bug is avoiding the line?


    1. This blog is paTROLLed by Barry Goddard. He likes to spoil the fun for everyone else by trying to give away the answer to the Friday Puzzles. Fortunately he fails about half the time because he gets the answer wrong and then spends the next week turning himself inside-out trying to justify why his answer is not only correct but the “most-correct”.

      If he follows his standard pattern of behaviour (and if the comments on the Friday Puzzle post are turned off to try and prevent Mr Goddard from wrecking everyone else’s enjoyment), he will post the answer as visibly as possible by replying to the first comment of the previous blog post (this one).

      He has been asked by many different people on many occasions to not do this but he ignores their pleas. Mr Goddard has arrogantly placed himself above the rest of the community. It is unclear what small pleasure he derives from such conceit or why he considers it reasonable to ignore everyone else’s wishes. What *is* clear is that he is unlikely to cease his trolling until he is banished from this domain.

    2. @CSA
      Well said. The guy is an outrage. It used to be fun here on Fridays until he showed up and started bullying everybody.

    3. Sometimes I manage to convince myself that BG is a sock puppet invented by Richard so he can perform fiendish psychological experiments on his readership. But then I am a bit paranoid. 🙂

    4. Thanks for putting out the warning – good call!

      But, re Friday puzzle – got it in 3 seconds today!

    5. Tim, I wondered the same thing myself. Surely a real person wouldn’t be that consistently awful.


    6. Yeah, thanks for putting up that warning notice.

      @ChrisR – it would appear that somnolent Afghani understudies don’t have a monopoly on these popquizzes.

    7. @Tim – just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that someone’s not out to get you!

    8. Thank you CSA for standing up to this bully and speaking out against him.

      Agreed, the puzzle was easy but no spoilers from me!

    9. Thankyou for that announcement…I must admit that when I first arrived here a few weeks ago, I was a bit confused by this Barry Goddard thing…I thought that it was a running joke that everybody was in on except me…A bit like Dave’s 22/11 although I think I get that now…I used to know someone like Barry…My daughter was seeing this guy for a while who always thought that he was right about everything even when he clearly wasn’t, and you couldn’t tell him…Thankfully she eventually tired of him and he went to gaol shortly after…So he wasn’t right after all ha ha!

    10. Man, there seems go be one hell of a witch hunt developing here. I’m curious. There have been several other trolls/spoilers populating this site over the years, but they haven’t received half the abuse/backlash that BG has. Why is that? Why do people find his polite but provocative posts offensive, but not are not offended by people swearing at him in retaliation? Here’s a suggestion. If you don’t like what Barry has to say, then don’t read his comments. Simples. Personally, I think Barry’s posts are some of the most entertaining on here. I don’t want him ” banished by the community” whatever that is supposed to mean. Life would be much more boring without him.

    11. Either I or one of my increasingly juvenile pseudonyms said recently that we have created a monster by ‘making’ Barry. Personally, I quite like the daft bugger, but that’s neither here nor there. Feeding him abuse will only serve to make him stronger, as will interaction of any kind. He’s not a bully (I don’t think so, anyway); he’s entertaining himself by playing a game that we don’t understand (or understand fully). He shows clear traits of a clinical narcissistic complex, if you ask me. So, if you don’t like him, just ignore him (like most people ignore DAve and his 22/2 so-called joke).

      Thanks to whoever posted the Community Service Announcement. That was a good idea, I think.

    12. Grizzly, I can only speak for myself, and I’ve been reading this blog for less than a year, but I can’t think of any others who have spoiled/trolled as much as Barry has. Yes, I have seen a couple of others but once they were pulled up on it, they stopped. Barry hasn’t. In fact he seems to have made it his mission in life to spoil the answer and stir things up as much as he can.

      I think that this witch hunt (troll hunt?) that you mention is nothing more than the collective release of numerous people who have has enough of Barry’s self-righteous refusal to abide by community standards. I agree that straight out abuse is not particularly helpful but I think that it is merely a symptom of the frustration felt by those who have initially politely requested that Barry not spoil things for everyone else.

      You ask why people find his polite but provocative posts offensive. I think that’s because, if you actually read them, you’ll see that he is being “polite” in the same way that the Victorian upper classes were “polite” while they verbally tore strips off each other. His comments about others that don’t toe his line are actually quite snide and derisive.

      Your suggestion that people not read his comments if they don’t like what he has to say presumes that those people have already had a sufficiently bad experience being spoiled by his earlier posts to have learnt to avoid them. That’s like the police saying that they know that people will get mugged if they take a shortcut through a particular park at night and suggesting that people not walk through the park, rather than preventing the muggings from occurring in the first place. Your personal entertainment notwithstanding, of course.

    13. CSA there is only one thing that Barry Goddard craves. It is attention.
      If we all ignore him, he may go away.

    14. Doc, we all might wish that to be the case but his behaviour indicates that he will continue to haunt this part of the web, spouting his pronouncements of his deluded version of reality.

  1. Buggie suddenly saw a (to him) big dark unknown thing appear in front of him, so instinctively he avoided it. Not really so amazing or surprising. They may not have great intellects but even bugs have a basic instinctive danger/survival reaction.

    1. in fact, it eventually decided to “take the risk”, and after that it’s more susceptible to ignore the line

  2. Interesting. I would guess it’s either odor or the stark visual contrast with the rest of the surrounding.

    I also found it fascinating that after finally crossing the line the first time, the bug quickly learned that it’s ok to cross it again. How tiny a brain is required for learning to occur!

  3. Cool. But we need a control experiment using a pen with no ink to test the volatiles/depression hypotheses.

    1. @DAve

      You have published this retroactive spoiler for an earlier Puzzle several times now.

      Yet you have not been publicly pilloried like I have been. I wonder why that is.

      There appears to be a double standard operating by the commentators on here whose hivemind keeps them lazerlike focussed on a tiny number of issues that crowd out reasonable discussion.

      Please DAve cease to feed the hivemind. It just gives it the same idea over and over again.

    2. It’s only a spoiler to give the answer away before Richard reveals it in his Monday follow-up post, as if you didn’t know. There is no hive mind here. Just decent people who have reached the same conclusion about your unpleasant behaviour.

    3. @Barry Goddard. The difference between you and DAve might be that DAve is repeating a joke that wasn’t funny in the first place, which is usually ignored. You, on the other hand, take umbrage when people criticise you or even dare to have a different opinion from yours. Now, personally, I enjoy your experiment and the way that you wind up some people so adroitly and predictably. I honestly hope you’ll publish your findings one day as a journal paper.

  4. Basic biology. Many insects ‘taste’ thru their feet. Would you stick your tongue in mound of smelly wet crap placed in front of you and not knowing what it was? Yes? that’s called potential suicide!

    1. I think we’ve had something similar in the past. I’ve spotted one pattern that doesn’t require mirrors, knowledge of roman numerals or mathematics. If the intended solution is the pattern I’ve discovered, you’ll probably be (metaphorically) kicking yourself on Monday 🙂

    2. I am greatly concerned and disconcerted at the dark direction this post community has taken.

      I have put up with much abuse to be part of this community.

      I have watched while others lampoon my name. Posting as Larry Bollock or Gobby Bollard or Gabby Roslin to mention just a few.

      I have repeatedly reported that people are posting using my exact name.

      No one has come to my defense over these. Even though it is easy to tell from the posting email address which are real and which are fake.

      I have tried to politely discuss issues when the dominant posters have decreed a different answer to mine is the only acceptable one – even when they are then shown to be wrong.

      I have never tried to exclude someone from an online community just because I disagree with their approach.

      I have never posted personal insults calling other posters spazzzers and such like.

      Yet I have watched while others here have done all those things and more to me.

      And all the time I have been a modal example of restraint and kindness and understanding.

      Yet that has just encouraged the bullies to press their attacks further and stronger. More and more are joining them every day.

      I know where I am not wanted. So this will be my last regular post here.

      Yet still I know where I am needed. Therefore I will ignore the detractors and post whenever my spirits are high and the preceding comments show that someone is asking for help.

      As to which is the odd one out. It is “stupid”. It is the only one with FOUR letters in alphabetical order. The rest just have THREE.

      I will leave you now to your victory celebrations. And will not post again until at least Monday.

    3. Barry:

      Although other people sometimes post their answers before the following Monday, no one does it as often as you. This, in spite of several posts asking you not to do it. But the really annoying thing is your frequent blithering, nit-picky remarks about the puzzle itself, week-in and week-out. Your posts (including today’s) are incredibly and unnecessarily verbose, and frankly often not very interesting. You come off like some smarter-than-everyone-else prima donna showering us with your brilliant insight. Maybe that’s the reason you’re getting so much flack.

    4. Well, I hope that you’re not referring to me because I haven’t called you names. I just don’t want you spoiling people’s fun by always giving the answer away, even when it’s wrong. That you keep doing it when so many people have asked you not to is just nasty.

      “Stupid” does not have four letters in alphabetical order.


    5. Poor Barry. It really is all about you isn’t?

      All I see here is more of the same from you. You focus on the verbal abuse which has come from some quarters but fail to address any of what Gerry and others have said above.

      You display no empathy, no recognition on your part that you could possibly be the slightest bit in the wrong, and no contrition regarding your un-requested, un-needed, and unwanted behaviour.

      Despite what you say, some people have come to your defence. They have spoken out against the name-calling and even said that they find some of your antics amusing. I seem to recall you thanking people for their support at various times.

      You say that you know where you are not wanted and will be reducing your posting, but a couple of lines later you say that you’ll prob be back on Monday. I presume that you don’t want to miss an opportunity to comment on the puzzle answer post and tell us all how completely correct you were and how wrong everyone else was.

      And because you just couldn’t help yourself, you try to again give the answer away but (almost unbelievably) you make another mistake when you say that the word “stupid” contains four letters in alphabetical order.

      I can’t wait to see what convoluted retrospective reasoning you come up with on Monday.

    6. I think you’re wasting your time, Simon. Barry has shown that he has zero interest in addressing the community’s concerns. He’d rather set up a straw man of him being persecuted by all these strangers for no reason but without demonstrating a scintilla of understanding of why people are upset at his behaviour.

      Clearly, his need for attention outweighs the feelings of everybody else.

    7. @Simon @Steve. Trust me, Barry knows the rules and he knows what he’s doing. He has played a lot of people to look like morons, quite frankly, because of the way they pounce on his comments. (Why did he make a ‘mistake’ with the word ‘stupid’?) I’m not saying I agree with Barry (though I do quite like him and his daft bugger ways) but I get what he’s doing, whoever he might be. I doubt I’m the only one making notes. 🙂

    8. Aimée

      You came to this post specifically to see if anyone had posted the answer. You have only yourself to blame.

  5. I’m with Gerry. If guy is a troll remove him. Or at least be shorter in your warning- your warning makes it seems like this site doesn’t have authority to deal with such. I bet it does.

  6. Got my first letter yesterday! Loved it. I feel like I’m a portion of something wonderful that is just starting to come about. Feeling a strange feeling of community around it all. Maybe you happen to be on to something here! Who would have ever thought that persons would really print out words on paper just to have it sent through the mail to another person’s mailbox. Next thing you know, peoe might be growing their own food and walking or riding bikes everywhere. It’ll never get the job done, damn progress.

  7. The very crux of your writing whilst sounding agreeable in the beginning, did not really settle properly with me after some time. Somewhere within the sentences you actually were able to make me a believer unfortunately just for a while. I however have got a problem with your leaps in logic and one would do nicely to fill in all those breaks. If you actually can accomplish that, I would certainly be fascinated.

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