I have found this email again and have provided responses to your questions below.
Open questions about social expectations, morality, avocation, testing oneself
against the limits of an open test, etc. remain to be discussed for your questions.
Also, standards of compliance, even to support elements of an implied contract,
challenge the aspects of commercial to hobby time choices.
Seeming to be unstated is if is it mandatory for an ink pen to be used when
performing the stated assignment, as if making alternate choices proved to be
too easy to come to a desired conclusion.
P.S. H'mm. I've not considered this topic before but it seems to flow trippingly
from the ... mind.
Q.: Is it moral for a crossword puzzle maker to intentionally provide clues that
permit an effective and valid second choice for a given niche? The problem,
of course, is if the hints wind up mixed on the taker's mind, thereby providing
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Donald Martin <email@example.com>
To: Robert A. Russell <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com
Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2012 9:08 AM
Subject: Cheating and the nature of morality
Consider the morality involved in the following.
A person named William finds that he loves crossword puzzles and does at least one per day.
After awhile he gets to know those rarely used words which tend to end up in crossword puzzles as well
as the sometimes strange definitions used by the composers.
William decides to create a "Crossword Puzzle Dictionary".
Is his act of publishing such a book a 'moral' act or is it a temptation to other puzzlers to "cheat"?
BR#1 - His decision to create his own reference work and then to convince
a publisher to market the work is instructional in nature.
Let me suggest that the crossword puzzle crowd love to learn new words.
Reference to a dictionary is quite expected, as in foreign currencies, syllables
used in singing preparation, technical, professional, or trade terms, etc.
James decides to purchase and use the Crossword Puzzle Dictionary. Is James "cheating"? James
decides that he is in fact cheating so he memorizes the dictionary so that he can access all of the
information by merely accessing his own memory. Now James decides he is "no longer cheating". Do
BR#1 - No, James seems to be fastidious in seeking more support in his
The condition that James memorizes the terms in the dictionary is instructional.
When James' wife gets stuck on a puzzle, he gives her hints. Is that cheating? Is she cheating? He
couldn't testify against his wife as a cheater because they are "one" under the law.
BR#1 - James is not cheating to assist his wife (or a friend) with a term
that may stump them from further development.
The wife is not cheating with this request. She wishes to proceed to be
able to learn more challenges if the additional word permits her to continue.
It is not apparent from your story that any contract or legal regulation were
in effect to associate those actions with any regulation or law.
You did not say that the game was played on their respective bodies
for water paint entries, however.
Paul decides to get the puzzle dictionary on Kindle and eventually has the WiFi module installed in his
brain so that he can simply think and access the Puzzle dictionary. Paul feels that he has accomplished
the equivalent of James' "memorizing" the puzzle dictionary and is therefore "not cheating" when he
solves a puzzle.
BR#1 - Note: It is good that Paul is not a member of the US PGA. For example, they restrict the
use of golf carts for handicapped players because it affects the course of the game.
In this case a competition may require a brain scan to detect such additions.
Or the competitor may bring in medical statements that five of the seven additions
relate to computational skills and two of the seven additions relate to mechanical
motions related to standing 360 degree flips in a bar to win bar bets.
All of the above people get interested in "Cross Sums" puzzles in which definitions are replaced by
"Sums" and words by the numbers which must add up to those sums.
Is it "cheating" if they use calculators whilst doing these puzzles? Is it cheating if they memorized the
addition tables when they were in grammar school? Would it be cheating if they memorized the addition
tables by working a cash register at McDonald's for years?
BR#1 - Do your expected player performance challenges change related to the
age of the players? In some cases the very young or the very old may need the
assistance of the mechanical aid to complete their portion of the game.
I believe it would be expected for players beyond the age of eight to know how
to perform routine addition or multiplication tasks,
or to know to seek other aids to perform them.
Q.: Were there to be a multiplayer game and one participant refused to use a
calculator, thereby causing a sequential error to be transmitted into other player's
portions, would it be expected for the other players to demand the faulty player
to pay for coffee afterwards?