Inconsistency in Flippin' Sheets

Case number:845813-988210
Topic:Game: Tools
Opened by:beta_helix
Status:Closed
Type:Bug
Opened on:Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 21:26
Last modified:Saturday, January 29, 2011 - 21:23

Many players have noticed that Flippin' Sheets is not always solvable.

Although it can be solved easily in 3 moves, resetting the puzzle and doing those 3 same moves will not always result in a score of 9300. Even using local wiggle doesn't seem to get past 9300 sometimes if the initial tweak wasn't good enough.

Some veteran players have reported resetting it 5 times and not being able to beat it at all.

This has a relatively high priority due to all the new players that are trying out the Intro Levels.

(Wed, 08/11/2010 - 21:26  |  22 comments)


Joined: 09/18/2009
Groups: SETI.Germany

Good point!
If even veterans have problems with this, it could demotivate novices.

Joined: 12/14/2008

I had a try today and it was solvable (5 points left) after pulling to right and half down so that a clash came and then wiggle again.

beta_helix's picture
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Thanks for the tip!

As we will not be able to get to this immediately, if all of you veterans could make sure to help out new players that are struggling with this level we would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you!

Joined: 10/17/2010
Groups: None

Can I get very specific details about how to solve the Flippin' Sheets puzzle? My highest score has been a little over 8600, I tweak the sheet by pulling down one time - then I band all the parts of the protein together before wiggling. If I don't band the sheets of protein together the game keeps telling me that the protein is coming apart and that I should reset the protein. I'd just like to move on to the next level really.

beta_helix's picture
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you are using the Register Shift Tool, right?

Where you Tweak the sheet to slide it so that all the sidechains that were pointing out now point in & vice-versa?

If you do a register shift in the correct direction (on the correct sheet), then shake and wiggle, you should be able to beat it (when the bug doesn't occur, of course!)

Joined: 10/19/2010
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I do not like batting my head against the wall over this puzzle. I've been going at it for hours. Where are the hints? I looked and did not find the Register Shift Tool. I would like to make progress and get on with things.

Joined: 10/19/2010
Groups: None
Type: Bug » Question

I should have made my previous post a question, not a bug. I get very close to the winning points, then the message pops up that the protein is falling apart and I have to reset the puzzle. I am now demotivated until someone can please help. Thanks.

beta_helix's picture
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from the Foldit wiki:

LennStar's guide: This is one puzzle that really dislikes being mishandled. It took me at least 5 tries. This is how to do it: If you already have done anything to it, reset the puzzle. (Hint: You propably have to move the 4 sheets to the foreground, the one with the arrow pointing on with the short end to the left. You can also go back to puzzle menu to get the right view.)
Now right click on the one sheet where the arrow from the text points to. Click tweak. Now click one time on the straight arrow to the right. Now the sheet should flip. use shake and wiggle it. That should raise your score to the needed points.

http://foldit.wikia.com/wiki/Tutorial_Puzzles

Joined: 10/19/2010
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Status: Open » Closed

I just googled looking for some help and was looking at that same URL you listed. That explanation of how to solve the Flippin' Sheets was understandable and very easy. Thanks much for replying. Now I can go on to the next puzzle. If the foldit forums were searchable, it would be helpful.

Not sure who should change Status, but I guess this can be set to Resolved.

beta_helix's picture
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Status: Closed » Open
Type: Question » Bug

DeborahLynn, I'm glad you were able to pass this level.

The bug in Flippin' Sheets, however, is still there so until we fix that I will make this as Ongoing:

Although it can be solved in 3 moves, resetting the puzzle and doing those 3 same moves will not always result in a score of 9300. Even using local wiggle doesn't seem to get past 9300 sometimes if the initial tweak wasn't good enough.

phyzome's picture
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This bug is still relevant. I just downloaded FoldIt today, and was able to progress at a reasonable rate until this level. Ubuntu Linux 10.04 x64.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do as a user to help debug this.

beta_helix's picture
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Thanks for the reminder, Seth can you look into this ASAP?

Phyzome, I hope the above hints have helped you pass this level, sorry about this bug!

phyzome's picture
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I finally managed to get this with some help from IRC -- it does seem to be a local minimum issue. I did a shake'n'wiggle *before* flipping the sheet, and it worked.

Before that, I was able to get to 9291 by flip, shake, wiggle, then tweaking the tail and wiggling more -- but that's all.

Perhaps the threshold just needs to be adjusted downwards a bit, since this puzzle is just for introducing a tool.

Joined: 12/04/2010
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If you see the thing that says "the protein is falling apart, you should reset"-ignore it. You do NOT have to reset. It's in there to advise people who manage to completely unravel the protein, but it's over-sensitive.

That's my main piece of advice.

Joined: 08/06/2010
Groups: Contenders

Strangly, I've never had problem with it. I wonder if it is machine specific problem.

Joined: 08/11/2010

IIRC this is one I despaired over for about three days in late August. At the time I was using an 8-year old Windows XP box with video that also needed that trick with turning down the video settings. I've wondered since if these two bumps in the road might indeed be killing off a lot of aspiring folders.

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A possible compromise might be lowering the score threshold needed for solving this puzzle...

Brick's picture
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If you make it too easy, they won't learn the patience needed to do the real puzzles.

It isn't particularly hard.

infjamc's picture
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Re: Brick

"[This puzzle] isn't particularly hard."

In theory, yes, as the correct solution only takes 3 moves as already mentioned. In practice, however the search space for tweaking is actually quite large because there are four beta strands to tweak. For example, assuming that each strand may be shifted for up to 2 moves in either direction, that gives you 5^4 = 625 possible options already. Sure, one can narrow the search space down to 5 when given the hint that the 2nd strand is the problem, but it turns out that even following LennStar's instruction perfectly (see see http://foldit.wikia.com/wiki/Tutorial_Puzzles ) is not always enough to break the 9300 cutoff.

[Note that the behavior tab and the rebuilding feature are disabled for this puzzle. Practically speaking, this means that fixing the loop that ends up getting a bad backbone as a result of the shift is out of the question. One would thus have to hope that the drag-then-wiggle trick would matter at the margin-- but unfortunately, the result is often getting stuck in the 9290s.]

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exactly... it is not that this is a hard problem, but that it is been made a harder problem by a bug in the level that causes the correct moves not to score high enough to pass the level. The quick-fix is to lower the score threshold a bit (as you mentioned) but really we want to fix what caused this bug (that wasn't there before).

This is a ridiculous mistake that we should not have left in for so long (August 11th was a long time ago) and even though this wasn't a high-priority bug, we should have resolved it by now.

I apologize for this, and it will be fixed this week (hopefully in the next couple days).

I can only hope that we did not lose too many new players because of it.

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Hi. I'm looking forward to the fix for Flippin Sheets? 9265 is where I get stuck. Tried many variations. Cannot get past this level and yes, it's frustrating. Thanks for looking into it.

beta_helix's picture
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Status: Open » Closed

The new update should have fixed this once and for all.

Please reopen this if you still get stuck and doing the correct register shift, followed by a shake, and wiggle.

We are so very sorry that it took so long to fix this bug.

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