Techo Says
Can You Be a Grand Master?
by: docktor

This week: Techo Says

I know it's a pretty easy one to get Grand Master on (I'm not sure what the score needed is, but I seemed to make GM in only a couple of runs through), but I have a bit of technique to share that might help you get even higher scores.

Keep in mind that you get 5 points for each single pet you get right, so finishing that first set of five will get you 25 points. In addition, you get 10 points for finishing that set, taking you to 35 points and an Expert ranking! All you have to do is make it through the first three of that next set of ten, and you're a Grand Master. Basically, 5 + 3 = GM!

The rankings break down like this:
Amateur 10
Novice 20
Expert 30
Master 40
Grand Master 50

Okay, it's easy, but on to the philosophy behind the technique:

One of the reasons phone numbers and auto license numbers are configured in sections is that people can remember 3-4 things in a cluster better than they can remember longer sequences. So a phone number like 800-555-1212 is easier to remember than 8005551212 would be. Likewise AJK-414 for a license number is better than AJK414.

So for Techo says (there have been other games like it in the past but we probably can't use their copyrighted/trademarked names in this article...) the trick is to do it in little chunks of 3 or 4. A brief pause between them is enough to allow you to mentally segment them, and all you really need to do if you remember the previous part is to add on that single last step anyway.

Personally, I find it distracting to have the sound on, but including sound, there are really 6 different things that happen during each step. Pay careful attention and you'll see and hear them all!

I'll give you a few ideas, using a series of ten as an example. It's the same series for each, and I'll compare them at the end. I'll always start describing the patterns clockwise from the top.

Number one: Position

Something happens in one of six locations, which you could think of as even numbered hours on a clock, at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 O'clock. For our series of ten, you might remember it as 228-2n4-682t (using N for "noon" and T for "ten" so they're just another single character). It's basically a phone number, at least in North America.

If you'd prefer, you can think of them as two rows of three, and you could "name" them A-B-C and D-E-F from left to right. That would be CCD-CBF-EDCA, for our example sequence.

Number two: Color

The pets in the holes are each a different color. The colors (remember, these are in the same order as the clock hours above starting with 12) are white, purple, yellow, red, green and blue. You'd probably say the colors to yourself using the whole word, but let's use a shortcut notation for this article. If we were to use the first letter of each color as our key, we'd have: WPYRGB. Our example series is then PPG-PWY-RGPB. Again, you'd probably say "purple, purple, green..." to yourself but we're showing the shortcut here.

Number three: Pets

The six pets that pop up (in the same clockwise order) are:


If you're visually and pet-oriented, you may find that knowing which pet is the one popping up may be a good way to remember the sequence.

Numbers four and five: Sounds

The pets also say their own names, and they each say them in a different voice. So, either the names, or the sounds of their voices, might be what triggers your memory. The names are listed above, and I don't think I'll be able to describe the sounds...

Number six: Acrobatics

It's not much of a thing to remember, but the Moehog faces sideways and the Chia flips when it comes out of the hole. The rest just face forward and pop about halfway up, but it might come in as a handy trigger to notice the different ones.

Depending on if you're mostly position, movement, sound or word-oriented, you've got things you can specifically pay attention to. Do that in bunches of 3 or 4 and you'll get up in the Grand Master category quite easily.
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