The rating can be a little confusing. There are winners each week within each level--and only within the level. So if you were 10 in the top 15 of beginniners, that means of all the beginning level entries, your rating was the 10th highest. Only the top 15 are shown so the lowest few people don't feel badly.
Then there is the top 30 or 40 for all the entries. In that rating the levels are ignored and just the scores are compared. So theoretically the same person could get #10 in beginning level and #18 in the overall rating.
The Editor's Choice awards are given to the top ten in the overall ratings.
Is that clear as mud?
Hinting is a way to encourage more people to comment on challenge entries. Each week the annonymous judging is usually finished several days before the results are actually published on Thursday. So on Monday or around then, when the judging is completely done, Deb will go to the hinting forum and give the "all clear." Then everyone who has entered a story can go and give a hint about their title so the other members of the boards can find it and comment on it.
For example, the "smell" week my title was Lavendar Grace
and my hint was something like:
Master's Level. A flower and an atribute of God...sounds almost like a girl's name.