Unwanted call to validates_associated

In my schema, a question has_many :answers. When the validations are
run on a question, and one of the answers is not valid, then i get

"Answers is not valid"

coming out of errors.full_messages. I don't want this, i'm already
testing the validity of the answers and this is an ugly and
uninformative error message. It looks like it's the message i would get
back if i was calling

validates_associated :answers

but i'm not, and if i *do* add this line

  validates_associated :answers, :message => "are not all valid"

then i get "Answers are not all valid" AND "Answers is not valid". So,
i guess it's coming from somewhere else. But i can't work out where.
With logging all i can see is that it happens during validation, and it
happens *before* any other custom validations that i specify. Ie,
whatever is doing this seems to be doing it as the first step of the
validation sequence. If i take out all of my validations then it still
occurs. After doing that, the only reference to answers in the whole
class is the association:

  has_many :answers, :class_name => "MillionaireAnswer", :order =>
"position", :dependent => :destroy

The answers don't add any errors to their parent question when they are
validated, and there's nothing going on in the controller to shove
anything else in there. I could do something horrible and hacky and
remove it from the error messages before showing them on the page but
i'd rather understand what's going on.

Anyone got any ideas? max
In case it's relevant here's my classes for questions and answers.

require 'fastercsv'

class MillionaireQuestion < ActiveRecord::Base
  ALLOWED_KINDS = %w(text graphic video audio multiple_graphic

  has_many :question_assets, :class_name => "MillionaireQuestionAsset",
:order => "position", :dependent => :destroy
  has_many :assets, :through => :question_assets, :order =>

  has_many :answers, :class_name => "MillionaireAnswer", :order =>
"position", :dependent => :destroy

  #answer_ids= does not preserve the order so building them instead,
which will set position correctly
  def answers=(hash_array)
    hash_array.each do |hash|

  #need to preserve order AND set from path or id
  def assets=(hash_array)
    hash_array.each do |hash|
      if !hash[:id].blank?
        asset = Asset.find_by_id(hash[:id])
      elsif !hash[:path].blank?
        asset = Asset.find_by_path(hash[:path])
        asset = nil
      if asset
        self.assets << asset

  def required_asset_count
    if self.kind == "text"
      return 0
    elsif ["multiple_audio", "multiple_graphic"].include?(self.kind)
      return 4
    elsif ["audio", "graphic", "video"].include?(self.kind)
      return 1
      return nil


class MillionaireAnswer < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_list :scope => :millionaire_question

  belongs_to :question, :class_name => "MillionaireQuestion"

  named_scope :correct, :conditions => ["correct = ?", true]
  named_scope :fifty_fifty, :conditions => ["fifty_fifty = ?", true]

  validates_presence_of :text
  validate :cannot_be_true_and_fifty_fifty

  def letter
    self.position ? %w(x A B C D)[self.position] : nil

  def cannot_be_true_and_fifty_fifty
    errors.add_to_base("Answer is marked as the correct answer and the
fifty-fifty answer") if self.correct && self.fifty_fifty

Max Williams wrote:

Thanks, but that's a workaround, and a rather complex one at that. I'd
rather understand why this is happening.

Hi Max,

I'm a newbie, not having much idea, still learning, So i used that