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Have the puzzles gotten easier?

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  • Have the puzzles gotten easier?

    I've just returned to the site after some time away, and it seems like the puzzles have gotten easier? That is, my memory is that if you played for an hour or two, you could count on occasionally getting a really "hard" puzzle -- usually a short one -- with a very low success rate. Now I seldom see any puzzles with a success rate of below 80%, and most are higher. And I have yet to be stumped to the point of almost giving up, which used to happen regularly (and no, it's not because I've gotten any better -- if anything, I'm rusty!). Has anyone else noticed this?

  • #2
    Admin changed the method of computing success rate, puffy. It used to be that the times were computed over everyone that played. But that everyone included casual users who never registered. So, their success rates and times have now been eliminated from the equation, meaning only the success rate of 80% means puzzles solved by those 100% of registered users. You and I and other members set that percentage by our performance and our performance alone. No longer is our solve percentage dragged down by those who play anonymously.

    As to if they are easier, I don't think so. My solve rate has gradually increased, but I attribute that to two things: being able to recognize letter patters, and actually being able to remember quotes we've solved before. I suspect that's why your rates have improved.

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    • #3
      I think they are the same but the more you do these -- even if you've stepped away from it for awhile -- the easier they get.

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      • #4
        Welcome back, puffybob. I wonder if perhaps Stephen (Admin) has removed some of the really hard quotes. I recall people talking about some quotes that used words from other languages and were nearly impossible to solve. Those ones don't seem to be in circulation anymore. But oddcouple is right about the success rate only including registered players now, so all puzzles have a MUCH higher success rate than they used to.

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        • #5
          Thanks, oddcouple, darleneve, and Eureka. I could tell that something had changed about the success rate calculation, because sometimes the comments talked about how low the success rate was, but the rate itself was much higher than the comments suggested. It's true that at some point, I decided to shoot for 100% success, and over time I've realized that puzzles that seem impossible eventually can be solved. But I also wonder if Eureka is right about really hard puzzles disappearing. No more "rudder maun" maybe! Also, it might be the case that the recently added puzzles are in general easier, and the more that get added, the easier the average puzzle is.

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          • #6
            Puffybob, I did solve the "rudder maun" quote not too long ago, for my first time ever. So I think it's still in circulation.

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            • #7
              Thanks, LLapp! Do we know how many quotes are on this site?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Eureka View Post
                I wonder if perhaps Stephen (Admin) has removed some of the really hard quotes.

                Nope! :-)

                And total puzzles right now is 51,651.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the reply, Stephen! I guess we are all just getting better with time!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks, Stephen! That's a lot of quotes. And now you've all convinced me that I'm just getting better . . .

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                    • #11
                      I can't believe it! I just got the "rudder maun" quote mentioned here! It's definitely still around!

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                      • #12
                        Funny, xenia!

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                        • #13
                          I don't think they are easier but I am not a great solver. There does seem to be a lot of longer quotes with lots of multiple letters that should be easier but aren't always. People seem to grade those as hard but that goes against the formula that they use to score points.
                          I feel pride when I finish one even if I am nearly off the bell curve.​​​​​​

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                          • #14
                            Bob, I'm not sure how long you were gone, but there have been a few changes since I started that I think might have made solving faster, if not easier. There's a warning when you try to use the same letter more than once (that letter turns red); the remaining letters feature, which used to work only if you did some sequence of things that I don't remember now, was fixed; and the problem with overwriting the letter in the first box if you type too fast was fixed. I'm happy about all these changes, but I wonder whether they may lead to some bias in the solving times.

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