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Fastest solvers: An experiment

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Fudi View Post
    Hey, I'm just wondering ... when I click on the spreadsheet link, I don't see any data - I only see heading words about what the spreadsheet will eventually contain. Am I doing something wrong? Or are we not able to see the numbers until you let us know that the experiment is complete?
    There are three different sheets that you can view. At the bottom left of the spreadsheet, click on "raw data," currently it is the only one that contains information.

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    • #32
      Thanks! Cool. (I work on a tiny screen and you can't see those tabs unless you scroll down, which I should have done ... but hadn't.)

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      • #33
        Originally posted by oddcouple View Post
        But I wonder why user A also has ID user B has ID user C. Does it give them a thrill to get multiple speed awards each month? Is it an ego-driven thing or what? It wouldn't appeal to me. Taking a look at will0416 average this month shows he fails to solve 16% of his puzzles, but has averaged just over 10 seconds on the 84% he was successful on. I would be horrified to fail that often, and a super fast average wouldn't make up for it. I'm more impressed with those who can maintain 100% solve rates that can average in the sub 40 range.
        I'm guilty of having played from more than one account, so I thought I'd offer an explanation (though it's along the lines of azhang941's explanation). It actually speaks to both points (multiple accounts and fast time vs. solve rate) made by oddcouple.

        I'll start by saying that I don't think one is more honorable than the other, though I've heard many say they have more respect for 100 percenters. I think I prefer 75% first and foremost because I can go through a greater volume of puzzles and I've always been motivated by speed. But my subtle frustration with 100% has been solving 99% of puzzles at a decent clip, and then spending 10-12 minutes decrypting an outrageous Japanese proverb or something. I could easily see someone digging into this challenge more, and thus preferring the 100% method precisely because of those 1% of puzzles. But like Will, it wasn't my thing at the time.

        Nonetheless, in response to comments like yours, and out of curiosity about what the time conversion would be between 75% vs. 100%, I decided to go for 100% for a month. (For what it's worth, I don't think the conversion differs significantly by person, so I don't see a point to crediting users more or less depending on what they aim for. With respect to the traditional 100 percenters, I'd imagine Will and twskinner could go for 100% and still blow the socks off most users.)

        To honor the different purpose, I did make a separate account. I don't believe I used accounts concurrently, so it shouldn't have kept anyone off of monthly awards, and it was before the top 20 on each puzzle. Similarly, I made a separate account when challenged to solve without seeing the letter frequencies on the puzzle. Now that there are top 20s on each puzzle, I wouldn't do this, but it made more sense at the time. Anyway, hopefully this makes sense. Happy solving - I'll be back soon!

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        • #34
          Thanks for your thoughts on this subject, lacrossesticks. I agree that the super fast solvers could easily have a 100% solve rate if they wanted to, and it would increase their average speed a little bit, but not significantly. Deanna48 and azhang941 have both done this and it seems to have increased their average monthly speed by about 4 or 5 seconds. Of course, it helps if you have time to solve lots of puzzles so that the odd "Japanese Proverb" won't affect your average speed too much. If you don't solve many puzzles in a month, it might be a different story.

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          • #35
            That's what is so great about this site. It offers different things for everyone. You can play for speed, 100 percent, or even the comments. I love the speed competition, but I also love the challenge of getting the REALLY hard ones. And those often have the best comments!!

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            • #36
              If you need help recognizing alters, I go by both Lurker and LurkerSmurf. Hardly have any records anymore. Any spelling variation of Bansaisequoia is his, plus Impeded Redwood. Descifrador is JCarlosCuevas. Yzarc has about 8 alters, but I don't think he has any in the top 3 anymore (Will). A few others forgot their passwords and have new user IDs, like Barnabas/Chad. Oh, and momof6 had another child, so she's momof7.

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