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Fastest solvers: An experiment

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  • Lurker
    replied
    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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  • Deanna48
    replied
    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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  • Eureka
    replied
    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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  • lacrossesticks
    replied
    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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  • Fudi
    replied
    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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  • azhang941
    replied
    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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  • Fudi
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • azhang941
    replied
    Originally posted by oddcouple View Post
    What's somewhat concerning to me is the speedsters with multiple accounts. Let's say there's three speedsters in a month that are solving large number of puzzles at fast speeds and are in the top 10 to 15 average times for the month with both accounts. That means three users fall just OUTSIDE the top 20 and are deprived of that recognition. It's happened to me and to others as a result. Just as bad, and maybe worse, are the top 20 results on individual puzzles. Those users who would be inside the top 20 but for the speedsters with multiple accounts are deprived of recognition and others will get knocked off every time they get a superfast time with their second IDs for the first time.

    I realize these users sacrifice percentages to keep their average times super low, and I'd rather have a high solve percentage. 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 see some very familiar names there-nanrich, deanna, gryhnd, lily, puffybob, and opallady. A standing ovation from me to them.

    Just thinking out loud, I don't need anyone to be offended. Ultimately, my pleasure is in the solving, not in the recognition.
    For this month, my alt account was mostly a test of how fast I could solve while my main maintained a 100% rate, and I was strongly considering intentionally dropping it down under 75% solve rate so that it does not qualify for the speed competition, which I now have done. To me, my alt account was never for the recognition, but a test of what I could do without sacrificing the goal I wanted to achieve on my main account.
    Personally, I have always admired a faster solve time more, but I think we should give credit to both our top 100% rate solvers and our top speed solvers. It takes significant skill to solve at 100% rate quickly, but it also takes an extreme amount of skill to solve at the speed people such as will and lacrossesticks do even when they sacrifice speed.

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  • will0416
    replied
    Originally posted by oddcouple View Post
    What's somewhat concerning to me is the speedsters with multiple accounts. Let's say there's three speedsters in a month that are solving large number of puzzles at fast speeds and are in the top 10 to 15 average times for the month with both accounts. That means three users fall just OUTSIDE the top 20 and are deprived of that recognition. It's happened to me and to others as a result. Just as bad, and maybe worse, are the top 20 results on individual puzzles. Those users who would be inside the top 20 but for the speedsters with multiple accounts are deprived of recognition and others will get knocked off every time they get a superfast time with their second IDs for the first time.

    I realize these users sacrifice percentages to keep their average times super low, and I'd rather have a high solve percentage. 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 see some very familiar names there-nanrich, deanna, gryhnd, lily, puffybob, and opallady. A standing ovation from me to them.

    Just thinking out loud, I don't need anyone to be offended. Ultimately, my pleasure is in the solving, not in the recognition.
    I held my other account at ~15-16 seconds at 99% for the earlier part of this month, but I started realizing that wasn't really how I wanted to play, so I let go of that endeavor and started messing around on that account. To each their own I guess.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eureka
    replied
    Frankly, I'm just happy that a 15-year-old is playing word games instead of so many other things that he could be getting into. But I get where you're coming from, oddcouple. In theory, someone could have twenty different IDs, play like crazy all month, and get all the top 20 spots. Not that I'm trying to give anyone any ideas...

    Leave a comment:


  • oddcouple
    replied
    What's somewhat concerning to me is the speedsters with multiple accounts. Let's say there's three speedsters in a month that are solving large number of puzzles at fast speeds and are in the top 10 to 15 average times for the month with both accounts. That means three users fall just OUTSIDE the top 20 and are deprived of that recognition. It's happened to me and to others as a result. Just as bad, and maybe worse, are the top 20 results on individual puzzles. Those users who would be inside the top 20 but for the speedsters with multiple accounts are deprived of recognition and others will get knocked off every time they get a superfast time with their second IDs for the first time.

    I realize these users sacrifice percentages to keep their average times super low, and I'd rather have a high solve percentage. 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 see some very familiar names there-nanrich, deanna, gryhnd, lily, puffybob, and opallady. A standing ovation from me to them.

    Just thinking out loud, I don't need anyone to be offended. Ultimately, my pleasure is in the solving, not in the recognition.

    Leave a comment:


  • puffybob
    replied
    What I really like about Klebb's experiment is that now, if I make it into the top three on a puzzle, it's almost like a little plane flies by.

    Leave a comment:


  • azhang941
    replied
    Originally posted by Eureka View Post
    That's quite an ambitious project you've got going there Klebbtheklari. It will be interesting to see the results. I'm guessing that you, will and azhang are all Science Olympiad friends?
    Yup, we know each other from Science Olympiad. I guess the spirit of competing against each other went past solving cryptograms and into compiling records now.

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  • Eureka
    replied
    That's quite an ambitious project you've got going there Klebbtheklari. It will be interesting to see the results. I'm guessing that you, will and azhang are all Science Olympiad friends?

    Leave a comment:


  • puffybob
    replied
    Tremendous, Klebbtheklari. Can't wait to see the results.

    Leave a comment:

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