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-   -   How are these puzzles solved so fast? (http://www.logic-puzzles.org/forum/showthread.php?t=306)

Anthony33 07-06-2013 02:10 AM

How are these puzzles solved so fast?
 
It seems like the average time taken to solve these logic puzzles comes up at about 10-12 minutes. So how do these puzzles get solved so fast. Usually takes me at least an hour to an hour and a half. So any tips on being a fast solver, like some of you here? Is there something I'm missing?

BillsBayou 07-06-2013 02:25 AM

Your best bet is to begin with the tutorial video:
VIDEO HERE

Second step, click on the "New Game" link at the top of the page. Look at the statistics on the puzzle. You'll want a game with a solve percentage above 70%. Since this site has yet to implement a "Select Difficulty" option, we are left with clicking the "New Game" link repeatedly until you get the statistics you want. Once you're happy with the statistics shown, wait for the "Start" link to appear and you can begin your game.

Hitting the "New Game" link, repeatedly, does not affect your solving statistics. These games do not count as attempted until you "Start" the puzzle.

Every puzzle on this site can be solved logically. That is, you should never have to say "What if I make Tom buy the cheeseburger, and see if that solves the puzzle?"

The video shows a couple of advanced solving techniques. But because I like to play puzzles with a solve rate below 30% and average solve times above 1000seconds, I've run into some real beasts. So look into my past posts to see what techniques I was taught to use by some of the better players here. I tried to document, with pictures, the techniques so others could more easily see how they work.

If you run into a problem, do a screen capture of the puzzle, then post a photo of the puzzle. We'll do our best to show you the next logical step. You have 24 hours to solve a puzzle. Unfortunately, we may not get you a solved puzzle within that time.

The people here are very forgiving with me running into the same roadblock more than once. Meaning, the same solving technique that was used to solve a problem I had on one day, was the technique I was told to you on a later puzzle.

Good luck!

Anachronismatic 08-04-2013 04:20 AM

I've gradually discovered a few time-saving tips:

1. I try to only work in the top quadrants, since that's all you need to submit to complete a puzzle. So no filling in Xs next to Dots unless it's in the top quadrant.

2. I skim quickly for clues that directly allow a Dot in the top quadrant.

3. If the puzzle has a low solve rate, I start at the bottom with the clues.

4. I save "the 5 intrepid teenagers in the Mystery Machine were..." clues for last, as they can often be done very quickly once you know how a couple of them map to the top quadrant.

5. Never, ever, come back to an unsolved puzzle unless a 100% solve rate means something to you. I managed to screw up my average solving time for May with an 11,000-second-plus time. The clock runs even if you don't.

6. Don't be afraid to try any puzzle. Even if you see something with a 20-minute average solving time (1,200 seconds) and a 10% solve rate, there's often a way to attack it. For those with a really low solve rate, I will violate rule 1 above.

pcuser 08-05-2013 03:03 PM

One thing I have always done is to play the harder puzzles. I didn't start with 10% solve rates. But I did do puzzles with a 50% rate or less and 600+ times. I know it takes time to learn how to solve them. However, when I did figure it out, I was able to do harder puzzles. When I accidentally choose a 4X4, they are very easy. Just my experience....

shriekingviolet 08-06-2013 01:27 PM

It is interesting that you save the "The 5 people were..." for last, because I always do those first. I also try to do all or most of my solving along the top, but those are quick to put the Xs in place, which comes in very handy once you solve one of the dots. :) I like seeing how other people approach things.

Another tip I've discovered for those clues - say you have Danielle, Cola and Newsweek listed as three of the five. As you go, you see that both Danielle and Cola are limited to either the second or third timeslot. That means that Newsweek can be eliminated in the second and third timeslot, which often ends up solving Newsweek at that point. Once I uncovered this little nugget, my solve times on those type of puzzles got much faster.

JulieC 08-09-2013 08:55 PM

I use most of these techniques, though I will come back to the unsolved puzzles because I like my solve rate higher more than my need for speed. ;)

Instead of #3 (from Anachronismatic's list, "start from the bottom"), I do the relationship clues after the skim for dots. These are the "Edna Evitz won 4 years before Lisa Lara" type clues. You must watch, one of the biggest ways I screw up my times is re-doing puzzles where the relationship is say 2 hours apart (say, classes at 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm), and I tick off 2 sets of boxes rather than 1 when the clue is something like "The algebra class starts 2 hours before the biology class". :o

Laura 08-22-2013 12:41 AM

Some interesting and useful techniques listed in this thread. Like shriekingviolet I always do the "five people are" clues first. I consider it one of the more important clues because it helps to eliminate choices right away and can be dealt with much more quickly with a clear board.

I like JulieC's point also about being careful of the interval. Most of the jumps are of one or two units, but there's a group of puzzles where the interval is three and I can't tell you how many times that's messed me up when I'm not paying attention.

And to Anthony33, when I first started solving on this site my average time was about 30 minutes if I remember correctly. :o It really does improve once you've gotten more experience.


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