daily dose of brain vitamins
Let's construct a puzzle using just the clue types found on this site.
The B category will be userids from the site, the C category will be backstory labels, and the D category will be the factor that helped the userid set a new record time.
The A category will be the new record time, and the distances between the times will be uniform just like all the puzzles in this site's library.
The clues in this new backstory could be used to convey the "tricks" used to get a better record time.
Other than coming up with a puzzle or two using this suggested backstory, I really can't add anything new to all the excellent posts I've seen on this subject. In the past few years, there have been so many posts on this subject, and I learned most of what I know from those posts.
If you're just enjoying this site and getting your daily dose of brain vitamins, then you probably don't need to set a new record.
If you're really serious about solving the more difficult puzzles, whenever you get stuck, print out the puzzle showing the grid state where you got stuck. Study it until you see the logical deductions that eluded you. Put that new knowledge in your puzzle solving toolkit.
The new hint system is very instructive, and when combined with the new tutorials, you will probably be faster at recognizing the techniques used to make certain puzzles more difficult than others.
The geniuses behind this site created 18,000 puzzles for your enjoyment. They used a wide variety of techniques to vary the level of difficulty.
Some were made more difficult by confusion factors like label duplication, similarity, varying A category distances (among backstories), and clue verbosity and number.
Some puzzles were made more difficult by the nature of the logic chains needed to obtain a key deduction.
After solving thousands of puzzles, you will probably pick up on most of the cleverness behind the puzzle construction. You will be a lot faster in recognizing the "tricks" used in any given puzzle.
If you're really serious about setting a new record, start doing the puzzles that have less traffic. After all, if you're the first one to solve the puzzle, you're going to hold the record. You can make a good guess about which puzzles are getting the traffic by observing the record setting sidebar on the leaderboard page.
Repetition, focus, analysis, clue processing order. These are all factors mentioned in previous posts that lead to faster times and better solution success rates.
With repetition, you won't read the whole clue anymore. In your list of clues, Stan, you show this clue:
1.*The ring made of platinum cost more than the ring with the topaz.
With repetition you will read this clue as plat > topaz. You won't even see the other words.
With repetition, when you see a particular backstory, you will know the A category distance instantly. You will instantly remember that you have to be careful about peppermint showing up in two different categories. You will instantly remember that Cory and Corey or Hannah and Hanna or Felipe and Phillip are clever cognitive speed bumps introduced by the puzzle creators.
So far, I haven't added anything new to previous posts.
Here's something that might help you with the most difficult (my assessment) 4x7s. This won't help with the bulk of the puzzles, but it will help you with a few of the toughest 4x7s (my opinion).
There are a few 4x7s that have what I call "3 for 3" and "4 for 4" situations. The tutorials describe "2 for 2" (aligned pseudo-pairs?) situations, but these "3 for 3s" and "4 for 4s" are harder to spot.
The "3 for 3" is a situation where 3 rows have open cells involving only 3 other columns, and those 3 columns have open cells involving only the same three rows.
If you get totally stuck on one of these, and you have checked all the many ways the fixed distance greater than/less than clues can be combined with the grid state to hide the next X from you, look for the "3 for 3" or "4 for 4" pattern.
I think there is a "3 for 3" in the 4x6 toughies, but I think the "4 for 4s" are mainly in the 4x7 brain busters.
Last edited by zenobia43; 04-01-2014 at 07:52 AM.