#1  
Old 12-20-2014, 06:23 AM
doobiegirl doobiegirl is offline
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Default Secrets of the pros

Hi. I'm a new player, and I've been focusing on 4x7 challenging puzzles. I generally beat the median time, but I am really impressed by the times of players like Zenobia and Laura. I know some of the obvious techniques necessary to solve these puzzles, but I am wondering if there are some secrets that you might be willing to share.

Also, I play on a tablet and am wondering if times would be faster using a PC with mouse. Do you fast players use a mouse?

Finally, I notice that my fastest times, while still well above the fastest here, are when I take an early guess on an either/or clue and get lucky. Do you fast players guess a lot?

Thanks in advance for your input.
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2014, 07:54 AM
zenobia43 zenobia43 is offline
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If you are around the median with the 4x7 challenging, then you are doing very, very well. Those puzzles can be a real challenge the first time you see them and use the advanced techniques.

The question, "How do they solve these puzzles so fast?", has been discussed in many posts over the years. The answers always look about the same.

In a post earlier this year I listed some of the things I considered helpful.

Repetition
Analysis
Practice
A good memory for backstory attributes, clue structure, and labels.
Having a sixth and seventh sense about clue processing order
Time (lots of it)
Caffeine
Repetition
Doing lots of puzzles in the same category within a short time frame.
Repetition
Getting great pleasure from solving familiar puzzles over and over again
Repetition

The human brain is really good at generalization. After doing many, many puzzles, you will become familiar with the backstory attributes, clue structure, optimal clue processing sequence, and solving techniques. The brain starts taking shortcuts.

Sometimes these shortcuts can actually trip you up, but most of the time they help reduce the solution time.

After a while, you don't even read the whole clue. You don't pronounce the whole label for a category item. You might not even try to process the double and single exclusive OR clues until there is a chance of resolving them. You might be able to detect when the solution can be obtained by just using the upper subgrids.

Repetition and doing lots of puzzles can put a dent in the rest of your life, but it can really help with solution times.

If you do a lot of puzzles in a given category, you will encounter puzzles that you've already solved. That will probably help you.

Try taking a screen shot of an unsolved 4x7 and print out several copies.

Solve that same puzzle each day for a week and keep track of your time.

I'll bet that your solution time gradually decreases.

Even though we can't remember every detail of every puzzle in a certain category, we apparently remember patterns, techniques, and, yes, a good guess can result in a huge reduction in solution time.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2014, 06:17 PM
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BugsMe BugsMe is offline
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Default Thanks thanks!

Thanks for the question AND the answer. Sure makes all my postings seem ridiculous. I think I hit the very edge of Fast ONE TIME ONLY. I am only on the third level, and I absolutely love it, and am addicted to it.

Your answers give me hope for the future that I will figure out more patterns and my brain will get used to it.

Thanks both of you again.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2014, 12:00 PM
passel3 passel3 is offline
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The max scores for a puzzle I believe are still the same, whether you play the "easy" version or the "challenging" version. The puzzle is the same, but fewer or more complicated interaction between clues for the challenging version.
The fastest times you see are probably for doing the "easy" version of the puzzle, so you'll have to decide if you want faster times, or more challenge.
And yes, Laura has improved quite a bit over the last few months. Back in July when we placed 7th,8th my average points per second ratio was about twice hers. She has been solving steadily and placing higher, and her points per second ratio now exceeds my average back then, and I'm also slower now than I was then, as I only play a few games now and then so my focus is off and I have to revisit clues more often or can't keep relationships straight from the beginning to the end of the longer clues, which slows you down. A lot of repetition definitely helps improve speed, and slacking off a few weeks also has a noticeable impact.

Max scores from uigrad's 6/17/2014 post:
3x4: 80
3x5: 180
4x4: 290
4x5: 410
4x6: 760
4x7: 983
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2014, 12:06 PM
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BugsMe BugsMe is offline
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Default Oh you are a delight...

What a lovely humble message. I do ONLY easy. And its definitely NOT easy for me most of the time. Esp when there are no green dots after you have gone down the list. But, I did print out a bunch of the lessons available here, and I will try and study them. Even studying them has proved complicated, a puzzle on its own!

I know when I am too tired to do a puzzle but does that stop me? NOOooOO, I am ready to make myself crazy once again....

Keep up with the positive attitude and THANKS!

BugsMe
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2014, 01:45 PM
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Quazar Quazar is offline
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Awesome, BugsMe! I too am far away from the top but enjoy playing anyway. I know what you mean about being too tired to solve these... and pushing through it

Yes, studying the techniques can be a test in itself. We're forming new neuron linkage.

Good stuff, have fun
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2014, 05:15 PM
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BugsMe BugsMe is offline
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Quazar I have seen your numbers in the past and they are way over on the other side of the scale than me. One day, ONE DAY, I will eat enough fish (that IS brain food, right?) oh maybe I should eat something besides guppies and goldfish, but never mind that, to get into the fast lane.

Heheheheheheh.....
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  #8  
Old 12-24-2014, 01:51 PM
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Laura Laura is offline
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Zenobia said it all and beautifully! I, too, enjoy logic puzzles immensely, and am thrilled to see my solve times go down as the neural pathways get stronger. But it does take repetition and practice, and the coffee definitely helps.

Personally, I find my solve times go way down when I use a mouse. Also, what has helped me a lot is never giving up on a puzzle. When I start one that doesnít seem friendly, I force myself to sit through it, and have actually spent upwards of 30 minutes on some puzzles. Not so much anymore, as Iím starting to recognize clues and patterns that I had previously been overlooking. However, as much as Iíve improved Iím not among the speediest by far, and have great admiration for those players who consistently solve 100% at those high speeds (like zenobia, cerine, and serenia).

When Iím tired and just donít see the clues I know are there, I know itís time for a break. But otherwise, I just LOVE to solve! That's the key.
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2014, 02:16 PM
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BugsMe BugsMe is offline
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Default Yes, Laura, there is a Puzzle Baron! Huh?

Laura,
Actually I do finish each and every single puzzle even if it takes me forever. I am not rushing to get awards I am trying to get the puzzles right, and will repeat and repeat and repeat until I understand WHY I was wrong. I just finished the toughest puzzle I had to do yet, the kind where after you finish the entire list of clues there is not one green spot. Those to me are the hardest. But I go after them and I will redo and redo and redo until it goes smoothly.

Thanks for the advice, I am glad I am not the only one who spends a lot of time on a puzzle just to figure out why I can't get it in the first place.....

Lynne
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  #10  
Old 12-25-2014, 01:29 PM
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Quazar Quazar is offline
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Good for you Bugs, yes it's a bit scary when you don't get a greenie at all in the first pass (or two, or three).
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