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  #11  
Old 12-17-2008, 05:20 PM
darsinewman darsinewman is offline
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Default Cheating

I agree that under 2 minutes is doable, but under one minute seems to be impossible without cheating. Do people really feel better about themselves for getting good scores while cheating? Oh, well.
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2009, 04:26 PM
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Keli42 Keli42 is offline
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Thumbs down Solve time - 28 sec?

I am assuming this is still a bug or hasn't been fixed?

Congratulations!
You solved the puzzle correctly in 4 minutes, 52 seconds. That's worth 439 points!

This Puzzle's Statistics
Success Rate: 57.8%
Average Time: 710.1 seconds
Record Time: 28 seconds (derek)
Your Time: 292 seconds

I don't know how's it's possible to solve a 5x5 puzzle in 28 seconds. Even if it's printed out first. Maybe if there were a way to pause and then the screen dissapear so you can't cheat? Seems to kill anyone else's hopes for beating the record (not that my 4.5 mins is going to do that!)
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2009, 02:46 PM
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TAPSfan TAPSfan is offline
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Default 14 seconds!

I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person wondering about the extremely fast solve times. I can't remember the puzzle, or the player, but someone apparently solved a 4x5 grid puzzle in 14 seconds!! That seems highly unlikely!! You can't even read through the clues in 14 seconds!!
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2009, 11:01 PM
Macabre Sunset Macabre Sunset is offline
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Yeah, someone has probably reverse-engineered the hash function used to check solution submissions.

I doubt anyone has written down solutions and could access them in less than a minute.

I'm on the verge of breaking three minutes myself. Not sure if two is possible for me. I click slowly because of the bug where it erases your form if you click in the middle of a graphic using Firefox.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2009, 03:05 AM
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bowl231 bowl231 is offline
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Default

No you are not alone wondering how this can happen. There are a at least 3
"cheaters" and I think any scores under 120 sec should be questioned and thrown
out totally. This one below should not even be credited
33 seconds (Dreamscape)

I still can't see how someone can finish a 5X5 in less than 2 minutes (120) anything
under 160 seconds is debateable to me on how they can read and answer clues.
Which was why I asked when the timer clock is actually activated and requested a
a clock be added to the puzzle so I could see how long it was taking me.

Another thing was to add to the puzzle completion statistics the number of
plays which were use to compute the average times, the success rate , max points
possible and average points. Just to see how many actually did that puzzle

I love the game and am very glad it is available
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  #16  
Old 03-03-2009, 12:22 AM
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Hi everyone -

I'm working on some scripts that will help figure out how some of these super-fast scores are being generated. At this point I can't say for sure whether its a bug or someone purposely gaming the system, but I'm looking into it.

In the meantime, I'll be refactoring game statistics to take out of consideration any "suspect" games.

Thanks for playing!
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  #17  
Old 03-03-2009, 02:37 AM
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Hi again -

Well, I've been crunching some numbers and have made some conclusions about this issue. There are definitely "bogus" times being counted as valid which should not be, and these will be removed from the system.

The tricky part is trying to determine what is a "valid" score and what isn't. I've run a few models based on half-a-million solved puzzles, plotting the total solve time against how frequently they occur in the system, and I came up with the following lop-sided bell-curve:

graph.jpg

You'll notice there's a rather misshapen "bump" that proceeds an otherwise normal-looking bell-curve, starting at 11 seconds, peaking at around 32 seconds, and then dropping back to near-zero at 50-60 seconds. From 60-65 seconds onwards the graph looks like a normal bell-curve.

My conclusion from this is that all scores below 50-60 seconds are bogus, and I will be treating these as such when we refactor our statistics. If there is anyone here who can legitimately solve a puzzle in under 50-60 seconds, please contact me. Otherwise, I will stick with my assumption and discard these scores.

As far as how the bogus times are being achieved... well, I won't put that information here, but suffice it to say that after crunching some data over the past few hours an obvious trend emerged and I am 99.9% sure I know how its been done. There are measures that can help reduce the effectiveness of this tactic, and I will be employing them over the next several weeks.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for bringing this to our attention. While it is next-to-impossible to absolutely prevent cheating on an online game of any sort, I do want to do whatever I can to minimize its impact, so that folks can compete here and know that they're getting a fair shake in the standings.

Cheers -

Stephen
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  #18  
Old 03-03-2009, 11:50 AM
darsinewman darsinewman is offline
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Stephen - I think your 50-60 second rule is good. I have solved several puzzles in under 120 seconds (especially the new 4x4s) and have never cheated. I consider myself to be a very fast solver, but it boggles my mind how any puzzle could legitimately be solved in less than 1 minute. I know there are some out there who are faster than I am, but it seems like even clicking the answers would take at least that long without even reading clues. Thanks for your efforts!
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  #19  
Old 03-03-2009, 12:10 PM
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bowl231 bowl231 is offline
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Stephen
Thank you for all your consideration, hard work and tremendous generous efforts. You do a great job and these games are great. Thanks for the great explanation and consideration.
Wow-After seeing over a million games being played - proves how wonderful this place is
Thanks again - have a great day
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  #20  
Old 03-03-2009, 02:33 PM
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TAPSfan TAPSfan is offline
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Stephen,

I would like to join the other players in thanking you for your time and efforts involving this matter.
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