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Old 02-19-2014, 06:51 PM
mixt mixt is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4

Originally Posted by Anachronismatic View Post
I'd be interested in knowing, from those who have written scripts to solve these puzzles quickly (not that much of a challenge for a programmer), what's the point of "solving" hundreds of puzzles a month like this? Those of us who are interested in fastest times find it rather obvious when someone suddenly jumps from an average of 600 seconds to below 100 seconds. Definitely busted. The rest will never recognize your "expertise" either way.

To admin, I would suggest random encryptions in the display of named attributes and common words in clue descriptions, invisible to display but not to cut-and-paste, that would tire out the script kiddies. Or perhaps generating the clues as an image rather than as text.

Hopefully, the new time limits are reasonable. The old limit was 100 seconds, and that didn't work well. Wherever they're set, I don't think it's the right solution to the problem.
Personally I don't like inflating the leaderboards with programs I write for anything. I opt out whenever possible and throw in purposeful ineffeciency when I can't (such as here). That does inflate the bottom of the board and will afftect things like average times, but people tend not to care about feeling higher on the scale than they actually are (plus there are always more people pulling it the other way). I do it just because I like programming and like to find ways to make computers do things that are challenging or I don't like to do (I've made so many scrpits to do math homework for me).

Though my voice on the subject is somewhat void because I've never actually scripted these puzzles and many don't take my care to preserve leadrboards.

One option that I've seen work somewhat well is to make people opt in to the leader board. It has the draw back of removing a lot of valid data, but it also removes false data from the people that simply don't think about the leaderboard and allows for more direct action against people that are actively damaging it. Or you could even go as far as to make a "coder's leage" or some such alternate board where anything goes and people can compare script's results to each other. But such a board quickly becomes useless.

Alternatively, at the cost of more processing, you could replace the static bell-curve images with an actual graph so people can see the anomalies themselves and remove them mentally.
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