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#61
03-31-2014, 07:14 AM
 zenobia43 Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2012 Posts: 175
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.
#62
04-01-2014, 06:34 PM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175
Thank you Zenobia43

Thank you for your instructions. I will keep these 33's and 44's advice when I advance to the harder puzzles. At the moment I am trying to get the better of the challenge 4x5's which I find are difficult enough. At times I really do give up and ask for a hint sometimes and it is quite obvious that I missed an easy X somewhere. Sometimes in my haste to see how quick I can finish I overlook a simple clue and I feel stupid. I do love solving them though. They are beginning to come into my dreams actually. I am getting worried!
Oh what the heck, I'll do another few more and then go to sleep.

Stan
#63
04-02-2014, 01:38 PM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175
my latest record

I have just finished a 4x5 challenge type in 20.7 minutes WITHOUT writing anything down on paper. Purely looking at clues and filling in grid. Not even a scribble on paper. Took me a wee bitty longer than if I had used paper and pen. A first time for that though.

Stan

PS Not as much fun though. More tense.
#64
04-08-2014, 10:36 AM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175
Fastest solvers on puzzle types

It would be interesting to see who are the fastest solvers of any given puzzle type. For example I prefer doing the challenge 4x5 kinds. I notice that smyth1mm very often has a record on these types. It would be interesting to see something like : smyth1mm 300 times record. Zenobia43 290 times. Alethia 200 times. slillyw 190 times etc.For example in the monthly competitions there must be certainly fast solvers who cannot play hundreds of times a month due to having other important things to do in their busy lives.This would at least give the faster solvers recognition sort of thing. The list could account for records being beaten and perhaps record holders being deleted for that game. Only new records being acknowledged.

Stan

Last edited by stanstar; 04-10-2014 at 10:47 AM.
#65
04-22-2014, 08:22 AM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175

If anyone wonders why in the 4x5s challenge types there are many ridiculous slow times well beyond 10000 secs it most likely is my fault. I get interrupted a lot and leave the computer running while I go out for a few hours. I come home and realize what I've done and finish it. Perhaps this helps to spread the graph at the right. Maybe not. Anyway I apologize and I will try to remember.

Stan
#66
04-22-2014, 05:15 PM
 universalmom Junior Member Join Date: Mar 2011 Posts: 3

Oh, I'm doing my share in that category too! My mistake is starting one when I really don't have enough time...I hit "save progress" and come back to it later, but the clock is still running and my time is really long.
#67
04-23-2014, 05:46 AM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175

I do that too. Between the two of us we will take the blame!

Stan
#68
04-23-2014, 05:49 AM
 Alethea Member Join Date: Sep 2013 Posts: 43

You two are so funny I am sure no one minds the graph being skewed because you have lives and don't always exit your puzzles before you go and live them. Have a wonderful day!
#69
04-23-2014, 08:24 AM
 universalmom Junior Member Join Date: Mar 2011 Posts: 3

Thanks Alethea, you're very sweet! Stan, I like the "at present UK" in your location...do I detect a political opinion there?
#70
04-23-2014, 10:30 AM
 stanstar Senior Member Join Date: May 2012 Location: Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Posts: 175

Hi Universalmom, the less we have to do with Westminster the better as far as I'm concerned. A parliament with fewer politicians seems like a better idea. However saying that, I don't trust any politicians. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of English friends and I wouldn't swap them for anything. But National politics is a different matter. The Scottish people were never consulted when the Union was formed. The aristocrats decided to join with England for their own purposes not for reasons that the Scottish people would find beneficial. Remember the Scottish young men were involuntary conscripted into the English army to fight their greedy wars and form colonies for the rich. Does that answer your question? I would be Universalstan if I could get a humane world government free of corruption and dishonesty.

Stan

Last edited by stanstar; 04-23-2014 at 10:32 AM.

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