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#1
06-16-2014, 07:24 PM
 bblessing Junior Member Join Date: Mar 2013 Posts: 18
Open message to Zenobia43

I am simply amazed at your skill in this game. Not only are you capable of solving the 4x7 games in the blink of an eye, but you clearly have an incredible amount of stamina as well: according to the statistics you have been playing just over 4.5 hours per day every day this month.

My question is how do you do it? Are you capable of memorizing the clues after a first read so that you don't need to waste time reading them again? Also, how do you avoid eye strain and mental fatigue from playing that much as it appears that you've not had a single misstep based on your times? I must admit that after two hours of playing I have to get up and move around as my brain and eyes simply hit a brick wall.

If you could give me some pointers that would be great. Thus far I've not been stumped by any of the challenging 4x7 puzzles (two of them got away from me when I became really busy at work and had to take a hiatus), but the best time that I've been able to muster is 307 seconds. Even then I felt like I was clicking a square at every moment.
#2
06-17-2014, 06:53 AM
 zenobia43 Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2012 Posts: 175

Aha, and now we have discovered the meta logic puzzle of this site. How do they do it?

Solutions to this meta puzzle have been offered many times in this forum, and the only thing I can add is to point out a few things that don't work.

Reading the clues backwards real fast does NOT help you resolve the single or double XOR positive relationships.

Filling in the grid with random entries, then printing out a screen shot quickly, and examining the result under a UV black light does NOT reveal a secret watermark indicating the incorrect entries.

In a 4x7 puzzle, finding the clue number of the "Big Negative" clue (the one that lists 7 things that are all different), and holding down the ALT key and tapping the F4 key lightly the same number of times as the clue number does NOT reveal any part of the solution.

The following things help a lot.

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

As for stamina, caffeine helps, but check the table again for players who are really dedicated. Four hours a day might be a lot for some, but it pales in comparison to players with the best stamina.
#3
06-17-2014, 08:15 AM
 uigrad Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 112

Hey, I hope you don't mind if I ask a question or two.

Do you ever use the "Clear Errors" button?

If the "Clear Errors" button shows a lot of mistakes, do you ever just quit the puzzle and get another?
#4
06-17-2014, 01:36 PM
 zenobia43 Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2012 Posts: 175

I used the Clear Errors button a lot in the past along with the Save button. I don't recall using the Clear Errors button recently.

I don't really abandon puzzles.

If a puzzle stumps me or confuses me, I take screen shots etc. so I can really spend some quality time with the puzzle to understand where and why I missed something.
#5
06-17-2014, 01:51 PM
 uigrad Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 112

So... if you submit a puzzle, and it says that you have the answer wrong, what do you do?

Do you restart it, or just hit the back button 10-20 times?

I'm guessing that you don't save puzzles for later very often. Just doing this once or twice would make the average time you spent on puzzles much higher.
#6
06-17-2014, 02:19 PM
 zenobia43 Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2012 Posts: 175

Restart.

If Clear Errors and Save have been used, more than half the puzzle will be solved, and it won't take long to finish it.
#7
06-18-2014, 02:57 PM
 bblessing Junior Member Join Date: Mar 2013 Posts: 18

Thanks Zenobia! Yeah, I looked at Izzysam's record and couldn't believe it: well over 10 hours per day. I can't devote that kind of time to logic puzzles, nor would I if retired. That is, of course, assuming that I could physically do it. Simply amazing!
#8
06-18-2014, 04:08 PM
 uigrad Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 112

You really have no idea how much time other users spend per puzzle.

If I hit "Remove Errors", and it removes 20 errors, that costs 2400 seconds. The person may have spent less than 2 minutes on the puzzle, but it goes down as 2400+ seconds, throwing off their average!

Also, if you start a post, and don't finish it, then you can always come back to it, as long as you do it within 24 hours. You can do that with the "Recent Games" button. If I started 10 games 20 hours ago, and then finish them all right now, then they'll all be 72000 seconds, and that will greatly throw off my average.

I'm tempted to do this on purpose next month, so that it looks like I spend 30+ hours a day solving puzzles.

Personally, I'd prefer to see an average in the hall of fame that doesn't reflect penalties from removed errors and incorrect submissions. Admin, is this possible?

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