Old 01-06-2019, 03:45 AM
Crikey Crikey is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5
Lightbulb Novice/Newby here, needs advice, please??

I'm struggling a little bit to get faster at this...
Does anyone have any tips etc? I seem to be improving, but not as well as I would like.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:48 PM
serenia serenia is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 35
Default Faster and faster

The short answer to getting faster times solving puzzles on this site is lots of repetition.

If you are new to the site and you compare yourself to the record times, you will probably be disappointed. The records have been set by veterans of the site over many years, and so the times are pretty low.

Some of the lowest record times might have been set by a good guess or a brief flash of insight. If hundreds of motivated puzzle solvers pound away on the same puzzle for several years, the record is naturally going to get harder and harder to break.

Compare your time to your own recent times for a given puzzle size and difficulty. Over time, you will certainly see an improvement. Some players have added comments to completed puzzles so that they have a record of how fast they solved a specific puzzle in the past. If they encounter that same puzzle again, they can see their solving time in past encounters.

The Easy category of puzzles requires fewer techniques; the Challenging category requires more advanced techniques. These techniques are covered in the tutorials referenced in the threads below.

The smaller puzzles have fewer complications because there are fewer rows and fewer category labels to deal with. With only a few rows, the puzzle creator can't string a lot of less than/greater than clues together to confuse the solver.

Even for a given puzzle size and difficulty, certain backstories (like the one involving GPS coordinates) are more difficult. The labels are more obscure, and parsing the clues takes longer.

This topic has been discussed in the forum dozens of times as you might imagine.

Here is a sampling, and for an awesome example of speed, check out the youtube videos referenced in the posts.


Oh, and remember to check out all pages of the above threads. Page 1 is packed with good stuff, but the other pages have even more.

Last edited by serenia; 01-06-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:23 AM
Crikey Crikey is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 5

Thank you once again, Serenia.
I genuinely appreciate your help.
I will be taking your advice.
Also will look at the video links.
Thank you.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:44 PM
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MHS16 MHS16 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3

First off, welcome and keep up the good work!

I think part of getting faster is developing somewhat of a consistent approach to the logic puzzles. For example, with the 4x7 puzzles, first I look for clues that say "the 7 are..." and grid that in. Then I look for clues with 4-5 step differences between the named choices. After that I might see if there are any clues that can be gridded directly into the top row (e.g. $X is not Y) so I can mark the clue off and visually reduce the clutter of the remaining clues.

If you get really frustrated, you can find a clue where picking one of the two choices defines some other ones, pick one, and see where that takes you on the grid. This can illuminate things that do or don't work, especially if it is several logical steps away from the initial clue.

And size also makes a big difference - as in what size and difficulty you normally play. Both affect the types of clues you will get, step differences you look for, etc. Since I play 4x7 most of the time, I sometimes find 4x6 or 4x5 ones harder just trying to acclimate to the different grid size.

Keep playing and having fun!
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:11 AM
ego ego is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 1
Default Hi, there!

I agree with all the above, and I want to add some more advice. You don't always need all the information provided to solve a puzzle (especially in easy levels). Recording everything on the grid wastes your time; so choose what hints to work with first. Also, before you spend time checking FALSE squares, look for hints you can combine: if 'Ana is 3 spots before John' and 'Ana is 3 spots after Sam', click TRUE for Ana in the middle of the column. Immediately after that, click the correct box for John and for Sam, and there you have it, 3 TRUE checks in seconds. Good luck!
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