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#11
02-17-2017, 12:21 PM
 uigrad Senior Member Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 112

My speed isn't quite as high as brianhh's but I'm close. I've beaten his high scores on a few of the 4x5 easy puzzles. He's probably beaten far more of my scores. I agree that we all use generally the same methods, some people just do it much faster.

Quote:
 i haven't done it, but it would be interesting to look at the clues in depth and come up with the 'optimal' order for those clues. there shouldn't be the case where a clue isn't needed (i would consider that a flaw in the puzzle generation,
I have done this to a certain extent. I have tried reading all the clues before I start marking the grid, to see if I can then process them in the best possible order. Sometimes, I'll find the "perfect order", where you can mark off each clue as you use it, and never return back to a previously used clue. Concentrating too much on this while solving for speed can definitely be a detriment, though. Sometimes I just process the clues top to bottom, or bottom to top, or even the shortest clues first, then the longer ones.

There are cases where a single clue is not necessary at all, but they are rare. Cases where you can ignore a portion of a clue, however, are extremely plentiful. Often when you get the "A is not B, and neither is C" type clues, you only need one of those 3 pieces of information.

The rarest thing to find, in my opinion, is the greater/lesser clues where a single greater/lesser clue gives you the exact location of both elements (top row and bottom row). I'm not sure how often these occur, but they have to be in less than 1% of all the puzzles, probably closer to 0.5% or 0.1%. The last time I came across one, I screenshotted it. I'm curious if anyone else has any theories about these:

#12
02-17-2017, 02:28 PM
 carpboy Junior Member Join Date: Jan 2017 Posts: 19

Quote:
 Originally Posted by ladyMerryFire Others might not find that impossible. Depends on how the memory works.....
I am coming to appreciate that aspect. I see from brianhh's snippets that is in play. When I go through them, say a bunch of relative clues, I have to read each one and think a moment about it before checking the grid. I do recognize when one column is modified that had been in another clue, I then jump back and re-examine that one. But not by pure memory, I have to read and think again.
#13
02-17-2017, 02:35 PM
 carpboy Junior Member Join Date: Jan 2017 Posts: 19

Another thought I had is the structure of the puzzles here on this site. Do any of you speedsters have comparable times on other grids that aren't quite in this format, or where the clues are worded a little differently, or maybe where three or four clues are rolled into one big clue?

i think there is a level of comfort when dealing with the same structure over and over. For instance, the comparison cells are always on the top sections, column-wise. What would happen with a grid where they were arranged horizontally? That may be enough of a change to cause a bit of confusion, when looking for pure speed.

The mental aspects may be vulnerable to habits, think of ice skating. Many skaters are a lot better crossing over forward right over left? Why? One usually skates counter clockwise. It's fun to watch people when the direction changes and all kinds of things happen.
#14
02-17-2017, 08:16 PM
 contrary Junior Member Join Date: Jan 2014 Posts: 21

I always do puzzles on the top row only, so if the clue structure doesn't lend itself to top row I'm SOL. I can do them using the other sections but I like to challenge my brain.

This is a 4x5 challenging, which is where I usually live. Apparently I had done this one before, but I didn't remember it at all. There's only one I do remember, because it has a unique structure with the names matching up and I've gotten it 5+ times.

Last edited by contrary; 02-17-2017 at 08:23 PM.

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