View Full Version : Scoring Question

06-02-2009, 01:32 AM
Is there anyway that the maximum score for each puzzle could be shown, as the rating and average time currently are, in the gray stats box??:confused:

I would imagine there is a maximum points total calculated for each puzzle..and it would be interesting to find out what each quote is worth?!!

Just a thought...as I think people who are going for points, and fastest time would be aided in knowing which puzzles have the most point value, and it would be just interesting to know.

Maybe Admin could look into that at some point. :)


06-03-2009, 06:14 AM
There seems to be 'standard' scores for each difficulty level. For 'difficult' puzzles, the max seems to be 450. Have not really studied the others enough to be quite sure what their maxs are. Will try to make time to do that, and report back.

06-03-2009, 10:20 AM
good cuz im kinda curious about the scoring formula too. i agree that it would be nice to see what the max for each is.

06-03-2009, 03:01 PM
Maximum points for Difficult - 450
Maximum points for Average - 300
Maximum points for Easy - 150

Have some data and will analyze it and give you a rough guide to the formula later, but it looks like for every six seconds, or portion thereof, you lose one point from the maximum.

06-03-2009, 03:34 PM
I can tell you that I solved an intermediate-level crypto a couple days ago in 8 seconds and I got 298 points. So while the "max" may be 300 like maradnu is saying, I don't really see anyone getting anything above 298. I'll keep my eye out for the other scores. What maradnu said seems to make sense, though.

06-03-2009, 04:36 PM
From To Difficult Average Easy
1 6 449 299 149
7 12 448 298 148
13 18 447 297 147
19 24 446 296 146
25 30 445 295 145
31 36 444 294 144
37 42 443 293 143
43 48 442 292 142
49 54 441 291 141
55 60 440 290 140
61 66 439 289 139
67 72 438 288 138
73 78 437 287 137
79 84 436 286 136
85 90 435 285 135
91 96 434 284 134
97 102 433 283 133
103 108 432 282 132
109 114 431 281 131
115 120 430 280 130

This is based on about twenty times and scores, but assuming a regular pattern. Since none of my times were below 20 seconds, and I've never had a time under 10 seconds, parts of this are extrapolation.

(note - this will not pick up columnization - sorry for the clumped data)

06-03-2009, 10:01 PM

Thanks for going to all the work that it must have taken to come up with all that data...I appreciate it. It's amazing!!!:D

What I would like to see though, is the maximum point total for each individual puzzle shown in the stats box...for I have seen some average puzzles have different points values, as do the other levels of difficulty.

Par example:
I solved an "average" rated puzzle today, and received 297 points. I solved another "average" puzzle a few minutes later, in the same time, and received 147 points. Note: This could be an error in the rating of the puzzle which is possible (possibly just entered wrong when the puzzle was loaded - maybe it should have said "easy")

I imagine this would take Stephen a tremendous amount of time to enter all these points values for all current puzzles, however he did change the stats box to reflect the start time of a puzzle recently...so maybe when he loads another batch he might consider adding the max. points value for each puzzle.

I hope this makes sense, its hard for me to explain things sometimes.

Once again, thanks Maradnu.:D

06-24-2012, 03:24 AM
I also appreciate this information---it was driving me NUTS trying to figure out how scores were computed!

I agree with Pootie---it would save a lot of confusion if the maximum # of points possible for each puzzle were listed---I'd like to see them on the results page as well, when I can take the time to study the info.

I've noticed that some of the puzzles listed as "easy" or "average" are difficult for me...when I get to the results page and scroll down to leave my 'vote' for rate of difficulty, I'll often notice that others agree, as it will have a rating of 6 to 9---so my question is: do the puzzle ratings ever change, based on user feedback, or are they just for our own information?

I'm really enjoying reading these posts---I feel like I've lucked upon a really helpful and thoughtful group of puzzlers and am glad to be in your midst!

06-24-2012, 04:14 AM
The longer puzzles are considered easy, the shorter ones most difficult.

Have fun solving.

06-24-2012, 04:16 AM
We've tried asking nicely for Admin to rate the puzzles based on something like player feedback or % solve rate. It must be easier for the program to call them "difficult", "average", or "easy" based on the number of letters in the quote. Mostly, I ignore the distinction and just try to solve it as though every one was a challenge.

06-25-2012, 07:00 PM

I am fairly certain Admin does read the ratings and comments.

For an example, the old quote with the French beginning then the English translation,
"to leave is to die a little"...I have not seen the French in that quote for months.
There may indeed be two of them out there, but I think he deleted the French.

I think if enough people disagree with a rating of a puzzle he makes that change as
I tend to agree with Lurker, I try not to look at the rating, I know if its short its worth
more points. But sometimes the really long ones by virtue of number of letters used can
be just as difficult.

psst im on a boatload of meds did that make sense??

11-15-2012, 12:31 AM
I'm kinda new here but I'm wondering on how points are calculated also....
I've completed some "difficult" puzzles with times in the 50-100 second range for about 300-450 ish points (going with memory here).... but I once went back into a frustrating puzzle and solved it.... (eating fried chicken and getting greasy or something) for a total time of 2,112 seconds (personal best! lol jk)..... but that time was worth 98 points.... how does that compute? Closing in on 100 times in puzzle solving time for only about 4 times the points?.... What link am I missing here?

02-12-2013, 08:39 PM
In a message I posted earlier today (copied here below) I show what I deduced about how points are awarded, which is very similar to what Maradnu said is his posts.

I see that several messages about this question mention that each puzzle is marked as "Difficult", "Average" or "Easy". I have not been able to find this difficulty level indication when I play. Where is it? I also have seen five dificulty levels on my chart, although I only have single examples for two of them. Perhaps these two are just anomalies.

Lurker's message suggests that the level might be based on number of letters. I will accumulate this letter count with the other data I have been collecting, and I will post what I learn from that.


I have been trying to figure out how points are awarded for solving cryptograms. So far I have solved 44 puzzles, and I have plotted a graph of the points awarded vs. seconds to solve. My main conclusion from examining this graph is that there are several categories for difficulty. I am not quite sure how many, but I think there are at least five. For each category, the points awarded is based on the following formula:

points awarded = A – S * B,


A is a point value constant that depends on the difficulty category,

B is a points per point constant (which is about 1/6), and which may or may not depend on the category,

and S is the number of seconds taken to solve.

What remains a complete mystery to me is how a category is assigned to an individual puzzle. Can anyone please help me figure this out?

02-12-2013, 11:16 PM
As I said, there are only 3 levels of difficulty...your 2 outliers are anomalies.

As a rule, the longer quotes are EASY and are worth less points.

I don't really think most of us are interested in an algebraic interpretation.

02-14-2013, 12:18 AM
Hi gryhnd51:

Thanks for your repsonse. My investigation of puzzle lengths is that "Easy" puzzles have more than 100 letters and difficult puzzles have fewer than 50 letters. I am currently unable to tell how exactly 50 or exactly 100 letter puzzles are categorized.

I have still not been able to find WHERE a puzzle is labeled as "Easy", "Average" ,or "Difficult"? Can you help me with that?

02-14-2013, 03:04 AM
When you pull up a new cryptogram, on the right side of the page you will see the difficulty level listed beneath the letters. Also, if you pull up "recent games" at the top of the page, you can see all of the 'grams you have attempted in the past 2 hrs. That will show you the info, and also give you a chance to "retry" any that you might have missed.

02-14-2013, 04:01 AM
Thanks grynhd41. Very helpful.

02-15-2013, 02:10 AM
How often is the average time changed? I see different times on the open page as when I finally finish a puzzle.

02-15-2013, 05:38 AM
I suppose the "average time" would change incrementally each time it is solved by any player.

03-12-2013, 10:35 AM
Nice analysis, Buzzzz. I appreciate your data collection. Been here a couple of years and couldn't figure out the scoring formula at all - drove me crazy! I am glad I ran into this thread.

03-13-2013, 12:47 AM
Classifying by the number of of letters seems to be oversimplification. I recently did a "difficult' 'gram where the first 3 words were "it is not.." and the next word started with 'on'. With this much of a start the rest was "easy". Therefore I suppose the the letter count system is used in lieu of some sort more complicated algorithm.

03-13-2013, 08:19 AM
If you folks are truly so interested in "data", you might scroll to the bottom of this page (or any other) and send an email to Stephen (ADMIN) asking him to join the thread and provide some facts. He's always been most accommodating.

06-09-2013, 07:17 AM
this is the only online game i've played where the scoring system was treated like a deep dark secret. it makes no sense to have a competitive site based on times and points with no explanation of scoring. i imagine everyone has wasted time trying to find the information on this site, then tried to figure it out on their own, and been thwarted with both efforts. it can lead to great frustration!
i would never have thought to do a forum search if another player hadn't told me about it.
there are still unanswered questions i'd like to see addressed and made easily accessible--a "scoring" topic at the top of the page would be good.

06-09-2013, 04:07 PM
Its not a deep dark secret, Maradnu, did a great deal of work
in explaining how the points are awarded for each difficulty level.

If you were just playing solely for points and didnt care about a hundred
percent then yes I can see how it would matter, but to me its pretty simple.

The less words, the more points. Doesnt seem to matter if the words are
"it, is,and the", less letters means less frequency thus making it a harder
puzzle to solve.
More words means more frequencies of letters, even
though some of them have proper names in them, if the quote is long, its rated
easy by virtue of there being more letters.
This might seem like an oversimplification, but thats okay, since we are solving
cryptograms a little bit of easy is a nice break.
Remember scoring isnt just points, you must maintain a certain average to
qualify for medals and trophies.
And those details are found at the top of each category of scoring.

The most simple way to explain scoring, imo, is this...if you are ahead
of someone at the end of the day, thats good. If you are behind someone
at the end of the day, whom you were ahead of at start of day, thats bad.
People play alot of puzzles. If you want to score high, play ALOT.
If you want a Speed medal/trophy ...Play fast.
If you want a Success medal/trophy, solve them all...and ...keep check on recent games
as often as you can, even when you are offsite.
Personally that is the issue that I feel needs to be addressed alot more than scoring.

I agree with Gryhnd, if you are eaten up by the desire to know the exact
criteria determined, then send a pm to Admin or email him.

And there are a few topics in this forum on scoring, that you can read at
your leisure.

06-09-2013, 09:44 PM
Yesterday I began a puzzle... got called away on business, and couldn't return for about an hour and forty five minutes. I had clicked out of the puzzle, but upon my return I checked in with "recent puzzles" and then clicked on retry. I solved the puzzle rather quickly, but of course I received credit for every one of those seconds I was away. I got 10 points for solving the puzzle and my time average for the month went up significantly. All of this was fine. I wanted to solve the puzzle because this month has easily been my highest percentage for solving and I want to maintain as high a percentage in that category as I can this month. I don't get too worked up (actually not at all) about how the points are calculated. Pootie's explanations/postings have been clear and easily understood. I don't get wrapped up in it because I know that (even if I didn't understand the scoring at all) the scoring is calculated the same for everyone... therefore it's fair. My goal is to break into the top 100 (lifetime, not monthly) list. I want to see my name there. I'm trying to get there by setting a goal of scoring 100,000 points per month. My job and home life preclude from playing more than that (though I'd like to), and sometimes days go by when I can't even peek at this website. A year and half ago or so I was in the mid-400s on the all time list. A couple of months ago I was hung up at position 162 for what seemed like forever. Lately I've been fluctuating between positions 151, 152, and 153 (probably with two other players who have noticed the same thing). The thing is (once again I've gone on far too long) I'm getting there, and though I don't have the exact formula for the points, I know that I'm being scored fairly along with all the other players.
PS - And though fewer letters seems to be a big factor in calculating a higher score, it's always the letter patterns (for me anyway) that determine how quickly I solve a puzzle, or if I solve it at all.