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YorkiesRule
01-29-2015, 03:01 AM
I have a question for people who manage to solve the cryptograms in under 15 seconds. Even when I recognize the quote and just have to type it in, it always takes me longer that that. I actually type pretty fast, if I had to type that quote in a notepad, it would only take me a few seconds. But on this site, you have to insert each letter in a separate letter box. I just click on the first empty letter box and start typing on the keyboard. If I make a mistake, I can't just press "backspace", I have to find and click on the wrong letter. All that clicking wastes a lot of time.

But the biggest problem is that if I type very fast, the cursor is not fast enough, and instead of moving to the next letter box after I type a letter, it stays in the same one and then the next letter just replaces the previous one. So if I'm trying to type "not" and I had "no" and now type "t", I get "nt".

All this makes it impossible for me to type a crypto in, say, 10 seconds. But I see records of 5 seconds on this site, so apparently it's possible. Am I doing something wrong? Are there any tricks that I could use to overcome these problems? I would really appreciate any help.

twskinner
01-29-2015, 03:39 AM
I haven't been around here long, so there are probably others who can answer much better than I. But I think the site makes it much faster by only making you type each letter once, as it fills in that letter each other time it appears. So it doesn't require very fast typing - with no mistakes, a maximum of 26 characters, and in reality not more than 15-20. Mistakes do slow it down, but if one makes fewer mistakes on a given puzzle, typing 15-20 characters in under 10 seconds is realistic even without very fast typing.

Lurker
01-29-2015, 05:52 AM
I have the same problem with the program not keeping up with my typing and putting a later letter in the box. I intentionally type slower while solving puzzles to minimize the problem. It isn't fast typing that solves puzzles quickly, it's not going back to fix mistakes.

One trick you can use to speed up the start of a puzzle is to press Tab to get to the first letter (or to advance a single space mid-puzzle). Using the equal sign centers the puzzle on your screen and gets the cursor to the first spot. Also, hitting Enter instead of "Check it" sends you to the solution page a bit faster.

oddcouple
01-31-2015, 07:26 AM
So which is more important? Fast times or solve rate? I try to do both, and over 50% of the time I'm in the "very fast" portion of the arc, but I almost never give up on solving a crypto. So although I can get a 10-15 second solve, I also get three to four 5 and six minute solves a week which really slows down my average speed. I admire bansai and people like him for their records, but it seems like there are also 15-20 100% solve rates every month. Some of the fastest average solvers will only have about an 80% solve rate or so. Then there's someone like nanrich who seems to get records, a 100% solve rate and a top five speed rate. What do you think is the optimal balance?

Lurker
01-31-2015, 09:45 AM
This is your game; it's your free time. If maintaining 100% at all costs is what is important to you, do that. You will find that the longer you spend at 100%, the faster you start to solve because you have solved every puzzle at some point and they do start to look familiar. It is far more important to enjoy yourself here than to stress over records, ribbons, and trophies.

YorkiesRule
02-01-2015, 03:00 AM
Lurker, those are some very good and helpful tips, thank you.

I'm one of the people who go for the 100% solve rate, so my average time is never very fast. I have no ambitions to achieve both, I suspect that those who do just learned the whole site by heart. I like the process of solving the cryptogram, so I have no intention of doing that. Usually I don't care about the typing speed, because who cares if I got 437 or 438 points for a puzzle.

But it would be nice to get a record once in a while. The reason that I raised this subject is that sometimes (very rarely) I recognize the cryptogram almost immediately - after only a few seconds, and when I type it in, very pleased with myself, I get the time of 16-19 seconds, which is never enough to set a record. 16 is my personal speed record, and when I achieved that, the actual record was 5 seconds by nanrich. I know that I can't compete with nanrich or bansai, but I see some records by "regular" people as well, and I don't understand why I'm so much slower than them.

oddcouple
02-01-2015, 06:46 AM
Give it time, Yorkies. I've had about a dozen records since I started, but haven't seen my name attached to a record for a while. You know what they say "Records are meant to be broken"-hey wouldn't that be a great crypto. Anyway, I broke someone else's, mine have probably all been broken. Sometime you'll get that aviator congratulating you on a new record time. Enjoy it while it lasts. Someday your record will be broken too.

wvwoman
02-01-2015, 05:41 PM
i played for a few years before getting my first records--and i'm pretty sure i got those because someone had been cheating, so all his/her record quotes were cleared and i just happened to play them and get records before any of the fast folks got to them! (my record times were all in the 25-60 points range.) that, and maybe i caught the occasional newly added quote. since i'm not super fast, those are no doubt the only way i'll ever get records, but i'll take 'em! (i do occasionally solve a quote in under 20 seconds, but of course those are always solved by a very fast player in under 10, so those never get records.)

BUT...
i find my own rewards:
i'm always pleased when i solve a puzzle with under a 20% success rate--and rather shocked (and extra pleased) if i solve one with under a 10% rate!
it makes me feel good to land in the "very fast" section of the bell graph, especially on a puzzle i found tough.
and then there's the enjoyment from so many of the players--their comments on puzzle pages, in the chat room, on the forum and in personal messages. (i love you guys!)

momof7
02-02-2015, 12:54 PM
You mentioned that the comments section is one of the aspects you enjoy on this site. I often find that the comments are wittier, more clever and funnier than the actual quote.

Highpoint
02-06-2015, 08:13 AM
I assume the super fast players are using a simple program that accesses a database of quotes and then fills the blanks with the answer with no human input. It's a bit hard to believe that some people can solve a cryptogram in less than 10 seconds. It's kind of like someone claiming to run a mile in 10 seconds.

mikehallbackhoe
02-06-2015, 09:08 AM
I assume the super fast players are using a simple program that accesses a database of quotes and then fills the blanks with the answer with no human input. It's a bit hard to believe that some people can solve a cryptogram in less than 10 seconds. It's kind of like someone claiming to run a mile in 10 seconds.

you would assume wrong. there are folks on this site who are really fast, and the database they access is their own brain. the longer you play here, the more puzzles you will remember, and you will get better at recognizing word patterns. I doubt a simple program would be as fast as these players.

gryhnd51
02-06-2015, 07:20 PM
I am so tired of new players who assume....wrongly...that fast solve times can only be acquired by cheating. Bansai, for one, has some videos on utube that show quite clearly that he's just inhumanly fast at solving. I've been here long enough to know that our other really fast folks are equally innocent of "cheating".

wvwoman
02-06-2015, 07:29 PM
i'm sure it gets tiresome when you've been around for a while and know, personally, that these folks aren't cheating--however, i think it's natural to doubt...i had the same suspicions when i first started a few years ago, so i completely understand.
here's the link to a forum thread where some folks posted youtube links of themselves solving with some very fast times--it's far easier to believe once you've seen it!
http://www.cryptograms.org/forum/showthread.php?t=669&highlight=youtube

gryhnd51
02-07-2015, 12:38 AM
wvwoman, I thank you for posting that link! If I knew how to find it I would have done so myself....unfortunately, I'm an old idiot when it comes to computer tools! I hope some of the new folks will take a look at it....maybe that link should be posted once a month?? !!!

wvwoman
02-07-2015, 09:01 AM
i could put it on my calendar...

Barnabas
02-07-2015, 11:48 PM
I am so tired of new players who assume....wrongly...that fast solve times can only be acquired by cheating. Bansai, for one, has some videos on utube that show quite clearly that he's just inhumanly fast at solving. I've been here long enough to know that our other really fast folks are equally innocent of "cheating".

And you should see him fold laundry!:D

damsel22
02-08-2015, 11:56 AM
Like WV, when I first started here several years ago, I was truly amazed at the speed of some folks here. can still remember asking myself "how is it even possible to solve a puzzle so quickly? I can't imagine ever being that fast...". But millions of points later, I have become better at recognizing patterns and recalling many of the quotes I have seen.

petname
02-12-2015, 09:17 AM
I'm amazed at the highest scores. Like several others, I just thought that there are people a WHOLE lot smarter and more widely read than I am. It's a humbling experience, but I find this very interesting.

Lurker
02-12-2015, 05:16 PM
Welcome aboard! Everyone was new here once. Some just have a bigger head start than others. Keep practicing, and you'll improve. Everyone does.

petname
02-13-2015, 10:57 AM
I appreciate the encouragement...but I'm still no threat here. Don't think I'll ever be so. But it is so much fun! And I'm proud when I complete a cryptogram.

mikehallbackhoe
02-13-2015, 11:56 AM
when I first joined, I thought I was pretty good at solving cryptograms. I was shocked to find out that I was below average in my solving times. I ate my humble pie, and kept playing, and before long my times improved. I will never be among the fastest, but now I am consistently above average. Don"t compare yourself to others, and just compete against yourself.. Don't get discouraged, and just have fun.

YorkiesRule
02-17-2015, 06:48 AM
I watched a video of cryptogram solving that bansai put on youtube, and I think that I see the key to him doing it so fast - he types sequentially, whereas I always jump between words. I guess he just remembers all the quotes on this site.

petname
02-17-2015, 02:10 PM
To remember all the quotes on this site? WOW! But...wouldn't that take away most of the fun? I'm bad as when a screen full of long, jumbled alphabet strings of letters pop out at me, I'm lost with them. I seem to add to the jumble....

twskinner
02-17-2015, 07:42 PM
Obviously I can't speak for bansai, but you don't have to memorize all the quotes to be able to type mostly sequentially. I think it's much easier to get fast times utilizing common words and combinations of words, and minimizing the jumping around that way.

puzzleme
02-18-2015, 10:08 PM
Momof7 - After reading your comment, I actually looked for the "Like" button! Then I realized this isn't Facebook :)

pj48
03-23-2015, 04:31 AM
You mentioned that the comments section is one of the aspects you enjoy on this site. I often find that the comments are wittier, more clever and funnier than the actual quote.

I played here occasionally for years before joining. The main reason I eventually joined was the fact that sometimes I REALLY wanted to comment on a quote (or on someone's comment). I do enjoy the comments as much as solving.

insomniac
03-24-2015, 03:20 AM
I played here occasionally for years before joining. The main reason I eventually joined was the fact that sometimes I REALLY wanted to comment on a quote (or on someone's comment). I do enjoy the comments as much as solving.

Me too. I also play a lot of logic problems (though for some reason the login there is separate from here?) and nearly every comment is just people giving their times and/or scores. The cryptogram comments feel more like a community. :-)

wvwoman
03-24-2015, 03:56 AM
i'm with you, insomniac. i wonder why some folks think they can use the comments sections as their personal stats pages? i'm not saying one should never mention it, if it's the topic of your comment, but just posting your time/score just seems selfish. (making a comment and then "off-handedly" adding your time doesn't work for me, either!) if you want the info, find a way to keep the stats yourself.

if everyone joined in, there would just be miles of stats in the comments sections. it sounds like they're off to a good start on the logic site--i hope they stay there.

petname
03-24-2015, 03:27 PM
I was also posting my seconds when I first started...as I noticed that others had done this as well. However, I saw one comment where a member berated another for doing just that. I realized if everyone did this (and many obviously do much better than I do), the comment sections would be ridiculously long with posted scores. I've never done this again. Sorry for those I've already done.

wvwoman
03-24-2015, 03:42 PM
let's just say that you were led astray!!

gryhnd51
03-25-2015, 11:50 PM
everything in life has a learning curve. That said, while it may be irritating finding someone's stats posted as a comment, there is actually NO posted rule against it so I've always given it some slack.
As for the comments often being more entertaining than the quote itself, I totally agree with pj48! Lots of folks have made cyber-friends here through the comments and chat and that makes this site a community of sorts....hard to find in this fast-paced world that we live in.

momn8r
03-27-2015, 06:52 PM
People's posting about their solve times bothered me too at one time. I then came to realize that it's about the only way to indicate to yourself that you have solved that particular quote in the past. I don't engage in this activity, but if admin wanted to add something to a solved puzzle to let us know we've been here before, that would be ok with me.

insomniac
03-28-2015, 03:35 AM
People's posting about their solve times bothered me too at one time. I then came to realize that it's about the only way to indicate to yourself that you have solved that particular quote in the past. I don't engage in this activity, but if admin wanted to add something to a solved puzzle to let us know we've been here before, that would be ok with me.

It's fine now and then, I really don't mind it. I was mainly saying that earlier to point out that over on the logic puzzles games here, score posting is almost 100% of the puzzle comments. No funny quips or discussions or anything much else. That's why I like it here in cryptograms better. Half the reward in solving the puzzle is reading what other people said in the comments! :D