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munchlet 10-03-2008 11:10 PM

Glitch Fix -- thank you!
This one's probably been here forever... but I never knew.

Yesterday I hit the wrong buttons and managed to cremate two cryptograms within two minutes -- wrecking this month's 100% record (two days so far).

Most months, I play until my cursor freezes or the computer goes haywire... as I have an old XP system loaded with bugs, dial-up modem, and little expertise in technical matters. After cussing a blue streak and going SOMEWHERE ELSE for 40 minutes...

I came back to Log Out and (quite by accident) hit the "Recent Games" button. See... the Crypto God took heed. I never knew about the two-hour window of opportunity to correct computer glitches and other snafu's.

Now -- all's well, back to 100 percent (subject to change, of course, at any moment). But if the computer crashes or my cursor does its freezing trick (wish I knew how to fix that one) -- I will simply reboot and replay.

Thanks, Stephen! Please don't say how long I have not known about this marvelous feature. P.S. Love the recent upgrade -- solving was never so simple... now I am absolutely spoiled for paper-and-pencil puzzles. Here's hoping we never go back.


momof6 10-05-2008 06:44 AM

I can't stand to do cryptograms with paper and pencil anymore since finding this site!

maradnu 10-06-2008 01:46 AM

speed difference
I still do the newspaper crypto each day, but going from the site to pen and paper is like going from driving a sports car to riding a tricycle.

bansaisequoia 10-06-2008 03:23 PM

But there's still a greater aesthetic value to doing crossword puzzles with pen and paper. Not only that, you can do them much faster on paper than you can with any system I've seen on a computer, online or otherwise. Obviously the reason many of us are solving cryptograms in under 20 seconds is because if we type one "B," all "Bs" are filled in. If that were the case with crossword puzzles, that would be cheating; the computer would be doing the thinking for us. I can do a 15x15 grid in as little as 3 minutes with pen and paper, but it takes me at least 7 minutes on computer, having to type, point and click and use the arrows. Maybe someday there'll be a better system.

maradnu 10-06-2008 05:05 PM

Quite right about crosswords, though I've largely given up on the daily newspaper crosswords as not very difficult.

Merl Reagle does some good ones though - generally fair but challenging.

bansaisequoia 10-06-2008 09:35 PM

Not challenging enough?
maradnu, if newspaper crosswords don't present enough of a challenge, you need to try the Friday & Saturday puzzles in the New York Sun & the New York Times. As Stephen has mentioned elsewhere, New York Sun crossword editor Peter Gordon is editing Notable Quotable Cryptograms.

maradnu 10-07-2008 01:38 AM

The Sunday NY Times crossword is printed in the St Pete Times, and I do it occasionally. I've also done the on-line NY Times crossword, and went through a book of Friday NYT puzzles, and a book of Sunday puzzles. They are all good, as are Reagle's puzzles. Anymore, I do maybe a puzzle a week - just enough to keep from losing all my skill - not that I was ever "competition" level.

flutefish 10-07-2008 11:27 AM

While I am good at cryptograms and logic problems, I SUCK at crosswords. I have never once managed to complete a crossword without having to cheat and look up the puzzle answer in the back of whatever magazine the puzzle is in. Is there some secret to crosswords that I am missing?

bansaisequoia 10-07-2008 03:24 PM

Merl Reagle
maradnu, I've actually met Merl Reagle, and although he does puzzles for the San Francisco Chronicle & the Philadelphia Inquirer, he's a Florida guy like us. In fact, he lives in the same town as you do. (Of course I won't divulge that town in this forum)

NPR's Neal Conan with Merl Reagle

maradnu 10-07-2008 07:13 PM

Merl Reagle
I haven't met him, but my wife did. His weekly puzzles are in one edition of the Tampa Tribune.

I'm not too concerned about telling what town I'm in. Anyone who looks at my profile can find the link to my MySpace page, which tells more about me than most people would ever want to know.

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