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Old 08-25-2008, 02:33 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 245

Hi everyone -

This is happening only to new cryptograms added in the past few weeks. The short explanation is that the stats are skewed simply because they've not been played enough times for the statistics to really have any meaning.

The longer explanation is that the "average" time is actually a median time, meaning that we take all solve times, arrange them from shortest to longest, and then select the one in the absolute middle as the median time. This tends to be a much more meaningful statistic than a simple average of all values, since thanks to the "recent games" feature puzzles can often be solved 1 or 2 hours after they were begun, and these longer solve times tend to inflate bare averages.

So, if a puzzle was solved 5 times, and the times were,

31, 56, 58, 78, 1029

... the median time would be 58. (An actual "average" would be 1252 seconds, which you can see is not indicative at all of how most people solved it).

Once we get more statistics in on these new puzzles, these "wacky" stats will wrangle themselves into place.

Also, we don't give record times for unregistered players, though we do include their times when calculating median scores. So it is entirely possible for a record time to be higher than the median time, especially now when so few games have been played.

Again, this issue will resolve itself over time. In the meantime though I may simply just not show statistics until a puzzle has been player 75 or 100 times.

Thanks everyone for catching this - I hope my explanation made sense.

- Stephen
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