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.