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Old 02-14-2009, 05:23 AM
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Question Has anyone else heard this one

Sometimes, we have that moment of sudden inspiration where we nearly instantaneouly lock onto a key word that leads to a very quick solution of a cryptogram here on this site. Even if we've never seen the quote before, we might be able to solve it under 20 seconds or less. My theory is this: eventually, we will see very few cryptograms with a record solve time over 20 seconds because one of us will have that quick moment of inspiration. If this site continues for many years, one of us will have that quick moment, just by the laws of chance. There's even a wikipedia article that touches upon this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

Here's another point to ponder: we are solving English language cryptograms, therefore, if we solve them with maximum expediency, the greatest number of keystrokes we would make would be 26, the number of characters in the English alphabet.

Here is the quote that led to my first 10-second solution time, back before Steven made the upgrade to automatic letter advancement: "There is no instinct like that of the heart."--Lord Byron. Looking at the quote, it has an economy of characters--only 12. It did not use all 26 characters of the English alphabet. Obviously, quotes which have fewer characters will have an even faster solve time than those which include X, Q and Z, which are on less accessible parts of the keyboard.

I think soon, most cryptograms on this site will have a record solution time of under 20 seconds. Do any cryptedians or cryptediennes beg to differ? Here is your forum.

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Last edited by bansaisequoia : 02-21-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:44 PM
munchlet munchlet is offline
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Default Agree, mostly, except...

Quote:
My theory is this: eventually, we will see very few cryptograms with a solve time under 20 seconds...
Hmmm. What's wrong with the sentence above? I posit this problem may be solved (edited) by its author with the addition of three letters, appropriately placed, so its meaning becomes congruent with the ending paragraph below:

Quote:
I think soon, most cryptograms on this site will have a record solution time of under 20 seconds.
But, basically, I agree. Given a very large number of solutions for a particular cryptogram... then inevitably we will see outliers on the probability curve, including both lightning quick and exceptionally slow solve times. (Personally I've found myself at both ends.) The more hits on a puzzle, the more often this will happen.

I disagree, however, with the "infinite monkey theorem," so-called, for reasons beyond the scope of my comments here. Those monkeys -- or rather, the ghosts inside a Cray super computer -- could spew random letters from here to eternity and never hit on Hamlet. Shakespeare lies beyond the realm of pure chance.

Last edited by munchlet : 02-23-2009 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:56 PM
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Default Fastest solution time

For those cryptos with a moderate to high success rate, I agree, most will eventually have fastest times under 20 seconds.

There are a few with very low success rate - under 20%, and those may tend to stay up a bit. Even some of the moderate - in the 20% to 40% range may have slightly higher fastest times. In order for the curve to kick in and get fast outliers, you need sufficient number or percent of solutions.

Also, as new puzzles are added, it will take a while for enough people to solve them to get the fastest time down.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:21 PM
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Thumbs down Oops!

Thanks for pointing that out, munchlet. I have since edited my post. Also, in one instance I should have said "over," instead of "under."

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:37 PM
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Default ouch

Bansai, that picture hurts my brain.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:57 AM
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Question Anodyne, anyone

PHP Code:
Bansaithat picture hurts my brain
Sorry about that, kat. Have you considered taking an acetominophen or ibuprofen product?


(This is not spam. I swear!)
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:15 AM
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Default god no!

Bansai, last time I took a pain reliever containing ibuprofin (about 3 weeks ago) I had an extreme allergic reaction. Whether it was the ibuprofin (which I'd taken before with no adverse results) or stress, or maybe both, I'm not willing to risk it again.
I was unrecognizable. I was covered in hives, my eyes were swollen almost shut and my neck was bigger around than my face. My blood pressure was 179 over 113. But, after much epinephrine and some xanax (my nerves were shot!) I was back to my normal self in about 36 hours.(The swelling around my eyes lingered for the next day)
So, as cool as that picture is.. well...you get the idea. I'm at a loss for headache remedies now. Acetominophen hurts my stomach. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:04 AM
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Default yikes

kat, I'm so sorry to hear about your ordeal. I'm on blood pressure medication, but my highest readings ever were 142 systolic and 98 diastolic. I can't even imagine 179 over 113. I have no allergies which exclude use of any over the counter pain relievers. However, I had an extreme bleeding ulcer 4 years ago and was hospitalized for three days. I had no idea I was having an ulcer when I was taken to the emergency room. I didn't feel any great discomfort in my stomach, though I did have heartburn a couple days before. I felt warm and feverish and I thought I had Asian flu. When I got to the hospital, I was so dizzy, I couldn't walk more than a few steps without reeling, so naturally they put me on a gurney as I got out of the car. It turned out I wasn't dizzy from fever (in fact my body temperature was 96.2 degrees F at that point), I was dizzy and cold from internal loss of blood. In fact, while I was hospitalized, my hemoglobin count became so low, they were considering a transfusion. And in these times, doctors are very reluctant to give transfusions, given the possibility of tainted blood. If I had been over 55, they said almost surely would have given me a transfusion. Since then, the only over the counter pain relief I can take is acetominophen, as all others, including aspirin and ibuprofen have warnings for people with ulcers and gastric bleeding. If acetominophen upsets your stomach, I would suggest Aleve, which has the active ingredient naproxen sodium. I'm not supposed to take this one either, but once in a while I cheat and take one anyway. At least it's not as harsh as aspirin. It's the 21st Century. I wish someone would develop a dermal aspirin patch, so ulcer patients can take aspirin too.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:09 AM
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Default yes..

I agree, they should make a pain reliever that is taken through the skin for people that have problems absorbing it through the stomach. naproxin sodium gives me as much or more pain than acetominophen. I've tried Aleve, and no aleviation. Vicodin helps, but mostly just because of the stress relief. I don't take many drugs.
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:57 AM
munchlet munchlet is offline
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Default Hi, Kat...

Quote:
Any suggestions?
Maybe one or two.

I happen to work at a drug store chain... not however in Rx.

It's fairly amazing, though, how much a registered pharmacist can help you. An R.Ph. will refer you back to an M.D., of course, but they too complete rigorous training to become experts in pharmacology (drug indications, interactions, side effects). Every day our pharmacists dispense ample advice along with the prescriptions they fill.

You need not even purchase a prescription. The pharmacist will advise you re OTC drugs (no need to purchase those, either). Friendly, helpful faces in Rx increase customer satisfaction and sales for the entire store. It's good for business. So. Have you talked with a pharmacist re this problem?

Next would be non-medical alternatives to popping pills. Disclaimer: I adore ibuprofen, taken it daily (200 mg at bedtime) and consider this med a wonder drug if not a panacea. I remember thirty years ago when the stuff was dispensed by script only... those were NOT the good old days (says this creaky old lady). And yes, lucky me, no side effects either.

That said... with alternatives like relaxation training, meditation, biofeedback (using your mind to control your body), people who have enough discipline and determination [which would exclude said lady in dunce cap] report remarkable results with pain control. Plus you save money 'cause you don't gotta buy all them pills!

'Course we drug store employees would prefer you continue with the pills and support our profit margins. But since you have tried them all...

But last (so obvious I forgot)... we do sell analgesics that are absorbed through the skin: Ben Gay, Tiger Balm, creams, patches, ointments... for relief of backache, arthritis, bruises, strains & sprains.

In fact, we sell a lot of these. But none of them (so far as I know) relieve the pain in your brain...

aka an Excedrin Headache.

Andrea

Last edited by munchlet : 02-23-2009 at 09:39 AM. Reason: Additional info
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