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  #1  
Old 11-28-2016, 07:08 PM
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LLapp LLapp is online now
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Default How do people solve these cryptograms so fast? Is Bansais a robot?

These two questions come up so often that I am posting this forum thread to answer them. Other players, feel free to add wisdom. Here goes . . .

Dear New Crypto-Solver:

Welcome! You've found a great puzzle site, and a supportive group of players.

To answer the top question: No, Bansaisequoia is not a robot, and neither is Nanrich or any of the other super-fast players. They are real people who have practiced for many hours and who have a few key talents: they are good at seeing word patterns, they remember quotes they've solved before, and they type fast. Also, they have fast internet connections that don't add slow seconds while the screen loads.

It can be daunting, when you first start at this site, to take whole minutes to solve a single puzzle, only to discover that somebody else solved the same puzzle in under 12 seconds -- or even under 6 seconds in a few cases. Ridiculous, right? Well, yes, it is ridiculous. But not impossible.

Okay look, for now, just focus on challenging yourself and pay no mind to the super-solvers. No one here, not even Bansais or Nanrich, was able to solve cryptograms in under 12 seconds from the start. It took them tons of practice to get that fast.

"But is it even physically possible to type a long quote in under 20 seconds?"

Yes, it is -- in fact, it's easy if you are a touch typist. Remember: each letter of the alphabet autofills in each space where it appears as soon as you type that letter once -- which means you never have to type more than 26 letters (usually under 20) to solve a whole cryptogram. So if it were just a matter of typing speed, you could solve even the long quotes as fast as you could type about 20 letters.

What takes time and practice is knowing which letters to type. Here is an excellent tutorial that can help you practice: http://www.cryptograms.org/tutorial.php

Also, for encouragement, check this other forum thread: http://www.cryptograms.org/forum/showthread.php?t=669 In that thread, a few players have posted YouTube videos that show their screen as they solve puzzles in real time. To see their real-life crypto-solving screen videos, just scroll through the entries and look for the YouTube links.

To summarize:
- Bansais is not a robot.
- The key to speed is practice.
- You never have to type more than 26 letters to solve any cryptogram.
- Study the tutorial: http://www.cryptograms.org/tutorial.php
- Watch YouTube videos of players solving on-screen: http://www.cryptograms.org/forum/showthread.php?t=669

With steady practice you, too, may eventually solve an occasional puzzle in under 30 seconds. And then one day you may hit an especially easy puzzle and surprise yourself with a personal record, maybe even under 20 seconds. This is how it happens.

Last edited by LLapp : 11-30-2016 at 07:04 PM. Reason: I thought the alphabet had 24 letters. How I got to be this old, I'll never know.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2016, 04:15 AM
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damsel22 damsel22 is offline
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I just want to add, LLapp, that your times are quite respectable as well. Don't forget to give yourself some credit!

Last edited by damsel22 : 11-30-2016 at 06:33 AM. Reason: typo! oops!
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2016, 02:20 PM
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Lurker Lurker is offline
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24 letters? Are you doing these in Greek? Wow, you are good!
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2016, 06:59 PM
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LLapp LLapp is online now
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Default Thank you, Lurker!

OMG. I was very tired . . .

I'll fix it. Thank you!!!
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2016, 07:07 PM
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LLapp LLapp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damsel22 View Post
I just want to add, LLapp, that your times are quite respectable as well. Don't forget to give yourself some credit!
Thanks Damsel!
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2016, 10:49 PM
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mikehallbackhoe mikehallbackhoe is offline
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bansai is not a robot . possibly an android, but not a robot. dna testing will be necessary to know for sure.
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  #7  
Old 12-04-2016, 06:01 PM
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pj48 pj48 is offline
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The slow connection LLapp mentions, along with the fact that I'm a poor typist, is the reason I don't bother to play in competition mode. It's frustrating to wait for a letter to fill in, or to have to fix a typo, but it's still worth solving, and easier than doing the paper-and-pencil cryptograms I used to do for decades. By signing in, I get to add comments, but by remaining in non-competitive mode I also get to ask for a hint (or 3) if I really, really get stumped, since my lack of typing skill precludes competition in any case.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2016, 11:41 AM
darkyr darkyr is online now
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Default DNA test

I'll pitch in for that DNA test. Who's collecting?
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2016, 05:11 PM
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mikehallbackhoe mikehallbackhoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkyr View Post
I'll pitch in for that DNA test. Who's collecting?
I guess I will collect the money. Cash is preferred, but checks will be accepted, just make them out to mike hall, and this might be expensive, so keep it coming.
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