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View Poll Results: Which method do you prefer for dealing with repeat letter usage?
Automatic Replacement (option 1) 30 25.64%
Visual Indication (option 2) 34 29.06%
Leave it the Heck Alone! (as-is) 53 45.30%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 04-16-2011, 09:39 AM
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Question What are you worried about

I voted for the automatic replacement option. I tried both options and solved a few hundred puzzles with each, but I found it really doesn't make a difference to me. In fact, after solving a few hundred puzzles, I never saw the pink highlighted letters occur even once. Most people seem to be voting for the "Leave it the heck alone" option. I say, why should we be worried? Let's give all newcomers to the site every advantage that will help them to solve even faster. Everyone who has voted would have to admit that they have become much faster solvers after using the site for a while. If we look back at the monthly speed records, it's obvious we've all become much faster. I would encourage Stephen to introduce one of the two, just to make this an even more attractive, trafficked website. Ultimately, don't you want to have more solvers, Stephen? Two years ago, I asked the site administrator of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament website if he would add a link to cryptograms.org. This site's link has been posted there since. I did my little part to try to bring super-fast solvers to the site. I have always welcomed ever faster solvers, and I would like to see one of these two new facilitations implemented, just to bring the new solvers up to speed. Leave it the heck alone? Heck, no!!



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  #12  
Old 04-16-2011, 06:10 PM
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Question Site Re name perhaps?

Following that line of thinking Bansai, lets suggest a site rename to:
Quick Solve Cryptograms.Org.

Since when has the onus shifted from just solving these things for the love of the game to speed?
Why is how fast we solve them so darned important?
Obviously yes there is a competition for it, I do realize that, however enticing new members
by making these puzzles faster and easier to solve, just doesnt sit well with me.
Sure we all got faster. We practiced and learned and played and played.
Wouldnt it be more fitting to entice new players to the site simply by saying challenge your brain, try these out. See how many points you can get, hey, why not see if you can get a perfect solve rate?
But above all come and enjoy the game for the love of the game. For the sheer bit of
satisfaction when you work a puzzle and figure it out and get that success screen come up.
Maybe that's a too simplified ideal ...to solve and learn and watch yourself get faster.
There is satisfaction in that as well.
Alot of us by word of mouth and in our own ways, have helped to get the site more players. We just dont feel the need to let everyone know.
When did speed become the be all and end all of cryptograms.org?
If admin keeps implementing changes to make it easier and easier, those new members or potential member with 'smarts' will wander away wondering where's the challenge?
Leaving us with demon speed solvers simply trying to be the fastest.
I would think Stephen would like to see this site grow and attract members simply because its challenging and fun.
I realize we live in a new world. "I want it all and I want it now."
I prefer to work for what I get. To learn. To enjoy. As most of us did.
The new solvers will get up to speed. We all did. By working at it...not having more and more options
offered to us so we could solve faster.
Perhaps I'm being too old-fashioned...bristling at change. I dont think so. I think I just want to see the
site grow and attract intelligent people who love puzzling...not by how fast they can do it but just the pure
love of solving.
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2011, 07:15 PM
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To be fair, I've never made (and will never make) a change to the site to make a puzzle "easier to solve".

You have to keep in mind that there is a difference between making a puzzle easier to solve (i.e. providing hints, removing more difficult puzzles from rotation, etc.), and improving the mechanics of puzzle solving (i.e. auto-removing duplicate letters, or auto-copying letters from one box into all others, or auto-shifting the cursor to the next open square, etc.). The only changes I will ever make will be always in the latter category.

All I'm trying to do is to make the mechanics of solving as intuitive and irritant-free as possible. Copying a letter from one box into all other boxes is annoying - so we've automated it. Manually moving the cursor to the next open box is annoying (and was how the site was originally set up) - so now we've automated it. Having to remove duplicate letters when you change your mind on a decryption (or make a typo) is annoying - so we're now going to automate duplicate removal.

Auto-removing duplicate letters is never going to be the difference between someone solving a puzzle and someone not solving it. It doesn't make it easier, it doesn't give a hint... it just removes a minor annoyance that may occur once in every 100 puzzles you solve. Its impact on average/record solve times is almost certainly going to be infinitesimal at best.

I understand that there are often requests made on these forums for functionality that would allow unfair advantages in solving - and you're right to point these out as improper. But to lump this change in with all those others I believe is a bit unfair.
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2011, 07:28 PM
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Red face Admin

I was in no way casting aspersions on the changes that you are implementing.
I do understand the need for them. And I completely understand that in no way would you make this site unfair ...Im sorry if you inferred that from my post.

My response was a reply to Bansai's post.

My apologies if it came across as an affront to you or the work you do.
That was not my intent.

I was only trying to put forth my opinion on the whole "speed solving" issue.

(will now spend five minutes in the naughty corner)
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Last edited by pootie49 : 04-16-2011 at 07:33 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2011, 07:45 PM
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No worries, pootie - in the end we all want the same thing, the best possible cryptograms site. :-)
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2011, 08:53 AM
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Thumbs up In the pink

I'd like to see the pink indicating a duplicate because it gives me the option of which one I want to delete. I can't see it really speeding it up - I'd still have to make a decision about which one to keep, and try reading the words to see which makes the most sense.
I enjoy the challenge of completing the puzzles and each quote is a glimpse into someone's mind. I wonder at the speed some people achieve, and am content to finish mine. I do them as quick as I can, but when I am one second longer than the average and see that "below average" rating, it rankles a bit. I am thrilled to be under two minutes on average, considering sometimes I spend 20 minutes on one! Everyone has their own reasons for playing, and those that want to set records will strive for that, while others get the thrill of completion and some could care less about rankings.
I just think it's a wonderful site! And I wonder if some of you folk have any interests besides cryptograms (do you eat? How do you do so many in a day??)
And thanks for asking us for our opinions!
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  #17  
Old 11-12-2011, 05:08 PM
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I like the way the cryptograms are set up for us to solve I don't think we need any changes. I think it takes time to learn all the tricks and ways you could solve a puzzle. I started doing cryptograms from the bookstores but they would have less and less books and magazines on cryptograms every time. I believe this is the best site where you could find them.
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  #18  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:00 AM
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Please don't change it. It's not duplication, but the right substitution that I'm searching for.

I have intentionally repeated a common letter, when I'm clueless and waiting for the "aha" moment, such as typing "the the the" to see what works. And when I'm frustrated and hit keys at random:

asondvalsnv;alsjkdfl';sfjaophvoahgsdfljkfj

I don't need to see pink, as I'm seeing red.
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  #19  
Old 12-02-2011, 07:24 PM
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Default A suggestion

I notice that there are possibilities of getting one or more hints. I suggest that solution times and scores be compared only with other times and scores that use the same degree of getting hints. I suggest that the user should be able to specify for a session (multiple cryptograms solved in sequence while logged in) the degree of hints desired: no hints, 1 hint, 2 hints, 3 hints, 4 hints, max available hints (which would depend on the difficulty of each cryptogram). It seems unfair to compare times and scores using no hints with ones using the maximum available hints.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:04 PM
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If a player is getting hints then they arent competing in the monthly competitions.
I am fairly certain that only registered competing players are achieving scores which
appear on the boards.
So no one in competition is getting hints.
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