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  #21  
Old 01-31-2014, 05:17 AM
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Default question for really fast solvers

I also wanted to add that I have tremendous respect for the 100% solvers out there. It blows my mind how you folks do it. My current goal is to improve my own percentage rates, and this month I've lost two full seconds on my current average solving times-and still have only just over 98%. It's apparent that to get 100% or even 99.5, I probably wouldn't even score in the top 20 each month!
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by abra View Post
You made be blush, Barnabas. Thank you, for the shot to the ego.
You're welcome. And the compliment was sincere. There are close to 19,000 people who have an 'account' with this website, and you're in the top 1% of all solvers, so it should be no surprise to you that there are others who look at your results and think you're pretty good compared to them. We're just climbers on a mountain, looking up at the climbers above us and thinking it would sure be nice if I could climb like them, while the ones under us are looking up at us and thinking the same thing. What I particularly like, though, about the ones at the very top is that they are generally quite gracious about their status, willing to pass along tips to others, and often are willing to be humorous and self-deprecating where their success is concerned (several of Bansai's hilarious photos he posts come to mind, especially the one where there is a couple of hands on a keyboard and each hand has 10 fingers - that was good stuff, Bansai).

Last edited by Barnabas : 01-31-2014 at 12:53 PM.
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2014, 03:14 PM
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This turned out to be such a nice topic, thank you Mike for posting it. It looks like what we have here is a mutual admiration society. That's a nice thing to know. :
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2014, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damsel22 View Post
I also wanted to add that I have tremendous respect for the 100% solvers out there. It blows my mind how you folks do it. My current goal is to improve my own percentage rates, and this month I've lost two full seconds on my current average solving times-and still have only just over 98%. It's apparent that to get 100% or even 99.5, I probably wouldn't even score in the top 20 each month!
Damsel, I have been in the monthly top 20 once - it happened because I was sick with an awful virus and spent several weeks on my living room sofa, doing one cryptogram after another...I'm not very fast, and my percentage isn't nearly as high as yours, but it must have been the sheer number of puzzles I solved that month. So I could easily see you making the top 20!
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2014, 04:34 PM
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I don't know about you all, but I have to have a pretty regular amount of solving time in order to keep solving quickly. It usually takes me ~30 minutes to get in a groove, then I can stay focused for about 3 hours, and then solving and focusing becomes impossible. And I need to do this at least 3 times a week or I start to lose my ability to 'see' the puzzles quickly.

As a side note, this is why you see me with sporadically heavy months. I don't know how you regulars don't burn out.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2014, 06:53 PM
themunchlet themunchlet is offline
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Quote:
it happened because I was sick with an awful virus and spent several weeks on my living room sofa, doing one cryptogram after another...
Ugh. These last two days I was besieged by the norovirus, aka stomach "flu," a plague one would not wish on one's worst enemy. You want to die -- in fact, you're sure that you will.

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http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/31/health/norovirus-facts-info/
Not only GI symptoms, but a devastating headache -- in fact, the headache came first -- and so have spent way too much time solving cryptograms. The illness did nothing to boost my success rate, however.

Tomorrow, back to work, and someone else can take the High Score top slot. It's yours.

Andrea
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  #27  
Old 02-01-2014, 07:05 PM
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whoa, that sounds miserable--hope you're feeling better.
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2014, 07:18 PM
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Wow, I have heard really bad things about the norovirus. I don't think I'd be able to do puzzles, let alone grab first place. Good for you.

I love the first couple days of the month when the board is so dynamic. You can be in 3rd place and get up for a cup of tea, and come back and be in 12th place. It's only at the beginning of the month that I've ever hopped into first place for a minute or two. It didn't last but it was fun sitting there for a minute.

Hope you feel all better tomorrow, Andrea.
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2014, 09:05 PM
themunchlet themunchlet is offline
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Thank you, Abra and WVWoman, for the kind words. Nothing like tea and sympathy -- I usually have a cuppa -- well, something -- while solving.

To clarify, I was flat on my back for 12 hours, then spent a sleepless night by the computer, and it had just turned the 1st of February. Solving focuses the mind, an excellent diversion.

btw, changing the subject, Nanrich wrote an excellent summary of techniques for solving these puzzles quickly. It is a matter of "seeing" and recognizing patterns at a glance. But while I can do that with maybe 85% -- improving slowly with practice -- she solves every single one at warp speed. Awesome.

Even if I had all day, almost certainly there's a few I'd miss. That, coupled with lack of patience, means I go for speed and leave many unsolved. The quick and the dead, that's my current strategy -- if it doesn't come clear in 30 seconds, basically, it's history till next time.


Last edited by themunchlet : 02-01-2014 at 09:09 PM. Reason: nitpicking
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  #30  
Old 02-01-2014, 09:15 PM
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thanks, i think i'll try your method--i'm not sure that working and working on one helps me anyway--if i don't get a quick grip on it, it's usually just taking stabs at things--i'm not saying what i mean, but i'm too tired to think how to explain. taking a nap now!
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