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Old 01-29-2015, 03:01 AM
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YorkiesRule YorkiesRule is offline
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Default How do you type so fast?

I have a question for people who manage to solve the cryptograms in under 15 seconds. Even when I recognize the quote and just have to type it in, it always takes me longer that that. I actually type pretty fast, if I had to type that quote in a notepad, it would only take me a few seconds. But on this site, you have to insert each letter in a separate letter box. I just click on the first empty letter box and start typing on the keyboard. If I make a mistake, I can't just press "backspace", I have to find and click on the wrong letter. All that clicking wastes a lot of time.

But the biggest problem is that if I type very fast, the cursor is not fast enough, and instead of moving to the next letter box after I type a letter, it stays in the same one and then the next letter just replaces the previous one. So if I'm trying to type "not" and I had "no" and now type "t", I get "nt".

All this makes it impossible for me to type a crypto in, say, 10 seconds. But I see records of 5 seconds on this site, so apparently it's possible. Am I doing something wrong? Are there any tricks that I could use to overcome these problems? I would really appreciate any help.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:39 AM
twskinner twskinner is offline
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I haven't been around here long, so there are probably others who can answer much better than I. But I think the site makes it much faster by only making you type each letter once, as it fills in that letter each other time it appears. So it doesn't require very fast typing - with no mistakes, a maximum of 26 characters, and in reality not more than 15-20. Mistakes do slow it down, but if one makes fewer mistakes on a given puzzle, typing 15-20 characters in under 10 seconds is realistic even without very fast typing.
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:52 AM
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I have the same problem with the program not keeping up with my typing and putting a later letter in the box. I intentionally type slower while solving puzzles to minimize the problem. It isn't fast typing that solves puzzles quickly, it's not going back to fix mistakes.

One trick you can use to speed up the start of a puzzle is to press Tab to get to the first letter (or to advance a single space mid-puzzle). Using the equal sign centers the puzzle on your screen and gets the cursor to the first spot. Also, hitting Enter instead of "Check it" sends you to the solution page a bit faster.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:26 AM
oddcouple oddcouple is online now
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So which is more important? Fast times or solve rate? I try to do both, and over 50% of the time I'm in the "very fast" portion of the arc, but I almost never give up on solving a crypto. So although I can get a 10-15 second solve, I also get three to four 5 and six minute solves a week which really slows down my average speed. I admire bansai and people like him for their records, but it seems like there are also 15-20 100% solve rates every month. Some of the fastest average solvers will only have about an 80% solve rate or so. Then there's someone like nanrich who seems to get records, a 100% solve rate and a top five speed rate. What do you think is the optimal balance?
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:45 AM
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This is your game; it's your free time. If maintaining 100% at all costs is what is important to you, do that. You will find that the longer you spend at 100%, the faster you start to solve because you have solved every puzzle at some point and they do start to look familiar. It is far more important to enjoy yourself here than to stress over records, ribbons, and trophies.
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:00 AM
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YorkiesRule YorkiesRule is offline
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Lurker, those are some very good and helpful tips, thank you.

I'm one of the people who go for the 100% solve rate, so my average time is never very fast. I have no ambitions to achieve both, I suspect that those who do just learned the whole site by heart. I like the process of solving the cryptogram, so I have no intention of doing that. Usually I don't care about the typing speed, because who cares if I got 437 or 438 points for a puzzle.

But it would be nice to get a record once in a while. The reason that I raised this subject is that sometimes (very rarely) I recognize the cryptogram almost immediately - after only a few seconds, and when I type it in, very pleased with myself, I get the time of 16-19 seconds, which is never enough to set a record. 16 is my personal speed record, and when I achieved that, the actual record was 5 seconds by nanrich. I know that I can't compete with nanrich or bansai, but I see some records by "regular" people as well, and I don't understand why I'm so much slower than them.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:46 AM
oddcouple oddcouple is online now
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Give it time, Yorkies. I've had about a dozen records since I started, but haven't seen my name attached to a record for a while. You know what they say "Records are meant to be broken"-hey wouldn't that be a great crypto. Anyway, I broke someone else's, mine have probably all been broken. Sometime you'll get that aviator congratulating you on a new record time. Enjoy it while it lasts. Someday your record will be broken too.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2015, 05:41 PM
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wvwoman wvwoman is online now
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i played for a few years before getting my first records--and i'm pretty sure i got those because someone had been cheating, so all his/her record quotes were cleared and i just happened to play them and get records before any of the fast folks got to them! (my record times were all in the 25-60 points range.) that, and maybe i caught the occasional newly added quote. since i'm not super fast, those are no doubt the only way i'll ever get records, but i'll take 'em! (i do occasionally solve a quote in under 20 seconds, but of course those are always solved by a very fast player in under 10, so those never get records.)

BUT...
i find my own rewards:
i'm always pleased when i solve a puzzle with under a 20% success rate--and rather shocked (and extra pleased) if i solve one with under a 10% rate!
it makes me feel good to land in the "very fast" section of the bell graph, especially on a puzzle i found tough.
and then there's the enjoyment from so many of the players--their comments on puzzle pages, in the chat room, on the forum and in personal messages. (i love you guys!)
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2015, 12:54 PM
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momof7 momof7 is offline
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You mentioned that the comments section is one of the aspects you enjoy on this site. I often find that the comments are wittier, more clever and funnier than the actual quote.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2015, 08:13 AM
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Highpoint Highpoint is offline
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I assume the super fast players are using a simple program that accesses a database of quotes and then fills the blanks with the answer with no human input. It's a bit hard to believe that some people can solve a cryptogram in less than 10 seconds. It's kind of like someone claiming to run a mile in 10 seconds.
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