View Full Version : Interruptions during solving

03-06-2015, 06:21 AM
Occasionally I'm interrupted while solving a puzzle, and this inevitably adds to the time. I'm not concerned about competition, but what about the distribution curve? Once I was away from the computer for over 6 minutes, and another time it was almost 15 minutes! That must affect the curve. Sometimes I just refresh and begin another puzzle so as not to ruin the curve. But sometimes it's an intriguing puzzle that I want to finish. Am I being selfish to do so? Should I have enough conscience to always abandon the interrupted puzzle and move on to a new one? :confused:

I love cryptograms, but the only time I ever broke a record I was not signed in! The bell and 'pizzazz' almost made me fall off the chair. Hasn't happened since. To me, it's just something I love, but it's still hard to give up on one after it's "gotten" to me. I know that some players take it much more seriously, and I don't want to distort the perspective provided by the bell curve.

03-06-2015, 01:07 PM
Don't worry, I'm pretty sure it doesn't affect the curve. New records are updated on the curve, but other than that I don't think they change. I have set several "slowest records" myself and seen others leave comments about spending more than 15 minutes on a crypto, and yet the curve often ends at 500 seconds or less. When I come back to a crypto I know I spent half an hour trying to solve the first time, there's no sign on the curve that anyone was ever that slow to get it.

(Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I have experienced.)

But anyway, even if it did affect the curve, who cares? If anything, it might make other people feel good about being able to solve the crypto in question faster than someone else :D

03-06-2015, 01:28 PM
The curve is not a normal bell curve. The average time and the record time are the only two "fixed" points although the average could change a bit for newer puzzles. The division between "very fast" and "fast" seems to be the mean of the average and record times. The division between "slow" and "very slow" appears to be 3X the average and the slowest time appears to be 5X the average.

Unless the average changes significantly, really slow times such as my glacial ten thousand+ seconds time (which is why I seem so slow this month) won't show up on the curve.

So don't sweat it, PJ; any incredibly slow time just disappears with no effect on the curve.

03-06-2015, 03:10 PM
There haven't been any batches of new quotes added to the site in a very long time. When they are, there's a period of a couple of months where the computer collects its speed and percentage data. When the puzzle has been played enough times, it becomes eligible for records. I think that's when the average stats become fixed.

Has anyone noticed the averages change on any puzzles after their introductory period?

03-06-2015, 05:30 PM
i've been away from puzzles for MANY hours before solving (leaving the room, falling asleep, etc.), and those times never are recorded.
lurker, i wasn't aware that there was a lag time after new quotes are added. almost the only time i set any records was right after admin cleared the records of a member found cheating--that was such fun! it almost makes me wish...

03-06-2015, 06:36 PM
Yeah, me too. While I love the one or two 6 and 5 second times I have floating out there, I kind of wish all the records would be wiped and reset to 60 seconds so everyone could feel the joy of setting one. Even if Nanrich or Bansai beat them a few hours later.

03-06-2015, 06:41 PM
alrighty then, who would like to vounteer to have their numerous records wiped clean?! (yeah, right!!)

03-07-2015, 10:47 AM
I just set a new slow record on a Frank Zappa quote, "Stupidity has a certain charm; ignorance does not." (I got called away from the computer for an hour.) My nearly 4000 seconds time did appear immediately on the curve, but I'll wager it won't be very long before it is culled.

Be on the lookout, folks and see if it is indeed cut from the curve calculations.

03-09-2015, 07:54 AM
Thanks, all. That makes me feel much better. Yes, I've broken the "slow" record plenty of times WITHOUT leaving the computer!! In fact, today I spent almost 20 minutes...1149 seconds...on one that shouldn't have been so hard. But that's a true measure of my score vs. the average. I was feeling "guilt" over leaving the computer for minutes on end and possibly affecting the curve with a score that isn't representative. So your comments are a relief.

03-11-2015, 10:44 PM
It makes me feel better too, to think that some of my slow records may not have been records at all - someone else may have done even worse and had their scores removed.:)

03-16-2015, 12:03 PM
I agree that the stats don't change, once they have been established.

I think it was about 3 years ago, that thousands (?) of new quotes were added, during that time, I was able to set quite a few, short lived records. It's a wonderful feeling, to see the little plane fly.

I hope that sometime soon, another large batch of puzzles will be added, so that the newer players, and the older slower players, like me, will be able to set some records again.:)