Top Solvers

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22 Oct, 2016 06:56 PM

This is a crock. Humans even typing in a list of words cannot finish some of these in 2, 4 or 8 minutes. Most people are not aces at crosswords, and while I can sometimes do a decent puzzle in 20 minutes with no clue searches on line, it is likely impossible that this list of Top Solvers is legitimate. It would be nice for the rest of us if you either eliminated this solvers list completely (as it is bogus) or publish in detail how this is truly compiled. I made the list exactly twice, solving a couple of small, simple puzzles, and it was interesting to see the top solvers in those lists took longer than the top solvers in the so-called Amazingly Difficult category.

I enjoy the puzzles, do not really care where I place, and finishing with no outside help is my goal. However, to see this solvers list every time I complete a puzzle with impossible times listed pretty much tells me you do not know how to police your system, you simply do not care or you do not know how to construct a proper scoring mechanism that cannot be gamed (no pun intended).

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by SAI Technical S... on 22 Oct, 2016 06:59 PM

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    You can turn off leaderboard scores via the Settings gear on the puzzle list pane.

    If you have any additional questions or comments, please reply to this email. Thanks!

  2. SAI Technical Support closed this discussion on 22 Oct, 2016 06:59 PM.

  3. ben re-opened this discussion on 22 Oct, 2016 07:18 PM

  4. Support Staff 2 Posted by ben on 22 Oct, 2016 07:18 PM

    ben's Avatar

    Which puzzle are you referring to here?


  5. 3 Posted by David Nelson on 22 Oct, 2016 07:22 PM

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    Essentially ALL of them. No one solves these that quickly, even if given a list of words to simply type in the spaces. Typical solution times for 15 x 15 puzzles is on the order of 4-5 minutes…impossible.


  6. Support Staff 4 Posted by ben on 22 Oct, 2016 07:27 PM

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    I sympathize with you, but I have seen users do what I consider to be unrealistic. I personally, on a good day, can do an NYT Monday (or a Joseph) in under 5 minutes. I know there are people out there who basically just type the clues in in order, since they know them all so well. There are also people who complain about their times being one or two seconds off what they think THEY measured, and being nearly inconsolable. Alas, I think Glenn's suggestion to turn off leaderboards is probably your best bet.

    Good luck!


  7. 5 Posted by David Nelson on 22 Oct, 2016 08:49 PM

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    Most people cannot type in a list of words in a NYT puzzle in 5 minutes much less read the clues, discern the answer and place them in the space unless maybe they were dictated to someone who was a flawless typist and knew the keystroke shortcuts. I can do puzzles on paper with a pen faster than I can do them on the computer simply because of my typing (in)ability and the occasional mis-directed click that has me typing a down answer in an across set of spaces and having to delete the mistake. That alone costs me a minute or two per puzzle; glad to understand you are flawless.

    I do know you can group copy/paste into certain data engines and get a complete list of answers to many of these things, but then the words have to enter the puzzle, which takes time. I guess the easiest way to beat the clock is to fill in a puzzle almost to the end, copy the matrix, erase the puzzle (which restarts the timer), paste in the matrix and spend the 5 minutes or so it really takes to find some clues and voila — a 5-minute completion time, and glory.

    I at least know I’m pretty good at many of these, take about 20 - 40 minutes to do most of them and sometimes over an hour, especially if I leave my desk and forget to close the app. I can at least take comfort in the fact it was me and me alone getting them done. Just thought a score set-up without “fraud” controls pretty much assures some casual cheaters, and I wanted to point that out. I would suggest getting rid of the puzzle erase feature for a week or a month, and then seeing where the scores go. Just sayin’…

    I’ve been doing these for some years and this is my first commentary. Probably — to your relief — I’ll leave it at that and get back to enjoying the puzzles. If you see “1Coyote” on a high scorer list some day, you can at least be sure he did it legitimately. I’m sure most of us down in the 20+ minute pack indeed pay for our chips at Walmart.

    Blue Skies,


  8. Support Staff 6 Posted by ben on 25 Oct, 2016 09:45 AM

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    With a keyboard hooked up to an iPad, or running on a Mac, you can enter in clues pretty darn fast. It's certainly possible that people are solving the puzzle on one device or medium, and then re-entering it into Crosswords for a better time, but I can't think of a way to catch them. If we disallow times less than a certain value, I can guarantee that people will howl (potentially justifiably). This is, unfortunately, why we never offered prizes, as the system is a little too easy to, ahem, game.

    Thanks for understanding!


  9. ben closed this discussion on 25 Oct, 2016 09:45 AM.

  10. David Nelson re-opened this discussion on 25 Oct, 2016 12:25 PM

  11. 7 Posted by David Nelson on 25 Oct, 2016 12:25 PM

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    Thanks for your patience with me. I’ll live with it as it is —puzzles are the main attraction; just thought scores looked a bit weird.



  12. SAI Technical Support closed this discussion on 26 Oct, 2016 11:55 PM.

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