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 Timed Puzzles 
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Posted on: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:35 am




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
beaker wrote:
OMG!!! A 1/2 hour to do all the puzzles most days.....takes me at least 2 hours most days and when a 12x12 comes up, then add another 2 hours!!


I don't know if it's most days. I just know that it's true for "some" days... like today it took less than half an hour. I think on days that have 12x12 and on the hard patterned 9x9 day it definitely takes more than half an hour.


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Posted on: Fri Apr 20, 2012 4:49 am




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
Aha! I just realized there is another important factor to speed on the timed puzzles besides one's natural ability with numbers and age. Another great disadvantage is sleep deprivation!!!


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Posted on: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:32 pm




Posts: 98
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 12:48 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
sneaklyfox wrote:
Aha! I just realized there is another important factor to speed on the timed puzzles besides one's natural ability with numbers and age. Another great disadvantage is sleep deprivation!!!


Yes, I am always a bit slower on Saturday morning. [razz]


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Posted on: Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:46 pm




Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:15 pm
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
picklepep wrote:
sneaklyfox wrote:
Aha! I just realized there is another important factor to speed on the timed puzzles besides one's natural ability with numbers and age. Another great disadvantage is sleep deprivation!!!


Yes, I am always a bit slower on Saturday morning. [razz]

Every morning is Saturday morning when you have a new baby in the house. It's just that every night isn't Friday night.


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Posted on: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:31 pm




Posts: 2215
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
sneaklyfox wrote:
Aha! I just realized there is another important factor to speed on the timed puzzles besides one's natural ability with numbers and age. Another great disadvantage is sleep deprivation!!!

I found that there are many important factors:
    - having had enough sleep
    - no distractions (adults, children, radio/TV, telephone, chat windows, etc.)
    - caffeine level (I recently got an espresso machine, which seems to help :-)
    - being "primed" or not with regular puzzles (I usually only do the timed puzzles)
    - the order in which I do the puzzles
I'm not sure yet about the last one: I usually do them like this:
one 6x6, then one 5x5, then one 4x4, etc.
but maybe that's not optimal [blink]

Patrick


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Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:54 am




Posts: 175
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:11 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
For me:

Having just woken up, and not having music playing.

Those 2 are the main causes of my slower days.

Actually, sleep deprivation makes me a little bit faster as far as I can tell. It's excess sleep that gets me.


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Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:15 pm




Posts: 694
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 6:51 pm
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
pnm wrote:
sneaklyfox wrote:
Aha! I just realized there is another important factor to speed on the timed puzzles besides one's natural ability with numbers and age. Another great disadvantage is sleep deprivation!!!

I found that there are many important factors:
    - having had enough sleep
    - no distractions (adults, children, radio/TV, telephone, chat windows, etc.)
    - caffeine level (I recently got an espresso machine, which seems to help :-)
    - being "primed" or not with regular puzzles (I usually only do the timed puzzles)
    - the order in which I do the puzzles
I'm not sure yet about the last one: I usually do them like this:
one 6x6, then one 5x5, then one 4x4, etc.
but maybe that's not optimal [blink]

Patrick


No distractions is important (with the exception of music, according to the starling's performance, what proves the thesis [thumbup]).

Not very sure about the caffeine level, I noticed a very slight improvement but the theory can be refuted because otherwise George Clooney and John Malkovich should be the faster calcudokers [biggrin].

I usually do the "three musketeers" together, in the sequence 4x4's, 5x5's and 6x6's, I proved changing the sequence but my times are equally bad [confused].
And noy very sure about the best moment during the day, very early?, very late? (still equally bad times [confused]).


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Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:45 pm




Posts: 73
Location: Delft, The Netherlands
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 7:15 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
I usually try to do some puzzles before I go to school (so, around 7:15 AM for me). I start with the 4x4 easy of the regular puzzles, and continue until I solved all of them up to the 6x6 medium. After that I do the timed. I always start with two 4x4s. If I beat all other times of that day on the first or second try, I do the third 4x4 afterwards, and then I go on with the 3 5x5s and the 3 6x6s. If I don't beat the others on the 4x4 on the first or second try, I do the 5x5s and 6x6s first, usually first a 5x5, then a 6x6, then another 5x5, etc, and when I finished the 5x5s and 6x6s I do the last 4x4. (OK, in my head this sounded logical.)
Also, I nearly always listen to music when doing calcudokus - usually Rise Against or Paramore.
I've never ever drunk any coffee in my life. :-)
I get far less sleep than I should, but it doesn't make much difference for me - my current 4x4 record was on a day that I felt very tired, in fact.


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Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:52 pm




Posts: 175
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:11 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
sheldolina wrote:
Also, I nearly always listen to music when doing calcudokus - usually Rise Against or Paramore.
I've never ever drunk any coffee in my life. :-)
I get far less sleep than I should, but it doesn't make much difference for me - my current 4x4 record was on a day that I felt very tired, in fact.


Random, I was actually listening to Swing Life Away when I did my fastest 5x5.

And I'll echo the coffee statement; I've had it twice, but I'm not a fan of the taste.

Also, I realize now that I never stated how I do the puzzles by grouping: I almost always start my puzzles around 5-5:15 PM, because that's 12 AM for the actual puzzle day. I do everything up until the 8x8 medium, but if I have to stop and actually think, I save what I have and move on. Then, if I have a bonus puzzle, I do it. Next, I start the timed puzzles. I find it works best if I work all 3 of the same size at once, just because it helps me to remember which x-y-x cages I can use(Think 11+ = 4-3-4 in a 4x4, but not in 5x5's necessarily.). After that, it's a tossup how much I work for the rest of the day.


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Posted on: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:39 am




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Timed Puzzles
starling wrote:
sheldolina wrote:
Also, I nearly always listen to music when doing calcudokus - usually Rise Against or Paramore.
I've never ever drunk any coffee in my life. :-)
I get far less sleep than I should, but it doesn't make much difference for me - my current 4x4 record was on a day that I felt very tired, in fact.


Random, I was actually listening to Swing Life Away when I did my fastest 5x5.

And I'll echo the coffee statement; I've had it twice, but I'm not a fan of the taste.

Also, I realize now that I never stated how I do the puzzles by grouping: I almost always start my puzzles around 5-5:15 PM, because that's 12 AM for the actual puzzle day. I do everything up until the 8x8 medium, but if I have to stop and actually think, I save what I have and move on. Then, if I have a bonus puzzle, I do it. Next, I start the timed puzzles. I find it works best if I work all 3 of the same size at once, just because it helps me to remember which x-y-x cages I can use(Think 11+ = 4-3-4 in a 4x4, but not in 5x5's necessarily.). After that, it's a tossup how much I work for the rest of the day.


Ditto on the coffee. I love the smell but not the taste. I do all the untimed puzzles and then I do the timed just as starling, all of the same size at once so I don't have to switch modes. Probably a different strategy would be more beneficial as sometimes I feel a bit tired after doing all the hard puzzles. Maybe if I did all the normal 4x4 and then went to doing the timed 4x4s followed by normal 5x5, then timed 5x5, etc... and picked a time of day that was better for me, I'd do better. But nowadays I can't really tell what are "better" times. I'm probably normally an evening person which is when I do the puzzles anyway, but I also try to do it at a time when I think I would be least distracted... kids in bed, hope the baby doesn't start crying... but one can never count on those things. I'm surprised my times aren't worse than what they are given that I'm always getting up a few times in the middle of the night.

About doing better on the timed puzzles when you're tired, I can understand that too. But it can happen both ways. If I'm really too tired my brain isn't working properly so I do worse, but if it's in the right mode it could be faster because then we start relying on the natural language bit which we've discussed before. Sometimes when we look at a puzzle, our conscious mind takes over too much and it could slow us down but sometimes the instinct acts faster. This is my theory anyway. Sometimes I found also late at night, like 2 or 3am for me (really late and this was months ago) I surprised myself by getting good times when I expected to do worse. But I think there does come a point when one is *too* sleep deprived that it doesn't really work.


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