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My solving time vs the average (and its standard deviation)
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Posted on: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:43 pm

Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:49 pm
My solving time vs the average (and its standard deviation)
I have enjoyed solving the easier puzzles as fast as I can, and am amused (delighted?) when I have a message like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds."

I am suggesting that the message be extended to read something like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds; the average time for this puzzle today is 825 seconds, with a standard deviation of 17 seconds."

Clearly, there would have to be a certain period from the start of day when there were insufficient submitted solutions to be able to calculate an average... perhaps a way could be found to inform early solvers of the average (and std.dev.) later in the day.

I've no real experience of standard deviations, so I for one might find it useful to present some other measure of the range of answer times... perhaps a message like "and 41% on solvers were faster than you."

Posted on: Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:11 pm

Posts: 570
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:03 pm
Re: My solving time vs the average (and its standard deviati
randomfruit wrote:
I have enjoyed solving the easier puzzles as fast as I can, and am amused (delighted?) when I have a message like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds."

I am suggesting that the message be extended to read something like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds; the average time for this puzzle today is 825 seconds, with a standard deviation of 17 seconds."

Clearly, there would have to be a certain period from the start of day when there were insufficient submitted solutions to be able to calculate an average... perhaps a way could be found to inform early solvers of the average (and std.dev.) later in the day.

I've no real experience of standard deviations, so I for one might find it useful to present some other measure of the range of answer times... perhaps a message like "and 41% on solvers were faster than you."

I find that a good way of finding out where you stand relative to other solvers is to start puzzling as soon as they become available (at 11 pm CET) and then work through the puzzles in sequence. If you are (for example) 5th to solve the first puzzle and 4th to solve the second, the implication is that you are faster than average. If you slip from 5th to 6th, it suggests that there are others faster than you.

Of course, this is a fairly limited sample based on those who are chomping at the bit to start puzzling as soon as they come available and this group may well not be representative of the population as a whole.

Posted on: Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:40 am

Posts: 2605
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Re: My solving time vs the average (and its standard deviati
randomfruit wrote:
I have enjoyed solving the easier puzzles as fast as I can, and am amused (delighted?) when I have a message like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds."

I am suggesting that the message be extended to read something like "It took you 753 seconds and 437 milliseconds; the average time for this puzzle today is 825 seconds, with a standard deviation of 17 seconds."

Clearly, there would have to be a certain period from the start of day when there were insufficient submitted solutions to be able to calculate an average... perhaps a way could be found to inform early solvers of the average (and std.dev.) later in the day.

I've no real experience of standard deviations, so I for one might find it useful to present some other measure of the range of answer times... perhaps a message like "and 41% on solvers were faster than you."

I like the idea, thanks

A bit like how on chess.com you see in what percentile you are for a given time control.

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