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on using a solver for the timed puzzles
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Posted on: Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:40 pm

Posts: 2881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
on using a solver for the timed puzzles
I don't understand why I have to explicitly state this, but here goes:
please don't use a solver (or any kind of software aid) for solving the timed puzzles,
it will spoil it for the other puzzlers. I still get about 1 person every few months doing this

Also, when I send you a note asking you how you solve the timed puzzles, please
explain what software tool you use, and describe it in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=64
(I think writing a solver is great and interesting, and sharing your knowledge
with others is fun too, just don't use it to get an unfair advantage).

When a solver has been detected on your account, all your timed scores will be deleted,
and you will be removed from the timed rankings (you will still be able to do timed puzzles
whichever way you want, you just won't show up in the rankings). You will also lose
all your timed bonus points, and not receive any new ones.

Patrick

Last edited by pnm on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:59 am

Posts: 20
Location: Sinnai, Sardegna, Italia
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:13 am
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
Hello everyone, this post is for me and for some low time in the timed 4x4 and 5x5. I'm waiting for the boss and his appropriate controls, but I ask to the others expert informatics if is possible to use the solver to these puzzles. They are too fast. How would the minimum time to prepare the puzzle with its box and operations ... or not?
To avoid the use of the solver in the timeed puzzles you could set up an automatic reset if you leave the page or if there is another open page, so there are no doubts and misunderstandings.
Thank you boss and thank you to everybody and good fun.

Posted on: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:16 pm

Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:42 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
I agree that this problem needs to be solved but I would not suggest an automatic reset if there's another open page, I know I often have other tabs/ windows open and I sometimes like listening to music when solving timed puzzles.
Good to see there's a lot discouraging people from trying to use solvers, hope it all works out

Posted on: Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:58 am

Posts: 2881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
Alright, apparently bertoldo was using a browser bug that I knew existed for Opera
(and a while ago someone else made use of it for the timed puzzles), but apparently also works in IE8.

So maybe my first post in this thread should have read "don't use a solver, and don't manipulate
the clock in any way" (for those people who think that if something is not explicitly stated, then
it means it's allowed).

I could add to that "don't use a second account to collect puzzle solutions, in the hope you'll
get lucky and get a puzzle you've already seen for your first account" (a hassle but possible
of course)(bertoldo does use a second account, but it seems for practice only)

Note that every time someone modifies the timer, I do get a warning message at this end.
If this happens too often, I'll investigate, etc.

I'll re-enable bertoldo's timed ranking (I had just disabled the ranking and timed bonus points
for his account), but I will clear all previous timed bonus points: I've spent too much time
on this already, and don't want to go through submissions one by one to see which are valid.

Patrick

Posted on: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:17 pm

Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:51 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
A general question: what to do when one has a strong suspicion based on the times posted that someone is using a solver?

Or is the checking based on times already implemented in such a way that extreme outliers (eg. someone posting a time of say 1 second in a 5x5) already gets flagged?

Just asking for clarification.

Posted on: Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:22 pm

Posts: 2881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
ddarthez wrote:
A general question: what to do when one has a strong suspicion based on the times posted that someone is using a solver?

Or is the checking based on times already implemented in such a way that extreme outliers (eg. someone posting a time of say 1 second in a 5x5) already gets flagged?

Just asking for clarification.

You can always send me a message.

There is quite a lot of checking going on already.

Stupidly, I did get the warning about Bukri's time, but only checked the 4x4 list (because I assumed it was for a 4x4...)

Posted on: Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:52 pm

Posts: 2881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
It's been quiet for a while

User fic removed from the timed rankings for using a solver

Posted on: Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:04 pm

Posts: 2881
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
A few years ago I excluded bertoldo and a few others from the timed puzzles because of cheating.

They promised they would never do it again, so I lifted the ban.

I even "white-listed" their accounts, so I wouldn't get a warning anymore when they got a top 10 time.

Just now I noticed something off about bertoldo's 1.57 in the 8x8, and found that he is still cheating.

A 2nd player who is cheating: angelwhite

All their times and all timed bonus points will be removed, and they will be blocked from doing timed puzzles.
correction: they can still do timed puzzles, but will no longer be ranked.

I really don't get how people enjoy going through their life cheating like this, for a second time,
and after promising not to do it again.

Never mind the time it takes me to deal with this.

UPDATE

So far only angelwhite has reacted writing that (s)he is angry, the times are "normal"
(I did see that for angelwhite, a lot of times were normal, but some were not).

(S)he also recommends that I remove the following accounts because they've been cheating for years:
pnm edit: list of 5 usernames removed to avoid possible "flaming"

Finally that it's "profoundly unfair to exclude me from all the rankings",
and in a 3rd message, a single line:

I'm in fact still angry that this is taking even more time.

And coincidentally exactly during the days that I am busy generating the puzzles for the next month.

Last edited by pnm on Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Posted on: Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:30 pm

Posts: 300
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:15 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
Today I jumped from 10th place to 8th place in the All-Time Timed Puzzles Ranking! I promise it wasn't by cheating. Not by me anyway. Thanks for keeping us all honest, Patrick.

Posted on: Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:40 pm

Posts: 779
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:03 pm
Re: on using a solver for the timed puzzles
jaek wrote:
Today I jumped from 10th place to 8th place in the All-Time Timed Puzzles Ranking! I promise it wasn't by cheating. Not by me anyway. Thanks for keeping us all honest, Patrick.

I agree. Well done on being diligent in weeding out those who are not prepared to follow the rules that the rest of us follow. I have to confess that I'm somewhat shocked and at a loss to understand the motivation behind using a solver for timed puzzles when specifically prohibited (or indeed, why use one for regular puzzles?).

I notice that the number of people submitting timed puzzles of all sizes yesterday was significantly down on the usual numbers. Is this an indication that the problem is a bit more widespread than might be inferred from Patrick's post?

On the plus side, my time of 3:41 today stands a better than usual chance of making it into the top ten!

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