Crossword Tournament from Your Couch

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Al Sisti
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Re: Crossword Tournament from Your Couch

#61

Post by Al Sisti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:16 pm

I tanked... 22-something with (another) overwrite error. I think I may take some time practicing .puz solving to get used to the cursor and across/down when I'm typing in stuff. Screws me up when I try to just type in a new answer but there's already a letter filled in, and it jumps over and continues my word, but one square off where I meant. What a fun day though...

LesY
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#62

Post by LesY » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:23 pm

Agree with Al - great fun! Thanks to Damefox for setting up the thread, to Brian for the advice, and to Al for pulling together the scores.

Now if I only had a clue on the MGWCC....

My parting advice - bet it all on UVa against Texas Tech tomorrow at 2 on CBS.

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Al Sisti
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#63

Post by Al Sisti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:45 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:31 pm
try this again:

Damefox - 10109
LesY - 9564
Laura - 8908
BrianMac - 8878
FrankieHeck - 8463
Al Sisti - 8348
Cindy - 8226
Oops -- I had the wrong Laura. LauraM, it doesn't look like you entered your Puzzle 4?

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Al Sisti
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#64

Post by Al Sisti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:47 pm

Chesterfield finals starting now...

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Al Sisti
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#65

Post by Al Sisti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:01 pm

Holy crap. Using Chesterfield clues, Tyler 4:07, Paolo 4:41 and David 5:51.

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Al Sisti
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#66

Post by Al Sisti » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:06 pm

Final stats: 1665 participants, which they stated was the largest ever live on-line tournament, doubling the next largest. And they pulled it together in a week?

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BrianMac
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#67

Post by BrianMac » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:08 pm

Largest crossword tournament on or offline since ACPT is usually around 800, with the largest having been around 1200 I think.

Laura M
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#68

Post by Laura M » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:48 pm

5. 109:32, no errors, hard clues (oof)

Laura M
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#69

Post by Laura M » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:50 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:45 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:31 pm
try this again:

Damefox - 10109
LesY - 9564
Laura - 8908
BrianMac - 8878
FrankieHeck - 8463
Al Sisti - 8348
Cindy - 8226
Oops -- I had the wrong Laura. LauraM, it doesn't look like you entered your Puzzle 4?
As far as I could tell I did, the page I was on showed the green checkmark, but it never showed up on the board. I guess it logged me out or something? Anyway, it was just for fun. (Still, my competitive side wishes I had been counted!)

Update: Just looked again and my Puzzle 4 was counted but not 5 (yet, hopefully, although it looks like it's over!).

861 Laura Mendyke futon rookie 10:20 1 1198 12:10 1 1956 17:32 0 1903 24:55 0 2610 7667

(So I'm at the bottom of the rankings here, which makes more sense! One more caveat: My daughter suggested an answer for one clue in puzzle 5 without which I probably wouldn't have solved the lower right corner. So technically I cheated for being solo... Otherwise no Google or other help.)

GlennG
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#70

Post by GlennG » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:32 am

Fun set of puzzles. While I can't say I'm a world-burner or even any where near respectable, I had a relative amount of enjoyment getting to do them (with the exception of #5 which wasn't on the site while I was doing the others, but I got the PUZ so that's coming in the next day or so).
BrianMac wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:08 pm
Largest crossword tournament on or offline since ACPT is usually around 800, with the largest having been around 1200 I think.
I think the whole affair being online and free helped that. I wouldn't have played if it would have cost an entry fee (with the virus stuff I simply don't have the funds for needs, much less something like that).

docison
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#71

Post by docison » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:02 pm

Hi everyone. Didn't realize this thread was ongoing during the tournament - I also participated and thought it was terrific fun. Amazing how well the technology worked.

For those trying to figure out how the fastest solvers can generate those crazy times... it definitely takes practice and a different approach. Generally, particularly with the easier puzzles, the fastest way to solve them is focusing on down clues only, not crosschecking (if you've got answers that fit, you enter them, and never look at the across clues other than to make sure the letters you've entered mean something), looking to the next clue while writing your answer, etc. None of us will get to Erik's times or even close, but you can for sure get faster doing it. And lots and lots of solving. The more puzzles you solve, the more clues you know and can fill in right away without thinking.

In any event, if you liked the virtual experience, come to a real tournament (when we're all allowed to socialize again!). They are great fun.

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Al Sisti
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#72

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:23 pm

docison wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:02 pm
Hi everyone. Didn't realize this thread was ongoing during the tournament - I also participated and thought it was terrific fun. Amazing how well the technology worked.

For those trying to figure out how the fastest solvers can generate those crazy times... it definitely takes practice and a different approach. Generally, particularly with the easier puzzles, the fastest way to solve them is focusing on down clues only, not crosschecking (if you've got answers that fit, you enter them, and never look at the across clues other than to make sure the letters you've entered mean something), looking to the next clue while writing your answer, etc. None of us will get to Erik's times or even close, but you can for sure get faster doing it. And lots and lots of solving. The more puzzles you solve, the more clues you know and can fill in right away without thinking.

In any event, if you liked the virtual experience, come to a real tournament (when we're all allowed to socialize again!). They are great fun.
Yeah, I've decided I'm gonna spend some of my free time going back and solving as many past .puz crosswords as I can find... it's all new to me, and I'm anxious to use whatever tricks and good old fashioned experience I can get. (you should've seen me trying to figure out what I was doing and where my fingers were with my kids' video game controllers. Smashing into walls, punching my avatar in the face, jumping in place for no reason... I kept them amused, that's for sure)

docison
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#73

Post by docison » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:32 pm

The funny thing is that at physical tournaments, you of course need to solve on paper . I spent the last few months solving with pen and paper (I usually solve on line) only for ACPT to be postponed. The interface of this weekend's tournament was different so I took some time getting used to it - I tell myself that I would have been faster on the first puzzle if I had figured it out sooner!

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damefox
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#74

Post by damefox » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:12 pm

docison wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:32 pm
The funny thing is that at physical tournaments, you of course need to solve on paper . I spent the last few months solving with pen and paper (I usually solve on line) only for ACPT to be postponed. The interface of this weekend's tournament was different so I took some time getting used to it - I tell myself that I would have been faster on the first puzzle if I had figured it out sooner!
I had the opposite experience. I think I had a huge leg up because I usually solve puzzles online and have become familiar with several different apps that different outlets use. I would've been so much slower on pen and paper! I should start practicing on pen and paper, but now that I'm not allowed in my office, printer access has disappeared, so it's going to be a while.

Laura M
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#75

Post by Laura M » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:59 pm

I prefer online/.puz so much that I hardly ever use pen and paper, so I can't blame my times on that :-)

(I'm actually lightning-fast compared to when I started crosswording in earnest about 4-5 years ago. I remember it taking me something like 90 minutes to wade through an LA Times Sunday crossword, where now I can do them in closer to 30 minutes. Maybe I'm still improving incrementally, but I think I hit my natural limit about 2 years ago and haven't increased my speed very much since then. What I probably need is a better knowledge base of sports and geography, but I'm just not that interested!)

I thought this was a super fun contest and would love to do more like it. Big thanks to the organizers and constructors, and kudos to the ridiculously fast top-tier players, and really to everyone!

GlennG
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#76

Post by GlennG » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:10 pm

docison wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:32 pm
The funny thing is that at physical tournaments, you of course need to solve on paper
Solving on paper is a huge difference to electronic stuff to the point it's almost a night and day thing. I'm used to Across Lite too, but the major problem I have with most web online stuff, including the one they used for this is that the controls aren't very intuitive. I also found them to be rather error-prone, having to spend a lot of time fixing random typos and fix navigation. Worst part was the mystery typos I ended up with ("errors", naturally). But mostly true of all online stuff. Worst problem I had with this specific software in this contest was that they chose to use a white shade with the crossing entries as highlighted. So I couldn't see what the crossing entries were and had to keep switching back and forth from across/down to see them.

Needless to say, while I'm usually pretty glacially and frustratingly slow anyway, I was slower with these puzzles than I am with Across Lite. Still though, all the tournament puzzles were far easier than the average WSJ meta.

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Al Sisti
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#77

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:40 pm

I did practice a couple of old .puz crosswords today, after finding that, yes, there are keyboard tricks and shortcuts, and that a lot of what I didn't like were things I could fix in "settings." I want to get to the stage where I don't have to spend that extra minute or two when I'm done, proofreading to see that what I'm submitting is what I thought I had typed.

docison
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#78

Post by docison » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:49 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:40 pm
I did practice a couple of old .puz crosswords today, after finding that, yes, there are keyboard tricks and shortcuts, and that a lot of what I didn't like were things I could fix in "settings." I want to get to the stage where I don't have to spend that extra minute or two when I'm done, proofreading to see that what I'm submitting is what I thought I had typed.
Yes, exactly - I can set Across Lite for certain settings and am used to those. So this weekend, with different settings, was harder. As for proofreading, once you do enough online, you will probably get comfortable trusting in what you've submitted. At tournaments, I usually just check to make sure I have left any spaces blank (it's amazing how often you do that without realizing it!).

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sharkicicles
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#79

Post by sharkicicles » Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:46 am

Is anyone signed up for Lollapuzzoola on the 15th?

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Hector
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#80

Post by Hector » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:47 am

I'll do the non-real-time version, as I did with this one. Here with the convenience of Across Lite I scored 8828, which would have been solidly Medium on the list, which is par for my course on these things, the few times I've done tourney puzzles and kept track. Speed solvers like damefox and LesY amaze me.

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