Across Lite questions

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damefox
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:18 pm

Across Lite questions

#1

Post by damefox » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:45 pm

I have one very specific question really (although if people come up with others, here's the place to put them): what does the score mean on an Across Lite puzzle? For anyone who uses this software (free to download at litsoft.com/across/alite/download/ if anyone wants to try it - it's very handy for those weeks when I don't have a printer), have you ever had a look at the score.dat file that is automatically created after you complete a puzzle? The score for each puzzle looks something like this:

NY Times Mon Sample=1578241570:0:308:3472

What does this mean??? I can't find any documentation on this. (Also truly this does not matter and is not related to the crossword solving experience at all, but I'm very curious.)

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Hector
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#2

Post by Hector » Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:06 pm

Ooh, that's a puzzle in itself! I hadn't noticed this file, despite using Across Lite for many years.

It starts with the line "[SCORE]" and appends a line for each puzzle you complete and then save (when the puzzle is opened in the same directory as this score file).

There are four elements of each score, separated by colons. The first is clearly the Unix time stamp, indicating the date and time, to the second, of when you saved the solved puzzle. The second is zero for every puzzle I've solved, so I have no clue. The third, when non-zero, is the number of seconds on the timer when you completed the puzzle (even if you complete it by "revealing"). On my mgwcc and pgwcc puzzles, though, it is almost always 5999, which I think is the timer's maximum; I think this may have some connection to the fact that you don't get happy-pencil solution confirmation with these puzzles. The fourth, when it's not zero, seems to be some kind of, well, score, that is bigger when you complete more correct entries yourself and which also rewards speed.

Some confirmation for this is provided by the app itself in its customization options: Edit/Options/Tools/Across Scoring and Timer add-on V1.1/Options, where you can change scoring to switch off timing and score on correctness only.

GlennG
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:48 am

#3

Post by GlennG » Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:44 am

damefox wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:45 pm
what does the score mean on an Across Lite puzzle?
I gather the scoring part is consistent with the typical score you might get in a crossword contest like the ACPT. 10 pts for each correct word, 25 pts bonus for each minute below the time cap (that's the 2nd value in the file Hector explains, I wager? But I'm guessing it's fudged if it's not specified somewhere? And really don't know where you'd specify that, other than maybe editing the SCORE.DAT file? I'll have to play with it next time I get a solved PUZ), 25 pts off for each letter in error, 150 pts bonus for a completely and fully correct solution.

Edit: Upon looking at it, it seems the second value doesn't ever change and gets overwritten if I change it. So I don't know. That said, I did today's WSJ in 5:13 with no errors or 3427 points according to Across Lite. ACPT score it's a 78 word grid so 780 pts + 250 pts (assuming a 15 minute cap time, which is not inconsistent with the ACPT) + 150 for a score of 1180. I figured out in doing this WSJ a second time that time certainly matters, so there's probably some kind of different formula behind it. So as far as "what the score means", it's just a contrived way to quantify ability on a puzzle based on amount solved and the time.

After the fact, I saw this and thought I'd answer it too:
Hector wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:06 pm
On my mgwcc and pgwcc puzzles, though, it is almost always 5999, which I think is the timer's maximum; I think this may have some connection to the fact that you don't get happy-pencil solution confirmation with these puzzles.
I don't know how Matt Gaffney ships his puzzles, but for the PGWCC one I saw, this is likely because the solution was wiped. (This can be done by the constructor through the editor they use. Note a constructor (or end user) can also encrypt-lock a puzzle through Across Lite, but that's easily enough cracked.) Of course with the solution not available to Across Lite, a proper score can't be derived, nor an accurate "happy-pencil" be provided by the software.

Edit: Fun part in just learning how to block solution checking myself, I will note that the score is just posted as 0 on mine.
wsj200106=1578300488:0:115:0
(fourth time entering it in, I should be pretty quick by then!)

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