Dead tree solving - eco edition! 
Best of both worlds - paper and pencil/pen solving, but rather than curled up with the newspaper, you're curled up with your tablet/iPad/Android! Write, even draw, in the grid, directly on the screen. 

Perfect for rebus puzzles, like this one from a recent Thursday NYTimes puzzle. Use a stylus, for the feel of really writing, or just use your fingertip - it is remarkably easy and is your real writing... I filled this one out using my finger - the stylus is just there for show. (The rebus was MAN - as in TAXMAN at 54D...) If you would like to try it out, click on "About Me" on this page and send me an email.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Infographs - why are puzzles hard/easy?

Here is a short demo comparing an easy Monday to a hard Saturday using the Crucimetrics solving app.
Please view it full screen and HD for best quality.
We believe that there are many more factors than simply time that make a puzzle easy or challenging.
And of course, a huge part of that is subject to each solver's "wheelhouse".  
Crucimetrics helps you to  visualize this, which in turn makes you a better solver.  A solving interface that will win over even diehard paper solvers lets you tag and share with your friends, and compare Instant Replays of your solves side-by-side.
So what makes a puzzle hard for you? 
How many times you erase?  Too many opera clues?  Lots of redirects?  Does crosswordese (those pesky words that no one really uses except for in xwords) help you, because you know them all by now?  Or do they make a puzzle hard, precisely because you never ever use the word AURAE in conversation... 
With Crucimetrics, a combination of automated analysis and your own tagging helps you to decide for yourself.  It's a great way to improve your skills, because you can go back through your solve, compare and discuss with friends, and see how you improve over time!

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