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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

ACPT Scoring - how it's done

In response to a question posed in Rexville, and r.alph's question in yesterday's post, here is more detail than you might ever want to know about ACPT scoring - how it's done, and how we interpret it.
To reprise part of yesterday's post:
If you want the complete low-down on how the scoring works, click on "Read more" below...
For many, you won't need to bother with the detail - just the final results are enough to see how you would have done at the "real" ACPT, and to use it to help you gauge your progress as you get better at solving, and to help you brag to your friends!  My favorite part is that I the first section tells me how much actual solve time I spent, automatically removing pauses for petting of cats and talking to friends, napping, whatever!
(To answer r.alph's question, as to how I could have 69 correct words out of 70, but no incorrect letters, see *** at "Read more".)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

ACPT Scoring - track & compare your progress

In response to a question posed in Rexville, here is what the ACPT Scoring looks like with our app:
This actually was an all-time record Saturday for me, though I did google MNEME, which of course I would NOT have been able to do at ACPT!
As you can see, actual time I spent solving was a mere 35 minutes!!  But since at ACPT you are not allowed pauses for refilling your coffee or petting your cat, the scoring is based on the Total Time. 
(I am not at all a speed solver, so I actually don't really care about the time it took me.  Some days I'll have total times of 8 hours or more!)

It is still interesting to see, and really ideal if you are in training or simply want to compare your performance over time and/or with your other puzzle-friends.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baring my Soul

The illustrious Tyler Hinman has prompted a thoughtful discussion.  I encourage you to read it here.
In it, Joe Krozel, constructor and solver, threw out the following challenge:
" In fact, it would be fun to see a tongue-in-cheek blog showing half-finished puzzles containing a small fraction of wrong answers … and having a blogger defend his wrong answers. Now that would be something worth reading on a daily basis. "
"Just display half-finished puzzles with wrong answers included, and adamantly defend them! It would be hilarious. For instance, I recently put in TOAD rather than TOTO for [Biter of Almira Gulch] … I think one could reasonably assert that a toad is found in a gulch, even if others insist that it’s more of a hopper than a biter."
Please click here to see a quick attempt at just that.  (I tried to narrate it, but the Dell microphone gods are against me, so sorry - no sound!)  My defense of the new sport of Taser Tag...
Also, take a look at the running list of everyone else's embarrassing moments.  And contribute some of your own.