The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

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Harry Whitehouse
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The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Harry Whitehouse » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:57 pm

As a glance at my record shows, I'm a pretty useless player.

However, I'm much worse on Apterous than I am in front of the television. I can rely on a steady number of 7s and the occasional 8 when watching Countdown, but on Apterous, it's always a relief to find a 6.

Is it just me?
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Mark Deeks
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Mark Deeks » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:59 pm

I seem to have it the other way around. :D
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:32 pm

I think its easier watching on television. You have longer to find the words as the letters go up really slowly and then Nick has to decide to start the time. I think I do better watching on television as well and that's probably partly it.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Callum Todd » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:50 pm

Try writing down the letters as you play on apterous, then playing from your written down letters. That might help, but it would slightly shorten your time as you would have to stop for a few seconds to type out your written down words near the end.
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Jack Worsley » Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:47 pm

I generally play better while watching TV than I do while playing online too. Another reason why you may struggle to find longer words on apterous is because the letters selections generally aren't as easy as on the show.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:19 pm

Read down from here. sean d reckoned playing against the TV is worth about 3 points a game over Apterous, based on the stats compiled there.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Charlie Reams » Sun Dec 08, 2013 10:59 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:Read down from here. sean d reckoned playing against the TV is worth about 3 points a game over Apterous, based on the stats compiled there.
Yeah, 3 points per game isn't enough to explain what Harry is experiencing here. In addition to several good explanations above, I'd suggest that being in a real contest applies a good deal more pressure than watching on TV, which is probably one reason Apterites tend to dominate TV-practisers when they actually appear on the show.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by sean d » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:10 am

A couple of other points... personally speaking I'm a lot more likely to give myself the benefit of the doubt watching on tv in terms of selecting a safe 7 or dodgy 8. Also you lose time online typing and deciding what to declare. There's much more pressure online when you're playing another person and need to play somewhat tactically. And the standard ofplayer online is generally much higher than on the show. Also on Apterous if you come up with a really good 7 it will ALWAYS tell you if there's an obscure 8 you missed, or another half dozen 7s, which can be dispiriting. Dictionary Corner miss a lot more. And there's a theory that selections on the show are set a bit nicer and less randomly than online.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:07 pm

I find that the different format of play makes a difference, whether on PC, laptop or telly, I find a difference if I'm worrying about writing stuff down or whatever. I remember the panic of the first couple of rounds I did on the show, having to think about writing stuff rather than just shouting at the screen threw me completely.
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:16 pm

Ian Volante wrote:just shouting at the screen
This would make for an excellent one-off special.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Charlie Reams » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:21 pm

sean d wrote:And there's a theory that selections on the show are set a bit nicer and less randomly than online.
I'd be interested to investigate that. I would be reasonably surprised if they were different enough that it's perceptible.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:23 pm

I always write the letters down and because there's more time pressure on Apterous, the letters don't always come out as well. That and I try to fit more rounds per page. I think that makes a difference for me.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:05 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:just shouting at the screen
This would make for an excellent one-off special.
"8. Oh come on, that's obvious. How did you not see that? Dozy fecker! And how did you get on here if you can't spell?!" etc. Probably quite entertaining for a few rounds at least :)
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:10 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
sean d wrote:And there's a theory that selections on the show are set a bit nicer and less randomly than online.
I'd be interested to investigate that. I would be reasonably surprised if they were different enough that it's perceptible.
Isn't that what got investigated and turned out to be just 3 points a game, or is this something else?

I suppose there's max and how easy the max is. Like how many words there are at the max.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by sean d » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:25 pm

It was partly investigated on the Ask Graeme thread, and coincidentally Jack Hurst raised the issue again over the weekend. Hopefully Graeme will get a chance to look into it. I'd suggest you less often see clumps of letters on the show possibly for the aesthetic and audience friendly reason that a truly random selection will throw up the odd round with, say, 4 E's. I think it was suggested that statistically you'd expect to see 4 E's in a round every few hundred rounds but it had never ever happened on the show. I feel that consonants are too nicely distributed on the show too. The number of letters rounds with 9 different letters is remarkable (even the number of rounds with 8 different leters seems high)

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by James S Roper » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:07 pm

Harry Whitehouse wrote:As a glance at my record shows, I'm a pretty useless player.

However, I'm much worse on Apterous than I am in front of the television. I can rely on a steady number of 7s and the occasional 8 when watching Countdown, but on Apterous, it's always a relief to find a 6.

Is it just me?
Over about 150 shows watching TV I've averaged 11-12 maxes, but on apterous I'm glad with 9. I'm glad somebody finally shares my issue.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by JimBentley » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:36 pm

Sean touched on this earlier on and I think it's quite relevant, when you're playing along at home you can be a lot more forgiving on yourself, especially with things like late letters spots and conundrums. I know when I used to play along with the show, I would always give myself the benefit of the doubt, if you know what I mean. Not that this is conscious cheating, there are loads of times on apterous where I've spotted a cool eight-letter word right at the death and not quite had time to start typing it in; if the equivalent situation happened playing along at home with the show, I'd pretty much always give myself the credit if I had the word within the time, however borderline.

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Harry Whitehouse
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Harry Whitehouse » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks for all of that input.

I think tension is a big factor. I'm a lot more relaxed in front of the TV because I know that I'll be the only one who will know if I perform really badly.

On apterous, I'll type in an immediately obvious 4 or 5 letter word, just so that I've got something to declare, which is clearly wasting time that could be better spent.

I haven't plucked up the courage to write down the letters on apterous, because I'm so conscious of time passing, but as Callum's suggested it, I'll certainly give it a go.
My home is on the south side,
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by David Barnard » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:18 pm

If you do better in front of the TV then you must max game after game as I remember you went through a terrific improvement didn't you? Ay, ay?

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by James S Roper » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:33 pm

David Barnard wrote:If you do better in front of the TV then you must max game after game as I remember you went through a terrific improvement didn't you? Ay, ay?
Stop feeding the fire. What's happened, happened.

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Harry Whitehouse
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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Harry Whitehouse » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:38 pm

I'm saddened by what seems to be sarcasm from an individual I hope I've done nothing to offend personally, David.

You might take into consideration the fact that I was offered no invitation to discuss the matters in question - there was just a sudden allegation at the end of one game, then a pronouncement at the top of my log-on page.

To be frank though, I'm not sure I would have responded if those responsible for the site had offered to discuss the issue. There were obvious strong grounds for suspicion, and no matter what I might have said, someone had to make a decision on a question that could never be conclusively resolved.

If the balance had tilted my way, the tone of some of the remarks already made on the site would have taken all pleasure out of participation for me, and suspicions would have lingered, so I'd have slung my hook anyway.

I still think Apterous is a great site, though, populated by some very nice people.
My home is on the south side,
High up on a ridge,
Just a half a mile from
The Scarborough Valley bridge.

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by David Barnard » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:38 am

Ok I've looked on your recapped games and haven't found any excluded games which is quite weird for a deactivated account. So for now I take back my comments. Personally I disapprove of cheaters, in fact I despise them and think it's rather pathetic to cheat at a game where there is no personal gain.

If you categorically did not cheat then I apologise, you did nothing to offend me personally, although it would be interesting to see the game that aroused suspicion and see what everyone makes of it as I can't find anything

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by David Barnard » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:43 am

Although it might be worth putting something giving your defence to clear your name as a few are quite suspicious

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Re: The Apterous handicap. Is it just me?

Post by Innis Carson » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:28 am

Even if he was cheating, the situation is resolved now, and there's nothing to be gained from dwelling on it.

Hope to see you make a fresh start on apterous some time soon Harry.

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