Maxima and optima

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Martin Gardner
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Maxima and optima

Post by Martin Gardner » Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:29 pm

I was just considering the question of maximums... I notice than in a duel if there's an impossible numbers game you can score a maximum with 5 away, even if 1 away is possible. And as for Counting overall maximums, I often prefer to exclude the conundrum because it's a unique round. The conundrum is the only round where your opponent can stop you getting a maximum, think of Jeffrey Hansford's 0.5 second conundrum against Craig Beevers. It's also the only round where you can't get an optimum, as it were. No matter how fast you solve the conundrum, you can always get it quicker.

Speaking of, how do people get conundrums in less than 0.1 seconds? I assume they just buzz in with a random letter before actually reading the conundrum, then work it out in the next few seconds.
If you cut a gandiseeg in half, do you get two gandiseegs or two halves of a gandiseeg?

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Charlie Reams
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Re: Maxima and optima

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:00 pm

Martin Gardner wrote:I was just considering the question of maximums... I notice than in a duel if there's an impossible numbers game you can score a maximum with 5 away, even if 1 away is possible.
Really? If so, that's a bug. But yes, the definition is rather inconsistent; for numbers, it's only a maximum if it was impossible to get closer (even if the number of points you picked up was maximal); but for a conundrum, it's a max provided you picked up the maximal number of points, regardless of whether it was possible to do better (which it always is.)

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Re: Maxima and optima

Post by Nick Wainwright » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:37 pm

I think the conundrum records of less than 0.1 seconds were set during the period when you could buzz in with any letter and then backspace to type the correct first letting in.

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Charlie Reams
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Re: Maxima and optima

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:46 pm

I don't know about other people but I set mine by repeatedly guessing E as soon as the conundrum came up, until eventually one came up that did actually start with an E and I could solve in under 2 seconds.

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Re: Maxima and optima

Post by Nick Wainwright » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:55 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:I don't know about other people but I set mine by repeatedly guessing E as soon as the conundrum came up, until eventually one came up that did actually start with an E and I could solve in under 2 seconds.
Maybe it's just a coincidence then that all the fastest 10 conundrums were set in the same week in September then. Also, it says in the high scores section that your quickest conundrum was TWITTERED, solved in 0.94 seconds.

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Charlie Reams
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Re: Maxima and optima

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:26 pm

Nick Wainwright wrote:Maybe it's just a coincidence then that all the fastest 10 conundrums were set in the same week in September then. Also, it says in the high scores section that your quickest conundrum was TWITTERED, solved in 0.94 seconds.
Maybe it wasn't E then, but you get the idea. I suspect the dates are close together because, once everyone figured out the trick and set ridiculous records, no one really bothers to compete for them any more. But maybe there was some other bug at the time, I can't remember. But I did disqualify Paul Howe's bug-inspired 0.000s effort, much to his chagrin.

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