Letter Distribution

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Noel Mc
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Letter Distribution

Post by Noel Mc » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:34 am

Apologies if this has been discussed somewhere else. I'm sure it has, but I'm too lazy to search for it.

Regarding the letter tiles used:
I know that you there are more common letters than uncommon. Am I right in assuming they have two piles of consonants and vowels used per episode? They don't shuffle halfway through or after each round?

Is it likely to assume, that there would only be, for example 1/2 Qs in a whole episode?

Is the distribution on apterous very accurate? I sometimes think it might be too generous at times? I've played on the app and some other sites and they yield very tricky selections more often than not. I know that no official distribution has been released, but I'm assuming some of the clever people on here have analysed enough episodes!

sean d
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by sean d » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:35 am

Here's a good analysis of the letter distribution from 2013
http://www.c4countdown.co.uk/viewtopic. ... 82#p140469

This has been discussed before and I think the consensus was that the distribution on the show may not be entirely random (by which I mean it look like patterns of repeated letters are actively avoided, rather than any wide scale massaging of the selections) and may be a tad kinder than Apterous or a truly random selection.

Also, I believe there's one pile of letters which is not replaced or shuffled during the show, so you should see a max of one Q, X or J in a game, but I'm open to correction.

Noel Mc
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Noel Mc » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:43 am

That's super, cheers!

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L'oisleatch McGraw
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:04 am

I wonder about the Countdown distribution compared to Apterous...
...or more to the point, the 2017 Countdown distribution compared to the Countdown 2008 distribution.
Having been in the studio and paying REALLY close attention over the last few days, these are my thoughts:-

1. Far fewer occurrences of the pre/suffix "OUT" than on Apterous.
2. CD seems to favour B, P, H, L, S and I more than Apterous does.
3. I strongly suspect CD has changed its letters distribution sometime in the last 3 years or so.
4. As a result, it seems that "PINHEAD" is becoming a new "old favourite". REPTILE too...*

I wonder were the letters changed to tie in with the explosion of new words in the dictionary? The old (pre-2015) letters distributions and the new dictionary might have combined to allow for some crazily high maxes. The new letters distributions ensure such maxes are not as gettable, and that the max scores tie in better with what would historically have been expected per game... Perhaps the change was made in 2013 to tie in with the introduction of the new 15 round format?

One way or another... it's interesting. Someone with time on their hands and no life at all (Gev, step up! :P ) would probably be able to analyse the letters selections over time, and pinpoint when the seachange happened (or whether one did)


*btw, the word examples given don't necessarily provide spoilers for the content of the Aug 7th-9th recordings...
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Bradley Horrocks
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Bradley Horrocks » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:27 pm

Quite funny I found this thread, as I do have some sort of data on this. I took 25 episodes of S77 so far, as well as 25 15 rounders which I have took part in on Apterous (this probably wasn't the wisest idea but I just wanted some rough data). To get the sums of consonants/vowels from Apto and the Show to match, I had to weigh up the number of consonants from the Apto games and weigh up the number of vowels from the Show games. Here's the data for the consonants: [I don't know how to do pretty tables]

CONSONANTS B C D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Y Z
SUM APTO 31 54 102 31 75 40 18 18 78 82 148 68 17 145 144 148 37 41 19 18 21
SUM SHOW 35 36 113 38 55 36 15 9 115 60 134 70 16 167 150 167 36 35 13 20 15
MAX APTO 2 3 5 2 4 2 1 1 5 4 8 4 1 8 8 9 2 2 1 1 1
MAX SHOW 2 2 6 2 3 2 1 1 6 4 7 4 1 9 9 8 2 2 1 1 1

and vowels:

THE VOWELS A E I O U
SUM APTO 210 266 190 200 109
SUM SHOW 208 267 206 183 111
MAX APTO 12 14 10 10 6
MAX SHOW 10 13 10 9 6

If these results are well representative of the real world letter distributions, then L'oisleatch's [is that the name you prefer on here?] claim that L and I appear more is strongly backed up; B, P and S slightly backed up but H seemingly not. Disclaimer: The Apto numbers are not genuine as they were rounded up slightly (by 4.7%), however the proportion of H's compared to the other consonants was higher on Apto compared to the show, albeit with only around 1300 consonants in the sample. Feel free to take this with a pinch of salt, but I thought it would be interesting to share this!

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L'oisleatch McGraw
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 pm

Bradley Horrocks wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:27 pm
CONSONANTS B C D F G H J K L M N P Q R S T V W X Y Z
SUM APTO 31 54 102 31 75 40 18 18 78 82 148 68 17 145 144 148 37 41 19 18 21
SUM SHOW 35 36 113 38 55 36 15 9 115 60 134 70 16 167 150 167 36 35 13 20 15
MAX APTO 2 3 5 2 4 2 1 1 5 4 8 4 1 8 8 9 2 2 1 1 1
MAX SHOW 2 2 6 2 3 2 1 1 6 4 7 4 1 9 9 8 2 2 1 1 1

and vowels:

THE VOWELS A E I O U
SUM APTO 210 266 190 200 109
SUM SHOW 208 267 206 183 111
MAX APTO 12 14 10 10 6
MAX SHOW 10 13 10 9 6
See ^^^ that's the sort of shit I love. Great analysis.
Now, in an ideal world, the Apto/CD fandom would have a resident nerd who does a full letters analysis per series, every series, so we can spot trends and pinpoint when distribution policy changes take place. Also, this could be useful for keeping the Apterous letters set roughly in line with what CD is currently doing (although I know I know... "Not endorsed by, proud not to be. Yep. etc etc etc..." but still)
Bradley Horrocks wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:27 pm
L'oisleatch's [is that the name you prefer on here?]
L'oisleatch is a quality name (rhymes with "Boil-witch" btw), but I'm not using it for anonymity purposes, so you can just call me Eoin, should u wish. (It takes less time to type.)
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Bradley Horrocks
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Bradley Horrocks » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:46 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 pm

See ^^^ that's the sort of shit I love. Great analysis.
Now, in an ideal world, the Apto/CD fandom would have a resident nerd who does a full letters analysis per series, every series, so we can spot trends and pinpoint when distribution policy changes take place. Also, this could be useful for keeping the Apterous letters set roughly in line with what CD is currently doing (although I know I know... "Not endorsed by, proud not to be. Yep. etc etc etc..." but still)
Thanks, Eoin! Unfortunately, the sheer repetitiveness of typing in the letters then counting them up and entering all the data is extremely tedious, even if I play my favourite music at the same time. The results produced often make up for it, mind!

I'm not going to be that resident nerd, really in this day and age, you'd expect a computer to be able to do this. Probably possible but would require a lot of coding.

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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Bradley Horrocks » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:50 pm

As a side note, I do find it strange that K has not appeared for FIFTEEN episodes in a row. It's like it was lost for a whole filming week. It will be interesting to see if it appears tomorrow.

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L'oisleatch McGraw
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:07 am

Bradley Horrocks wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:46 pm
I'm not going to be that resident nerd
...sorely tempted to become said nerd myself, but yeah, as you say... the tedium involved outweighs the rewards, and there is no viable shortcut.
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Ian Volante
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Bradley Horrocks wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:50 pm
As a side note, I do find it strange that K has not appeared for FIFTEEN episodes in a row. It's like it was lost for a whole filming week. It will be interesting to see if it appears tomorrow.
Such a thing has happened before. Someone else can probably find the reference.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

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Johnny Canuck
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Johnny Canuck » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:04 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:40 pm
Bradley Horrocks wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:50 pm
As a side note, I do find it strange that K has not appeared for FIFTEEN episodes in a row. It's like it was lost for a whole filming week. It will be interesting to see if it appears tomorrow.
Such a thing has happened before. Someone else can probably find the reference.
The V (of which there was only one at the time) was AWOL for the last two months of Series 61, if this is what you're referring to. This was its last appearance in the series, still 34 episodes before the grand final.
There are three erors in this semtence.

Bradley Horrocks
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Bradley Horrocks » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:37 pm

Out first too, strange. 16 episodes now with no K.

Gavin Chipper
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Re: Letter Distribution

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:45 pm

The J went missing as well I seem to remember, in about series 48 (around when Julian Fell was on).

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