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Timer exploit
 
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keef



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Messages: 1
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The sad thing is that I don't know whether my best times in easy are any good. My best before I got an iPad was 1.55. With my I pad (bigger screen.. Minimal typos). My best is 1.15. I am hoping to get under 1 minute. Not sure if I can. If I cheat, it is only at the start where I quickly look at the distribution of numbers and if it looks too hard then I start a new game.
naritaig



Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Messages: 3
Location: Arkansas, USA
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FWIW. I wondered about some of those ultra fast times. Under 10 sec. The best I've been able to do on an easy puzzle is 1:46.
My thoughts is it should take about 1 sec per empty square in thinking and reaction time.
At thought on cheating. Is it possible to paste in a puzzle? If so I could see someone submitting some sub 10 second times.
Rgds IGN
pmactoo


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Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Messages: 6
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My best extreme time is 6:29. I imagine there are people out there capable of beating that. With that said, I find uploaded times of 33 secs - even on easy puzzles - to be impossible and frustrating. As others have said, I just want to see how I compare to honest players. With only 20 or even 100 scores posted, I have no chance of seeing my scores or where I really stand. Perhaps the cheaters are pleased with themselves because they figured out how to beat the system and take pride in it. I think that is very sad - if they will cheat or find a way around the rules in a game, they probably take the same approach to life - and that is sad.
pmactoo


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Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Messages: 6
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Okay - I'm going to swallow my pride here and admit I was wrong. It was egotistical of me to think that times much better than my own must be a result of cheating. After reading many posts and watching the video of the girl who completes an easy puzzle in 30 something secs, I realize these times are possible. I apologize to every one I insulted by stating you must have cheated to have such low completion times. It is just a game - a game I enjoy playing. Suggesting some one cheated was really just an attempt to feel better about my own scores and that is ridiculous. In the future, I will see these low scores as incentives for me to improve my game.
Kelley



Joined: 17 Apr 2014
Messages: 1
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My best time on easy in 0:56 seconds, no I don't get that every time but I also don't cheat ever.
Joo



Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Messages: 10
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Anonymous wrote:Yeah, my best score on "Extreme" is about 8 minutes, and I frankly can't see how someone can get it done in 4 minutes. It's almost not physically possible. OK, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to sudoku, but I can tell when everything's going my way and I'm pretty much just filling in the squares as fast as I can count them. There's a certain minimum time that it's just hard to beat. I notice one individual dominates the 4-minute range, and having played this version many times I am fairly sure they could not be that successful without cheating.

They are welcome to come on the forum and explain themselves. My guess is, at a minimum they are re-starting the game many times until they find an easy one--the extreme games are variable and some are almost impossible to solve while others are almost too easy.


My best is 3:04 on extreme, and all of my top ten are in the 4 minute range or less. None of these are cheating because I don't believe in it. It is possible to do them in that time, I've literally been playing sudoku for over 10 years and genina has a great layout which makes solving the puzzle actually about the logic and not trying to locate all the numbers via their highlight system and allowing both cell and digit first depending on play style. As you get more comfortable with the game and the layout your times will go down, and no not all of them will be that low(just recently did one that was just over 7 minutes, and I have one on here that is over fifteen.

I have over 60 extremes logged on this app, only about 5 over 10 minutes, and over 30 under 6, as time goes on you will get some where the numbers you pick are in fact the best to solve for your playstyle. Likewise you will learn tricks(such as it is quicker to solve by comparing single numbers and open cells as opposed to counting out what is missing in a row/box/column) or logics(if three squares in a row/column/box contain 3,5,9 and nothing else, no other boxes in that row/column/box can) that make it that much quicker.

And no, the only time I ever restart a game is when I realize I filled in a square wrong at some point, either through misclick or didn't see something.
psoul



Joined: 27 Jun 2014
Messages: 1
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To developers:
Show two timers when the app is paused.
When you start the game, record system time and show a timer based on current system time - game start system time. As soon as the game is paused, start showing the "on-screen time" (which is the current way of showing the timer). When the game is completed, show the on screen time for personal tracking, but take (game end system time - game start system time) as the official time to be put up on the leaderboards.
Simple enough to patch this. No?
lampshade



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Messages: 15
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psoul wrote:To developers:
Show two timers when the app is paused.
When you start the game, record system time and show a timer based on current system time - game start system time. As soon as the game is paused, start showing the "on-screen time" (which is the current way of showing the timer). When the game is completed, show the on screen time for personal tracking, but take (game end system time - game start system time) as the official time to be put up on the leaderboards.
Simple enough to patch this. No?


So, just in case it's not obvious, I'll state it clearly: if there are ever any times posted the leader boards that are a result cheating, those times are NEVER the result of using the in-game pause. The top times I usually see on easy are realistically achieved by straight gameplay by a very skilled player. Even those skilled players would be unable to post a faster time if they were to copy in values from a pre-worked solution. If anything, doing that would slow them down. When you see obvious cheats (times less than 10 seconds) it's the result of working around the game itself (and all of the rules placed within the game). Making the game more complicated to add more rules does absolutely nothing to stop cheating, while at the same time they could result in decreasing the reliability and usability of the app.

The top times on the statistics page as this post are:
Easy: 0:33
Medium: 0:49
Hard: 1:26
Expert: 1:41

Every single one of those times are possible to achieve by the most highly skilled players, and statistically consistent with a no-pause game. I have only very rarely seen a time posted to those leader boards that is likely the result of cheating. I can say this honestly to myself (and you can choose to believe or not), because of some reasoning based my own non-cheating play. I know what my own best times are. I see where I (somewhat consistently) place on the weekly challenges. I can take my own best times and extrapolate where the times the better players should fall relative that. What I see on the boards is almost perfectly aligned with my calculations. I post my personal best times in my signature. You can get the other times from what it available the genina site. If you want to do the calculations for yourself, feel free. You may find it interesting to compare your results with statistician (or other math professional -- I highly recommend talking to a cryptomathematician, as they have a very good sense of entropy and pattern consistency within a supposedly random series, and can give you great pointers on finding even good counterfeits).

Perhaps this is something that should be a new thread the forum, though I'll go ahead and start it here: What are you (that is, anyone complaining here) seeing on the top-100 and/or weekly competition time postings that is leading you to conclude that there is cheating being performed? As a follow-up: Assuming there is cheating, what leads you to believe that it is a result of pausing/solving/resuming?
jeka
(Forum Admin)



Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Messages: 244
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lampshade wrote:Making the game more complicated to add more rules does absolutely nothing to stop cheating, while at the same time they could result in decreasing the reliability and usability of the app.


Couldn't agree more. (they could also inadvertently punish those that have legitimate reasons for pausing a game, like taking a call, people still do that, don't they? )
Deruwyn



Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Messages: 2
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I just got 3:39 on extreme+ and I'm noticing several people posting their best times having fairly similar bests. I don't get sub 4 minutes every time, if I make a mistake and have to backtrack I might take 15 minutes. But this sodoku game, while having a fantastic interface has very easy puzzles for its hardest level.

The iPhone sodoku game I have for genius level; I think my best time is like a bit under 40 minutes. Don't remember for sure, but those puzzles are much harder. You have do forcing and maybe remember 15 steps ahead from your guess to to eliminate a number in a cell. I've done it once without notes, that was really hard.

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that times much under 2 min for extreme are fairly unlikely. I know I'm not the fastest, but I find it somewhat hard to believe that people can get 1 min times on extreme. I've run into puzzles that didn't really belong in the extreme category and maybe someone ran into a puzzle that should have been easy, but that's still a very impressive time.

Then again, it takes me just over a minute to solve a Rubik's cube and I've seen videos of people solving in about 6 seconds, so maybe I'm wrong and they're just that fast.
Deruwyn



Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Messages: 2
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I looked it up, in expert sodoku (by mighty mighty good games) my best time on the easiest level is 3:29, on the hardest (genius) its 10:01. That was a fluke though. My average time at that level is 57:38.

After looking around a bit more at these forums, maybe the 1:XX times are real. I don't even use both hands when I play, maybe I should try harder and see what I can do. Maybe I can get below 2:00 someday. I'll have to try harder.
machine


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Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Messages: 6
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Enjoy solving sudoku! My times are nowhere near the times I see posted on this forum but I enjoy the challenge all the same. After a while I became bored with the pencilwork involved so I wrote a program in Excel to do the work for me. I copy the puzzle into excel and then every cell is immediately pencilled in with every possible solution. As I solve cells I can choose to update all cells at any time.Took a long time to write the program but it was every bit as challenging as solving sudoku and as enjoyable. The program was written on Excel 97 platform and is roughly 1.7 MB in size. Would like to send you a copy for your assessment but it is much too large for an email.

LIFE........nobody gets out alive!!!
Joo



Joined: 23 Apr 2014
Messages: 10
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machine wrote:Enjoy solving sudoku! My times are nowhere near the times I see posted on this forum but I enjoy the challenge all the same. After a while I became bored with the pencilwork involved so I wrote a program in Excel to do the work for me. I copy the puzzle into excel and then every cell is immediately pencilled in with every possible solution. As I solve cells I can choose to update all cells at any time.Took a long time to write the program but it was every bit as challenging as solving sudoku and as enjoyable. The program was written on Excel 97 platform and is roughly 1.7 MB in size. Would like to send you a copy for your assessment but it is much too large for an email.


If you aren't doing it to compete and just want pencils in you can do that through the built in app, though it will remove your game from being submitted.

The auto removing in columns and rows though it will do just fine(aka if you fill in, it will erase)
HANDSOMECHRIS



Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Messages: 1
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My best times are easy: 00:48 medium: 2:04 hard: 2:01 extreme: 4:40

I spend most of my time playing hard level and thats the best ive done after hours and hours of playing and it feels good when you get your time on the board but it also make me think how PATHETIC some people are to have to cheat on a simple numbers game.. I was reading and I agree a "P" infont of people who pause is a great idea and would let us compare scores a lot different.. and the people who even cheat on easy ive gotten games where my fingers haven't stopped moving the whole time and these r my best times its kind of annoying everytime I check the scores..
Please excuse my enormous run on sentence.
lampshade



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Messages: 15
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I just did the competition puzzle for this weekend. No pausing, no use of outside help, no clock/timer manipulation, etc. I did use pencil marks. I got a time of 2:51 on that Extreme puzzle.

I don't play sudoku every day, though I probably play on more days than I don't. When I play, I tend to do several puzzles in a row. This pattern of playing has resulted in playing several thousand puzzles at each difficulty level. Today's competition was, honestly, pretty easy within the extreme category. Some extremes can take me almost 15 minutes (without pausing). That said, my time for this puzzle didn't even break my top 10 times for extreme. None of those times involved cheating or pausing.

What I've said in the past is that cheating may be possible, but the fast times posted on the site are rarely the result of cheating. I should stop saying that cheating is possible - not because it's not true, but because that's what people get caught up on. Cheating is not a widespread problem. It's not much of a problem at all. It's definitely not a problem that merits the implementation of mitigations. What cheating really is: a concept that fuels a great deal of "sour grapes" attention on the forum without merit. I'm guilty of breathing life into this dead, dead horse. For that, including this post, I apologize. But it's time that it is said: There's no cheating problem. There are just good players getting low times.

I have no delusion that people who are convinced of cheating will read this and suddenly realize they have been mislead. But if you ever want to stop by and watch me play, the invitation is open. Also, as said before, I'm not that fast. I just happen to be faster than 99% of others posting times to this site on some days.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 14 Feb 2015 16:50:33


Personal best times:
Easy 0:43
Medium 0:59
Hard 2:00
Extreme 2:06
 
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