Author Topic: (Retitled) Early puzzle starts  (Read 271 times)

TRex

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(Retitled) Early puzzle starts
« on: June 22, 2022, 10:30:05 AM »
I have an idea how (but I'll not share), but when Ppilot has 29 common words just seconds after the game has begun, it sure looks like getting a 'head start' (i.e. cheating).
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 12:08:59 PM by Alan W »

ensiform

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 01:10:42 PM »
Well, that's blunt!

auntiemo

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2022, 01:34:41 PM »
Oh, for goodness sake....does it matter?  It's a game....play it how you want to!
Redlands , Queensland, Australia

Alan W

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2022, 05:03:51 PM »
TRex, please remember that the agreement accepted by everyone signing up to the forum states that, "Robust discussion is welcome, but all messages should be courteous and respectful of others."
Alan Walker
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missruth

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 10:56:18 AM »
I too have wondered about this. A few months back, when I addictively logged on to my four oíclock 10 letter puzzle, I was astonished to discover he had 69 words only four seconds after the game began. I assumed there must be a glitch in the programming somewhere regarding the time settings. I imagined him having the wrong time zone settings on his computer and innocently wondering why we were all late to the game.

Which of course led me to lying awake at night trying to figure how this might have happened. I assume all the seed words are in a database and the choice of word for each game is randomly generated, as is the compulsory letter. I assume the real time of when this is generated is set by the clock on the server where the game is hosted, so the letters are not available beforehand regardless of any settings on your local machine. (You would also have to use a random generator that is not based on time.)

Even if you were able to put the letters through an automatic anagram generator the moment they appeared, you would still have to enter them manually, which is not possible to do at the rate of 69 words in 4 seconds.

So now I am still lying awake at night trying to solve this. I am not concerned at all about the question or implication of cheating. But how is it possible? Someone please enlighten me so I can get some sleep.

Alan W

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 02:32:17 PM »
Hi, missruth. Welcome to the forum.

When I created Chihuahua, way back in 2005, it did indeed operate as you surmise. However, from time to time there were problems because of server outages, network outages, server overload, etc. This caused situations where people couldn't play when they wanted to, or when they could play but their words weren't going onto the scoreboard. So over the years I've implemented a few measures to improve reliability, including use of local storage in the player's browser.

Now, daily puzzles are actually created a few days in advance - by random selection from a list of seed words, as you say. Some details of these future puzzles are stored by the player's browser. So when it's time for the new 10-letter puzzle to start, you can play it, even if the server has crashed, or your internet is on the blink, or whatever. The words you've played will be stored on your device, and submitted to the scoreboard the next time you're back online.

This arrangement inevitably opens up some vulnerabilities, which I'd prefer not to discuss in detail. But I feel it's better to try to ensure constant availability than worry too much about the possibility of someone who can be bothered to work out how to crack the system. Playing a puzzle before it's meant to be open could perhaps occur inadvertently, as you suggest. Imagine someone who frequently moves between time zones and doesn't bother to reset the time zone on their laptop or tablet. Suppose also that this device is only intermittently connected to the internet, because it's reliant on wifi. (Incidentally, I wonder what ppilot's occupation is.)

Hopefully you can get some sleep now.
Alan Walker
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blackrockrose

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 03:54:35 PM »
It doesn't bother me how anyone else chooses to play the puzzles, but I'd like to point out that Ppilot often creates 7-by-many puzzles in the Your Puzzles area, and his name rarely appears at the top of their scoreboard.

If he were bothering to 'cheat', surely we'd see his name at the top of the board with a rosette for every puzzle he attempted, as is the case with some other players. I think Alan's time zone suggestion is the most likely reason for the apparently impossible speed at the starting gate.

Scouser1952

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2022, 06:28:13 AM »
I too have noticed how quickly the aforesaid player manages to enter so many words on a new puzzle so quickly. Regarding Alanís explanation I do not understand how this makes sense. When a new puzzle becomes available it is available throughout the chihuahua universe at the same moment regardless of local time, whether itís Uk, Australia, USA or anywhere globally. No one has an advantage or disadvantage, it just depends on whether they are awake and playing. No one can gain an advantage by playing offline and then loading their accumulated words into the online puzzle/word game other than a surprise entry on the scoreboard. What we are seeing is on the live scoreboard some amazingly quick scores being accumulated from the start of a puzzle at a rate I for one canít manage.  Stupendous - now thereís a good seed word  -  scoring.

doxydaisy

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 08:23:28 AM »
I wish this thread would hurry up and and disappear for Ppilot's sake. I can't imagine how all this would be making him feel right now. To be fair to him, and as blackrockrose pointed out, he creates many puzzles in the your puzzles section which I play and I can't recall him ever getting a rosette in any of them. As previously said, it's only a game.. let everyone play how they want to play and enjoy it and not be singled out for doing this, that or the other thing!

Maudland

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2022, 08:27:40 AM »
It doesn't bother me how anyone else chooses to play the puzzles, but I'd like to point out that Ppilot often creates 7-by-many puzzles in the Your Puzzles area, and his name rarely appears at the top of their scoreboard.

If he were bothering to 'cheat', surely we'd see his name at the top of the board with a rosette for every puzzle he attempted, as is the case with some other players. I think Alan's time zone suggestion is the most likely reason for the apparently impossible speed at the starting gate.

Yes, it doesnít seem likely to me, for the same reason. I donít know Ppilot but they seem to play for the enjoyment of the game, not to Ďwin.í It would be an odd way to cheat and even more pointless than using an anagram solver or something (imo) to get a rosette or even a trophy (that doesnít seem to happen much?). I like Alanís explanation which is a bit more 007!

Iíd like to take this opportunity to thank Ppilot for all the puzzles made and shared.

Alan W

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Re: Ppilot a cheat?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2022, 09:04:13 AM »
Yes, I think we've said enough on this now. I'm going to lock this topic. Feel free to start new topics to discuss general issues but try to avoid criticising individual players.
Alan Walker
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