5:57 am
tincup

done... we seem to be stuck on easy again

8:15 am
Gretchen

We've been stuck on "easy" for a very long time with an occasional expert thrown in. Dr. God insists it's random but I've never seen random be this unrandom before. I've gone back through archives for months and I think there was a medium or hard about once a month (if that) for at least 6 months - that's not what I call random.

9:58 am
Phil

I got bored for a year or so but have come back and delving into the archives gets the variety back. You are right though, there used to be a lot more mediums and hards.

12:13 pm
hurshy

maybe there are just fewer possible permutations for creating mediums and hards?

12:14 pm
UnikeTheHunter

"Random" doesn't have to even out. Las Vegas is financed by betters who believe it should.

12:16 pm
hurshy

well, the las vegas problem also has to do with the fact that the house has more capital. so it can stay the course after losses, and the individual people can't. that and the fact that they kick people out for card counting, which is ridiculous...

12:29 pm
UnikeTheHunter

DING. A bit slow for me. Moves just weren't in the first place I looked for them. 18.

2:37 pm
tuco

Actually the Las Vegas 'problem' is that every game except for Poker has a statistcal advantage to the house. It isn't that the house has more capital. It is that the games are stacked against the player. In Poker the players play against each other not the house. The house takes a cut.

3:25 pm
KnightTime

I am not certain it is accurate to assume that the algorithm that generates the puzzles is based on randomness. Random in programming is just another algorithm, like iterating a square root function using the time as the radicand and something else, like the milliseconds as the number of iterations. One of the most common random generators uses the PRNG algorithm: X_{n+1} = (a X_n + b) mod m and it will begin to repeat after numerous iterations regardless of the seed.

3:27 pm
KnightTime

In a truly random pattern of infinite letters (a to z) the letter a would repeat an infinite number of times before the letter be would generate so having a few experts or easys is completely plausible.

11:42 pm
drwho

Difficulty score 16. No green.

11:55 pm
drwho

Knight Time is accurate in his assertion that computers are not random. The PRNG (pseudo-random number generator) he describes is the linear congruence method. It is trivial to show that the sequence of random numbers generated repeats after no more than M-1 (one less than the modulus) of the congruence algorithm. There are much better PRNGs available with much longer sequences producing sequences of numbers that statistically mimic randomness.

11:59 pm
drwho

However, while it is possible to generate a long sequence of random letters in which the letter b does not appear, the probability of such a sequence is extremely small. And so too is the possibility that the composition of puzzles here is due to randomness. But we can't rule it out.