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Tips for G-Match
Answer
03/11/12 12:50
Disclaimer:
English is not my first language so there may be grammar mistakes in the text, I will gladly accept corrections via replies or private messages.

Introduction:
The purpose of this thread is to present tips and suggestions for G-match  participants.
General information about the G-Match competition rules can be found here.
G-Match solving differs from regular puzzles solving in two major elements and therefore justifies a separate tips page:
  1. speed - unlike regular puzzles solving, here solving right is not enough. It is also important to solve quickly.
  2. educated guesses – with regular puzzles, many solvers, including myself, think that guessing is inferior way of solving, less interesting and less enjoyable. However in the G-match one can and should guess part of the solution in some cases, mainly to start or finish faster a puzzle whose shape has been understood.
    However, sometimes a square in the wrong place at the beginning can lead to a solution that is all wrong thus wasting valuable time. To avoid bad guesses, it is recommended using edcuated guesses only, such as by the principles below.
This page is published on the forum on purpose, in hope to get your feedback and more suggestions and tips to add.

General suggestions:
  1. Use technical tools provided by the site:
    Get used to fill areas when possible, it saves time. The area fill option is available whether you solve via the site or via iGridd.
    Use both the mouse buttons so you will always have two available colors. This way you will reduce the back and forth mouse dragging to the puzzle edge to change color. In order to avoid confusion between the two colors (what color corresponds to each mouse button), I usually pick the more dominant color with the left button. If both of the colors are about equally common I pick the darker one with the left button. Try what fits and is comfortable for you.
    Use the keyboard shortcut to cancel last move if needed, it is faster.
    You may also use the numbers on your keyboard to switch between colors - I have not mastered this usage and prefer to leave my left hand on the cancel shortcut (ctrl+z) but you are welcome to try it.
  2. Recognize patterns:
    Before or while solving, try to recognize symmetrical patterns, straight from the clues or from some part you already solved, patterns such as flowers, wheels of a vehicle, the windows of a house and so on. Try to notice patterns that recur in the same puzzle itself, for example, two apples which are painted the same.

    Sometimes an entire puzzle or a significant part of it is symmetric, for instance Puzzle with 15 columns where column 7 and 9 are identical, so are column 6 and 8 and so on. If the puzzle is completely symmetrical in columns, in the rows which have an odd number of blocks, the middle block will be right in the middle of the line.
  3. Identify one square wide lines:
    Frame lines and simple lines are often painted one square wide - for example, if we see the upper hints along seven consecutive columns indexed - 2,1,1,1,1,1,2 we should try to find a 7-block of the same color in one of the upper lines.
  4. use titles:
    sometimes the titles can give you a hint about what to look for in the picture. For example, in a car picture you can expect to find wheels.

Color puzzles:

  1.  Start with the rarest colors:
    Sometimes it is easier to find the location of the colors appearing less, and after finding their place it becomes easier to fill the more common colors.
  2. Close colors:
    When the puzzle has two very similar colors you should not rely on the ability to distinguish between them. It is better to change one of them to  uniqe color different from the rest of the puzzle.
  3. Fill-in puzzles:
    Sometimes we understand that entire puzzle or a significant part of it should be colored on all its squares (it contain no holes, no background colored squares), but the painted area has more than one color. The problem in this case is not where to paint but how to fill as quickly as possible.
    You should practice several techniques and act in the best way for a given puzzle - One method is to pay attention to what is the most dominant color (common), refer to this color as background and fill all the fill-in area with that  color. Then paint the other colors according to their location, and wherever we did not painted another color, the background color stays as needed.

    You can also act the other way around, to fill the less common colors and finally complete the dominant color, but usually it is easier to fill the entire area at the beginning than filling carefully between the other colors at the end.
    In general, when you need to fill a rectangle it is usually faster to  fill by the longer side(rows or columns), i.e., if the rows are longer than the columns go row after row and fill.
    In all of those cases it is sometimes easier to start the from the frame so you get a close clear area to fill.

Black and white puzzles:
  1. Start from the edges:
    Even when the puzzle has many rows / columns with long blocks that allow to fill some squares, start with the extreme row / column - the intersection will be easier and faster, increasing the chance to solve the puzzle faster. For example, every painted square in the top row immediately lead to the complete location of the upper block in its column.
  2. Using a multi-line solution at the edge:
    Look for long blocks in extreme rows and columns  (especially upper and lower row ,most right column and left most). These always are good start points even when they are too small to cross both ends to indicate a safe place of squares. Try and see how the puzzle will look like with the placement of the block along the line, and many times you can get great head start this way. See example here.
Multi release (several puzzles released at once):
  1. Order of solving:
    Every now and then during a tournament several puzzles are released at once. In this case the solver must choose what order to solve them. My general recommendation is to solve by ascending ID order. The reason for this is the "power of the crowd", and what the vast majority of solvers do is to solve in the above order.
    It is very tempting to skip the first puzzle or one of the others, and return to it later. The problem with this strategy is the large number of participants to date. By the time you will get back to the first puzzle there may be already over 100 solvers, and the loss will usually be greater than the gain.
    People who solve at a slower speed may actually gain from skipping strategy, but it is always a gamble.
    Anyway it is highly recommended not to solve the puzzles in reverse order (descending ID order).
    These recommendations are valid as long as the mob's strategy will not change.
  2. patterns
    When a multi-griddler is released, try to pay attention and remember parts you have completed. patterns from one part often appear in others.

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
07/10/12 07:29 as a reply to raist.
I don't use ctrl+z/backspace to cancel last move. I just push mouse scroll and it work like a rubber emoticon

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
08/10/12 19:05 as a reply to raist.
It appears from your descriptions that you do not bother to take the time to fill in the empty boxes.  Is this the case, and if so, how do you remember where the empty boes are?

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
09/10/12 18:35 as a reply to dcroebuck.
mistrzyogurt:
I don't use ctrl+z/backspace to cancel last move. I just push mouse scroll and it work like a rubber emoticon
The problem is it won't always be as effective. two quick simple and common examples:
  • After half solving a b/w puzzle, you accidentally filled the entire left side with black.
  • After painting some sqare in green, as it should be, you later accidentally paint it with red and green isn't even one of your current two available colors.
in both cases cancel will do a quick job and middle button will be useless.

dcroebuck:
It appears from your descriptions that you do not bother to take the time to fill in the empty boxes.  Is this the case, and if so, how do you remember where the empty boes are?
I will give a wide answer since this is a guide thread.

First i will point out the obvious - your puzzle is considered solved by the system whether you filled the empty boxes or not. Therefore, if you can solve the puzzle at the same speed without filling the empty boxes, that is the best way.

Now, let's consider multicolor puzzles:
  • Unlike b/w puzzles, the blocks don't necessarily have empty boxes next to their edges.
  • Moreover, the other colors are helping to find the borders and area of a certain block, effectively replacing the empty boxes's roll.
  • Finally, ignoring the background color allow 2 colors use which is faster.
Going back to b/w puzzles, we look at the opposite claims:
  • Blocks always have empty boxes next to their edges.
  • empty boxes are needed for determining the borders and area of the black blocks, Furthermore, b/w puzzles are harder to guess and you should use evey trick you got.
  • You always have room for the white color in your right button (as the mid can delete, you have all the abilities).
To answer your question: Naturally i find myself almost never filling empty boxes on multi-color puzzles, and almost always filling them on b/w puzzles, at least at the blocks edges on the easy ones and as much as i can on the hard ones.


A note to everyone else: I pretty much finished writing the stuff i had, i may add something every now and then but it mainly depends now on your additions/corrections/questions.

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
13/10/12 21:14 as a reply to raist.
I don't have a middle mouse button or scroll button. I have a wireless mouse that scrolls but not by button. Is there a way I can "erase" and still have two colors on my left and right mouse buttons?

One other tip that I use if I'm stuck. I elimate regions by cross referencing.

For example, if the right half of all the columns are topped with green but there isn't any green in any of the top ten rows, I know that there is nothing at all in those top ten rows of those green topped columns.

Another example, if the right most column has seven green and only seven of the rows have green on their right end, I know where those seven green go.

This is why like raist, I too usually start on the edges and work my way toward the middle.

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
20/10/13 14:06 as a reply to raist.
Hi Raist,
I participated to some T-Match tournaments and I always admired the players that in very few seconds are able to solve the puzzles. I was looking to find their secret !!!
So,I found these tips useful form one of the best solver.
I'll start to get confident with some of them solving the other puzzles in order to be ready for the next tournament.
Many thanks !
ciao Maurizio

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
27/11/13 13:55 as a reply to raist.
Hi raist,

I don't really get how the scoring system of the G-Match works. I have solved numerous puzzles at less time than the average, and yet I still only have 125 points. I've had these points since the beginning and it doesn't seem like I can get a higher score.
My question is, why?

RE: Tips for G-Match
Answer
27/11/13 19:28 as a reply to Silversvans.
Hi
the time in G-match is absolute time , not the relative time from your start to finish.
Example:
puzzle is released at 8:00
user1 started at 8:10 finished at 8:15 - his solving time is 5 minutes ... but
user2 started 8:01 finished at 8:12 - his solving time is 11 minutes but still he is winner, because he finished sooner.

And the is the source of all strategic decisions. For instance you can decide to skip some difficult puzzle and wait for the next one. While all competitors are solving the first puzzle, you can start to work on the next one.

Keep in mind that in G-Match there the best of the best Griddlers solvers. So if you can get 125 points it means that your are better than 99% of population.

Rasto

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