Search found 8347 matches

by Charlie Reams
Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:37 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [COMMENTING HERE WILL ... Yeah, we know]
Replies: 38
Views: 11339

Re: Is Apterous down? [GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD]

Nope, the real reason is exactly what I said.
by Charlie Reams
Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:12 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

I don't have a question but just wanted to say thanks Graeme for maintaining this thread for such a long time, it's full of interesting findings!
by Charlie Reams
Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:51 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Susie Dent about to set the record for most appearances ever...
Replies: 26
Views: 5015

Re: Susie Dent about to set the record for most appearances ever...

Very interesting! You forgot to include Carol's 688,647 episodes of Apterous of course, but it's a good first approximation.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:14 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

This apterous game holds the record for biggest letters deficit overcome: Vincent Barcet gave up 46 points on the letters and still won the game. What's the record on Countdown?

(Sorry if this got asked before; maybe by page 25 it's time we made an index for this topic!)
by Charlie Reams
Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:47 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 83
Views: 21677

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

A few relevant stats from apterous (human-vs-human 15 rounders): A player who beats their opponent with a 9 goes on to win the game 87% of the time. A player who beats their opponent with a 8 goes on to win the game 73% of the time. A player who beats their opponent with a 7 goes on to win the game ...
by Charlie Reams
Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:57 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 83
Views: 21677

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

- The shuffling algorithm. As Jack mentioned, the show (and apterous, almost certainly) takes steps to ensure that the same letters are less likely to appear consecutively in the deck. The method I used to emulate this is: "draw a letter, if it's identical to the last letter, discard it and draw ag...
by Charlie Reams
Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:41 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [COMMENTING HERE WILL ... Yeah, we know]
Replies: 38
Views: 11339

Re: Is Apterous down? [GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD]

The recap writer has returned an error 500 for some weeks now. Can someone technical explain that? 500 means "Internal Server Error" and usually indicates some misconfiguration on the server or an error in the script that generates the page. None of this seems particularly relevant however, as the ...
by Charlie Reams
Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:43 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]
Replies: 6
Views: 18894

Re: Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]

The correct site will eventually resolve on your computer. Just chill for a minute!
by Charlie Reams
Wed Dec 23, 2020 6:20 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]
Replies: 6
Views: 18894

Re: Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]

Rhys, it would be great if I could do something (anything!) without you immediately showing up to complain about it.
by Charlie Reams
Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:59 pm
Forum: Countdown - Spoilers
Topic: Special Spoilers for Wednesday 23rd December 2020 (Special S49)
Replies: 17
Views: 3649

Special Spoilers for Wednesday 23 December 2020

This post would've been lost in the migration, but it looks like quite a bit of effort went into it so I'm reposting it here! It's the final Countdown of 2020. We're leaving together, etc. And it's the big monster of monster fixtures, which could have been played 7 years ago except a max game from J...
by Charlie Reams
Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:52 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]
Replies: 6
Views: 18894

Migrated [read or don't, it's fine]

If you're seeing this post, the migration is complete and your computer has caught up to the new version of the site. Post away!
by Charlie Reams
Tue Dec 22, 2020 5:14 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game
Replies: 10
Views: 3689

Re: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game

I’m guessing it’s better than it used to be, though? There’s that famous game where Matthew Tassier got a max +3 on a bullet hyperlock NA from 2013 but I haven’t seen anything like that in “the wild” since? Correct, and the additional power of the new server also helps. I don't think it's possible ...
by Charlie Reams
Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:12 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game
Replies: 10
Views: 3689

Re: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game

Very interesting! What about you algorithm makes HyperLock harder for the solver than normal Hyper? In my head, intuitively adding a constraint that a specific numbers has to be included in the solution would mean fewer possibilities to iterate over, so a quicker solve. Yeah, that's a reasonable in...
by Charlie Reams
Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:27 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?
Replies: 7
Views: 2588

Re: Catsdown - Why the Small Dictionary?

I think there's something quite iconic about the physical dictionary, and it makes the verdicts feel more "real" than getting them from a computer in the production office. The actual allowed/not-allowed decisions don't really matter on Catsdown anyway, do they?
by Charlie Reams
Sun Dec 20, 2020 3:29 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game
Replies: 10
Views: 3689

Re: Computerphile - Brute Forcing the Countdown Numbers Game

Yep, apterous also uses a "backward" solver (given a target and working numbers, find the method) rather than a forward calculation of every possible number that can be made. However the answers are computed in advance and stored, in order to solve the problem from olden-days apterous where, for mor...
by Charlie Reams
Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:31 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 83
Views: 21677

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

points... weightings... length lost gained swing Charlie's Rob's 4 -1.57 +0.7 2.27 3.85 4 5 -1.76 +1.2 2.96 5.02 5 6 -1.88 +1.62 3.5 5.94 6 7 -1.96 +2.07 4.03 6.84 7 8 -1.75 +2.98 4.73 8.03 8 9 -3.66 +7.13 10.79 18.31 18 So perhaps 9s in my list are slightly underrated, but not by a massive amount....
by Charlie Reams
Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:16 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 83
Views: 21677

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Thank you so much! I'm really enjoying the collaborative improvement of these lists. One thing I wonder is how to capture the relative impact of spotting/missing words of different length. In particular, knowing 9s might be much more important than it seems because there's a 36-point swing at stake ...
by Charlie Reams
Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:02 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 83
Views: 21677

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

This is very cool! Any chance you could share it in some generic form (like CSV) for those of us who don't have Excel?
by Charlie Reams
Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:03 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: You've just been made producer of Countdown...
Replies: 80
Views: 19729

Re: You've just been made producer of Countdown...

Danny Woodhouse wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:09 am
Remember back in 96 when they changed the clock music and afterward that phrase came about "if it ain't broke dont fix it"?
Not sure this is entirely historically accurate.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:50 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

Very interesting, thank you. So the biggest absolute differences are Elliott Mellor (+45%), Jonathan Rawlinson (+30%), and Zarte (+29%). My expectation was that more recent series are generally stronger and therefore it would be harder for the top players to maintain such a large advantage, but ther...
by Charlie Reams
Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

I would be interested to see some stats along the lines of "max % for top seed versus max % for the other seven seeds" for each series. This might be one way to evaluate players who were most "ahead of their time" in comparison to other strong players from the same era.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:55 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Letters Max Progression (Featuring graphs)
Replies: 13
Views: 3339

Re: Letters Max Progression (Featuring graphs)

Good stuff. Interesting that maxes are such a good proxy for overall performance.
by Charlie Reams
Mon Sep 21, 2020 9:25 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Future of this forum
Replies: 8
Views: 6668

Re: Future of this forum

Thank you everyone. We raised quite a bit more than I expected (total amount TBD) so that should cover us for at least another four or five years assuming prices stay the same. Woo!
by Charlie Reams
Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:18 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Future of this forum
Replies: 8
Views: 6668

Future of this forum

Hi folks, Those of you who've been around since 2013 may remember we collectively pre-paid for the next 5 years of hosting for this site, which worked out very well. That ran out in 2018 (maths), and I've been paying for the site myself since then -- but I'd like to see if we can do another crowd-so...
by Charlie Reams
Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:00 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: Mind Sports Olympiad (CO-MSO) comes to Apterous Friday 21st August
Replies: 16
Views: 10249

Re: Mind Sports Olympiad (CO-MSO) comes to Apterous Friday 21st August

Tony Atkins wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:41 pm
If you are an expired apterous user or want to play anonymously, then create yourself a new (trial) user (for free) using a second email address.
Please don't do this, it's very clearly against the terms of service.
by Charlie Reams
Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:15 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

This is super cool, I have wondered about this question before so very interesting to get an answer. Would love to see the answers for 6 small etc if you have the compute time to grind those out!
by Charlie Reams
Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:11 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Letter Shuffling Algorithms
Replies: 5
Views: 2702

Re: Letter Shuffling Algorithms

I would be interested to see how these compare with the scores on the show (not just mean of the max but the whole distribution). The algorithm on apterous was based on a conversation with the person who had the job of semi-shuffling the tiles about how she did it, but obviously there's a fairly sub...
by Charlie Reams
Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Ask Graeme?
Replies: 1601
Views: 512505

Re: Ask Graeme?

Not sure if been covered elsewhere, but here goes. Which word has the most stems, so should rarely be declared? Are you able to show the most for each length of word? Maybe this could be further split to determine words that if any extra vowel was added would yield a longer word - thus meaning your...
by Charlie Reams
Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:19 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: apterous update
Replies: 34
Views: 10304

apterous update

Will post a longer update when I have time, but just to keep you informed: due to a faulty disk, the database experienced some quite serious corruption last night and neither the game nor the site can work without it. I'm currently investigating whether we can retrieve it all without resorting to a ...
by Charlie Reams
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:55 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [COMMENTING HERE WILL ... Yeah, we know]
Replies: 38
Views: 11339

Re: Is Apterous down? [GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD]

I'm aware. Nothing I can do at the moment.
by Charlie Reams
Sat May 23, 2020 12:09 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Is picking the letters an advantage?
Replies: 33
Views: 9026

Re: Is picking the letters an advantage?

I took a quick look into this based on apterous data. I only considered games that are reasonably simulations of Countdown, i.e. human-vs-human games with normal rules and 30-second rounds. I also only looked at data for the last two years, because the move to the much bigger dictionary presumably r...
by Charlie Reams
Wed May 20, 2020 10:02 pm
Forum: Games and Puzzles
Topic: Higher or Lower
Replies: 125
Views: 25225

Re: Higher or Lower

I suggest using the probability distribution of human ages, which of course has zero density above 120 years. Finally something we can all agree on!
by Charlie Reams
Sat May 16, 2020 10:04 am
Forum: Games and Puzzles
Topic: Higher or Lower
Replies: 125
Views: 25225

Re: Higher or Lower

Say I give you 100 numbers from the same distribution, then you'd be able to learn some things about the distribution, like where the regions are, how big they are and so on, and you'd be able to make reasonable guesses about where future numbers from the distribution would go. Obviously, the more ...
by Charlie Reams
Sat May 09, 2020 12:28 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [COMMENTING HERE WILL ... Yeah, we know]
Replies: 38
Views: 11339

Re: Is Apterous down? [GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD]

As I said, there is no point whatsoever posting in this topic.
by Charlie Reams
Fri May 08, 2020 8:16 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [COMMENTING HERE WILL ... Yeah, we know]
Replies: 38
Views: 11339

Re: Is Apterous down? [GENERAL DISCUSSION THREAD]

You can post whatever you want in here, since it isn't configured to send me an alert. It's also completely pointless since I won't see it. Enjoy!
by Charlie Reams
Thu May 07, 2020 7:23 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]

And that's the end of this topic. Congrats to those who ruined it for everyone else.
by Charlie Reams
Thu May 07, 2020 3:41 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]

Jason William Larsen wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 3:01 pm
I can't log in now
Other people are playing successfully so the site is not down. Please file a ticket if you need technical support.
by Charlie Reams
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:14 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]

Looks like the subject line was too subtle.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:01 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down? [please DO NOT post in this topic for any other reason]

Yes. (Essential maintenance.) Back later today.
by Charlie Reams
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:37 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Please don't use this thread for anything other than signalling that the site is down. There is a ticket system on the site and all other problems can be flagged there.
by Charlie Reams
Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Please don't use this page to report bugs or ask for technical support. Other people are playing successfully: https://www.apterous.org/browsegames.php?date=737885 .
by Charlie Reams
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:58 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Back now.
by Charlie Reams
Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:52 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Outing Gevin! (& similar fun activities suitable for a rainy Tuesday afternoon)
Replies: 24
Views: 10517

Re: Outing Gevin! (& similar fun activities suitable for a rainy Tuesday afternoon)

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:09 pm
This was a serious Yahoo Group for serious people and only real names were allowed, so it was eventually taken over by Soo Reams.
:lol:
by Charlie Reams
Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:15 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Yes, the database is running so slowly that it's very hard to log in. I will take a look but it might take a while to fix.
by Charlie Reams
Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:53 pm
Forum: Off-topic
Topic: Coincidence
Replies: 219
Views: 67389

Re: Coincidence

(Cross-post from Facebook, I feel this is good enough to warrant it.) While we're sitting around, my girlfriend likes to pepper me with clues from whatever cryptic crossword she's doing. Today she was saying "Do you know a nine-letter word..." and I thought it would be amusing to interrupt at that p...
by Charlie Reams
Thu May 09, 2019 7:40 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Will probably be unreliable over the next 24 hours. BT coming tomorrow to fix. (They were meant to come today but of course left me waiting for 5 hours before cancelling instead.)
by Charlie Reams
Sun May 05, 2019 4:05 pm
Forum: Off-topic
Topic: Was Jeanne Calment a fraud?
Replies: 42
Views: 16681

Re: Was Jeanne Calment a fraud?

I enjoyed this thread and now also endorse exhumation. If I live to 122 I'd be fine with someone messing with my grave to double-check.
by Charlie Reams
Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Off-topic
Topic: What Degrees do you have
Replies: 28
Views: 18639

Re: What Degrees do you have

Pretty much what it reads like. I have a friend who went to Oxford. Did a bachelors degree. After like 3 years or something he paid to upgrade it to a Masters, 'MaOxon' or something. He said he'd been told they allow it because a bachelor's from Oxford should hold more merit than somewhere else I l...
by Charlie Reams
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Power cut. Back ASAP.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

I'm away for Easter so nothing I can do. Will be back at some point.
by Charlie Reams
Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:44 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

We're having a power cut at Apterous Towers and the battery backup has now expired. Back in the next few hours with any luck.
by Charlie Reams
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Don't think so, works fine for me and others are online.
by Charlie Reams
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Yep. Power cut at Apterous Towers. Battery backup gave us enough time to shutdown gracefully so we should be back safely as soon as power comes back.
by Charlie Reams
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:36 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Tom S wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:30 pm
Apterous down at mo.
Don't think so -- lots of other people online.
by Charlie Reams
Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Is Apterous down? [DO NOT POST IN THIS TOPIC FOR ANY OTHER REASON]
Replies: 604
Views: 266525

Re: Is Apterous down?

Having some electrical work done, should be back in a few hours.
by Charlie Reams
Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Off-topic
Topic: Things you can't do that it always seems like everyone else can
Replies: 91
Views: 55095

Re: Things you can't do that it always seems like everyone else can

You have to go to sleep at the time chosen by whichever of you wants to go to bed later, and get up at the earlier time. Whilst you're obviously mental (and whilst that whilst I respect your reasoning) this particular part is surely totally wrong. And we have a kid! Hmm.. or maybe it's wrong becaus...