Search found 47 matches

by Robert Foster
Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:06 pm
Forum: Games and Puzzles
Topic: The World's Hardest 15 Rounder
Replies: 13
Views: 5652

Re: The World's Hardest 15 Rounder

Conundrum solution: PREDACITY
Final numbers solution: 75*7+(50*25+8)/3 = 939

Very fun and creative puzzle! If those solutions aren't correct then the last 7 years have been a bit of a waste of time though.
by Robert Foster
Sun Jan 31, 2021 10:48 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Factors like letters distribution and the shuffling algorithm heavily influence what the most useful words will be. So I wanted to compare what the results of my simulation would look like given different Countdown 'environments' as input. Hopefully this can shed some like on things like whether apt...
by Robert Foster
Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:40 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

According to that, if you are looking to maximise value, you should learn all of: -The first 100 sixes (1 volume) -The first 700 sevens (7 volumes) -The first 500 eights. (5 volumes) before getting to the 100 best nines! This sounds about right. Generally, sevens and eights are much more useful tha...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:11 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

About an hour for 25 million random rounds. The plan is to run my usefulness sim on 1) every round in TV Countdown history 2) a bunch of apterous rounds and 3) randomly generated rounds, as I have been using for my doc. Then we can draw some sweet sweet comparisons.
by Robert Foster
Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:07 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

My sim generates every round in isolation - the consonant and vowel decks are reshuffled after every round, and duplicate aversion doesn't span rounds. So it's possible for a Q to come up in several consecutive rounds, unlike TV Countdown, but the 'stacking up' effect that you mention is avoided. Wo...
by Robert Foster
Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:16 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

I would always encourage any suggestions as to how to make my list more accurate! So thanks for taking the time to make these insights. My general philosophy was to make a list that's as objectively correct as possible, with no artificial tweaks applied after looking at the list to reinforce what 's...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:03 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Sorting by length seems to work OK for me. I did: Highlight columns B-R (or columns B-Q in the latest version) > Sort & Filter > Custom Sort > Tick the 'My data has headers' box > Column D Largest to Smallest. Also 'Takes' information only shows for words of 8 letters and below, so if you have all o...
by Robert Foster
Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:41 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Nice sleuthing Charlie, I may take up your offer of juicy apto data! I should have mentioned that in my doc, the words are already weighted according to how many points they score (x18 for a 9, x8 for an 8 etc). It turns out that my crude weightings are actually pretty close to the ones generated by...
by Robert Foster
Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:57 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Updated version thanks to suggestions from Callum and Fiona. A few changes: - The logic behind the word that appears in 'Single Word' column has been changed - for words with multiple anagrams, it should state the most useful to learn of these. (Roughly the logic is "prefer words that take useful le...
by Robert Foster
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:54 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Latest version of my word usefulness doc following the Nov 2020 update:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... OBoD4LcS_4
by Robert Foster
Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:23 pm
Forum: Other game shows
Topic: ...and that's ZoomDown
Replies: 273
Views: 52272

Re: ...and that's ZoomDown

In the case of Zoomdown, I don't think anything is lost by always giving the full 30 seconds for each round - it prevents controversy if a player doesn't have it yet, viewers might still be working on it, closer atmosphere to TV Countdown, more time to soak up the funky disco beat, etc. At Lincoln-s...
by Robert Foster
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:23 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Countdown vs Scrabble
Replies: 8
Views: 2327

Re: Countdown vs Scrabble

Only considering words that are 2-9 letters long - there are about 29,000 words that are valid in Countdown that are not valid in CSW19. There are about 66,000 words that are valid in CSW19 that are not valid in Countdown. The Scrabble dictionary is copyrighted so I can't publish a large chunk of th...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: You Are The Ref
Replies: 290
Views: 81887

Re: You Are The Ref

1) redo, it's hard to see the other side of the coin in this situation for 2) and the tantalisingly named 3a), I think the result should stand. These cases both fit the general concept of a conundrum closely enough, which is 'unscramble these letters to form a valid word'. To restage the conundrum i...
by Robert Foster
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:50 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Latest version is here! You have to download it because the file won't show up in preview. Make sure to enable editing and macros if prompted.

https://bit.ly/2Qykkto
by Robert Foster
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:11 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: Co:Vid 20 chapter 1 Recaps
Replies: 7
Views: 3483

Re: Co:Vid 20 chapter 1 Recaps

I can confirm this did actually happen. Unless Jack and I are both suffering from the same fever dream.
by Robert Foster
Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:38 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: You Are The Ref
Replies: 290
Views: 81887

Re: You Are The Ref

1.(c) 2.(b) 3.(c) It should be standard practice for hosts to give a 5-second warning in Lincoln-style events, or play clock music in Bristol-style events and showpiece finals. If for any reason there's no audible indication that a round is going to end, and a player announces their guess immediatel...
by Robert Foster
Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:04 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Is COUNTDOWN worthy of respect as a game?
Replies: 21
Views: 6950

Re: Is COUNTDOWN worthy of respect as a game?

My initial reaction is - yes, Countdown is absolutely worthy of respect as a game. I think any pastime which a community of people takes pleasure in has a right to be pursued without guilt or the feeling that it's somehow not worthy of respect. (assuming it's not illegal, morally questionable etc.) ...
by Robert Foster
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:09 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COREA - Reading - 20th April 2019
Replies: 6
Views: 7833

Re: COREA - Reading - 20th April 2019

In please!
by Robert Foster
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:11 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Re: Which words are the most useful to know?

Thanks guys! Only thing I would suggest as an improvement is to do some face-up shuffling in the simulated rounds (or weight against rounds with double or triple letters). It seems to me that the most useful words seem a bit skewed towards double-letters compared to https://www.apterous.org/wordstat...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Which words are the most useful to know?
Replies: 64
Views: 18443

Which words are the most useful to know?

I did an analysis on which words would be most useful to learn for each of 3, 4, and 5 vowel picks in standard letters rounds. You can find the results here: http://bit.ly/2KXffJw Download the file as an Excel spreadsheet (don't try and open it as a Google Sheet) and feel free to play around - you c...
by Robert Foster
Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COREA17 - Saturday 15th April 2017
Replies: 26
Views: 22082

Re: COREA17 - Saturday 15th April 2017

I'll be there tomorrow.
by Robert Foster
Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:44 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COREA16 - Saturday 26th March 2016
Replies: 20
Views: 10807

Re: COREA16 - Saturday 26th March 2016

In please!
by Robert Foster
Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:35 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COLIN XII- Countdown in Lincoln, 30-31 January 2016
Replies: 132
Views: 33518

Re: COLIN XII- Countdown in Lincoln, 30-31 January 2016

Seems reasonable enough to me to use the mixed approach, it's the best option we've got. The alternative is to use the apterous word list verbatim. This would be strange as some players have put the in the effort to learn new words, but would have to avoid declaring words beginning with certain lett...
by Robert Foster
Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:52 am
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COLIN XII- Countdown in Lincoln, 30-31 January 2016
Replies: 132
Views: 33518

Re: COLIN XII- Countdown in Lincoln, 30-31 January 2016

I've compiled the inflections for all headwords under 10 letters beginning with A,B,C,E,G,H,P,S and T, on top of the J,K,L,N,Q,U,V,W,X,Y and Z words that Zarte's already uploaded. I'll get in touch with Charlie to see if he can add these to apterous in time for COLIN. So the missing letters are D,F ...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:40 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified
Replies: 33
Views: 7498

Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

I agree that not all -ize entail -ise and vice versa. But I do think that as a blanket rule, the existence of one should imply the other. Before this update, we haven't needed a blanket rule, because every form has been stated explicitly. The issue is that some of the new entries are quite sloppily ...
by Robert Foster
Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified
Replies: 33
Views: 7498

Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

OK. I'm not sure why there's been a u-turn on this since the discussion here http://www.apterous.org/ticket_view.php ... 045#p46759, but I could probably cull the unspecified -ISEs and -ISERs from the inflections that I've compiled.
by Robert Foster
Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified
Replies: 33
Views: 7498

Re: New -IZE words, whose -ISE variants come up blank in the search tool and are not specified

As part of the apterous dictionary update, Zarte and I have been including -ISE variants for every new -IZE word (but not the other way round). So for apterous at least, we've assumed that this is the standard rule. I've done this for all of the new headwords beginning with A, B, C, E, G, H, P, S, a...
by Robert Foster
Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:28 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: How many Letters puzzles are there in total?
Replies: 25
Views: 4437

Re: How many Letters puzzles are there in total?

The formula for finding the number of combinations of r letters chosen from n different kinds of letter is (n+r-1)! / r!(n-1)! (where repetition is allowed and the order doesn't matter) The number of ways of dealing 3 vowels from 5 different kinds of vowels is 7!/(3!*4!) = 35 dealing 4 vowels = 70 d...
by Robert Foster
Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Plurals of new unmarked Latinate words
Replies: 9
Views: 4308

Re: Plurals of new unmarked Latinate words

Cheers :) I agree that GOINTERED, USETERING etc. are particularly exceptionable, and they probably shouldn't be in. It's just that such entries are extremely rare, and as a compiler, it's time-consuming to take into account any information that isn't immediately accessible from the part-of-speech la...
by Robert Foster
Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Countdown - General
Topic: Plurals of new unmarked Latinate words
Replies: 9
Views: 4308

Re: Plurals of new unmarked Latinate words

The guidelines that I'm using to determine which inflections go into the Apterous dictionary are as follows: -Nouns take S, ES or IES according to standard spelling rules -Verbs take an -S form, an -ED form and an -ING form according to standard spelling rules -One-syllable unsuffixed adjectives tak...
by Robert Foster
Sun May 24, 2015 9:25 am
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: Countdown in King's Lynn (Co:KL): Saturday 23rd May
Replies: 49
Views: 13241

Re: Countdown in King's Lynn (Co:KL): Saturday 23rd May

Thanks to Mike for a really enjoyable event, and well done to Graeme for a closely fought final.
Hope it's the first Co:KL of many!
by Robert Foster
Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:46 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COREA15 - Saturday 11th April 2015
Replies: 38
Views: 16328

Re: COREA15 - Saturday 11th April 2015

I'm in for this :)
by Robert Foster
Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:16 pm
Forum: Games and Puzzles
Topic: Ten-letter conundrums
Replies: 22
Views: 7472

Re: Ten-letter conundrums


PARLIAMENT
GRAPEFRUIT
PERSUASION



METALGAITS
MIDSTREAMN
REDHOTBASE
by Robert Foster
Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:04 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: COREA Saturday 19th April 2014
Replies: 39
Views: 13250

Re: COREA Saturday 19th April 2014

Count me in please!
by Robert Foster
Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:43 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Apterous Masters 2012
Replies: 88
Views: 13699

Re: Apterous Masters 2012

Jon Corby beat Rob Foster 4-3

Rob 97-105 Jon
Jon 85-92 Rob
Rob 109-99 Jon
Jon 98-107 Rob
Rob 78-102 Jon
Jon 100-86 Rob
Rob 96-113 Jon

Great games Jon, best of luck in the semis!
by Robert Foster
Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:57 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Apterous Masters 2012
Replies: 88
Views: 13699

Re: Apterous Masters 2012

In please Ben, thanks for the invitation.
by Robert Foster
Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:59 am
Forum: Countdown - Spoilers
Topic: Spoilers For Monday November 14th 2011
Replies: 8
Views: 2032

Re: Spoilers For Monday November 14th 2011

Yep that's me, smug git in the front row 8-)
by Robert Foster
Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:48 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: Countdown in Nottingham 2011- Saturday 30th July
Replies: 125
Views: 24425

Re: Countdown in Nottingham 2011- Saturday 30th July

Sorry for the mix-up fellas! when the round ended, we both declared 6. Then we just showed each other our pads- Tom had WARNED, and I had written down WARNED, WARDEN and (wrongly) ARMADA, imagining the M. I didn't "declare" ARMADA- it seems that this was the word that Thomas wrote down on his game r...
by Robert Foster
Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:31 pm
Forum: Countdown - Events
Topic: Countdown in Nottingham 2011- Saturday 30th July
Replies: 125
Views: 24425

Re: Countdown in Nottingham 2011- Saturday 30th July

I'm coming to this, I've just sent the payment. :)
by Robert Foster
Thu May 05, 2011 4:56 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Tiny Tots Tournament
Replies: 123
Views: 16483

Re: Tiny Tots Tournament

Yep, SPEEDSTER remained unsolved, so Sophie takes the win 2-1. Good games Sophie, some costly mistakes on my part in the second game but I was otherwise outplayed, especially by the 9 in the decider. Shame about the conundrum crash fiasco- suppose it doesn't matter though if the only repercussion is...
by Robert Foster
Wed May 04, 2011 6:33 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Tiny Tots Tournament
Replies: 123
Views: 16483

Re: Tiny Tots Tournament

In my opinion, the only fair way out of this is to just replay a single conundrum- if neither of us gets it, Sophie wins 2-1 as she was ahead on points. Not sure if this is an "official" way of conducting the tournament though- if this isn't recognised by the tourney system I'd be happy to replay th...
by Robert Foster
Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:37 pm
Forum: apterous.org
Topic: Tiny Tots Tournament
Replies: 123
Views: 16483

Re: Tiny Tots Tournament

I'm in please Kai, if I'm not too late