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 Post subject: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:21 pm 
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So I've been having a "discussion" with a friend lately. In terms of puzzle solving, the generally accepted term for solving without algorithms is "Intuitive." My friend is insisting that it is not actually intuitive. He can't give me a better term, but he says intuitive is the wrong term.

By definition, he's probably right. I just say "eh, that's just the term that everyone uses."

So my question is, is there in fact a better term, or is intuitive just fine?

Nick


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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:40 pm 
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Technically it's not intuitive since you're typically using some form of logic or reasoning. But intuitive seems to be the accepted word for solving a puzzle without just memorizing algorithms.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:44 pm 
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From what I have seen the puzzling world likes to redefine regular words; "algorithm" being the best example. It is possible (but unlikely) that intuitive has been redefined. I have used the word "intuitive" to describe some of my methods and I also can't think of any other way to say it.

Google's definition
Intuitive:
in·tu·i·tive/inˈt(y)o͞oitiv/
Adjective:
Using or based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning; instinctive.

Using the word "intuitive" seems to be very intuitive. :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:47 am 
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Whenever you aren't specifically following a script but just making up details as you go along just because they look or feel right, you're using intuition.

Almost no puzzle can be solved with 100% pure intuition. You generally rely on some experience, some set sequences, a general strategy/algorithm for solving, some pattern recognition, etc. What glues all of these things together to make an actual solve is intuition.

Put another way, computers have no intuition. They must be programmed to perform every single operation. It is a lot of work to program a computer to take a scrambled puzzle and reliably solve it, over and over. One of the reasons is that the computer has absolutely no intuition at any step of the solve so you must provide all of the glue logic to take the computer through every step of the solve. You don't realize how good you have it with basic intuition until you use something that completely lacks it.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:07 am 
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I think the term might be used more in the sense of:
I solve the `first part` with intuition, which might be block building or some such, and finish it up with.. this sequence.
Or, with a more complex puzzle, you might be referring to not having a specifically mapped method, but you may be drawing on `known sequences` as the occasion arises `with intuition` to solve the puzzle, or spontaneously using a commutator that you come up with `on the spot`.
From another angle.. intuition is a key part of `going fast` too.

Tell your friend then that he can't actually say anything intuitive in that case, because you have to structure it in a known language for it not to be gibberish.

Of course, if he is not a puzzle solver, it may be very difficult for him to understand that the process is flexible and can be creative.

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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:58 am 
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What about "improvised" or "impromptu"?


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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:10 pm 
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I like intuitive as a descriptor. Far better than the 'painfully obvious' I feel watching some of my students do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Solving "Intuitively"
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:01 pm 
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These are right brain thinking processes, which include intuition, instinct, gut feel, imagination, creativity, and pattern recognition, as opposed to left brain thinking processes which include rational analysis, logic, deduction, reasoning, algorithms and repetition. The brain will always use both, sometimes one more than the other at different stages.

Regarding right brain thinking to solve puzzles, intuition is fine, as well as other terms like gut feel and instinct, as long as we appreciate there will always be some degree of logic involved.

Mind you, if you're just following known algorithms then there isn't that much logic involved in any case as it is mostly just pattern recognition and memory.

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