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 Post subject: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:37 pm
We know the fastest speedcubers and we know the people with the biggest collections. We also know the most prolific designers and puzzle makers. However it suddenly occurred to me that there is little said about the best twisty puzzle solvers.
So how do you rate a good puzzle solver? Well naturally they must be using their own method. I would then rate them by the number of different puzzles they can solve with a bias towards puzzles that need different solving strategies. I would also take into account the amount of time they take to fully work out a new solution for a particular puzzle. I know a lot of twisty puzzles can be solved using the same basic strategies but there must still be a single best solver. I honestly haven't a clue who that would be or any idea how to find out apart from asking a few questions. So...

1. Do you have lots of twisty puzzles and can you solve them all by your own methods?
2. Are you confident that you could solve all of Oskar's puzzles in a short amount of time?

Feel free to put other names forward besides your own if you wish.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:57 am
Location: In my study drooling over my puzzle hoard - Precioussssss!
My votes for the top few (in no particular order) are:

Burgo
Konrad
Andrea
SuperAntonioVivaldi (I'm pretty sure that he is Dr Who on TP)

Apologies to anyone I've forgotten!! :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
How do we measure "best"?

Julian and Daniel Kwan and Haru and Michael Gottlieb are truly incredible fewest-moves solvers.

On a computer, Michael Gottlieb is the fastest by a wide margin across a huge number of puzzles.

Or are we just talking about ability to figure things out and perform a solve, not how fast or how many moves? In that case I think Nan Ma (schuma) is the best solver in the world. He has proven himself across such a wide class of puzzles including bandaged, jumbling, non-symmetrical, 4-dimensional, non-euclidean, infinite repeating tilings, etc.

The trouble with a measure like "best" is that it's a scalar value and solving skill is a multi-dimensional vector.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:17 am
Location: Australia
Puzzlemad wrote:
My votes for the top few (in no particular order) are:

Burgo
Konrad
Andrea
SuperAntonioVivaldi (I'm pretty sure that he is Dr Who on TP)

Apologies to anyone I've forgotten!! :D :D
I think `world’s best` is a far stretch for any of us^^, and I’m sure the others will all agree with that (as much as I can speak for them), it’s certainly not my/our goal, maybe we are just `more talkative` on this forum.

You only need to take a look at the Gelatinbrain scoreboard to find the truly great current solvers of the TP world. I’m always amazed that it’s so well managed and respected by its users and not junked up with tags and garbage, I love that.

I personally prefer solving collectively, and hearing about other people’s methods. Which is what I really like about this forum: just being able to chat about solving experiences. And that goes some way to answering Tony’s question: It’s very difficult to make a judgement of `best` in any meaningful way, like Brandon pointed out, when there are so many conversations, and so much good solving has gone before us. For example, I wish I could have had the opportunity to twist Tom’s Multidodecahedron before I knew how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.. but I can’t. And that’s how most people come into this hobby.

We are in an era of incredible growth, both in physical and simulated puzzles and I think we should all consider ourselves really lucky to be part of it. Anyone in the world could be at the forefront of solving them, but we are :) . It's one of the best kept secrets in the world!

I don’t think that solving twisty puzzles is really a massive intellectual leap anyway, I mean it is and it isn’t. I think that if you didn’t actually like the physical act of solving (physical or simulated puzzles), or admire the ingenious mechanisms, inventive designs and such, you would quickly lose interest.. for people with `great intellectual fortitude` anyway.

Cheers,
Burgo.

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PB 3x3 55sec Jan 2011 (When I was a kid 1:30 was speedcubing so I'm stoked).
1st 3x3 Earth (nemesis) solve Jan 2011 My You Tube (Now has ALLCrazy 3X3 Planets with Reduction)


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 8:50 am
Location: chicago, IL area U.S.A
I would define 'best' as being able to pick up a puzzle for the first time and without using the aid of a computer / internet, figure out a solution reasonably quickly. Pencil and Paper is fine, but even better without it. And do this for the greatest number of puzzles. Just my opinion, and based on that, I'm probably one of the worst.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:35 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am
Location: Germany, Bavaria
Burgo wrote:
...I think `world’s best` is a far stretch for any of us^^, and I’m sure the others will all agree with that (as much as I can speak for them), it’s certainly not my/our goal, maybe we are just `more talkative` on this forum....
I completely agree with Burgo. I would never view myself to be under the best puzzle solvers.
There are many on this forum who are much better.
On the other hand, looking at the short puzzle solving history of Burgo (less than two years ago he has solved the 3x3x3 the first time), he is somehow outstanding in respect of the many different puzzles he has solved in such a short time frame.
I think that it is almost impossible to come up with a precise definition what "good puzzle solver" means.

When I was younger, I used to be a rock climber. The group of climbers I knew at that time had a somehow instinctive feeling who was good, or better. There was no clear definition, though. We were no rivals, we climbed similar routes and liked to talk about them.
Same here: Many solvers like to talk about how they solved a certain puzzle and share hints with others.
This is what I like, what we like.

Even the Gelatinbrain solvers have a very friendly competition. They fight with a certain puzzle, not so much against each other.
Brandon has named a few outstanding solvers for different categories.
From the top of my head, I would add Brandon, Katja, GuiltyBystander, Sjoerd....

My gut feeling says, if anybody comes up with a good definition of `best puzzle solver`, quite a few twisty puzzle members would be on a top 100 list for the world best puzzle solvers.

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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:48 am 
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Location: Hong Kong/Beijing
Anyone want to say schuma? He solved most (or all?) of the Geletain Brain puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Who is the best puzzle solver?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:26 pm 
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While the "best" puzzle solver is open to interpretation, I think this is a very good question and a fair one to ask. To me, the "best" puzzle solver is one that can most quickly understand and solve a diverse range of the most complex puzzles that others have not been able to solve, like the latch cube, essentially with the most impressive puzzle solving skills. I don't know who this might be as we don't really discuss and demonstrate individual solving abilities on this forum, but a few people like Konrad and bhearn have caught my attention. One thing I am sure about: it certainly isn't me. :lol:

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