nickbarnes: (Default)
[personal profile] nickbarnes
Helen and I successfully completed yesterday's Guardian crossword. It wasn't especially difficult, but we are especially slow sometimes. I posted on FB, and was asked whether it would be quicker to write a program to solve crosswords. I was pointed to an automated solver for cryptic crosswords, and decided to try out the free trial version. Here are the results. I think it'll be a while before AI catches up with this quiet weekend pursuit.
clueranktopguessscoreexplanationclue
Correct: top guess was correct answer
1A 1 - - 98% full Engineer in a car plant (6)
22A 1 - - 49% part A lack of publicity about illness? That’s OK (3,3)
24A 1 - - 85% good Order to reps in certain retail outlet (10)
6D 1 - - 94% full Actor takes time reading a play (9)
16D 1 - - 71% part Break a saucer? Dash it! (7)
Nearly correct: correct answer in top 8 guesses
4A 2 76% REBUFF 6% - Setback after spring floods (6)
9A 2 70% MEET 30% - Bugs running risk (4)
10A 4 13% HOVERCRAFT 7% - Reserve disappearing with this vessel? (10)
20D 5 75% CRESTS <1% - It supports lots of lines in port (6)
11A 6 28% GIBBET 3% - Outlaw hugging a Big Apple tree (6)
15A 7 98% KIEL <1% - Accommodation like leisure centre (4)
25A 7 27% BAIT 1% - A bit of humidity in the south of France (4)
13A 8 52% BUTTERFLY <1% - Fighter pilot with boat crew (9)
Guesses did include correct answer
5D 11 33% ANSWER <1% - Do without current correspondence (6)
23D 12 27% HINGE <1% - Private plaything entertaining same-sex couple? (5)
16A 17 24% FLIP <1% - Drink that’s put in the oven? (4)
2D 39 28% KARNA <1% - Cockney hurried, initially revealing name and rank (5)
Guesses did not include correct answer
3D - 34% INSIDER - - Church leader in Ireland not in favour of red (7)
12A - 61% GROINING - - Toad, ignoring Jack and Edward, chewed the fat (8)
17A - 5% ANOESTRUS - - Happy state suggests one with half of Guinness (9)
26A - 24% UPCAST - - An ecclesiastic high-up like a llama? (6)
27A - 46% THE LAW - - Copper reported parting words (3,3)
1D - 57% INCURVE - - Familiar ground following cut in postal service (7)
7D - 3% WILDCAT - - Cat basket finally grabbed by cardinals (7)
14D - 78% TOUCHDOWN - - Come to play cricket for Yorkshire city (9)
18D - 75% WHENCES - - Not affected as engineers (7)
19D - 84% REDHEAD - - Animal in revolutionary American prison (7)
Program refused to make a guess
21A - - - - - Worker not happy with reinforcement (6,2)
8D - - - - - Jellied eels for starters — seafood devoured by male model (4,9)

Date: 2012-06-04 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] manjushra.livejournal.com
!Hovercraft!

Date: 2012-06-04 09:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] writinghawk.livejournal.com
And here is the crossword of which you write. I did it in half an hour, but it went nice and smoothly with no headbashing holdups (which would normally cause me to advert to a word matcher or just give up or cheat, not having your patience). Nice puzzle by the way - Orlando can usually be relied on. 21A for favourite clue of the day.

It seems to me you underestimate the likely potential of solvers. For one thing, I imagine the full version will do a try on the whole grid. The scores show it pretty much knew which ones it had got correct, and once it had got 6D, for example, it would have known better than to imagine 4A was REBUFF. It shouldn't be hard for it to recalculate the scores and I imagine it would get quite a long way with a simple iterative approach.

Also of course, as a solving aid rather than just a solver, it would certainly speed one up no end.

Date: 2012-06-04 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nickbarnes.livejournal.com
Of course I am resting my thumb quite heavily on the scales here, as you suggest. I don't have the patience to give it the whole grid, but I imagine that if I did so it might manage to get half of it done.

Date: 2012-06-04 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] writinghawk.livejournal.com
"Your comment has been posted. According to this journal's settings, it has been marked as spam"

Yeah, I forgot to ask if you wanted any of that stuff that rhymes with Niagara? Best rates!

Date: 2012-06-06 09:02 pm (UTC)
henry_the_cow: (Default)
From: [personal profile] henry_the_cow
Well, it got four more right than I did. Cryptic crosswords are a mystery to me.

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