27 July, 2007

Minesweeper - The Perfect End

Yes, it had to happen. I got a tough one. 203 seconds into it, there were 9 boxes not yet revealed, and 4 mines somewhere within them. It had been a slow, hard slog. 242 seconds and one guess with the odds, there were 4 boxes left in the exact center of the board. It's almost never that the last boxes are in the center. The whole struggle emanates from that foundational place, and it is always resolved.

Not tonight.

There were 4 boxes in the exact center of the board, and 2 mines hidden within them. The 10 boxes around them were in a perfect pattern, the likes of which I'd never seen. At each of the 4 corners was a flag, and between each flag was a pair of 2's. If you start in the northwest corner, and work clockwise, the pattern was:
flag
2
2
flag
2
2
flag
2
2
flag (again)

The exact mirroring of clues was both unheard of, and crippling. It was mathematically impossible to determine the position of the final mines. That, of course, is not too rare, but to be flummoxed by order instead of chaos? That's some serious hen's teeth there!

The final position of the mines was assuredly at opposite corners. If the NW corner were mined, then the SE corner would also be mined. Or, if the NE corner were mined, then it would be the SW corner that held the other mine.

The trap was perfect.

There were no clues left. All that remained was gut instinct.

And I guessed ...


... wrong.

My life simply cannot be lived by luck. In the words of that most famous of songs, "If it weren't for baaaaad luck I'd have no luck at allllllll."

;-D



14 comments:

Milly said...

Hey you did better then Milly
;-)

Kansas Bob said...

One of my favorite games - I have this one on my phone. I guess you and I are both pretty nerdly :)

pearlie said...

You are funny ... we just got the game in our cell phones and SH has been cursing every time he plays it. I will send this link to him :)

pearlie said...

I "tagged" you. Check it out here ;)

Danny Kaye said...

CP, I am seriously dissappointed in you. 246 on the intermediate level!!!

Dude! You need to be getting way below 60 seconds on that level to feel good about life. (Even on the master level I've got below 60 seconds. My record for the beginner level is 3 seconds.)

Yup. Seriously disappointed. I thought...sniff...I thought you were a true geek.

sniff...sniff.

codepoke said...

Friend, I don't think I could click the requisite 216 squares in 60 seconds. You either share the strategy that makes you able to bend the laws of physics, or live with the fact that I don't believe you.

Danny Kaye said...

There is no secret. You don't have to click all the squares.

When you play minesweeper, do you flag the squares that you KNOW are bombs by right clicking on them? This is key because if you have all the bombs in an area flagged and then click on a square that you know is NOT a bomb, it clears out a much larger space.

If you have a square that you only THINK is a bomb, right-click twice to flag it as questionable. You can go back later and solidify it.

Give it a go, mate. And come back once you've beat the 60 second mark.

Or live with the fact that you don't believe me...it's up to you. ;-)

codepoke said...

You, sir, are madly skilled. I fully understand and use every skill you've mentioned here, and am tickled to beat 110. My record is 85 or some such, and I was flying at the limits of my ability to keep up with my own clicking. I even have 7-square combinations memorized. If I see that combination, I don't have to think, I know where to click instantly. And yeah, I'm evidently mentally handicapped enough to think 85 is a really, really good score.

Oh well.

Milly said...

I think you're both geeks. And I'm very proud of you both for using your skills for good.

codepoke said...

Geeks?!

I'm touched. Thank you, Milly. :-)

Even if I am a lesser geek.

Danny Kaye said...

Ok, here's the deal.

I just played Minesweeper for the first time in a few years and found out two things:

1) When you don't play for a long time it REALLY HURTS when you try to get back into it. My forearm was KILLING me after only a few games! I was only able to get down to 64 seconds on the Intermediate level because it hurt so bad. (Whatta wimp!)

2) After playing again for the first time in years, I realized that I left out a trick that you may or may not know about. YOU DON'T HAVE TO CLICK THE SQUARES THAT ARE LEFT TO CLICK IN ORDER TO REVEAL CLEAR THE BOARD. You should actually click the "numbered" squares in order to clear the baord. I found that when I played last night, I only click on squared that have numbers on them.

Let me paint a scenario and see if you can follow it (This is hard to explain without showing you in person):
- let's say you have a "1" showing on a square indicating that there 1 bomb connected to it
- let's say you are able to figure out which square is the bomb and you flag it
- Let's also say that just to the north and south of the aforementioned "1" (not the flagged square), there is another "1" showing. If you click one of the 1's with both the right and left mouse buttons at the same time you will clear more squares. In essence you are telling the computer that you know where the bombs are in that area and so clear all squares connected to that "1."

I sure hope I explained that well. If not, feel free to ask and we'll see if I can't clarify something.

codepoke said...

Ah yes. That is a totally different game than what I have been playing. As I am learning your new trick, I am playing vastly slower, and still getting the same scores I'm used to. Which is a good sign that some day it will be much faster.

And I'll owe it all to you. :-)

Danny Kaye said...

Just remember me when you win the National Minesweeper Challenge in '08. A generous person would give 50% of the winnings to his montor.

Are YOU a generous person, CP? I bet you are.
;-)

karen said...

hat's off to you, bro! I can never do well at that game!