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Struggling with New Games during Fool Proofing

TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Alum Member
in Logic Games 1723 karma

I'm at PT 26 now and I am struggling when I see a new game for the first time. It usually only takes me 3 attempts to "fool proof" it but when I see a new game, I struggle to increase my speed or even be close to the target sometimes (typically range between 1-4 mins over but every once in a while am WAY over).

I get the logic behind the games. My mistakes I feel are timing issues. Examples being when a questions reads like I will have to brute force and I hesitate, not being able to see how an AC works in my head quickly/having to write it out to see it. This becomes extremely frustrating when JY does a quick strategy that makes it look like a cake walk.

I feel so close to breaking through but my speed and seeing a couple steps ahead with the rules quickly in my head is killing my speed. Thoughts?


  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    8684 karma

    If I may, there are a few things about your post I hope you consider in further detail.

    -There is not any time in my estimation which brute force is the preferred strategy. Brute force works, but in my estimation should be employed when we have really no other choice. In fact, I would say that any time we are brute forcing a question: we have more than likely missed something key from the initial set up/how the rules interact with each other that would make the act of brute force unnecessary. Strategically picking an answer choice to test first is not brute force, I am defining brute force here as the testing of random answer choices-sometimes in order from A-E.

    -Timing issues are often the result of not 100% understanding the "logic behind the game." A timing issue is at its core either the inability or delayed ability to be able to fully see how the logic of the game interacts with our game board and how rules interact with other rules to create inferences. One thing I have found in my journey to attempt to understand the logic behind the games in when I am reading the rules: I am constantly asking myself if the rule I just read can be in some way combined with the previous rule, for instance: if there are two pieces that the rules state are separated by exactly one other piece on a sequencing game, I ask myself "who can fit in between the two pieces? I might actually have a rule that states that two other pieces must be next to each other: this would effectively disqualify those two pieces from being in between the two pieces in which there must be exactly 1 piece separating them. Lets take a hypothetical look at how this might play out:

    -A,B,C,D,E,F are our game pieces
    -A must be separated from B by exactly 1 piece
    -D must be next to E at all times, regardless of whether D comes before or after E
    Pushing these two rules together we have an interesting dynamic that emerges. What can go between A and B?
    Well it can't be:
    Therefore, we have found the inference: we better see either C or F between A and B.
    Now, what if the third rule was that F must be in the first or last spot?
    Then F cannot be between A and B, so therefore we must have C between A ands B.
    Now, take that knowledge into the questions: If A is in spot 1 then what must be true? Answer: C is in spot 2.

    In summation, all advice on message boards is by its nature not specifically tailored to your situation in enough detail. The above advice might not be precise enough, but where I would start as I understand your issues is by looking into how the rules might possibly interact with each other, this tension within the rules often creates opening that are explored by the questions. Maybe you can crack the game open that way and answer questions with ease.

    Mr. Ping's explanations make the games look like a cake walk because he understands the games on a fundamentally deep level: how the rules interact, what inferences and restrictions come from understanding how the rules interact etc. Mr. Ping has a black belt understanding of the games. In my estimation, there might be 2 or 3 other people on the planet that I am aware of that understand them on his level and can communicate them as effectively on the lessons. None of this should be frustrating in my estimation, for I stand as a testament that with enough work, you can understand the games quickly and efficiently for the purposes of getting a -0/-1 on test day.


  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Alum Member
    1723 karma

    @BinghamtonDave I think you hit it on the head for me with that post. You pretty much read my mind there.

    I do lack the tact to be strategic when I do brute force which goes back to the main issues of rules and their relationship with each other.

    I feel like I panic a bit inside when I see a new game and I just don't see how the rules relate sometimes. I'm always thinking about the clock, especially if I get the feeling that its a 5 minute game and I need to get it done quickly.

    An example is PT 26 game 2. Pretty easy game but the pieces move enough I really have to think about it and am afraid to write too much down (on the copied master game board for that question) in fearing of wasting time.

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