Blog Home

Date: Jun 2, 2019 Post # 13 Repeat topics

Players notice when a server topic gets reused,
often gaining the impression that it happens more often than it does.
(No one takes notice of it NOT happening!)

Using (almost) all of the rounds played from
March 13 through June 2 (2019), a total of
1934 topics were used. (Minus a few for the default
Story topics of "Continue the story ..." and
"Title of the New Story".)

The great majority were one-offs.
Of the rest, 88 occurred twice in that period,
and a much smaller number (around 20 or so)
occurred more often than that.

For the most part, those were player-supplied topics.

Those were as follows:
3: 3 related words
3: 3 similar words
3: Bad name for an airline
3: Excuse to get out of a date
3: Give acro advice to a new acroer
3: Good news Mr Jones - your wife's having triplets!
3: Life is like a...
3: Overheard on Noah's Ark
3: Plot for a new horror film
3: The Final Jeopardy question that cost you the game
3: Using your most sophisticated vocabulary to say something
3: Write a beautiful poem about love
3: Your typical gym teacher is ...
4: Inscribed on your tombstone
4: Make up a word and define it
4: Slogan for the new Funeral Home
8: A + B = C
8: Provide an inspirational quote
12: rhyme time (in various forms)

NOTE that for player topics, there might be more cases,
but the topics were specified with differing punctuation,
or capitalization, or something else which made detection fail.
(As with "3 related words" and "3 similar words" above.)


Date: Apr 26, 2019 Post # 12 Quintuplets!

This had to be a first!
All five players wrote the same acro, differing only on some punctuation!



Date: July 10,2019 (revised) Post # 11 Winning Scores

Other sites have based the length of the game on some player
reaching a certain score - typically 30 points.

Depending on how many points can be scored in a round,
such a game can be over after just 4 or 5 rounds,
or it could go on for 15 rounds or more.

How does that compare to Acrozilla, where all games are 10 rounds?

It turns out, not all that differently.

For the period Nov 25, 2017 to July 10, 2019, there
were about 1600 winners recorded here.
This includes some testing games, and also instances
where there were tie games with multiple winners.

Graph of data Nov, 2017 - July,2019






Winning scores range
from 21 - 56 and average 32.4.
They break down as follows:
Points ... Number of games
20-24: 90
25-29: 486
30-34: 515
35-39: 329
40-44: 126
45-49: 48
50-54: 16
55-59: 3


We see that in well over half (1001 - 62%) of those games,
the winning score was between 25 and 34.
The 35-39 bracket brings that total to over 1300 (82%).

Of the games which didn't reach 30 points, most probably
would have after one or two more rounds (the 25-29 range),
and only about 12% were runaway wins (with the winning score 40 or higher).


Date: Sep 30, 2018 Post # 10 More about &cros

While voters can apply their own standards, here's why I object to the cavalier use of & in acros.

The basic premise (and challenge) of the game is:

Write something that matches the letters, word for word. One letter, one word.

Not "write something that matches the letters, and throw in some convenient words, too, if need be".

You can't skip over any letters, and you shouldn't add any extras, either.

& is just a shorthand for "and".

So if the letters are E I L L T I,
then writing, Essentially, I'd leave AND let tourists invade. is not ok.

and therefore, Essentially, I'd leave & let tourists invade. is not ok, either.

(& is only accepted because the program allows punctuation, including standalone punctuation such as ellipsis.)

A simple rewording avoids the problem altogether:
Essentially, I'd leave, letting tourists invade.

The only time I will vote for one of these is if there is no other choice: because the others are even worse, or if the acro is extraordinarily good.

Usually as soon as I see the &, I don't even finish reading them, because I know they won't gmv.


Date: August 20, 2018 Post # 9 What makes an acro worth voting for?

Given the time constraints, even the best players are sometimes hard pressed to write the perfect acro.

But when it comes to VOTING, there are no excuses.

Here are criteria I apply. (Which I myself occasionally violate in writing acros, but try to apply assiduously in voting.)


Date: April 15, 2018 Post # 8 A + B = C

A + B = C is one of the most common topics for 3-letter rounds, but many players misplay it.

It's supposed to be "taking two things, which when put together become a third".
The A and B should both be the same part of speech, either both nouns (most commonly), or both adjectives or verbs, with the result being a third of the same kind.

The canonical example often given is:
Dog + Cat = Fight
Take two sworn enemies, put them together, and a fight ensues.

It should NOT be a two-word phrase with a plus sign stuck in the middle of it. Or worse, a three word phrase with both punctuation marks just added.

A good test is:
If it works just as well WITHOUT the plus sign, it's not a 'real' A+B=C acro.

Here are some examples, showing not-so-good acros, followed by improvements to them:

Flawed Acro Reason Improved
Dirty + Dog = Mud Most Adjective + Noun acros fail
the "you don't need the plus sign" test.
Dirt + Dog = Mess
Cold + Day = Shivering Make it two adjectives rather than just "cold day". Cold + Disrobed = Shivering.
Foreign + trip = Romania. You can't "add" 'foreign' to a trip,
it's a 'foreign trip'.
France + Trip = Romance
Spill + Porridge = Mess Verb + Noun acros are still just two-word phrases. Sofa + Porridge = Mess
Observe + Fossils = Paleontologist SO close .... just make both parts nouns. Observer + Fossils = Paleontology
Broken + Head = Headache Again, this doesn't need the plus sign;
use a noun instead of an adjective.
Brick + Head = Headache
Donald + Lies = Always Here, all the punctuation is simply inserted, since lies can be read as a verb. Donald + Lie = Alibi

Date: March 7, 2018 Post # 7 Dupcro to end all dupcros.

Duplicate acros (or near dups) are fairly common. But as the number of letters increases, the frequency DEcreases.

Tonight was one of those extremely unlikely cases.

For the topic of "Describe a perfect vacation", KLJ and MrPuzzle both wrote, word-for-word:

"Somewhere nice, good food, money's not used."

I put an exclamation point at the end, she used a period. That was the only difference.

Weird only begins to describe it.


Addendum: (April 3, 2019)

Here's another astonishing one:

Topic: Name of a car dealer you'd avoid:

SLUGGO1969: "Mike's Nasty Nissans"
MrPuzzle: "Mike's Nasty Nissans"


Date: Feb 24, 2018 Post # 6 It had to happen sooner or later, right?




Right!
Based on the letter distribution, the probability of this happening on a given round
is around 1 in 3708.

If the three-letter topic is always A+B=C,
with two 3-letter rounds per game, and 3 games per day,
playing every day, there would be 2190 chances for
it to happen each year. So it would be expected to
happen about once every year-and-a-half or so.


Date: February 21, 2018 Post # 5 An amazing round of acros

The topic was "Anyone famous" and this group really came through.
Everyone wrote a vote-worthy acro and it was hard to pick one:

The letters were: T W A I P


I guess bilbolives was inspired by the T W A I .. letters,
as is often the case for many players.


Date: Dec 22, 2017 Post # 4 Letter Distribution

Here the percentages for each letter showing up. The percentages are based on the frequency of English words which start with those letters.
Alphabetical		By Frequency    Occurrences in 10 Round Game
*	0.86%		T	8.12%	4.1
A	7.80%		A	7.80%	3.9
B	6.56%		S	7.77%	3.9
C	5.27%		H	7.34%	3.7
D	4.29%		W	7.32%	3.7
E	2.14%		B	6.56%	3.3
F	5.20%		M	6.08%	3.0
G	4.35%		C	5.27%	2.6
H	7.34%		F	5.20%	2.6
I	4.82%		I	4.82%	2.4
J	0.03%		O	4.82%	2.4
K	0.08%		P	4.36%	2.2
L	4.34%		G	4.35%	2.2
M	6.08%		L	4.34%	2.2
N	4.33%		N	4.33%	2.2
O	4.82%		D	4.29%	2.1
P	4.36%		R	2.38%	1.2
Q	0.03%		E	2.14%	1.1
R	2.38%		U	1.61%	0.8
S	7.77%		*	0.86%	0.4
T	8.12%		K	0.08%	0.04
U	1.61%		V	0.06%	0.03
V	0.06%		J	0.03%	0.02
W	7.32%		Q	0.03%	0.02
X	0.00%		Y	0.02%	0.01
Y	0.02%		Z	0.02%	0.01
Z	0.02%		X	0	0.00 (X is not used)

The sequence of letters ends in a vowel,
in percentage terms, the sum of the numbers
above for the 5 vowels:
a + e + i + o + u = 7.8 + 2.14 + 4.82 + 4.82 + 1.61 = 21.2%
For just i and o, it's 9.64% of the time.