Speed and Stats in Solving: The Pros and Cons of Streaks

Even before the advent of puzzle apps, stats and record-keeping in puzzle-solving was a thing.

Plenty of solvers keep track of their solving times — here at PuzzleNation we share ours during our Daily POP posts across social media each morning — and it can be for any number of reasons. Maybe they like to keep in tournament-solving shape, maybe they enjoy a bit of friendly competition with fellow solvers, or maybe they simply like testing themselves against their own previous times.

Whether it’s a thread on Reddit’s r/crossword forum or in a conversation with another puzzler regarding how look it took to complete that devious Saturday stumper, these numbers matter to many solvers.

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When you factor in the stat-keeping of puzzle apps, that numeral awareness increases. Take Daily POP Crosswords, for instance. It tracks your best times across the seven different daily categories, as well as the number of days in a row you’ve solved the daily puzzle.

And these streaks — unbroken chains of solved puzzles across days, weeks, and even months — are prized achievements for some solvers.

I get it. During my best run of daily solving, I managed 150 days or so in a row until I slipped and missed a day one weekend. We even celebrated a friend of the blog hitting a one-year streak back in 2019!

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But sometimes, it seems like streak hunting is becoming too much of a priority for some solvers. I see posts where people lament “ruining” a potential month of clean solves by missing a day.

I mean, if you enjoyed solving the puzzles, missing a day can’t wipe away the good time you had solving those other 30 puzzles that month. Right?

Focusing just on time and statistics can mean you’re not taking the opportunity to really drink in all that puzzle has to offer.

We should be taking the time to appreciate the clues and solving experience, even if we’re looking to top our best Tuesday time or hoping to complete week three of a month-long run of success solves.

Heck, one of our own constructors suggested we slow down and smell the roses after posting a time he claimed was too fast for him to fill the grid… and he designed the grid!

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To be fair, I always go back and read through the clues once I’ve solved a puzzle, in case I’ve missed any choice cluing by zipping through the grid. But that doesn’t mean our constructor’s argument lacks merit.

Hopefully, avid solvers can strike a solid balance and get the most out of each and every solve.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m hoping for a sub-4 minute solve on this Daily POP Plus puzzle.

What do you think, fellow solvers? Are you a streak hunter? Do you track your times? Do you find yourself taking more time on paper or through an app? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you.


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Treat yourself to some delightful deals on puzzles. You can find them on the Home Screen for Daily POP Crosswords and Daily POP Word Search! Check them out!

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A New Daily POP Record?

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One of my favorite features offered by the Daily POP Word Search app is how it maintains records of your solving.

Not only can you see your fastest times for each theme day, but the app even keeps a running tally of how many days in a row you solve the free daily puzzles.

True, the app has only been out for a month or so, so even the most loyal PuzzleNationer hasn’t had the chance to compile a monster streak.

But users of the Daily POP Crosswords app also have a streak counter, and one of our faithful fellow puzzlers, Lori, just hit a milestone.

Check it out!

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Not only did she score a top 5 performance for the August 29 “Remember When” puzzle, but she did so while solving her three-hundred-and-sixty-fifth puzzle in a row.

That’s a one year streak of Daily POP Crossword solving! Amazing!

(I must confess that my best attempt topped out around 150 or so before I missed a day.)

However, it’s certainly possible there’s a PuzzleNationer out there with an even more impressive streak going. If you’ve got a Daily POP streak that you’re proud of, whether it rivals Lori’s record or not, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

And hey, maybe we’re only 11 months away from celebrating our first year-long streak in Daily POP Word Search!

Wouldn’t that be something?


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Putting the “Daily” Into “Daily POP Crosswords”

One of my favorite features built into the Daily POP Crosswords app is the ability to keep track of the puzzles you’ve solved. The Calendar screen is always a treat, with a special, unique icon appearing on the calendar for every puzzle you’ve completed.

But in addition to those daily icons, there’s also a Streak counter that details both the number of days in a row you’ve solved the daily puzzle and the date your solving streak began.

You can see your streak on the Home screen in the lower left corner (next to your coin total), as well as on the Calendar screen in the upper right corner, on your Profile screen beside your Solver ID, and on your Scores screen at the top of the page.

The app keeps track of your streak even if you haven’t linked it to your Facebook account, just as it keeps track of your daily icons on the Calendar page. (Of course, if you link your FB account to the app, you get bonus coins with which to solve additional puzzles. Hint hint.)

Naturally, watching my own Streak counter rise, only to reset when I accidentally miss a day, makes me wonder… What’s the longest streak amongst Daily POP Crosswords solvers?

I took to social media to ask the PuzzleNation readership, and the top Streak counts that solvers reported hovered between the 50 and 60 day mark. Which is quite impressive! That’s nearly two months without missing a single day!

But, as it turns out, I didn’t have to go far to find the highest Streak count I’ve encountered thus far in my search. How high was the Streak count, you ask?

152!

Yes, one hundred fifty-two days in a row! Nearly five months of solving without missing a day!

This total was amassed by friend of the blog and fellow puzzler Lori, who revealed her impressive puzzly feat to me around the 90-something day mark, and has been dutifully solving ever since!

She sheepishly admitted to me this week that it had slipped her mind to solve on Monday, and she was devastated to have broken her Streak, as she’d been hoping to go a full 365 days.

What do you think about that, fellow puzzlers and PuzzleNationers? Do you have a Daily POP Crosswords Streak that rivals super-solver Lori’s? Let us know where your Streak stands in the comment section below!


Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!