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My Best Times:

I'm not 100% certain of my best all time scores because whenever I re-install windoze, it overwrites my old high scores, but here are guesses and current known best times:
You hit a mine Beginner: 6 seconds. Current best: 7 seconds.
You hit a mine Intermediate: ~40 seconds. Current best: 44 seconds.
You hit a mine Expert: 120 seconds!
You didn't hit a mine If you have beaten any of my best times, I would be interested in hearing from you. See my e-mail address at the end of this page.


Andrew's guide to playing Minesweeper:

General Rules:

Mark spaces you know are mines as such by right clicking.

However, you should't waste your time marking mines that won't help you.

If you have a square with a number n in it, and you've marked n mines next to it, click both buttons on the square with the number on it to clear all other squares next to it. If you have a 3 button mouse, you can hit the middle button and it will also work.

and Beginners should make extensive use of the "?" markers (by right clicking twice) to help figure out the different possibilities.

Experts should turn off use of the "?" because it takes too much time to use the and even if you don't want to use them, it will take you two clicks (instead of one) to correct any incorrect mine markers.

The first square you click will never be a mine. If there is one there, it will be moved. If the first square you click is the top-left corner, then the mine will be moved to the square to the right. If it is already occupied, it will be moved directly below it, or diagonal (down and right). I haven't figured out how it behaves in other situations. If you do click on the upper-left corner first and it has one mine next to it, there is a 50% chance it is on the right. If there are two mines next to it, there is a a 83% chance that the square on the right is a mine. This knowledge can be helpful when trying to make a last-ditch guess.

Another strategy for guessing is to guess a square about which you have no knowledge, but which is next to places that might be mines. These have a 80-85% chance of being empty, and they might give you some helpful information.

The Expert difficulty level:

Start out by clicking the four corners. If you do not get three out of the four corners to open up, you probably won't be able to finish. This is because you can't get all the way around them. If you get a HUGE opening, it probably means that there is a section of the playing field that has lots of mines, which also makes it hard to finish. If you get tired of manually clicking the four corners (you usually do not get an acceptable result) you can make a macro with Recorder (in Accessories Group, Win3.1 only) to do it for you.

Mark ALL of the mines. It sometimes ends up that you have to finish by using the number of mines that are left. It's annoying ot have to look around to see which mines you didn't mark.

If you find a place where you know you will have to make a guess, do it then (rather than waiting). You're chances won't be any better, and if you make the wrong guess clearing the rest of the field won't do you any good.

Don't get discouraged if you lose a lot. You're chance of winning (even without making mistakes) isn't that great.


Other Stuff Concerning Minesweeper on the Internet:

Get MineHelp, which will play (the Win 3.1 version) for you (and get some incredible times).
If you have Windows 95/98, you can use Sweeper, a similar program with more options.

Play WebMineSweeper

A list of people who have put me to shame. :(


How to cheat (in Win 3.1):

After loading Minesweeper, type "xyzzy Enter Shift" (don't actually type "Enter", just hit Enter...). If your mouse pointer is over a mine, the upper-left pixel on your screen will be black. Otherwise, it will be white. This, of course, is easiest to see if you have a dark wallpaper/no applications in the upper-left corner.

Last updated 11/14/99. Send your comments, questions and awesome times to
ajschult@eos.ncsu.edu

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