Crossword SNITCH

A quantitative guide to the degree of difficulty of the Times Cryptic Crossword


ScoreGrade
Less than 64Very easy
64-93Easier
94-108Moderate
109-138Harder
More than 138Very hard

The SNITCH (Same-day Numeric Index of Times Cryptic Hardness) is a score of the difficulty for each Times Cryptic crossword as shown in the table.

It is based on the time taken by reference solvers to complete the crossword with no errors. On this page the hourly movement of the SNITCH (as reference solvers complete the puzzle) is shown for recent days. Scroll down to see the final NITCH value and a link to the underlying details for many past crosswords.

How hard is each Times Cryptic Crossword? A good way to judge this is to work out how long it takes a group of experienced solvers to complete the solution without errors. This site uses a group of 155 solvers who regularly complete the crossword on the Club site. Each solver's time to complete the puzzle is compared to their average over the last six months. This is averaged again across all the solvers to provide an overall rating, the Numeric Index of Times Cryptic Hardness (NITCH). See the actual results for each six-month period at the Trends page.

A NITCH value of 100 means that the crossword is solved in the average time. A value of 150 means that the crossword takes (on average) one and a half times the normal time; a figure of 67 means that it is solved in two thirds of the normal time.

That's fine for a historical view (after everyone's completed the crossword), but it would be nice to see how today's crossword is going. So this site also calculates the SNITCH, Same-day NITCH, by updating the NITCH value every hour. Early results may be a bit misleading, so the movement of the SNITCH and the number of reference users who've completed the puzzle is graphed to give you some idea of how the value has varied during the day.

A sanity check of the NITCH code against the senitments in the Times for the Times blog has been done. Crosswords that have a high NITCH tend to be regarded as difficult in the blog, and those with a low NITCH are generally seen as easy. No measuring system will be perfect, but the NITCH seems to be a reasonable way to score the difficulty.

Recent crosswords

Day:Wednesday
Date:2018-10-24
Number:27177
PDF link:PDF 27177
SNITCH:107
Blog Link: Not yet available
More details:Detail and results
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Day:Tuesday
Date:2018-10-23
Number:27176
PDF link:PDF 27176
SNITCH:112
Blog Link: Times for the Times 27176
More details:Detail and results
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Day:Monday
Date:2018-10-22
Number:27175
PDF link:PDF 27175
SNITCH:71
Blog Link: Times for the Times 27175
More details:Detail and results
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Crossword archive

Week beginning Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
96 2018-10-22 27175 71 27176 112 27177 107
109 2018-10-15 27169 102 27170 137 27171 96 27172 90 27173 124
105 2018-10-08 27163 94 27164 129 27165 79 27166 115 27167 109
86 2018-10-01 27157 62 27158 97 27159 72 27160 100 27161 100
93 2018-09-24 27151 103 27152 71 27153 85 27154 116 27155 94
90 2018-09-17 27145 72 27146 104 27147 105 27148 83 27149 89
94 2018-09-10 27139 84 27140 90 27141 80 27142 118 27143 100
94 2018-09-03 27133 53 27134 84 27135 100 27136 85 27137 149
94 2018-08-27 27127 85 27128 85 27129 88 27130 90 27131 126
102 2018-08-20 27121 71 27122 95 27123 133 27124 103 27125 110
113 2018-08-13 27115 104 27116 130 27117 93 27118 128 27119 114
101 2018-08-06 27109 69 27110 108 27111 138 27112 91 27113 101
129 2018-07-30 27103 103 27104 106 27105 126 27106 111 27107 202
127 2018-07-23 27097 89 27098 93 27099 102 27100 217 27101 135
85 2018-07-16 27091 90 27092 86 27093 90 27094 82 27095 81
84 2018-07-09 27085 83 27086 89 27087 78 27088 85 27089 85
97 2018-07-02 27079 78 27080 157 27081 72 27082 84 27083 97
90 2018-06-25 27073 69 27074 71 27075 95 27076 122 27077 95
104 2018-06-18 27067 105 27068 113 201185 122 27070 70 27071 111
105 2018-06-11 27061 80 27062 90 27063 118 27064 125 27065 116
101 2018-06-04 27055 71 27056 101 27057 80 27058 122 27059 132
110 2018-05-28 27049 110 27050 105 27051 154 27052 100 27053 83
98 2018-05-21 27043 78 27044 109 27045 99 27046 87 27047 118
90 2018-05-14 27037 62 27038 80 10477 114 27040 89 27041 108
111 2018-05-07 27031 102 27032 79 27033 105 27034 99 27035 173
106 2018-04-30 27025 142 27026 93 27027 96 27028 116 27029 86
96 2018-04-23 27019 67 27020 78 27021 139 27022 111 27023 88
127 2018-04-16 27013 81 27014 121 230365 222 27016 90 27017 123
101 2018-04-09 27007 85 27008 87 27009 109 27010 105 27011 122
89 2018-04-02 27001 88 27002 81 27003 82 27004 77 27005 121
120 2018-03-26 26995 120 26996 86 26997 134 26998 95 26999 165
114 2018-03-19 26989 79 26990 107 26991 109 26992 90 26993 185
83 2018-03-12 26983 87 26984 56 26985 104 26986 82 26987 86
88 2018-03-05 26977 71 26978 74 26979 68 26980 113 26981 114
91 2018-02-26 26971 65 26972 105 26973 80 26974 74 26975 131
83 2018-02-19 26965 71 26966 98 26967 68 26968 83 26969 98
91 2018-02-12 26959 57 26960 61 26961 120 26962 128 26963 93
94 2018-02-05 26953 68 26954 93 26955 108 26956 84 26957 119
98 2018-01-29 26947 103 26948 78 26949 111 26950 110 26951 90
88 2018-01-22 26941 89 26942 97 26943 79 26944 97 26945 79
86 2018-01-15 26935 76 26936 73 26937 74 26938 99 26939 108
83 2018-01-08 26929 86 26930 84 26931 99 26932 79 26933 70
108 2018-01-01 26923 120 26924 92 26925 131 26926 68 26927 131
100 2017-12-25 26917 81 26918 113 26919 118 26920 82 26921 108
103 2017-12-18 26911 101 26912 93 26913 113 26914 97 26915 113
108 2017-12-11 26905 74 26906 142 26907 135 26908 109 26909 80
98 2017-12-04 26899 87 26900 126 26901 101 26902 77 26903 102
80 2017-11-27 26893 88 26894 90 26895 71 26896 61 26897 91
87 2017-11-20 26887 86 26888 79 26889 69 26890 113 26891 92
103 2017-11-13 26881 69 26882 126 26883 105 26884 95 26885 124
102 2017-11-06 26875 103 26876 87 26877 119 26878 72 26879 133
98 2017-10-30 26869 60 26870 108 26871 87 26872 121 26873 115
102 2017-10-23 26863 89 26864 103 26865 130 26866 93 26867 99
109 2017-10-16 26857 96 26858 112 26859 85 26860 126 26861 129
102 2017-10-09 26851 70 26852 123 26853 109 26854 76 26855 134
91 2017-10-02 26845 67 26846 88 26847 97 26848 111 26849 93
91 2017-09-25 26839 71 26840 105 26841 86 26842 111 26843 85
105 2017-09-18 26833 78 26834 144 26835 96 26836 104 26837 105
85 2017-09-11 26827 65 26828 115 26829 64 26830 64 26831 119
91 2017-09-04 26821 94 26822 76 26823 88 26824 110 26825 89
88 2017-08-28 26815 92 26816 82 26817 96 26818 86 26819 84
101 2017-08-21 26809 106 26810 82 26811 86 26812 126 26813 109
102 2017-08-14 26803 62 26804 97 26805 143 26806 89 26807 120
92 2017-08-07 26797 71 26798 72 26799 79 26800 142 26801 99
93 2017-07-31 26791 47 26792 80 26793 83 26794 104 26795 155
87 2017-07-24 26785 72 26786 70 26787 93 26788 69 26789 135
106 2017-07-17 26779 85 26780 97 26781 84 26782 107 26783 160
99 2017-07-10 26773 94 26774 105 26775 87 26776 119 26777 92
101 2017-07-03 26767 58 26768 146 26769 135 26770 80 26771 86
109 2017-06-26 26761 78 26762 141 26763 95 26764 86 26765 149
89 2017-06-19 26755 54 26756 131 26757 66 26758 112 26759 84
85 2017-06-12 26749 94 26750 84 26751 84 26752 67 26753 97
97 2017-06-05 26743 105 26744 81 26745 92 26746 103 26747 107
106 2017-05-29 26737 87 26738 96 26739 72 26740 157 26741 121
124 2017-05-22 26731 96 26732 116 26733 127 26734 128 26735 154
97 2017-05-15 26725 69 26726 150 26727 56 26728 93 26729 117
98 2017-05-08 26719 85 26720 75 26721 92 26722 100 26723 139
95 2017-05-01 26713 95 26714 92 26715 117 26716 87 26717 87
99 2017-04-24 26707 71 26708 74 26709 99 26710 125 26711 127
102 2017-04-17 26701 124 26702 98 26703 73 26704 96 26705 123
120 2017-04-10 26695 89 26696 85 26697 138 26698 153 26699 139
102 2017-04-03 26689 95 26690 108 26691 98 26692 64 26693 145
98 2017-03-27 26683 74 26684 108 26685 102 26686 92 26687 114
101 2017-03-20 26677 101 26678 82 26679 103 26680 95 26681 125
98 2017-03-13 26671 95 26672 89 26673 111 26674 88 26675 109
93 2017-03-06 26665 72 26666 104 26667 109 26668 89 26669 92
81 2017-02-27 26659 48 26660 77 26661 82 26662 66 26663 133
84 2017-02-20 26653 59 26654 91 26655 90 26656 86 26657 97
89 2017-02-13 26647 74 26648 90 26649 96 26650 107 26651 80
95 2017-02-06 26641 84 26642 98 26643 77 26644 91 26645 129
93 2017-01-30 26635 81 26636 101 26637 87 26638 85 26639 111
99 2017-01-23 26629 88 26630 85 26631 88 26632 147 26633 91
87 2017-01-16 26623 75 26624 100 26625 79 26626 99 26627 83
97 2017-01-09 26617 56 26618 116 26619 89 26620 110 26621 115
112 2017-01-02 26611 86 26612 96 26613 119 26614 106 26615 157
104 2016-12-26 26605 126 26606 67 26607 141 26608 88 26609 102
123 2016-12-19 26599 101 26600 95 26601 173 26602 139 26603 110
113 2016-12-12 26593 97 26594 103 26595 167 26596 97 26597 101
94 2016-12-05 26587 87 26588 86 26589 105 26590 80 26591 113
110 2016-11-28 26581 76 26582 132 26583 95 26584 125 26585 124
107 2016-11-21 26575 107 26576 87 26577 78 26578 145 26579 119
110 2016-11-14 26569 79 26570 132 26571 123 26572 102 26573 114
103 2016-11-07 26563 68 26564 104 26565 89 26566 150 26567 108
94 2016-10-31 26557 70 26558 97 26559 92 26560 98 26561 115
113 2016-10-24 26551 93 26552 124 26553 83 26554 112 26555 157
101 2016-10-17 26545 104 26546 109 26547 98 26548 87 26549 111
119 2016-10-10 26539 116 26540 141 26541 121 26542 132 26543 87
95 2016-10-03 26533 95 26534 84 26535 128 26536 70 26537 100
110 2016-09-26 26527 93 26528 118 26529 104 26530 113 26531 122
98 2016-09-19 26521 90 26522 85 26523 121 26524 91 26525 103
109 2016-09-12 26515 86 26516 108 26517 122 26518 80 26519 150
100 2016-09-05 26509 79 26510 104 26511 86 26512 95 26513 136
113 2016-08-29 26503 109 26504 113 26505 133 26506 110 26507 104
102 2016-08-22 26497 97 26498 103 26499 102 26500 118 26501 91
96 2016-08-15 26491 97 26492 115 26493 71 26494 98 26495 101
95 2016-08-08 26485 88 26486 94 26487 89 26488 119 26489 88
84 2016-08-01 26479 71 26480 84 26481 84 26482 112 26483 71
108 2016-07-25 26473 68 26474 130 26475 75 26476 87 26477 184
81 2016-07-18 26467 62 26468 72 26469 99 26470 77 26471 96
91 2016-07-11 26461 79 26462 95 26463 100 26464 87 26465 98
101 2016-07-04 26455 95 26456 105 26457 88 26458 122 26459 96
104 2016-06-27 26449 62 26450 110 26451 142 26452 124 26453 84
94 2016-06-20 26443 96 26444 67 26445 86 26446 103 26447 119
94 2016-06-13 26437 80 26438 110 26439 95 26440 88 26441 101
102 2016-06-06 26431 91 26432 93 26433 101 26434 98 26435 129
130 2016-05-30 26425 121 26426 125 26427 139 26428 105 26429 163
99 2016-05-23 26419 60 26420 92 26421 136 26422 96 26423 113
102 2016-05-16 26413 84 26414 117 26415 81 26416 85 26417 143
98 2016-05-09 26407 103 26408 84 26409 117 26410 79 26411 108
118 2016-05-02 26401 85 26402 127 26403 103 26404 141 26405 134
106 2016-04-25 26395 70 26396 76 26397 132 26398 124 26399 131
90 2016-04-18 26389 92 26390 110 26391 71 26392 77 26393 104
107 2016-04-11 26383 60 26384 160 26385 94 26386 93 26387 130
96 2016-04-04 26377 70 26378 114 26379 85 26380 115 26381 98
99 2016-03-28 26371 74 26372 125 26373 92 26374 91 26375 113
107 2016-03-21 26365 98 26366 112 26367 97 26368 94 26369 135
94 2016-03-14 26359 87 26360 82 26361 73 26362 127 26363 101
100 2016-03-07 26353 70 26354 99 26355 103 26356 91 26357 138
94 2016-02-29 26347 90 26348 71 26349 92 26350 107 26351 112
105 2016-02-22 26341 84 26342 116 26343 104 26344 84 26345 138
103 2016-02-15 26335 69 26336 147 26337 79 26338 113 26339 110
102 2016-02-08 26329 102 26330 77 26331 103 26332 136 26333 92
103 2016-02-01 26323 71 26324 124 26325 107 26326 112 26327 102
89 2016-01-25 26317 82 26318 87 26319 101 26320 101 26321 78
109 2016-01-18 26311 76 26312 105 26313 118 26314 100 26315 147
100 2016-01-11 26305 108 26306 103 26307 102 26308 90 26309 100
92 2016-01-04 26299 72 26300 100 26301 79 26302 91 26303 119
122 2015-12-28 26293 113 26294 80 26295 176 26296 119 26297 126
102 2015-12-21 26287 112 26288 76 26289 127 26290 117 26291 82
99 2015-12-14 26281 63 26282 116 26283 159 26284 84 26285 76
105 2015-12-07 26275 87 26276 124 26277 128 26278 87 26279 103
95 2015-11-30 26269 61 26270 87 26271 118 26272 97 26273 112
97 2015-11-23 26263 103 26264 87 26265 101 26266 102 26267 96
112 2015-11-16 26257 74 26258 125 26259 93 26260 162 26261 108
101 2015-11-09 26251 89 26252 109 26253 126 26254 92 26255 93
95 2015-11-02 26245 80 26246 109 26247 82 26248 126 26249 80
102 2015-10-26 26239 106 26240 92 26241 69 26242 119 26243 125
105 2015-10-19 26233 68 26234 69 26235 102 26236 107 26237 181
112 2015-10-12 26227 81 26228 156 26229 82 26230 123 26231 122
114 2015-10-05 26221 73 26222 156 26223 99 26224 107 26225 136
101 2015-09-28 26215 85 26216 108 26217 90 26218 110 26219 112