Crossword SNITCH

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

Times Cryptic Crossword 27538

Date 19 December 2019
Number 27538
Day of week Thursday
NITCH 104
Count of ref solvers 62
Ref solvers excluded with errors 5
Link to crossword View Crossword*
Times for the Times Link 27538

* Requires access to the Times Crossword Club

Detailed solving results

Reference, Tracked and Blog solvers with error-free solutions to this puzzle are shown below.

We also show the solver's Personal NITCH, which is their result on this puzzle compared to their average time, and the Wavelength Index of Times Cryptic Hardness, the WITCH, which is the Personal NITCH compared to the SNITCH.

Name TftT Name Average time This time Personal NITCH WITCH
Magoo 06:08 06:50 111 106
Eamon Ryan 06:52 05:50 84 80
Jason 07:19 06:08 83 79
verlaine verlaine 07:39 07:27 97 93
mistigris 08:16 09:59 120 115
aphis99 aphis99 08:43 07:43 88 84
Midas 09:33 10:12 106 101
hilarym 09:40 09:56 102 98
boulemiche 09:43 12:06 124 119
AlanS 09:58 14:33 145 139
asaldanha 10:10 07:29 73 70
chindit 10:29 14:39 139 133
chriswords 11:26 09:49 85 81
glheard glheard 11:49 14:14 120 115
lickert 12:17 11:37 94 90
trux 12:22 09:42 78 75
Tom Stubbs 12:27 14:50 119 114
lili 13:02 09:16 71 68
keriothe_ keriothe 13:35 15:41 115 110
p.wild 13:43 14:13 103 99
fshephe 13:53 17:38 127 122
Topical Tim topicaltim 14:05 19:28 138 132
neilr 14:06 11:24 80 76
Silva 14:09 15:42 110 105
Sheapey 14:20 15:55 111 106
aphasic 14:32 18:28 127 122
Groucho 14:35 14:32 99 95
mikegrocott 14:40 11:34 78 75
Stavros 14:48 19:45 133 127
tunflog 15:26 20:59 135 129
Malcj malcj 15:39 22:05 141 135
MikeOsborne mikeosborne 15:44 14:56 94 90
cyrillic 15:53 21:45 136 130
Sue Sweeper 16:15 11:00 67 64
KenG 16:43 19:07 114 109
Carol 17:36 28:50 163 156
RobR robrolfe 17:57 26:04 145 139
OliviaRhineb oliviarhinebeck 18:18 14:34 79 75
robinh 18:19 37:55 207 199
fuzz 18:39 19:31 104 100
GMcD 18:53 30:58 163 156
LouWeed 18:54 17:04 90 86
LuckOfLucien 19:11 25:07 130 125
Craven 19:19 15:13 78 75
tapbarker 19:24 21:48 112 107
Squallaby 19:27 12:02 61 58
Looch 20:39 19:25 94 90
barracuda 21:16 17:32 82 78
andrewlake 21:28 27:45 129 124
poskir 21:28 20:55 97 93
mcjwright 21:34 23:50 110 105
Zabadak (zabadak2) z8b8d8k 21:46 27:57 128 123
sampson 22:07 21:48 98 94
gbestanley 22:14 25:47 115 110
Kevin Gregg kevingregg 22:17 28:03 125 120
Solver52 22:53 20:21 88 84
Pootle pootle73 23:20 35:01 150 144
hugh.schofield 24:02 36:14 150 144
george.garlick 24:04 25:23 105 100
frost 25:19 24:19 96 92
tonym 25:36 33:54 132 126
zythum 26:05 34:17 131 125
rjcassidy rjcassidy 26:14 25:22 96 92
goblin 26:27 24:37 93 89
Chadwick 26:40 27:12 102 98
timbo 26:48 36:34 136 130
fudgiebates 27:10 42:02 154 148
phmfantom phmfantom 27:53 24:54 89 85
Manveru 28:11 38:29 136 130
William M 28:27 30:53 108 103
endafk 28:29 27:51 97 93
Peter Sykes 28:40 30:42 107 102
alwsn8 29:29 34:51 118 113
James P special_bitter 30:33 49:52 163 156
bobbb 31:22 26:00 82 78
HanS 31:48 28:16 88 84
rosselliot 32:37 30:11 92 88
JE59 33:26 38:45 115 110
Big Nug 33:27 45:56 137 131
koro 33:55 28:33 84 80
Glyndwr 34:27 54:01 156 150
Crippens1 34:54 30:12 86 82
JohnDun (johndun) john_dun 35:27 39:32 111 106
1234 36:37 40:01 109 104
MrGrumpy 36:51 31:12 84 80
Tudds 37:21 51:59 139 133
eniamretrauq eniamretrauq 38:03 39:52 104 100
SlumdogEngineer 39:40 21:34 54 51
empty 40:40 32:12 79 75
Gussie 40:45 56:41 139 133
Nangle 40:46 39:05 95 91
Dandy 43:31 58:39 134 128
vissa 43:57 49:39 112 107
Ronnie 44:20 46:44 105 100
SK42 44:33 30:36 68 65
MartinP martinp1 45:24 49:45 109 104
FrameShift 47:42 49:12 103 99
starstruck starstruck_au 47:42 38:18 80 76
Masha 49:35 43:31 87 83
Shushannah 50:43 41:57 82 78
andrewmr 50:55 38:51 76 73
kjbr 51:15 53:55 105 100
jackk.larg 55:46 86:27 155 149

A guide to the solver status

Legend
 Reference solver used for SNITCH
 Other Reference solver
 Tracked solver
 Blog solver

Blog Solvers

Blog Solvers are those who have allowed their times to be taken from the Times for the Times blog.

Notes for Blog Solvers:

  • the most reliable format for reporting times is with format "mm:ss" or as "x minutes" in the title or at the start of the entry
  • only the first main comment for each blogger is used; responses to other comments or a second comment is ignored
  • to report errors, include "n errors" just after the time
  • If you just have a time it is assumed you have no errors unless you mention DNF or pink squares or giving up, etc, in the text
  • Examples of good time notifications are "38:30, 0 errors" and "39 minutes, 0 errors" in the comment title or as the first part of your comment

Notes

The definition of Reference and Tracked solvers is described on the Neutrinos page.

The results for Reference solvers are normally used to calcuate the SNITCH. When this happens they are shown in the list with a solid blue line to the left. In the previous SNITCH results listing for each crossword, these were the only entries shown.

The most common causes for Reference solver results not to be used are: (a) that they did not meet the criteria this month to be used as a reference (e.g. they may not have completed enough puzzles on each day of the week) or (b) they have been pushed out of the top 100 on the leader board. In these cases, the results are now shown, but their data is not used for the SNITCH calculation.

Where there is data for Tracked solvers, I show them also in this table. The solving data is not always available, as the Crossword Club site only shows the top 100 solvers to everyone. Logged-in users get their own leaderboard position and those around them, but this is not available to everyone. So the SNITCH site only gets data for those who have made the top 100 in the leaderboard at some point during the day.

As a result there are a few geographically advantaged solvers; those of us who solve early in the day (e.g. we in the Antipodes, those in Asia and those staying up late in North America) are more likely to hit the leaderboard even with slower times. Solvers who are just as capable but solve later in the UK day might not make the top 100 and I have no way to capture their results.

You may wonder why there are Tracked solvers (in red) with low average solving times, mixed in with the Reference solvers (in blue). These are usually those that, while they don't seem to be Neutrinos, are not well aligned to the SNITCH. So I don't use them as Reference solvers in the SNITCH calculation, but still show their overall results.

You might also notice that there's some inconsistency at the tail end of the Reference solver list. My cutoff point is an average solving time of 45 minutes. But if someone around this mark is chosen as a Reference solver, their next month's results might end up being over 45 minutes and they will still be used. Alternatively, a Tracked solver might creep in under 45 minutes on the next calculation, but didn't make the cut for the prior Reference list. It's on the to-do list to see if I can make this a bit more predictable.

Stored SNITCH Values

Here are the SNITCH values (stored on the day) from the crossword.

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