Crossword SNITCH

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

Times Cryptic Crossword 27542

Date 24 December 2019
Number 27542
Day of week Tuesday
NITCH 64
Count of ref solvers 63
Ref solvers excluded with errors 4
Link to crossword View Crossword*
Times for the Times Link 27542

* 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
Eamon Ryan 06:52 06:30 94 146
Jason 07:19 03:45 51 79
verlaine verlaine 07:39 05:49 76 118
mistigris 08:16 05:05 61 95
aphis99 aphis99 08:43 06:47 77 120
Midas 09:33 06:02 63 98
richard 09:35 06:02 62 96
hilarym 09:40 06:08 63 98
robertL 09:47 09:08 93 145
AlanS 09:58 11:03 110 171
asaldanha 10:10 06:38 65 101
chindit 10:29 06:14 59 92
ChuckB 11:40 11:17 96 150
glheard glheard 11:49 09:06 77 120
lickert 12:17 05:28 44 68
Tom Stubbs 12:27 06:17 50 78
keriothe_ keriothe 13:35 08:23 61 95
noidea 13:43 07:58 58 90
p.wild 13:43 11:38 84 131
fshephe 13:53 08:25 60 93
Topical Tim topicaltim 14:05 07:29 53 82
John Walsh 14:05 14:06 100 156
neilr 14:06 07:52 55 85
Silva 14:09 08:32 60 93
aphasic 14:32 09:14 63 98
Groucho 14:35 09:23 64 100
Stavros 14:48 07:47 52 81
jim42078 14:51 18:15 122 190
bigmack68 15:14 10:38 69 107
tunflog 15:26 16:17 105 164
Malcj malcj 15:39 08:57 57 89
MikeOsborne mikeosborne 15:44 12:11 77 120
cyrillic 15:53 14:40 92 143
Sue Sweeper 16:15 06:52 42 65
Spanna 16:31 14:07 85 132
David Crooks dcrooks 16:31 09:45 59 92
KenG 16:43 11:36 69 107
Carol 17:36 11:34 65 101
Golvellius 17:52 13:34 75 117
sotira (Sarah17) sotira 17:54 13:29 75 117
RobR robrolfe 17:57 11:50 65 101
OliviaRhineb oliviarhinebeck 18:18 13:50 75 117
fuzz 18:39 12:34 67 104
rupe 18:47 15:22 81 126
GMcD 18:53 18:25 97 151
LouWeed 18:54 15:33 82 128
Craven 19:19 14:35 75 117
tapbarker 19:24 10:28 53 82
PHC 19:47 12:21 62 96
grape 20:04 12:24 61 95
annelambirth 20:15 19:33 96 150
kath 20:34 19:49 96 150
Looch 20:39 13:31 65 101
barracuda 21:16 16:35 77 120
jimwetzler 21:17 22:24 105 164
Hamish.S 21:24 15:57 74 115
poskir 21:28 22:01 102 159
andrewlake 21:28 02:45 12 18
mcjwright 21:34 17:49 82 128
Ed freshpot ed_freshpot 21:35 11:21 52 81
X Solver 475 21:54 20:27 93 145
pterodactyl 22:00 13:26 61 95
sampson 22:07 17:41 79 123
gbestanley 22:14 16:02 72 112
benedick 22:18 20:32 92 143
John Arnold 22:29 22:16 99 154
Zander 22:32 10:38 47 73
Solver52 22:53 16:49 73 114
puzzled1 23:07 33:47 146 228
Pootle pootle73 23:20 22:37 96 150
colin2355 23:32 12:13 51 79
george.garlick 24:04 17:57 74 115
tonym 25:36 22:07 86 134
zythum 26:05 16:46 64 100
rjcassidy rjcassidy 26:14 20:16 77 120
goblin 26:27 14:37 55 85
Chadwick 26:40 25:32 95 148
dec 26:43 19:29 72 112
GeorgeTz 27:06 26:14 96 150
fudgiebates 27:10 13:02 47 73
diogenes 27:27 17:40 64 100
William M 28:27 18:39 65 101
NAPASAI napasai 29:03 14:48 50 78
alwsn8 29:29 20:23 69 107
James P special_bitter 30:33 13:58 45 70
Paul H. Dear 30:55 34:52 112 175
ulaca ulaca 32:40 14:47 45 70
Big Nug 33:27 22:16 66 103
koro 33:55 21:26 63 98
joss henry 33:57 18:23 54 84
SwissWavey 34:17 16:43 48 75
Crippens1 34:54 17:04 48 75
JohnDun (johndun) john_dun 35:27 11:00 31 48
orieltonhouse 36:34 55:01 150 234
maryht 36:34 41:58 114 178
1234 36:37 26:30 72 112
Tudds 37:21 24:12 64 100
SlumdogEngineer 39:40 21:59 55 85
empty 40:40 42:48 105 164
Curarist curarist 40:43 44:25 109 170
Nangle 40:46 27:40 67 104
Paulypops 40:53 35:25 86 134
Pleasuredome pleasuredome8 41:06 19:30 47 73
Dandy 43:31 50:02 114 178
Ronnie 44:20 46:41 105 164
MartinP martinp1 45:24 26:52 59 92
RaghuS 47:24 55:38 117 182
FrameShift 47:42 49:26 103 160
starstruck starstruck_au 47:42 15:55 33 51
Masha 49:35 34:46 70 109
andrewmr 50:55 39:27 77 120
kjbr 51:15 112:59 220 343
jackk.larg 55:46 33:41 60 93

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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