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

Times Quick Cryptic Crossword 2493

Date 28 September 2023
Number 2493
Setter Izetti
Day of week Thursday
Count of ref solvers 29
Ref solvers excluded with errors 41
Link to crossword View Crossword*
Times for the Times Link 2493

* 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
Jason 02:27 02:29 101 82
verlaine 02:33 03:10 124 100
mistigris 02:39 03:19 125 101
hilarym 02:41 03:25 127 103
Flimmy flammy 03:02 03:33 117 95
markdobell 03:50 04:50 126 102
glheard 04:00 04:32 113 91
chindit 04:11 04:53 116 94
philjordan1147 BUSMAN 04:13 04:17 101 82
AlanS 04:17 04:04 94 76
tilbee 04:19 05:58 138 112
Roscoe 04:26 04:38 104 84
andrewlake 04:38 05:11 111 90
LouWeed LouWeed 04:43 04:48 101 82
March 04:44 04:22 92 74
Umpire 04:52 05:37 115 93
Squallaby 05:06 06:25 125 101
neilr neilr 05:07 07:23 144 117
Tibthorpe 05:08 07:28 145 117
daulbs 05:20 04:56 92 74
Dekkers 05:31 06:03 109 88
cheryllayne cheryllayne 05:50 08:09 139 113
Crossiant 05:55 07:18 123 100
Curarist 06:12 08:55 143 116
robinh 06:16 07:36 121 98
Mike Harper Mike Harper 06:23 10:25 163 132
julian_w 06:32 08:53 135 109
jon 06:37 09:40 146 118
Puzzleplease 06:38 06:54 104 84
maisiemae 06:41 12:53 192 156
endafk 06:43 10:14 152 123
DianeRS 06:48 09:43 142 115
plett11 Plett11 06:48 12:14 179 145
Viscomte 06:51 07:53 115 93
gsriordan52 07:20 09:25 128 104
vinyl12345 vinyl1 07:53 09:29 120 97
goblin 08:21 11:00 131 106

A guide to the solver status

 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


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.