Quick SNITCH

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

Times Quick Cryptic Crossword 2538

Date 30 November 2023
Number 2538
Setter Felix
Day of week Thursday
NITCH 91
Count of ref solvers 76
Ref solvers excluded with errors 7
Link to crossword View Crossword*
Times for the Times Link 2538

* 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
mohn 02:08 01:49 85 93
Paul Gilbert 02:30 02:12 88 96
mistigris 02:36 02:39 101 110
cmjhutton 02:43 03:19 122 134
hilarym 02:44 02:59 109 119
aphis99 aphis99 02:48 03:14 115 126
Flimmy flammy 03:04 02:23 77 84
richard 03:36 03:28 96 105
markdobell 03:39 03:41 100 109
Heyesey 03:40 03:14 88 96
Topical Tim Topical Tim 03:45 04:03 108 118
Kinghedger 04:00 03:46 94 103
lickert 04:07 02:54 70 76
Strober 04:10 03:48 91 100
chindit 04:13 03:47 89 97
philjordan1147 BUSMAN 04:13 04:04 96 105
chriss 04:19 05:01 116 127
Roscoe 04:22 03:48 87 95
MikeOsborne 04:26 04:25 99 108
tiggis 04:29 03:50 85 93
lucyg43484 04:29 03:50 85 93
AlanS 04:29 04:25 98 107
trux 04:31 04:02 89 97
Tom Stubbs Tom Stubbs 04:31 04:02 89 97
Umpire 04:35 02:50 61 67
alexh 04:41 05:39 120 131
MK76 04:42 05:08 109 119
canismiser 04:42 05:20 113 124
d.middleton 04:42 05:03 107 117
Liari 04:44 04:08 87 95
wwalker50 04:48 03:38 75 82
Ed freshpot 04:48 04:39 96 105
andrewlake 04:50 05:49 120 131
nina s 04:51 04:18 88 96
March 04:51 04:32 93 102
andy 04:52 03:53 79 86
Johninterred 04:54 05:02 102 112
Mark Three 05:03 01:55 37 40
Zander 05:03 04:17 84 92
7dPenguin 7dPenguin 05:09 04:00 77 84
Aly Duncan 05:12 06:39 127 139
Squallaby 05:15 04:42 89 97
neilr neilr 05:16 05:01 95 104
Tibthorpe 05:19 05:26 102 112
Ease This Jam 05:20 03:32 66 72
daulbs 05:22 03:33 66 72
fshephe 05:25 03:51 71 78
esmeralda 05:28 06:54 126 138
mw7000 05:31 04:17 77 84
Paul Hammond Paul Hammond 05:33 06:25 115 126
Finzi 05:45 05:24 93 102
cath23 05:48 04:26 76 83
Rosron 05:52 06:23 108 118
Dzhigit 05:53 06:08 104 114
Looch 05:53 03:10 53 58
Blackbeard 05:53 08:28 143 157
Freemers 05:56 06:30 109 119
mcrossib1 05:57 08:53 149 163
GeorgeTz 05:57 04:52 81 89
cmcnsmith 05:58 05:29 91 100
Tudds 06:01 06:27 107 117
Shabbo 06:01 06:34 109 119
DunPangolin 06:01 07:33 125 137
RobR RobR 06:03 07:52 130 142
Crossiant 06:03 05:48 95 104
Kevin Gregg Kevin Gregg 06:06 06:15 102 112
GMcD 06:09 05:04 82 90
ilan 06:14 04:38 74 81
jimwetzler 06:17 05:56 94 103
Curarist 06:25 05:34 86 94
LuckOfLucien 06:29 05:23 83 91
julian_w 06:30 07:06 109 119
rhi.andrew 06:37 06:08 92 101
hopkinb hopkinb 06:37 05:52 88 96
uvofiz 06:39 06:44 101 110
robinh 06:41 06:16 93 102
Kalakuta72 06:42 07:39 114 125
James P 06:48 04:30 66 72
jon 06:50 06:25 93 102
Nangle 06:56 06:22 91 100
Mike Harper Mike Harper 07:03 08:51 125 137
Puzzleplease 07:07 07:29 105 115
valerian1967 07:08 07:52 110 120
Riche Riche 07:09 04:28 62 68
Hodge21 07:13 09:08 126 138
endafk 07:16 08:48 121 132
benedick 07:21 06:08 83 91
John Arnold 07:23 12:26 168 184
frost 07:29 07:41 102 112
Corymbia Corymbia 07:43 07:14 93 102
gsriordan52 07:47 07:41 98 107
CrystalPip 08:02 07:41 95 104
m5harp 08:04 07:57 98 107
barracuda barracuda 08:04 07:00 86 94
raincloud 08:05 09:18 115 126
TomHerbert 08:08 09:44 119 130
plett11 Plett11 08:10 08:03 98 107
ulaca ulaca 08:11 06:18 76 83
johndun John Dunleavy 08:14 08:00 97 106
Crippens1 08:14 07:11 87 95
TonyN6 08:16 07:32 91 100
dec 08:18 07:02 84 92
Templar Redux Templar 08:19 07:15 87 95
luxtonj61 08:21 07:47 93 102
Deezzaa Deezzaa 08:31 05:20 62 68
richardCV22 08:34 07:01 81 89
Sheen 08:34 08:33 99 108
vefatica vefatica 08:39 08:02 92 101
OldSolver 08:42 09:51 113 124
goblin 08:44 07:36 87 95
nigelmzzz 08:46 08:12 93 102
john.brassey 08:54 06:15 70 76
BletchleyReject 08:57 09:00 100 109
Zabadak3 Zabadak 08:59 12:16 136 149
Mkgnao Mkgnao 09:22 07:11 76 83
Doyler 09:26 07:50 83 91
alastair52 09:31 05:25 56 61
CWM65 09:33 09:57 104 114
Pauline Minter 09:53 08:13 83 91
BertieVII 10:03 10:04 100 109
Pendrov 10:18 12:01 116 127
alex.scordellis 10:31 12:47 121 132
Jcal 10:31 09:51 93 102
Jeeves 10:35 08:39 81 89
Birdingbob 10:50 08:42 80 87
WordPlodder BletchleyReject 11:02 09:11 83 91
Dr. Memory 11:15 08:55 79 86
alistair.boere 11:30 13:01 113 124
paul.verney 11:37 12:43 109 119
mpbthorpe 11:41 08:41 74 81
simjt simjt 12:02 09:45 81 89
starstruck starstruck_au 12:03 07:59 66 72
tyrotim tyrotim 12:12 11:52 97 106
flashman flashman 12:13 10:46 88 96
phcbarnes 12:14 09:43 79 86
home.bright 12:16 10:37 86 94
Sonofjim 13:32 07:30 55 60
phmfantom 13:37 09:36 70 76
Nuck_the_king 13:43 09:55 72 79
pfalloon 13:58 09:20 66 72
Merlin_55 Merlin 15:09 19:57 131 143
Mendes 15:44 14:58 95 104
rlowin2 16:11 27:06 167 183
Doofenschmirtz Doofenschmirtz 16:24 14:25 87 95
I like cheese 16:29 15:18 92 101
maryht 19:45 17:44 89 97
david.14587 20:10 13:30 66 72
intentional rounding 20:46 19:11 92 101
Hazelnut 21:40 17:32 80 87
Ajay 28:01 30:18 108 118
mcfarl 39:19 33:11 84 92

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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