Quick SNITCH

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

Times Quick Cryptic Crossword 2540

Date 04 December 2023
Number 2540
Setter Orpheus
Day of week Monday
NITCH 75
Count of ref solvers 74
Ref solvers excluded with errors 8
Link to crossword View Crossword*
Times for the Times Link 2540

* 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 01:45 82 109
Paul Gilbert 02:30 02:16 90 120
cmjhutton 02:43 01:51 68 90
hilarym 02:44 02:16 82 109
verlaine 02:44 02:10 79 105
aphis99 aphis99 02:48 02:20 83 110
Flimmy flammy 03:04 02:38 85 113
richard 03:36 02:36 72 96
markdobell 03:39 03:00 82 109
Heyesey 03:40 02:34 70 93
Topical Tim Topical Tim 03:45 03:15 86 114
glheard 03:56 02:59 75 100
lickert 04:07 03:15 78 104
philjordan1147 BUSMAN 04:13 03:55 92 122
chindit 04:13 03:04 72 96
chriswords 04:19 04:17 99 132
chriss 04:19 04:35 106 141
Roscoe 04:22 03:18 75 100
xyster 04:22 03:32 80 106
MikeOsborne 04:26 03:15 73 97
tiggis 04:29 03:20 74 98
AlanS 04:29 03:30 78 104
lucyg43484 04:29 03:20 74 98
tilbee 04:31 03:42 81 108
Tom Stubbs Tom Stubbs 04:31 03:23 74 98
jfisher60 04:33 05:04 111 148
Umpire 04:35 04:42 102 136
PaulCooke 04:36 03:17 71 94
alexh 04:41 03:24 72 96
MK76 04:42 04:02 85 113
canismiser 04:42 02:52 60 80
Liari 04:44 04:04 85 113
LouWeed LouWeed 04:50 04:00 82 109
andrewlake 04:50 04:14 87 116
March 04:51 03:41 75 100
nina s 04:51 04:21 89 118
andy 04:52 03:42 76 101
Johninterred 04:54 04:01 81 108
pitcaithlie Pitcaithlie 04:55 03:26 69 92
Honggui 04:56 04:18 87 116
denislaw 04:58 04:00 80 106
Eddddddd 05:03 03:29 68 90
Mark Three 05:03 05:56 117 156
Zander 05:03 03:40 72 96
Paul Bacon 05:04 03:46 74 98
7dPenguin 7dPenguin 05:09 04:41 90 120
Aly Duncan 05:12 05:19 102 136
Squallaby 05:15 03:24 64 85
neilr neilr 05:16 07:06 134 178
Penfold_61 05:17 04:12 79 105
ChuckB 05:19 06:16 117 156
Ease This Jam 05:20 05:07 95 126
daulbs 05:22 03:20 62 82
fshephe 05:25 04:45 87 116
Spanna 05:26 05:26 100 133
esmeralda 05:28 04:42 85 113
Paul Hammond Paul Hammond 05:33 04:11 75 100
fishernick79 05:43 07:02 123 164
Finzi 05:45 05:00 86 114
cath23 05:48 04:50 83 110
McBeak McBeak 05:50 04:08 70 93
Rosron 05:52 04:47 81 108
Looch 05:53 04:37 78 104
Dzhigit 05:53 03:49 64 85
Freemers 05:56 05:12 87 116
mcrossib1 05:57 03:55 65 86
Tudds 06:01 04:45 78 104
Shabbo 06:01 03:53 64 85
DunPangolin 06:01 05:30 91 121
Crossiant 06:03 05:01 82 109
Kevin Gregg Kevin Gregg 06:06 05:33 90 120
Jeremy Weissmann plusjeremy 06:08 05:18 86 114
GMcD 06:09 03:49 62 82
PGooden 06:12 05:56 95 126
ilan 06:14 04:56 79 105
jimwetzler 06:17 04:58 79 105
Curarist 06:25 05:37 87 116
LuckOfLucien 06:29 04:04 62 82
KenD51 06:32 04:23 67 89
Julian Forbes 06:37 07:36 114 152
hopkinb hopkinb 06:37 03:10 47 62
uvofiz 06:39 04:47 71 94
Viscomte 06:45 04:53 72 96
Gussie 06:48 05:38 82 109
James P 06:48 05:05 74 98
earlylight 06:55 05:06 73 97
SlumdogEngineer 06:56 06:24 92 122
Nangle 06:56 04:50 69 92
ratterz 06:57 05:42 82 109
Mike Harper Mike Harper 07:03 05:28 77 102
timbo 07:05 07:48 110 146
Puzzleplease 07:07 06:03 85 113
Dvynys Dvynys 07:08 04:03 56 74
Riche Riche 07:09 05:55 82 109
1234 07:09 07:43 107 142
endafk 07:16 05:41 78 104
docg 07:20 05:51 79 105
John Arnold 07:23 04:41 63 84
ChrisBrea 07:34 04:58 65 86
Corymbia Corymbia 07:43 05:40 73 97
Andrew Whiffin 07:44 05:39 73 97
gsriordan52 07:47 06:20 81 108
bobanann 07:55 04:25 55 73
kath 08:03 06:57 86 114
barracuda barracuda 08:04 04:52 60 80
TomHerbert 08:08 05:29 67 89
plett11 Plett11 08:10 06:06 74 98
ulaca ulaca 08:11 07:10 87 116
mattindoha 08:13 05:37 68 90
johndun John Dunleavy 08:14 06:36 80 106
TonyN6 08:16 07:42 93 124
Templar Redux Templar 08:19 05:51 70 93
luxtonj61 08:21 06:16 75 100
crosswordian 08:27 05:01 59 78
Desdeeloeste Desdeeloeste 08:30 05:51 68 90
Sheen 08:34 05:10 60 80
richardCV22 08:34 06:09 71 94
hemantyd 08:36 05:28 63 84
OldSolver 08:42 05:40 65 86
goblin 08:44 07:28 85 113
nigelmzzz 08:46 04:47 54 72
john.brassey 08:54 08:20 93 124
BletchleyReject 08:57 12:00 134 178
Zabadak3 Zabadak 08:59 09:54 110 146
vinyl12345 vinyl1 09:02 06:15 69 92
CoxBurglar 09:07 08:37 94 125
Mkgnao Mkgnao 09:22 08:21 89 118
Doyler 09:26 07:22 78 104
alastair52 09:31 05:37 59 78
CWM65 09:33 06:47 71 94
JeffHobbs 09:49 05:02 51 68
iholloway 09:57 06:59 70 93
smalley552 09:57 09:08 91 121
BertieVII 10:03 09:24 93 124
alex.scordellis 10:31 08:02 76 101
Jeeves 10:35 07:57 75 100
Birdingbob 10:50 07:22 68 90
WordPlodder BletchleyReject 11:02 11:51 107 142
jackk.larg 11:03 09:24 85 113
suethepotterer 11:07 09:12 82 109
Rozz 11:10 07:25 66 88
Dr. Memory 11:15 07:24 65 86
alistair.boere 11:30 17:14 149 198
paul.verney 11:37 12:33 108 144
hipponym 11:51 08:34 72 96
youngbaz 11:54 12:09 102 136
starstruck starstruck_au 12:03 11:03 91 121
tyrotim tyrotim 12:12 09:36 78 104
flashman flashman 12:13 07:45 63 84
phcbarnes 12:14 11:56 97 129
home.bright 12:16 12:57 105 140
Sonofjim 13:32 07:02 51 68
Nuck_the_king 13:43 08:15 60 80
Merlin_55 Merlin 15:09 09:18 61 81
rlowin2 16:11 10:48 66 88
Doofenschmirtz Doofenschmirtz 16:24 08:48 53 70
garethclwilson 17:05 10:34 61 81
Holly O 18:34 13:19 71 94
lazydays 19:44 12:26 63 84
maryht 19:45 13:48 69 92
Geldart 21:26 13:42 63 84
Hazelnut 21:40 13:30 62 82
Ajay 28:01 19:23 69 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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