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

So is the Friday puzzle really harder than the rest? On the basis of NITCH calculations, the answer is not conclusive for the Times Quick Cryptic Crossword. This page shows the rolling average solving times for reference solvers over a six-month period. There doesn't seem to be a huge difference that depends on the day of the week. This page is also a good place to see the average completion times for reference solvers - click the Show button to see the details for each period.

This page summarises the average times taken by reference solvers in each six-month period. To track the trends from Monday through to Friday, each month is taken to be finished on the final Friday of the month (and the next month is taken to start on the following Monday). For each of the reference solvers, the site looks at how many puzzles they have solved correctly and made it to the leaderboard in the period. If they pass several criteria (sufficient overall puzzles on the leaderboard, enough on each day, etc) their results are averaged and they are added to the set of reference solvers used for the period.

For the selected reference solvers, the average NITCH for each day of the week is also calculated, i.e. the solving time on each day of the week is compared to the reference solver's overall average for the 6-month period and then averaged again over all users. This page give the summary results, but you can look at all the NITCH codes for the long list of puzzles on the Crosswords page to confirm any trend.

Solving Trends

Month Start Date End Date Solver Count Average Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Feb 2024 28-08-2023 23-02-2024 195 08:06 91 101 97 102 106 Show
Jan 2024 31-07-2023 26-01-2024 179 07:59 90 100 98 101 106 Show
Dec 2023 03-07-2023 29-12-2023 155 06:54 90 101 96 102 105 Show
Nov 2023 29-05-2023 24-11-2023 142 06:36 89 101 97 102 106 Show
Oct 2023 01-05-2023 27-10-2023 124 05:39 93 100 98 100 105 Show
Sep 2023 03-04-2023 29-09-2023 113 05:23 93 99 97 102 104 Show
Aug 2023 27-02-2023 25-08-2023 108 05:12 95 99 97 102 103 Show