2017 In Retrospect

December 31, 2017

For Christmas last year one of my presents was a 2017 Crossword Diary. What better way to fill it, I thought, than recording times for each puzzle solved. So here are the results from the Welsh jury. I’ve converted the times to an average value, where 1.00 is average for the i, anything less than that under par, and anything over, wait for it, over par for the i.

And the results? Crosophile it turns out is average in terms of difficulty, with most solvers coming in either just above or below him, and only a few appearing in the seriously difficult bracket. This sort of confirms my suspicion that the i tends to be on the easier side compared to the Independent and Times back when I solved them. The only other cryptics I solve regularly now are Everyman and The Telegraph, both of which it turns out take half the time on average it takes to solve the i. I solve the Telegraph Toughie when I’ve got time, but didn’t tot up the averages. Maybe next time. Azed usually takes twice as long as the i, the Inquisitor about six times. Yikes. The only surprise in the figures? Math, so I’m guessing that might have been an anomaly especially with only the one puzzle represented.

Anyway, without any further ado, here are the figures. Please note that they exclude a few I forgot to write down, and when I was away on holiday and had better things to do than timing crosswords. 🙂 Oh, also included are the number of puzzles for each setter, because of course it’s pertinent to the accuracy of the averages, and also a little interesting.

Thanks to all the bloggers for their sterling work throughout the year, and a Happy New Year to one and all!

Against Par Puzzles Solved
Nitsy 0.59 3
Commoner 0.60 3
Math 0.62 1
Quixote 0.66 28
Raich 0.68 8
Poins 0.69 12
Eimi 0.78 3
Hypnos 0.84 11
Dac 0.86 41
Glow-Worm 0.91 3
Mordred 0.97 3
Alchemi 0.99 6
Crosophile 1.00 12
Radian 1.05 7
Rorschach 1.06 4
Phi 1.06 50
Morph 1.09 8
Kairos 1.10 4
Tyrus 1.14 5
Scorpion 1.15 6
eXternal 1.17 2
Jambazi 1.17 5
Tees 1.18 6
Punk 1.27 8
Klingsor 1.29 11
Anax 1.30 1
Nestor 1.36 12
Donk 1.52 5
Hob 1.63 4
Monk 1.70 5

3 Responses to “2017 In Retrospect”

  1. Cornick said

    Interesting stuff. Not much variation between quickest and slowest for you – compared to me, that is – but an order very much in keeping with my experience.
    An interesting cluster around 1.3 includes some of my most enjoyed setters.
    And very thoughtful of you to use that system, Jon – that way we can all relate to the numbers rather than being depressed at how quickly you solve compared to us!
    Happy New Year to you & the family Jon.

    • jonofwales said

      I suspect I’m only a fair to middling solver, compared to some times I see around. The averages spare my own blushes as much as anybody else’s. 😀

  2. AndyT said

    I posted a long reply which disappeared into the ether. Maybe just as well; at any rate I’m not going to type it all out again. The list reflects my own experiences pretty closely, but the less said about times the better. 😉

    Happy New Year, everyone.

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