Blog update

Greetings, TFTT community!

As you know, this blog as been appearing like clockwork for 15 years.   It may seem simple to those on the outside, but behind the scenes there is a lot going on.    My team of administrators has been constantly monitoring the blog, ejecting spammers and trolls, fixing unfortunate errors, subbing for missing bloggers, etc etc.

In the past week, there has been a lot of discussion in emails, texts, and phone calls across the globe.   We know you are concerned, and we are trying to find a solution that will allow the TFTT to continue to appear, and you to continue to comment.

We have decided to attempt to create a new web site, independent of any other platform.   Anyone who is familiar with IT projects will realize this is not easily done, especially by a group of amateurs working with free or inexpensive software.   My team is scattered everywhere, and we have to use email and Zoom calls to work together on the requirements, design, implementation, and testing.

Right now, I can’t commit to a definite timeframe.   We will try to get it done as fast as reasonably possible, given that some of the workers have jobs and families.

If we are successful, you will be notified.   I have accumulated a list of nearly 100 user emails, and if Live Journal is still up we will of course post a notice of the new site.

In the event Live Journal suddenly ceases to exist, or is no longer accessible, we will move to a temporary emergency platform.   Those who have sent in their emails will be notified.

If  you’re not yet on the email list, you can send an email to me, vinyl1, at   In the subject line, put TFTT, comma, your Live Journal Handle, comma, your email, e.g. TFTT,Londonsolver, – no spaces!  This will allow me to process the emails with a Unix script and build a spreadsheet of our community.

UPDATE:   Thanks for all the emails – I have 202 users on my spreadsheet.   If you are sending one now, please check the spelling of TFTT, as we’ve had about a dozen with typos, which slows down processing.   If you don’t have an LJ account, just put in something – a name, NoLJAccount, anything at all.  Be assured that even the most technically challenged have managed to make it onto the list.

As for money, don’t worry.   We have found a way to do this nearly for free, so no donations are required.   I thank those who offered, but it is simply not necessary.

60 comments on “Blog update”

  1. Thanks for your message which I have passed on to vinyl1. I thought it best to remove yours because it contained your private email address. Best regards.

    Edited at 2022-03-11 06:31 am (UTC)

  2. Thank you Vinyl1. I never for a moment thought the site “ran itself” and you and your team have my thanks and gratitude.

    You have my email address. Good luck with the search for a solution.


  3. for all the hard work.

    I’m happy to make a donation towards costs involved in this move.

    1. As am I and I would think everyone who benefits from this wonderful service. If a little professional help were required Vinyl I think crowdfunding a budget would be very quick.

      Edited at 2022-03-11 08:21 am (UTC)

  4. Though I’m wanted for multiple crimes
    Against verse with my terrible rhymes
    I am not being funny
    I would send some money
    Long live Times For The Times!
  5. I expect that if we lose LJ suddenly, an announcement or url can be posted on the Crossword Club forum as well as sending an email.

    I don’t know if the existing TfTT records can be copied and migrated? It isn’t vital perhaps, but it would be nice to do that if we can.. I tried to copy the LJ account but it seems to resist that.

  6. As astro_nowt already said,
    Without going into the red
    I’ll pay what I can
    If given a plan,
    It shouldn’t cost too much per head !
  7. Good luck with setting up a new site, vinyl1. I’m afraid I can’t offer any technical help, but I would be prepared to help crowdfund your efforts, should you wish to go down that route. I will send you my e-mail address, shortly.
  8. Keen to offer support both moral and financial, sadly not anything useful or technical.
    I really do value this site and am so grateful to its managers and indeed to everyone who posts here.
  9. I can’t see how to contact you vinyl. The address you give isn’t an email address and it won’t accept just that, of course. If one goes to a website with that address one just gets a whole lot of stuff advertisig the platform.
    1. From my experience, a pure email address is rejected by the software, so read the ‘at’ as @
      ….and maybe exclude the comma,
  10. Although I haven’t been here long I find participating in this enterprise very rewarding and appreciate the work that’s gone into setting up and running it. So like many above would be happy to contribute financially towards building new site.
  11. More than happy to pay to keep this great forum going.

    I never post, but do the crossword most days, and thoroughly enjoyed this Fridays in particular.

    Thanks for everything.

  12. I suspect that my original attempt to get on vinyl1’s list failed for good reason, and trust that my second attempt, along the lines of HeathrowExpress (sorry for pun!) and jackkt above, succeeded. Ir would be nice to have this confirmed if anyone has time.

    I contribute modestly by standing order to Wikipedia, and also often to free or open source software which I use, and I would consider TFTT an equally worthy cause.

  13. It’s not entirely independent, but you could consider hosting a WordPress solution on your own infrastructure. The software is free, and hosting costs on one of the many cloud providers should be minimal.
  14. Our very best wishes for your efforts. Reading everyones comments after completing or some not completing the puzzles has been part of our daily routine for some years, being most informative and enjoyable.
  15. This is one of my favourite sites although I lurk more often than I post. Like others, I am more than happy to contribute to any fund to keep the blog going. Thanks for all your work – I never thought the blog ran itself!
  16. Thank you to all administrators for everything you’ve been doing behind the scenes over the last few weeks. I too would be more than happy to contribute to any funding.
  17. I’m happy to contribute to crowdfunding if it’s needed. Always grateful to the team who run all of this for us!

    I echo the thought that if there is time and effort available to confirm receipt of our details, it would be most welcome.

  18. Well, I agree with everything above, except that I’m very (very) disappointed in the webmaster (looking at you, vinyl) and the other members of the team for completely and totally failing to take down and chatise posters when they disagree with my understanding and pronounciation of bad homophones.

    Otherwise, if it comes to having to pony up something to either support the development of new software, pay for hosting, or whatever, count me in.

  19. I do the crossword everyday and always read the blog but have never posted. Now seems the time to get more involved so have set up an account and will apply to join the email list.
    Thanks to everyone for blogs and comments and good luck for the future.
  20. When Andy (Linxit) handed the reins to Vinyl I think he may have said that TFTT “runs itself”. Famous last words. Many thanks to Vinyl, George and others who are sorting out our options. One good thing is that so many so-called lurkers have now joined us in person. The more the merrier.
  21. There have been warnings about the possible LJ situation as far back as 2019. I and others have made more recent comments.
    Best of luck to one and all – please try to make equivalent donations to the humanitarian Ukranian relief efforts.


  22. To second the comments of others. I can’t contribute any technical skills, but am happy to help out with any menial “drying the dishes” sort of tasks if that’s any help. I also take pedwardine’s comment on board.

    Thank you again for all your work in keeping TftT going.

  23. I don’t have much in the way of spare time right now, I’m afraid, but if there’s somewhere I can keep an eye on for technical jobs I might be able to pitch in on in the future, do let me know. I’m mostly a SQL Server database developer at the moment, but I’ve done a fair bit of web work, mostly in PHP using the Symfony framework, and I tend to pick things up quite quickly.
  24. I echo the thanks and offers of financial support.

    I am a bit concerned by the comments that some email addresses haven’t been received. Would it be possible to send a confirmation to those that have been successful? Hopefully, that could be automated.

    I’d also like to see the history preserved as I do use the ‘back issues’ when I’m working through the books.

  25. Is there any way of checking whether I’m in? I hardly ever contribute (unless to ask a question!) But i find it very helpful. Thanks to all the bloggers
  26. Firstly my apologies for wrong spelling of TFTT and may I add my appreciation for all your efforts. I very much enjoy the comments. Long may it continue.
  27. Vinyl, I assume and hope I have made it onto your list, but when I first sent you the mail last Monday, incidentally from a different email address than the more permanent one I gave in the subject line, I received an error message that my mail was not being accepted by your host and was therefore delayed. It was going to be retried for several days and I never got another error message, so I assume it did get through eventually, but if not, please post a reply.

    And of course, thank you for all the work you have put into running this blog and all of the solving satisfaction it has brought me.

  28. I appear to be spelling Vinyl’s e-mail address wrongly – keeps on being rejected.
    Tried @ instead of ‘at’
    The address quoted in the article does not look real to me anyway
        1. It works as that for me, try again, or send to me in LJ message and I’ll forward

          Pip Kirby

  29. The site has become part of my day, and like everyone else I am immensely grateful for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
  30. Good luck with your efforts, and let me add my sincere thanks for what you have done to date in maintaining this forum.

    Hopefully I, and others, will soon be able to resume posting on a new TFTT site.

    Slava Ukraini!


  31. I think I’ve successfully emailed, but let me add my appreciation of this blog. As a beginner, it has been almost entirely responsible for the progress I’ve made over the last year or so, so thanks to everyone involved, and fingers crossed for a successful transition.
  32. Just a simple but sincere ‘thank you’.
    If funding does become necessary, I would be happy to contribute.
    My email information was not bounced so I assume you have it.
    Kind regards,
  33. I’m solving in Australia where the puzzle appears in The Australian about a month later, so am always reading the blog behind the times and can’t contribute. I only saw this announcement by chance. I haven’t caught up with any previous announcements and hope not to miss anything subsequent because I value the blog. I have emailed v but only subsequently joined Livejournal. Should I send another email with my username?
    PS I’d be glad if brnchn and jackkt (I think) would stop hiding their solutions so an extra click is needed to open them. The Australian doesn’t use the same puzzle number or date, so it is necessary to search by the words in a clue to find the blog. There is a Link site but it doesn’t work for their blogs. I usually keep the blog open during the week and press Next entry the next day but this is upset on the weekends when Saturday is blogged a week later and for Sunday because The Australian publishes the puzzle from a more recent week.
    1. I sympathise anjoha, but we only started hiding them because people complained that they were seeing solutions to puzzles they hadn’t yet solved. Can’t win!
  34. At some point when new people sending emails dies down, can you send us all an email to confirm you have us, and put something on here to say you did that (so it’s not like people on Zoom calls saying “can you hear me”).

    And I’d like to add my thanks to you, and Linxit before, and, of course, Peter who started it all before getting promoted from us mere mortals to crossword godship. Although he does drop in sometimes to defend his editorial judgment (and to judge the Christmas puzzle when we get our act together).

  35. Thanks for this. I use the site a lot, but rarely comment. I don’t think I would have been able to progress to completing the crossword without this site, when I was first learning, so thanks to everyone who contributes.
  36. Just sent our info, hope it has arrived ok. We are so pleased with the efforts you are making, our afternoons would be empty if we lost live journal.

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