SNITCH Developments

Thanks to everyone who takes an interest and gives me feedback on the SNITCH.  With the kind permission of the moderators of this site, I’m posting this announcement to give you an update on latest developments and provide the opportunity for feedback in your comments.

You’ll have noticed that I’ve created some “Did you know (DYK)” entries to inform people of features they may not be aware of.  Many of you have already discovered them over the years.  I’ve also promoted the “Buy me a coffee” button (with a short explanation) to appear on the front page.  The  DYK and the Buy me coffee section will appear by default on the front page in the first week of each month.  You can hide it or show it using the “Hide/Show DYK” button at the top right.

Thanks to people who have donated “coffees” – it really helps to offset the hosting costs.

I have created a mirror version of the SNITCH site (hosted on Amazon Web Services) which can be found here.  I’m intending to direct everyone to this site in future (as it will be cheaper to run), but would love it for some of you to give it a go and let me know of any issues.

I’m also (slowly) working on some new features.  There’s a backlog of issues (including fixing rogue entries in people’s “top 10” times).  And a SNITCH for the Quick Cryptic is also on the wish list.  If you have anything on your own wish list, please let me know in the comments below.

Thanks again for your interest in the SNITCH.

36 comments on “SNITCH Developments”

  1. thanks starstruck, I would love a quick cryptic snitch, usually on the main I don’t always submit due to probable errors.

    1. Thanks, flashman. It looks like I will need to get cracking on the Quick SNITCH, as it seems to be a popular idea.

  2. Hi Starstruck. Thanks as ever for this brilliant resource.
    I can’t find the ‘buy me a coffee’ button – where is it exactly? Embarrassed because I know I’ve asked you this before but I can’t remember! Scratch that – found it! If anyone else is wondering you have to go into the results for an individual puzzle.

    1. Thanks, keriothe. I’m glad you found the “Buy me a coffee” button. It will also pop up on the main page in the first week of each month.

  3. I’d love a SQUITCH, would be very interesting for us QC-eras who are unlikely to feature on the Big Board, as we always debate how easy or hard they are each day. Hard, today, BTW.
    And just bought you a few coffees for your hosting costs.

  4. Thanks as ever starstruck. I’m one of the people you refer to who has mentioned a rogue time in the Top 10. As an IT support analyst, I’m curious to know what caused this. Dodgy data? (BTW, in case you need help fixing it, I’d start by trying to switch if off and on again 😉).

    1. Ah – the Microsoft solution!

      I know I’ve been a bit slow on tracking down the errors in the top 10 lists, but I’m also curious about how they got there. I pick up new puzzles from a search on this page, using the “Times Cryptic” category and the date. Perhaps, occasionally, the Quick Cryptic has been incorrectly listed in this search. It couldn’t, of course, be a bug in my code ;-). If I track it down, I’ll let you know.

      1. It looks as though the problematic puzzles are the Concise puzzles with numbers 8892 (Saturday 30th April 2022), 9210 (Saturday 6th May 2023), and 9234 (Saturday 3rd June 2023). An example of someone with all of these in their fastest times list on the SNITCH is aphis99. I see that Magoo and Jason both did 8892 but it only appears in Magoo’s fastest times list and not in Jason’s, so perhaps the puzzles were initially miscategorised by the Times bods and then subsequently corrected.

        Also, puzzle 28170 appears in some people’s fastest times (e.g. Tudds) but with the “Day of week” column being blank. This puzzle was published on Christmas Day 2021 (a Saturday) but, unlike most Saturdays, it wasn’t a competition puzzle.

        1. Thanks, EH. What excellent detective work! On the basis of this, I’ve removed the offending Concise puzzles and this cleans up the “top 10” entries. There’s now a link to the puzzle for each one of the solver’s top 10 entries, so I should be able to easily find and remove any rogue puzzles that pop up later.

          I’ve left the Christmas Day 2021 puzzle, as it seems to be valid. It won’t count in any of the SNITCH calculations, but the top 10 times should be correct.

          Thanks again for your help.

  5. I’m grateful, as we all are, for the SNITCH. I took a look at your Amazon version, and can’t see any difference from the current one. (Wouldn’t a mirror version be all backwards?) I’m not particularly interested in a QC SNITCH, actually; but I seem to be in a small minority. Thanks, and drink up.

    1. Thanks, Kevin. Interstingly, I’ve never thought that a mirror site might need to be reversed; mirror sites have been around so long as cached versions of major software stores I’ve never considered the original analogy. Thanks for looking at the new site – there is currently a small difference in the functionality, buried on the individual pages, if you’re hunting for something to find.

      1. Actually, I’ve now pushed all changes to the heroku site, so they should be the same.

  6. Add me to the list of people who would love a QC SNITCH. I’ve no hope of making the list of reference solvers for the biggie, but the undying glory of being one for the Quickie is perhaps attainable. Enjoy the coffees, and thanks.

  7. This may not be a high priority, but replacing links to the old livejournal site would be nice. (I believe all pages got copied across to the new site – someone should have information on how the old page names mapped to the new).

    Not your issue, but I think that there are some links on the new site that still point back to the old site – I think I found some issues on the old bloggers page for example.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the dangling links to the old site. I’ll put tracking those down and fixing them, as appropriate, on the to-do list. The mapping from old pages to new is straightforward. Every post and comment on the old site should have a direct equivalent on the new. Exceptions are any comments that were added to the old site after migration, but these appear, on the whole, to be spam comments.

      1. Thanks John.

        What I was referring to are the Times for the Times links on Startstrucks detailed pages. Now admittdly you have to go into his archives but, if I take puzzle 27917 as an example the link to the old site is:

        wheras the link to the new site is:

        If Starstruck wants to fix this (maybe not a priority as I said), is there a way of going from one to the other that he could use? Presumably something was done at the time though I guess that would have been based on using the title of the blog.

        1. OK. I understand now When migrating we maintained a mapping between Livejournal and new TfTT posts so we could map comments to the right post when uploading. It is, in theory then, possible to write code that will update the SNITCH historic links to the new site, but unless the Livejournal TfTT site ceases to exist there is, to my mind, no real value in what is a significant piece of work.

          1. When I have a few minutes I will go through the glossary and the current/past bloggers pages and alter any hyperlinks that still go to Livejournal. I do that anyway when I see them, hopefully not too many left to update.

        2. Ah, ok – thanks, Moz. John and I did the migration from the LJ site to the new one, so I should be able to dig out the links. I didn’t think of the links in the SNITCH site – we were so busy trying to get the LJ ones over consistently. I’ll put this as a feature on the backlog, but it will probably stay as low priority for a while.

  8. Always astonished by how useful and brilliant the SNITCH site is – thanks for all of the time and work that you put into developing and maintaining it. I’ll be sure to buy a coffee next time I see the prompt!

      1. While I’m picking nits… several people have changed user names between sites (Mike Harper above is a good example) but the TftT names you use are still for the old site.

        Hopefully slightly easier to fix than the links I’ve mentioned above!

        1. Yes, a good comment. I’ve been trying to think of a way to do this automatically, rather than inserting them all by hand. But I’ll bump it up my to-do list.

  9. Love your work Starstruck. Main items on my wishlist are to be faster and not make mistakes.

    1. Thanks, Galspray. You were on a roll today, so maybe that’s a sign of things to come.

      I wouldn’t mind some faster times too. I am, however, always happy when I beat ulaca – maybe I’m just getting nostalgic in my old age.

  10. Yes, I second the comments of others on what a great site the SNITCH is. How it actually works I have no idea but I’m in awe of the of programming, data management and statistical skill that must lie behind it all. Thanks again Starstruck for all your work.

  11. Would love to see a QC Snitch. I have only been doing QCs for about a year and hope some day to move to the 15 squared. Knowing some kind of rating for the QCs I think would help me.

    Just tried to “buy you a coffee” and a get a bad link (tried a second time on the Amazon site and it woked)

    1. Thanks, Rebus, for the coffee. Sorry you got a bad link – I’ve just checked them on both the old and new sites, so hopefully it was a temporary glitch.

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