CUTwC timer guide


The timer simply runs as a web page; it does not contact the server (except to open this help page) once it's open, so it should be usable in locations with lacking reception. It is up to the user to stop the computer/phone going to sleep while the timer is running — there are ways to automate this, but they are all horrible and likely to increase power draw (one approach is to leave a tiny video running, for example). Obviously a half-hour screen timeout should be plenty for typical games, although don't forget to change it back so your phone/laptop doesn't go flat. Screen timeout is typically under either display settings or power settings on your device.

Fortunately the timer should continue running if the display goes off, so if you forget to do make this change, it should be safe to do so retrospectively.

Images on this help page assume the "light" styling (mostly); if you use the "dark mode" (for which more of the screen is black, and consequently may use less power on a device with an OLED screen) there will be differences in appearance with which I hope you can cope.

There is also a statistics timer, which resembles the chess clock mode of the main timer, but rather than counting down for each shot, counts up. When paused, press the bar graph (📊) button to see the statistics for each colour.

The game timer

During the game, if you're not using the shot timer, you'll mostly see a normal count-down timer. The colour of the background represents the squidge-off winner. Click/press on the timer to pause it.

1 3 : 2 0

When the timer is paused, a "back" button appears. Click/press on this to return to the game setup (described below), or click/press on the time again to un-pause the timer.

1 3 : 2 0

Once time has expired, the timer will indicate this to you in the requested way (which may be nothing - but may be flashing, buzzing or beeping). Click/press the time to stop the notification.

0 0 : 0 0

After acknowledging that time has expired, the timer will show a round counter:

- Rnd 0 +

Click/press on "-" to correct the count to a previous round (the minimum is 0), and click/press on "+" to move to the next round (the maximum is 6). Click on the round itself to enter "paused" mode and show the "return" (to set-up) option, or on the round again to exit "paused" mode and hide this:

- Rnd 2 +

The shot timer

The timer can optionally show, in addition to a countdown for the game timer, a count-down timer for a shot. The premise is similar to a Fisher Clock (and independently invented by the web site maintainer as an attempt to increase speed of play in the early 2000s, as a J2ME mobile application):

The shot timer is not part of the official rules of tiddlywinks, and should be used only by clear mutual agreement where there is a desire to moderate the speed of play. The developer's experience has been that those most vocal about slow play are those least willing to have the constraints of a timer applied to them. Caveat competitor.

The timer with the shot timer enabled looks like this:

1 3 : 2 0
0 1 : 0 7

In this example, there are 13 minutes 20 seconds of game time remaining, and Blue won the squidge-off. It is Red's turn to play, with 1 minutes 7 seconds left to do so. The order of the coloured corner regions can be configured to match the table, to minimise confusion.

During normal play, the coloured corner regions can be clicked/pressed to indicate that a shot has been taken, and that this colour is to play next. For example, if red plays a squop and yellow is to play next, the yellow corner should be clicked/pressed. If red pots and has another shot, the red corner should be clicked/pressed. If red plays a squop and yellow has no free winks or is missing due to going off the mat, the blue corner should be clicked/pressed (unless the same applies to blue).

Note: It is good practice to make it the responsibility of the team who has just played to update the colours (rather than the team who is yet to play); this means that forgetting to update the timer reduces the time available to the team responsible for forgetting, not the other team.

Clicking/pressing on either time has the same effect as with a simple timer mode: it pauses the countdowns and displays the "back" button for returning to the game configuration screen.

1 3 : 2 0
0 1 : 0 7

If the timer is paused, clicking/pressing one of the corners transfers the time taken so far in the current shot to the new colour; it provides a way to correct the timings if the wrong colour is chosen.

Note that after starting the timer, the "current" player is the first to follow the squidge-off winner. If the squidge-off winner Penhaligons with the first shot, the "current" player will need to be corrected.

The game time counts down as normal, and shows rounds after time has expired. The shot time stops at 0, and will alert the players in a configurable way; the way to stop this alert is to select the next colour to play.

Game setup

The following screen is used to configure the game timer:

2 5 : 0 0
? Go

The top row indicates the squidge-off winner:

Squidge-off won by Blue Squidge-off won by Green
Squidge-off won by Red Squidge-off won by Yellow

The four icons on the left indicate how game time expiry will be indicated:

🚨Flash the time
📳Vibrate (if the device can)
Make an annoying buzz
🔮Start warning 10s before time expires

Note: This will only work if the device running the timer is still running the timer, so make sure it's not screen-saved. The noise is just played as audio, so if your device makes a distinction, don't expect alarm volume to take effect — you need media volume turned up to hear it.

The selected mode(s) will be shown with a red glow. Click/press on them to select and unselect.

Note: Desktop computers typically can't buzz. An oddity in recent versions of Android means that you may need "touch feedback" turned on in the phone's haptics settings panel in order for vibrate to work, no matter the "media vibration" setting; I assume this is a bug. Vibration does not work in Firefox for Android or in Safari — please use Chrome or a Chromium derivative if you want this feature.

2 5 : 0 0

Shockingly, the large numbers that look like a clock indicate the game time which will be used when a new timer is started. Click/press on the digits to choose a different time (in minutes : seconds).

The "return" icon:

returns the view to the timer screen — useful if going to the timer configuration screen was accidental.

The "chess piece" icon:

switches to the shot timer setup screen (since it resembles a chess clock). If the shot timer is already enabled (shown with a red glow) clicking/pressing on it will disable it; if you need to make changes to the configuration, just click/press on it twice.

The "panda" icon:


toggles dark mode; by default the clock will use the dark mode preference of your browser, but repeatedly pressing this button will alternate between this behaviour, forcing dark mode, and forcing light mode. Note that browser local storage (like a cookie, but not sent to the server) is used to record this preference if you change it from the default.


opens this help page (network permitting).

The following three controls set the timer for common games:

Pairs game (four players): 25 minutes.
Singles game (two players): 20 minutes.
Mixed game (three players): 22½ minutes.


Press this to start the timer for a new game with the selected settings.

Shot timer setup

The following screen is used to configure the shot timer:

Start time Shot time Max time
0 30 0 30 3 0
🚨 📳 🔮 🔙

The top row:

Configures the orientation of the coloured corners used to select the next colour to play in the shot timer. They can be used to record dominant corners, but the main intent is to make it more natural to hit the right button during play.

The time values:

Start time Shot time Max time
0 30 0 30 3 0

are used to configure the time available per shot. Note that the squidge-off winner starts with "shot time" added to the start time. Typically the first few shots in a game are bring-in shots that don't require much thinking, so the available time can be expected to build up before the game gets complicated.

The first four icons of the bottom row indicate how the expiry of shot time is indicated:

🚨 Flash the shot timer
📳 Buzz (if the device supports it)
Make an annoying noise
🔮 Start warning 5 seconds before the shot time is due to expire.
Apply the shot timer only once normal game time has expired and rounds have started.

Selected alerts are shown with a red glow.

The same disclaimers about screen savers and volume settings apply as for the main game timer.

Finally, the "back" icon returns to the main game timer configuration screen, ready to start the timer: