If people are interested, and if berni does not regard this as unwelcome, then shout up. I think it's only really worthwhile if I can get six solvers interested, ideally eight - and I'm happy to count myself as one of them. If there's enough interest then I would start the first round of matches from Monday 21st March to Friday 25th March - or, perhaps, sooner. (I'd like to keep this UK-only for now, though there's no reason why there couldn't be many parallel ladders for many parallel competitions.)
Hopefully that's enough detail to possibly get people interested and know whether they might enjoy participating or not, but the full details are within the spoiler text below to avoid this post having a blinding wall of text.
The game takes place on a weekly cycle. I announce the fixtures on Sundays, the players compete by solving puzzles on Monday to Friday, I tally up and declare the results on Saturday - and, based on all the results on Saturday, generate the next week's fixtures on the next Sunday.
Two players compete by solving as many of the Ue-raetsel puzzles as they can each day. At the end of the week, we count up to see on how many occasions each player was the faster solver. Any solution, no matter how slow, beats no solution for any particular puzzle. We take the Highscoretable times as definitive, including the fixed 5-minute penalties for Fehlversuche, even though the rating list does something a bit more clever. Margin of victory is irrelevant. If the two players tie for numbers of victories at the end of the week, we play extra time by taking Saturday's results into account. If this is inconclusive, in lieu of kicks from the penalty mark, we add the total times ((ETA:)) from the whole week including Fehlversuche penalties; if even this is inconclusive then we take it as a sign from above and I will draw lots.
Bye rule: on Saturday or Sunday, you can declare yourself to be unavailable for competition for zero, one or two days in the coming week, if you know in advance that you will not be able to solve puzzles on that particular day; these days' results will not count. If you know you'll be away from the keyboard for three days or more then it's not so unreasonable that your chances are hurt and you risk your standing on the ladder fading. If both solvers fail to complete a single puzzle in a particular week then the result is a no-score draw and will be decided by lots. (If a long-term champion risks losing their championship only as a result of this rule then perhaps we could declare an interim championship like they do in boxing and come up with impromptu rules to cover the situation, but I'm not opposed to having someone fall through the rankings and then working their way back up.)
The structure will start with an anomalous two-week single-elimination tournament. Draw the original eight competitors into the four matches of week one, seeded by initial rating list position. In week two, the four winning competitors from week one whould be drawn into two further matches, whose winners will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three Championship Match, and whose losers will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three #1 Contender Match. In week two, the four losing competitors from week one should be drawn into two further matches, whose winners will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three #2 Contender Match, and whose losers will form the first competitors in the upcoming week three Relegation Match. This completes the seeding process and generates matches for week three.
For week three and beyond, a week of the competition consists of the current eight competitors arranged into four pairs, playing the Championship Match, the #1 Contender Match, the #2 Contender Match and the Relegation Match respectively. Based on the results of one round of competition, a champion will be crowned, one competitor will be identified as being relegated and the most suitable set of matches for the next round of competition will be decided.
Championship Match: winner declared champion of the ladder for this week and appears in the Championship Match next week, loser drops to the #1 Contender Match next week.
#1 Contender Match: winner declared #1 contender of the ladder for this week and appears in the Championship Match next week, loser drops to the #2 Contender Match next week.
#2 Contender Match: winner declared #2 contender of the ladder for this week and appears in the #1 Contender Match next week, loser drops to the Relegation Match next week.
Relegation Match: winner escapes relegation from the ladder for this week and appears in the #2 Contender Match next week, loser is relegated from the tournament and replaced by someone from outside the existing tournament structure, if there is anyone waiting to join the ladder, who will join the tournament structure in the Relegation Match next week.
This is an idea I had for an ongoing competition four years ago (that link takes you to a diagram and an explanation!) and I have been waiting to try it out ever since. Croco-puzzle, as a rolling competition, looks like it might be well-suited to giving it a try. I think it would be reasonably transparent to the point where I could both run the ladder (a very simple job) and compete in it myself, though I would not be at all surprised if I were relegated very quickly...