Home Crosswords Archive The Times Crossword Book 14

The Times Crossword Book 14

Crossword 1
The Times Crossword Book 14 -
Back
      • Across
      • Down
      This is the clue one
      if exist then display the clue two

      Introduction

      The Times Crossword Book 14

      INTRODUCTION

      This new selection of crosswords is taken from those that appeared during 2006, with all our regular setters of that year represented: Joyce Cansfield, Dave Crossland, Roy Dean, John Grant, Brian Greer, John Grimshaw, Colin Gumbrell, John Halpern, Paul Henderson, Bob Hesketh, Mark Kelmanson, Don Manley, Roger Phillips, Richard Rogan, Allan Scott, Wadham Sutton and myself. Colin Gumbrell made his debut for us that year, and we also welcomed back former editor Brian Greer.

      2006 saw the reinstatement after a five-year gap of the Times Crossword Championship, in a new format as a single-day event at Cheltenham during the Times– sponsored October literary festival. There were two preliminary rounds, from which the fastest 24 people qualified for the grand final. Instead of four separate puzzles with thirty minutes for each, as in the old competition, competitors are now given three puzzles together in each round, to be completed in a mere hour. All nine puzzles are included here, with the percentage of all-correct answers given against each, which shows how impressively this more demanding challenge was met. (The individual percentages may not reflect the relative difficulty of the puzzles, since competitors had all three to work on simultaneously and may have spent different amounts of time on each.)

      The grand final was an exciting climax to the competition, since the first two finishers had each made a mistake, and nobody realised until the announcement of the results that the winner was the third person to finish, Helen Ougham, who thus added a second title to her previous victory in 1995.

      Two other puzzles in this book should be mentioned: puzzle no. 1 was a rare themed puzzle, composed for the centenary of the birth of a well-loved British figure; and puzzle no. 80 was the last puzzle composed for us before his retirement by former crossword editor John Grant, who handed on the editorship in 1995 but continued to set puzzles regularly thereafter, a total of over seven hundred altogether.

      Richard Browne
      Crossword Editor of The Times
      January 2010

      NOTES ON THE PUZZLES

      Puzzle no. 70

       This puzzle, used in the First Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 52% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 71

       This puzzle, used in the First Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 30% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 72

       This puzzle, used in the First Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 41% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 73

       This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 60% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 74

       This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 58% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 75

       This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 51% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 76

       This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 17 of the 24   competitors.

      Puzzle no. 77

       This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 19 of the 24 competitors.

      Puzzle no. 78

       This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2006 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 18 of the 24 competitors.

      Puzzle no. 79

       This puzzle would have been used, if needed, as a tie-breaker for the 2006 Times Crossword Championship (it appeared as an ordinary daily puzzle in the paper instead).

      FOR THOSE NEW TO THE TIMES CROSSWORD

      Cryptic crossword compiling is a deceptive art. Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ sums it up when he says, “When I use a word…. It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”

      May I recommend, particularly to newcomers to the crossword, a simple approach taught me by my father, which is to study the solution and then examine the clue to work out how all the pieces came together to mean what the compiler chose them to mean! The method is particularly apt here because the solver is spared the agony of waiting for the next day’s paper.

      Here are a few sample clues to give you a flavour of what lies in store, followed by an appropriate introduction penned by my late father.

      Grateful acknowledgment to former crossword editors: – Richard Browne, Mike Laws, Brian Greer, John Grant, Edmund Akenhead, Jane Carton, Ronald Carton, and never to be forgotten our founding father, Adrian Bell.

      Enjoy!

      David Akenhead, Author of the Computer Crosswords

      September 2020

      SAMPLE CLUES

      Often does badly but gets decorated (9) FESTOONED

      Convention: anagram of “often does”. Indicator: “badly”

      Unlike Dogberry’s comparisons, not to be sniffed at (9) ODOURLESS

      Convention: antonym. In Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing “Comparisons are odorous”. The opposite of odorous is odourless

      “Whist, brother”, one need not say to him (8) TRAPPIST

      Convention: association – silent order of monks

      He may stop playing! (8) ORGANIST

      Convention: cryptic definition – obvious when understood

      But can these cakes sell like hot ones? (4) ICED

      Convention: conundrum (or riddle)

      Plain spoken guide (6) DIRECT

      Convention: double meaning or two meanings

      Policeman calls at the theatre (9) INSPECTOR

      Convention: dramatic assoc – refers Priestley’s The Inspector Calls

      Telephone about the duck – dry and going bad (7) ROTTING

      Convention: envelope – O (duck) and TT (teetotal or dry) inside RING

      Champion golfer’s casual request to caddie? (3,3,4) ANY OLD IRON

      Convention: familiar – iron as in scrap and iron as in golf; song of music hall comedian, Harry Champion

      Hair in distressing condition (5) TRESS

      Convention: hidden – disTRESSing

      Time and relative dimension in space vehicle. Who told you? (6) TARDIS

      Conventions: initials or acronym – refers Dr Who, fictional time traveller

      Last of the girls named as story-teller (8) TUSITALA

      Conventions: lit. and surgery – “last of the girls” reveals RLS, initials Robert Louis Stevenson, alias Tusitala, “story-teller” of the South Seas

      One might be the sum of two equal squares (9) RECTANGLE

      Conventions: logic or conundrum

      Artist’s punishment of careless kittens (4) OPIE

      Conventions: nursery rhyme and word division – refers Three Little Kittens – “they shall have no pie” read O/PIE

      A drinking man upset about a heroine of opera (5) TOSCA

      Conventions: opera, word division, reversal – “A drinking man” is a sot, “upset” it becomes TOS plus C (about) plus A

      Even both ways (5) LEVEL

      Convention: palindrome – reads both ways (also double meaning)

      Jane is heard to offer a wider view (7) SEYMOUR

      Convention: pun or sound – Jane Seymour (third wife of Henry VIII) sounds like “see more”

      Roman dictator given total American backing (5) SULLA

      Convention: reversal – ALL US for “total American”. Indicator: “backing”

      Changed a hundred to six hundred (9) RECTIFIED

      Convention: Roman numerals – read instead AC to DC (alternating current to direct current)

      A bardic spelling of the last saint (8) CRISPIAN

      Shakespeare – in Henry V this is the Bard’s spelling of the patron saint of shoemakers (last saint)

      He painted Miss Martin topless (4) ETTY

      Convention: surgery – the painter is BETTY minus B (All my eye and Betty Martin)

      Sad outcome of rent reduction (8) TEARDROP

      Convention: word division – TEAR/DROP read “rent reduction”

      Strain to find way about the ship (6) STRESS

      Convention: word division – ST (way) plus RE (about) plus SS (ship)

      Transport as is right and fitting by river (7) RAPTURE

      Convention: word division – R (right) plus APT (fitting) plus URE (river)

      Inset paragraph or it has a divisive effect (9) SEPARATOR

      Conventions: word div/envelope – SET plus PARA (inset – in set) plus OR

      The state of one had rejected love (5) IDAHO

      Conventions: word div/reversal – I (one) plus DAH (had, rejected) plus O (love)

      Maybe either state is unorthodox (9) HERETICAL

      Conventions: word div/anag – HERETI (anagram of “either”; indicator, “maybe”) plus CAL (state – California)

      Eating corn, perhaps, each appears to transgress (8) ENCROACH

      Conventions: envelope/anag – EACH envelopes (indicator, “eating”) an anagram of CORN (indicator, “perhaps”)

       

      Introduction to The Times crossword (and others of that ilk)

      By Edmund Akenhead, Times Crossword Editor, 1965-83

      The devices used by a cryptic crossword compiler are so many and varied that an introduction such as this can only give the beginner a glimpse of them. Experience will prove the best teacher, but I hope that the following tips will help the beginner in his or her first steps towards mastering ‘The Times’ (and similar) crosswords.

      The best known device is the anagram. “Terribly angered” is a definition of the answer “enraged”, which is also an anagram of “angered”, the word “Terribly” being used in the clue as an anagram indicator. The solver should always be on the look-out for words suggesting arrangement, change, wrongness, confusion, strangeness and the like which may point to anagrams in the clue: “new” is sometimes used, also “sort” and “out” (in the sense of “wrong”), while “perhaps”, “maybe”, and “possibly” will probably indicate anagrams.

      Then there are words which have different meanings: “refuse” in a clue may appear to be a verb meaning “decline”, but it may really mean the noun describing “rubbish”: “tent” may mean not a canvas shelter, but a Spanish wine: “saw” or “gnome” may mean a maxim. Solving crosswords certainly helps to enlarge one’s vocabulary. All sorts of words have hidden meanings in crosswords with “do” clued as a party, “letter” as a landlord, “number” as an anaesthetic (that which numbs) and so ad infinitum, the oldest chestnut being “flower” as a river, while “sewer” may mean a sempstress and “cover for a sewer” will mean not a manhole but a thimble, and “tour de France” is not a cycle race but the Eiffel Tower.

      Many a crossword answer is made up of other words indicated by the clue. “Loudly disapprove royal skating display? Some reservations here (7-5)” is solved by joining up Boo-king off-ice, while Mild-red is well known as a girl with slightly communist sympathies. A word may consist of one word containing another (Envelope), and there are many other ways in which words (including abbreviations) may be combined either in their normal, or in anagrammatic or reversed forms to make the answer. In such “build-ups” the word “river” may refer to one of the compiler’s favourite British waterways – Dee, Exe, Fal or Ure (tributary of the Yorkshire Ouse).

      Solvers should be familiar with many common abbreviations, such as e.g., i.e., the points of the compass N.S.E.W. (sometimes clued as bridge players), musical notes A to G (or doh, re, mi etc) and Roman numerals M, D, C, L, X, V, I. The clue ” 1,200 less 200 (10)” needs conversion into Roman numerals “MCC less CC” and anyone interested in cricket will know that the M in MCC stands for Marylebone. Chemical abbreviations for elements are sometimes used such as “au” (gold), “ag” (silver), “fe” (iron) etcetera. The letter L could be clued as money (pound sign), 50, lake, or as student, tyro, novice or learner (driver with L Plates. Solvers are also expected to know simple words in the more familiar foreign languages, particularly the articles, e.g. el (clued as “the Spanish), der (“the German”) un (“a French”) etc.

      Finally, to mention four other types of clue:

      (a) Hidden answer clue “Something more in the next race (5)”, here the answer EXTRA appears in consecutive letters in the clue (nEXT RAce”).

      (b) Surgery, which requires a certain amount of doctoring of words to produce the desired effect. Associated words like “beheaded”, “curtailed”, “reduced”, often indicate this type of clue: “Humperdinck in turn to some extent a singer (6)” answer TREBLE is one of my favourites. Engelbert (“in turn”) gives in reverse form TREBLEGNE and “to some extent” indicates a need for surgery or reduction.

      (c) “Sound” clues with sound-indicators such as “say”, “we hear”, “it’s said”, or “sound” telling the solver to look to the sound of the words used. “Some measure of spirit? I say! (5) gives the answer OPTIC (optic measures used in bars). “Say” in the clue tells the solver to look to the sound of “I”, that is “eye” revealing an alternative meaning.

      (d) The acronym or word made up from the initial letters of other words. “Paddy as the normal agriculture initially here (5) PATNA.

      An ounce of practical demonstration being worth a pound of theory I leave the rest up to you.