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The Times Crossword Book 15

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The Times Crossword Book 15 -
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      This is the clue one
      if exist then display the clue two

      Introduction

      The Times Crossword Book 15

      INTRODUCTION

      These puzzles are a representative selection of the three-hundred-odd that appeared in The Times during 2007. Each member of the compiling team has at least two puzzles in this collection, including the one debutant of that year, Dean Mayer.

      The revived Crossword Championship was staged again that year at Cheltenham, and as in the previous year there was an exciting climax as the first competitor to finish, defending champion Helen Ougham, had made a couple of slips, so that the second finisher, Peter Biddlecombe, took the trophy, which I have dubbed the Cheltenham Silver Cup (in affectionate tribute to the Gold one competed for at a different time of the year by perhaps slightly less intelligent, though undoubtedly quicker, competitors). Peter had won previously in the final year of the old competition, 2000, and so recovered the title he had held for six unchallenged years. All the puzzles used in the final – three in each of two preliminary rounds, and three in the Grand Final – are printed in this collection. I always assure competitors that the crosswords used in the competition are not meant to be harder than the daily ones in the paper, although the Grand Final puzzles are three of what I judge to be our harder compilers. After tackling the various puzzles in this book you may like to see if you agree.

      Normally our crosswords are without any themes, but there are two exceptions here. Puzzle number 1 was a tribute to Roy Dean on his 80th birthday, and another puzzle pays a discreet tribute to twice-champion, Helen Ougham. I will leave it to you to see if you can identify this one.

      As usual we print a starter puzzle complete with full explanations of the clues, to encourage anyone not familiar with our style to make a flying start. This gives a useful summary of some of our techniques, abbreviations, and so on, but actually solving one of our puzzles generally requires something extra – a sideways look at the clues to get behind the surface meaning and spot what is really going on, which the compiler will have attempted, entirely accurately and fairly, to divert your attention from. If all else fails, of course, all the solutions can be found at the back of the book.

      Richard Browne
      Crossword Editor of The Times
      January 2011

      NOTES ON THE PUZZLES

       Puzzle no. 72

       This puzzle, used in the First Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 44% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 73

       This puzzle, used in the First Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 52% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 74

      This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 49% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 75

      This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 28% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 76

      This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 31% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 77

      This puzzle, used in the Second Preliminary round of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 29% of the competitors.

      Puzzle no. 78

      This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 19 of the 24 competitors.

      Puzzle no. 79

      This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 14 of the 24 competitors.

      Puzzle no. 80

      This puzzle, used in the Grand Final of the 2007 Times Crossword Championship, was solved correctly within the time limit by 18 of the 24 competitors.

      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.