This is the hint.
Book Nine in this long-running series of collections drawn from puzzles originally appearing in The Times brings another 60 puzzles, all those published in a period running from October 2010 to November 2011. So far, this remains one of the few series of newspaper puzzles of which every example is eventually collected in book form, a tribute, I’m sure to the long-standing loyalty of its solvers and purchasers.
During the period covered by these puzzles, The Times changed its practice of invariably having extra Jumbos on bank holiday Mondays, contributed by three of the other Times crossword setters. Following the change, these “extras” now only appear at Easter, Christmas and the New Year. This means that, until arrangements perhaps change again, these books will in future contain only puzzles by the T2 Crossword Editor of the day. The final one of those bank holiday extras is included here, a puzzle composed by Richard Browne who stood down as The Times crossword editor at the beginning of this year. It’s therefore quite fitting to commemorate his numerous past contributions to this series with this one last puzzle, which is number 29 in this book.
After several hundred of these T2 Jumbo puzzles under my belt I think I can guarantee that the general level of difficulty and vocabulary remains very much as before. Certainly, that was my intention when creating them. My standard reference remains the latest edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary and, for many of the longer phrases, the Chambers English Dictionary, since the COD tends to favour far fewer of these for inclusion. Building a Jumbo without long phrases is, of course, a bit like making bricks without straw or reinforced concrete without the steel rods. They act as the solver’s route between different parts of the grid and are the unique selling point of the Jumbo format.
I very much hope you enjoy tackling the puzzles that follow.