This is the hint.
Here is a further selection of eighty puzzles from the daily Times Two puzzle series which has now been running in The Times for many years, first under Richard Browne before he moved on to take over The Times cryptic puzzle and, since March 2003, in my own hands. Since then I have been attempting to maintain the same difficulty level as that established over almost three thousand of Richard’s puzzles.
These puzzles all appeared between January and June 2004. As before, the clues are all straight definitions of the answer. Just occasionally, either to resolve a potential ambiguity or because the word may seem a little harder for some, I have given a clearly signalled anagram of the letters.
One nice tradition of Richard’s that I have delighted in maintaining is that of hiding little extras in the grid on a regular basis. Indeed, I have probably taken it further in that about two thirds of published puzzles have some deliberate feature that inquisitive solvers might spot once the grid is full. It could be a link between two or more answers, a common letter in all answers, something hidden on a diagonal or in a row or column of unchecked letters or simply that, unusually, the grid contains no example of the most common letter E. These ‘extras’ are not part of the solving task if you don’t want them to be but many solvers, I know, enjoy being able to spot them. To get you started and tuned-in, you might look at the perimeter in Puzzle 1.
I have, perhaps somewhat sadistically, selected all eighty puzzles from those published which had ‘extras’. There are no prizes for finding them all – and the solutions will not tell you what they are – but some solvers might like to treat this as almost a second feature of the book which could prolong its interest far beyond the normal lifetime of the average crossword book, which generally loses its entire fascination once the last word is entered.
Good solving! And if you are so inclined, good hunting!
T2 Crossword Editor of The Times
An introduction by Richard Browne, former Crossword Editor of The Times and creator of
The Times Two crossword
Welcome to another collection of puzzles from the Times Two series in The Times.
There are no cryptic clues in these crosswords, but the puzzles are nonetheless not designed to be too easy, and deliberately use a wide vocabulary and some general knowledge; although nothing intended to be outside the normal experience of an average reader of The Times.
It may be helpful to new readers to explain some of the conventions that I use. I try to match the clue closely to the answer; so for example the clue Artist should have an answer like Painter; if the answer were a particular artist, I would give a clearer indication – for example, Painter of lilies – answer, Monet. A comma in a clue punctuates a single, amplified definition; a semi-colon divides two clues to separate meanings of the one answer. So Loud, undignified complaint – Squawk but Loud (tie); insipid – Tasteless. The clues will always be definitions of the answer, though not necessarily of its most obvious meaning!
The numbers in brackets after the clue also follow a convention, indicating whether an answer is one word, two words or more, or hyphenated; but I ignore apostrophes, as is normal crossword practice. So, Kneecap (7); Knee-length (4-6); O’Neill (6).
In phrases that could include my, his, your, etc. depending on the context, I conventionally use one’s; so for example Take one’s leave (4,4,5) not Take your leave (important to know as both are four letters). But I keep your where this is an invariable part of the phrase, so Bob’s your uncle.
Enjoy the puzzles!
Richard Browne, Times Two Editor