This is the hint.
Here’s another collection of eighty Times2 crosswords, selected from those published in The Times over the period October 2005 to June 2006. They’re generally exactly as published in the paper except that I’ve expanded abbreviations for clarity and occasionally phrased a clue in a more helpful manner now that space is not at such a premium as in the paper.
The level of difficulty is intended to be pretty unproblematic, with straightforward definitions being given for all words. Sometimes, if I think the word lies at the harder end of the spectrum, I’ll give a little extra help such as an anagram or give a clue as to what the answer rhymes with. I’m really not trying to catch out solvers, only to give them a fairly relaxing and absorbing task. And if the solver can’t quite bring to mind the occasional answer, there’s always the solution grid temptingly lurking at the back of the book, though far be it for me ever to suggest such a thing.
Once again, these puzzles are selected from those in which I hid a little extra something when constructing the grid. Perhaps the same letter appears in all the answers or the first letters of the across entries spell out something, something’s hidden in the grid or a number of the entries are thematically linked. In preparing these puzzles for this book I noticed a higher number than usual refer to the day of original publication. Therefore, those who like to see if they can spot what I’ve done might find littered throughout this book puzzles referring to Halloween, November 5th, the Christmas period, Boxing Day, St Valentine’s Day and May Day. It might help to know that the order of puzzles in the book follows the original order of publication.
Times2 Crossword Editor
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