This is the hint.
The eighty Times2 puzzles in this volume appeared in The Times in 2006, though I have made some revisions to the clues when this seemed advisable in the interests of clarity, where constraints of space originally led me to be over-concise. I’ve also corrected a rather shocking wrong anagram which, being of a four-letter answer, caused me much embarrassment on its publication day.As I generally only add an anagram where there is a potential ambiguity of spelling or where I think the required word is at the obscure end of the vocabulary range ideal for the puzzle, this was less than helpful to my baffled solvers!
As with my previous books in this series, these puzzles each contain a little extra above and beyond being straightforward definition-style tests of solvers’ wordpower. Those who have solved theTimes2 puzzles for some time will probably know what to expect, such as thematic links between some answers, extraneous words hidden in the grid or odd patterns of letters and the like.
Unusually, there was an overarching theme to this set of puzzles which, not surprisingly, no solvers spotted at the time, though most of the individual themes were detected. I took my inspiration from an absorbing multi-media project of the film director Peter Greenaway, The Tulse Luper Suitcases, in which 92 suitcases filled with different items play a central part. Accordingly, I set out to create 92 grids each inspired by the contents of one of the suitcases in Greenaways sequence. Solvers may easily find a list of these online if they want to try to fathom how I interpreted each theme. Peter Greenaway’s choice of the number 92 revolves around it being the atomic number of uranium, which also explains the relentless progress of a letter U through the grids. To complete what may be the longest-ever series of thematically-linked crosswords, I’ll put the remaining 12 of these puzzles as the first ones in Book 17.
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