This is the hint.
The Times2 Crossword continues to be a popular feature of The Times and has now reached numbers over six thousand in the paper, though it remains very much the junior partner to the daily cryptic puzzle that is many thousands ahead in the longevity stakes. It is good to see both puzzles maintaining their popularity in the face of the large number of daily puzzles and games now available. Evidence for this can be seen in the continuing demand for compendium editions such as this new volume of eighty puzzles selected from those puzzles published during December 2006 and the whole of 2007.
Many regular solvers will already know that I often hide a little extra something in the grids, whether it be an unusual arrangement of letters or a theme linking some of the entries. Selecting eighty puzzles from about a year’s worth of puzzles has allowed me to choose what I think are the more interesting of these. Picking a few at random, you will find here puzzles making reference to things such as cakes, types of knives, Elgar oratorios and the WW2 Overlord landing beaches, these last being once the subject of a very famous crosswording security scare prior to the invasion of Europe. There is something to be found in each of these puzzles if that type of search or lateral thinking takes your fancy, but it’s by no means compulsory if all you want to do is solve the puzzle.
As I promised in the introduction to Book 16, the first twelve puzzles here conclude my puzzle series in homage to Peter Greenaway’s The Tulse Luper Suitcases project. I won’t say more here, but interested solvers should refer to that earlier introduction to this thematic series of ninety-two consecutive daily puzzles, perhaps the longest thematic series of crosswords yet produced.
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