This is the hint.
Here are a further eighty times2 puzzles, bringing the number of such anthologies to a round twenty. This new set is selected from among those published in The Times in 2010.
The mixture remains exactly as before, a base of plain words leavened with a smattering of general knowledge answers which are always intended to be at a level which should ensure solvability, though perhaps with a bit of puzzling on the way. This seems to me to be the very essence of the crossword. Why else have those crossing words for extra help if not for when you can’t quite bring the answer to mind from the clue?
Regular solvers of the series will know that I also like sometimes to include little games in the grids for those that are interested in such extras (though there is absolutely no requirement to look for them). You will, if looking here, find grids with the same letter in every answer, words hidden diagonally or in unchecked letters, several answers all being linked to a theme and suchlike. I don’t put these in every published puzzle, but those here have all been selected to have a feature of this sort, in the hope that it may give solvers some extra interest in thumbing through the pages after completing the grids, though I suspect nobody will spot them all.
Anyway, that’s enough non-crossing words from me. It’s time for you to start, so I very much hope you get much innocent pleasure from this latest offering.
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