This is the hint.
This book contains a generous selection of one hundred Times2 crosswords chosen from more than three hundred of the daily puzzles published in The Times during 2012.
The standard of challenge is intended to be no more or no less difficult than for previous volumes in the series. If needed at all, a single-volume dictionary such as Collins English Dictionary should suffice for the word definitions, while the smattering of general knowledge required should not tax the solver unduly, though this is the area where an individual solver’s own experience and interests are bound to make getting some answers easier than others.
Regular solvers of the Times2 puzzle books will know that I often include small themes in the grids when creating the puzzles. These puzzles are no exception, each one of them having some small quirk of construction whether it be the same letter appearing in all the answers, a group of answers forming a word ladder changing by one letter at a time, a group of answers sharing a theme or a whole range of other possible ideas. I keep trying to vary the style of these but some are perennial favourites, such as using only a small subset of the available vowels or starting the answers with a small range of different or hiding phrases in the grid, sometimes diagonally. Whether this sort of thing interests you as a solver, is entirely up to you, as it should not give significant help to the solving process, but I know from feedback that many solvers do like finding the themes (or trying to!) and I shall therefore continue to provide them for as long as I continue to devise the puzzles.
Once again, I would like to thank Roger Phillips for his work on proofreading this volume.
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