This is the hint.
This latest volume of puzzles brings together 100 Times2 crosswords first published by The Times newspaper in 2013, just under one third of all those published in the paper that year.
The puzzles’ style remains exactly as for previous volumes in this series, dictionary definitions in the main with a smattering of general knowledge thrown into the mix. They are intended to provide a varied and satisfying solve, not too difficult but also not so easy that there is no sense of challenge to complete each one. The recommended reference book, should you feel you need to consult one occasionally, is Collins English Dictionary.
One of the features of my tenure as Times2 compiler, now in its sixteenth year, has been the minor themes that I incorporate into the grids as I begin to fill them. Each of the puzzles here has some thematic element to be found, whether it might be cricketing terms, spiders, entries all containing or starting with the same letter or concealed phrases worked into the grids. There is no prize for spotting them but experience has shown that many solvers do enjoy teasing out this extra element after normal completion of the puzzle, so I see no reason to stop doing it for as long as it provides some entertainment.
I hope you will enjoy tackling this collection whether as a new solver or as an old hand at the series.
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