This is the hint.
Here is another selection of puzzles from the Times2 series, which appeared in The Times during the later months of 1998. They are reproduced here exactly as they appeared in the newspaper, except that some of the clues have been lengthened slightly, to take advantage of the extra space available in book form, and a few small changes have been made to eliminate repetitions of clues and answers, which pass without notice at a few months’ distance in the daily sequence, but are not appropriate in a collection.
These puzzles are clued with definitions only, all trickery and deception being left firmly to our elder sibling, still known as “The” Times crossword, although there has been this other one in one form or another now for nearly twenty years. Solving them calls for a reasonable amount of general knowledge, although I limit carefully what I put in, in two ways: first, I put in nothing that I do not know myself already (even if I have to check it – a process that regularly reveals that I don’t know as much as I think I do). Second, I expect that many solvers will be tackling these puzzles in the train on the way to work, or in coffee breaks at it, where there is no ready recourse to reference books. Some solvers have told me that they do the crossword first thing in the morning in bed, to check whether they have enough brain left for it to be worth getting up. I would not like to think I am contributing to any discouragement!
Although these puzzles are straightforward in their cluing, regular solvers will know that I occasionally add a little extra to them, in the form of hidden words or patterns, or connections suggested by the date or the puzzle number. Noticing these is never necessary to the solution; but you may be interested to look out for them. (They are not in every puzzle). In this context, I would mention that puzzle 14 was originally number 1492 and puzzle 74 number 1588; that puzzle 18 appeared as number 1500, and that the last puzzle appeared on Christmas Eve.
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