This is the hint.
Welcome to another selection of puzzles from the daily series of Times Two puzzles. These puzzles all appeared between July and December 1999. The puzzles have straightforward definition clues, with no cryptic element (apart from the occasional anagram or similar, which are all clearly indicated), but make certain demands on the solver’s general knowledge. Several of the puzzles are built around themes, the discovery of which is no way necessary to the solution, but which may entertain solvers if they are able to spot them. Puzzle 16, for example, originally appeared as no. 1805, and contains a number of words that patriotic solvers may associate with that number; other puzzles contain groups of hidden words or phrases, for example no. 56, where some Shakespearean references will reward the careful inquirer; and there is a very obvious theme in the final puzzle in the book, suggested by its appearance on Christmas Eve.
I put these little touches in mostly for my own amusement, and I suspect that they pass largely unremarked by the average daily solver, who would have no reason after filling in the last answer to do other than glance across at the television recommendations, or hunt out the football reports, the weather forecast, or the other delights of our newspaper; so maybe this book collection will afford more opportunity to ferret out these incidental extras, should you be so minded.
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