This is the hint.
Here is another compilation of puzzles from the daily series on the back page of The Times Two section of the Times newspaper. They are a representative selection of about half the crosswords that appeared between July and December 2001, although one puzzle was accidentally omitted from the paper, so it appears here for the first time – it is number 59. On the other hand, I have omitted one embarrassing crossword, in which one of my clues mistakenly married off Henry Tilney to a girl from Mansfield Park, a book in which he had not hitherto appeared, instead of to his own Catherine Morland, from his customary haunt, Northanger Abbey. This foolish error gave our correspondents some amusement in proposing various other cross-book marriages that might bode better for the participants than the ones Jane Austen arranged for them; one particularly promising suggestion being the rescuing of lovely Lizzy Bennet from the boredom of Pemberley to allow her to escape with the dashing Captain Wentworth.
On a more serious note, an extraordinarily unfortunate coincidence occurred when, a few days after the appalling event of 9/11, the puzzle printed here as number 38 was observed to show 20 across crashing into 13 down. This was entirely unforeseen, since the puzzle had been created, proof-checked, and set up well in advance, before 9/11 even happened; this, indeed, is why it was not noticed before it appeared. A rather spooky event, none the less.
In general with these crosswords, there are a number of themes hidden in the grids, which solvers may be interested to spot; they are never essential to finishing the puzzles. These may be words hidden in the grid, as in numbers 45 and 52; a reference to the day the puzzle appeared, as in number 21; or a series of related answers, as in numbers 1 and 47. The last two puzzles contain respectively a (not too obvious) Christmas greeting and a couple of words appropriate to that New Year’s Eve. But the main task for the solver is of course bringing your vocabulary and general knowledge to bear on what I hope you will find an interesting and varied set of challenges.
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