"The innocent and the beautiful, Have no enemy but time", wrote W B Yeats.
Innocent and beautiful or not, crossword solvers must treat "time" as their foremost enemy. TIME = The Enemy is the cryptic setter's favoured device.
Example: a clue from yesterday's Hindustan Times 21777:
Left with this, as the enemy hasn't caught up? (4,2,4,5) TIME ON ONE'S HANDS
Some trivia about the expression "time is the enemy" -
- Brewer's online dictionary of Phrase and Fable lists this phrase: "Time is the enemy of man, especially of those who are behind time."
- "How goes the enemy?", "What says the enemy" were popular ways of asking "What time is it?" in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The catchphrase apparently originates from a dialogue of the play The Dramatist (1789) by Frederick Reynolds.
Ennui. I've an idea, I don't like this Lady Waitfor't—she wishes to trick me out of my match with Miss Courtney, and if I could trick her in return—[Takes out his Watch.] How goes the enemy?—only one o'clock!—I thought it had been that an hour ago!
- There are various references in popular culture, such as a music album titled "Time is the Enemy" (1997) and an SFF novel called "No Enemy But Time" (1982).
Have fun with these clues that use the time=enemy connection:
Sunday Times 4326: Having the enemy in to complete a quartet? (4-11)
Times 23947: Shrub the enemy talked of (5)
Times 23480: Opportunity to overcome the enemy when the first orders come (7,4)
Guardian 24814 (Enigmatist): So the enemy's winning nothing - area's within limit (7)
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