Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have No Enemy But Time

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Time is the enemy "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!

    In the play, the character Ennui who speaks these lines is described as "the time-killer, whose only business in life is to murder the hour".

  • 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).

Solve These

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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10 comments

Vinod Raman said...

Sunday Times 4326: Having the enemy in to complete a quartet? (4-11) FOUR-DIMENSIONAL?
Times 23947: Shrub the enemy talked of (5) THYME (~TIME)
Times 23480: Opportunity to overcome the enemy when the first orders come (7,4) OPENING TIME?

mAdMan said...

1. Four dimensional.
2. Thyme.
?

Anonymous said...

1..?
2. THYME
3. OPENING BELL
4..?

Difficult to crack without the TIME = ENEMY connection

Shuchi said...

Good cracks, everyone. To fill in the missing pieces:

Times 4326: Having the enemy in to complete a quartet? (4-11) FOUR-DIMENSIONAL
Cryptic definition. 'Time' is the fourth dimension in spacetime.

Times 23480: Opportunity to overcome the enemy when the first orders come (7,4) OPENING TIME
Opportunity to overcome = OPENING
the enemy = TIME
defition: when the first orders come, as in a restaurant

Any tries for the Guardian clue? Hint: The answer begins with 'O'.

Gita said...

Guardian Clue: OUT SIDE?

Shuchi said...

That's not it, Gita.

Another hint: "So the enemy's winning" is a cryptic definition for the answer.

Krishnan said...

Guardian clue : Is it OFFSIDE ?

Shuchi said...

Last hint! O V _ _ _ _ E.

Krishnan said...

OVERDUE ?

Shuchi said...

Almost!

It's OVERAGE.

O (nothing) +
A (area) in VERGE (limit)