Posted by duncanshiell on January 1st, 2010
A very Happy New Year to one and all.
This crossword though was all about Christmas rather than New Year.
The combined entry at 2d-7d-5a was taken from Clement C Moore’s poem ‘A visit from St Nicholas’ (December 1823).
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.’
There were other Seasonal references in complete entries – Greetings, Santa, New Year, Mottos and Aladdin; and also in part entries – Gift, Present. Stretching the theme to breaking point some retailers may even consider that two other complete entries are relevant this year – Net Profit, Three Cheers.
I found this a pleasant solve that wasn’t too taxing – just right for a Boxing Day afternoon in front of the telly. It didn’t take too long to crack the long entry and after that the rest of the puzzle fell fairly quickly. I doubt if it took more than 45 minutes to solve the whole puzzle.
I often get frustrated with puzzles where there are lots of cross-references between clues and entres, but this one was fairly easily to follow. As is usually the case with cross referencing clues, there was one number that didn’t refer to a clue, but was simply a direction to use a Roman numeral.
There were some very smooth surfaces in the clues. Many of these were seasonal which added to the enjoyment. I particularly liked the clues to TSETSE, LEBANON, MOTTOS and E-MAIL
Finally, argue amongst yourselves whether or not ‘rooftop’ is an appropriate indication of R. I’m not going to comment.
|1||J (first letter of [1st] Jan) + ON + QUILT (bedding, omitting the final letter [unfinished])||JONQUIL (flower, certain species of Narcissus)|
|5||See 2 down||A MOUSE|
|9||(NT [National Trust] + TIER [row]) containing (about) A (acres)||NATTIER (more spruce)|
|10||(V [Roman numeral for 5] + IS) contained in (in) an anagram of (terribly) POOR||PROVISO (condition)|
|11||Sounds like (picked up) SACK (17a is Santa, so Santa’s load)||SAC (a pouch or bag-like structure, often used in relation to parts of the body)|
|12||Anagram of (sort of) (STREET + CARED)||TRADE SECRET (Perhaps how Santa (17a) managed to call everywhere)|
|13||SEPT (In Ireland a clan or a division of a tribe [i.e. a group]) containing (in) L (left)||SLEPT (what we did when 17 24, [Santa again at 17a, and 24a, 'arrived'])|
|14||GREEN (environmental, excluding [endless] the final letter) + THINGS (objects, omitting [wanted] H [husband])||GREETINGS (they’re on the [Christmas] cards)|
|16||TEN reversed (flip) + P + FOR reversed (backing) + IT||NET PROFIT (the bottom line, in accounts)|
|17||The wordplay is simply the solution to other clues – ‘When he 24 2/7/5a (When he ‘arrived’ ‘not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’)’||SANTA (St Nicholas)|
|19||Anagram of (raucously) HERE contained in (in) another anagram (ground) of CHESTER||THREE CHEERS (shouted approval)|
|22||First letters of (first) The English Always||TEA (reputedly the favourite drink of the English)|
|23||NEAR (not far) containing (across) WYE (reference River Wye)||NEW YEAR (it starts soon; well that was true when the puzzle was published on Boxing Day)|
|24||ARRIVEDERCI (farewell in Italian, reference Luciano Pavarotti, omitting 4 of the 11 letters [mostly])||ARRIVED (made it)|
|26||EAST reversed (to west) + EAST reversed (to west) each time omitting A (Austria)||TSETSE (fly [that causes sleeping sickness])|
|27||BAN (bar) contained in (during) NOEL (Christmas) reversed (in recession)||LEBANON (country)|
|1||JESUS (seasonal birthday boy, excluding (left) US) containing (embracing) ONES||JONESES (rivals as in ‘keeping up with the Joneses’)|
|2/7/5a||Anagram of (involves) CAUTION MORROWS UNEASE ENERVATING and TREATS||NOT A CREATURE WAS [STIRRING NOT EVEN A MOUSE] (seasonal line, see poem in introduction above)|
|3||(IR [Irish] + U [Unionist]) all reversed (thrown up)||URI (reference Uri Geller, Israeli entertainer reputedly able to bend spoons)|
|4||Anagram of central letters (shelled) of CAVALRY||LARVA (young creature)|
|5||A PRESENT (what 17 (Santa) brought) containing (about) T (time)||AT PRESENT (today maybe)|
|6||BOYZONE (Irish boy (adult now) band [group] excluding first letter [leaderless] and omitting [waste] Y (year)||OZONE (irritating air; it has a pungent smell)|
|7||See 2 down||STIRRING NOT EVEN|
|8||M and S (Marks & Spencer; chain store) containing OTTO (fragrant essential oil; perfume)||MOTTOS (cracker contents)|
|12||TR (Turkey ) containing (taken) an anagram of (cooked) OUT||TUTOR (to coach)|
|14||Anagram of (nervous) IF HE’S GOT containing (about) R (first letter of [top]) of Roof.||GIFT HORSE (what 17 [it's him again, Santa] may bring)|
|15||TASS (News Agency of the former Soviet Union) containing (defended) K (first letter [top] of Krushchev)||TASKS (jobs)|
|16||NOT IN G (If it’s a work in F then it’s NOT IN G)||NOTING (noting is what a composer does)|
|18||A LAD containing (entertains) D (Roman numeral for 500) + IN||ALADDIN (pantomime; seasonal show)|
|20||A (one) contained in (in) EXETER (South West city) up to but including (before…..arrives) ER (Queen)||EXEAT (formal leave of absence [break])|
|21||Hidden word (members of), reversed (recall) in parLIAMEnt||E-MAIL (may be sent to MPs to announce a recall of Parliament) &Lit clue|
|25||RIB (the Book of Genesis states that Eve [first woman ]was created from the rib of Adam)||RIB (a curved member of the side of a ship; also a member supporting the fabric of an aeroplane wing)|