Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2515 – Hints
Hints and tips by Big Dave
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment *****
Four weeks ago Sunsetter hinted that there might be a themed puzzle appropriate to the time of year – well here it is! You are certain to spot the theme very quickly, but in order not to spoil it I have decided not to provide hints for the first and last across clues.
This is quite an easy puzzle, but the five stars for enjoyment reflect the number of clues that made me smile.
If Helen is reading this, I did try to write to you last week but my email was returned as undeliverable so I answered your question in the Hints post.
Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.
As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.
Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 25th December (or thereabouts!).
9a Enjoy welcoming one born at Christmas (7)
Take a word meaning to enjoy and insert (welcoming) I (one) and you have someone who was born at Christmas
18a Old maids some lads disturbed (8)
These old maids are an alternative spelling of a familiar word, and disturbed indicates that they are an anagram of SOME LADS
19a Milkmaids in song and Santa’s 5, for example (6)
These groups have the same number of members as the maids who were a milking, and this clue is a good hint for 5 down!
27a One who’s not satisfied where Father Christmas comes down? (7)
This person who is habitually dissatisfied is cryptically defined as where Santa finishes up having come down the chimney
1d A bishop and saint oddly have no Christmas spirit? (7)
String together A with B(ishop) and an anagram (oddly) of SAINT and you get a word that means to have no Christmas spirit, or beer either!
5d Team of high-fliers drawing at Christmas (8)
… and the clue for 19 across should give you a pretty good idea of what they are drawing for Santa
14d Ordinary person with article that dates from first Christmas (6,3)
This ordinary person is one who is not a Lord, add the indefinite article and you have a phrase that covers the period since the birth of Christ
16d Michael, say, making a difference between sides (9)
My favourite in today’s puzzle – Michael is an example of this celestial being, which is constructed from A and then a word meaning a difference between the Right side and the Left side
18d What one kind of sky or angels brought to shepherds (7)
… what a red sky at night means to shepherds!
If you need further help then please ask and I will see what I can do.
Please don’t put whole or partial answers in your comment, else they may be censored!