DT 100001

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100001

Happy Christmas, Everybody

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

On this festive day there are, of course, no newspapers printed, so this puzzle exists only in cyberspace on the Clued Up site. I understand that it should be available even to non-subscribers, but I cannot verify this.

Based on a comment left by Rufus earlier in the week, we can take it that this is another of his, so that for the second day running the Maestro has produced a gentle puzzle with a seasonal theme, designed no doubt with the thought in mind that many solvers may have partaken of a small sherry and may not be in the best shape for deep thought.

I hope that you are all enjoying a peaceful and happy Christmas, and if you do have time to leave us a comment, we’d be delighted to read it.

Across Clues

1a  Directions are in the mail for making a warming winter drink (6)
{POSSET} – put S(outh) E(ast) (direction) into another word for mail to get an old-fashioned drink made of hot milk curdled with ale or wine and flavoured with spices.

4a  Superficial damage as a robin is involved in scuffle (8 )
{ABRASION} – an anagram (involved in scuffle) of AS A ROBIN produces a bit of a scrape.

9a  One way Wenceslas saw the snow like this, nevertheless (4,2)
{EVEN SO} – not deep, not crisp but the other way the King saw the snow – add SO (like this) to get a phrase meaning nevertheless.

10a  Chop up bird cooked and eaten at Christmas (5,3)
{MINCE PIE} – a charade of a verb to cut into small pieces and a black and white bird cook up the small round tart that’s best eaten with a dollop of cream.

12a  Yuletide choir provide encore (4)
{ECHO} – hidden (provide) in the clue is a repeat (encore).

13a  Shelter in the street from snow and rain (5)
{SLEET} – put a word meaning shelter inside the usual abbreviation for street.

14a  It’s said start of new carol is missing (4)
{ORAL} – an anagram (new) of (c)AROL with the start letter missing.

17a  Hasty cards I’m writing out — in time for this? (9,3)
{CHRISTMAS DAY} – today is an anagram (writing out) of HASTY CARDS I’M.

20a  One, for example, to streak out on the ice (6,6)
{FIGURE SKATER} – put together a synonym for a number (one, for example) and an anagram (out) of STREAK to get a winter sportsperson.

23a  Bill received in connection with port (4)
{ACRE} – this Middle Eastern port is a charade of the abbreviation for account and a preposition  meaning in connection with or concerning.

24a  Revises the back-end of Christmastide (5)
{EDITS} – reverse (back) the last five letters (end) of ChristmaSTIDE to get a verb meaning revises.

25a  Mince pie, cold, is impressive (4)
{EPIC} – put C(old) after an anagram (mince) of PIE.

28a  Present comes from French leader in foreign parts (8 )
{OFFERING} – put F(rench) inside an anagram (parts) of FOREIGN to get a present.

29a  Opening word used by Ali Baba in pantomime (6)
{SESAME} – cryptic definition of the magic word traditionally used to make things open.

30a  Tries to organise a party (3,1,4)
{HAS A BASH} – double definition – tries/organises a party.

31a  Highballs for winter sportsmen (6)
{SKIERS} – a term for balls hit high in the air (in cricket, for example) is also, with a different pronunciation, sportsmen on the piste.

Down Clues

1d  Bearing gifts, we hear vaguely (8 )
{PRESENCE} – the answer is a word meaning manner or bearing which sounds like (we hear vaguely) what may be found today under the tree.

2d  Mince-pie man? (8 )
{SHEPHERD} – a cryptic definition of an agricultural worker who has lent his name to a dish of minced meat under a layer of mashed potato.

3d  Departure point for the Magi (4)
{EAST} – the wise men traditionally came from this direction.

5d  Suckers for 11 down? (6,6)
{BOILED SWEETS} – double definition – the second a description of a dessert of which 11d is an example.

6d  They go round in circles distributing cards, losing a number (4)
{ARCS} – an anagram (distributing) of CAR(d)S with the Roman numeral for 500 omitted.

7d  Not wholly employed in pantomime? (2,4)
{IN PART} – double definition.

8d  What may fall off the Christmas tree to annoy (6)
{NEEDLE} – double definition – the first being the sharp, stiff, slender leaf of a fir tree.

11d  Spud and dumpling making up Christmas fare (4,8 )
{PLUM PUDDINGS} – these rich boiled suet desserts contain raisins, currants and spices – an anagram (making up) of SPUD and DUMPLING.

15d  Awake to what the Christmas pudding needs for wish fulfilment (5)
{ASTIR} – what the cook is supposed to give the pudding mixture whilst making a wish is also an adjective meaning awake, a description of many young children at an unearthly hour this morning.

16d  Prepares gifts and cards (5)
{PACKS} – double definition, the second being sets of playing cards.

18d  Wenceslas’ instruction in the event of a hold-up? (8 )
{STOPPAGE} – double definition – the good King did not give this exact instruction to his servant, but he did say “Hither, stand by me” which I suppose comes to the same thing.

19d  Nuts? You’ll need these (8 )
{CRACKERS} – treble definition?

21d  A worn-out shoe for wintry weather? (6)
{GALOSH} – cryptic definition of a waterproof rubber overshoe, ideal for the current weather conditions.

22d  Wanders aimlessly in the snow? (6)
{DRIFTS} – double definition – the second being large masses of snow, typically piled up under hedges.

26d  Copy model of the Nativity scene (4)
{CRIB} – double definition – the first being to copy another’s work.

27d  Decorate some cards (4)
{DECK} – double definition – the second being a set of playing cards.


7 Comments

  1. Nubian
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    A very enjoyable crozzy and as I wished for a gentle one.
    Merry Christmas to one and all,,,burp,,

  2. Fi
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    I had my Christmas Day yesterday with the kids so today I am clearing up my trashed house and the crossword is a welcome diversion. I’m half way through with the help of my favorite present – a Chambers Dictionary. Happy Christmas to all.

  3. Prolixic
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another gentle one to solve whilst waiting for the little darlings to go to sleep early this morning! Finally got their stockings into their rooms only for them to wake up at 3:15 – bless them! Fortunately they went back to sleep until 8:00. I am going to curl up with Don Manley this afternoon – I got the Chambers Crossword Manual for Christmas.

  4. NathanJ
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 12:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice one Rufus!

    A most enjoyable puzzle for me to solve on Christmas Day with a nice glass of wine.

    My favourite clues were 18d and 21d.

  5. gnomethang
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very good hangover-friendly puzzle!
    I printed out two – finished mine and am watching, bro’ and his girlfriend sweating!
    You may soon have a few new converts Big Dave!

    Merry Christmas one and all and a Big thanks to Dave, the team and the setters:
    “We couldn’t do it without you!”

  6. Nigel Pringle
    Posted December 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Cheers for all of this. It;s been a great help this year. I now consider that I can do about 70% of the cryptic and 15% of the toughie before having to come to your web site for the correct reading of the clues. It is very much appreciated.
    Now have a good Xmas one and all…
    Nigel

    • Posted December 25, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog Nigel.

      Merry Christmas to you.

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