ST 2567

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2567

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *****

Christmas is always special in crossword land, but your Sunday setter has excelled himself here. The central 15-letter answer is “A Christmas Carol”, and there’s other material about 3 different Christmas Carols – Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas, and the Dickens book of the same name. And there’s heaps of other Christmas material too – 12 answers by my reckoning. Two things to wonder about: If a puzzle referring to a carol with the words “on the feast of Stephen” was printed on the 19th of December, what’s on the 26th? And if next week’s puzzle is Christmas-related, will he have anything left for next year?

A very Merry Christmas to all readers, bloggers and setters from me – as well as from everyone else here.

Across
7 Newspaper in LA translated for singers in 15 (3,6,6)
THE HERALD ANGELS – HERALD = newspaper, notably this one, in THE ANGELS = English translation of “Los Angeles”
10 Person preparing presents in loose outer garment (7)
WRAPPER – two definitions – 1st other seasonal reference
11 We hope to find peace therein, not far across river (3,4)
NEW YEAR – WYE in NEAR, 2nd O.S.R.
12 They apply religious rule, others act differently (9)
THEOCRATS = anag. of “others act”
14 Flier commonly seen in Christmas mail (5)
ROBIN – 2 defs and OSR 3
15 Inspirational book – frantically cram with it as scholar (1,9,5)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL – anag. of (cram, it as scholar)
18 Administer punishment, with roles reversed (5)
STRAP – reverse of parts = roles
19 Ruler given one-page report on Boxing Day (9)
WENCESLAS – CD using King=ruler, and his Page
21 Retaining youth indefinitely in unopened enclosure? Not so (7)
AGELESS = (c)AGE,LESS = not so (e.g. in “not so good”)
23 I’d moved away from mishaps, possibly grave and acute (7)
ACCENTS = “possibly grave and acute” – ACC(I’d)ENTS
26 Geezer, once sober, transformed (8,7)
EBENEZER SCROOGE – anag. of “geezer, once sober”
Down
1 Pack in point-to-point (4)
STOW = “S to W” (point = compass point)
2 English kind of beer taken up to feast (6)
REGALE = to feast – reverse of (E = English, LAGER)
3 Pressure at bottom of river, a long way down (4)
DEEP = a long way down – Dee, P = pressure
4 Fuss over rising crime and striking youth (6)
ADONIS = striking youth – ADO = fuss, rev. of SIN = crime
5 Small present – for 19 across, it was 3 and 13 and 22 (4)
SNOW – which was DEEP and CRISP and EVEN for King WENCESLAS in our second carol – S = small, NOW = present – I’m awarding OSR 4 for the surface reading
6 Make judgment about cold – and be right at this time of year (8)
DECEMBER = at this time of year – C = cold, in DEEM = make judgment, BE, R = right – and OSR 5
8 Side by side in bar seat, both drunk (7)
ABREAST – anag. of “bar seat”. A slightly generous OSR 6 for surface reference to seasonal revelry
9 Having abused link with press, distributes as result of leak? (9)
SPRINKLES – anag. of (link, press)
12 Move to another place a problem for rail passengers? Not I (9)
TRANSLATE = move to another place – TRA(i)NS,LATE is the “problem for rail passengers”. A few days ago, many would have been glad of any train at all round here! Just qualifies as OSR 7
13 Saintly shoemaker dropping in for snack (5)
CRISP = snack – Saint CRISP(in) being the patron saint of shoemakers
14 Behold river up North in preliminary survey (5)
RECCE = preliminary survey – rev. of ECCE = behold, esp. in “ecce homo”, R = river
16 Listened to 7 and progressed rapidly, absorbing knowledge (8)
HARKENED = listened to the Carol 1 angels – KEN = knowledge in HARED
17 Invalidates covering article in Christmas publications (7)
ANNUALS = Christmas publications – A = article, in ANNULS = invalidates – OSR 8
19 What we would like made when dividing some turkey bones (6)
WISHES – double def or cryptic def? Not quite sure, but it doesn’t matter – it’s about wishbones and a definite OSR 9
20 Christmas coming up, put notes in as composer of ‘Happy Xmas’ (6)
LENNON = composer of Happy Xmas – a modern Christmas song for OSR 10
22 Equal, like the numbers on two sides here (4)
EVEN – CD based on the preceding and following clues both having even numbers
24 A diamond, perhaps, one may get at Christmas (4)
CARD = a diamond, perhaps – and an obvious OSR 11
25 Winter transport Santa primarily has guided (4)
SLED = winter transport – S for Santa, and LED = guided – OSR 12
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2 Comments

  1. Qix
    Posted December 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Very nice puzzle indeed, and an excellent job by the setter.

    Well done to the reviewer also, for a fine analysis.

  2. Posted January 1, 2011 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Lovely puzzle – 26a was an absolute belter!.
    Many thanks to Mr Greer for all his hard work over the year – here’s to many more!.
    Thanks Peter for the review as well!