DT 100006

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100006

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Merry Christmas Everyone – a lovely sunny morning here in East Kent, the turkey’s in the oven and a typical Rufus crossword, full of cryptic definitions, anagrams and a few Christmassy clues to please those of us who like a theme, to start the day’s solving, while Mr CS peels the sprouts.

If you’ve found time to solve the crossword, please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

1a           Contemplate special thing that’s celebrated on Christmas Eve (5,5)
WATCH NIGHT   The night of Christmas Eve when special church services are held – a verb meaning to contemplate followed by an anagram (special) of THING.

9a           She has a part in Victorian nativity (4)
ANNA   There’s a girl’s name hidden in part of VictoriAN NAtivity.

10a         He tries to give Three Wise Men free treats (10)
MAGISTRATES Another name for the Three Wise Men followed by an anagram (free) of TREATS.

11a         Place to ski that may be busy now or in repose (6)
RESORT   OR (from the clue) inserted into another word for repose.

12a         Sports jackets — or Yule logs? (7)
BLAZERS   Light sport jackets could also be a description of Yule logs (not the chocolate ones!)

Yule log

15a         After Prohibition, secure backing for US drinking spot (3-4)
BAR-ROOM   Follow a prohibition or ban with a reversal (backing) of a word meaning to secure, especially a boat.

16a         Upset having run out of drink? (5)
SPILT   A verb meaning upset, eg a glass, which would mean that the drink would run out and be wasted.

17a         Norse figure of myth, originally (4)
THOR   A mythical Norse god is hidden in myTH ORiginally.

18a         Adamant the figure must go on the tree (4)
FIRM   A type of tree often seen indoors at this time of year followed by the Roman numeral for a thousand.   The 12th edition of the BRB seems to have been a little carried away with the Os in the definition of this letter!

19a         Thought end of carol perfect (5)
IDEAL A thought followed by the ‘end’ of carol.

21a         Distribution of gifts in big ship (7)
LARGESS Another word for big followed by the abbreviation for steamship.


22a         Fruit for the Christmas cake is planted in the wet season (7)
RAISINS   IS (from the clue) ‘planted’ into the wet season in tropical countries.

24a         Rarely taken walk (6)
BYPATH   A cryptic definition of a secluded or indirect way.

27a         Pondered over the beef, we hear, and warmed drink (6,4)
MULLED WINE   Part of a verb meaning pondered followed by a homophone of a peevish complaint (beef here being an informal term for such a complaint) produces one of my least favourite beverages.

mulled wine

28a         Ordered, as whisky may be (4)
NEAT   Tidy and ordered or how some people like to drink their whisky.

29a         Monks’ party? Correct (3,2,5)
SET IN ORDER A group of monks could describe a way of putting things straight.


2d           A street where many go at Christmas (4)
AWAY   A (from the clue) and a street or passage.

3d           A coloured print for the home (6)
CHINTZ   A cryptic definition of cotton fabric often used for curtains and other home furnishings.


4d           They’re crackers having fruit, that leads to disturbed rest (7)
NUTTERS A hard shelled edible fruit followed by (that leads to) an anagram (disturbed) of REST.

5d           Farm butter (4)
GOAT   A farm animal that ‘butts’ mentioned in the BRB’s definition of the verb!


6d           At that point, change for theatre (7)
THEREAT   An anagram of (change for) THEATRE.

7d           Love party dress girl’s put on for this time (4,6)
ANNO DOMINI A girl’s name followed by the letter than looks like a zero (love), a party, and a very short dress.

8d           Dressed up, Pam’s on time for Christmas entertainments (10)
PANTOMIMES An anagram (dressed up) of PAMS ON TIME.


12d         After drinks party, those getting smashed may be here (6,4)
BOTTLE BANK   A cryptic definition of where the ‘empties’ go after a party.

bottle bank

13d         Happy carol that’s become legendary (10)
APOCRYPHAL     An anagram (that’s become) of HAPPY CAROL.

14d         Potatoes and small pudding on board (5)
SPUDS   Put an abbreviated pudding into (on board) the abbreviation for ship we met in 21a.


15d         Unclear note to get king’s support (5)
BLEAR   A musical note followed or supported by Shakespeare’s tragic king.

19d         This turns out to sum up Panama, for example (7)
ISTHMUS An anagram (turns out) of THIS followed by a reversal (up in a down clue)of SUM.

20d         One’s often held to be illuminating by carol-singers (7)
LANTERN   Another cryptic definition that shouldn’t cause any problems for solvers.

23d         A sticker for the traditional method of roasting (6)
SKEWER     A cryptic definition of something I used earlier to ensure the stuffing stays put in the turkey.

25d         Excess shown by fifty caught in a bit of a fiddle (4)
GLUT   Insert the Roman numeral for 50 into the material used to make strings for a fiddle or violin.

26d         Formerly a feature of reunion celebrations (4)
ONCE   A hidden feature of reuniON CElebrations.

My first ever on-the-day blog as a terrified new blogger was of a Rufus puzzle back in May 2010, so it has been a real treat to have the chance to explain one of his puzzles again.  Happy Christmas and a big thank you to Rufus.   I’m off to check progress on the veg front, baste the turkey, and have a go at the Elkamere Toughie to warm up the grey matter ready for the special Elgar Double Toughie.


  1. Rod
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Lovely way to ease into the Big Day. Some head-scratchers. Needed the hints to confirm my bung-ins at 16a and 29a. Thank you CS for the hints and your valuable time today, even with the help of Mr CS on the sprouts. Have a lovely day.
    PS Any idea as to the relevance of the puzzle number? 100,006?

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      I think it is just a number given to the Christmas online puzzles – last year’s was, I believe, 100,005.

      • Rod
        Posted December 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Please forgive me for a very belated thank you CS but, despite my daughter’s insistence that I was asleep, I was really just resting my eyes and contemplating the fine food and wine with which I stuffed my face.

  2. gnomethang
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Happy Christmas everyone!.As usual I made hard work of a Rufus puzzle then wondered why (answers on a postcard please). Thanks to Rufus and CS for the review.

  3. overtaxed
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Great to have aa cryptic puzzle on Christmas day. Thanks to Rufus and CS for the review.
    A mixture of easy clues and some real posers made this a ***/**** puzzle for me. Some very clever clues. My favourite today was 10a.
    Happy Christmas to all on this site. Hope you all have a good New Year.

  4. Michael
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    A great way to get into the Big Day before the celebrations start in earnest – I always thought ‘Watch Night’ was to do with New Years Eve so you live and learn.

    Merry Christmas one and all! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      According to the BRB, it applies to both ‘Eves’.

  5. Colmce
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Not expecting a paper let alone a puzzle, so this was a pleasant surprise, solved with a bit of head scratching.

    Thanks to Rufus and to CS for the review.

    Happy Christmas to BD and all the reviewers who have honed my skills and enhanced my enjoyment of crossword solving.

  6. Vancouverbc
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    An early rise for Christmas Day and a pleasant puzzle. Once I corrected two spelling mistakes this fell into place quickly. Thanks to the setter and crypticsue for the review. Merry Christmas to you all.

  7. Merusa
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    A very pleasant start to Christmas Day, thank you Rufus. A Rufus puzzle two days in a row, what bliss!
    I don’t know why, but I put “bubble bath” in 12d; where would you like to be after a smashing time? I soon realised I was dead wrong when I got other answers.
    Fave? I rather liked 1a.
    Thank you Rufus, and particular thanks and appreciation to Crypticsue for taking time out in such a special day to keep our blog going.

    • Kath
      Posted December 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Love your “bubble bath!” http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  8. Miffypops
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Cryptic Sue. I love you.. Ta for that. Merry Christmas one and all.

  9. 2Kiwis
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Managed to find enough time in a very busy Christmas day to squeeze in this puzzle. The last two to yield were the very first and the very last of the acrosses. 1a because we had never heard it before. Boxing Day here now and we still have two families staying with us so another busy day on the horizon. Weather continues to remain warm, calm and sunny. Just perfect.
    Thanks Rufus and CS.

  10. Gwizz
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I too have never heard of Christmas Eve so called, but I wasn’t helped by 3d which even CS’s revue did not rescue me. Why the answer for 3d? I don’t see the cryptic aspect. Maybe I opened the bottle of wine too early…. NO, not possible….
    But on the other hand how delightful to find the crossword on Christmas Day!
    Thank you so much Rufus and CS for your revue.
    Happy day one and all.

    • crypticsue
      Posted December 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      The pedant in me (assisted by a large glass of sparkling wine) feels it necessary to point out that I’ve never been one for topical musical shows but I can produce a crossword review

  11. RobinNewman
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    12d rather clever, I thought

  12. Kitty
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I very much enjoyed most of this puzzle, but the memory of solving it has already receeded into the alcoholic mists, so I can’t possibly remember my favourite clues. I do recall that I had to cheat for the first word of 1a while I still had that and 3d to go, and thought that 3d would have to begin with an a. Have I heard of any eve being called 1a? Possibly. With checking letters in place, I then guessed 3d but wasn’t convinced.

    Many thanks to CS for the Christmas blog. I wasn’t sure we’d have one today, but this site never disappoints. Thanks to Rufus too.

    Merry Christmas to all setters, solvers, bloggers, commenters and lurkers – I hope you’re all having a lovely day. Or to those confirmed miserable old gits (cf. Salty Dog) I wish you a cheerfully grumpy Christmas ;) .

    Back for an nth helping of food and alcohol now…

  13. Kath
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Did this one quite early this morning while waiting for the rest of ’em to get up.
    For some reason 23d was my last one in and I also had a spot of bother with the first word of 1a – not sure if I’ve not heard it before or have just forgotten it.
    If we hadn’t had 21a with that spelling fairly recently I’d have had trouble with that one too – always thought it had an ‘E’ at the end.
    7d took a while to untangle and I started off with ‘all’ for the first word of 29a.
    Think I liked 27a best.
    With thanks to Rufus and special thanks to CS for doing the review on Christmas Day – that’s what I call noble and worthy of a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif .
    We’ve had a lovely day – hope that the rest of you have too. Natives are restless and needing more food now and real chaos starts in earnest tomorrow.

  14. Brian
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Got them all apart from 1a, not a term I’ve come across before.
    That aside very enjoyable and a pleasant diversion post the chaos of the day.
    Thx to all

  15. Kevin
    Posted December 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    the clue and hence the answer for 16a is not very convincing
    I was looking at taking the r (for run) out of a spirit, but couldn’t arrive at spilt

  16. Philip Boyden
    Posted December 26, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Happy Everything to Dave and the whole team. Thank you for teaching me how to do these wonderful puzzles.

    One strange difference between today’s puzzles and those 40 years ago, when we had an office syndicate: there is a word that has disappeared. “Ell” (a measure of cloth of 1 1/4 yards, 45″) was frequent then, but I haven’t seen it since I started to do the crosswords on my own two years ago. This will surely now guarantee its reappearance !!

    Thanks again.


    • crypticsue
      Posted December 26, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      You must remember the pochard duck then – it was always in the DT puzzles in the early 70s but seems to be out of favour now.

      Happy Everything to you too.