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ST 100008

Christmas Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 100008

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on Sunday 25th December

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Perfect Christmas morning entertainment, with some very nice themed clues.   I’m going to select 13a, 4d, 6df and 15d for ‘special mention’

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           A temperature examined and reported in trial (8)
ATTESTED – A (from the clue) T (temperature) TESTED (examined)

5a           A Christmas Carol quartet — good entertainers (6)
GHOSTS – G (good) HOSTS (entertainers) – in A Christmas Carol, Dickens introduced us to the ghosts of Marley, Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come

10a         Jovial deliveryman contributing to pleasant atmosphere (5)
SANTA – found ‘contributing to’ pleaSANT Atmosphere

11a         Very old, truly an improvised piece of organ music (9)
VOLUNTARY – V (very) O (old) and an anagram (improvised) of TRULY AN

12a         and 14 Across and 29 Down: Bearers of gifts when tree is arranged, including me (5)
THREE WISE MEN – An anagram (arranged) of WHEN TREE IS and ME

13a         One of three I saw arriving this morning, going by air? Sea, actually (4)
SHIP –  According to the ‘air’ or Christmas Carol ‘I saw three ships come sailing by’

14a         See 12 Across (4)

16a         Open anger that may be smouldering in church (12)

21a         Servant a long time retained by vessel’s bosses (4,8)
LINE MANAGERS –  MAN (servant) AGE (a long time) retained by LINERS (vessel’s)

24a         Rookie in trio having change of heart (4)
TIRO – Change the letters in the ‘heart of TRIO

25a         What athletes aim for — and archers (4)
GOLD – The best kind of medals or the colour of the circle in the middle of an archery target

27a         Resort around spring in part of Europe (5)
SPAIN – SPA (a resort built around a mineral spring) and IN (from the clue)

29a         Peacemaking activity I dominate improperly (9)
MEDIATION – An anagram (improperly) of I DOMINATE

30a         Run repeatedly into my hospital for medicinal gum (5)
MYRRH – R R (the abbreviation for R repeatedly) inserted between MY (from the clue) and H (hospital)

31a         Small quantity of liquor, or two other drinks (6)
NOGGIN – Made up of two drinks [egg] NOG and GIN

32a         See 18 Down (8)  


1d           Property stupid people distributed over time (6)
ASSETS – ASSES (stupid people) distributed over T (time)

2d           Notes we hear from singers in famous trio (6)
TENORS –  The Three TENORS sound like (we hear) TENNERS (Ten Pound Notes)

3d           Dispatch a pair of players north to get instrument (5,4)
SNARE DRUM – A reversal (north, in a Down clue) of MURDER (dispatch) A (from the clue) and N S (North and South being a pair of players in a game of bridge)

4d           At Christmas they traditionally help themselves? Not half! (5) ELVES – Found in the second half of themsELVES

6d           Three fliers from France sent to me after three others (4)
HENS – Because the Three French Hens were sent by the true love in the song after one partridge in a pear tree, and two turtle doves

7d           It’s not as ruined as places like Waterloo (8)
STATIONS – An anagram (ruined) of ITS NOT AS

8d           Cast  start  retiring (3)
SHY – Three definitions – to throw, to jump in surprise or retiring in the sense of reserved or modest

9d           Floundering, showing weakness crossing line (8)
FLAILING – FAILING (showing weakness) crossing L (line)

15d         Third descriptor of Boxing Day snow is not odd (4)
EVEN – Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen, when the snow lay all about (1) deep, (2) crisp and (3) EVEN

17d         Farm animal introduced to new sort of tonic safe to consume (3-5)
NON-TOXIC – OX (farm animal) introduced into N (new) and an anagram (sort of) TONIC

18d         and 32 Across: Things to be unpacked today, such as three Across answers (9)
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS – the three Across answers being GOLD, FRANKINCENSE and MYRRH, although, strictly speaking these presents weren’t actually given until 6 January

19d         Learner in oversized uniform (4)
FLAT – L (learner) in FAT (oversized)

20d         Crazily firing without notice — that’s demeaning (5,3)
INFRA DIG – An anagram (crazily) of FIRING goes outside (without) AD (notice)

22d         Customer parking right in the middle of a lot (6)
PATRON – P (parking) and R (right) inserted into the middle of A TON (a lot)

23d         In game on board, mostly moves cautiously (6)
INCHES – IN (from the clue) and CHESs (most of a game of CHESS)

26d         Philanthropist‘s name inscribed in entrance (5)
DONOR – N (name) inscribed in DOOR (entrance)

28d         Short publication I provided for some on Christmas journey with travel guide (4)
MAGI – MAG (‘short’ magazine, publication) and I (from the clue)

29a         See 12 Across (3)

Although this puzzle was published on Christmas Day, the review can’t be seen in public until 5 January, which means that it is too late for me to wish Virgilius a Merry Christmas, but about right for me to wish him a Happy New Year and to say that I look forward to a lot more Sunday treats in 2017.