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DT 100009

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100009

Hints and tips by Father Christmas

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Cor blimey me, as if I aven’t got enough to do this morning after me busiest night of the year. Them reindeer don’t look after themselves you know and Mrs Christmas wants her insatiability sorting if you know what I mean. Well a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

I suppose it’s an honour to be asked to blog a puzzle but that there Big Dave geezer doesn’t pay so it’s slave labour for me and the rest of the blogging team.

As it’s Christmas I will tell you what keeps us going. It’s you lot. You happy few, you merry band of brothers and sisters who daily give your thanks and tell your puzzling tales of woe or success. You who struggle yet persevere and become proficient whether openly or in lurkerville. Today’s blog is dedicated to you. Each and every one of you. Merry Christmas

Today’s hints and tips have been written with Christmassy love and care by Father Christmas. They are here to help with the clues you cannot solve or to explain the clues you do not understand. I hope they do so. Definitions which usually appear at the beginning or end of a clue are underlined and the answers are hidden under the greyed out click here boxes.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a / 4a    Processed pasty and chips harm one’s hope for today (5,9)
HAPPY CHRISTMAS: WE have an anagram to start us off today. It is a gift from today’s setter to mark the occasion. Anagram (processed) of PASTY CHIPS and HARM so easy, so easy that I suspect a sting in the tail later on.

4a    As this clue is linked to one across I suggest you look there for my hint. It has been nice talking to you though.

9a    Whisky-maker by loch offering heavenly peace? (9)
STILLNESS: This whisky maker is the apparatus used for distilling alcoholic drinks. It is followed by one of Scotland’s 31,000 lochs (google search). That is an awful lot to trawl through on Christmas morning so I will try to narrow it down for you.

1. Loch **** contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined – but it’s not Scotland’s biggest Loch (that’s Loch Lomond) or deepest Loch (that’s Loch Morar).
2. It’s only 6 degrees Celsius “warm” all year round – so if you’re a fan of open water swimming, you might want to look elsewhere for a dip! This also means though, that even in winter Loch **** never freezes over and on very cold winter days you can see steam rising from the surface of the Loch, as it is warmer than the surrounding air!
3. Loch **** is part of The Caledonian Canal which was built in the 19th century to allow ships to make their way from the North Sea to the Atlantic without having to face the dangers of the Pentland Firth.
4. The waters of Loch **** are very dark due to the peat washed from the hills into the Loch – perfect cover for any creatures that might be living in the depths!
5. Loch **** only has one island, the tiny “Cherry Island” near Fort Augustus – it’s an artificial island called a “crannog”, which was built during the Iron Age.
6. Loch **** was once watched over by Scotland’s smallest manned lighthouse The Bona Lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper used to put a lantern in his window to guide ships from Loch **** into Loch Dochfour. Today Bona Lighthouse has been restored and is available as a holiday home.
7. Before modern roads were built along the shores of Loch ****, people travelled along the Loch by Paddle Steamer. A boat trip is still the best way to experience Loch ****, you can either choose a leisurely cruise or a thrill-seeking trip on a RIB!
8. Did you know the first ever ****** sighting was way back in 565AD by St Columba? According to legend, the Irish monk’s servant was attacked by a “water beast”, although the attack is said to have happened on the River **** rather than the Loch itself.
9. One of our favourite facts about Loch ****, is that you can use Google Earth to look for ****** under the surface of the Loch! Give it a try!
10. Loch **** lies in the Great Glen faultline and seism.

10a    Recommended posh starter for girl dressed as Santa? (5)
URGED: Begin with the letter that represents posh in Crosswordland. Now wrap the colour I traditionally wear around the starting letter of the word girl.

11a    Corporations where growth is predicted today (7)
TUMMIES: These corporations have appeared before and usually cause problems to those who have not yet encountered them and those with short memories. They are the part of our anatomy that may grow due to overindulgence during the festive season.

12a    Christmas should be an escape from this kind of TV show (7)
REALITY: Christmas time is a time when we try to forget the normal trials and tribulations of everyday life. This thing we are escaping from is the name of a type of TV show. One where normal sane people expose their idiotic selves to the watching world. Mrs Claus and I have never seen one of these programmes

13a    Chorister with a lisp does this stuff (6)
THINGS: Think what a chorister does. Now say it as if you had a lisp. Why does the word lisp contain the letter S? Why do choirs sound so good.

15a    Square presents for the old man? He could appear to be aged in these (8)
NINETIES: Split 4,4 The first part of the answer is a number which happens to be a square number. The second part is a traditional gift for a man to adorn his collar with. Together they give the name of a decade which if you reach might make you aged. If you are aged thus please reveal yourself.

18a    More than one part‑payment is returned in warehouses (8)
DEPOSITS: Reverse (returned) the word IS from the clue and drop it into an example of what a warehouse might be.

20a    Christmas stallholder‘s Left-wing paintings rejected (6)
TRADER: Begin with the colour associated with left wing politics and add what paintings are. The word rejected suggests that we reverse what we have.

23a    Horrible article about jolly recipe (7)
FORMULA: An adjective meaning offensive to the senses, especially through having a disgusting smell or taste or being dirty. is followed by the only single letter article in the dictionary. Together they are wrapped around a jolly. A member of the armed forces amphibious light infantry.

24a    Sandy goes to salon naked – one joins the stampede (7)
BUFFALO: Begin with a yellowish beige colour and add the word SALON with its outer letters removed (naked)

26a    Love appearing in person as part of the cocktail set? (5)
OLIVE: Use the letter that looks like the Tennis score for zero points and add a description of a personal appearance as opposed to a recording. These are amongst my favourite foods

27a    Yuletide essentials: ice and Rogers dancing (9)
GROCERIES: Anagram (dancing) of ICE and ROGER’S. Mmmmn more food

28a    Cooked decent leg, but not appreciated (9)
NEGLECTED: Anagram (cooked) of DECENT LEG

29a    Back at home fit for a pig – delightful! (5)
TASTY: Reverse (back) the word AT from the clue. Add a pig’s home.


1d    Paused, as that man has and I would, to take in gallery (9)
HESITATED: Oh dear. One of those. Start with a contraction of He is. Place a gallery of which there are four in London and one in St Ives inside another contraction, this time of I would. Simples.

2d    Pointy thing that makes light go off in a new way (5)
PRISM: A cryptic description of a triangular piece of clear glass used by Isaac Newton during his experiments with the spectrum of light

3d    Barking and shouting to make student coming second become quiet (7)
YELPING: take a word meaning shouting and change the second letter L (student) for a letter P (quiet)

4d    Perhaps Cheshire Cat’s first appearance – he holds contrary view (6)
CHEESE: Begin with the first letter of the word CAT. Find a word meaning to view. Reverse that word (contrary) and place it inside the word HE (he holds). This is a nice food to leave out for me on a cracker with a dollop of Branston Pickle.

5d    Calm shower after siesta (8)
RESTRAIN: Place a word describing a shower weather-wise after a word describing what a siesta is.

6d    One’s given a grilling South American fashion (7)
SAUSAGE: Use the abbreviation for South American. Now add a word meaning fashion as in habitual or customary practice

7d    Criminal imagined hijacking fine being increased (9)
MAGNIFIED: Start with an anagram (criminal) of IMAGINED which is wrapped around (being hijacked) the abbreviation for Fine. Or you could say Anagram (criminal) of IMAGINED & F

8d    Cunning clothes commercial, alas (5)
SADLY: A word meaning cunning contains (clothes) Crosswordland’s commercial, the shortened form of advertisement,

14d    This person’s left gin, rum being 20’s line perhaps (9)
IMPORTING: A three-part charade. A contraction of the words I am (this person’s.) The nautical term for left. An anagram (rum) of GIN

16d    Stupid lists – you’re wasting time terribly (9)
SERIOUSLY: Anagram (stupid) of LISTS YOU’RE without the letter T. (Wasting time)

17d    Poker hand like a poker face? (8)
STRAIGHT: A double definition, the first a poker hand of cards in sequence. The second being how a poker player should keep his face during play

19d    Bubbly they use will bring sleep (4-3)
SHUT-EYE: Anagram (bubbly) of THEY USE

21d    Female the French court, following about as muse (7)
REFLECT: Begin with the abbreviation for female. Place the masculine French word for the inside an abbreviation of court. Now put what you have after Crosswordland’s usual suspect for about

22d    A little way overseas (6)
ABROAD: In England our road numbering system uses letters to denote the type of Road. Generally M is for the motorways. A is for the radial routes out of London and B roads are the smaller country roads. So to parse this clue we need the letter A given generously in the clue. Then split a little way 1,4. A way can be a path or a lane. Not here though. It won’t be an M and it won’t be an A.

23d    With Fahrenheit just above 50, have taken off (5)
FLOWN: The abbreviation for Fahrenheit is followed by the Roman numeral for fifty. These two letters are then followed by a verb meaning to have or to possess

25d    Police department’s occupied as finding dangerous substances (5)
ACIDS: The Criminal Investigation Department is surrounded by the word AS

And that’s your lot. Mrs Christmas is calling and a husband must do his duty. On behalf of Big Dave, his gorgeous wife Pam and my fellow bloggers I wish you all the very best of times. Peace happiness and goodwill to you all.

With love, Father Christmas



35 comments on “DT 100009

    1. On The Daily Telegraph Online Puzzle Site which i believe is subscription only. I don’t have a subscription to that site. it’s a good job Father Christmas does.

      1. Ah, I do subscribe to the Telegraph but not to the puzzles section.
        So back to the Sunday pages!

  1. Congratulations and many thanks to Father Christmas for taking time out to blog this easiest of Christmas-themed puzzles. 13a made me laugh and overall this was 1.5* /3.5* for me. Thanks to our setter as well.

    Have a Merry Christmas everyone.

  2. Nice blog – and a very nice puzzle. I needed help understanding 15a – and it was never explained why the extra ‘r’ in the 1a anagram was dropped but apart from that….

    I’m lounging about in my dressing gown this morning whilst the Boss is still wrapping presents (and has been for about three days!) – I wonder if she’ll like the West Ham Yearbook I’ve bought her!

    Felicitations of the Season and all that!

    1. The anagram works for me. Unlike the one at 16d. I kept leaving the E of you’re out. Couldn’t see it for asking. I even used a pencil. Golly Bongs.

      1. I’ve worked out what was upsetting me – firstly, the puzzle says the answer is (5,8) and secondly, your explanation said it was an anagram of ‘pasty’, ‘chips’ and ‘ham’ – one-all!

  3. Lots of smiles in this one.

    I know it’s today today, but the first word of 20a is a bit of a shoehorn-to-fit-the-theme job and had me thinking that you can have too much of a good thing. Was a bit mystified by the def in 14d.

    I like 4d. I like the escape from 12a. I also smiled at 24a and 16d.

    I see from Twitter that this is the work of a new setter – welcome! Thanks to you for a great debut puzzle and to Father Christmas (go easy on the sherry after your long night of chimney-dropping!) and Merry Christmas to all readers.

  4. Happy Christmas miffy pops…the beard is fooling no one!
    Thanks for your tips today, not needed for once, and thanks for your reviews throughout the year, music choices have been a bit dodgy but everything else first class.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle, well done to the new setter. 13a made me laugh, didn’t like 15a as it was the only one for which I needed a hint. Still don’t get why the corps in 23a is a jolly. Don’t usually comment but use the blog everyday and don’t want to be thought a lurker. Merry Christmas to everyone.

  6. Thank you to the new setter and Santa of Long Itchington for their parts in today’s Christmas special.

  7. I wonder who our Christmas Day setter is and whether he/she will become our new Monday regular – no doubt our bloggers are working on the case!
    Thought this was a nice debut and have awarded the holly berries to 22d for its conciseness.

    Thanks to Mr Festive Ron and to Father Christmas – enjoyed the seasonal music clips but such a shame that our usual Monday man infiltrated your excellent blog with the dirge at 24a.

  8. Well I reckon l made hard work of that probably due to the festivities taking place at the moment. A first class puzzle with loads of outstanding clues, a festive delight. Thanks to Santa for bringing the blog this morning, if you believe in Santa he always comes.

    Well done MP (and BD) on Christmas day what a star.

    Clue of the day 15a what a Christmas cracker that is! My last in.

    Rating 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to Santa and the setter for a great puzzle.

    Enjoy the day everybody. Merry Christmas.

  9. A typical back pager for a non-back page or any other pages day, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Joint favourites – 11a and 17d.

    Thanks to the setter and MP (you will get your reward in heaven, assuming that is the direction you go in).

  10. Santa Claus – don’t know what your problem is. pommers says he demands double time for bank holidays including Spanish ones!

    Pommers was very impressed with the wine. Viña Pomal. Just having pudding – we’re totally stuffed.
    Heading back to our room for a crack at this and a siesta me thinks.
    Happy Xmas everyone.

  11. Thank you new setter, do you have a name? This was much enjoyed, but I did need Father Christmas’s hints to parse a few answers. My fave was 11a.
    Thanks Father Christmas for spending your Christmas morning providing our enjoyment.
    Have a very merry Christmas everyone. I’m dashing off to finish preparing my contributions to the feast.

  12. I thought this debut puzzle by our new setter was just wonderful. My favourite was 10a – best seasonal clue of the season, in my opinion. Ticks also for 15a, 23a, 24a, 2d, 4d, and 19d. Thanks to the setter and to Father Christmas.

  13. Thank you Mr Ron for the Christmas puzzle; it was good fun. Over a bit quickly but that was no bad thing today! 15a tickled my ivories and 1.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Father Christmas for calling again.
    Happy Christmas to everyone.

  14. Thank you to the new setter and Father Christmas for the hints. This was a rather good puzzle with most of the clues falling into place either swiftly or after some thought, just about the right mix. Having said that, could not have finished without helpful hints for a few. 11a flummoxed me. Thought 1a was very apt and a good start for today. 9a was my favourite. Just a bit more prep to do for when family will be here tomorrow, and then a peaceful, pleasant day to ourselves today.

    It is so nostalgic to read all the Happy Christmas messages, instead of “Merry” used over here.

    Still don’t know how MP manages to fit this in with everything else in downtown LI 🎄

  15. Thanks for the hints and taking the time on Christmas Day. Sorry but favourite has to be 1a.

  16. Very late here today but I had to pop in.
    I’ve just managed to escape the sitting room and fire where a) I’m too hot and b) all the rest of them are watching a film which they find hilarious and I don’t get. :sad:
    I thought this one was quite tricky but I welcome the new setter whoever he, or she may be.
    I think my favourite might be 24a
    Now I need to beat a hasty retreat to bed before I’m expected to do any more clearing up – it’s someone else’s turn, I’m tired and I have a choice of books to read – lovely! :smile:
    With thanks to our new setter and to MP for doing the hints on what is probably a very busy day.
    Night night to all of you and sleep well.

  17. If this is the new Monday regular then we are a lucky lot – nice puzzle.
    In view of the day I guess 1a has to be fav.

    Thanks and hello to the setter and thanks to MP – did you get your double time?

  18. Lovely end to a very busy day. Hope he/ she will be our new Monday setter, or we have someone with a similar mindset. Only held up slightly by trying to fit 23d into 25d, but I already had 27a so had to backtrack. I put it down to the second glass of port. 11a made me smile. Thank you setter and Santa. Now, do I go off for a bit of 19d, or is it worth staying up for the cricket? I wish everyone a very 1a.

  19. Excellent and enjoyable Christmas puzzle. Was thrown for a moment by the typo error in the 1a and 4a clue when trying to match the 14 characters in the anagram with the stated 13 (5,8) length. A very rare error over many years of puzzling, so congratulations for maintaining such an overall high degree of accuracy. Hoping to reach my 1,000,000 points in 2018.

  20. Hi – lovely crossword, but for the life of me I can’t work out how 14d “20’s line” relates to the answer. Would someone be so kind as to explain this?

    1. Welcome to the blog, Boo.

      20 is referring to the answer to 20a, so “20’s line perhaps” is saying that the answer may be 20a’s line of business.

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