Toughie No 100011 by Samuel
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ****
Our esteemed editor has taken pity on those of us who have overindulged today and given us a very gentle festive Toughie – but as we say all the time a puzzle can be very enjoyable without being terribly difficult and this one fits the bill. He also seems to be trying to get the Guinness Book of Records title for the most anagrams in a cryptic crossword – my count reached twelve! Thanks Samuel.
The puzzle is only available online (but if you’re not a subscriber you should be able to get the puzzle on the Telegraph Puzzles site by signing up for a free 7-day trial subscription).
I hope that everyone whether a setter, a fellow blogger, a regular commenter or a lurker is enjoying a wonderful Christmas. If you need to take a break from the mince pies then that would be an ideal opportunity to leave a comment and tell us how you got on with the puzzle.
Here’s what in my view is the best Christmas record ever:
1a Books off time before Christmas, having rushed occasionally? That’s bad (7)
ADVERSE: remove the abbreviation for some Biblical books from the religious period leading up to Christmas and append the odd letters of ‘rushed’.
5a Pulp are big Boxing Day band (7)
BRIGADE: an anagram (pulp) of ARE BIG contains the abbreviation for day.
9a Fairy ultimately positioned over top of tree? It’s a gem! (7)
PERIDOT: string together a fairy, originally from Persian folklore, the ultimate letter of ‘positioned’, the cricket abbreviation for over and the first letter of tree.
10a On retiring before remarkable night, naughty children can expect to receive this? (7)
NOTHING: reverse ON and add an anagram (remarkable) of NIGHT.
11a Amusing criminal carrying gold? Not one of the magi! (9)
IGNORAMUS: the magi were, of course, wise men. An anagram (criminal) of AMUSING contains our usual tincture of gold.
12a Leaving London area, somewhere to spend the holidays in private (5)
ASIDE: remove the abbreviation for the region of the UK where London is to be found from the start of the type of place where you might spend your (usually Summer) holidays.
13a European translated Xmas papers (5)
EXAMS: the abbreviation for European and an anagram (translated) of XMAS.
15a Rise above wild canters with reindeer, essentially (9)
TRANSCEND: an anagram (wild) of CANTERS followed by the central two letters of reindeer.
17a Release a Christmas novel, losing millions (9)
CATHARSIS: an anagram (novel) of A CHRIST[m]AS without the abbreviation for millions.
19a Support touring pole on vacation to find accommodation (5)
TEPEE: a support for a golf or rugby ball contains the word pole without its middle bit.
22a Get used to cool prime pieces of turkey (5)
INURE: an adjective meaning cool or fashionable is followed by the letters of ‘turkey’ which correspond to the lowest three prime numbers.
23a Flog antique: first-footer might come across it (9)
THRESHOLD: charade of a verb to flog or beat and an adjective meaning antique.
25a Poem about eating last of Yule log? The opposite – flipping Brussels! (7)
ECLOGUE: the last letter of Yule and LOG contain the single-letter abbreviation meaning about or approximately. Finally reverse the abbreviation for the body based in Brussels.
26a Student terribly eager to wrap wife’s stockings? (7)
LEGWEAR: the letter used for a student is followed by an anagram (terribly) of EAGER containing the abbreviation for wife.
27a Territory in Lapland – or Ramsgate? (7)
28a Harsh wind facing leader of elves (7)
AUSTERE: a poetic word for a wind from the south is followed by the leading letter of elves.
1d Tell to get up to welcome opening of presents twice (7)
APPRISE: a verb meaning to get up contains two instances of the opening letter of presents.
2d Museum to screen the Queen, and gallery (7)
VERANDA: the abbreviation for the name of a London museum contains our Queen’s cipher together with AND.
3d Means to track sleigh’s progress going up and down? (5)
RADAR: cryptic definition of a palindrome identifying how Santa’s progress round the globe might be tracked.
4d Reckons base on shaky seats will bear Cratchit’s son (9)
ESTIMATES: the letter used for the base in logarithms and an anagram (shaky) of SEATS contain the name of Mr Cratchit’s tiny son.
5d Additional gift good for Parisian and American (5)
BONUS: knit together the French word for good and an abbreviation for American.
6d Almost tiring with Santa nearly out and on the way (2,7)
IN TRANSIT: an anagram (out) of TIRIN[g] and SANT[a].
7d Foolish, like current number of ladies dancing (7)
ASININE: stick together a conjunction meaning ‘like’, the symbol for electric current and the number of ladies dancing in the Christmas song.
8d Wise man, for example, lays on good loaf (7)
EGGHEAD: the abbreviation for ‘for example’ precedes the abbreviation for good and what loaf is an informal word for.
14d Person scrounging from caroller, not one going round grotto (9)
SCAVENGER: another word for a caroller without the Roman numeral for one contains a synonym of grotto.
16d Regularly dally in country, where Christmas starts earlier than most (9)
AUSTRALIA: insert regular letters from dally into the name of a European country to get the place where Christmas Day will be almost over by the time this blog is published.
17d Fancy half of chimneys are to rear (7)
CHIMERA: one half of the word chimneys followed by the reversal of ARE.
18d Like one’s hair, having worked out on sleigh? (7)
TOUSLED: an anagram (having worked) of OUT precedes what Collins describes as an especially US and Canadian word for a sleigh.
20d Charge for youth mostly receiving gifts up front (7)
PROTÉGÉ: bring together a preposition meaning ‘for’ and an informal word for a youth of adolescent without his/her last letter containing the leading letter of gifts.
21d Recommend one’s red crackers (7)
ENDORSE: an anagram (crackers) of ONE’S RED.
23d Tense husband finally wrote thank-you letter (5)
THETA: weld together the abbreviations for tense and husband, the final letter of wrote and a short informal word meaning thank-you.
24d Traces of gin cooked in hollowed-out sprouts (5)
SIGNS: insert an anagram (cooked) of GIN between the outer letters of sprouts.
I’ll choose 1a, 11a, 22a and 16d for my selection box. Which one(s) were the coffee creams for you?