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Christmas Crosswords ‐ 2019

Christmas coming around again means time for the Christmas Crosswords. We solve two which have a Christmas theme, one of which is in the form of a game. This is either Pass the Crossword, or Farmyard.

Pass the Crossword is like Pass the Parcel, only with clues hidden between the layers. Players solve the clues and enter them in the grid which is on the wall. They get a point for each virgin square they fill ‐ no marks for where they cross with a letter that’s already there.

Pass the Crossword takes a lot of time to make (all that wrapping!) so we did Farmyard this year, which is played in teams (tribes) or two of more. Here are the rules. It involves a lot of running around by hunters who attract the attention of their tribe gatherers when they find a clue by making a farmyard noise. Teams solve clues together. This year everyone admired Clive’s ass, while Nicola’s cock was outstanding. Points are scored as above, and this year’s scores were a dead heat on 81 each. Very satisfying. Here is the solution and a copy of ours.

In addition, it can be solved as an ordinary crossword.

Our other crossword was a Theme and Variations, which caused a few misunderstandings over numbering. The numbers refer to word 1 and word 2 of a two‐word phrase, which you have to deduce, and then to two different ways of treating that word. For example, suppose that the phrase was Fish Cake. Var 1A might be cuttle, star, flying etc. Var 1B might be salmon, herring, mackerel etc. Var 2A: might be birthday, fairy, fruit etc. Var 2B might be [cake] stand, of soap etc. Here is the solution.

Peter Scott-Presland

Please send comments and feedback to We’d also be delighted to welcome you to the next crossword day in late January/early February 2020.