Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Seasons Greetings X

As the title suggests, this is number ten in Eclogue's regular, nay 'traditional', Christmas Crossword contribution to Derek Harrison's excellent Crossword Centre.  It was published late in November 2018 as an early appearance of the Centre's December crossword.

Clues are presented in alphabetical order of their solutions and must be entered jigsaw-wise wherever they will fit.  Solvers must deduce the five unclued entries and highlight the whole of the four across lights along with the first letter of the one unclued down entry (a leading light) in the finished diagram to complete this year’s seasonal greetings card.

One answer is in Collins/OED.

Seasons Greetings X Solution Grid

As well as depicting a CHRISTMAS tree, this puzzle commemorates Ximenes (linked to Seasons Greetings “X”) namely DERRICK SOMERSET MACNUTT, the founder of many the rules of the modern advanced cryptic crosswords, and as illustrated here, running through much of what we now do.  The yellow and green horizontal highlighting represents tinsel and a ribbon surrounding the tree, and the star at the top (the leading light).

Solvers' Comments

And indeed seasons greetings and thanks to all concerned at CC
Another amazingly imaginative puzzle from Eclogue, and quite a bit trickier than last year's.
What a lovely puzzle!  It has kept me enthralled, off and on, all week.  I found the cold solving (with no clue lengths) to be a challenge and could not fathom them all.  However, working with the three clued nine-letter answers, I found that there was only one possible arrangement for them.  This gave me the start that I was fearful of ever making.  Completion of the grid then followed fairly swiftly, along with the answers that had previously eluded me.  A great sense of satisfaction.Thank you for a first class puzzle.
I found this to be quite tough.  Ultimately, though, very satisfying.
A pleasant pre-Christmas entertainment from Eclogue, the clues mostly not too testing, but one or two trickier ones and the odd obscurity to add a little spice. Who has ever met a Lalage, and would you choose to land your daughter with a name which might imply talks too much?
Thanks to Eclogue for a nicely seasonal grid and a fun challenge. 
Many thanks to Eclogue for the Xmas Tree. Wonderful way to spend a few hours jigsawing. 
Thank you for a brilliant Christmas puzzle! 
A good puzzle. 
This was a really fun solve. Totally tough, and easier as things started coming together in the grid. Then totally stumped by the word pattern for Ximenes’ real name, until inspiration struck! I was led to your website by your hosting of the 3d crossword for December. I shall be returning.
Very lovely and tough!
I found it quite tough to get started (lack of answer lengths makes such a difference!) but gradually I made a start on filling the grid. I suspected that the longest entries would be unclued - and so it proved. It took a while to get the ‘trunk’ of the tree
(and it’s only now that I realise that it’s Ximenes’ real name - presumably in reference to the ‘X’ of the title). All in all good fun - and looking forward to 2019’s offering!

I always underestimate how hard a jigsaw is without the answer lengths, and it felt like the oddly-shaped grid made it more difficult to get started. At least I could enter SEA answer as soon as I found it. I suppose the X in the title stands for Ximenes.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019


This puzzle appeared on 15th December 2018 as Inquisitor 1573, Stagnation by Eclogue


Clues are listed in the alphabetical order of their solutions which must be entered wherever they will fit.  One word in the wordplay part of each clue should have a letter removed, not always leaving real words.  In clue order, these letters provide the title of a work, the initials and surname of the author and the full name of its translator.  Four clue answers will not fit the original grid, but must replace others in spaces left when the instruction provided by the translated title of the work is complied with.  All final entries are real words or phrases.

Interim Grid

Final Grid

The work provided by extra letters in wordplay is IM WESTEN NICHTS NEUES by Erich Maria REMARQUE which ARTHUR WESLEY WHEEN translated as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.  Therefore the original entries of PEACE, LACONIC, PRIVATE and MUTED were to be moved from the right hand side of the original grid to the ‘western’ or left-most edge and the resultant gaps filled by the residual clue answers, leaving real words and phrases (some unchanged).

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Eclogue 1 of 7

A new project for Eclogue.  Colleen Mallett from Calgary, Alberta is compiling a pack of various puzzles aimed at the US market.  The pack will be compiled at the rate of one per month and has asked Eclogue to supply 7 cryptic crosswords to go into the project.  The packs are being marketed by PuzzleLux as a luxury collection of puzzles.

Number 1 of the 7 is a plain cryptic with no particular theme, although there are four 15-letter entries.