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.

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