The Charity Christmas Puzzle, set by Gordon Gray to raise money for charity, since 1991.
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Christmas Puzzle 2013

Christmas PuzzleThis year's annual Charity Christmas Puzzle has now been posted, and is available to download.

This, the 23rd annual Puzzle that Gordon Gray has set, has a theme designed to help completion and will appeal to people who enjoy doing Crossword puzzles, such as in the Daily Telegraph (though it is not a Crossword puzzle). Puzzlers have plenty of time to find the answers and Puzzles should be returned, with donation, by 26 January 2014.

Gordon has posted Puzzles to those on distribution list, so these should be received in the next few days. Anyone else who would like a copy of the Puzzle can access it from the web at Alternatively puzzles can be collected from St Mary's Eaton Bray.

All the money you donate, except for the prize-money, will go to charity.

Any corrections will be posted to the blog and to the corrections page.

December 8, 2013 | Permalink | Comment

Reader Comments

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December 8, 2013, Mac McCowan says:

Wonderful........I'd forgotten all about the puzzle, what a pleasant surprise and most welcome.

December 9, 2013, Gordon Gray says:

Apologies to those who Registered since September to receive the Puzzle. I understand the link wasn't working and that the error was corrected a few weeks ago. I hope it hasn't spoiled anyone's enjoyment of the Puzzle. If you were affected then it would be sensible for you to Register again. Gordon

December 9, 2013, Liz says:

The line given for the partial quotation i.e. the title of the puzzle, varies according to one's hard copy!

December 10, 2013, Gordon Gray says:

It has been pointed out to me that on the day after the Puzzle was issued someone has been using the internet to ask the general public for help in providing answers. Of course, you will want to discuss the Puzzle with friends and relatives but please don't spoil the Puzzle for everyone else by posting answers on public sites.

December 10, 2013, Amanda & Derek Hannaford says:

Hi, Had great fun, almost finished! Annoyed with my husband for spoiling my fun and getting the title almost straight away! ;-) Struggling with 26b, we have an answer, but it is one letter short. Are we on the wrong track, or has an extra dash sneaked in? Thanks! Amanda

December 10, 2013, Gordon Gray says:

I'm not aware of any errors in relation to 26b.

December 10, 2013, Mac McCowan says:

Making good progress having identified the background theme quickly.

December 11, 2013, Keith A. Simmonds says:

A fantastic puzzle, indeed! I was quite elated to spot the theme after working through the solutions. I am satisfied with most of my answers, but still need to review a few of them!

December 13, 2013, Liz says:

A couple of queries: 18b Presumably you will accept both forms of the red wine as given in Chambers? 26a Difficult to tell whether you are expecting the noun or the present participle! I suspect the latter if you regard the answer as being modified by the following adverb.

December 15, 2013, Keith A. Simmonds says:

Both forms should be accepted. Gordon, in his introduction, says that "valid alternatives" will be accepted. And 26a, if we stick to the wording of the clue, should be the present participle! Good luck! You must be finished by now?

January 1, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

So, it's new Year's Day and about 10% of expected entries are in and marked with scores accessible from this website. We have escaped illness over the Christmas period and I am looking forward to receiving all your correspondence. A very happy New Year to all my Puzzlers.

January 1, 2014, Amanda Hume says:

Really enjoyed doing this puzzle not having seen any of your previous years' puzzles. Please add me to your register.

January 4, 2014, Anne Lee says:

I just had a phone call from Gordon because I'd forgotten to enclose the cheque - mortified! (remedied immediately online) Does anybody else forget, like me, to actually read Gordon's "story"? I'm so busy splitting each line for the clues ... It's brilliant and adds yet another angle. Thanks Gordon.

January 16, 2014, Hilary Dickenson says:

I moved house this year so my results show only one year - is it possible to merge these results with my old postcode to show all my history? Thanks.

January 19, 2014, Trevor Hartley says:

This is my first year and I greatly enjoyed the puzzle. Looking forward to next year's!

January 26, 2014, Shirley Jones says:

Thanks again Gordon for a marvellous puzzle. Posting on puzzle answer sites spoils the fun (in my view). Scanning Chambers in depth is what is required not pinching the answers from someone else! Like others I got the theme almost instantly. Have been thwarted yet again by something so don't have a 120 - so next year I'll have to try harder still. Happy New Year everyone.

January 27, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

The deadline for entries passed on Sunday but as I will be conducting the draw on Sunday 2 February any entries I receive by then will be eligible for prizes.

January 31, 2014, David Pugh says:

Thanks Gordon for another fun puzzle. Am happy to have achieved my highest score and yet frustration at being only one point short of perfection! I'm already longing for 2014 puzzle. It really is a wonderful "event" you've created over all these years.

February 3, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

I conducted the draw to select winners on Sunday from the 103 people who scored full marks among the 331 entries. Winning £30, having scored full marks were: Family Beaty, Liz Constable and Sheila Miller Winning £10 - drawn randomly from all entries were; Jenny Fisher (119.5), Rosslyn and Alan French (119), Chris Green (117.5), Albine Patterson (118) and Amanda Scott (114.5)

February 3, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

Now I have to get on with preparing the Answer Sheet. This week will be very busy for me as we will be celebrating my wife's 60th birthday, so my guess is that the earliest you should expect to receive your results is w/c 24th Feb.

February 3, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

Thank you to everyone who has sent in entries. This has been a record breaking year and as a result I will be able to distribute £6,000 among the five charities we are supporting this year. Other records broken include: average donation, number of entries scoring full marks, proportion of entries scoring full marks, average score, people forgetting to enclose a donation. Many thanks to you all.

February 17, 2014, Gordon Gray says:

I have spent the weekend stuffing envelopes with Answer Sheets and they have gone into the postal system this morning. Those who have requested a copy of the answers should therefore receive them in the next couple of days.

February 18, 2014, janet and fred pointon says:

Having enjoyed the puzzle for 10 years we have only just realised that there is a story involved,so are now going to root out previous puzzles to read them. We are not so bright after all!! Added enjoyment.We will now look forward to the story Gordon so don't give up.

February 19, 2014, Di Platts says:

Thrilled to discover in this morning's post that I actually achieved 100% this year. Like so many of you, I got the title pretty quickly, and as an ex-Classics teacher was able to get the Romans, but used the Internet for Friends characters, and Chambers for the countrymen. Definitely not AnswerBank, tho'. Why spoil the fun?

February 19, 2014, sheila miller says:

Delighted to find a cheque for £30 in the post this morning: can't believe that I not only got it all right for the first time ever, but also got pulled out of the hat. I will be framing the cheque and keeping it - it certainly won't be cashed! Thanks so much for the Puzzle Gordon. By the way, I too am a Scot - I suspect the Scot you quote in the answer sheet is my sister - but we are certainly not of Gaelic origin!

February 24, 2014, Helen Grafham says:

It wasn't until I read Anne Lee's comment on the blog that I realised there was a 'story' too. I immediately read this year's. Brilliant! Like the Pointon's I'm going to look out past year's puzzles to read. So, I too say, please don't give up on this aspect of the puzzle and my apologies for being dim and not realising before.

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