The Charity Christmas Puzzle, set by Gordon Gray to raise money for charity, since 1991.
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Bonus Puzzle No 1, 2020 - A secret catechism

Christmas PuzzleAs regular puzzlers will know I have set Christmas Puzzle to raise money for charity for 29 years. Puzzlers have been very generous with donations so it's time I did something for you. I am most grateful to Bill Brakes and others for the suggestion that I should set one or more bonus Puzzles specially to help puzzlers through this period of enforced isolation. I have responded to the request as quickly as I could - in my haste to issue the Puzzle, I haven't had it independently checked, so you may have to look out on this website for any corrections. In responding to Bill's request I was fortunate that back in 2003 I had started to prepare a puzzle that remained on my computer unused. In truth I didn't set it as a Christmas Puzzle as I wasn't particularly happy with the way the story was progressing – still in these strange times, needs must!

Gordon will be emailing Puzzles to those who have previously registered, so these should be received very soon. Anyone else who would like a copy of the Puzzle can access it from the web at

March 28, 2020 | Permalink | Comment

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March 29, 2020, Hilary Dickenson says:

Thank you so much for this - very much needed!

March 29, 2020, Shirley Jones says:

Just a quick check on 34a The blanks at the end after USA - are there four? That makes sense with my answer but it has come out as three in my print out although the final one is a little longer than the others. I'm satisfied to have cracked the theme although one of the elements within I have always called something else! You live and learn. Great fun and absorbing as usual.

March 30, 2020, Gordon says:

Yes 34a requires 4 letters after USA. There are enough dashes but missing a space! Also Q22 has found a rogue apostrophe

March 30, 2020, Rachel Fresco says:

Many thanks for this - just what s needed to pass the everlasting week! Just a quick thing - for clues 38c and 40b there are words without any letters - is this intended?

March 30, 2020, Dot Rochard says:


April 1, 2020, Ken Prosser says:

Thank you Gordon for another brilliant brain teaser. Just finished but 23a took a bit of finding!

April 1, 2020, Gordon says:

7b - The wind direction has changed from the NW to the NE!

April 2, 2020, Bill Brakes says:

Thanks Gordon. Enjoying it. Someone mentioned that this weird time feels like that gap between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve … Having one of your puzzles on the go makes this even more true!

May 15, 2020, Helen Grafham says:

Thank you so much for your bonus puzzle. It was a great distraction at the start of lock down. I solved apart from a few tricky clues and then put it away while I grappled with online shopping etc. Then suddenly realised it was May! All now completed, hopefully correctly. Another very enjoyable puzzle. Thank you again.Hope all good with you & your family. Helen

May 21, 2020, Stephen Baines says:

Thanks again Gordon. Great fun and challenge as always. Just received the answers and I dropped 3 marks :-( I can see those red crosses now. Would you mind checking your answer to 5b. Thanks. Take care.

May 23, 2020, Rose says:

Can you let me have the answers to the bonus puzzle no 1 please

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