The Charity Christmas Puzzle, set by Gordon Gray to raise money for charity, since 1991.
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Christmas Puzzle 2020

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

This, the 30th 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 24 January 2021.

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, 2020 | Permalink | Comment

Reader Comments

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December 9, 2020, KEITH SIMMONDS says:

Many thanks for this year's puzzle that seems quite interesting, indeed! A query for 26(C) "...and WHINES from the Germans..." Should'nt the clue read: - - ESL - - - - or are we looking for an alternative spelling? Cheers!

December 9, 2020, Ben says:

Have been passed the quiz by a friend. Great fun. Thanks Can I ask if 40a might be _ _ L L E _ _ _ instead of _ _ L L E _ _ ? Also reading Keith's comment, I realise I just blindly transposed the letters to make it work; so looking again I have the same query about I or E in ISL in 26c. Cheers!

December 9, 2020, Gordon says:

The answer for 26c should be clued by  _ _ ESL _ _ _ _ 

December 9, 2020, janet pointon says:

Surely 12b should have 3 blanks after TUP ie --TUP---

December 9, 2020, Shirley Jones says:

Great to get this year's puzzle and thanks for sorting the 26c issue. It works now! I'm almost ready to submit but need to reassure myself I am ok on 21b and 30a before I put it in the envelope. I seem to always muck up on something at the last. Thanks Gordon for your continued imaginative hard work. Love it.

December 10, 2020, Helen says:

Should 12b read 2blanks TUP then 3 blanks? Enjoying it so far

December 10, 2020, Gordon says:

The answer for 12b should be clued by  _ _ TUP _ _ _ 

The downloadable versions have been updated accordingly.

December 11, 2020, Ken Prosser says:

Should the given letters in 14b be ETM?

December 17, 2020, Diana Platts says:

Brilliant puzzle, as always. Just a bit concerned about 3 ; 'with' in the clue seems to be needed for 3(b). This means that whichever of 2 letters I put at the end of 3(c), neither answer accurately fits the definition 'exceptional technical skill'

December 18, 2020, Gordon says:

Diana makes a good point. I think three spaces at the end would be better but I won't make any deductions for answers with two spaces at the end.

December 18, 2020, Diana Platts says:

Sorry to be pedantic, but surely 3 spaces at the end of 3(c) will still mean an adjective, when what's needed is an abstract noun, needing 4 spaces at the end!

December 18, 2020, Matthew says:

To echo Ben's question, should 40a be _ _ L L E _ _ _ instead of _ _ L L E _ _ or do I need to keep looking? Thanks for another great puzzle.

December 18, 2020, Gordon says:

Diana - 4dashes it is (more haste less speed).

To Ben & Matthew - Chambers gives two equally acceptable answers, one with 2 spaces at the end, the other with 3.

December 18, 2020, Diana Platts says:

Oh dear. I've really got the bit between my teeth now! I've just been making a neat copy to send off, and find that I'm worrying about 16(b) now. The dashes seem to indicate an adjective, where the clue is an adverb.

December 19, 2020, Gordon says:

Having fallen out of the loft in September 2019 I have been aware that I am not as quick witted as usual so, despite having excellent assistance from a proof reader, too many (4) errors have crept though this year.

Diana is correct on two counts; 3c should have been clued with 4 spaces at the end also 16b should have 7 spaces at the end. I will put up an amended version of the Puzzle and hope you will accept my sincere apologies.

Update December 20, 2020: The downloadable versions have been updated accordingly.

December 24, 2020, Andy says:

As Gordon's proof reader I must at least share the blame for the mistakes in 3c, 12b & 16b. Indeed I should take the blame for endorsing the errors. Sorry Gordon, 26c was correct on my last copy, so, rather shamefully, I'll let you have that one!

December 26, 2020, Deb says:

Anyone else struggling with 20a? I just can't seem to get it!

December 28, 2020, Pam says:

36b Having trouble with this and would find it a lot easier if there were two spaces in front of MET. No-one else has mentioned this so maybe I just have the wrong answer?

December 29, 2020, KEITH SIMMONDS says:

Pam, 36B is a straight definition of "a measuring instrument"...Have a look at the clue again. Happy puzzling and Happy New Year!

December 29, 2020, Angus Roy says:

I have found two answers (both in the dictionary and appear correct) for 6a where only the last letter differs. Query whether both would be acceptable?

January 1, 2021, Josée says:

I am having difficulty making sense of 36 B which doesn't seem to fit with my answers to the last three words.

January 1, 2021, Gordon says:

Jos - Re 36b. I'm sure the penny will drop soon enough!

January 4, 2021, KEITH SIMMONDS says:

I cannot fathom 13 b and 20 a. Anybody in the same quandary?

January 4, 2021, Debbie Mark says:

Keith - I can't fathom 20a either!

January 4, 2021, Andy says:

I'm sure Gordon won't mind me revealing my reaction to 20 when I was proofing his copy: "20 Wonderful clue!"

January 10, 2021, Helen says:

I'm in the same quandary as Keith in that I can't fathom 13b and also 13a.

January 10, 2021, Helen says:

Now got my act together re 13a and 13b.

January 11, 2021, Debbie Mark says:

I've got 20a but it's messed up 20b and probably c as well

January 12, 2021, Liz Sergeant says:

Just been sent a link to this great puzzle and downloaded it yesterday. Really enjoying it! Just a query for 40b) Should there be an additional blank after GSP? So _ _ _GSP_ _ _

January 12, 2021, Liz Sergeant says:

Just been sent a link to this great puzzle and downloaded it yesterday. Really enjoying it! Just a query for 40b) Should there be an additional blank after GSP? So _ _ _GSP_ _ _

January 18, 2021, KEITH SIMMONDS says:

Hi Helen, great to know the pin dropped for 13B. I am still lost. Any hints? Thanks!

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