Christmas Turkey 2016

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Puzzle blog:

Link to puzzle site:

After a two year absence the TfTT Christmas Turkey is back and now published. Find below a link to the puzzle site.

This is the work of 30 separate clue writers, regulars from these pages.

We hope to see the puzzle blogged next week, probably on the 22nd, by our usual celebrity blogger. The blog will give setters an opportunity to out themselves (or not), and for constructive criticism / lashings of praise to be poured forth. Please refrain from any but general comments until then.

Thanks are due to Paul in NY/London for the impetus and for providing the initial grid (a lot of which survives), and to Kevin in NY and Chris (W91) who test-solved the puzzle and provided many corrections and comments which helped tighten it up.

We hope you enjoy the puzzle.

Important technical note:

As ever, the puzzle is available in both PDF and interactive form. However, there is a technical issue which may prevent many solvers from playing the puzzle online. I have an outdated copy of Crossword Compiler which generates a Java applet for the interactive puzzle. Java has tightened up its security such that applets won’t run from an uncertificated site unless that site has been whitelisted by the user. Whitelisting sites involves accessing the Java control panel. It looks as though the puzzle won’t run on an iPad at all.

Mac procedure:

System Preferences —> Java —> Security Tab (in the Java window) —> Exception Site List —> Add Exception … and add

Windows procedure:

Start —> All Programs —> Java —> Configure Java … then the same business with the Exception List

It’s a hassle, and you may prefer simply to print the puzzle from the PDF.

I gather the latest version of Crossword Compiler has moved away from Java but I was too miserly to splash out the forty quid needed to upgrade.

Regards and season’s greetings to all

36 comments on “Christmas Turkey 2016”

  1. Turkey and trimmings much enjoyed here in Shanghai, took over hour to consume.

    Some absolute Christmas crackers! I did manage to get my clue as FOI (it seemed rather easy!)

    LOI was as unpleasant as any Brussel sprout!

    Sotira – a triumph – well done all setters, present company excepted.

    A happy Christmas – Meldrew

  2. Terrific fun, Sotira. Didn’t fill my own clue first! I even ate the sprouts too. Thank you.
  3. Whew, found bits of that quite tricky! But very satisfying. Pleased to see that my clue didn’t *quite* have the highest wordcount of the puzzle…
  4. Big thanks for organising the Christmas Turkey, Sotira. Great fun. I look forward to the Easter Turkey (or Egg, Bunny, Uprising … whatever it is to be called).
      1. Could you organise a Christmas Left-over Turkey? The 30 setters could all use the clues that they dismissed? It would still take me my usual 30 minutes.
  5. I really enjoyed that and have sent it to the various branches of my family in the UK to drive them bonkers over the holidays. I agree with Verlaine, quite tricky. So, which will turn out to be Horryd’s sprout? I hope it won’t be mine. I’m still a fan of “puff adder” (chain smoker), whoever you were setter!
  6. Well done Sotira and assistants,great job, very enjoyable.Looking forward to the blog with a tad of trepidation.
  7. Well done Sarah, fellow cluesmiths and test-solvers – there’s some top notch clueage this year.
  8. Thank you sotira for a great job. Unlike 2 years ago, I actually managed to solve my own clue this time.
  9. Cheers! Took me 90 mins, minus a couple of short interludes, so a nice challenge. Knowing one answer didn’t help quite as much as I was expecting!
    1. Much appreciated by all, I’m sure, RIchard. Thank you.

      By hook or by crook we’ll have to get rid of that java bit next time. If there is a next time …

  10. Wonderful .. much enjoyed solving that, there are some very neat clues. Thank you Sarah!
    Couldn’t seem to persuade java to allow me to fill it in online, despite whitelisting the site ..
  11. Nice, Sotira. Nice to the setters. I think a very high quality of cluing. Looking forward to reading the blog.
    1. I’ll probably be within shouting distance of Dalston at some points tomorrow for a food fair if you find yourself at a very loose end… but I fear that organising a proper meetup has proved, as it so often does, beyond my powers this time!
      1. Thanks Verlaine. My Saturday seems to have filled itself from top to bottom – so maybe better next time. I’ll have more lead time and maybe we can get a quorum then. But I appreciate the effort.
  12. Not a sprout to be seen, and barely a chestnut, either. Well done everyone, especially the management team!
  13. That was great. Quite tricky, but very satisfying to solve and some really cracking clues. Thanks very much sotira and all my fellow setters.
  14. View from a QC solver. Two clues not solved and one entry not parsed, also needed a little help from aids, but not much.

    Very enjoyable and certainly got the grey cells working. Will try to get a full house.

  15. Bit disappointed that it’s a nongram, when one corner of the puzzle is clearly trying so very hard!
  16. A cracker! Some very neat clueing and the one mandatory (or so it seems nowadays) totally obscure word, ho-ho-ho. And Wot, no Z? A nice (accidental?) nina led me into realms of unalloyed musical mirth (playing as I write). Many thanks, sotira and the 30. And 1ac 10ac to everyone.
  17. Thank you! That filled a very pleasant 55 minutes, alongside a little whisky and a mince pie or two. I shall look forward to a little enlightenment over a couple of the clues, but I’m reasonably confident that I’ve got it all filled in correctly…
  18. Mazel tov, and o-tsukaresama, Sotira and the entire team! Tricky indeed, as keriothe says–I had worries for a while as to whether I could get those last 2 or 3 clues–but great fun (and I did).
  19. I greatly enjoyed coming up with several clues for my little word, and seeing one of them in among such a cracking collection. Well done for the editing, Sotira. There were enough clues that weren’t too difficult that got me started, but also some meaty ones that took me some time to parse. I finished in just under 30 minutes with a number of gleeful chuckles along the way. Thank you to all!
  20. Very pleasant way to spend a train journey up to Bristol. One completely unknown word which I shall try to commit to memory.
    Congratulations to all involved.
  21. Congratulations, Sotira. When I discovered that Anax’s Sunday Cryptic was, in fact, a Jumbo, I parked it and attacked the Turkey. Enjoyed it and, I believe I have solved it correctly although I m still beating whether my solution for 3d is correct or not.
  22. Finally got round to having a go at this last night on the train. Very enjoyable indeed. thanks Sotira et al for the organisation and for producing a terrific puzzle.
    p.s. as above I’m really not sure I’ve got 3d correct!
  23. Finally finished the “Turkey” after about 1hr30. I found it very entertaining. Well done bloggers all.
    Francois FdeK (normally in France, currently in Oz)
    1. Thanks, Francois. I’m sure all involved are very grateful to know that our humble effort is being tackled in far-flung parts.
  24. Like the rest, I too felt both honoured and humbled to have been included in such an eclectic company of clue-smiths. As and when the puzzle is blogged, can we all choose our FIVE (not just one) favourite clue? It would be interesting to see whether any sort of consensus emerges.

    Thanks to Sotira for the initiative, and for allow8ng me to do my tiny share.


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