xmas xword solution and winner

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at
Mon Jan 4 09:57:21 GMT 2010

We have a winner for the cryptic crossword!

Congratulation to Smylers, who managed to get a 100% correct solution :

  3a  better not pout
  4a  winter
  8a  naughty
  9a  snowman
 12a  Boxing Day
 14a  not even a mouse
 15a  Jingle Bells
 17a  checking it twice

  1d  Be good for goodness' sake
  4d  Christmas
  5d  Advent
  7d  Santa Claus
 10d  making a list
 11d  better not cry
 13d  November
 16d  nice

I will be speaking to Smylers later on to discuss his prize of an
easter egg in one of my cpan modules, in the meantime everybody give
him a well deserved round of applause!

I suppose some explaination is in order.. as I've always said, it's
mostly bad puns and plays on words.

3a/11d : "Better not pout/cry" is "Improved", not, *pout emoticon* -
from Vi Improved via substring
4a : "Winter" is an anagram disguised as perl with added punctuation
8a : "Naughty" is a phonetic joke : Nought E
9a : "Snowman" is unicode hidden behind perl and phonetic wordplay = "U+2603"
12a : "Boxing day" is 26 (oct oct hex fff) dec (december)
14a : "Not even a mouse" is NOT, any power of two - i.e. even, and Any
Moose is mouse
15a : "Jingle Bells" is an anagram of jingle disguised in a regex with
^D being a "Bell" ASCII escape code
17a : "Checking it twice" is evaluating $_, i.e. "it" once and again if true

1d : "Be good for goodness sake" is a variation of a line in a version
of "santa claus is coming to town" written in bash I saw in an email
just before christmas, but I've made it more perly and less obvious by
changing sake to leetspeak : $4ke, hiding Good in $something,
Goodness' in $somethings but it still works if you read it outloud as
"be something for somethings sake" which is obvious if you know the
words to the song.
4d : "Christmas" terrible wordplay - xmas from x mass where $m is
mass, "m" being the recognised symbol for mass, as in e=mc^2
5d : "Advent" - a Laptop by Asus, my wife has one, they are ace,
although the battery has gone from a few hours to a half an hour
7d : "Santa Claus" - reverse "esrever" hints that you need to reverse
"73%6c%61%75%43%61%6e%74%61%20%53%" which then spells out santa claus
10d: "Making a list" - Build is the new Make, and of course still
means the same thing, and of course the context we're looking for is
13d: "November" is the month before christmas, and a Perl 6 wiki - of
course Perl 6 delivery date is "christmas" and the perl 6 wiki has
already arrived, I particularly like this clue as it works on several
16d : "Nice" - It's nice to be nice, and nice children get presents,
nice makes a process nice when you give it a positive value, as
opposed to greedy when you give it a negative value

Aaron J Trevena, BSc Hons
LAMP System Integration, Development and Consulting

More information about the mailing list