xmas xword solution and winner

Smylers Smylers at
Mon Jan 4 12:08:52 GMT 2010

Aaron Trevena writes:

> We have a winner for the cryptic crossword!  Congratulation to
> Smylers, who managed to get a 100% correct solution :

Wow, thanks!  Though actually I didn't provide an answer for 2d, so
possibly I only drew with anybody else who was missing just one?

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

Thank you for doing this, Aaron -- it was great fun!

And talking of fun puzzles, a quick plug for the new series of 'Only
Connect', a TV quiz which (in an unexpected twist in my career path)
I've somehow become a question-setter for.  It's more high-brow than
most and rewards lateral thinking more than recall of learned facts --
the questions involve spotting connections between seemingly unrelated

Tonight on BBC4 at 20:30 (and the next 14 Mondays; I don't yet know
which episodes my questions appear in) and with various repeats
throughout the week:

A few comments and queries on specific crossword answers follow.  Also,
what is 2d?  The question was:

  horny Class::Accessor

and I have "_ N _ _ _ _ _".

> 3a/11d : "Better not pout/cry" is "Improved", not, *pout emoticon* -
> from Vi Improved via substring

I'm not familiar with either emoticon, (I only got "pout" by looking up
the song lyrics):

  (!:-v)   !('-)

Presuming the "!" is "not", is the "(" part of the emoticon in each

> 4a : "Winter" is an anagram disguised as perl with added punctuation

And an added "r".  Usually anagrams in crossword clues have an indicator
("moved", "bad", "mixed", or similar), so I was trying to make "radius"
or "resistance" or something mean "anagram".

> 15a : "Jingle Bells" is an anagram of jingle disguised in a regex with
> ^G being a "Bell" ASCII escape code

This was the only one I got instantly on reading through the puzzle.
Though it's just occurred to me that /\a/ is probably the way to match a
bell in Perl regexps.

> 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

However, each pair of digits haven't been reversed; the "53%" at the end
reverses to being "%53" at the beginning, not "%35".  Decoding each
letter in turn gives:

  %53 S
  %20 <space>
  %61 a
  %74 t
  %6e n
  %61 a
  %43 C
  %75 u
  %61 a
  %6c l
  %73 s

Which is definitely the _letters_ of "Santa Claus", but not exactly in
the right order ... who did your proof-reading?!



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