The starred words in the clues are EYE, RAIL, SAGE, SNAP, TRAP, HIDE, NUTS, GUN, EE. They combine with nine of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, the others appearing at 26D and 38A. The Chinese New Year began on 8 February.
First prize R.N. Robinson, Sheffield
Runners-up Sue Topham, Elston, Notts; Barry Butler, Birmingham