A first prize of £100, three prizes of £25 and six further prizes of the Chambers Book of Great Speeches (hardback) will be awarded for the first correct solutions opened. The first four prizewinners will, in addition, each receive a bottle of champagne. Entries to: Christmas Crossword, The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP by 12 January.
Part 1: CAROL SINGING
The four 13-letter lights in each grid are paired together (always reading from the left-hand grid to the right-hand grid) to yield four quotations from three different Christmas carols and one seasonal song. Each clue is an anagram of its 26-letter solution.
1A Not idle — re-order hundred sheep (four words, one hyphened)
31A Sleigh-ride went over moon, Hugh! (five words)
8D They issue the moonshine offer (eight words)
9D Greedy Tom rates fish for feast (six words)
Part 2: FOOD AND DRINK
Each clue is a composite anagram of one item of food and one drink. Ignore one accent.
10A Richer eatables (4,3 : 7)
11A Scampi in heater (7 : 7)
29A Ant’s adoring fan (7 : 7)
30A Let’s trifle more (7 : 7)
Part 3: PRESENT-GIVING
The four 5-letter solutions in each grid yield the name of a boy (13A) and a girl (25A) and their respective gifts (15D and 16D). The two clues, one for each grid, are anagrams of their four solutions.
Holiday at Welsh centre
Eric, broke, misses panto
Part 4: STIR WELL
Each clue has two parts run together, but never overlapping, which lead to the two solutions to be entered at the same clue-number in each grid. The solution to the first part of each clue is entered in the left-hand grid, the second part in the right-hand grid. Each clue contains a definition and a consecutive letter-mixture of the two solutions.
17A Race has to keep good losers in the pink (3,4: 3,4)
18A At Christmastide, rhythmic shaking spoilt unaccustomed curmudgeonly propriety (7 : 7)
19A Clearly proves — and believes — Cinderella has top UK cast that’s beyond compare (7 : 5,2)
22A Reprimanded having left food lying in the aisles in Cambridge flicks (4,3 : 7)
2D Outbreak ruined country — bound to provide GB loans (7 : 7)
4D Birds, sheep and the rest are asleep — resting! (7 : 7)
5D Adept readings came to the point with mime during time when holed up in a castle (7 : 7)
7D Some Channel 4 programmes add glamour to a ride round Tolkien land (7 : 7)
20D The nanny’s Chinese dance fitting well with the steady pace of the neat Dandini (2,5 : 7)
21D The whole matter concerns the High Beanstalk and the Ghost for a month performance (7 : 7)
22D Success gained with Murphy’s material during lunch in office (7 : 7)
23D Artful two obtain discharge, sending salvo to modest Russian statesman (7 : 7)
Part 5: STOCKING-FILLERS
The remaining solutions will fill in the eight 4-letter lights in each grid. The clues for each grid are in two parts: a sentence which defines each of the eight solutions and a composite anagram of the 32 letters of these solutions.
Snakes slithered to filthy place — one for drying cheese — on meadow by river. Hell!
So, Sonia, spend Christmas Day at a hotel
Tense censor will brandish instrument and stumble over old saying from damned old Ireland
Dad, overtired, ill during New Year’s Eve