The NS Christmas Puzzles by Otterden

New Statesman (1996), December 20, 2010 | Go to article overview

The NS Christmas Puzzles by Otterden


What's the connection?

a) Joan Miro, Dean Martin, Charlie Chaplin, James Brown

b) Little Larry, Puny Pete, Small Sam

c) Baptist missionaries, a knife grinder, a bus driver, the US president

What does it mean?

NISSE is a) a mischievous Scandinavian Christmas elf;

b) a Swiss coconut biscuit eaten with kirsch; c) an elaborately pleated Christmas-cake frill;

d) a fabled Scottish monster said to appear at Hogmanay

Christmastide dates

Below are events from the last two weeks of December during the past 100 years, all in chronological order. In what year was ...

* ... the first crossword puzzle published?

* ... the Great War Christmas truce begun?

* ... the Battle of Verdun?

* ... the USSR formed?

* ... the first broadcast of the chimes of Big Ben?

* ... the British Commonwealth

created?

* ... the first broadcast royal Christmas message?

* ... the premiere of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?

* ... the Battle of the River Plate/the Admiral GrafSpee scuttled?

* ... the fall of Hong Kong to the Japanese?

* ... the World Bank created?

* ... the stone stolen from under the coronation chair?

* ... a colour television set first available for sale in the US?

* ... the beginning of "the big freeze" in Britain?

* ... a 70mph limit applied to all rural roads, including motorways?

* ... the first television broadcast of live pictures from the moon orbit?

* ... Harold Wilson on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special?

* ... the death of Karl Donitz (the last Fuhrer)?

* ... the Penlee lifeboat disaster in Cornwall?

* ... Harrods bombed by the IRA?

* ... Nicolae Ceausescu executed?

* ... Mikhail Gorbachev's resignation/the USSR dissolved?

* ... the explosion of the Montserrat volcano?

* ... Bill Clinton impeached by the House of Representatives?

* ... the Boxing Day tsunami?

* ... Saddam Hussein executed?

Christmas is cancelled

Hidden in the diagram are the names of 13 popular songs that are routinely wheeled out every Christmastide. Where part of a song title, the word "Christmas" is omitted. Also to be found are the names of artists who have made notable recordings of the songs. Match them all up.

E  O  U  Q  S  U  T  A  T  S  P  R  Y  A  Y  F  A
A  L  E  D  J  O  N  E  S  I  H  S  E  R  E  R  T
K  K  O  A  W  E  D  A  L  E  D  A  L  S  N  O  R
G  G  B  C  H  S  X  R  T  T  V  N  S  H  T  S  I
S  N  E  A  G  R  F  T  W  H  I  T  E  I  R  T  A
T  K  O  N  N  N  A  H  E  L  S  A  R  T  A  Y  E
I  L  D  S  E  D  I  A  D  U  J  B  P  S  C  T  H
W  F  K  B  E  A  A  K  Y  N  L  A  S  T  C  H  T
O  H  M  E  L  H  U  I  T  O  O  B  I  I  M  E  N
N  K  A  Z  L  U  T  T  D  A  C  Y  V  M  L  S  I
K  M  Q  M  E  K  E  T  R  O  N  K  L  E  U  N  G
Y  D  O  B  Y  R  E  V  E  Y  R  R  E  M  A  O  N
E  T  N  O  F  A  L  E  B  Y  R  R  A  H  P  W  I
H  D  N  U  R  S  I  H  T  Y  L  E  N  O  L  M  K
T  U  M  V  K  B  I  N  G  C  R  O  S  B  Y  A  L
O  U  D  L  I  H  C  Y  O  B  S  Y  R  A  M  N  A
D  D  A  A  E  M  I  T  L  U  F  R  E  D  N  O  W

What's the connection? a) All died on Christmas Day b) All said to be alternative names considered by Dickens for Tiny Tim c) All recipients of fruit cake in Truman Capote's story "A Christmas Memory"

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

What does it mean? NISSE a)

Initials with numbers

1FOTCN One Flew Over the Cuckoo's

Nest/Ken Kesey

1HOS "One-Horse Open Sleigh"/original title of "Jingle Bells"

1M1V One man, one vote

T2GOV The Two Gentleman of Verona/Shakespeare

2J "Two Jags"/John Prescott's sobriquet

T2T The Two Towers/Tolkien

AIWFCIM2FT "All I Want For Christmas Is

My Two Front Teeth"/Christmas song

ATO2C A Tale of Two Cities/Dickens

G2S Goody two shoes/pantomime subject

3MIAB Three Men in a Boat/JK Jerome

3S Three Sisters/Chekhov

W3KOOA "We Three Kings of

Orient Are"/carol

IS3S "I Saw Three Ships"/carol

T3M The Three Musketeers/Dumas

T4F The Four Feathers/A E W Mason

C4 Clause Four/controversial part of the

Labour Party constitution

TGO4 The Gang of Four/the breakaway founders of the SDP

AOT5T Anna of the Five Towns/Arnold Bennett

SWAT7D Snow White and the Seven

Dwarfs/panto subject

7POW Seven Pillars of Wisdom/T E Lawrence

GO8 Group of Eight(G8)

9LD "Nine ladies dancing"/from carol

10MRM Ten-minute rule motion

10DS 10 Downing Street

T12DOC "The 12 Days of Christmas"/carol

C22 Catch-22/Joseph Heller

24DIA Twenty-four days in Advent

MO34thS Miracle on 34th Street/Christmas film

T39S The Thirty-NineSteps/John Buchan

ABAT40T Ali Baba and the 40 thieves/pantomime subject

ATW180D Around the World in Eighty Days/Jules Verne

84CCR Eighty-Four Charing Cross Road/Helene Hanff

TC100s The Chiltern Hundreds/device enabling resignation from a parliamentary seat

F451 Fahrenheit 451/Ray Bradbury

650SITHOC 650 seats in the House of Commons

Christina slide dates

Crossword 1913, truce 1914, Verdun 1916, USSR 1922, Big Ben 1923, Commonwealth 1931, Christinas message 1932, Snow White 1937, River Plate 1939. …

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