…is upon us, and the wodge of puzzles I have on my solving pile is growing. Every year I wonder whether starting in on them the weekend before is too early, and every year it isn’t.
So obviously the best thing for me to do is to add to the heap. The puzzle this weekend is the last of my unpublished Beelzebub puzzles (though I still have some unclued grids) – always nice to have something hitherto unseen for the Christmas period (which means I have to start thinking about next year fairly immediately). I am also providing the Times puzzle – online only – for Christmas Day – but at least it’s not a Jumbo!
I kick off the new year with two puzzles on January 2nd – a Times Quick Cryptic and a Telegraph Toughie – and it looks like there might also be a Magpie one in January (a D-grade, too). However with arrival of the January addition within a few hours of my writing this, I can now amend that to February.
This year, after an approach from John Henderson, I agreed to let him circulate the APEX puzzle to the wider audience of his weekly emails. There’s a lot of overlap with the current circulation list anyway, but it’s a way of introducing people from outside what might be seen as a coterie. So if there new names on the list of clues when it comes out in February, don’t be surprised.
Meanwhile I have a barbecue being prepared – and a wodge of puzzles to be solved. Merry Christmas!