This is the blog due next Saturday, and I felt the title was premature for Christmas 2021. And I can also give you a last-minute alert for the Christmas Eve Toughie, which is by Kcit, giving me two that day, as Pedro turns up in the Times Quick slot. Phi is absent this week as the Friday slot in The Independent falls on Christmas Day. And, since I won’t be blogging again for over a fortnight: I have the New Year’s day Jumbo in the Times, and Pedro reappears on 8 January. Both days should see me restored to The Independent as well.
There’s a new blog on the site, for Commonality, in the November edition of One Across magazine (that link is so you can go off and subscribe). The powers-that-be at the magazine have kindly agreed to let me put the whole puzzle up on the site very quickly after the solution has been published. So you could have a go at it before reading the blog – after would be a bit underhand…
I’ve also put up What’s in a Name? This is a puzzle I completed a few years ago, but I don’t recall it ever making it into the intended publication. So here it is as a sort of Christmas present. If you’re missing Phiday on Christmas Day, you can turn to these two puzzles.
My phone regularly sends me alerts about ‘things I might have missed’ which seems a bit of an understatement given the amount of stuff out there on the internet. But occasionally there’s an item of interest. One appeared this week that linked back to a post put up by Auckland Libraries at the height of the first wave of the pandemic. There have been a number of attempts to describe the craze for crosswords that swept various countries in the 1920s, but I think this is the first to round up the New Zealand contribution to it.
Keep safe and well. See you in the New Year.