It’s the time of year when I have just completed my Christmas puzzle for the Independent. The one for BBC Music Magazine went off some time ago. It’s a little like filming TV specials – in the UK, actors and crew would be all dressed in furs, dodging fake snow, in August, so that the punters would have something seasonal in the depths of winter. The fact that the puzzles went off this week also means that I had been coming up with the ideas up to a month ago. So now, of course, Easter is looming (but these days crème eggs are in the shops all year round, so that seems a normal state of affairs).
The other seasonal puzzle is, of the course, the annual APEX crossword, which was completed back at the start of August. The theme there is rarely Christmassy of course, so that feels a little different. I gather, too, that I have a puzzle appearing on Christmas Day this year – online only, so you won’t have to find a newsagent. More of that anon.
The puzzle this time is from 2016, as promised. It certainly felt closer to my way of thinking – not that the earlier ones feel that distant. Since we’re closer to the present day, the reliable fifteensquared has blogged it, and there’s a link to that blog with the solution. What we need here, of course, is a link to the newly-uploaded puzzle.
There are a couple of appearances in The Times before I next add an update: a daily on 4 November, and a Quick on 10 November. There’s something else in the offing but I’m not going to devote anything more than this sentence to it for now.