Country Life

Christmas crossword

- by Wadham Sutton

A bottle of Champagne will be awarded for the first correct solution opened. Solutions must reach Christmas Crossword, COUNTRY LIFE, 121–141 Westbourne Terrace, Paddington, London, W2 6JR, by Tuesday, January 2. UK entrants only. The answers will appear in the January 3 number’s Town & Country pages and the winner will be announced in the January 10 issue

ACROSS

1 Change colour of mesh, say,

in eating-place (7)

5 Cultured bishop involved

in lofty argument (8)

9 Symbol of good luck

in mother’s bed (6) 13 Deserving admiration—unlike

pepper, perhaps? (3,2,2,7,2) 14 Notes about red meat served

in flaming brandy (6)

16 Run about in school, end

of biccy being chewable (8) 17 Woman making comeback

in 1 across (4)

18 Judoist’s protected area

around city (5,4)

20 More voguish person

attempting to secure goal (8) 21 Bury TV user, or the person

questionin­g him (11) 24 Undoing logs in one

manoeuvre (9)

25 Plan together to study feature

of church architectu­re (8) 26 A girl cut short, sad to say (4) 29 Coach old expedition servant, one holding up back of robe (11) 31 Honourable soldiers place bets irregularl­y (11)

33 Neat and tidy, as an award should be (11)

36 Garden centre compelled, we hear, to provide child minder (11)

38 Give away retail outlet (4) 39 Cheek, to criticise kitchen utensil (8)

41 A feeble following showing no interest (9) 44 Primitive man’s new well leaked rather at first (4-7) 45 Ultimately enjoyable greens I cooked to enliven (8) 48 Finished Berks college, say, having taken too many courses (9)

49 Move quickly, seeing waterside plant (4) 50 Ghastly morgue’s rebuilt outside European capital (8) 52 Old organ required for musical (6)

53 Very friendly, but sharing the stupidity of the lightfinge­red? (2,5,2,7)

54 Tipsy son’s close-fitting garment (6) 55 Struggles to provide King

George with pieces of fruit (8) 56 Disagreeme­nt in Norfolk

town hospital department (7)

DOWN

1 Like some Scandinavi­ans, rush around Northern Ireland (6)

2 Character of books about

a Yorkshire river (6) 3 Unusually rotten, her prickly

plant (5-4)

4 Clumsy descriptio­n of a jumbo,

perhaps (11)

5 Workman given round

of applause (4)

6 Naïve, more bloated-sounding

trader (11)

7 Family earner reportedly reared champion racehorse, say (11)

8 Butterfly great ape found on European dump (6-3) 10 Greek touring a lot of land, and an ocean (8)

11 A fluttery type, Miss London SE5 (10,6)

12 Chirpy little bird, one communicat­ing electronic­ally? (7) 15 Repartee circulatin­g where a partridge may be found? (4-4) 19 Crustacean top man originally rescued in taxi (4,4) 22 Finally get a supply organised for a duckbill (8) 23 Friendly greeting soliciting informatio­n from curator? (3,3,3,7)

27 Mostly she’ll avoid a gooselike bird (8)

28 Remain safe at first on Scottish river (4) 30 Requiremen­t of Tyneside press chief (4)

32 Spear regularly evaluated, like a saw? (8) 34 Attempt to secure a sleeveless undergarme­nt—a mockery (8) 35 Caesar’s position, seeing sort of moth on vessel (11) 36 Idiotic descriptio­n of Edward Lear’s work? (11) 37 Former partner oddly agreed tag is over the top (11) 40 Settler in Caribbean port is extremely eager (9) 42 Extremely hasty and strident, Morecambe’s manic outburst (9) 43 Fan of commercial with her English books (8) 44 Appearance not permitted for a sentinel (7)

46 See upper-class visitor initially about Paris museum (6) 47 In English county it’s a form of accommodat­ion (6) 51 Permit? Mountain defile? I don’t know the answer (4)

 ?? ??

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