Christmas Crossword

A beastly business

16 December 2017

9:00 AM

16 December 2017

9:00 AM

Three unclued lights form a nine-word quotation from a thematic work. Remaining unclued lights, including one hyphened, are five trios of words of a kind, each suggested by a thematic word from the same work. Three further thematic words need highlighting in the completed grid.

 

Across


 
17    Sports day around squad’s compound (7)
18    Commander seizes money, making nasal sound (4)
20    Secretion without difficulty in tropical trees (6)
21    The same papers this person returned (4)
22    Greek maiden sees chemical bases (7)
23    Turn around in Chinese hut (5)
24    Two places to save patriarch (5)
27    Troops manage show again (5)
28    Bring back green bit of ground for feline (6)
29    Band zig-zag around US road (7)
30    Slate a style of music (5)
32    Complaint about blocking in the French drain (8)
34    Part of shell is fairy’s, as far as I’m concerned (9)
38    Stick with modish present (6)
40    Prepare miners for war, in depression (6)
43    Date to leave northern city’s worst parts (4)
45    Overheard smaller Frenchman’s tirade (6)
54    Artistic American hates the terrible clothes (7)
55    Stone mound seen out in Sachsen (7)
57    A number see what old Iraqi city? (7)
59    Man’s very acidic sauce? (6)
60    Judge switches sides, not really stressed? (6)
62    What we know goes in booze — a hydrocarbon (6)
65    Not initially drinking more lager or more rum (6)
66    By sea with waves (6)
67    Display sculptures broken by eighty explosions (9)
72    Thrushes or wrens dig ground (8)
77    Legal expert’s note about university paper (5)
78    Greek character in a spot, with hard angle to measure (7)
80    Discovery of statue by French department (6)
81    Transfer information before unknown attack (5)
84    Pointed, showing ancient city by river (5)
86    Extravagant fiction about one Teutonic lady (7)
87    Pair satisfied with island retreats (4)
88    Place of learning, apparently good for tumours (6)
90    People who’ll compensate distressed senator (7)
91    Went around Norway hammered (5)

 

Down

 
1    Nobleman loudly calls for buzzers, maybe (10, hyphened)
2    Important school erected by old fellow (6, two words)
3    Horrid thug nearly left water in Middle East (7, two words)
5    Relax when clock goes back (5)
6    Letters about unknown mouldings (9)
8    Huge fellow put away salt (8)
9    Poor whites, on getting caught by leftists (7)
10    One-time journalist and painter’s niche (6)
11    Trouble earning for malcontent (7)
13    Raising number in payment is most miserly (7)
14    Old rockers having spasm after lifting instrument (6)
15    Particle of smoke reacting with nitrogen (6, hyphened)
16    Subs are back, maintaining special zest to play (8)
19    Stones record with fifty smash hits (9)
31    Car from Spain, say (6)
33    Muslim captain entering West Indies (6)
35    Fitting in with good interview (7)
36    Vehicle reversed by chief 44 feet (7)
37    It cuts hard rock indoors (6)
39    Instigator of threesome sent down for debauchery (4)
41    Seasonal figures promoted in school (4)
42    Sartrean notion, one mostly hard to grasp? (4)
44    Barcelona’s the balanced team (6)
47    Scripture’s function raised knowledge (6)
50    Setter’s wearing a flipping rag, showing ill will (6)
51    Dear old Sofia’s money finally gone (4)
52    Ladies repelled current governor (4)
53    One tours North, as soon as in Scotland (4)
56    Potentially a primate’s gametes (9)
58    Bulb lit up online show (10, two words)
61    Rogue banker takes in woman to avoid losses (9, two words)
66    US city father’s working (8)
68    Gathering round river, climbing straight path (7)
69    Corrupt journalist to check about rule (7)
70    Tense sot in film (6)
71    Survive in unfashionable clothes (7)
72    Prize-fighters welcoming noise for stripping (7)
73    Force smile, up for mucking around (7)
75    Crafty trade in liquor, we hear (6)
76    One’s charged person who’s paid 2000 pounds? (6)
77    Sweet ruler who makes money (6)
79    Two characters dwelling in US (6)
82    Copied expert in theological study? (5)

 
A first prize of £100, three prizes of £25 and six further prizes of Bletchley Park Brain Teasers by Sinclair McKay (Headline) will be awarded for the first correct solutions opened. The first four winners will each also receive a bottle of champagne. Entries by 15 January to: Christmas crossword, The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP.

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