Sunday 25 December 2022

The Christmas Ishmael: 25/12/2022


mr mongoose's Elegant Christmas Crossword


1 Instant sweethearts' initial impression. (5,5)
7 Mother for brother will make Boris get up and go. (4)
9 Folk kissing Claus' wriggling and writhing torso in the        altogether. (10)
10 Louis MacNeice hid his spots. (4)
11, 5d 11, 5d Camp complainant will find Angela's treasure. (6, 7)
12 No ladies unsettled this king. (8)
13 Undermines sower for instance. (5,5)
14 U-boats dues. (4)
16 I hear Erato might live in such a house. (4)
17 The brass of Flanders and Swann vanished like the dew in the morn. (10)
19 Gathering will be prepared to conserve tedium consumer. (8)
22 Cats attacks without power. (6)
23 Irrational journalist set down in black and white. (4)
24 Retiring two islands in a country was just the beginning. (10)
25 BLM are keen for you to bend it. (4)
26 Leonardo rode such a wide river to COP29. (10)


2 Start in inbred dump dweller. (9)
3 Sneakers of budgies in trunks. (9)
4 The avian sound of dawn. (8,7)
5 See 11a
6 Throw up throw up your biscuits. (4,4,7)
7 End up on a motorway city. (5)
8 Summertime! Thanks to the military council. (5)
14 Stern chip struggled to produce source of 4. (9)
15 Can you get real bacon cooked up at the Nou Camp? (9)
18 Prophet easy say Kriegsmarine port. (7)
20 A Welsh girl is from Kathmandu. (5)
21 Say name rising jog. (5)

Gluttony Corner.
Now, you thought being compelled to eat Turkey and Brussels Sprouts followed by Pudding and Custard for your Christmas dinner was bad, but thank your stars you weren't born Swedish. Or Czechoslovakian, as you would be eating Carp for your Christmas Eve dinner. Traditionally, families buy their carp alive a few days before Christmas in one of the many carp stalls in the city and then put the fish in their own bath. 
It is supposed to clean them up before slaughter, but children often get attached to their upcoming dinner and give their carp a name. Seeing their carp swim in the bath is highly appreciated by the kids,
 who are not required to take a bath during the Carp Cleansing, and rebel at the idea of eating their new pet, leading them to plead for the carp’s release. In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, the carp is usually fried in breadcrumbs and served with cabbage soup and potato salad. In Poland, carp is served with dumplings. In Hungary, it may often be cooked directly in a fish soup.
How does it taste? 
It’s fat, muddy and has lots of fishbones which makes eating it quite the challenge. This is why it is only served once a year, at the end of Advent, a 4 week period of fasting and penitence.
By comparison, Orkney traditional dishes are innocuous.

Orkney Clapshot
 Sounds like something ejected with great force from the bowels, but it is quite a soothing dish. Serve it with your roast beast.
Lard (or butter if you are fancy).
Fry the onion in the lard or butter. Boil up the turnip and potatoes until soft. Mash them up together, stir in the fried onions and butter. 

Atholl Brose
Here in Orkney, porridge with whisky is considered the perfect end to a fancy dinner, if you are not taking Duff. In 1475 the sneaky and sophisticated Duke of Atholl captured his enemy, the Earl of Ross, by filling a well, from which the Earl liked to drink, with this magical potion. Ross drank deeply and was captured.
3   heaped tablespoons of porridge oats
32 fluid ounces Scotch whisky
2   cups water
2   tablespoons melted honey
Mix the porridge with water, leave for half an hour, mix in the honey and whisky. Serve.

Christmas Church Notices

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly:

The church is glad to have with us today as our guest minister the Rev. John  Green and his wife. After the service, we request that all remain in the sanctuary for the Hanging of the Greens.

A song fest was hell at the church on Wednesday

Rev. Flett is on vacation. Massages can be given to church secretary.

The choir will meet at the Wilson house for fun and sinning.

The beautiful flowers on the altar this morning are to celebrate the birth of David Alan Flett, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Rognvald Flett.

The Rev. Groundwater spoke briefly, much to the delight of the congregation.

Following the hymn, I need Three Every Hour, the ‘Over 60s Choir’ will be disbanded for the remainder of the holidays with the thanks of the entire church.

The church will host a festive evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.

The men of the parish will hold a New Year Barbecue, featuring a sausage fest.

Mr. Bradford was elected and has accepted the office of head deacon. We could not get a better man.


mogoose said...

Sorry, troops. 17ac is (5,5).

Merry Christmas to you all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, mr mongoose, likewise.

Pretty damn fiendish so far. Maybe with a clearer head tomorrow...



Mike said...

Just a polite suggestion for next Christmas: any chance of publishing the crossword as a pdf so we can print it and fill it in manually like in the good old days? Doing it mentally is straining my fuses. Otherwise, many thanks for that mr mongoose, and so far I am going well.

Johnny said...

Had carp two or three times: pretty ghastly. They're what is known as "bottom feeders": make of that what you will...

Anonymous said...

mr mike, if your PC set-up resembles mine here you should be able to hover the cursor on top of the grid, use the right-click option and choose "save image as", which will download the grid for you. Then open with photos or somesuch and adjust the sizing if need be, before printing a copy. Similarly if you highlight the text of the clues and right-click, select print and you'll be good to theory. Strictly trial-and-error techsupport from me, I'm afraid.



mongoose said...

The problem is that I am such a slapdash bastard that I get the buggers finished at the last minute and then send them over to mrs i. I can probably upload those pdfs to the sky though. Give me a min...

mongoose said...

Here you go:

jpegs but just print them.

mongoose said...

Belay that! You should find a downloadable html file to fill in. See how it goes.

Perhaps next time, mrs i, can embed it in a post. We'll get smarter.

call me ishmael said...

Onward and upwards!
Another method is to highlight the grid, copy and paste it into a blank Word document, then highlight the clues and copy and paste into the same document. Then print it. I've just tried it and it won't copy and paste in a one-er, but will if you do it in two parts.
Best of luck with it.

mongoose said...

Sorry, that html file is here.

Mike said...

Thanks all. I should have known that.

mongoose said...

Irritatingly 17ac is (6,4). I blame the stress of Hallmark Xmas movies.