Stats -A whopping 29 people managed to submit the completed grid for this puzzle. Of those who submitted, 27 managed to get  the full score of 32 and only two people did not. Also 21 people managed to spot the NINA while the remaining 8 did not. Here is the list of those who got BOTH – full scores and the NINA correct.

1. Aashwina
2. AK
3. Amruta Vasudevan
4. Anee
5. Bhalchandra Pasupathy
6. Chatur Vasi
7. Col Deepak Gopinath
8. Ganesh Nayak
9. Kishore
11. Neelima Rai
12. Ramani
13. Ramki Krishnan
14. Rengaswamy N.
15. Seshadri R’
16. SSv Avtaar
17. Supriya Mithal
18. Dr S Venkatesh
19. Vinayak Ekbote
20. Viresh Ratnakar

Congrats to all of you.

Here’s the Solution grid

Questions asked at the end of the puzzle included one on the NINA and its location

The NINA is under Clues 11/12 and above 13/14 and reads “HAPPY DIWALI”

Here are the Annotations..


1 Reak- share of bad-money? (4-3) – Reverse anagram
5 Fictional namekian, irrational-cool otherwise, acknowledges a bit of cowardice (7) PI COOL*< C
9 True-blue noble switches sides (5) ROYAL-R+L
10 Claim Master’s butt (9) owner’s hip charade
11 Old-man-in-the-spring ogled nurse, perhaps endlessly (9) OGLED NURSE*-E
12 Peacekeeper’s endless fight is too much! (5) UN DUE(-L)
13 Regular theory? most partner with conditions (5) T (-h)E(-o)R(-y)M(-o)S(-t)
15 Bird of Burden? (9) CD
18 Reverend declared, “sentimentality dear, is a bribe!” (4,5) Spoonerism/ mush honey/hush money
19 Finally retire from a resort, still a city- one of the regions within Crimea (5) Last letter Acrostic
21 Glad, Ephraim refused to hide a bicycle part (5) Rev tel
23 Traveling in train, for a change with time and energy (9) INTRAIN T E*
25 It’s ok? Model’s nude- bad tempered! (4-5) FINE- T NUDE*
26 To, Barbie’s beau- a keepsake (5) TOKEN
27 Malicious mail managed to bounce back in sheet form (7) MAIL*RAN
28 Element of animal force (7) WOLF RAM


1 Fair to capture Chapo, say, to strike another match (7) RIGHT << EL
2 New York based blacks and whites? (9) YORKBASED*
3 Kind of material, for long kept wrapped (5) T
4 Frown! Gasp! Jumping tadpoles in the making? (9) FROWNGASP*
5 Strip jury (5) DD
6 Portly cur butchered crookedly (9) PORTLY CUR*
7 Leaders of Ogilvy&Ogilvy hosted excellent dinner and expressed pleasure (5) Acrostic
8 Harmless hawks, so positioned heard to invoke a bit of sunshine (7) SO* PREY hp S
14 Spoilt specimens ground spices with this halfwit (9) CA SPOILT SPECIMENS- SPICES*
16 Two in Baroda, say get marriage settlement, missing line to the oriel (3,6) bay hp of be in gujarati win dowry-ry
17 Knit a lore about a Liberian vessel? (3,6) KNITALORE*
18 That man accepts work, almost sated and bullish (7) HE around OP FUL(-L)
20 All and none, examples of not many in other words (7) NOTMANY*
22 Extracted from the east, it’s sometimes sold ripped (5) MINED<<
23 Cherished dinnerware, essentially (5) T
24 Rave about late payment reduced towards the end (5) EX TOL(-L).

10 people rated the puzzle as “Excellent”, 16 rated it “Good”, 1 rated it as “Average” and two people forgot to rate it. Overall a very good rating. 21 clues in the grid got picked atleast once in the top 3 favorites voted by the solvers. The three clues that got picked most were Albatross, Antonym and Hush Money.

Thanks a lot to Pixie Dust (aka Mona Sogal) for an entertaining grid that kept us busy over the holidays.

Holiday Medley – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

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