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Christmas Crossword

In order to give the poor old compiler a rest, there is no 'Monthly Crossword' in the B.B. this month. Instead, we have a crossword compiled by Andy Nichols, who says "The answer is shown TWICE in each clue  - once for novices and once for hard men.  Clues marked * will be easier for members who can remember when they last went down Swildons.

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ACROSS:

3. Abstainer about secretary - have a go! (7)
9. Children wi'out one pointless looper. (5) *
10. Series near entrance a cut above others. (5) *
11. Bun-heaters association - all of us together. (3,4)
12. Sort of slack gathered in Mayday passage? (5)
13. Queen and commie strayed like lost sheep. (5)
14. Suffered by divers in sinuous sumps. (5)
17. Not off-peak, but punctual. (2,4)
18. 22/7 sensationalised crime in Shatter. (6) *
19. Sweet, sticky and calamitous for him. (5) *
22. Dim, uh; or just wet? (5)
24. Endless 28 or confused 4. (5)
25. Synthetic rope in foul, strong drink. (7)
26. Foreigners may need them for Cuthbert’s. (5)
27. What does Archer do at church? Tango? (5)
28. Belays for her test. (7)

DOWN:

1. Sailor an' fellow are optimistic.  Give up? (7,4) *
2. Ted's head and rodent’s head; he worshipped here (5,6) *
3. Swine’s at home, a bit hasty. (1,1)
4. - Where?  In the other eye! (5)
5. Doctor came first when Ratty's friend dug. (5)
6. A non-U place underground. (4) *
7. Getting closer but leaving the stream. (11) *
8. Scented subterranean scene worried drip-dry gene (6, 5) *
14. We're all for 11, initially. (1,1,1)
15. Wimple-wearer gives international body a point. (3)
16. Job for my little eye when odds start year. (3)
20. City stripper's object in present position. (5)
21. Sapper upset with spadework and funeral song. (5)
23. Dry earth in Hindustani. (4)
24. Old penny in three-cornered fight runs out. (4)

 ( Solution next month )

And for those who like a "crossword" that’s a bit different, we have been sent the following: -

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General Clue

This was compiled by Alan Thomas

Across:

1. Most conveniently situated cave on Mendip?
12. North in caving H.Q.; Royal Cipher and footwear with learner in it!
13. Thor shun eel piel

Down:

1. Examples of a bone found in meat.
2. Female sheep.
3. Cockney fowls?
4. Sold by cafes.
5. Relaxation.
6. Ours, perhaps?
7. Messes with a thousand missing.
8. Often dropped by Cockneys.
9. Flexible London pipe?
10. Old measures of cloth.
11. This puzzle may be completed with this.

Cave Notes

The club’s new occasional multi-subject caving report series has now its first number on sale at 30p. Also recently published is Caving Report No. 14 – again at 30p.