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Christmas Conundrums 2001

'By The Light of Thirteen Candles'

Over the twelve days of Christmas the competitors – in very large numbers – collected twelve alphabetical letters, being the initials of various answers to questions hidden behind the pictures or banners on pages originally uploaded to 'Beyond the Pale' on the 13th day of particular months as specified.

Those twelve letters (see below) enigmatically spelt out 'Wombats Wrath', and we then asked you to treat those letters as the initial letters of tracks, and find a Procol album with all of them on it.

This wasn't difficult – how many of their albums have twelve or more tracks, after all ? – and the answer is the excellent live album, One More Time (incidentally, recorded on February 13th).

A Thirteenth Question then invited you to find out which track on that album did not have its initial letter as one of the puzzle answers, and the solution to the entire conundrum was to be the first word sung in that song. The track in question is Grand Hotel, its first word 'Tonight' … and if you had been in any doubt, the explicit instruction to 'mail us tonight' should have given you something of a confirmation!

A small number of people knew which song was the odd one out but weren't ready with the first word : they all got a 'try again' message, and chiefly came straight back with 'tonight' … possibly assisted by the fact that the correct answer had been unexpectedly posted to the Procol list very early in the evening's proceedings!

Congratulations to the thirteen winners, and commiserations to all whose answers came in later, specially those whose cache-oriented ISPs had been perversely unwilling to let them see the upload of the last question. Particular thanks to those who took the trouble to say they'd enjoyed the fun … and who found our endeavours 'devious'. Messages like '… in anticipating our guesswork you take a perpendicular turn with the final instructions. You warn us to "read carefully" but … we find that you have literally given us the answer already. I can't figure out how you guys come up with these concepts … ' are singularly heartening!

Remember … only 353 days or so to wait before it all starts again.

The questions and the answers, 2001

December 25


There's a drummer in each of these pictures … what’s his surname? (These questions are not intended to be particularly challenging!)


Puzzle here, answer here

December 26


Between Poison Ivy and Santa Claus is Back In Town the Shoes played a Stephen Foster song with 'Joe' in the title. 'Joe' is black … what other word describes him in the title?


Puzzle here, answer here

December 27


Apart from the title track, only one of the song-lyrics contains the exact wording of its title: in that song, something's riding on someone's back: what animal is it?


Puzzle here, answer here

December 28


What was the last name of the Paramounts' roadie before Kellogs (he had a Dormobile)?


Puzzle here, answer here

December 29


In what country was this photograph of Franky, Gary and Chris taken?


Puzzle here, answer here

December 30


What's the initial letter of the percussion instrument that plays a roll in bar (measure) 200 and 201 of Simple Sister in Gary's score?


Puzzle here, answer here

December 31


Name the New York City Music Festival Robin Trower played at in August 1974


Puzzle here, answer here

January 1


What’s the surname of the reputed former user of Claes Johansen's Rickenbacker 330?


Puzzle here, answer here

January 2


The text on Larry's picture page mentions two musicians (one a singer/pianist, the other a guitarist) whose forenames are identical: they start with the initial letter that you need.


Puzzle here, answer here

January 3


Where was this picture of Dave Bronze taken?


Puzzle here, answer here

January 4


Forename of the youth who likes to play 'challenging jazz at a volume that threatens to draw blood'?


Puzzle here, answer here

January 5


Procol Harum seem to love the country these pictures were taken in, or else it's the other way round. Their last gig there was in Copenhagen … where was the penultimate one?


Puzzle here, answer here


Christmas Puzzles main page

Names of Triumphant Victors