Procol Harum

the Pale

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Christmas Quiz 2016

 The Solution

The fact that all competitors submitted the correct solution testifies to the simplicity of this year's challenge. Read competitors' comments here

Gazing nightly at the grid of letters, contestants quickly learnt to pick out a key word that identified a particular Procol song, and then look for the other related words (their lengths laving been specified) that were squirreled away in the square.

There were of course, some reddish herrings ... and competitors fell for them hook line and sinker, to our delight.

Which members of Procol Harum are not included?

Why is one included twice?

Which Beatle is anagrammatised?

Why is one included twice?

Which Procol album is not represented?

And so on and so on. Herring details are spelt out in the table below, along with a running thread thanking the indispensable Jane Clare for working the puzzles in advance, and troubleshooting various glitches.

Once people had found out all the words, they were asked to identify corner-squares that remianed untouched, and to compile the letters therein.

Taken in order from 25 December onward, these letters spelt out a reassuring little message ... ROLAND HATH CHECKED THE START.

This complemented the running thread, 'Jane comes from Perth and very kindly oversaw various final puzzle checks' ... as if, sharing out start and ending, father and daughter had made sure everything worked.

The next step was to find a Procol tune whose name was an anagram of 'Roland hath checked the start'.

That's not a quick task. The quick task is just to find a 25-letter song title with a 'K' in it ... The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.

And as for the five-word phrase sung after the last iteration of the title, it was 'Gonna be the lucky one' ... which voiced the hopes of every competitor and tallied infallibly with the lucky four-leaf clover that appears on every page.

Now read on ...

25 December

Unused corner-letter(s): R

Running thread: Jane

Procol forename(s): Gary


26 December

Unused corner-letter(s): O, L

Running thread: comes

Procol forename(s): Barrie

27 December

Unused corner-letter(s): A, N, D

Running thread: from

Procol forename(s): Henry, Alan

Beatle: John

28 December

Unused corner-letter(s): H, A

Running thread: Perth

Procol forename(s): David, Dave

29 December

Unused corner-letter(s): T

Running thread: and

Procol forename(s): Ray, Ian

30 December

Unused corner-letter(s): H

Running thread: very

Procol forename(s): Chris

Beatle: Paul

31 December

Unused corner-letter(s): C, H, E, C

Running thread: kindly

Procol forename(s): Mick

01 January

Unused corner-letter(s): K

Running thread: oversaw

Procol forename(s): Robin, Don

Beatles: Ringo, Egoger

02 January

Unused corner-letter(s): E, D

Running thread: various

Procol forename(s): Geoff D, Geoff W

03 January

Unused corner-letter(s): T, H

Running thread: final

Procol forename(s): Pete, Matt

04 January

Unused corner-letter(s): E, S

Running thread: puzzle

Procol forename(s): Robin again, Keith, Mark, Graham, Tim R


05 January

Unused corner-letter(s): T, A, R, T

Running thread: checks

Procol forename(s): Kellogs, Josh

Beatle: John again

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