Thanks to all who entered the Bubble Brothers Christmas crossword competition 2021.
December was very busy for us, and when January came there was a lot of housekeeping to do. I'm sorry to keep you waiting for the solution and winners' details, but here they are.
The magnum of André Clouet Grande Réserve champagne, for the first correct entry out of the hat, goes to Maura O'Doherty. And here is a snap of the prizegiving ceremony.
The fifty euro voucher for Pinocchio's toyshop in Paul Street, for the next correct entry drawn, goes to Ran Hanley.
Congratulations to both! All those who submitted correct entries will receive a five euro gift voucher for Bubble Brothers.
It looks as though it was difficult to insert wrong answers to this year's puzzle, though there were a couple of clues that could have been better written—but on the whole it seems everyone who entered enjoyed the challenge.
I preferred SIP AT to SIP IT for 16 across, and ANY to ARY for 18 across, but all those were treated as correct (ARY is in the dictionary, even if it's not a word you hear very often).
- 1 and 4 Wine merchants delivering year-round sparkle (6,8)
- 4 see 1 across
- 10 Do your bit for the environment—or feel envy (4,5)
- TURN GREEN
- 11 see 9 down (5)
- 12 Dark and nutty—they're a kind of 14 down (8)
- 13 Blend of red and blue seen at bubblebrothers.ie (6)
- 15 Taps into the likes of 20 down (7)
- 16 Drink little by little (3,2)
- SIP AT
- 18 Three-sevenths of January (3)
- 19 Beer is in the smallest outbuilding at the brewery (5)
- 21 Endless Palestine upheaval leads to Irish cheers (6)
- 24 Sommeliers make use of them—but there are strings attached (6)
- 26 Possibly brought on by an excess of wine, or crosswords (8)
- 28 Name given to internationally proven grape varieties (5)
- 29 GG's lucky footwear? (9)
- 30 Sufficiently chewed, deer nuts become a mouthful with bite (8)
- 31 Some people [10 across] at the thought of this seasonal vegetable (6)
- 1 Up for a toast (7)
- BOTTOMS (7)
- 2 Light red wine from Lake Garda (9)
- BARDOLINO (9)
- 3 The capital of La Rioja (7)
- LOGRONO (7)
- 5 Ice in your drinks? (4)
- RINK (4)
- 6 They 'cheer but not inebriate' in Cowper's poem (7)
- TEACUPS (7)
- 7 Finish your food! (3,2)
- EAT UP (3,2)
- 8 Have an inkling—it's a bit iffy (7)
- SUSPECT (7)
- 9 and 11 across The choir, but without the usual highs and lows (6,3,5)
- TENORS AND (6,3)
- 14 Fino or Manzanilla, for example (3,6)
- DRY SHERRY (3,6)
- 17 Paul Street toy shop takes its name from this reformed character (8)
- PINOCCHIO (8)
- 19 Da is tangled up in tinsel with No-ël for a glass (7)
- STAINED (7)
- 20 Wine barrel looks heavy to begin with (7)
- TONNEAU (7)
- 22 The snow in 'Good King Wenceslas' is crisp, even --- ----- (3,4)
- AND DEEP (3,4)
- 23 High place that's sure to get snow (7)
- EVEREST (7)
- 25 Mr O'Broin has seasonal bird in a flap (5)
- ROBIN (5)
- 27 Pull old penny from hedge and exchange for cooking fat (4)
- GHEE (4)