Christmas crossword 2023

Welcome to the BB Christmas crossword competition 2023!
Bubble Brothers Christmas crossword 2023

This year's crossword

Our Christmas crossword is back. As in the past, the fun is in the taking part, not the winning, but there's a bottle of André Clouet's magnificent Pinot Noir champagne for the first fully correct entry out of the hat, and there's a little something for all correctly completed entries. You can download the puzzle as a .pdf for printing by clicking the image above or this button:

The season to be jolly

The deadline for printing (once again we're publishing this puzzle in the Cork Independent) came round very quickly… but as in previous years, the puzzle is a mixture of clues. We've tried once more to touch on Christmas, Cork, wine and so on where possible. The idea is to bring people together for a bit of fun and see what the meeting of minds comes up with.

Googling allowed

You can enlist the help of artificial intelligence, by all means, but some of the clues are on the cryptic side in order to give humans a chance. On the whole, though, none of the solutions should be beyond the reach of an average crossword fan with a standard dictionary (or internet access) and a little curiosity.

One thing we're not, and the closing date

Please note, we repeat, that we're not professional crossword compilers, so please make allowances, don't take it too seriously, and enjoy it for what it is—you've got until midnight on Sunday 7th January 2024 to submit your entries.

Prizes and results

On Monday 9th January, 2024 or very shortly afterwards, we'll hold a draw for first prize, and announce the winner here and on selected social media too.

The first prize is a bottle of really good champagne

We're giving away a bottle of really fine Pinot Noir champagne from one of our favourite suppliers, Jean-François Clouet of André Clouet in the grand cru village of Bouzy. Cheers!

A prize for all correct entries

All correct and complete entries received—one per person, please—will win a €5 gift voucher. We'll need either an e-mail address or a mobile telephone number in order to send the vouchers on. You won't receive our occasional newsletters or any further correspondence as a result, unless you choose to do so.

How to enter

Download and print the crossword using the image or the button at the top of this post (subject to availability) collect a printed copy from us. (We've published the grid and clues here just to give you an idea of what you're in for). Complete the crossword and then:

  • Hand in your entry at our shop in the English Market, or
  • Send legible scans or photos of your entry to the e-mail address on the form, or
  • Post your completed Christmas crossword to us at Bubble Brothers, Unit Eight, Cork Bonded Warehouses, Little Island, Cork T45 WP22
Grid for Bubble Brothers 2021 Christmas crossword


1 Vine berry (5)
4 Strengthened, like port, sherry or Madeira (9)
9 Gin berry (7)
10 How many sleeps till Christmas, on the 17th (5)
11 One of five starts an appellation in the Loire Valley (6)
12 Some Beaujolais, on the 16th November, 2023 (7)
14 It’s baking in here (4)
15 A socialist pulse in the soup? (3, 6)
19 Sparkling red wine from northern Italy (9)
20 Ladies’ fingers are all right next to the Royal Academy (4)
22 Marvel, wonder (2, 2, 3)
25 Rías ______, wine region in Galicia (6)
27 Singer loses head, but makes rule after reshuffle (5)
28 Let slip origin in time—a job for a plumber (7)
29 A roomful of stretchers (4, 5)
30 Band from the watering hole? (5)


1 I-jog-backwards berry (4)
2 How the Romans sometimes banqueted—in their own words (2, 7)
3 Spain, as they say in Spain (6)
4 Brettanomyces can make your wine smell like these (9)
5 Greeting card favourite hasn’t given up on twitter (5)
6 Square, square, square—yet as cool as can be (3, 5)
7 Mingle topless where the heat is on (5)
8 Information transfer, to the cloud, perhaps (4, 6)
13 Festive fruit sounds like a film star (5, 5)
16 Seasonal ding-dongs, often with a guest appearance (9)
17 Stay awake in confusion for fast food (9)
18 Runnymede agreement distilled into brandy—no ta!
21 Opera biscuit? (6)
23 In the choir, me? Sounds like it (5)
24 Has a walk-on part, something above and beyond (5)
26 More than one Cork river may enrich your wine (4)