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Christmas time is here, by golly ...

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#News flash — he's managed to put video on my home page so check it out!

Come back here regularly to check out new Christmas Quiz questions.

Well this is my second December in Church Minshull and I'll let you into a secret ...... I have to write this blog in November, so although I'm saying Christmas time is here by golly, it isn't, at least not now when I'm writing, but it will be when you're reading this. Do you understand? I'm not sure I do! Anyway hands up if you know what song the title of this blog is the opening line of? No googling allowed! Well done if you know it, but it doesn't matter if you don't as its a bit "niche" — that's my man-person's way of explaining it away when the younger people come to visit and say his taste in music is awful. I'm with them on this one. It is "A Christmas Carol" written by the American mathematician Tom Lehrer, and recorded in 1959: you can listen to it here if you want to waste a few minutes. If you want to waste more time he does have the complete musical (?) works of Tom Lehrer — enough said!

Anyway that's enough about my person's taste in music (he says to tell you that he'll be back at the end with another Minshull Puzzle) and on with my blog. I expect you've noticed that the weather is changing and with it the wildlife — "my field" has lots of different birds now. There are lots of flitty things like wagtails, goldfinches, redwings and fieldfares which are hardly worth chasing, as well as Croaks which are worth going for. What's much more exciting are the Peasants, which lurk and skulk about in the long grass and dead weeds. Himself says not to be judgmental about their name, so sorry if you are one, but they really are dim (even by dog standards he says from the keyboard as I dictate this). The Peasants try to hide from me but don't smell pleasant, so I soon flush them out. I put this picture in to show you how well I "point" when I get the scent, but my person says it shows how well I get stuck in the hedge.

I think the Peasants have been a bit short-changed in the wing department because after a lot of noise, effort and a short glide it's legs and flaps down and put up your tray tables — they're coming in to land. I can run so fast that the other day I was there on the runway to greet one on landing, so lots of noise and kerfuffle (again) and he was up and away over the hedge. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure what I'd do with one if I caught it, as I've not read that part of the Labrador manual yet! Did you know I can run faster than the speed of sound? Yes, faster than himself can shout after me anyway.

So after last month's cryptic quiz question, answer on my web-page, this month I've let him set a Christmas themed quiz. If you get them right I'll keep adding questions as the month goes on, so email me your answers. Some will be easy, and all have some Christmas relevance so have a go — to get you off to a good start think along the lines of the "12 days of Christmas" for question 1 — if you do well we might finish with the 12th question on or around Christmas day. Answers will appear on my web-page

1: A bit of this joins hills ... (9 letters)
2: Thrush stubbed one to get a peck (9)

A couple more easy ones ....

3: You'd be mad to pull them! (8)
4. Addicts might get cold, but better roasted (6)

You're doing well ....

5. I thought about an audible complaint but this eased it (6,4)

Got by several readers, so here is another easy one then I'll put some more later. Hope you get all 12 by Christmas Day!

6. Ant's pal gains warmth at this time (8)

7. Sounds like very small agents, eaten at this time of year (5,4)
8. She's often sung now (6)
9. This describes where the baby lay (4)
10. To be honest I was almost made angry receiving this gift (12)
11. Its aired after lunch in New York, with a fruit (6,6)
12. And finally .... easiest of all .... "24 hours after being in the ring" (6,3)

As usual answers to madaithelabrador@gmail.com

Have a Happy Christmas

Madai

PS, for Home Page: I keep tinkering with my home page and if you visit there now you will see how I learnt to swim. To visit my home page and previous blogs click here.