Mel’s Christmas Conundrum

What an awful year we have had since I sent my last Christmas Conundrum out.  So much has happened – and so much has not happened too!!  It feels like an age ago in a different country.  Indeed, it seems ages since I sent my Coronavirus Conundrum out which was well received in the first lockdown to keep the little grey cells active.

One thing that did happen in the latter part of the year was the USA Presidential Election.  You could not miss it on the TV for weeks – I felt like the child in the back seat going on holiday – “Are we there yet?!!”  Things that struck me – if Sunderland can count our votes in 20 minutes why does one of the most technically advanced countries take over a week? – and they only had two piles to put them on and count!!  Also, why after tens of millions of votes does it come down each time to an obscure county in Pennsylvania to decide who the President is!

Anyway, stored in the back of your mind will be that map of the USA (why was Alaska in the Pacific next to Hawaii?) so you will be familiar with the red states, the blue stares, the swing states, the sunshine states and the good old rust belt.  That’s good because the answers to my 50 cryptic clues this Christmas are either states of the USA or their biggest cities. I have already given you three potential answers above…. maybe!!!

The clues are attached. There is a prize for the best entry.  If winners tie, I will simply just draw a winner out.  Of course, my decisions are final and we only have gracious losers here Mr.T.

You can send in your entries by e-mail to or by post / hand delivery to 9 Meadow Close, Hethersett, Norwich, NR9 3DZ.  Entries close on Monday January 4th.  Don’t forget to put your name on the entry!

It is only fun so if you are struggling with cryptic clues or want to get the kids involved then please ask for extra help – I can send you the first letters of the answers, the number of letters in the answers, or both.  Obviously if you ask for them you cannot win the prize!!

If you attempt the conundrum and don’t want to send it in but would like the answers, then get in touch after the closing date.

I will circulate this on many of my distribution lists but please feel free to pass on to anyone else, post on websites or any media format.

Whether you try it or not please do your best to make the most of a very different Christmas and sincere wishes for a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year


Mel Perkins MBE


1 1001 and 50 hearing battle to get to locker
2 A calf born in the Channel Islands?
3 A hotel for eagles
4 A noisy sneeze before games of tennis after church service
5 A trotter fully switched on
6 Almost a full map book takes you to North – thanks!
7 Alternative example at work
8 Avengers’ actress not right to join legendary female singer
9 Biblical boat has refit
10 Card game with glass of red
11 Caveman Fred’s wife mostly in good town out west
12 Cheesy place for a spread
13 Cleaner has auction item – a note with jam and bread
14 Condiment taken to Geneva
15 Country to the left at sea
16 Drove stagecoaches beyond Wells
17 Elegant in the past musical
18 European country musically on my mind
19 Find some maid a hoover here
20 Five hesitated before going to French mountain
21 Glasgow pop band that used to sell paint
22 Go to sleep after Asian country then turn over soil
23 Groups of ladies cheat and behave badly
24 Has five stripes, six legs and loves potatoes singing “She Loves You”
25 He discovered it all!!!
26 How big Spain must view Gibraltar
27 Irish water that surrounds the island that gives its race to the French
28 It is fine to initially go to Hollywood to listen to Mr.Simpson
29 Karl sang for his country
30 Launderette takes a heavy load
31 Majority of former Zimbabwe surrounded by water
32 Michael was a thriller next to French city
33 Mr.Barlow has to eat at end of carvery
34 Next King with a heavyweight on Strictly?
35 North-east gives support to Madness music
36 Not applicable to follow a foreign country
37 Revolutionary uses Japanese money to go to Newcastle
38 Second helping of curry
39 Shirt to wear around North North-east and South South-east
40 Sounds like Ms Perkins is in love
41 South Africa returns after they went in here two by two and got reply
42 special tin soldiers?
43 Start of Black Lives Matter movement needed the AA round twice
44 Tea party in Lincolnshire
45 They fly to New York and return in tip-top condition
46 Took headgear back to university
47 We hear the reply to “Will you speak to the wife?”
48 With 4 for a two-player game and what my role is as a hairdresser
49 Woman at first gets in muddle with Tai-Chi
50 Young girl is led to drink by 3.14159