Welcome to our Brand New Advent Calendar!

Each day during Advent we'll post a new clue on our home page (here). The first letter of each answer is a different letter of the alphabet - in ascending order - and each of the clues lead to a Christmas-related answer.

1st

Angels
Clue: Herald singers who could be right, acute or obtuse - if the French were reversed

Obtuse, acute and right are angles. One French word for 'the' is 'le' - so turn reverse that within 'angles' and you get 'angels'. According to the carol, the Herald angels Sang at the nativity (to the shepherds)

2nd

Balthasar
Clue: Balm that Sara endlessly used to make a King

Removing the last letters of the first three words (so that they appear 'endlessly') gives you Balthasar, one of the Three Kings/Wise Men

3rd

Cranberry sauce
Clue: See, curry bar can rustle up this traditional part of the Christmas dinner

'Cranberry sauce' is an anagram of 'see, curry bar can'. It is an important part of the Christmas meal for many people, complementing the turkey

4th

Dasher
Clue: Haberdashery is the haunt of a present puller

The name 'Dasher' is hidden in the word 'haberdashery' (thus the latter is its 'haunt'). Dasher is one of the eight reindeer in the Clement Clarke Moore poem 'A Visit from St Nicholas' (aka Twas the night before Christmas). It has always troubled our household that Rudolf isn't mentioned. Maybe he was ill... (hence the red nose?)

5th

Evergreen
Clue: When headless, never agree an ornament of the season might be this?

An anagram of 'never agree' - but it needs to be 'headless', so remove the first letter. Your Christmas tree is likely to be an evergreen (if it's a real tree!)

6th

Father Christmas
Clue: Rotund woman's leading in charms sorted a nickname for today's festal subject

6th December is the Feast Day of St Nicholas, aka Santa Claus and Father Christmas. Fat = rotund; woman's = 'her'; leading = '1st' (or 'ist') in an anagram ('sorted') of 'charms'

7th

Goose
Clue: Fig grown outside - if you take every third one - might contain a bird a-laying?

Taking every third letter of the first three words of the clue makes 'goose'; there were Six Geese A-Laying in the Twelve Days of Christmas!

8th

Holly
Clue: Ivy's partner whose capital moved two along and became merry!

The Holly is the Ivy's partner in the famous carol, and if you take the first letter of 'Holly' and move it two letters along in the alphabet, you get 'Jolly' which means 'merry'

9th

In the bleak midwinter
Clue: Brewed the milk in a tin? That might become a popular carol!

An anagram of 'brewed the milk in a tin', and it's one of the best-loved carols. Penned by Christina Rossetti it was first published in 1872 and was included in "Goblin Market, The Prince's Progress and Other Poems" in 1875

10th

John the Baptist
Clue: Can drunk tip best hat for the deserter?

A 'john' is also a 'can' (which is also a toilet!); 'the Baptist' is an anagram ('drunk') of 'tip best hat'. John the Baptist foretold the nativity while he was prophesying in the desert.

11th

Knocker
Clue: Detractor with Marley's face?

A detractor may well knock ones achievements; meanwhile, Marley's face appeared on Scrooge's doorknocker in A Christmas Carol. Doorknockers are often decorated at Christmas!

12th

Lapland
Clue: A friend from the east has put down in present country

Your friend is your pal; spell that 'the wrong way round' (ie, east to west). To 'put down' is to 'land'. Lapland is, of course, where Santa and his presents come from...

13th

Myrrh
Clue: A royal gift finishes off calm day or calmer month

The last letters of 'calm day or calmer month' spell 'myrrh' which was one of the gifts brought by the Three Kings/Wise Men

14th

Noel
Clue: Trotsky, when he comes back, might be a Gallagher, or Fielding or Coward (or a Christmas greeting!)

'Noel' is the greeting seen on many Christmas cards (and which we sing in many carols). It's a word the French use for Christmas, and is derived from the word 'Nouvelles' meaning 'news'. Good news, that is!

15th

Ox
Clue: Stablemate was in the unopened box

An ox is popularly believed to have been in the stable at the time of the nativity (although it is not mentioned in the canonical gospel narratives, it is prophesied). The word 'box', if 'unopened', is simply 'ox'

16th

Pantomime
Clue: Christmas show: Puss in Bit of Glass pulling in one million!

The pantomime is THE seasonal entertainment for many people. It is descended from the harlequins and Commedia del'Arte traditions. The word is made up, in this case, of 'Tom' ([male] cat) in 'pane' (bit of glass), with im = '1 million' inside that.

17th

Quirinius
Clue: The Governor initially, quite usefully, introduced really interesting new information upon Syria

Quirinius, according to the nativity story, was Governor of Syria at the time of the nativity. The picture is a mosaic in the Chora Church, Istanbul, dated about 1315. In the clue, the first letters of the words from 'quite' to 'Syria' spell his name.

18th

Robin
Clue: Clergy preparing for service fall short, so get a hood?

The robin (with his red breast) adorns many winter gardens and Christmas cards; clergy can be found 'robing' before a service, so take the last letter off that and you'll get the name of Mr Hood - robbing the rich to feed the poor (they say) in King John's day

19th

Star
Clue: Anise shooting fish gets three examples of celebrity!

The Star of Bethlehem - whether a supernatural event, a supernova, comet or simply never happened - is a vital part of the Nativity story, leading the Three Kings to the stable. Anise, shooting, starfish and celebrity are all types of star

20th

Ten Lords a-Leaping
Clue: "Curious", single pear told an airborne decade of peers

There were, according to the Partridge in a Pear Tree song (aka 12 Days of Christmas) Ten Lords a-Leaping, just after the Nine Ladies Dancing. 'Ten Lords a-Leaping' is anagram of 'single pear told an' (and vice versa, of course). The image is the House of Lords being addressed by Queen Anne

21st

We will reveal today's answer tomorrow. If you haven't worked it out yet, why not do it now by visiting our home page?

22nd

Coming soon...

23rd

Coming soon...

24th

Coming soon...

25th

Coming soon...