Stocking Stuffers

a cryptic puzzle by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Each of 11 answers gets an extra letter stuffed into it, forming a new word to be entered in the diagram. To keep from showing which answers are thus affected, answer lengths have been withheld from the clues. When, in the finished diagram, the 11 extra letters are read from top to bottom and left to right column by column, starting with the leftmost column, they will spell out an answer to the riddle “What did Santa Claus entitle his book about stocking-stuffing?” Clue answers include five proper nouns.


  • 1.
    Oddly sore about red Christmas ornament
  • 8.
    A third of the Volunteer State’s number
  • 9.
    Even characters in Farnham make a collection of miscellany
  • 10.
    Uranium plant captured by one robot
  • 11.
    Drunk I’m turning back is splitting
  • 12.
    E.g., man’s lip covered with meat spread
  • 16.
    Senora’s novel uses logic
  • 17.
    Beat someone hitting someone else over the head loudly
  • 21.
    A Dixie soldier in prison sent back meals
  • 23.
    Trap garden snakes ahead of time
  • 26.
    Disallows half of female wailers
  • 27.
    Name from 1967 song “A New' Life”
  • 29.
    Use pursuasion on old king holding a jack
  • 32.
    Avoid getting hot in sun
  • 33.
    Went beyond wheel on front of truck carrying stray
  • 35.
    Fish school eaten by pony
  • 37.
    Stop terrible fight in mail site
  • 38.
    It’s obvious—head not empty
  • 39.
    Lament the French way


  • 1.
    Fuel up for fall
  • 2.
    Baseball arbiter grabbed by the right hitter
  • 3.
    Put new rollers on and go to bed
  • 4.
    Sign up with sea captain
  • 5.
    Something of tin, yet ductile
  • 6.
    Relaxes with tube during swimming lesson
  • 7.
    Northerner jerk
  • 13.
    No use in mouse squeaking without a king in church
  • 14.
    Country has choice word for big picture
  • 15.
    Born and raised elitist consuming our drinks
  • 17.
    County board reformed Spanish city
  • 18.
    Narrate a new version about the bowman
  • 19.
    Far-out spacers’ astronomical distances
  • 20.
    Article lodged in long, large gland
  • 22.
    For audiences, fashion steps over a wall
  • 24.
    Cryptic rune I make harder
  • 25.
    Musical text #51-B upset river dweller
  • 28.
    Carried up empty' dress
  • 30.
    New York Times supports “love rock”
  • 31.
    Stick around Italian river with gangster
  • 33.
    I goofed, overturning salt, pepper, and eggs
  • 34.
    Final error in New' Testament
  • 36.
    Capsized, sinking ship’s deserter is seaman