Version of the SSQQ Christmas Puzzle is only available during the Holiday Season
from Thanksgiving through New Years.
However, the Short Version
of the Puzzle is open year-round.
Written by Rick
This Christmas Carol Puzzle traces its origin to 24 clues that were the work of some unknown
artist from back in the Eighties. When I decided to post this
puzzle on the Internet in 1999, I added 16 more
clues to round it out to 40.
As you might imagine,
the Internet worked the same magic for this Puzzle in the 2000s that
the Fax machine did for Original Puzzle in the Eighties and Nineties, albeit on a
much larger scale. This puzzle began to reach people
across the planet thanks to Google and other search engines
when they began pointing people to my web site as early as 2000.
isn't called the "World Wide Web" for nothing. Today people
across the world are able to enjoy the SSQQ Christmas Puzzle due to
this incredible modern marvel known as the Internet. So
whatever part of Planet Earth you come from to visit this page,
Christmas Carol Puzzle Grew
I did not originate this puzzle.
I borrowed the work of Mississippi lady named Lahlete
Pearson who drew up the Original Puzzle in 1985. In 1996 I was
given a Fax containing 24 riddles
that were based on Ms. Pearson's work.
Although I didn't do very well on the puzzle thanks to my
general ignorance of the names of Christmas Carols, I thought the puzzle
was very cute.
retirement in 2010, I ran SSQQ
Dance Studio here in Houston, Texas. During my 30 year career (1980-2010)
SSQQ became the largest dance studio in the United States.
One of the major reasons for the success of my dance studio
was my use of the Internet. I created a web site for
SSQQ long before it became the way of doing business.
As a way of
attracting my dance studio to my web site in the early
going, I published everything I could find that seemed
interesting. One day in 1999 I noticed the Fax copy of
the Original Puzzle laying around. I thought it would
be a neat Christmas present for my friends at the dance
studio. However, the art work was so rudimentary, I
upgraded it using commercial art work from an art service
that is now out of business.
While I was at
it, I added 16 more clues to the original 24 to make a nice
round number of 40. Then I published it on my web
site. Sure enough, everyone loved the new exciting
version of the Christmas Carol Puzzle!
The following year, a couple dance students asked if I was
going to add any new riddles. Sure, why not? So I began to make my own
contributions. During the 2000s, each year I added ten more
riddles if I had the time to invest. As the Puzzle has
expanded, I have worked hard to honor the spirit of the
As with any
project that expands, there have been growing pains.
Once I went past the best known Carols, I realized that most
people couldn't guess the new riddles because their
knowledge of Carol Titles wasn't large enough. So I
created the Clue List. Good idea!
Now the Puzzle became much more popular. Even if you
live in a foreign country with little knowledge of Christmas
Carols, you had a fighting chance. This innovation
allowed the puzzle to become International.
At some point, I
ran out of all the classic titles. Now what? I
had to find new titles so I could create new riddles.
First I add Country-Western songs about Christmas like "Christmas
Time in Texas" by George Strait. Then I added
humorous titles like "All I Want for Christmas are my
Two Front Teeth". Every time I expanded
the puzzle, I got more compliments. But I was running
out of new titles. I needed a new source!
I found a
Christmas Carol list on the Internet that was 19 pages long!
Problem solved. However, since I had never heard of most of
these songs nor had anyone else, I had no choice but to add
the obscure titles to my Clue List. The
Clue List kept getting longer and longer. Now the
Christmas Puzzle began to require an entire evening to
As the Puzzle
expanded, I quickly learned many visitors aren't that
interested in devoting an entire evening to solving the
puzzle. They wanted to use the puzzle as a challenge
for their 8th grade math class in the week before school
lets out. Or a church group is having a party and this
puzzle would be the perfect afternoon activity. Or
there is going to be a family reunion - which side of the
family can solve the puzzle first?
many of these people were in a hurry. The party
is TONIGHT! They needed the answers
immediately. After a series of similar complaints, I
decided they had a point. The Puzzle had grown so
large that it wasn't serving everyone's needs.
So in 2007 I decided to divide the
Christmas Carol Puzzle
into two parts: Short and Long.
The Short Version was first named the Top Forty.
In 2011 I added 10 more clues to the short version and
renamed it the Short Puzzle. The
SSQQ Short Puzzle
is published year-round. In addition, the
its 50 riddles
are also published year-round.
the SSQQ Long Puzzle
Not everyone objects to the time involved in
solving the Long Puzzle. Over the years, I
have received countless emails where people wrote to say how
much they enjoyed the challenge... especially in
Canada and other places where winter is very
difficult. Apparently the colder it is
outside, the more popular my puzzle becomes! I
have gotten one note after another from some poor
soul that is house-bound due to a huge snowfall.
They said working this puzzle was the only thing
that kept them from going nuts until the roads were
a while I receive a complaint to say that my
Christmas Puzzle is too hard. My reply is that
if you want an easy puzzle, the
Puzzle is a piece of cake. If you
have a group of Third Graders, for example, why not
let them work the puzzle that contains the most
popular Carol Titles of all?
The Long Puzzle, on the other hand, is hard
and I admit it. I love puzzles! I love
crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, logic puzzles,
Sudoku, chess problems, word jumbles, you name it.
So when it came time to the create my own version of
the Original Puzzle, I had a ball. I made some
riddles easy and I made some riddles hard enough to
make people think a little bit.
With 150 Riddles and a Clue List of 320, solving
this huge Puzzle is a daunting task. But don't
complain about it! Embrace it! If you
like to solve Puzzles and you like Christmas, then
you are in for a real treat.
years, I have kept the ratio of Clues to Riddles
about two to one. Some people write to fuss
about all the extra clues. For example, Santa
appears in dozens of riddles and his name appears in
dozens of clues. How are they supposed to know
which Santa clue goes with which Santa riddle?
Well, my point of view is that does make the Puzzle
tougher, but if everything was obvious, then it
wouldn't be much of a challenge, now would it?
On the other hand, I want the puzzle to be
fair. There are people who are serious about
getting a perfect score! So I will make
everyone an offer. If you spot a riddle that
could be answered by more than one clue or you see a
riddle that is too weird to figure out, write me and
tell me about it. The SSQQ Christmas Carol
Puzzle now belongs to the world. So if you see
a way to make the Puzzle better, by all means speak
Send your ideas to Rick Archer,
SSQQ LONG PUZZLE
Rick Archer's Note: The Long
Version of the SSQQ Christmas Carol Puzzle is only
posted during the Christmas Holidays
from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day)
Please note that all of
these riddles are my original work.
It is my wish that you share the puzzle far and wide. You are more than welcome to use these clues for church parties,
school assignments, office parties, and parties at your home as well
your own pleasure.
However I would prefer you not use these
clues for commercial purposes. I give the Puzzle away for
free. It is therefore not right for someone to exploit the
Puzzle for money - especially without my permission!
In addition, if
you copy my pictures for any reason, I would really appreciate it if
you would add my name.
Stop and think about it.
The person who originally created this puzzle is completely unknown.
I don't want that to happen to me. Considering I have put ten
years of effort into making this the best Christmas Puzzle on the
Internet, I would appreciate at least being remembered for my
contribution. That would mean a lot to me.
So PLEASE add my name. Thanks, Rick Archer.
WOULD YOU LIKE THE ANSWERS?
the Short Puzzle are provided on a year-round
However, you need to do some work
to get the Long Puzzle answers.
When you get
correct answers from LONG PUZZLE CLUES 001-150,
email me the answers and I will happily send you the rest.
Santa will be
so very proud of
you! So will I.
One more thing: please put "SSQQ Christmas Puzzle"
in the email heading. That should get it past the spam blockers. I
am not kidding. I get so much email, sometimes I accidentally
delete legitimate mail.
But if I see the magic words, then I am less likely to miss. By the way, if three
days pass and you don't get an answer, please try again. I am very
conscientious about responding.
Send your answers to Rick Archer
will not respond to any email
that does not include 75
or more correct answers. You have my word on that.
"Can I please have the
answers and be done with it??"
As the example on the left
indicates, every year people email to say they want to
use my puzzle for their big party,
but they just don't have the time to
requests" always come with some tug
at the heart... boy scout troop, old
folks home, family gathering, church
"don't have time", but I don't have much
sympathy. After all, I give all the
busy people a simple alternative...
Just use the
Short Puzzle for
your Christmas Party!
In my opinion, the Long Puzzle is
not appropriate for the typical
Christmas party. It
requires a marathon effort!!
No one at a party has
this kind of attention span unless
the purpose of the party is
specifically for a group of Puzzle
lovers to tackle this massive task.
On the other hand, the Short
Puzzle was designed as a
30 to 60 minute challenge.
It doesn't require deep
concentration since these clues to
the best known
Carols are easily solved.
The Long Puzzle is much too
difficult for most social gatherings. The
takes HOURS to solve. Unless
the entire purpose of your party is
a minimum of two hours (or more)
specifically to solve the Long
Puzzle, the Short Puzzle
is far superior as a fun Christmas
Sent: Sunday, December
01, 2013 9:32 AM
Subject: Christmas quizz
Richard, my name is Clive Hobson and i work for
Somerset Residential Care in Wellington and i
have just seen your quizz which is just what i
am looking for as a quizz for our residence this
Christmas. Would it be possible for you to send
me the answers, i would be most grateful.
My manager is Jo and she can be reached
at [ ]. Many thanks
for your help.
Rick Archer's Note: And did I respond?
No. Give me 75 answers or don't bother.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!
Rick Archer's Note: As of 2012, the Long
Puzzle contains 15 pages of ten riddles each.
Some of these titles will be obscure.
If you prefer the famous titles, the SSQQ Short Puzzle uses
all the famous Christmas Carol names.
After I created riddles for all the most famous Christmas
Carols, I was forced to through my net far and wide to find
new titles. I added titles from
Country-Western Christmas albums and humorous songs like
"All I Want for Christmas
are my Two Front Teeth"
that are not widely known. When
those sources ran out, I turned to a list of Christmas
Carols nineteen pages long. Many of those titles go
all the way back to medieval Europe. I have never
heard of them so you probably haven't either.
In addition, I
will now confess that good pictures are harder to find than
new titles. If I came across an especially cute
picture, I created a title to go with it. There are
20 or so riddles in this category.
If you wish to
complain, be my guest. Everyone else complains, so go
right ahead. Or you could simply smile and agree that
it is fun to solve new riddles even if maybe they are not a
legitimate Carol title.
Since there are
so many titles that people have never heard of,
before you start,
I suggest that you first print out the
This list contains 320 Christmas Carol
Names, many of which you have never heard of.
Don't let that stop you.
Using the Clue List, you should
be able to recognize many of the Picture Puzzle
titles as you go through
the puzzle. No clue is used more than once, so whenever you get one,
it is helpful to cross it off your list as you go along!