Christmas

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Neinerlaa

Today's picture shows a pyramid with a manger scene. Joseph has a Christmas Matins lantern in his hands. Lanterns of this type are used in the Erzgebirge on the way to Christma Matins on the morning of the 25th December.

The Erzgebirgian people celebrate Christmas Eve with a feast, the Neinerlaa (literally: nine different things). There are many rules surrounding the Neinerlaa. It would take too long to mention them all here. But the nine ingredients that gave the Neinerlaa the name have special meanings. The Griene Kließ (raw potato dumplings) will bring money, the lentils or the millet little money, the beetroot red cheeks (i.e. health), the root celery fertility, bread roll milk white clothes (i.e. order in the house). Also important, there must be animals on earth (sausage from the pig), in the air (goose) and in the water (now herring, formerly also carp).

When I decided to make a Neinerlaa puzzle, it quickly became clear there should be a sudoku, because there are nine rows, nine columns, nine boxes and nine numbers. The pioneering role of the components are symbolized in our puzzle by nine kinds of arrows. And to top this, there is sometimes a purple cell border if the sum of the neighboring cells is 9.

The night watchman's borders

The night watchman is facing the following puzzle:

Fill the grid with tetrominos (4-units) in the colors red, blue and yellow. Tetrominos of the same color can only touch on the corners. An orange line is between a red and a yellow cell, a green line between a yellow and a blue cell. A purple line is between a blue and a red cell.

The night watchman's borders

Munchausen

One of my favorite nutcrackers is Munchausen. The Lord of Lies has today a special nut to crack:

Color the cells of the grid red (the number in the cell is lying) or green (the number in the cell is telling the truth). A number in a green cell says from how many green numbers it is surrounded (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). A number in a red cell does not indicate by how many green numbers it is surrounded horizontally, vertically and diagonally. In no 2x2 square can only be red cells.

Munchausen

Matins Shift

After the shift on 23 December the miners of the Erzgebirge celebrated in their mines the Mettenschicht. Still today many christmas hootenannys take place underground in former mines. For me they are among the most beautiful. Our miner is facing the following puzzle:

The letters A, B, C and D represent four minerals that are hidden in a gallery. Write the letters A, B, C and D) in some fields of the grid. Each letter must occur in each row and each column exactly once. The remaining fields are blank. Letters outside the diagram indicate which letter you see if you look into the grid from that point. Numbers in the grid indicate how many letters are on the 8 neighboring cells. Cells marked with a number are empty.

Mettenschicht

Walls of Madness

Our ancestors began on 24 August, exactly four months before Christmas Eve, with the preparation of Christmas. On this day, the Bartholomew day, the geese have been patterned on the pastures and the carp in the ponds, and it was started with the pole for Christmas. Today the Christmas goose is mostly not longer from the own farm and the carp can be found in most families only at 31 december or at the beginning of next year. In Neinerlaa carp has been substituted by herring.

Not only the Bartholomew day is almost forgotten today, but it was among the first puzzle types (if it was not the first at all) of that I made my first puzzles. They are called Sudoku walls, although it is not a Sudoku variant. Let us use this opportunity to remember not just the Bartholomew day, but also this puzzle type.

Fill the grid with the numbers 1 to 8, so that in each row and each column each number occurs exactly once. On no stone two even or two odd numbers should be.

 />Walls of Madness

Griene Kließ

One of the 9 ingredents of the Erzgebirgian christmas meal, called Neinerlaa, are Griene Kließ (Green Dumplings). The circles in our puzzle, an Hanidoku, look like these dumplings.

Put the numbers 1 through 9 into the hexagonal cells so that every line (of any length) contains every digit not more than once. The lines must contain consecutive numbers, i. e., if a line has five cells there can be 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 3, 5, 4, 2, 6 but not 3, 4, 1, 9, 8 in the cells.

Griene Kließ

Angel and miner

This angel painted with an apron that bears a miners head. But from the Erzgebirge Christmas customs they are indispensable and they reflect the desire of the miners to light. Today these figures are often somewhat swaggering because these figures represent the number of girls and boys in the household and even in the Erzgebirge not all families have two children.

The miners left the apartment at night in winter, and returned after dark. Angel and miner with their candles had to help the miners to find the way home. And you have also to find a way in our puzzle:

Number the boxes 1 to 31. Some numbers are already given. An arrow in a cell points in the direction in which there is a cell with the next number. Each cell must be used exactly once.

Angel and miner

One or All

Today give us the Nutcracker a one-or-all-puzzle for nut-cracking:

Fill the grid with the letters A, B and C. The letters in bold framed areas must have either all the same or all different letters. Neighboring cells that are in different boxes must be different (diagonal equal letters are allowed).

One or All

The hidden mountain parade

Mountain parades of miners are an integral part of Christmas traditions in the Erzgebirge. They have their origin in the Silver City of Freiberg, where the first parade was presented in December 1557 in honor of the Saxon Elector Augustus I. All slightly larger villages take part and almost every town and some villages of the Erzgebirge have a mountain parade.

Draw the path of the mountain parade. The rules are:

  • start and finish cell are different.
  • The path is exactly 30 cells long. Two cells are given.
  • The path must be connected horizontally or vertically, it must not touch or cross itself.
  • The numbers on the edge of the grid indicate how many cells of each row or column are on the path.

The hidden mountain parade

The little ones

Until today in some villages and towns of the Erzgebirge on Advent Sundays carolers go with a lantern and a shiny star from house to house and wish with festive songs and chants its residents a blessed Christmas season. Rarely seen outside of the Erzgebirge in many Erzgebirgian homes you can find these little singers as wooden figurines. They are found on pyramids or musical clocks, next to a light house church or a church made of wood, on tablecloths, or even on napkins ...

Our puzzle has do with an entirely different kind of little ones:

Fill the grid with numbers (0 is allowed). Some numbers are already given. A number beside an arrow indicates how many numbers are smaller in the arrow direction. An arrow points never to a cell with the same number.

The little ones

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