Each year 'A PUZZLE EVERY XMAS' relies upon the postmen and they seldom let us down. But, earlier in the year, I posted this 'Birthday Card Puzzle' to one of my solvers and, six months later, learned that it had not been received. I wonder what happened to it?

The two clues in each symmetrical pair stand side by side without overlapping and either clue may appear first. One letter must be omitted from the answer to each clue and entered in its numbered square outside the main diagram. Definitions refer to the full words (lengths indicated by numbers in brackets); subsidiary indications refer to the forms entered in the diagram.

In a correct solution, 2 words followed by 13 words of a song will appear in the top, central and bottom rows followed by the left, central and right columns. The apostrophe appears in the central row. The title (one word) is formed by transferring letters from some of the outer squares. Solvers should shade in the two lights and the two outer squares associated with the theme.


 1,37 Ordering one Scotch in cup - true about American? No! (7;7)
 6,36 Old companion to mock English returning to Society Islands (5;5)
 9,35 Mason repairing plant put up with Henry's deck collapsing (6;6)
10,34 Starts destroying instruments of death ancient one built at sea (7;7)
11,33 Fellow set out to write volume about new wine (7;7)
12,32 The novel to excite leader of the New York musical? (4;4)
14,31 American in plot to make crazy old solitary back recruit (5;5)
16,29 Entertaining dolls tense in Musical - one grabs a weapon to thwart guy (8;8)
17,27 While holding power, primates rig up a trap (4;4)
18,24 What blasted mpret spent a month in the sanatorium? (6;6)

 1,28 To rib Gilbert about a medley sloppy duke put into disc? (6;6)
 2,23 Paint a traveller and setter turning up page on works of Apex? (7;7)
15,22 Chinese producer to supply Scottish tune (4;4)
 3,19 High-pitched secrecy upsetting composer - disciple departs on edge (8;8)
 4,21 A new rarefied colourant of food left over on Hawaiian Islands (7;7)
 5,26 British at home with ecstasy eat a double portion of chips and sample pie (6;6)
 6,33 Scots opening some gadget to catch fish (4;4)
 7,25 A fig once ruined a tour, tenor in meaningless recital, became corrupt (6;6)
 8,30 Rocky edge on mountain network to beat a Russian girl? (5;5)
13,20 Passion to burn in GI involved with New York fighting (5;5)

Chambers Dictionary (1993) is recommended.