Here are the answers:
24 December - (answered correctly by Andrew Shephard), as follows: "Play e3 followed by c3 but leave the d-pawn on d2. The crucial thing is that the black rook will only have one check. The white king manoeuvres from b3-a2-b1-c2-d3-e2-f1-g2-f3 after which the black rook must capture on g3, opening up the third rank for the white rook. Then the white king heads back from f3-e2-d1-c2-b3-a2. After ... Ra3+ white plays Rxa3 mate."
25 December - (answered correctly - on his second attempt) - by Dave Green: "Qc5 seems to lose all sorts of stuff but if the rook takes on c5 then Nd4 is mate. If d6xc5 then Rd5 is mate. If the king takes the rook on f5 then Qxd5 is mate again."
26 December. No one has provided an answer to this one, so here it is: 1. Rf3. If (a)... h6, then 2. Bh7 h3 3. Ng6 Rxe5/f4 4. Nxe5/f4#. If (b)...h3, then 2. Rxh3 h6 3. Bg3 Bxf4 4. Bxf4# If 3... Bg1/f2, then 4. Bf2/xf2#
27 December. First puzzle: 1. Kf3 (not Kf4). Second puzzle: Qa8 (threat K moves mate). If ... Nb6, then Qa1#
28 December. First puzzle. What was Black's last move? It must have been e7-e5, so 1. dxe6 e.p. with various mates to follow next move. Second puzzle: 1. O-O-O. Mate follows next move with either Rd8 or Rh1.
Hope you enjoyed these puzzles.
A bit of recent tournament news - Silas Peck played in the CCF (Coulsdon) Christmas Congress (under 1950 section) 21/22 December and scored 5/5. Congratulations!
There will be no more postings here until Monday 6 January, as I'm off to Devon and Cornwall for a week.