Win vouchers to spend at any Tesco store

Competition No 3913

Set by Valerie Yule, Xmas issue

You were asked for ingenious thank-you letters for unwanted Christmas presents from "the aunts".

Report by Ms de Meaner

Ah, the old ones are always the best! I was quite taken with Adrian Fry's thank-you letter for his pair of hand-knitted mittens, which, supposedly, he will use to murder "the temptresses that blight our streets" without leaving fingerprints. Hmm. Hon menshes to both him and Michael Berry. There were quite a few entrants from whom I had heard little for the past few months. Welcome back! £20 to the winners. Some Tesco vouchers go, in addition, to the supreme champion: Keith Norman.

My dearest Auntie Mu,

You are a creative genius sans pareil. Thank you, thank you. The select few of my closest friends to whom I've shown your awesome Christmas present have literally whooped and shrieked with delight. My dear, they are weak from whooping, they droop from shrieking. It is so 1927, and yet so now. Long, too. It's certainly long. Everyone comments on the length. That mundane little word "scarf" has never seemed so woefully inadequate.

I have always known you were psychic. You have somehow divined the subject of my next movie and, I suspect, foreseen the central role your fabulous gift is destined to play. It will provide the climax to the entire film. Its image will be burned indelibly on to every retina. Our working

title: The Life and Death of Isadora Duncan.

Keith Norman

Dear Auntie,

Thank you so much for the aftershave. I don't think it's a brand I've seen before. I've got the bottle here; such a "now" colour, and I like the tasteful message on the label: "Feeling fruity on Friday night? Try this!" Smells nice, as well - do I detect almonds, frangipani and pine cones?

In fact, it's almost tempting me finally to get rid of my beard. You remember, the one I've had for years, gingery/auburn originally, although now it's more of a pepper-and-salt combination.

I can dab a drop or two on when I step out at the weekend to test out the marketing message.

Derek Morgan

Dear Auntie Jean,

Thank you so much for the Chronicles of Narnia mouse mat, now taking pride of place, appropriately, at the back of my wardrobe. The little dears love their colourful welcome mat, which I have placed for them against the wall, by the hole in the skirting board. They look so cute as they wipe their little paws before entering. They still use the mouse mats you sent last year (Wallace and Gromit) and the year before (Wallace and Gromit again - a matching pair!). They must be the cleanest, best house-trained rodents around. At this time of year I usually let them sleep in the Auntie Jean festive novelty sock drawer, and have even let them try some of your delicious Tesco Matured Stilton with Mango and Ginger, as a special treat.

From the noises emanating from the wardrobe, I'd say they were suitably impressed!

David Silverman

Dear Aunt,

Many thanks for the extendable toasting fork. I say "many thanks" because, though meant as a gift for me, every member of the family has found it extremely useful. Clarissa finds it gives her a fair bit of street cred in Opus Dei circles, while young Josh's bathtime is now without tears and tantrums. In addition, Adrian finds it ideal for getting Tiddles out from under the couch. One jab and out he comes! And as for the beekeeper's veil, well, it's . . .

J Seery

No 3916 Set by Stan Knaffler

Compers are invited to send in a selection of comments that we rarely hear nowadays, eg, "Do please have my seat, Madam"; "I do sincerely apologise for that foul, ref"; "I apologise unreservedly for misleading the House"; "Yes, I did take drugs in my youth"; "Me? Gay? I'll sue!" Surely, the compers corps can do better?

As many as you can by 9 February. E-mail:

This article first appeared in the 30 January 2006 issue of the New Statesman, A new sort of superpower