Never knowingly undersolved.

General Chat

Posted by Admin on February 17th, 2009


This post is now closed.

278 Responses to “General Chat”

Pages: « 12 3 4 5 [6]

  1. 251
    IanN14 Says:

    DO the Indy setters get the lowest fees?
    That”s terrible.
    I agree they’re the best.
    Seriously, something must be done…
    But in the meantime, let’s hope for a Fulham win on Sunday…

  2. 252
    IanN14 Says:

    …as I was saying, Eileen,
    Does that mean you’ve finished it and sent it off?
    I just couldn’t get it finished until yesterday afternoon, and even then I’m not too sure about a couple.
    As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I find Araucaria perhaps the most difficult setter, because some of his ideas are so vague.

    Oh, and thanks for your congrats on today’s Morph blog. (Now there’s a setter with whom I seem to be on the same wavelength…).

  3. 253
    IanN14 Says:

    Oh dear,
    I’ve just realised I’m using the wrong chat room if I want to talk about crosswords….
    Sorry, I’ll be over at “General Crossword Discussion”.

  4. 254
    Rishi Says:

    In the thread on today’s Guardian cryptic crossword, Tupu while quoting a passage from a poem wrote: “it’s amazing how much of school-learned stuff is still there so many decades later!”

    How true! I remember many lines from various poems that my father read to me and my siblings when I was a lad of some 12 years. I also remember and can quote passages of 10 to 15 lines from Shakespeare or Wordsworth or Keats or Burns or any other poet that I studied when I was a college student.

    Mind you, no effort was made to learn it by rote: but whatever was read to me or whatever I read was done with great pleasure and I may have reread some of the poems subsequently.

    But, on the flip side, now at 67 years of age I have missed a train because I misremembered the departure date even while holding a valid ticket; I have almost missed a train because I misremembered the train number on the very date of departure and was sitting on a wrong platform! The trouble is: something from the distant past gets stuck in the mind! I have made international journeys in the past but now I don’t contemplate any air journey lest I should be stranded in some foreign clime.

  5. 255
    tupu Says:

    Hi Rishi

    Thanks for that. I suppose we were more receptive in those days, and I certainly had good teachers too. I must confess I’ve been back to the poem from time to time – it’s remained a favourite – but my memory in this case goes straight back half a century to school. Also I had to check Burns’ spelling now (I used Google so I can’t vouch for it). Another strange thing is how ‘multiple’ one’s memory can be. Remembering teenage japes or even this sort of thing one becomes that person at that age again if only for a couple of minutes.

  6. 256
    mhl Says:

    Rishi / tupu: I think there must be something about Burns that’s particularly memorable – I think I can recite more of his poems than those by any other poet, although having been schooled in Edinburgh is certainly a confounding factor. Still, I think there’s something about having to learn the poems as much through sounds as words that means they really stick… (I find a similar effect with Gerard Manley Hopkins.)

  7. 257
    tupu Says:

    Hi mhl
    I never got into Hopkins and his ‘sprung rythms’ – no fault of his but I moved to other subjects after O level and turned to other poets – inc. quite a lot of American ones. One I came across again recently in a surprising context to me was Edna StV Millay. She apparently responded sharply to a quip that ‘life is just one damn thing after another’ with words to the effect that ‘No it isn’t. It’s just one damn thing over and over’!

    Re Burns I saw a quite fascinating TV program about his life some months ago. One message from it sticks in my mind. You can’t easily stick to and expound your principles if you aren’t rich and powerful.

  8. 258
    Kathryn's Dad Says:

    Hi Bill Taylor

    Sounds like you and I might come from the same part of the world? To answer your question on the Indy thread today, most of those places … and a few others. Red and white blood in your veins?

  9. 259
    Kathryn's Dad Says:

    Sorry, Bill, meant the Guardian thread …

  10. 260
    Bill Taylor Says:

    Red-and-white all the way through, KD. My dad was from Ryhope, just outside Sunderland, so I was raised properly. Born and raised in Bishop Auckland; moved to the States in ’73 and to Toronto in ’82. Best thing I ever did.

  11. 261
    Kathyrn's Dad Says:

    Bill, I’m originally from the red-and-white half of South Shields, so not too far away. If you want to chat about the trials and tribulations of The Lads, I’m on pwharvey at msn dot com

  12. 262
    Bill Taylor Says:

    They’ll go from strength to strength next season, KD, especially now Newcastle are back up to provide them with 6 easy points! When you’ve a spare minute or two, you might take a look at the excellent blog run by my good friend and fellow journalist Colin Randall:

  13. 263
    tupu Says:

    Hi Eileen (ex crucuble)
    I had the benefit of a public library that had room enough to keep all their old stock and I devoured books by Tilden and others as well as watching b&w TV and playing lots of parks and, later, college tennis. We were all inspired by Fred Perry who was said to have ‘grown up’ in the game on NW parks courts though our hopes of emulating him were of course quite in vain. He was clearly a one off – not only our last truly great male player (and perhaps our only one) but also so out of kilter with the ‘establishment’ of the game at the time?

  14. 264
    Eileen Says:

    Hi again tupu

    My first Slazenger [beginners'] tennis racket in the ’50s was sponsored by Fred Perry [which was how I first heard of him] and Dan Maskell [Oh, I saaay!] and came with an instruction booklet written by them. The racket head had FOREHAND AND SERVICE FACE printed on one side and BACKHAND FACE on the other and, on the handle, there were arrows and instructions to show the correct grip for service, forehand and backhand. I’m not sure just how much it did for my game but I should have hung onto it: I’ve just googled it and found that one went at auction for £45 – it didn’t say when!

    [Back to the exam marking :-( ]

  15. 265
    Alan Goddard Says:

    Just an observation on the difficulty rating for Chifonie in the Guardian. I believe that the rating for Chifonie is overstated at ‘hard’. A quick run through of yesterday’s should convince that a lower difficulty would be more appropriate

  16. 266
    Sil van den Hoek Says:

    Hi Alan, I completely agree with you.

    Chifonie uses a very limited number of devices – about 90% is either anagram, charade or ‘A inside B’. His surfaces are usually nice, but the crosswords as a whole belong in the category Easy.
    His alter ego Armonie in the FT – just more of the same – does get the “Easy” label.

    That said, a lot of the information given under the button “Setters” on this site needs updating anyway.
    There are just a few Guardian setters qualified as “hard”, one of them being Rover [which is quite unbelievable]. And Brendan is easy …. ??

    Also, the who’s who should be looked at again [e.g. there's no mentioning of anax in the Indy, nor of Alberich/Klingsor, nor does it say that Enigmatist = IO, etc etc]

    Maybe Gaufrid (as the Cerberus of this site, which is nót Hell :) ) should take a look at this in due time.

    You’ve made your point.

  17. 267
    Kathryn's Dad Says:

    So can anyone give chapter and verse, if such a thing exists, for ‘cluing’ or ‘clueing’?

  18. 268
    Stella Says:

    Hi KD.

    As a rule of thumb, you drop the ‘e’ before ‘-ing’, unless it’s the only vowel or it’s double, so ‘cluing’ would be the correct spelling.

  19. 269
    Eileen Says:

    Hi Stella

    Hurrah – thanks for a bit of support!

    See comments on the Independent puzzle on August 5th, which sparked Kathryn’s Dad’s comment here:

    Most [I think] solvers seem to prefer ‘clueing’ – to me it just looks wrong – but I can live with it, because the verb ‘to clue’, I think, has been coined by crossword solvers! :-). Chambers, alone of my dictionaries, gives it as a verb but with no spellings for its gerund / participle.

  20. 270
    sidey Says:

    Funny you say ‘clueing’ looks wrong Eileen, I think ‘cluing’ looks like an onomatopoeia for a thump on the head with a cow-bell.

    A poke round on-line dictionaries only produces three with cluing, all American, the same three also give clueing as do two UK ones.

    Oh, both Opera and Firefox’s British English dictionaries only give cluing.

  21. 271
    tupu Says:


    I have been looking at the OED on line. It offers no help with clu(e)ing but notes that the root word was originally ‘clew’ – which would have made life easer.

    There seems to be no simple general rule

    1. for rue it gives only rueing.
    2. for imbue it gives only (in passing) imbuing.
    3. for blue it gives both blueing and bluing.
    On balance I think I’m with sidey – :) but with friends like me …..!

  22. 272
    Kathryn's Dad Says:

    I’m ruing the day that I started all this by replying to Eileen’s comment and suggesting that there perhaps wasn’t one single rule here … no doubt there’ll be people queueing up to disagree with me in the ensuing debate.

    You say clueing, I say cluing … let’s call the whole thing off.

  23. 273
    tupu Says:

    Hi KD

    Very nice. :) Please forgive the following ‘juvenile’ but affectionate extravaganza in celebration of the hare you started!

    There once was a young lady’s dad
    Who developed a very sad fad.
    He got hooked on pursuing
    the spelling of ‘clueing’
    Until he and his friends all went mad.

  24. 274
    Eileen Says:

    Hi tupu

    Very nice :-)

    And hi K’s D

    I’d just like to draw your attention to my last comment in response to yours on the original thread:

    “# Eileen says:
    August 5th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    “I blame Eileen for starting us all off on it.”

    Hands up – you’re quite right, K’s D. This discussion has been rumbling away for quite a while now and I’ve been resisting commenting. I just wish I’d continued resisting!

    You’re quite right that this is not the right place but I’ve nothing further to add to my comment 18, I think. [I shall continue to write 'cluing'. :-) ]”

    I agree with your last sentence – let’s just stop argueing!

  25. 275
    tupu Says:

    Hi all

    :) This is just a bit of trivia for fun about something that recently bothered me slightly.
    On August 9 I had thought I was quoting a remark of Clive Dunn’s from Dad’s Army which I thought was ‘Not many people know that’.

    A number of people kindly took the trouble to respond and assured me this was wrong e.g.
    “muck says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
    tupu@23: ‘Not many people know that’ isn’t from Dad’s Army. I thought it was Michael Caine, but see this (hyperlink to article re Peter Sellars)”.

    I then tried to check on Google and got nowhere.
    A friend confirmed my recollection but thought it was ‘Not many people know that story’.
    I then found and wrote to the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society with my recollected ‘quote’ and received the following reply on 23 August.


    Yes you are correct Corporal Jones did say this, the episode escapes me at the moment.

    Tony Pritchard
    Dad’s Army Appreciation Society”

    I suspect my friend may be right about the wording – he is going to check – and Jonesy may not have said it often, but it is a relief if he said it at all since my memory on the matter was worryingly clear!

    The moral for myself and other aging ‘false memory syndromers’ seems to be ‘don’t give up quite yet’. Of course, the D’s A App. Soc’s memory may be worse than mine is!. :)

  26. 276
    Carrots Says:

    Hi Sil….Being Dutch you are an honorary British Citizen anyway! I did ask “The Viking” at the time why she was so certain you were Dutch and she replied that, like her, you tend to write as you speak. If this is the case, it`s very difficult to spot in your case! I think it is just as likely that your deference and courtesy….even when very definitely speaking your own mind!….over-eggs the pudding a little. Anyway, your contributions are much appreciated and please don`t be afraid of letting rip. The “Heavies” of 15 sq. ruffle their feathers a bit sometimes, but they are at the sharp end of English Usage. There….enough idioms for you to practice on?

    Hi Bryan….I couldn`t agree with you more about the Dutch and I am woefully embarrassed in any European country by my lack of the native language. Before we finally retired, we used to run a holiday cottage and had many Dutch guests (mainly Antique Dealers) who were, without exception, delightful in all respects. My lunchtime pinta with Rufus lasted precisely 20 minutes at my slowest sipping speed (this is about a hundredth as fast as Rightback`s quaffing rate) so I shall sneak off to the pub for a pre-prandial pinta….whilst the chefette watches Strictly..
    Anne Widdecombe in a Tutu…I DON`T BELIEVE IT!

  27. 277
    Carrots Says:

    If any Fifteen-Squareders happen to be sailing on the Queen Liz`s maiden voyage to the Adriatic on 8th November, please get in touch. I will need immoral support to avoid being dragged round piles of rocks and Bars/Crossword Puzzles are my first line of defence.

  28. 278
    flashling Says:

    Flashling is a sad bunny, his very good friend Fenton Wallace died unexpectedly today only in his forties, you may well be aware of my firework stuff but he and I have been doing displays for 13 years. Frankly I’m devastated and just wanted to post a goodbye to a dear friend, so if my comments are less upbeat I hope you understand.

Pages: « 12 3 4 5 [6]