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…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…).
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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:
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?
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!.
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!
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.
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.