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Belay that. They have revamped the site in the most unfriendly way. You start at http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/. You hover over Puzzles on the menu bar which appears to give you a drop down menu, except that if you move your pointer towards it, it disappears! Oh wonderful. So you try clicking on Puzzles. This changes the page to look like it is a separate page with links, one of which is to the word wizard. Except it isn’t a separate page, the URL hasn’t changed, so you can’t bookmark that display! Then you take the word wizard link. Same thing, the page appearance changes, but not the URL, so you can’t bookmark that display either. Result, there is no way of getting directly to the word wizard, you can only bookmark the initial display and manually go through all the links each and every time you go to the site.
which is fine. I still get the dictionary, thesaurus and bio exactly as before, though there is a certain dexterity to the (upper-right hand side) menu when you first start using it. I think the old page has finally died.
I think that one can only hope. I still do a little undergraduate teaching and never cease to be astonished by the combination of startling intelligence and (to me) ‘abysmal ignorance’ that students may display. Things dear to me – westerns and especially Shane, Fitzgerald’s Rubayat of Omar Kayyam, Sam Johnson’s sayings reported by Boswell etc (everyone will have their own list) are quite unknown to almost all of them. Yet I also listen in amazement to the astonishing knowledge some youngsters display in University Challenge etc. I suspect you are right that the electronic world is bound to figure more prominently in the future leaving the likes of you and me quite out of it – if here at all.
However I must confess that some compilers already leave me grasping at straws – my knowledge of popular music of the last four or more decades is pretty negligible. The best compilers (for me) are those that make the answer gettable from the wordplay rather than from happening to know something, and one can hope this will continue when our grandchildren are solving and our adult children feel left behind by them.
I suspect there has always been a generation gap, even though we do live now in a ‘runaway world’. One of my favourite New Yorker cartoons shows a ‘caveman’ father berating his cave-boy son who is gazing enrapt into the fire. ‘When I was your age, we had to make our own amusements’ .
I tried that. The word wizard wsan’t there directly but at least the Puzzles drop down menu stayed on the screen long enough to use! That got me to http://www.chambers.co.uk/word-wizard.php which I’ve now bookmarked.
I think there are two categories of GK here.
I am basing this largely on my grandaughter (a wonderful young woman who even shares her grandfather’s political views!).
One category will always be present because the past is inevitably linked to the present. For example,if she reads a novelshe is likely to read earlier books by the same author and influences on that author.
The same would apply to visual art and music.
The second category would have no recent start points to initiate an interest in precursors.An example would be the bible. My grandaughter has,fortunately, had no exposure to this and is unlikely to experience any. The same restrictions would apply to ancient mythologies.
Of course, Gove could be about to change all that!
I find this whole topic interesting. If I’m not careful I find myself in the “more geese than swans now live” camp and then get accused of snobbery which is not what I want. I just find that our young folk seem to have no time for background reading, or simply following a interesting thread as RCW’s daughter might. The emphasis is so heavily upon attaining high grades in exams that there is no time left for anything but the exam topics.
It’s made worse (IMHO) by the pressure that is now felt by teachers to achieve high marks vicariously through their students. My wife (ex school librarian) tells me she regularly saw teachers return coursework to students unmarked as it was not good enough for an A. In some cases it was returned so often with suggestions for improvement that the teacher had essentially written it himself. Only when an A was awardable was the piece finally marked. No wonder mean grades continue to climb.
I generally print a few Guardian cryptics at once using the Archive list from the Guardian crossword page. Since at least March it has included Sundays as one of the published days, and all crosswords are therefore wrongly described (e.g. Rufus on a Sunday instead of Monday, and all the week following with the wrong day’s heading). I wrote in about this in March and was thanked and told the team were looking into it. But it is still the same and very irritating. Am I the only one to notice?
Claire’s link is the right one. If you open up crossword solver (it’s http://www.crosswordsolver.info/ if you haven’t got it already) and then go file>download puzzle, you’ll be invited to enter an URL. If you put Claire’s URL in there, but modify the ddmmyy to the date you’re looking for, it should open the puzzle up for you. Just be careful to include the underscore before the date.
Hi to all.
I’m using Java 7 to access the Indy crossword site, and lately I’ve got the words “Wrong size” instead of the grid and the Across clues (and the Down clues don’t work properly either). There’s another crossword site where I have the same problem. Does anyone have a solution, please? (I’ve had to resort to the slightly more inconvenient crossword solver, but still would like to know what the problem is.) Thanks.
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to get automated emails when there is a further comment on a thread I have commented on? I am usually quite late to the discussions, and it rather baffles me to figure out how to check the ones I have participated in at a later date. Email me at [email protected] if you have an answer… Thanks!
See the RSS link for Comments near the top of the page on the right. That will do what you want. Personally I use an RSS reader which I tell the URL to, it’s more convenient for me. I use Great News. Do some Googling, you’ll soon find it all.
I am a relatively new compiler and am keen to get some of my crosswords out into the public domain and get some feedback. I have a growing portfolio (so far 5 grids ready for public consumption – I’m aiming to have 10 in the full portfolio), but I don’t yet have a website.
Would it be acceptable to distribute my work via fifteen squared in order to get feedback? And if so, what is the best medium to do it (for example, could I forward the pdfs to a site admin who could put it up for members to download or something like that)?
Hi Paul @226
Every so often the site’s hosting company has problems with other users which cause its servers to slow down. Usually this is rectified within a few days. I too have noticed the recent slowing down and if it gets too excessive, without any action being taken, I will contact the hosting company.
OK, Derek, I clicked on both of those RSS links, neither seems to offer what I am looking for. I know the bloggers themselves are emailed when people post to the threads they started; I also see that I have to post my email address when I post. All I want is a way to get an email when anyone adds to a thread I posted on. Perhaps the software does not/cannot (funny how one is two words and the other is one…) facilitate this?
Bit frustrated with this clue from Times crossword book 10. My answer “shingle” to a clue “Here one comes close to the main form of English” seemed spot on as an anagram of English, but it gave me dodgy crossing letters. Looked to check answer which turned out to be “Estuary”. I actually think shingle is the more ingenious solution.
pennes @237: I think you are right that SHINGLE fits the clue as well as the intended answer. On occasions when I have pointed out ambiguities in clues, people have responded that we are solving crosswords as a whole. My view has always been that it is reasonable to expect setters of weekday non-prize cryptics to aim for completely unambiguous clues, but we can forgive an occasional failing. I think the setter here would not be expected to see the alternative, given that his mind was firmly on a different construction of the clue.
#237 – I’d say, pennes, you may have been the first to spot that – not sure if the puzzle was published in the blogging era – if so it might have been commented on. While, yes, I think SHINGLE just about fits, I think the definition “Here one comes close to the main” might be just a little vague for SHINGLE esp the ‘here’ rather than having a noun more clearly indicated. I’d agree with PB at #238 that the setter almost certainly did not see the alternative. I’d also agree answers should be unambiguous but, in an imperfect world, things can slip thro. I think I remember R in BILL or TOLL causing problems as both fitted the definition giving either BRILL and TROLL.
Is there any chance of someone doing the Araucaria Newsnight crossword that is on the BBC website. There is one I cannot parse even though most of it is straightforward. There is a name at 13 across and my supposed Baronet does not fit there. Also the good folks who do such a sterling job here always add somethings that
I didn’t spot.
Letters 1237 are defined by “Titled man”. Letters 456 are defined by “to go slow”. The answer is the name of a rugby union player whose preferred position is centre (I had to use Bing to get the last bit.)
(I have used indirect referencing to avoid this being too much of a spoiler.)
Here’s one for all you contributors who are, like me, “of a certain age”.
Do you remember that old saying they drummed into us at school, “I before E except after C”? Well it so happens that I was watching an old QI on Dave the other night and Mr Fry said that this is no longer taught in schools for the simple reason that there are actually many more words that are “exceptions” than there are words that support the saying! Then my memory of that program was jogged by today’s Gordius which included Zeitgeist, which goes against that saying twice all on it’s ownsome. Which brings me to the questions….
1) who on earth created that nonsensical saying and when?
2) why did nobody think to check it out until recently?
Hi Coltrane. I’ve done a lot of choral pieces over nearly 50 years, including stretchers like the Bach B Minor Mass (hard) and Beethoven’s Ninth (not actually that difficult). I’m not actually a big fan of the Verdi Requiem; the Dies Irae is fun if a bit vulgar. The best all round training for someone wishing to get into choral singing remains Handel’s Messiah; in any given year there’s almost certain to be a local gig. At the moment I’m doing Britten’s St Nicholas with a local group. I’ve done it before and it’s wonderful. There’s also a local War Requiem coming up (it is, of course, Britten’s centenary) but I don’t think I can fit it all in.
You mentioned the Faure: such a wonderful piece. I’ve been privileged to take the bass solo a few times over the years. Choral singing is such a great hobby and well worth the effort.
Hi dunsScotus, Thanks for directing me here and for your interesting reply. I can imagine Bach’s B minor Mass being hard, but to me if I had to choose it would get my vote for the greatest music ever written. The Agnus Die always gets the tears going. I was at a Prom for a very early performance of Ben Brittens War requiem, I know I would not be up to that but it is such wonderful music.
I’m also no spring chicken, but have enjoyed singing all my life, in a very amateur way. Currently I live in a small rural village in southern Spain and am a member of our local choir. Although I’m not religious (my wife is), we sing Mass at least once a month in the local church and get invited to preform at bigger venues for important religious occasions. We also sing a “concierto de populares” twice a year. These are obviously spanish language songs but from all parts of the spanish speaking world. As one grows older, certain activities such as sport become more difficult although I still enjoy a game of cricket. So I find music is an ideal way to avoid becoming just a voyeur at other’s events. My own musical tastes are wide, but my Desert Island discs would be loaded with Bach, Mahler, Brahms and John Coltrane. Oh I forgot to mention that I play the alto saxophone excruciatingly badly, but with great enjoyment. I am just about old enough to have heard Coltrane and my other musical idol. Kathleen Ferrier, live. I never did and rather hope I might have that pleasure in the hereafter.
I know I should not, but I have to admit solving the Guardian crossword, while listening to Mahler or Schoenberg is a wonderful way to enjoy an hour of precious time.
Derek it was ‘drummed” into us slightly differently, that is, “when the sound is a cee, I before e except after c”. So receive and believe both fit the rule. Zeitgeist is not part of the rule because neither sound is a cee. I’m not saying that the wonderful Qi has got it wrong, only that your example is fallacious!!
Hi David. I think I’d like being in your choir! So much of the choral tradition is sacred music that the agnostic or atheist singer just has to get on with it; rather like a Jewish chef preparing ham for a Gentile wedding. I agree about the B minor; it is sublime in a way that little else is (perhaps the late Beethoven quartets?)
Coltrane and Ferrier both resonate: I came to jazz very late, via the Ken Burns documentary series (I still have the VHS somewhere – must get round to getting the DVDs). ‘Blow the Wind Southerly’ is one of my earliest musical memories; my Mum – a fine soprano – used to sing it. What you say is so right: long after the body votes against rugby or soccer tackles, it still loves to play and sing.