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Sep 24, 2008

A Nice Crossword Story

Below information is from Guardian's Crossword Editor's blog.

In 1929 the Manchester Guardian offered two prizes (two guineas and one guinea) for the best original story of not more than 200 words making the maximum use of words deployed only by crossword setters. The response was enormous and the prize went to a Mr RH Edmondson of Windermere for the following:

"Ena sat under the lee of a tor, singing an aria in Erse. Her molars gleamed; her ebon tresses shaded the tan on her nose. Idly she drew tunes in the loam. An erne rose from the mere, and the evil cry of an otter rang o'er the lea.

"Beside her sat a gallant tar, full of ale and élan. 'Fly with me,' he cried, 'my liner is at the quay and I have a store of taels and liras.' And he talked on Eden and of far manors of taro and copra where errant emus are, and beys and emirs dine on dates and all the denes team with irate asps and boas.

"But she must stay with her sire to ted the hay and ret the flax, tend the ewes and drive the bats out of the buttery. And what about her fiancé? A man of title, an Earl; he would slit his carotid with a snee if she eloped and she had no alibi."So she wended her way home, and the tar took his taels to some other damsel and the Earl jilted her. And she lived at home and did the crossword puzzles ever after.

7 comments:

Chris in LA said...

Her aura must have been good while she ate her ova as she warmed up to sing an aria from her favorite opera - she had no idea there would be an oboe solo & so had a swig from her ewer, etal.

C. C. said...

Chris,
Ate her ova???

Chris in LA said...

Eggs for breakfast.

Ken said...

Good morning, C.C., Chris and those still abed. I found the right road by wending my way over various paths. As I often do, I filled the top, then the bottom and finally worked out the middle. However, I jumped from clue to clue today.

One of my favorite Ogden Nash ditties.
Candy
is dandy
but liquor
is quicker.

In checking on this to be sure I had the quote right, I found he did not say "You shake and shake the ketchup bottle, Nothing comes and then a lot'll." He did say
"The Catsup bottle
First a little
Than a lottle."

Richard Armour, another fine American humorist, took Nash's lines and penned the couplet I've used so often.

Another Nashism, with some poetic license. "Parsley is Gharstly."

Good day to all.

C. C. said...

Chris,
I am not familiar with that egg ova.

Ken,
I don't quite understand the title "Reflections on Ice-Breaking", what does "Ice-Breaking" mean? Drink related?

Chris in LA said...

CC:
Ova - a pretty regular fill on TMS crosswords - plural of ovum (more than one egg).
Hope you had a good day today!

C. C. said...

Chris,
You are right, we do encounter OVA often. But I always thought it refers to female reproductive cells.