The Saturday Miscellany: How to do the cryptic crossword; football phrases; David Bowie
How to: Do the cryptic
By Oscar Quine
Furious with Peruvian ancestry (12)? Well pick up a pen: ’tis the season to tackle that cryptic crossword head-on. Use these three tips from Alan Connor, author of ‘Two Girls, One on Each Knee (7)’, a how to guide for the budding solver:
"Cross-examine each word in the clue. A ‘flower’ may well be a river, and a ‘wicked thing’ is probably a candle. If you think you understand a cryptic clue on first reading, you’ve likely been hoodwinked."
"And remember the battle is unfair. But this is good news: it's weighted in your favour. The cryptic setter wants to lose: partly through a sense of fair play; partly to avoid their boss receiving hundreds of letters of complaint."
"Solve with a loved one. The solitary commuter with furrowed brow is a poor ambassador for crosswording. Share the delights of wordplay. Take your time, under a blanket on the sofa."
Rotating column: Team talk
By Larry Ryan
I like to talk about my clothes as if they are a football team. Wearing different shirts is squad rotating. Choosing what to take on holiday is like picking a World Cup squad: the black jeans have made it on the plane.
For me, there is a distinct joy in using football phrases and clichés on the playing fields of everyday life – as opposed to when talking about football: that’s torrid.
Recently, at a wedding, I described it as having a cup-tie atmosphere. Alas the person I was speaking to was not a football watcher and responded with confused silence.
At work, if a colleague responds aggressively to a situation, I note they’ve come in with a two-footed tackle.
After a long spell in charge, I should probably change the formation of my phrases, lest things turn stale, but for now, I have the backing of the board.
(Larry Ryan has the full backing of the board – ED )
Micro extract: Quitting talk
"Kiplagat would prefer to have a job that would allow him to continue training, but he is content to stop running tomorrow if someone offers him a decent living."
From ‘The Sports Gene’ by David Epstein (£8.99 Yellow Jersey)
Four play: Things from Iowa*
1. Herbert Hoover
2. The world’s largest truck stop
3. Bill Bryson
4. Deep-fried butter on a stick
*Iowa became 29th US state, this day 1846
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Dheepan, film review: Palme d'Or prize goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Game of Thrones, The Gift, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show’s most iconic characters just met
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland