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
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils