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
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
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Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First