A Far From Straight Bat

A young lady I know very well who shall remain nameless here – let’s call her ‘Wefi’ – this week asked me to remind her of the day’s date.

‘April the 2nd’, I replied.

A pause. ‘Are you sure? I thought it was the first.’

‘No, there isn’t an April the first this year. It’s a leap year, and they have to remove one day every leap year.’

Wefi’s, now hotly disputed, response according to me: ‘Really? That’s interesting.’

Wefi’s, now hotly disputed, response according to Wefi: ‘No, you’re not going to get me there. I’m too smart for that. It’s April Fools’ Day’.

Wefi and I have a favourite quiz show, called Pointless. On the show, contestants are asked to think of the most obscure answer to a question; one no-one else would have chosen.

On one particular show this week, contestants were asked to think of species of bat native to Britain. I suggested they should go for – and please forgive my breathtakingly uncreative wit – the cricket bat.

Wefi, by now on a bit of a roll, offered: ‘What do they look like? Do they have big ears?’

‘No’, I replied, ‘but they chirp by rubbing their knees together, though they can’t hear the noise as they’re deaf. And they absorb linseed oil through their skin.’

Much of the above is nonsense of course, and some or all of the above may or may not entirely have happened exactly as I’ve described it. (I think I’ve covered myself from any reprisals here, but hope that I’ve left the door ajar to a little interpretation and sniggering).

This week I was delighted to make the acquaintance of Stephen Moss, the fine young chap who kindly penned a few words in favour of our crossword show at The Guardian Open Weekend very recently.

We met for coffee, and he very kindly showed me round the offices at The Guardian. A hive of activity making honey, if not money. And certainly abuzz. Thank you Stephen.

It’s great to see Enigmatist at The Guardian answering questions online, via Alan Connor’s invitation. Let’s all start doing this, why not. All great for building an already strong community of fabulous and ardent solvers. Clues invited for ‘Enigmatist’. Oh, and bonus points if you can avoid the rather nice anagram ‘I am setting’.

Bye for now!

Best wishes,

John (Paul)



7 responses to “A Far From Straight Bat

  1. This man gets it – I am confused! (10)

  2. Dave Warder (Donk)

    I think I’ll have to go for a cheeky triple defintion (although crossword knowledge will be required!):

    Poorly estimating setter’s talent in puzzle creation (10)

    1: Poorly estimating (anag.)
    2: Setter
    3: Talent in puzzle creation (talent as noun)

  3. Dave Warder (Donk)

    I say triple defintion… on reflection, it’s a DD with wordplay so to be more conventional, perhaps:

    Poorly estimating talent in puzzle creation (10)

  4. OK…this is just for fun:

    He can be troublesome, a headless practitioner eating mixed Zoroastrians.

    ‘Headless practitioner’ = (d)entist (I couldn’t bring myself to enlist the support of Tolkein’s tree people);
    ‘eating’ = around; and
    ‘Mixed Zoroastrians’ = igma (magi)

    Really, I only wanted to get Zoroastrians in there.. 🙂

    Thanks to both of you for the hours of education…and happy marathon, Paul.

  5. Thanks guys for your excellent efforts. Isn’t it great how setters see the possibility of a clue from so many different standpoints. Keep writing!

  6. With crosswords he makes sadistic monsters grow (10)

    comp anag (crosswords enigmatist)* = sadistic monsters grow

    Hey Paul – what happened to the clues you asked for on Twitter for Liam Fox (ages ago) and something else with lots of Z’s in it?

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