Saturday, November 04, 2006

Outsmarted by a Dead Bloke

Bunthorne is a name that will mean nothing unless you're big on Gilbert and Sullivan or have a serious three-a-day crossword habit.

A Bunthorne crossword is a work or art. The references are twice as esoteric as usual and the language dense and poetic.

For example :
"Well done, the solver ! That was Erin's stout assertion! (4,3,3)"
Could have been part of a poem by WB Yates.

So you launch into a few dozen streams of thought that lead to dead-ends before hitting on the idea that Erin is another name for Ireland and "stout" refers to the beer and not the body-shape. And then you remember that Guinness was advertised as being "Good For You". Hard to describe the strange connection you feel with the clue-writer after he's led you on a journey like that.

The reason I mention this here is that Bunthorne's final puzzle appeared in today's Guardian. And although he died in August, he beat me again. Rest in Peace, mate.

1 comment:

Kenny said...

WB Yeats my good man!

And I would not have got that in a million years. I doff my proverbial cap in the direction of Wilmslow.

Bunthorne was a bugger. Very much along the lines of Auraucaria.

The crossword we did in his honour was fiendish, just like he was. Long may his legacy last!