Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?

OK, so you're stuck on the Guardian's Easter prize crossword - Araucaria is kicking your flabby mind like it was Bolton Wanderers and Araucaria was any other team in the Premiership. So you've come to the internet to find help.

There's still time to change your mind - you don't have to read the next bit - just go have a lie down with a damp flannel over your brow, make a cup of tea and try again.

Still give up ?

OK - the title of the crossword is "The Shakespearean Criterion's Springtime Crossword"

Anyone's who has done a few thousand crosswords knows that another word for a Criterion is a Touchstone - and this is particularly Shakespearean, because Touchstone is the fool in "As You Like It".

Touchstone has a marvellous riff on the nature of lying during the play that runs as follows :-

"O, sir, we quarrel in print by the book, as you have books for good manners: I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort courteous; the second, the Quip modest; the third, the Reply churlish; the fourth, the Reproof valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with circumstance; the seventh, the Lie direct. All these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may avoid that too with an 'If'. I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an 'If', as: 'If you said so, then I said so;' and they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your 'If' is the only peace-maker;—much virtue in 'If.'"
Now fill in the blanks, remove the damp cloth, make some really hot tea and concentrate - I'm not going to do it all for you - I am on holiday after all.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You b*st**d, why the hell d'you have to come out top in a google search already?

My fault for googling I suppose, but I got a couple and I'm working on the thought that it's to do with the actors from Hamlet. Could be wrong, but since as soon as I saw you'd cracked it I screwed shut my eyes -a moment too late; I'm trying to unsee the word 'quip' (No luck).

Bah. I'll read your post when I've finished/given up -& all the same it's a pleasuure to come across a fellow araucariphile. Or is that phobe?

Kenny said...

I feel a bit impotent now having rattled the Telegraph off in 20 mins.

her maggis said...

What a (very clever - respect!) smart arse. You need a good slap to wipe that self satisfied grin from your face.

ben said...

thanks for the clues. It lets us mere mortals stand a chance.

Christina said...

Dear Free Stan,
thank you for the Auracaria hint. I NEVER normally use the internet to cheat in crosswords. However,
I got the first one: "retort courteous" and I thought it must be something to do with Socratic rhetoric. I'm going back to it right now.
Happy Easter,
Christine

james_millcross said...

am stuck on "assessment of invitation to speak". Only the strange word "curlicue" seems to fit the given letters, but bears little relation to the clue. Help?