- Until I read her obituary in the Guardian, I had not heard of Susan Shaw, or of the Type Archive. In these circumstances, I gain as much as I lose by her death. No, I know it's not all about me...
- The death of Julian Bream is definitely a loss, but again, the Guardian obituary is worth reading: at the age of 11, he was given a junior exhibition award to study the piano at the Royal College of Music, with the cello as his second instrument. "Although he gave a groundbreaking demonstration recital there, he was asked not to bring his guitar in by the front door."
- We were talking in the comments to sovay's post about the Guardian's quiz about languages, Know your Hrvatski from your Old Norse? For the record, we (team durham_rambler and I) got 16/20, helped by it being multiplw choice. The ones we didn't get were:
- Which word is derived from the Greek for 'wild animal'? I opted for 'weasel', on the basis that the weasel is one of those taboo animals that you refer to by circumlocutions of this kind (Oddly, although I can't now find any evidence for this, another such animal turns up later in the quiz).
- I was wrong about the language with the most native speakers, remembering vaguely that English no longer tops the list. Which is true, but it doesa top this list. I also badly underestimated the number of Hinfi spealers.
- I did not know that Aztec is a living language. Now I feel I should have been ablse to guess that one, but I didn't.
- And of course I didn't know how to say 'hello' in High Valyrian. I grumbled that there was a question about High Valyrianrather than one about Sindarin, seeing it as further ecidence that my newspaper is written by 12 year olds; or perhaps I was just disgruntled because I do know how to say 'hello' in Sindarin: there's a passage in his Letters where Tolkien describes The Lord of the Rings as "an attempt to create a situation in which a common greeting would be 'elen síla lúmenn' omentielmo'". (It does come up in the book, but this is the context from which I remember it!)
- boybear pointed out a clue in last Friday's cryptic crossword: "Where Durham divers go, making bloomers perhaps (9)". His point, I think, is that this requires you to know that Durham is on the river Wear. With even more local knowledge, I told him the name of the diver: that'd be underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead.
- And one ftom Countdown to complete the set (hooray! it's back!): a 'teatime teeaser' asks you to produce an anagram of CIDERFOLK, with the clue 'with cider and folk music they played in the sunshine'. Oh, they would if they could!
Obituaries and other words
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