RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
08 June 2008
Failiure Press, 1973 -1975? (Stephen Fry) 2
The solution to the clue 'the way someone uneducated smokes a cigar nonchalantly' (7 letters) is, of course, ABANDON. It was once considered vulgar or common to smoke a cigar with the band on, as it demonstrated how much you had paid for the cigar, an ungentlemanly thing. Hardened gamesters might get to that eventually but how about this? 'The Monroe Doctrine has bonus queen involved.' Solution = SARKI (H.H. Munro was Saki, add an R for Queen, duhhh.) Somewhat easier and with the Fry touch is 'Prep-schoolboys' bedroom has insects at one end - and yet they sleep! (7 letters.) Answer below.
Also elementary is 19 across 'Dial for Art' (DALI). He was very fond of anagrams and especially hard hidden ones-- try this - 'A short established rape: he likes a malenky malchick.' The answer, which doesn't exactly come like clockwork, is PEDERAST. The great Baron Corvo is honoured in this clue- 'the great man himself - with a bar on' (5 letters). An early love of wordplay is demonstrated in this marvellous clue - 'Take a sou from something wonderful and you get something metaphysical (7 letters). Answer below. A great writer that Fry was to play in a major motion picture is evoked in this clue ''The lady of the lake made hers famous, anyone keen on the popular Aestheticist' (2,5,5,3) Answer below.
I noted that this magazine 'The Failiure Press' has at its mast on the first issues 'incorporating Rat's Alley' and also freakishly 'incorporating Rat His Alley.' Presumably these were earlier emanations from the King's Lynn Corvines and echo the lines in The Waste Land -'I think we are in rat's alley, / Where the dead men lost their bones'. Google knows it not - but it will now.
Answers-- Dormant / Marvell /An Oscar Wilde Fan.