Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lightening the mood - solutions to those Xword clues

I cannot leave my previous blog sitting there as my most recent posting, giving the impression that nothing has changed.
I've replied individually to all the messages of support so I'll now just make the general remark of how I was immeasurably moved and deeply humbled by those who assisted me with their kind words through the last few days - all the more remarkable because no one pressed me to be more specific than my very vague indications of the root cause. Even though I lack friends here in person I know now more than ever that I'm incredibly lucky to have such lovely friends in Blogland. Thank you all!
One very last thought - at least for now. It's the sort of thing that comes round for me, thankfully, only every few years. Something equivalent probably will happen again sometime but I'm not going to live the life that's left to me by quaking behind the settee in case it does.
Okay, enough! Let's move on!

Now, what seems like an eternity ago (though it was just 9 days), I posed three crossword clues and said I'd be giving the solutions after allowing a chance for anyone to come up with answers. The fact that I didn't get one single solution suggested may be an indication of apathy to crosswords (though I know in a few cases that it's not so) or too difficult - or even too easy? (but I doubt it)
Whatever, just to round the subject off I think you'll find the solutions entertaining:-

Clue 1  (which I think a number of you may already have known)

  HIJKLMNO    (5 letters)               

Solution -' water'    .

This was posed to me by a friend who was another crossword fan when I was about 20. I'm one of those people who won't give in. ("Don't tell me! Do NOT tell me!")
After mulling it over for some considerable time, my friend and I retired, as was our wont, to a certain local establishment to imbibe some 'liquid refreshment'. We chatted on then I suddenly recalled the riddle and said "Okay, now let's get back to this crossword clue. So the clue consists of all the letters from
H to O?".......................(clink!) 

Clue 2

heggs      (11 letters)

Solution - 'exasperated'  (explanation = 'eggs' aspirated.)    Isn't that just so neat?

Clue 3

What Methuselah and Madame de Pompdour had in common?     (12 letters)

Solution - 'antediluvian'     (explanation = Methuselah is classified as one of the 'Antediluvian [i.e. before The Flood] Patriarchs. The most famous saying of Madame de Pompadour [though it is sometimes attributed to her 'lover', French king Louis XVth], was "Apres nous le deluge.")
I did solve this one myself after a long time rummaging around in a public library. I should imagine it would be easier to solve nowadays with, should one need it, the use of the internet.

So, I hope some of you have been entertained by this little diversion. If I've put the slightest smile on any of your faces (rather than grimaces of puzzlement!) I'm a happy chappy.


  1. All is happy and well in blogland, all joy again. That upset was just blip in the span of a blogdays.

    Crosswords, I don't like them, not least becuase of the name, cross words, I don't like being cross and I sure don't like words that are cross...... I know I know, just leave me to my own childish delisuions and sidetracks.

    1. Thanks for that, Jase. Maybe not QUITE there yet - 'fraid that with me, trying to change emotions is rather like turning round a tanker. But we're getting there....getting there. Yes, a 'blip' it was.

      Well Xwords are not everyone's cup of char - rather like solitaire in a way, but with a greater buzz of satisfaction if achieved. But it would certainly be boring if we all liked the same things.

  2. You've forced my brain to work too hard this morning. Now, I may actually get something done!

    1. Despite that arduous mental work, Bob, I trust that now knowing the answers makes you chuckle a little. (No?)

  3. I think the first question was a trickily funny one LOL

    1. You understood that one, Tai? You really do impress me more and more. In fact I'm amazed. Soon I'll be the one asking YOU to help me with my crossword.

    2. Yes, only that one. H to O or H2O = water :)

    3. Exactly, Tai. You got it!

      I wonder if I can just explain the 'heggs' clue - although you may already have understood it yourself.
      One of the meanings of the word 'aspirate' is to use the English 'h' sound, as in the words 'hand', 'heart', 'ha ha' etc. So the word 'eggs' with an 'h' sound = 'eggs aspirated', a phrase which sounds almost exactly like the word 'exasperated'.
      But I may be underestimating you having got there yourself already.

  4. I'm not much for crosswords, my dear! Sudoku is more my speed (and even then...). But thank you for your efforts!

    P.S. "but I'm not going to live the life that's left to me by quaking behind the settee in case it does." Good for you! One should only be quaking behind the settee while watching Doctor Who! ;)

    1. Well, T.C., because I love cauliflower and beetroot I'm not insisting that everyone should like them. However, for me there was no effort involved in posting this blog, so - no sweat!

      Dr Who? Would you believe I've never seen a complete episode - though I do remember the VERY first time it came on our old B/W TVs. It was all those shaky sets and unbelievably bad acting that got me - but that was way back then. I know it has a huge cult following but not my thing. Rather like crosswords and you, in a way. ;-)

  5. I am sorry for your difficult & trying time.
    Sending warm healing light from Portland, Oregon USA.

    1. Stephen, those kind words have moved me enormously. Thank you so very much.
      The worst is now over, but there's still that lingering discomfort. However, I hope that, before long, this blog and, even moreso, my previous entry, will become something of a 'historical record'. I just needed to off-load my feelings - especially valuable when one doesn't have anyone to whom one can talk.
      The next time anything like that happens, for whatever reason, I'll probably do another similar post (sad to say) - as I hope would any of my blogging friends.
      Thank you once more.

  6. Hello Ray:
    Oh, it is so good to read that you are feeling more positive. Friendship, in whatever form that it appears is so very helpful in giving support and encouragement to overcome these dark times. And, how lovely that you have so many people like us who would miss your posts so very much. That surely is enough reason to continue.

    We have to say that we could not puzzle out any of the clues for ourselves...SHAME!!!And, as a result are delighted to have had your explanations. The first one we thought to be particularly clever!!

    1. Thanks yet again, J & L. I am truly amazed at the extent of the support I've had. It's a real embarrassment of riches. I'm especially humbled by the fact that several of the messages are from people who do not usually comment on my blogs - so I know they must be being read by even more people than I thought,
      However, it's now way past 'moving on' time. I don't have the luxury of having that many years ahead of me, so to devote some of that shrinking time to sitting around moping does no good to anyone, least of all myself.
      Next time I think I can see such a train approaching while I'm crossing the line I hope I can niftily dodge out of the way, or at least walk away from it, despite any temptation felt to hold my ground and justify myself.

      I had thought you might have got the first clue at least - but, to be fair, I only got it by fluke. Yes, the first two are devilishly clever. The key to both is 'lateral thinking', though having said that, it doesn't really help much, does it?
      Thanks again for re-visiting, J & L. I too keep going back to comments I'd posted previously just in case the blogger had taken the trouble to give an individual reply. But I'm not downhearted if they don't. We all have our different degrees of 'busy-ness' and priorities, haven't we?

  7. So glad you're not quaking behind the settee!

    As for the crossword clues, I LOVE crossword puzzles. But they are a very personal, solitary activity for me. Glad you enjoy them, too!

  8. Grateful for those words, Mitch. No, I'm feeling okay at this moment - but it's a pity that we can never forecast our moods and reactions.

    Yes, my interest in crosswords has remained dormant even though I'd never made the effort for decades to actually do them.
    For a short period I actually used to compile them - for a local trade union magazine. It was finding words to fit into a symmetrical pattern that was the trickiest part. Lacking just one word meant having to go back and undo all what one had achieved on it so far.

    Thanks once more, Mitch.

  9. The first one was especially brilliant.

  10. It was, Cubby - simple, direct and logical, but with a devilish cunning.
    Thanks for your visit. (I've been missing you.)