Competitions nos. 94A and 94B: results

A new judge: Lance Sieveking, then the director of education at the young BBC, and the first to have produced a radio drama and a television drama. Sieveking cites the American habit of creating one-word descriptions of actrivities the British gave four to, specifying ‘hiking’ for ‘taking a country walk’. He asks for one-word neologisms to cover ‘getting up early’, ‘making love’, ‘reading’, ‘attending places of worship’, ‘gardening’, ‘shopping’, ‘motoring’, ‘dancing’, ‘taking a cold bath” and ‘listening to the radio’.

Unruly post-Christmas entrants made liberal use of ‘sieveking’ (he should have seen that coming). Xenos wins first prize with the full ten; a new name, Alice Thornhill, gets the runner-up prize for her best five.

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The B competition – a bit predictably – asks for resolutions for 1932, albeit, a bit unpredictably, using as a model William Brownes’s epitaph on the Countess Dowager of Pembroke. I know you’re thinking, ‘oh that one’, but here’s a reminder:

UNDERNEATH this sable herse
Lies the subject of all verse:
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother:
Death, ere thou hast slain another
Fair and learn’d and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.

W. Hodgson Burnet and Chauve-Souris make good attempts in what Sieveking thinks is an unimpressive field (although I liked Chauve-Souris’s rhyme of ‘resolutions’ and ‘cushions’), but the winners are Onze and – yes – Seacape. Seacape has hit on the idea of combining 94A and 94B, and gets away with it (while there is report of other competitors combining thelast three weeks’ competitions, including one who had a telegram full of new names, one of which was Oolite. The culprit was not named, but the competitors are starting to frisk a bit, which is a good sign.

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