Competitions nos. 133A and 133B: results

An apparently rather snooty Valimus, the veteran competitor, asks for poems on harvest: a nice, safe, Georgian subject. The report is so mock-acerbic that it feels as if it might actually be acerbic … ‘a certain technical failure, a regrettable inattention to finish” knock Marion Peacock, William Bliss and Majolica out of the running. James Hall, H.C.M and Pibwob (‘who should learn not to rhyme on an unstressed syllable’) are also dismissed as below par. Chauve-Souris, Prudence, W.A.Rathkey, Lester Ralph, Damon, Una Monk and Hilary are ‘lingered on’. D.C.R.Francombe’s poem ‘seems’ good, but the last four lines are produced as evidence of incoherence. Money is once again snaffled from the B competition to bulk up the winnings, and the second prize is awarded jointly to a new competitor A.D-J and Little Billee, but, ‘well, it can’t be helped’, the winner is Seacape. Set a Georgian subject and he’s your man. ‘They call it Seacape’s Corner already,’ he adds – a reference to a letter published a couple of weeks earlier (from Guy Hadley: see below)

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The B competition asks for a mathematical axiom about boarding houses, based on the piece ‘Boarding House Geometry’ in Stephen Leacock’s ‘Literary Lapses’. You can read the piece here. John Britton and Seacape (again) are commended; the rest (again) are dismissed, namelessly, and the single winner is Mariamne.

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We are now well into October 1932, and an advertisement, with one explicit eye on Christmas, is placed. As it says, the original plan was to produce an anthology of the competitions, but this has been expanded into something more representative of the whole magazine. Nevertheless, the competitions take up about half the available space, suggesting that they were a major selling-point.

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