This week, there’s only one competition, as set by Humbert Wolfe. It’s to produce an alphabet of impending disasters (i.e. 26 couplets, the example given being
C is the cheque. It has not returned yet,
But bankers, like elephants, never forget.)
It’s not a great example, and that makes it a bit rich of Wolfe to claim that entrants (bar two) wrote neither in couplets, nor about impending disasters, and had scant concern for scansion. What he does is to print a long series of extracts from the nearly-made-its, before putting in the main two, whom he scores according to the supposed efficacy of the couplets. Two new winners, Nick and Wood, score 16 and 15 by the Wolfe method, Nick carrying off two and a half guineas, Wood getting one and a half. Tidy sums in each case. Here are the losers (a lot of familiar names).