Competitions nos. 145A and 145B: results

The WR starts 1933 with a makeover, a new type-face, which it asks readers to try to get used to before commenting. The front looks like this:

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and here are the contents:

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I’ll jump ahead a few weeks, when comment was invited. Two competitors vied on the letter page, one pro, one anti – George van Raalte and W. Hodgson Burnet (of the latter, notice his extraordinary address!)

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Gerald Bullett sets what he fondly imagines will require ‘devilish ingenuity’ – a ‘not unseasonal sonnet’ in which the first letter of the first line is W, the second of the second is E. the third of the third is E, the fourth etc is K, the fifth is a hyphen and so on until ‘WEEK-END REVIEW’ is spelled out diagonally. In fact this proves pretty easy, and it looks a bit odd because the emboldened words don’t go very far across the verse. The winner is Cottontail, who is lucky, because Bullett prefers – yes he does – T.E. Casson, until he spots that Casson (and a newbie, Brer Rabbit, who gets a consolation prize, as Competition B has run into problems again) have each made a technical mistake. Can you spot it? I’ll explain at the end.

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As a matter of record, the B competition was to offer some words from Dr. Pangloss on the international situation (Hitler was on the verge of taking over in Germany). There were very few entries, and nothing worth printing (the shortest competition report to date!)

Okay, have you spotted where Casson and Brer Rabbit went wrong? It’s to do with the hyphen. By using (as instructed) a hyphen in line 5, they have set up a rule whereby a hyphen has to be a character. So ‘deep-delved’ and ‘two-thirds’ become technical faults.

 

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