Sunday 24th April 2011
EGGS decorated? Hot cross buns eaten? Done whatever it is you’re supposed to do with that bunny? Come on then, let us go on an Anagram Hunt.
You don’t need a latent talent for this. As a starting-point, train-spotting would be a good analogy, for there is something of the urban-toed nerd about knowing that a debit card is bad credit or that love and lust are to be found in adult novels (5).
Truth is, it hurts, admitting one’s fondness for these things. Like the moon-starer astronomer or believer that Elvis lives, you can find yourself gazing at horizons, hoping to see a remote meteor or ocean canoe (5).
Or should we perhaps see this endless ambition as indomitableness? After all that great charmer Margaret Thatcher and Alec Guinness (genuine class, in his case) have been associated with such word play – not to mention Doctor Who regenerating into Torchwood (4).
Lewis Carroll too: a keen wordsmith who maybe smothered a wink when pointing out that twelve plus one = eleven plus two. And I’m sure we’d all agree that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are snide tales in an underworld cave (3).
Which brings me to a book for children, started when I was forty-five (maybe over fifty), but still unfinished (1).
Samba of Kangaroo will feature illustrations of familiar favourites like the married admirer and cart-horse orchestra; the classroom schoolmaster addressing his pupils, “Silent! Listen!”; a team mate; the dormitory that’s a dirty room; a sign in the nudist colony: No Untidy Clothes; the athlete achieving a personal best by reaching the height of eighth; and a triptych showing three blind mice who enter, climb, hide (10).
But I cannot end this piece (of dubious standard in homage to hidden anagrams) without acknowledging the very best example of word play genius (1).
This was penned by the crossword compiler Araucaria:
O hark the herald angels sing the boy’s descent which lifted up the world… while shepherds watched their flocks by night all seated on the ground (1).