1 Pedanticus almost choked on his panino when he spotted the online headline: Iowa: man living in US illegally charged with murder of student What had stuck in the old boy’s throat?
2 At the Last Chance Saloon the fun continues. The Hindoo Jar brothers’ urn contains 9 balls, each white or black. The chances of withdrawing a pair matching in colour are 1/2. Sheriff Einstein knows Gus has removed two balls at random without checking their colour. What does Einstein now calculate the chances to be of withdrawing a pair matching in colour from the 7 left? Gus now sees he had withdrawn 2 white balls. What does he calculate the answer to be? Who is right? Twitter: @ChrisMaslanka email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In each case find the correct definition:
a) hawk-like b) accepting c) capital d) surreptitious
EFFABLE a) damnable b) capable of profanity c) expressible in words d) undivine
E pluribus unum
Rearrange the letters of THIN GENTLEMEN to make a single word.
Identify these words that differ only in the letters shown: **** turn... ****E ... back
Job’s workplace? (6)
Find a word that follows the first word in the clue and precedes the second, in each case making a fresh word or phrase. Eg the answer to fish
mix could be cake (fishcake & cake mix) and to bat man it could be he (bathe & he- man) ... a) life wise b) sandwich station c) farm some d) Monopoly bags e) sea table f) accepted teeth
1 Adverbs can precede or succeed the verbs they qualify; so we at once get the unwanted ambiguity that the man is living illegally in the US or that he is illegally charged. The prosaic will object that since there is factually no such thing as an illegal charge of murder (or at the very least it is such an unlikely meaning in this context) that one limb of the ambiguity is effectively ruled out. I have previously pointed out the flaws in this easy point of view, but let us remind ourselves. We sometimes want there to be no ambiguity possible grammatically if only because the hovering of a secondary meaning is a distraction which has actively to be dispelled when such distraction and effort could easily have been avoided. Using the adjective illegal instead of the adverb would have made things less ambiguous since adjectives rarely point in two directions; but PC considerations makes us wary of using e.g. illegal immigrant; such are the penalties of being unable to keep our politics out of our language. (But can neutral language exist? Answers on a philosophical postcard!). So how to recast this headline? Thanks to Paul Wrigley for sending this in. 2 Einstein: 1/2; Gus: 5/7. Gus is right (Einstein had to include possibilities now known not to have been realised). Wordplay: Wordpool a), c) EPU ENLIGHTENMENT; Same Difference SPIN, SPINE Cryptic OFFICE Missing Links a) life/like/wise b) sandwich/filling/station; c) farm/hand/some; d) Monopoly/money/bags; e) sea/bird/table; f) accepted/wisdom/teeth.