A busy time at present, as I have six puzzles in as many days, from a Toughie last Thursday, the usual Phiday in The Independent, a Jumbo today, Enigmatic Variations tomorrow, and an ordinary blocked cryptic on Tuesday in the same location of today’s Jumbo (think multiplication…). Throw in the new BBC Music Magazine – a more tipsified crossword than usual as a sort of Christmassy special – and it’s hectic. But I’ve squeezed in a puzzle from the old European newspaper.
Not Black Friday hectic, but getting ready for Black Friday is also hectic, as we discovered this week as Marjorie got her online jewellery shop open, by a squeak, in time for Thanksgiving and the excesses that follow it. The web address is here. (did I mention that?). Do go and visit.
Another in my sequence of crossword pictures that just look wrong. This is a Shutterstock photo used to illustrate a BBC story on the skills of simultaneous translators, highlighting a rumour that some could do a crossword while simultaneously translating a live speaker into a different language.
My immediate thought was: ‘Look at that numbering’ (I can’t do my other usual grumble about symmetry), and only later did I realise that it is probably one of those Q=1, M=23, V=14 code puzzles. As it happens, I guess it might be easier to do one of those while translating than it would be to do a cryptic.
Like everyone (no?), I have a simultaneous translation story to tell. Years ago, I delivered a paper at a conference in Kingston, Ontario, where the four official languages you had to own up to speaking were English, French, Italian and Russian (the Egyptian delegate I chatted to was a bit perplexed). So if you presented in English, there were three translators in booths at the back of the room, one handling French, one Italian, and one Russian. For reasons I cannot now recall, I had a moment where I demonstrated the relative positions of three things by outlining a triangle in the air. On I spoke, but I nearly faltered as, entirely unseen by the attendees, each translator in turn also outlined a triangle in the air.
Did I mention Marjorie has a shop at whskr.co?
Photograph No. 2 is the address panel from a packet received this week.
This is a replacement for a CD order that had gone astray. The company has been perfectly able to send me CDs before now, and has my correct address in its records, but not this one. Fortunately someone has added my street address by hand higher up. But what’s this obsession with Burbank? I mean, does it feel lonely that it has to shove into other addresses?
That’s enough for one update, I think. In a fortnight’s time I shall be just as hectic as on December 13 you lucky people get a Phi Listener and a Phi Inquisitor on the same day!