Harvey is, of course, a cat, as a quick glance elsewhere on this site will show. Or, rather, was. At the height of the 2020 lockdown we lost two cats in quick succession. Harvey was the first to go, followed, about three weeks later, by Dot, who had been something of his nemesis. Dot’s puzzle has already appeared and been blogged here.
The question, as always, with commemorating a cat, is to pick a theme that marks the name while not being too slavishly attached to the feline nature of the inspiration. There aren’t so many Harveys around. Of course, there’s Harvey W – well, no, I was going to type Wallbanger, actually. Perhaps (since Hollywood seems to have intruded) Laurence Harvey, the Lithuanian actor, may still be remembered. But a quick scan of the Wikipedia disambiguation page produces a lot of fine people, no doubt, but not so many to have edged into the broader consciousness. I remember Joe Harvey the footballer, and I’ve listened to Jonathan Harvey the composer, but neither seemed to have the necessary cachet.
But Harvey the Pulitzer Prize-winning rabbit has a sufficiently strong hold, surely? The giant white rabbit that James Stewart persists in introducing to everyone. I didn’t know he was a POOKA, that mischievous spirit also beloved of Flann O’Brien, but there’s plenty of other usable stuff about him. And POOKA is in Chambers, anyway. There are even quotes, but as they are in Elwood P Dowd’s rambling delivery, some editing is required.
And so the puzzle was assembled. The striking cover image reproduced on the Wikipedia page gave an outline structure for the grid – I rather hoped the ears could be loops, but hard to give instructions for that on a sufficiently brief scale. The eyes were Os from the outset. The name HARVEY was slipped in at the bottom, alongside the word STARVE. Harvey the cat was so keen on begging for food that he was called STARVEY HARVEY.
And then the title – obviously another white rabbit is an alternative guide to (Carroll’s) Wonderland.
Except that now I cannot find any reference to Harvey being white, except in my memory (of an invisible rabbit, of course…) The playscript cover even suggests he was pink, like the elephants. So where does that memory come from?