The Bullshit (from the 23rd/24th of October)

7 down: Milne creature warms heart, Pooh’s?

It’s warms heart, Pooh’s? = warms heart Pooh = Roo = Milne creature.

Some say the use of heart both backwards and forwards is OK because of the question mark or because of the implication in the sentence meaning that Pooh’s heart is being referred to.

I say: bullshit!

4 thoughts on “The Bullshit (from the 23rd/24th of October)

  1. Oh, get over it. “Warm heart, Pooh’s?” Pooh’s what? Heart, of course. Perfectly simple, elegant and succinct.

    Here’s my theory on bullshit: things I get easily, or perhaps get eventually without a lifeline, don’t offend me, so they’re OK. No need to complain about unfairness. On the other hand, if I don’t get it, the clue must be faulty.

    The dodgiest one in this lot, IMHO, is 1a with the definition stuck in the middle of the clue, not at the start or the finish as convention dictates. “Here Everest’s finish? Sure!” would have worked just as well for a surface reading, but would have been a more correct clue.

    And just possibly 23d. The Blake poem used the spelling “tyger.” This would fit into the grid as easily as “tiger”, but the clue has no homophone indicator. I presume the published solution was spelt with an I? Either way, not quite correct to the truly pedantically minded.

  2. I think bullshit is about dodginess, something that puts a clue on the periphery of correctness. Whether or not one can answer a clue easily is beside the point.

    I happen to think 1A isn’t dodgy in the slightest, and the fact that 23D can be found published as both “tyger” and “tiger” makes me think that clue is OK too.

    7D, though, bullshit!

    I’ve laid out my reasons and I’ve read others’ reasons, and that’s my conclusion. It will always be a good bet others will have differing views: we’re dealing with peripheral issues that can fall either way, much like a debate on whether a particular colour can be considered light blue or plain, ordinary blue.

  3. 7D: as the person who first brought up this clue in the main thread, i do not think it was bullshit. The clue works in the way Ian points out, but i AM sympathetic to those calling bullshit. it’s one of those clues that makes you go “I didn’t realise you could do THAT!”. Though unless you can point to some pre-existing authorative orthodoxy in clue construction that prohibits this clue, i guess it turns out you can, at least in a DA

    1A: the definition is not in the middle here, it is an &lit clue i take it, and thus the whole thing is the definition

    23D: While Blake did indeed use the word ‘tyger’, he was in fact referring to a tiger. No homophone indicator needed. .

  4. I agree with AS that just because you can solve a clue does not exculpate it from the sin of dodginess/bullshit. But also, methinks Ian had tongue firmly planted in cheek, at least by the end of that paragraph when remarking “if I don’t get it, the clue must be faulty”!

    Re 7D ROO: I reckon it’s OK, as per Ian’s explanation above.

    Re 1A TIBET: I still have reservations about this clue. Even if you accept that it’s an &lit (where the definition can be the whole clue), my concern is that the wordplay is not contiguous: the word “here” is interposed between the two elements of the wordplay. In another thread, AS defended this usage of the word “here” like this – he thought the clue fine “if you think of here as a cryptic word that does nothing, so that t here = t because, well, t is here”. Now, I know that sometimes clues contain words which aid the surface reading but otherwise “do nothing”, but “here” is not such a word. It is vital to the definition. The clue may not be bullshit, but I reckon it could have been considerably improved by moving “here” to the start of the clue, as Ian suggested.

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