Complete Bullshit (21st of August)

1 across: Hung around hot poet recital (7)

This one is hot poet recital = h + ovid recital = hovered = hung around.

Now, ovid aurally, to my ears at least, sounds very little like the overed in hovered. DA is usually pretty good with the homophonic clues, and he still continues to be, because overed and ovid are in no way homophones and this clue counts as bullshit.

Update: The internet tells me Ovid is pronounced Ov-id, not O-vid, as I assumed, so this doesn’t count as bullshit after all and in future I swear to research before besmirching DA’s fine name.

13 thoughts on “Complete Bullshit (21st of August)

  1. I know I whinged about this in the usual discussion section (I like my homophones to sound EXACTLY the same), but I don’t think it’s the worst homophone we’ve had from DA. If you say “hovered” without the “h” as a Cockney would (or a Lancastrian for that matter), then the sound is fairly close to Ovid, as long as you pronounce the latter with the “o” sounded as in “operate” as opposed to “open”. Now you’re the Classics scholar, AS. How do you pronounce Ovid?

  2. I just assumed it was pronounced O-vid, but the web seems to tell me that the name should be pronounced Ov-id, which would be more similar to how a Roman would have pronounced the name (Latin doesn’t like English diphthongs).

    Maybe I have been too hard on DA after all.

  3. A week ago, I think I too would have pronounced it O-vid (with the “o” as in open). But a week is a long time…etc etc.

  4. I had a look and listen yesterday.

    Look: ˈä-vəd. Say ahhhhh.

    Listen: and listen. Say ahhhhh.

    Look & listen: Ov-id. Say id.

    When I start speaking American, then I’ll accept American pronunciations. Until then, I’ll continue to employ the English pronunciation – “O-vid” – expressed by six years worth of Latin teachers. And every single British actor who ever said O-vid.

    Titus Andronicus: “Lucius, what book is that she tosseth so?”
    Lucius: “Grandsire, ’tis Ohhhhh-vid’s Metamorphoses”


    I know, I know. Even Dr Johnson, while compiling his dictionary, discovered that it was pointless to try to hold back changes in language. But it’s my protest, and I’m sticking to it.

    And anyway, to my ear none of those three above look/sound completely like ov-erred, as in hov-erred.

  5. The Australian Oxford Dictionary says it’s ov-id (o as in hot). I’d suggest that in Australian speech generally the ‘ered’ sound is often pronounced ‘id’ – eg, ‘fathered’, ‘jiggered’; but we really need a philologist.

  6. The “ered” is definitely pronounced “id”, so I had no problem with that half of the homophone.

    I just assumed my pronunciation, O-vid, was the lone correct one, but it seems that Ov-id is another pronunciation which might even be more common than my own.

    Also, philologists generally don’t know much about pronunciation. What we need is a phonetician or a phonologist, or perhaps a more general-purpose linguist.

    By the way, does anyone know how to read the phonetic alphabet? They abound in dictionaries, yet I’ve never met anyone, including people with linguistics degrees, who could read them comfortably and be sure of what sound is being referred to.

  7. My recollection of Latin (from some 23 years ago, mind) was that vowels were pronounced thus:

    A: Aaaahhh, almost like the pirate Arrrrrrr
    E: mostly “ay” or ‘eh’, as if you were The Fonz
    I: ‘eee”
    O: “owe” – ie quite a rounded oh
    U: as per the “ou” in would or could

    I’m having visions of the “Romanes eunt domus” scene from Life of Brian now …

  8. A rounded “o” is a diphthong, or two vowel sounds in a row that, in the English language, is often represented by a single character.

    The IPA for the word “open” is /ˈoʊpən/ (from Now, although I’m no phonological expert, I know those first two characters are vowel sounds.

    The “o” followed by a consonant in Latin was always a monophthong, or possessing only one vowel sound and therefore not rounded.

    Have a look here:

    English once upon a time had a vowel system reasonably similar to those of the European languages, but the Great Vowel Shift happened and, amongst other things, a diphthongisation took place which made English spelling even more pictorial than it once was and a nightmare for foreigners to pronounce.

    More info at Wikipedia:

  9. Dr. Phillip Batty: Oh Vid (23.04).

    Since Dr Phil is, as noted phonetician Daffy Duck used to say, “one of our boys” (an Aussie), I’m sticking with Oh Vid.

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