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MikeAlx

Board Launch Prize Competition!!

To celebrate the launch of the new board, I'm offering £15 of Amazon gift certificates to the highest-scoring entrant in the following competition:

The new 'Big Readers' banner logo was hastily assembled from books grabbed from my own shelves, selected purely for their usefulness in constructing the words 'Big Readers'. All books contain prose fiction in one form or another. There are 10 titles and 9 authors (one author crept in twice!). Your task is to guess or otherwise work out the 9 authors and 10 titles.

The only clue is this: of the authors, 3 are English, 2 American, 2 Italian, 1 Irish and 1 Cuban-French.

Send your answers by private message - click 'PM' under this message to do so. DON'T give away any clues by posting messages on the board! Only one entry per person, please. List your answers in order, numbered from 1 to 10, beginning with (1) the 'B' of 'Big' and ending with (10) the 's' or 'Readers'.

The highest-scoring entry received before midnight on Sunday December 7th will be rewarded with the Amazon certificates.

Eligibility: the competition is open to all board members with the exception of Evie and me (cos we know the answers!).

Scoring: initially each entrant will be awarded 1 point for each correct author and 1 point for each correct title (irrespective of position), giving a score out of 19. Only in the event of a tie-break will correct order/position be considered - in that case a further point will be awarded for each author or title that appears in the correct position. If, after this, the situation is still tied, the prize will go to the person who responded soonest.

Have fun!
iwishiwas

Great fun! But probably not as easy as it sounds!
Thanks Mike/Evie Rolling Eyes
Sandraseahorse

Thanks for the email drawing attention to this quiz.

Am I thick or is it incredibly difficult?  I'm pretty sure I know one author (I won't say here) but the rest could be any one of hundreds of possibilities.  It's a bit like chosing lottery numbers at random.  

I'll have a go but I can see myself ending up with a wooden spoon.[/img] Embarassed
MikeAlx

Hi Sandra, it's probably ludicrously difficult, but remember you don't have to get them all right to win - just more than anyone else!  Smile

Besides, I know what a clever bunch the Big Readers are, so I'm prepared to be surprised...
Castorboy

[I'm pretty sure I know one author (I won't say here) I'll have a go but I can see myself ending up with a wooden spoon.[/img] Embarassed[/quote]
I've got one so you'll have to share the spoon Very Happy
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

You know, I was just wondering to myself how many of the words in the logo I could work out. Now that I can win something for it, I shall redouble my wonderings!
Caro

I can't believe that anyone could possibly get any of these right! I gave up thinking about it after a very short time.

Cheers, Caro.
miranda

I've also got one but as for the rest....... Confused
mike js

I have now been banned from my local bookshop! I took in a camera, removed lots of their books from the shelves and tried to recreate the Big Readers banner, to determine the authors. They seemed unimpressed, even when I offered to put all the books back in order, for only 15 quid. Anyway, I am stumped.

I must say, Mike, I do think you could keep your own bookshelf a bit neater; aligning the spines and so forth... ;o)
MikeAlx

That is neat, Mike - you should my books after Baby George has got his mitts on them! I need to get some special bookshelves installed that start about 4 feet off the ground...
Fiveowls

Mike, thank you: a great and generous idea.  I tried posting my 10 suggestions but am not sure they are on their way.  I submitted them twice but there was no confirmation they had sped towards you.  I've contacted Evie in response to her email to point this out.   Crying or Very sad

Let me know if they haven't reached you.
MikeAlx

Fiveowls, I'm afraid I haven't received your PMs. I have emailed you my email address, so please respond to that!

If anyone else has sent in answers but not heard back from me, then I haven't received them! Put a note on this thread, and I'll email you my email address.

I don't want to publish it on the boards as I get enough junk mail already!

Thanks, Mike
MikeAlx

And the winner is...

SandraSeahorse, who correctly identified our two Italian suspects, Italo Calvino at number 2, and Umberto Eco at number 8. Congratulations Sandra - an Amazon Gift Certificate is winging its way to you via email.

To the rest of you, apologies for setting such a tricky challenge - I fear I should have included more clues, but didn't want to make it too easy, or bias it towards the crossword enthusiasts.

Should I do a full reveal now, or do people want further clues, to see if you can get the full set between you?
Fiveowls

Well done, Sandra Seahorse.  I managed neither of Mike's Italians, but I enjoyed the challenge and felt the lack of clues gave it some extra zing.  A bit like those scary cryptic crosswords....
Stewart

MikeAlx wrote:
...our two Italian suspects, Italo Calvino at number 2, and Umberto Eco at number 8.

Damnit! I knew the Eco but didn't pick up on the Calvino. It must be an old edition. In fact, they all seemed that way. Are any Robert Harris or Reginald Hill?

Quote:
Should I do a full reveal now, or do people want further clues, to see if you can get the full set between you?


Ooh, don't tell us.
MikeAlx

Stewart wrote:
It must be an old edition. In fact, they all seemed that way

Careful Stewart, you could give me a complex - especially as I have but 10 days left as a thirty-something!  Wink

PS No Hill or Harris. I will think up some further clues.
Stewart

Oh, meant to say as well: Anais Nin? Delta Of Venus or Little Birds?

The big bright blue one with the yellow D is annoying me, it looks so familiar.
Sandraseahorse

I'm shocked!  And obviously delighted.  Thank you.

I though the RH was Robert Harris as well.  I'm even more puzzled now.
miranda

Well done Sandra!

I only got the Umberto Eco!
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

I got Eco alright, and the only other one I thought I knew was the D. I thought it might have been 'Dune', by Frank Herbert. But that's a real stab in the dark
lunababymoonchild

miranda wrote:
Well done Sandra!

I only got the Umberto Eco!


Me too. †And well done Sandra.

Aw tell us, tell us.

Luna
MikeAlx

More Clues!

With apologies for the dodgy limericks... (Blame the Baron!)

1.
He had an old namesake who went
And got himself mugged down in Kent.
With his shorter work here,
(though no poems, I fear)
One's time might be pleasantly spent.

2. (Author: Italo Calvino)
La via to get to St John
Is a road well worth lingering on.
With five memoirs of youth,
Of his father, hard truth,
And of taking the fascisti on.

3.
Here is a green-fingered John
Whose rep. relies mostly upon
This monster's eye view
Of a story we knew
For 'twas told long ago by Anon.

4.
This Yank lives in London, best known
For his riddling walker, but shown
Here to dream of releases
From zoo of some species
Of reptilian nature, well-grown!

5.
Reversing its name draws a blank.
He'd a surname for servants of rank.
In this place, do not sneeze;
Any trace of disease
Will land you up jailed as a crank!

6.
A lover of June and her bloke,
Of Parisian affairs she oft spoke.
Here's a tale of a poser,
By one who well knows her
Ability, lusts to provoke!

7.
This Birmingham prof. earned success
With a work-exchange tale, but I stress
This one here's about brains
And machines, and their aims
And creative adulterousness.

8. (Author: Umberto Eco)
The tale of a fellow whose head
Is devoid of all, save what he's read.
From the fog of Milan
He retreats with a plan
To recover the past that he's shed.

9.
Back again from number four,
A time beneath time here's the draw,
With these essays and shorts
And libretto, the thoughts
Of this writer are here to explore.

10.
A Bruce down in Oz is not odd
But this English one dreamed as he trod
Aboriginal trails,
Then returned with his tales
Of retracing the footsteps of God.
Chibiabos83

Ah, fun! Your diligence is to be praised.

Well, I think 4 must be Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary and 10 Bruce Chatwin's Songlines. Will think about others, but don't want to risk working out another and spoiling things for others.
Caro

I don't get any further on even with all these 'clues' but is 'Bruce' really not a common name in Britain?  I know it has a reputation for being used in Australasia a lot - certainly it is very common in NZ for men of about 50 or so; not used at the present time though.  Bruce Willis didn't seem to bring an increase in its popularity.  

I have a little jokey book called Favourite Names for Girls and Boys and its page on Bruce starts:  "Oh dear.  Man civilisations have wrestled with the Bruce problem.  Selected origins include the Norman Bruxcelles meaning 'a small cabbage', the Russian Brotz implying 'droop of the brewers' making', the New Zealand Bruss meaning 'one who insists he can drive', and the Australian Bruce widely understood as 'do you think we should get him a taxi'.  It goes on to consider Robert the Bruce who lost the battle of 'Bollockburn' and 'rested in a cave for several months waiting to hear a spider fart'.  
It ends, "Their destiny will depend on their location since many differences will separate a NZ live bull skinner of that name, and a San Fransiscan waiter."  

Some of this post I see has been less than tasteful, sorry.  And many apologies if your name is Bruce.  (I could mention the one on Michael - talk of the Disney rodent and "Michaels are solemn infants, handy at jacks and five hundred.  Their surly silences and random bursts of irritaton with items of furniture often lead to careers in the more declamatory Shakespearian roles." )

Cheers, Caro.
miranda

I think it's very rare that a British man is called Bruce.....and I don't think it's ever been a popular name here.   Not sure why though....
MikeAlx

Well that's two to Gareth. Keep 'em coming! I'm afraid some of them are rather obscure.

Caro, 'Bruce' is not that uncommon over here - I even knew one at school - but for some reason the name is often associated with Ozzy blokes. I think Monty Python did a sketch involving a lot of Aussies, all called Bruce, as a sort of prelude to their legendary "Bruce's Philosophers Song".

That book on names sounds fun. The bit about Michaels being solemn infants certainly applies to me. Apparently my Dad nicknamed me 'MLB'. The ML bit stood for 'miserable little', and I'm sure you can guess the rest!  Very Happy
miranda

Really?  I've never met anyone called Bruce!
Caro

See, off the top of my head I can think of five Bruces that I know living in or near my little town. (I began that sentence with three and then remembered two more quite easily.

My book is becoming a bit concerning with its accuracy.  I see Caroline (not that's quite me but nearly) says, "As children, their quiet, nervous natures lead to them being tormented by tapioca.  They overcompensate as adults by asking penetrating rhetorical questions and gravitate naturally to journalism and anthropology."  (I never did get to anthropology but tended to regret that for a while.)

I don't mind tapioca.

Cheers, Caro.
Sandraseahorse

Is No. 7 David Lodge and "Nice Work"?

Like Not - Smart-Just -Lucky , I thought it was "Dune". †There seems to have been a lot of "great minds think alike " going on here.
MikeAlx

David Lodge, but not 'Nice Work' (though that's the book alluded to in line 2). This was a more recent one - clearly with some familiar Lodge themes. The bit about brains and machines is a clue...
MikeAlx

Caro, I believe the author of 5 has a strong New Zealand connection...
Thursday Next

I got the Eco, like everyone else, but that was it! Is the RH Robin Hobb? The D looks familiar but can't place it. Anita Desai, perhaps?
Caro

Oh of course,  Butler.  Obvious when you tell me!

Must go.  In the car off to Oz in about half an hour.  (Not all the way by car of course!)

Cheers, Caro.
Castorboy

Quote:
Oh of course, †Butler. †Obvious when you tell me! Cheers, Caro

In that case it must Erehwon - or Nowhere when reversed. I haven't read it but I think it's about a high country sheep station not too far from Christchurch in the South Island.
Well done Sandra - the wooden spoon tuned into a sceptre & crowned you Queen BR. Very Happy
MikeAlx

Erehwon it is.
Stewart

Stewart wrote:
Oh, meant to say as well: Anais Nin? Delta Of Venus or Little Birds?

MikeAlx wrote:

6.
A lover of June and her bloke,
Of Parisian affairs she oft spoke.
Here's a tale of a poser,
By one who well knows her
Ability, lusts to provoke!


So Henry And June, then?
MikeAlx

Yes, well done, it is indeed Anais Nin (I thought the initial Cuban-French clue might give her away!). It's one of those Penguin 60s, of the short story "A Model".
MikeAlx

OK, a few more clues (in blue) - I'll post the full answers later today.

1.
He had an old namesake who went
And got himself mugged down in Kent.
With his shorter work here,
(though no poems, I fear)
One's time might be pleasantly spent.

The author was Irish and a Nobel Laureate


2. (Author: Italo Calvino)
La via to get to St John
Is a road well worth lingering on.
With five memoirs of youth,
Of his father, hard truth,
And of taking the fascisti on.

A fairly obscure book of Calvino memoirs. The first line of the limerick is actually the title, with a bit of translation into and out of Italian.


3.
Here is a green-fingered John
Whose rep. relies mostly upon
This monster's eye view
Of a story we knew
For 'twas told long ago by Anon.

The story 'told long agon by Anon' is Beowulf.


4.
Solved by Chib - Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary


5.
Solved by Caro and Castorboy - Samuel Butler's Erehwon


6.
Author solved by Stewart - Anais Nin's A Model


7. (Author: David Lodge, solved by Sandra)
This Birmingham prof. earned success
With a work-exchange tale, but I stress
This one here's about brains
And machines, and their aims
And creative adulterousness.

Novel about an Artificial Intelligence researcher and a visiting Creative Writing teacher, investigating the nature of consciousness.


8. (Author: Umberto Eco)
The tale of a fellow whose head
Is devoid of all, save what he's read.
From the fog of Milan
He retreats with a plan
To recover the past that he's shed.

Featuring colour plates of 20th century pop culture, comics, etc., the story of an amnesiac bookseller who remembers every word he's ever read but nothing about his life.


9.
Back again from number four,
A time beneath time here's the draw,
With these essays and shorts
And libretto, the thoughts
Of this writer are here to explore.

A relatively obscure book of short stories, essays and a libretto by the author of no. 4.


10.
Solved by Chib: Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines
Not_Smart_Just_Lucky

Number 1 is Beckett. Easy when you get the normal clues instead of the cryptic ones!
MikeAlx

Spot on.

So here's the full reveal:

01. Beckett, Samuel: The Complete Short Prose
02. Italo Calvino: The Road to San Giovanni
03. Grendel (John Gardner)
04. Russell Hoban: Turtle Diary
05. Erehwon (Samuel Butler)
06. Anais Nin: A Model
07. David Lodge: Thinks
08. Eco, Umberto: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
09. Russell Hoban: The Moment under the Moment
10. Songlines, The (Bruce Chatwin)

Thanks to everyone who joined in!

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