I’ve started to compile cryptic crosswords again – like those in the Times and the Guardian – having acquired Crossword Compiler and a way to run it in a virtual box on this iMac.
My new setter name is Bateleur – after this guy from the Marseille Tarot >
I decided to memorise the ‘radio alphabet’ (it has a longer name), partly for the exercise. This entry was intended to be some thoughts about memorisation, but the more I noticed the thematic connexions between the names of the letters, the more I focussed on this one aspect of memorisation.
There is an American theme running through most of the names, and more specifically films, and even more specifically war (films).
Alfa is an unpromising start. It’s just the first letter of the Greek alphabet, alpha.
Bravo. Rio Bravo, John Wayne.
Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie was on the Berlin Wall. (I realise that’s circular.)
Delta. Um … Apocalpyse Now? There must be a film about a river delta.
Foxtrot. Fred Astaire …
Golf. Bob Hope … Caddy Shack.
Hotel. Grand Hotel, among many others.
India. Song of India.
Juliet. Plus Romeo.
Kilo. 12 Grams?
Mike. Michaels Douglas, Keaton …
November. The Hunt for Red October? (But there are quite a few films with November in the title: The November Man (2014) is one.
Oscar. Need I say more?
Papa. An odd one. A childish word.
Romeo. Plus Juliet.
Sierra. High Sierra. John Wayne again? (Actually it was Humphrey Bogart, miscast.)
Tango. Last Tango in Paris. By Bertolucci, but Brando’s in it.
Uniform. All war films.
Victory. All war films.
Whiskey. Most American films.
Yankee. Most Americans.
Zulu. A British war, but directed by an American.
Language usage is getting worse all around us, and especially in Facebook. But my real indicator is ABC radio. Yesterday a presenter (on Background Briefing) referred to an international incident which involved a ‘contingency’ of soldiers. At least that’s a new one.