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Spectator competition winners: Hackety, rackety Donald and Vladimir – double dactyls about double acts

1 July 2018

9:07 AM

1 July 2018

9:07 AM

The latest challenge was to compose double dactyls about double acts. I didn’t include the rules about double dactyls this time round as they are rather long-winded and I’ve done it before — and in any case they are easily Googled.

Most of you seemed thoroughly at home with the form, and in a large, lively and accomplished entry double dactylic duos from time present (Trump and Melania, Declan and Anthony) and time past (Boney and Josephine) rubbed shoulders with the literary (Regan and Goneril), the musical (Gilbert and Sullivan, Simon and Garfunkel) and the comical (Stanley and Oliver).

George Simmers and Mae Scanlan are highly commended. The winners, printed below, earn £15 each.

Brian Allgar
Hackety, rackety,
Donald and Vladimir
Sneer at collusion. ‘It’s
Fake News!’ they say.

That’s what they tell us, but
Donald’s now ruling the

Robert Schechter
Bardily, hardily,
Gertrude and Claudius
Killed Hamlet’s father so
‘Vengeance!’ he cried!

Yet in the end the boy
Dithered and dallied till
Everyone died.

Susan McLean
Sneakily, cheekily,
Crabtree & Evelyn,
named to sound British, a
Yankee pretence,

under the guise of its
bid for distinction, made
dollars from scents.

Chris O’Carroll
Thisbe and Pyramus,
Badly confused by a
Leonine brute,

Die at the hands of two
Amateur thespians,
Bottom and Flute.

Bill Greenwell
Flobadob, flobadob,
William and Benjamin
Lived for their pot, and on
That they agreed.

Most of their street slang was
Though you could sense they were
Both fond of Weed.

Mike Morrison
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Money-spun musicals —
Think Carousel;

Iffy, improbable
Lap-’em-up love stories,
Corny as hell.

Francis Harry
William and Dorothy
Saw what they saw and they
Knew what they knew.

Those two go walking — gold
Flowers do dance moves, then
Legions ensue

Alan Millard
Stanley and Livingstone
Met as a pair in the
African gloom.

Proof of their meeting was,
Something that Stanley could
Only presume.

Max Gutmann
Trump and Melania
Seem rather odd as their
Nation’s First Pair:

He’s the quintessence of
She looks her happiest
When she’s not there.

Orel Protopopescu
Rollicky, frolicky,
Popeye and Olive Oyl,
Spinach for breakfast the
Day they were wed.

Battled all rivals till
Not lethal jealousy,
Beat them instead.

Joseph Conlon
Gilbert and Sullivan
Musical masters of
Upside-down fun.

Quarrelled on matters pure
Making the lawyers’ lot
A happy one.

Your next challenge is to submit a short story entitled ‘The day the internet died’. Please email entries of up to 150 words (providing word count) to by midday on 11 July.

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