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Spectator competition winners: Halloween/ Occurs between/ The end of October/ And the start of not being sober: calendrical clerihews

16 November 2019

9:30 AM

16 November 2019

9:30 AM

Your latest challenge was to compose clerihews about any date in the calendar. I was very grateful recently to eagle-eyed John O’Byrne, who drew my attention to the fact that the closing date for Competition No. 3125 was not 20 November, as printed in the magazine, but 13 November. Even better, he did it in clerihew form:

The 20 November,
Now that I remember,
Is the closing date not for 3125 but 3126 —
So herewith my quick fix!

Clerihews always go down well and this challenge netted a whopping entry. New Year’s Day, Shakespeare’s birthday, 9/11, the Fourth of July, Black Friday, April Fool’s Day, 5 November, Burns Night and Labour Day all featured, and thanks to Dominica Roberts I now know that the feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius falls on 14 February.

The winners below earn £8 per clerihew printed.

Adrian Fry
12th December:
a chance to disMember
those remoaning contrarians
masquerading as parliamentarians.

Brian Allgar
On April 2nd,
Trump claimed to be the greatest President in
history, but people reckoned
His ludicrous boast would have been more
Appropriate the day before.

Chris O’Carroll
On 11 September, 2001,
We barely knew what had begun,
And we’re still not sure what will ensue
Before some of us die or all of us do.

February 14
Has long been
A day for pursuing erotic connection
Via chocolate confection.


Robert Schechter
On the Ides of March
beneath an arch
the words of the soothsayer proved valid
upon the murder of the man for whom they
named my favourite salad.

Brian Murdoch
April 23rd this year
Would have been an occasion to cheer,
If Shakespeare were still alive.
He’d be 455.

Bill Greenwell
22nd March 1963
Is the date of the Beatles’ first LP:
What a sexual thrill! —
But not for poor Phil.

Nick MacKinnon
June the 21st is
the summer solstice.
Druids sacrifice the bourgeoisie
on the A303.

Basil Ransome-Davies
Halloween
Occurs between
The end of October
And the start of not being sober.

Alan Millard
Adolf Hitler
Fought Churchill who was, by an inch or so, littler.
But Hitler, in 1945, was defeated in a rout
Since he, though taller than smaller Churchill, was
not as stout.

W.J. Webster
Burns Night
Is not a Sassenach’s delight:
Unless your bag is
Haggis.

Martin Parker
April the 1st
gives an unmissable chance for those with a
sadistic thirst
for playing witless jokes
on hapless folks.

Alanna Blake
Christmas Eve
Is the night for make-believe
When you are taken in because
Your kids pretend to think you are really Santa
Claus.

Roger Slater
On July 20th, 1969,
Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and
delivered his famous line.
The whole world watched
as the line got botched.

Carolyn Beckingham
The 1st of May
Is international Labour Day,
When those who wish to riot
Tend to try it.

Nicholas Hodgson
Is August 12th glorious
Or notorious,
As the moors become a slaughterhouse
For grouse?

David Shields
On 17 March
The Irish rarely parch:
Even Yeats on Innisfree
Would not go Guinness-free.

J.M.L Harris
The fourteenth of May
Has nothing to distinguish it from any other day,
And so it is time
To commemorate it in rhyme.

Your next challenge is to submit Shakespeare’s newly discovered ‘Woeful ballad to his mistress’ eyebrows’. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 27 November.


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