Set by Caroline Moore
This issue of the Spectator marks the start of the Spectator Game of Consequences. The competition will last nine weeks and the first three winners will receive outstanding prizes.
The first prize is a valuable aquatint plus a Swan Hellenic Art Treasure Tour for two. (Described in greater detail on the facing page.) The second prize is the complete set including supplements (16 volumes in all) of the Oxford English Dictionary, published by the Oxford University Press.
The third prize is a case of Glenfiddich Pure Malt Whisky, donated by the distillers.
There will also be many other prizes, including signed copies of books by Spectator writers.
How to take part
Each issue of the Spectator between now and 14 December will carry a clue. Each of the nine clues will have three parts; the answers to parts (a) and (b) will be a Christian name, and the answer to part (c) will be the name of a place in the British Isles. The three parts will be linked in a codicil describing a meeting, drawn from history or literature, in which (a) meets (b) at (c) and the consequence of the meeting.
Once again, it will be the place names that are truly of consequence; and at the end of the nine weeks a rhymed clue will tell you how to decode a final place name from the nine you should have collected. In theory, you could find the final answer, and win, by solving part (c) alone; in practice, however, points will be awarded for solving all three parts, and identifying the meeting — and for explaining allusions, and identifying quotations (by author and work, and by act and scene if a play). A brief answer is all that will be necessary.
Don't give up if you fail to solve all the clues. It will still be possible to win with a less than perfect set of answers. Only one competitor solved it all correctly last year!
The closing date for entries will be 16 January 1986. No entries will be opened before that date. If several correct and complete answers are received, then the winner will be decided by lot. In the event of any dispute or doubt, the final arbiter will be the editor of the Spectator. The competition is not open to employees of the Spectator or their relatives.
a) The Christian name — of the squinting MP who let loose a baboon disguised as Satan into Medmenham Abbey, and criticised Johnson's aspirations — of the knight who was born about three of the clock in the afternoon, with a white head, and something a round belly — of the admiral court-martialled and shot for failing in his attempt to relieve Fort St Philip.
b) The Christian name
— of the mistress who marvelled at her royal lover's take in women: 'We are none of us handsome, and if we have wit, he has not enough himself to find it out'
— of the illiterate empress, unorthodoxly called Martha, whose second husband presented her with the pickled head of her suspected lover — of the visitor who discovered a laundry list and a farrier's bill in a mysterious black and yellow Japan cabinet.
c) The name of a statesman who showed a duff murder charge to be moonshine by the use of an almanac; but also the name of a town where a juvenile saint was crucified by the Jews; where a queen left her viscera on her journey from Harby to Westminster Abbey, via Charing Cross; and where the organist was a composer of the songs that were published with the famous 'Reasons , . to perswade everyone to learne to singe' — which suggested that they would cure stuttering.
Meeting: (a) met (b) in the cathedral at (c), to make her an honest woman and his third wife . . . AND THE CONSEQUENCE WAS four illegitimate children, born in a French castle, were admitted to a time-honoured house, and (b) became the great-great-grand-mother of a king,
Answer form — 1
a) b) c) Meeting Name Address
Important: Please keep this answer form, as you will need to keep a record of all the answers that make up the series of consequences. If you need more space, you may write your answers on plain paper (maximum 200 words).
Game of Consequences
Part of Cheringhee, Calcutta. Engraved by Thomas and William Daniell. Published August 1798. Hand glazed aquatint. Plus a Swan Hellenic Art Treasure Tour for two to one of the following destinations: Santiago de Compostela (a 16-day tour) including Toulouse, Pau, Pamplona, Burgos, Leon and Oviedo.
Hungary (a 15-day tour) including Budapest, Eger and the Bukk Mountains.
Central Asia and Transcaucasia (an 18-day tour) including Moscow, Bokhara, Samarkand, Tashkent, and Shakhrisabz.
This prize is donated by