Archive for UK riots

The inexorable decline of English culture

Posted in Crosswords with tags , , , on August 15, 2011 by telescoper

As politicians, journalists and academics struggle to explain the recent outbreaks of violent disorder in English cities, I think it’s time for me to provide the definitive analysis. I believe that the sense of alienation, disenchantment and despair that seems to be sweeping the country can be traced back to a single appalling event, the occurrence of which was surely enough to drive even the most law-abiding citizen into acts of wanton destruction. The enormity of the offence perpetrated against the cultural fabric of our society cannot be overestimated, as it casts doubt on the very survival of western civilisation.

So what is this thing of which I speak? I’ll tell you, although I can hardly bring myself to talk about it. There was an error in last week’s Guardian Prize Crossword.

The shocking evidence for this breakdown of all that is right and good can be seen in stark graphic terms below:

The offending item, which can be found in the bottom left hand corner, is 22 down, the clue to which reads

9’s heart lifted, I gathered, over 7’s opener (6)

The answer to 9 across is BEETHOVEN, which serves to suggest a definition of a piece by said composer. “Heart lifted” is CORE written upside down, “I gathered” means that you stick an “I” in that, and “7’s opener” is A (from ALBION). The answer is then clearly EROICA…

Except – oh the shame of it! – the Guardian setter, Paul, clearly can’t spell and thus it appears in the completed grid above as ERIOCA. I can think of no clearer evidence for the descent of our country into anarchy and chaos.

I rest my case. There’s no doubt in my mind that this outrage was the real reason for the recent outbreak of riots. Or, as Paul would no doubt say, “roits”.