The Dabbler’s Round Blogworld Quiz #7: The Solution

Jonathon Law’s more or less got it, and Steve Buckley’s given us the best guesses since Stan Madeley’s efforts. For anyone wanting to be put out of their misery, click continue.

Earlier Nige posed the seventh Round Blogworld Quiz question, namely:

What links a playwright who broke the sprint record at Hackney Downs Boys’ School to a pal of Bertie’s with a Murdoch-style nickname; a butterfly syndrome; and miscellaneous one-hit wonders from the Sixties?

The connection here is a simple word progression from Pinter to Pinker to Pinkerton to Pinkertons.

The young Harold Pinter was a talented runner and held the Hackney Downs School sprinting record. The Nobel-winning playwright and left-winger was also a big cricket fan, taking his bat with him when evacuated during the Blitz. I’m not sure if he wrote any cricket poetry but if he did it would probably go like this:


F***ing out first ball.
I hate f***ing America.
F*** them. F***ers.

Or something along those lines, anyway. From Harold Pinter to Harold Pinker. One of Bertie Wooster’s pals in the PG Wodehouse stories, Harold “Stinker” Pinker was a curate in Market Snodsbury, who married “Stiffy” Byng, though not without some comic mishaps along the way. “Stinker” was also the nickname of Richard Murdoch, the British comic actor who came to prominence alongside Arthur Askey in the 1930s BBC radio comedy Band Waggon. Incidentally, there’s a link here to Adelephant’s Round Blogworld Quiz question from a few weeks ago, as in the 1980s Murdoch supplied the English narration to the Polish animated version of The Moomins.

From Pinker to Pinkerton. Pinkerton Syndrome is a derogatory Singaporean term for the tendency of some Asians to consider Caucasians superior, and to be biased in favour of Caucasians over Asians. It comes from the character of Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton in Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly.

Finally, from Pinkerton we get to Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, who had a hit with Mirror Mirror in 1965, then vanished into obscurity via a series of name changes – Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, Pinkerton’s Colours and finally the Pinkertons – which Pinkish word-regression neatly concludes our own fiendish word-progression quiz answer.

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3 thoughts on “The Dabbler’s Round Blogworld Quiz #7: The Solution

    January 19, 2011 at 13:49

    A very good attempt at a Pinter poem parody, Brit, but I think the ratio of just four F***s in twelve words lets you down. Harold would have bunged in at least six.

    January 19, 2011 at 17:24

    Although disappointing in its low f**k count, Harold Pinter did write a very short cricket poem which goes:

    I saw Len Hutton in his prime.
    Another time, another time.

    Apparently he sent this to Simon Gray and when he got no response called Gray and said, ‘What did you think of the poem?’ Gray replied, ‘I haven’t had time to read it yet.’

    January 19, 2011 at 18:27

    You’re absolutely right, Philip – I have heard that story and forgot about it (though in the version I heard Gray said “I haven’t finished it yet”, suggesting the untold depths of cricket). Damn good effort from Pinter that, much better than his usual.

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