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Palindrome competition

[<<] [>>] by Colin Hemming
30th April 2007 (Other News)

The casual reader may think that palindromes are now so easy to devise that they are not worth bothering about. This is definitely not the case. Try devising a palindrome related to a specific subject.

Croquet, to be precise. When you have done so (if you can!) send it direct to me at (just click on that link). No restriction on entries, people can enter as many times as they like.

The best palindrome received will receive a mystery prize (hint: it is alcoholic, and has a connection to our game). I am the sole judge, and "best" means exactly what I want it to mean, nothing more and nothing less (no extra points for identifying the source of this quotation, but you do get a nice warm glow). I shall publish the winner and a selection of others on this list.

Closing date for entries is noon GMT Wed 23rd May. This should hopefully give me time to arrange distribution of the prize via the Inter-Counties delivery system (unless, of course, one of these damn colonials has the temerity to win it . . . )

Note that length is no criterion at all for victory. The only time I have entered a competition such as this is when "Computing" magazine ran just such a competition way back in 1972 or 1973, when the task was to devise a palindrome with a computer theme. Thinking myself a bit of a wiz, I spent enormous amounts of my then employer's time devising three very contrived sentences, attempting to tell a sort of mini-story, none of it very convincing. The eventual winner was only six words long, and was politically incorrect even in 1972 or 3 (but we didn't call it that then); it is spectacularly un-PC now, but I repeat it as a guide to the sort of wit and pithiness that competitors should strive for:

The scenario is a black programmer who was struggling with the (then new) Disk Operating System, and was heard to remark to a colleague "Dis DOS am a sod, Sid!"

Just so that everyone knows, a palindrome is a phrase or sentence that reads the same backwards as it does forwards (making necessary adjustments for spaces and punctuation).


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