Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas puzzle

OK, you lot, here's a Christmas puzzle.
My mother had an old chest of drawers in her pantry. It was stuffed to the gunwhales with - amongst more useful things - rusty tools, old tights, a bag of my little brother's long blonde hair (circa 1977), lethal electrical sockets, old wiring and six gimlets (why would she need SIX gimlets?) At the back of the bottom drawer we found the item below with instructions for use. We think it dates from late 50s - early 60s. The name of the object is on the back, and we know what it is and what it does. Do you? (The hand is there to give you a rough idea of size.)

If anyone posts the correct answer on this blog I will send them a signed copy of either Plotting for Beginners or Zuzu's Petals.
Don't crash my site, will you? (she said ironically.)


Jonathan said...

Good Morning Sue

A beautiful, fine, crisp and fristy morning (I quite like that misspelling)for Christmas. The fact that you call it a 'Christmas' quiz is a clue, yes? and my reference to 'fristy' could also be pertinent. I have the feeling that this object refers directly to a long conversation that took place in the queue at King's College on Christmas Eve.

As an aside I still have to read Zuzu'z Petals as my copy is now winging its way to Toronto in the hands of a gentleman from The Canadian Broadcasting Company who bought it off me (in the same queue) to read on the plane flight home.

I shall get another copy on Monday, hopefully. - Interestingly a truly international straw poll of ten or more found the cover 'misleading' at best and 'off-putting- towards the other end of the scale. It would have been fascinating to repeat the same exercise twenty yards further up with a more appropriate cover!

I digress...

I have this feeling that the final clue in this little bit of fun is a 'silver pin'. In which case I would root in the back of my cupboard like Pooh after his finest pot of vintage honey and find the long forgotten 2006 jar of Ho-hum and having poured off the liquor put the remaining ingredients in your Gadget and extract the final bitter sweet element.

Thereafter fetch a fine crystal glass, light a mellow candle and curl up with a good book in front of the inglenook and enjoy my SLOE GIN.


Ah well... there you go.


Jonathan said...

The conversation I referred to of course was the 1001 ways to make the finest Sloe Gin!


Sue Hepworth said...

A gallant attempt, Jonathan, but wrong. Christmas has little to do with the puzzle: it's just that I set the puzzle at Christmas. Do try again.
On a second tack, I am intrigued by your sale of ZP to the CBC gentleman. Which queue were you in? Did you know the man? Did he spot the cover and think - I MUST read that book??

Sue Hepworth said...

p.s. You can always buy the book from Amazon, if your local bookshop doesn't have it.

Jonathan said...

Sorry, would have come back sooner. This will have to be a bit quick I'm afraid. I have to go over to Pa's with a food parcel!- along with other bits and pieces.

To answer your queries I was in the queue for attending the King's College Carol Service in King's Chapel at Cambridge. You have to be there before the sparrows have considered bacon sandwiches to get a chance of getting in. - As an offside it is really a strange feeling to be part of a great tradition knowing you are only one of only 660 attending whilst the service itself is being broadcast live to millions and zillions world wide. The daft temptation to stand up and yell Happy Christmas to all ans sundry over the air can be quite overwhelming!

Be that as it may, you take your life in both hands so to speak in terms of who you end up queueing with. This year included a charming couple from Beckonsfield; A single 40'ish girl from Bigglewade with 'issues' writ large on some parts of her face and other issues kept discreetly to one side, but clearly eating her up and desperate to find a like minded spirit to talk it through with; A lady (the inevitable hanger-on-to-your-conversation type) who was 'nice' as Joyce Grenfell would say but not all there, and finally in our little group (strange how almost instantly you write off the people in front and those behind and form you own little clique) the Gentleman from Toronto who is an independent television producer researching a programme about the strange life of Choristors for CBC Toronto.

Well after the initial "where you from?" etc... You all settle down for the nine hour wait which in my case was going to invovle dashing off to complete a whole number of things whilst at the same time getting into Zuzu's Petals. Sad to say I got no further than getting it out of my bag before being intercepted. "Bit strange, a fifty something chap into Chicklit!" AAhhh well I said there hangs an interesting tale blah blah.

I guess you can see how the rest of the conversation went but I did my best to try and promote your wares. As I said One Book Sold! to the TV man. Funnily I really thought it would be the conversation-hanger-onner who would bite the hook. There you go!

I have lots more to say but I HAVE to go. I'll e-mail tonight with some photos of the event.

best wishes


Anonymous said...

Dear Jonathan
you write very intereting comments, therefore,
I think you would be better off having your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue
the mystery object is something we used to have in our little village in India.
Something my grandma used to use for making cream.
You put in warm milk and butter and then pump.

Isaac said...

A few tries from Colorado:
1. (Isaac) It's for separating milk and cream. Pour the full milk in the top, and then use the valve to let the milk out from the bottom, leaving the cream in the cylinder.
2. (Alan) It's for making tiny sausages. Steak goes in the top, pump it, and sausages come out of the tube.
3. (Wendy) It's for dispensing paraffin in exact quantities into lamps. Oil goes in the top, and you can use the valve to let it out bit by bit.

Sue Hepworth said...

Isaac, I like Wendy's suggestion very much, and you yourself are close, but I'm afraid that Ms Rehal has the correct answer! Fancy your Indian grandma having one!
Ms Rehal, if you email me your address, and tell me which book you want, i will send you a signed copy.