Lucy Vickery

Spectator competition winners: Halloween/ Occurs between/ The end of October/ And the start of not being sober: calendrical clerihews

Spectator competition winners: Halloween/ Occurs between/ The end of October/ And the start of not being sober: calendrical clerihews
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Your latest challenge was to compose clerihews about any date in the calendar. I was very grateful recently to eagle-eyed John O’Byrne, who drew my attention to the fact that the closing date for Competition No. 3125 was not 20 November, as printed in the magazine, but 13 November. Even better, he did it in clerihew form:

The 20 November,

Now that I remember,

Is the closing date not for 3125 but 3126 —

So herewith my quick fix!

Clerihews always go down well and this challenge netted a whopping entry. New Year’s Day, Shakespeare’s birthday, 9/11, the Fourth of July, Black Friday, April Fool’s Day, 5 November, Burns Night and Labour Day all featured, and thanks to Dominica Roberts I now know that the feast day of Saints Cyril and Methodius falls on 14 February.

The winners below earn £8 per clerihew printed.

Adrian Fry

12th December:

a chance to disMember

those remoaning contrarians

masquerading as parliamentarians.

Brian Allgar

On April 2nd,

Trump claimed to be the greatest President in

history, but people reckoned

His ludicrous boast would have been more

Appropriate the day before.

Chris O’Carroll

On 11 September, 2001,

We barely knew what had begun,

And we’re still not sure what will ensue

Before some of us die or all of us do.

February 14

Has long been

A day for pursuing erotic connection

Via chocolate confection.

Robert Schechter

On the Ides of March

beneath an arch

the words of the soothsayer proved valid

upon the murder of the man for whom they

named my favourite salad.

Brian Murdoch

April 23rd this year

Would have been an occasion to cheer,

If Shakespeare were still alive.

He’d be 455.

Bill Greenwell

22nd March 1963

Is the date of the Beatles’ first LP:

What a sexual thrill! —

But not for poor Phil.

Nick MacKinnon

June the 21st is

the summer solstice.

Druids sacrifice the bourgeoisie

on the A303.

Basil Ransome-Davies


Occurs between

The end of October

And the start of not being sober.

Alan Millard

Adolf Hitler

Fought Churchill who was, by an inch or so, littler.

But Hitler, in 1945, was defeated in a rout

Since he, though taller than smaller Churchill, was

not as stout.

W.J. Webster

Burns Night

Is not a Sassenach’s delight:

Unless your bag is


Martin Parker

April the 1st

gives an unmissable chance for those with a

sadistic thirst

for playing witless jokes

on hapless folks.

Alanna Blake

Christmas Eve

Is the night for make-believe

When you are taken in because

Your kids pretend to think you are really Santa


Roger Slater

On July 20th, 1969,

Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and

delivered his famous line.

The whole world watched

as the line got botched.

Carolyn Beckingham

The 1st of May

Is international Labour Day,

When those who wish to riot

Tend to try it.

Nicholas Hodgson

Is August 12th glorious

Or notorious,

As the moors become a slaughterhouse

For grouse?

David Shields

On 17 March

The Irish rarely parch:

Even Yeats on Innisfree

Would not go Guinness-free.

J.M.L Harris

The fourteenth of May

Has nothing to distinguish it from any other day,

And so it is time

To commemorate it in rhyme.

Your next challenge is to submit Shakespeare’s newly discovered ‘Woeful ballad to his mistress’ eyebrows’. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 27 November.