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Famous Names (Once)

26 September, 2013

Going through ye olde crossword book, the Guardian collection issued in 1973, I encountered several names that were supposedly household then, but are unknown now. Yes, I’ve heard of Cilla Black – just – and Malcolm Muggeridge, but be honest: how many of these solutions do you recognise? Any clues who they were, and why they once claimed such fame?

Maurice Hewlett
Toti Gobbi
Michael Arlen
Francis Thompson
Voyce – the footballer
Zigeuner – the gypsy
Whitgift – the bishop
Flecker – the poet
Mr Weller – a signpost to convert Vs into Ws, such as VIPER into WIPER?

When does a person become a name? What’s the surest crossword test, before Actor A, Singer B, Polly C, Comedian D, Scientist E etc can qualify as a solution? Was my Peter Debnam too marginal? James O'Loughlin? Sarah Blasko? To borrow another affix, let’s calibrate the fame-o-meter.

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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