Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #9 | In solitude, being excellent like Homer

 |  26 March 2020

Image: top3dshop

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

How is the sequestration going? Hopefully, you’re not wanting for any essential rations while the world’s best and brightest epidemiologists and virologists quest for the antidote to the novel Coronavirus. In the spirit of inspiring you to take succour in your quarantine, here’s another topical clue from Arden (and a bonus one to follow):

 

The Hindu Cryptic #12893 | Arden | (24 Across)

Clue surface: I love to enter, criticize and keep away (7)  

Answer: ISOLATE

Definition: Keep away

Clue type: Charade, insertion

Annotation: Plonk the letter I, clear as day, on to your scribbling pad. Then, the letter O (Crosswording liberty allows you to read the zero indicated by ‘love’ as an ‘O’) is inserted (‘to enter’) into SLATE (which is actually a colloquial synonym for ‘criticize’)

And ‘keeping away’ is the singular act of virtue we as humans have been called upon to perform right now. This virtue-signalling isn’t so far off the mark though, given that most acts of creative excellence (flash mobs strongly excluded) are known to be achieved in solitude — be it writing, thinking, meditating. The Greeks were paragons of this idea and even had a word for it that has survived into English as a loanword.

 

The Hindu Cryptic #12893 | Arden | (23 Across)

Clue surface: Taking care, team achieves excellence in Greece (5)  

Answer: ARETE

Definition: excellence in Greece

Clue type: Telescopic or hidden word

Annotation: The letters ARETE can be found placed, in that order and adjacent to each other, somewhere in the clue.

‘Arete’ may also be understood loosely as ‘doing the best one can’, or ‘best moral behaviour’. Dating back to Ancient Greece and popularised by the philosopher Plato’s brand of ethics, the term is rather flexible if subjective — it has been applied to whatever values society considered praiseworthy or desirable at the time (evidence of this can be seen in that ‘arete’ was used to form the root of the word ‘aristocracy’ sometime before the French revolution happened).

 

arete

sounds like: uh-ri-tay

noun

— aggregate of qualities, as valour or virtue, making up good character (dictionary.com)

Origin: From the works of Homer (8th Century B.C.), which influenced Plato

 

Pretty insightful (if intentional) from Arden to marry the ideas of ‘taking care’ and teamwork to clue the idea of ‘best moral behaviour’ for these times!

Were there any clues that discombobulated/delighted you in the past few weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

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