The Inspector General and the District Recorder send all the Princes and their families their sincere wishes for a safe time during these unprecedented and ever changing times......... 

So we are out of lockdown but, as expected, most are in Tier 2 with continued restrictions intended to help our communities’ eventual recovery.  Slough is currently Tier 3 of course but let us hope their recent slackening of infections continues and their constraints are eased.  Very good news that one of the vaccines has been cleared for use from Monday although it appears most of us won’t be called forward until the New Year.  It is also rather expensive, and others are forecast to be cheaper but I’m sure we will all be going straight for whichever becomes available to us first.  Bucks masonry is still on hold until at least 4th January and let us pray that the Christmas relaxation of the rules doesn’t incur a third wave to prolong our misery.


Nick Wilson took the honours again though Stephen Knight was close (and gave more erudite wrong answers!). Here are my answers to last week’s questions:

  1. At the reduced atmospheric pressures at altitude, sea level concentrations of dissolved nitrogen in the tissues are likely to form bubbles which can cause decompression sickness.  Breathing 100% oxygen before exposure reduces the amount of nitrogen dissolved in the tissues and reduces the likelihood of sickness occurring.  RAF decompression chamber training involved a short hypoxia run and an explosive decompression from 25,000 ft to 45,000 ft which also required one to learn how to breathe with a 30mm Hg O2 overpressure in the mask.

  2. The price was one pim, about two-thirds of a shekel and it was the Israelites who paid because the Philistines had forbidden the Israelites from having any blacksmiths (to prevent them making weapons). 1Samuel 13:21 in refers – the King James and many other bible versions do not have the same translation of that verse.

  3. Nebuchadnezzar’s name was spelt with an ‘r’ as Nebuchadrezzar 27 times in the book of Jeremiah, and 10 times with an ‘n’ even though it was the same man - Nebuchadnezzar II who ruled Babylon from 605 - 562BC.  It is thought that the ‘r’ spelling is what Babylonians used from Nabu-kuddurri-usur meaning “God preserve my heir” but Israelites, whom he tried to destroy (but who wrote the history), used “kuduni” meaning “jackass” as a derogatory pun.

  4. Lincolns refers to the Lincoln Longwool sheep and a tod is 28 lbs, a large but not unheard-of weight for a fleece from a Longwool lamb which has been left to grow its fleece for 18 months. Like many similar invocations, the toast therefore means “be lucky and successful”.

  5. Four Prime Ministers in the 20th century came to office mid-term and never won a general election – Arthur Balfour 1902, Neville Chamberlain 1937, Alec Douglas-Home 1963, James Callaghan 1976.  Many others took office mid-term but subsequently won a later election.

  6. James Callaghan is the only man to have held the 4 Great Offices of State in the UK, Prime Minister, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  7. The steam locomotive with most wheels ever built was the 30-wheel Baldwin-built 2-8-8-8-4 Virginian, built in 1916 as an experimental model and broken up in 1920.

  8. The use of an apostrophe in a word is either an indication that the word is possessive (his master’s voice, St James’s Street) or that a letter or letters are missing (don’t for do not, can’t for cannot, doesn’t for does not).  Its and it’s are the awkward pair because “its” is possessive without the apostrophe and the apostrophe in “it’s” is never possessive and always refers to the missing i.

  9. Third place in fencing at the 1896 Olympics was Holger Nielson, “Potsie”Weber in the TV show “Friends” was played by Anson Williams, whose uncle was Henry Heimlich and the word insulin was coined by Sir Edward Schafer in 1916.  Holger-Nielson, Heimlich and Schafer are 3 lifesaving first aid procedures (though Schafer’s Method is now discredited and Heimlich is now referred to as Abdominal Thrusts).

  10. Bulgaria has “gbnrapcka” on its stamps although it is normally in Cyrillic characters.


Here are this week’s posers:

  1. Who said, “if the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be?”

  2. What are a designated hitter and a pinch-hitter for?

  3. What are the 2 types of vaccine currently being worked on by drug companies?

  4. How many children did the prophet Daniel have?

  5. How might Bernoulli’s theorem prevent motorway traffic jams if 3 lanes must be reduced to 2?

  6. Which 4 letters occur together in a car called “satellite”, a province of Belgium, teasing conversation and a staggering gait?

  7. Who invented the name Body Mass Index and in what units is it usually expressed?

  8. Which country departed from the Commonwealth most recently?

  9. What do cashew nuts, cassava, lima beans, elderberries and fugu have in common?

  10. Which “Romantic” poet died 41 years before the birth of a composer who was almost his namesake?


Maintain the mantra - Hands, Face, Space.  Take plenty of exercise and Keep Phoning Around.

Stay Safe

Peter Harborne 33°


Inspector General


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