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Ordinary fair


By Miranda

Humdrum, run-of-the-mill, even bog-standard, 'ordinary' is one of those words we use all the time without thinking.

Of course, 'ordinary' once also meant a fixed menu or the establishment which provided it. And, astonishingly, a penny-farthing bicycle was once referred to as an 'ordinary', though in comparison to what I find it difficult to imagine. Penny-farthing bicycle

The 'ordinary' in a religious liturgy is the part that doesn't change in day-to-day services and, similarly, an 'ordinary' can be a set of rules and/or the person in charge of seeing such set procedures are carried through.

Then there is the Australian habit of referring to behaviours and events that are less than pleasing as 'ordinary'. So if your barbecue was rained out, or invaded by ants, or if your work day was unusually busy and fraught, you could describe it as 'pretty ordinary'. Understatement.

So 'ordinary' could describe the scramble to edit or update clues in our puzzles. This happens naturally as times and language change, and even when we (horror!) make a mistake. That's ordinary.

But every now and then we get an event which requires massive searching through the puzzles to update something we never thought could change.

Which brings me to Lance Armstrong. The mark he made on world cycling was such that he achieved icon status and was used frequently in cluing the word LANCE and even, occasionally, ARMSTRONG. But clues such as 'Cycling icon' and any reference to 'Champion' or 'Tour de France victor', let alone 'Multiple Tour de France victor' are now well and truly dead, like his career.

So, the ordinary task of following the ordinary rules for our clues was made pretty ordinary by the revelations that Mr Armstrong's performances and behaviour were pretty ordinary, after all.

What's 'ordinary' or 'pretty ordinary' for you?


38 Responses to

Ordinary fair

February 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

i love to win and proberly a shocking losser , ordinary people not my style , ( snob value} dont use the word though, basic is better

falcon8 said:
February 13, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Hey guys, this is you"play" isn't it? Play as in learning via fun activity. If you are on this site to see/prove how much better/smarter you are than the other schmuks, then you seriously need to see a shrink.

February 13, 2013 at 3:25 PM

been there done that falcon 8 , whats new lol

gracie10 said:
February 13, 2013 at 6:07 PM

OMG! It has been so extraordinarily hot over here (WA) that my computer wasn't able to function properly so I have not been able to complete, or even access most of my usual puzzles. How ordinary is that! (It is essential that I complete all levels of Calkuro every day, or failing that, the next day).

nan_j said:
February 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

... and how extraordinary is that just play the games and enjoy :)

Her0ine said:
February 14, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Wow, jennyw, etc. 10 seconds for an addoku is pretty amazing, I call that super-extraordinary

kragzy said:
February 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I'm just an ordinary guy who gets ordinary scores playing ordinary games. I really couldn't care how I compare with others. I guess I have a sub-ordinary level of competitiveness.

Mojito said:
February 14, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Not sub-ordinary, you are with the majority, kragzy as am I. We just want to have fun.