Friday, 21 June 2013

Another medical book!

In December 2011 my co-author and I published A Guide for Adults with Hip Dysplasia,  a world-first book for adults with this condition. We've just sold over 500 copies, and it continues to help patients all around the world.

This week I've started work on a new medical book, on neurosarcoidosis.

Anyway. It will have a few chapters on the current understanding of this rare disease (my estimates based on the research papers is there are only around 140,000 – 280,000 people with this disease in the whole world), how it's diagnosed and treated, and some chapters on proactive strategies for living with it. The second part of the book will be collected patients' experiences, arranged by topic.

ETA: Submissions from patients have now closed.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Bull, The Moon, and the Coronet of Stars

I've had an enjoyable job these past few weeks, creating a promotional crossword for the HotHouse Theatre. It's themed around the myth of the Minotaur, and facts about their upcoming play, The Bull, The Moon, and The Coronet of Stars by Van Badham, and starring Silvia Colloca and Matt Zeremes.

If you live in the Albury/Wodonga region, you can get a hold of a copy of The Border Mail today, solve the crossword, and enter the competition. And you can still have a go at the crossword here!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Gemini Cryptic 6639

This is my explanation of the clues from the Gemini Cryptic Crossword #6639, from The Canberra Times yesterday (6 June 2013).

As usual, the definition is underlined, except in cryptic definition and double definition clues.

My new app, CrypticGuide, in use ... it will be ready for
release in a few weeks. Stay tuned!


1) A Royal in Canadian capital surrounded by a crowd (8) = PRINCESS
Nothing to do with Ottawa! A container clue — put IN + C (the capital letter of Canadian) inside (surrounded by) PRESS (a crowd).

5) Book of plays (4) = ACTS
Cryptic definition, of sorts. I guess Book might refer to the Bible, and Acts of the Apostles. And of course, plays are written in acts too.

9) As you can see it forms a ring (5) = ATOLL
Charade, A + TOLL (ring), as in the tolling of a bell. And an atoll does form a ring. Maybe an &lit clue? What do you think?

10) Twice mother holds the hat for a revered sage (7) = MAHATMA (Ghandi)
Twice mother = MA + MA. They hold the HAT. So you get MA-HAT-MA.

11) Goes ahead and plays the star part (5,3,4) = TAKES THE LEAD
Double definition. Goes ahead is the first definition, and plays the star part is the second.

13) Agreement to attempt to get some food in (6) = TREATY
Container clue. Put EAT (get some food) in TRY (attempt).

14) Vessel — showing its nationality? (6) = FLAGON
Cryptic definition. If it has a FLAG ON, it might be showing its nationality?

17) A rap or tumble upsets one out for a stroll (12) = PERAMBULATOR
Anagram clue, indicated by upsets. The anagram fodder is A rap or tumble.

20) Not for advantage in a way (7) = AGAINST
Container. GAIN (advantage) in a way = A ST (street). A-GAIN-ST.

21) Fly to an away match (5) = ELOPE
A cryptic definition clue. Run - or fly - away to make a marriage, or match.

22) Stone used to make a badger's home (4) = SETT
Double definition. A SETT is a paving stone used to make roads, and a badger's home.

23) Chairs or soft settles (8) = PRESIDES
Charade. Soft = P (piano, or softly, in music) + RESIDES (settles).


1)  Somebody's work oddly enough (4) = PLAY
Cryptic definition. I guess what's work for one is play for another? And that's odd ...

2) Keep away from others (7) = ISOLATE
Cryptic (?) definition. Although this really just reads as a straight definition to me, nothing much cryptic about it. Anyone have any better interpretations?

3) Remembered and rang for a baby-sitter? (6,2,4) = CALLED TO MIND
Double definition. Remembered is the first definition, rang for a baby-sitter is the second.

4) Abraham ties me in knots (6) = SEMITE
Anagram of ties me. The anagram indicator is in knots.

6) Copper to marry a pretty girl (6) = CUTIE
Charade. Copper = CU (chemical symbol for the metal copper) + TIE (marry)

7) Reputation for being upright (8) = STANDING
Double definition. One's reputation is your standing in the community. And if you're upright, you're standing up.

8) Supporters who arouse enthusiasm (12) = CHEERLEADERS
Again, a cryptic definition that reads more like a regular definition clue to me. Anyone have any better thoughts on it?

12) Allow no openings for substitutes (8) = STOPGAPS
Charade. Allow no = STOP + openings = GAPS.

15)  A line in gold showing age (4,3) = GROW OLD
Container. Put ROW (a line) in gold. G-ROW-OLD

16) A rowing boat blade (6) = CUTTER
Double definition. A cutter may be a small boat that services a larger boat (ie a tender), and this *might* be manned with oars. Although calling a cutter a rowing boat is drawing a long bow, to my mind. And, more obviously, a blade is definitely something that cuts.

18) Responds to encore call? (5) = REACT
Cryptic definition, I think... or double def? Using a coined definition - RE-ACT, as in 'act again', therefore encore call. I think it ought to be 'respond to', not 'responds to', though. With the clue as it stands, the answer ought to be REACTS.

19)  They know how to treat animals (4) = VETS
Sort of cryptic definition. Treat as in providing medical aid.

They really do run to cryptic definition clues, don't they? Eight in this crossword ...