Monday, May 5, 2008

Medication by way of half-graded combination? (6)

Not exactly a very good surface reading, but I thought it would be fun to use a cryptic clue for the title of this post.

A friend sent me an interesting article which I can't resist to include in this blog. It has something to do with "quality of life".

My dog, Boomer, is over 10 years old now. The vet said he is approximately an 80-year old man in terms of human age. He is very near to his full lifespan, and doesn't have much more time left. A couple of months ago, he developed some difficulties to walk with his hind legs. The vet said that most large dogs are susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia. Each time Boomer walks, he'd partially drag his hind legs; and his gait would also be somewhat wobbly. Sadly, there is very little that we can do for poor Boomer.

There are few possible options. Firstly, leave him as he is now and hope that he will somehow gain full use of his hind legs. That is, however, very unlikely. Secondly, give him some vitamins in the hope that that can help to remedy the problem, or at least prevent his condition from worsening. Thirdly, put him down so that he needs not go through that lousy quality of life.

I decided against the third option immediately. I didn't have the heart to put him down. I opted to give him some vitamins, but soon had to abandon that measure as it was obvious after a while that it didn't help at all. So now Boomer continues living with a poor quality of life. But so far his health is not deteriorating any further. I hope he will live a little longer. He has been a good dog.

Humans may have a poor quality of life too. Apparently men who suffer from erectile dysfunction are considered to fall within such category. Luckily for some Chilean men, their mayor started handing out free Viagra to senior citizens on Wednesday. About 1,500 residents are eligible to receive up to 4 pills each month. That's quite a lot of Viagra! I suppose the quality of life for those men must have improved by leaps and bounds, huh? Perhaps I should consider migrating to Chile when I reach the age of 60!


Cornelius said...

I should have created a blog exclusively for treasure hunt articles. Unfortunately I wouldn't have been able to spare the time to maintain 2 blogs; apart from all the emails I have been receiving from my friends and readers.

This blog is a mixture of everything. I know some of my readers enjoy the "Strange People" articles; some enjoy the "My Grandfather Stories"; others still enjoy other stuff. But it is quite obvious that the main bulk of my visitors are those people hungry for treasure hunt articles.

Each time I post something new on treasure hunts, I can see that the number of visitors would shoot up significantly. The same is true if I do a virtual hunt etc.

When I posted this particular article last night, I thought I would attract some comments about my dog or the sexually-happy Chileans. Instead, this morning I've received some emails from people wanting to know that answer to the heading of this post!

Well, I'm sure the many crosswords freaks out there "saw" the answer almost immediately after I posted this article. Those of you who're still trying to figure it out, please keep trying for a bit. I am fairly certain that you will find the answer eventually. If I were to reveal the answer now, you will only end up kicking yourselves in the butt. Trust me, if you find the answer on your own, the satisfaction is so much sweeter! To those of you who still can't figure out this clue, don't worry, I will reveal the answer later and explain the steps in detail.

Anonymous said...

I pop a pill and was told to go by this way, to see man’s greatest erection for a woman.

Cornelius said...

Hehehe... greatest erection, huh, delurk?

Cornelius said...

OK, let me explain the solution to the title of this thread, which is actually a cryptic clue in itself.

Medication by way of half-graded combination? (6)

A typical cryptic clue usually has a definition in it; and that definition is usually located at the start or end of the clue. In our present case, the definition might be the words "medication" or "combination". The solver will just have to guess which one.

However, an experience cryptic solver would know that in this particular clue, it is the "medication" that is the definition. Essentially, it means that we need to solve the remaining portion of the sentence and come up with something that will agree with the word "medication".

In other words, we need to solve:

"by way of half-graded combination"

"by way of" = VIA

half (of the word) "graded" = GRA or DED

and the combination of VIA and GRA yields VIAGRA

VIAGRA agrees with "medication". It is a kind of drug, i.e. medication for "treating" erectile dysfunction.

I'd like to add that the word "combination" is a non-obligatory word on the part of the setter. There is usually no need for the setter to give such specific instruction to the solver to "combine" the VIA and GRA. But in this case apart from its role as a literal instruction to combine those words, the inclusion of "combination" in the clue also results in a smooter surface reading. Imagine what would have happened to the sentence if "combination" wasn't there. It wouldn't have read well.

OK, now over to you, delurk. Go ahead and explain the "greatest erection"... HAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

sorry for the above broken link. pls take it down.

many would have read this joke that's going around.

man’s greatest erection for a woman - taj mahal, and you go there via Agra.

Cornelius said...

Hehehe... oh that's a good one, delurk! Somehow that link works perfectly for me, i.e. it's not broken at all!

A very good play on words. But many people don't really know how to use that word "erection". Whenever that word is used, they can only think of the erection as in the penis! But "erection" can also have the same meaning as the word "construction". For example the "construction of a building" is like saying "erection of a building". So "man's greatest erection..." is like "man's greatest construction..."

But many of those in my company got confused between the word "erect" and "develop". So they'd say "the land is erected with a house" instead of "the land is developed with a house"