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Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 15:26:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: RE: (urth) Lupine Humor: A Challenge

--- Dan'l Danehy-Oakes  wrote:
> POSSIBLE SPOILERS for "Under Hill" if you haven't read it yet.
> Nacre counterchallenged:
> > There appear to be at least three jokes in
> > "Under Hill"; as it's brand new, I leave it
> > to you all to find them.

I smiled at "I like a man of spirit."  "And he likes you."  Also at "But
anyone who rescues her can have her.  The enchanter has promised her
that."  (Sure it's not a threat?)

Glossing "morning star", from a man who provided no explanation for
"contus", might also qualify as a joke.

> Well, there's some pretty sad Chinese-name-jokes of the 
> level of the infamous "How Hi is a Chinaman".

Sad is right.

> (I'd have guess that "Gifflet le Fils de Do" was something 
> similar but nothing came to mind and a quick search turned
> up this from the Prose Merlin:
> 	And Kay served at tables as was reson, and two yonge 
> 	knyghtes of grete prowesse and were sones to two 
> 	casteleins -- that oon was cleped Lucas the Boteler, 
> 	and that other Gifflet, the sone of Doo of Cardoell, 
> 	which hadde be maister forester to Uterpendragon. 
> And he also turns up in Percivale and other old Arthurian
> texts, so that's just a straightforward name reference.)

Ah, those quick searches!  I never heard of the Prose Merlin.  Anyway,
it's kind of a funny name.

> I'd be willing to bet that there was something funny hiding
> here:
> 	The princess lowered her eyes in shame. "There is 
> 	also my chop - my seal, perhaps? Has this humble 
> 	one committed some risible error, my lord?"
> but I'm darned if I can figure it out.

Well, she did make an error, from Sir Bradwen's point of view, but I can't
see why it's especially risible.
> 	my name's 12BFW-CY-, by the way, and I come 
> 	from the remote future.
> H'mmm. That's a Gernsbackian joke -- a reference to "Ralph 
> 124C41+" The "+" in Ralph's name was a reference to his 
> exceptionally high intelligence, wasn't it? Not sure what 
> to make of the mid-name -; possibly doubleyou minus cee would
> be tee, so 12BFTY-. Not much better... 

One to be if double-you (i.e., you two) not see why not?  Since you
suggested that that hyphen is a minus, maybe it means negative, meaning

> At any rate, looking at the story as a while, we see a smug,
> Gernsbackian superscientist is being outwitted by a "man of
> the Dark Ages who show[s] a glimmer of intelligence," which 
> I think is kind of nice. It's not one of Wolfe's masterpieces
> by a long shot, but I like it.

Didn't take a whole lot to outwit him.  This seems like
Wolfe-writes-a-children's-story.  I'm reminded of Delany's "Prismatica". 
But possibly I'm missing something.

Jerry Friedman

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