A New Year

Rats begone

Welcome to 2021 and wishing you and yours the very best of health, happiness and good fortune throughout the year.

2021 is not a triangle number. 2016 was the last year that was, and you will have to wait until 2080 for the next one. 2021 is also not a square number. The last year that was a square number was 1936. However, you only need to wait until 2025 for the next one.

2021 is not a prime number. The last prime numbered year was 2017, and the next one will be 2027. There are only four factors of 2021 - two if you exclude 1 and 2021. Those two factors are 43 and 47, which are consecutive prime numbers. At last, something mathematically interesting about this year.

2021 will be the year of the Ox in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese New Year kicks off on Friday 12th February. You can find more here. I recommend you click it and at least read the first paragraph on how the order of the Chinese zodiacs was determined.

Finally, to put you out of your misery here are the answers to my Adult Rated Weighty Interrogation.

1. Enfield’s first double-barrelled cheese? (12 letters)

Answer: Cholmondeley. How be you ask? Enfield, as in the British comedian Harry Enfield and a character he created (played by Jon Glover), Mr. Cholmondeley-Warner:

That character’s surname is a double-barrelled surname, as it contains two hyphenated names. The first of those is Cholmondeley (pronounced chum-lee), which is a civil parish in the English county of Cheshire. Cheshire has its own cheese. Simple, huh?

2. No alpine summit finish in this yellow-jerseyed Somerset town. (5 letters)

Answer: Frome. Alpine should have you thinking France, and yellow-jerseys the famous cycle race it hosts each July: La Grande Boucle. A somewhat prevalent British winner of the race in the last few years has been Chris Froome. Frome, pronounced the same as Chris pronounces his surname, is a civil parish in the English county of Somerset. Easier, right?

3. Beautiful mountain photography! Line up to view. (11 letters)

Answer: Picturesque. A beautiful mountain scene can be described as being picturesque. The stress in pronunciation of this word is on the middle ‘r’. Have a listen here. However, my father would stress the ‘q’ resulting in the pronunciation ‘pictures que[ue]’. Photographs are pictures, lines of people are queues…

4. The strenuous fenland hike left them out of breath here. (9 letters)

Answer: Wymondham. The Fens are in the English counties of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire. Noted for being very fertile, very flat, and not very picturesque. I beg to differ, but then I was born in that area. A strenuous hike in this part of the country would need to have distance as no altitude arises. Norfolk spoils you with place names spelled somewhat differently than their pronunciation. Wymondham, a market town in southern Norfolk, is pronounced by the locals as ‘wind-ham’.

5. The ultimate mispronounced word…? (7 letters)

Answer: Epitome. The answer to this question along with the next one are figures of speech. I’ll go in to more detail about them during the year.

6. … nah, I’m much more impressive than the previous answer! (9 letters)

Answer: Hyperbole