April Fools’ Observer

Keith Hudson’s Sapientia Daily quote yesterday was: “Tony Blair has agreed to resurrect his interest in acting when he leaves Number 10 after he was approached about a major stage role by his close friend, the artistic director of the Old Vic, Kevin Spacey, The Observer can reveal.” The date line was April 1st.

Keith, of course, was pointing out that the article was just a hoax in the finest tradition of an April Fools’ joke. But I was sure that he must have missed the amusing name of the “reporter” for the story–Pahli Tarikh. Heh heh. Keith followed up with this:

There is an amusing follow-up to today’s posting. We were hoaxed from the very start of the article in The Observer from which I extracted today’s quote. I am reliably informed by one member of our list, Indian economist and polymath (as I deem him), Atanu Dey, that the name of the journalist who was supposed to have written the spoof — namely Pahli Tarikh — actually translates as “First of the month” in Hindi/Urdu!

I must say that I wondered at first sight whether there was anything suspicious about “Pahli Tarikh” and tried to see whether it would yield an anagram. But I had no success despite much effort. Then I thought that “Primera Delmes” — who was listed at the bottom of the article as supplying additional help — was also an ingenious invention. “Primera” in Spanish means “first of” but I got no further with “Delmes” — apart from learning that it was a tithe collected from irrigation users in medieval Valencia. “Delmes” has surely got to mean something to one or other of Sapientia’s eclectic list!

Are there any more polymaths among us who can illuminate us further?

Anyway, thank you Atanu for unpeeling the supposed journalist.

Heh heh once again. Atanu “polymath” Dey. 🙂

Update: Keith reports that the mystery of “Delmes” has been solved. He writes that “another of our polymaths, Bjorn Skogquist, has come to our rescue by pointing out that “Delmes” must be a compound of “D’ + el + mes” which, also in Spanish, means “of the month”.”

Author: Atanu Dey


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