In Finnegans Wake, what could the phrase "enos chalked halltraps" refer to? Some, possibly flawed, attempt at pest control?

[30.1] Now (to forebare for ever solittle of Iris Trees and Lili O'Rangans), concerning the genesis of Harold or Humphrey Chimpden's occupational agnomen (we are back in the presurnames prodromarith period, of course just when enos chalked halltraps) and discarding once for all those theories from older sources which would link him back with such pivotal ancestors as the Glues, the Gravys, the Northeasts, the Ankers and the Earwickers of Sidlesham in the Hundred of Manhood or proclaim him offsprout of vikings who had founded wapentake and seddled hem in Herrick or Eric, the best authenticated version, the Dumlat, read the Reading of Hofed-ben-Edar, has it that it was this way.

The question pertains to before 1939.

I don't think there is a need to analyze the whole passage, the question is focused on

(we are back in the presurnames prodromarith period, of course just when enos chalked halltraps)

I am aware of the standard readings, but am not satisfied. None explain all three words simultaneously. It is my experience with Finnegans Wake that there is usually a clear simple Duh! behind the complex text, and that straying into the esoteric often misses the point.

This is what is known at Finnegans Web & Wiki:

Chalked halltraps

  • enos chalked halltraps: ECH → HCE (backwards)

  • chalked: (slang) slashed, scratched → Enos the magician chalking circles in the ground to conjure spirits

  • chalked: drew with chalk → chalk drawings in palaeolithic caves are some of the earliest examples of art → Kevin (=Shaun) "chalked oghres on walls" at FW 027.05-06

  • choked ?

  • talked: in the time of the Biblical Enos men first invoked the name of God (Genesis 4:26)

  • hall trappings: pictures on the wall in the hallway → Vico's First Age, when primitive men made their homes in caves (and chalked images on the walls?)

  • hallow-traps: an old meaning of hallows is the gods of the heathens → Enos's chalk circles trap the spirits of false gods

  • hilltops

  • Hell-traps: to trap and compel demons from Hell

  • Hallstatt: a Celtic Iron Age culture

  • traps: anticipates the traps HCE uses to capture earwigs

Perhaps someone attempting but failing to control ants or roaches (chalk trap) is suggested by earlier context?

While Chapter I.2 is by far the easiest in the novel, I can find no satisfactory interpretation of the phrase "enos chalked halltraps".

  • I would accept any answer that can give all three words suitable context simultaneously.

Note that "trap" is Dutch/Afrikaans for "stair", so we may be looking at hall stairs, although of course "trappe" is "stairs", but for Joyce "traps" could easily mean "stairs".

  • Those are some mighty unusual words through that whole passage.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 14 '20 at 21:05
  • 1
    I found some ideas here, but I won't venture to even try an answer because I can't make head of tail of this.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 14 '20 at 21:11
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    @fundagain I don’t think you can ignore the rest. If ‘enos’ is the biblical grandson of Adam and Eve, who lived to be 905, it may be intended to refer to tally marks. If prodromarith refers to a pre-numerical time, chalking up tally marks to count centuries of life works.
    – Spagirl
    Mar 15 '20 at 9:19
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    Eno's "Fruit Salt" - known everywhere as simply Eno's - is a popular antacid (ANT acid) which was first sold in 1852. "Be prepared for emergencies by always keeping a bottle in the house". Its main ingredients are sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, though most antacids use calcium carbonate: chalk. Mar 15 '20 at 23:58
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    @Spagirl I can't see one yet. This question has me dusting off my Finnegans Wake and thinking I might get through it this time, aided by Finnegansweb and this place. Mar 17 '20 at 10:39

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