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16 votes

What is the libellous meaning of ‘daffy-down-dilly’?

TL;DR: A ‘daffy-down-dilly’ is a lawyer who engages in double dealing, that is, representation of both sides in a case, for his own advantage. The reference is to a case reported in Rolle’s abridgment ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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12 votes
Accepted

What is meant by "I'm going to push my stuff in" in Dorothy Sayers's "Strong Poison"?

Waffles Newton is a journalist covering the trial of Harriet Vane for the murder of Philip Boyes, and he is talking to Salcombe Hardy, another journalist. This situation at the start of chapter 3 is ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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8 votes

Explain the bidding in ‘The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker’

TL;DR: The characters are playing auction bridge, not contract bridge. Auction bridge was the main form of the game before Harold Stirling Vanderbilt invented contract bridge in 1925. Vanderbilt’s ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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7 votes
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What does 'bean honey' refer to, in Dorothy L. Sayers' 1928 story

Bean-honey is honey made by bees from the nectar of bean-flowers. I’ll give three citations: Terrestrial or earthy Honey we call that, because the dew going away, it is suckt out of the very sweat of ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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6 votes
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Meaning of 'Did commercial travellers dash about in motorcars' in Dorothy L. Sayers story?

The important bit of this sentence is not “dash about”, but “motor-cars”. The point being that the character ‘Old Popper’ had introduced his tale with the claim that “The thing actually happened ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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4 votes

Meaning of 'Did commercial travellers dash about in motorcars' in Dorothy L. Sayers story?

"Dash" can mean a lot of things, but I think here connotes mostly "movement", as if the question was "did commercial travelers go from place to place in motorcars?", with an added side-connotation of ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
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4 votes
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Which thriller featured "a machine-gun attack in Park Lane"?

I'm not certain, but there's a strong possibility that it's When the Gangs Came to London by Edgar Wallace (1932), whose full text is available on Project Gutenberg. Machine-guns in Park Lane: He ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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1 vote

Who was indignant at Dante’s behaviour to the sinners in the “Inferno”?

I found four members of the chorus, including one (Coleridge) from whom I would have expected a more insightful response. There are few instances (notwithstanding his tremendous denunciations against ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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