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25 August 2014



By New Statesman


Set by Leonora Casement

You were asked for first lines from books that will put you off reading any further.

This week’s winners

A difficult one. First lines such as, “I have always found my ideals nestle cosily between Marx and Powell,” or, “Have you ever wondered how pigeons masturbate?” are always a risk. The judges certainly felt that the lines quoted merited reading on, even if not far past the second line. Don’t you, almost as an intellectual exercise, want to know the reasoning behind that first assertion? Or, albeit faintly, the answer to the pigeon question? The winners get £10 each, with an extra fiver going to the top dog: Dermot Allen.

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The next challenge

No 4338 By Paul Pastor

Sunbather Louisa Foley, who posed in a bikini holding a bottle of cider as Eastbourne Pier burned, said she saw it as “a great photo opportunity – it’s not exactly something you see every day”. The photo has been viewed over a million times online. Police are treating the fire as possible arson. We want you to choose a disaster, ancient or modern, which you think would make a great photo op and give your reasons why. Clothing details optional.

Max 150 words by 4 September