Know Your Picture Characters Entry #26

October 11th, 2010 by Wordsman

A. 指名打者 B. 代走 C. 中堅手 D. 投手 E. 捕手 F. 遊撃手

I like to think that I am teaching something in these weekly challenges.  Is it actual knowledge of Japanese?  No, not really.  Guessing techniques?  Perhaps.  Psychology?  Somewhat.  But the more I think about it, the more I come to believe that the primary lesson imparted by KYPC is that life is cruel and unfair.  This week we had Shirley looking for patterns, Dragon performing in-depth analysis of one character, and Theoman attempting to use actual knowledge.  And then in came A Fan, who hasn’t participated as much over the past few weeks and who seems to guess almost entirely at random.  Now I ask you, to see if you’ve learned anything at all: which of these four do you think correctly identified not only the shortstop but also the pitcher and the catcher?  A Fan, naturally.  Who ever said life was fair?

My favorite guess from this week was Shirley’s identification of A as the pitcher because she could see that he had all four pitches.  I couldn’t help but wonder which pitch was which.  The first, I feel, has to be the knuckleball, both because it looks a little funky and because, on its own, it means “finger.”  Next comes the curve, with that gentle slope as it passes over the plate.  The third is obviously the fastball shooting straight down the pipe, powerful and unsubtle.  Shirley seemed to feel that the last one might be the spitball, but I prefer to give the pitcher the benefit of the doubt and call it the slider- watch as it cuts sharply past the outline of the crouching catcher.  Now, in a perfect world, this combination of four characters would actually mean “pitcher,” but it doesn’t work that way.  However, they do indicate a position that is closely associated with the pitcher.  Whether you think it’s an abomination or the only sane way to play, you have to admit that if it wasn’t for the pitcher, there would be no designated hitter.

Dragon and Theoman both settled on C as the shortstop, Dragon because she likes puns and Theoman because he thought he had cracked the code.  The first character does in fact mean middle, though if he had remembered that a synonym for middle is “center,” he might have had a better chance at spotting the center fielder.  D and E make up your battery (the “throwing player” and the “catching player.”)  B is a pinch runner–see that little bit of something being pinched up at the top?–which may not technically be a “position,” but I don’t care.  F is the shortstop, with the characters indicating a sort of “raider,” I guess because he goes around and snatches up baseballs.

Whew!  All that talk about baseball made me hungry.  I think it’s time for the second, specially food-themed edition of the “Japanese words used in English” puzzle.  I’ll leave the choice of target up to you this time.  If you like vegetables and gross stuff like that, hunt for tofu or matsutake.  If you want to give this challenge a little extra kick, grab some wasabi.  If puzzles like this make you worry that your memory is failing you, you might want to look for some ginkgo.  I personally would go for the sushi, but it’s your choice.

A. 銀杏 B. 酒 C. 寿司 D. 照り焼き E. 豆腐 F. 松茸 G. 山葵

Posted in Know Your Picture Characters | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Dragon Says:

    B is sushi. It’s one character, and I seem to recall that the word literally means “rice,” and rice is important, so…one character?

  2. TheomanZero Says:

    Hmm . . . I don’t really know any of those. Instead, I’ll be a wild card and say that D is “teriyaki”.

  3. Shirley Says:

    I’m going with G. because in the first place, the first character looks like a tree. Or three trees. In a ginkgo forest. From which ginkgo extract will be obtained to help those of us who are of the elderly persuasion remember stuff. (A properly respected bunch in enlightened Japan! Wise Japan!)

    In the second place, I like the second (isn’t it cool the way that works out?) character because the cute little figure underneath all that other stuff reminds me of what I feel like when I can’t remember stuff.

    And finally. I want to say a word in defense of A Fan’s lucky guess in the foregoing puzzle. Of course life isn’t fair, but he deserved his luck because of his clever incorporation of the funniest comedy routine ever written into his answer. Thanks for reminding me of it, A Fan. I laughed remembering it and I needed that. You are as good as ginkgo.

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