11
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Everybody was looking down when the guests arrived
They came in the hall as they were contrived

First was heard a knock at the door, but luckily
The fellow had also brought the key

Then entered a brace of fowls, straight out of water
Followed by... Wait, was that the long-legged sister?

The next ones went to the corners and were very happy
When the egg and sausage was announced along a cup of tea

Did I mention it was the two fat ladies? Not being mean,
But they didn't look like the next guest, a dancing queen

And here came another, almost there
Almost three dozen, they were

"No more, the house is full!" shouted a man suddenly
Then no more entered, as the crowd turned bitter, sadly.

What has just happened?

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  • $\begingroup$ What has just happened? Is the answer a phenomena here? Or is it a scenario which is defining something? e.g. a card/board game? You can chose not to answer if its too revealing. $\endgroup$ – Techidiot Nov 23 '16 at 16:51
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What has just happened is

a game of (British, 90-ball) bingo.

The point here is that there are

silly names for many of the numbers that a bingo caller will use. (Perhaps they originated as ambiguity-preventers. I think now they're mostly for tradition.)

Specifically, and in order of appearance, we have:

4: "Number four, knock at the door"
21: "Key of the door"
22: "Two little ducks"
11: "Legs eleven" (the long-legged sister)
54: "Egg and sausage"
3: "Number three, cup of tea"
88: "Two fat ladies"
17: "Dancing queen"
89: "Almost there"
36: "Three dozen"

Also,

"Everybody was looking down when the guests arrived" referst to the fact that the Bingo caller calls "Eyes Down" at the start of a game.
"They came in the hall as they were contrived": the numbers enter the hall by the bingo machine.
The reference to corners is a sub-game in bingo where you get a prize for all four corners of your card marked off.

... at which point

someone, having all the numbers they needed, shouted "Full House!" and the game was over.

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  • $\begingroup$ Who else than you to answer this? Bingo! $\endgroup$ – IAmInPLS Nov 24 '16 at 11:14

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