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Answer to the costume... Wallace and Gromit.
blaisepascal
I really didn't think that the term "grommet" for a ring of rope was all that obscure.

A lot of people were dancing around Mel Gibson's portrayal of William Wallace in Braveheart, but apotimber was the only one to mention his name.

So the costume is William Wallace, portrayed by Mel Gibson as a burley Scotsman in kilt and shirt, claymore, and half his face painted blue, carrying a rope grommet, or Wallace and Gromit.

Should I have mentioned that there was a bad pun involved?

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a "grommet" is a vaguely toroidal piece of rubber, plastic, or metal that covers the edges of a hole through a panel, so that a cable or rope passing through the hole will not be chafed or cut by a sharp edge.

and i still don't get the face-half-blue bit.



I will grant you that that is one meaning of grommet.

Another meaning of grommet, especially in nautical circles, is an endless loop of rope.

One major use of grommets is to strengthen the edges of a hole so that a cable, rope, or other passing through the hole will not cut or rip through the material that the hole is in. Paper grommets are available to strengthen the holes in the edge of binder paper to prevent rip-outs. Tarpaulins, curtains, sails, etc often use grommets for rope attachment points. Nowadays grommets on sails are probably mostly metal, but before metal grommets were readily available the grommets would be made of rope and sewn into the sail. Making endless loops of rope is a useful skill, and there were a few uses for the end-product (including on-ship quoits sets).

As for the face-half-blue bit, take a peak at this picture of Mel Gibson as William Wallace.

The only useage of the word 'grommet' that I am familiar with is the little plastic loops used to treat glue-ear in children.

I didn't have a hope of solving the puzzle ... I was completely distracted at the mention of burly men in kilts ;-)

(not Mel Gibson though :-/)

i never saw the movie :-(

(and i actually know how to make a "Turk's-head" knot, which is what they use for wear protection; it can also be made as a ring or bracelet, and i used to make them out of all sorts of colorful things and give them to my friends, way back when i was a hippie. i never once called it a grommet, though.)



A Turks-head is not the same as a grommet. A Turks-head is a decorative knot which looks in structure similar to a braid or weaving, with the rope passing over and under itself. The ends of the rope come out of the Turks-head, although they may be worked into the knot to conceal it.

A grommet is a simple, endless loop of rope with (ideally) no discernible beginning or end. You can see a good picture of a grommet either at the link I gave above (at "grommet") or at a jeweler's web-site who was challenged to make a True Lover's Knot in a grommet.

I know of three different methods of making them. The first is to essentially take a rope and use a long splice to join the ends. The second is to take a long rope 4-5 times the final length, unlay a strand and relay that strand with itself to form a ring. One can get 3 grommets this way from a single piece of rope. The third method is described at the first link above, and seems like it would give you a quite beefy grommet.

I'll reiterate from my other comment that I must have taken too hard of a left once I got to Scotland. I tried various permutations of "Wallace" with different names of knots and came up with nothing. Wallace Shank, Wallace's Granny, and Hitching Wallace were early guesses. Now knowing where you were going, it was the search engines that failed me. Dictionary.com does define a grommet as a nautical ring, but knowing that had been one of my search terms in Google at one point, the search would continue to lead me nowhere near grommet. Jewelry and droits kept recurring.

And I'd say it is more Wallace "with" Grommet, than Wallace and Gromit. Maybe if it were two individuals. One dressed as said Scottsman and another dressed as a dog of some kind with various grommets attached? That'd be visually punny.

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