1. Who is the man in the cartoon?
a) Dmitry Medvedev
b) Bashar Assad
c) Vladimir Lenin
d) Vladimir Putin
2. What phrase/idiom is the cartoonist illustrating?
a) to play someone like a fiddle
b) playing the world’s smallest violin
c) he is fit as a fiddle
d) to play second fiddle
3. What is the cartoonist’s intended meaning?
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
1. The answer is d) Vladimir Putin, President of Russia (he has posed bare-chested several times, while hunting or horseback riding)
2. The answer is a) to play someone like a fiddle – it means to manipulate (a person) skillfully. (from wiktionary.org)
The answer is NOT:
b) playing the world’s smallest violin – This is a gesture made by rubbing the thumb and forefinger together, to imitate bowing a violin. It is used to express sarcasm and lack of sympathy, in response to someone exaggerating a sad story or unfair treatment.
c) he is fit as a fiddle – this means to be very healthy
d) to play second fiddle – if you play second fiddle, you take a subordinate role behind someone more important; to be in a subordinate position to someone
3. The cartoonist means that Russian President Putin has manipulated President Obama – played him like a fiddle – on his dealings with Syria: