As promised, here is the piece on how “By Hook or by Crook” originated.
By Hook Or By Crook
In the Middle Ages, the peasants were only allowed to take from the forests wood which they could reach by hook or by crook. The ‘hook’ was the billhook, or curved sickle and was useful in cutting the brushwood; the ‘crook’ was the long stick with the curves end – like a shepherd’s crook- and with this they could pull down the lower branches of the trees to cut them off.
Source: ‘By Hook or By Crook” by Tony Wootton & Gwen Zanzaottera.
The next piece will be ‘Above Board’