you are right with Opera (Falstaff is an Opera by Verdi). Boars belly gives oa (middle letters of boar). According to, gives per (as per usual, as per the rulebook? stretcing it a bit maybe).
As for the other one "secretly gripped" is Palmed(like when a magician palms a coin etc)
men = or. or is a regiment in the army (I think)
maybe someone can clear that up.