Looking at these definitions, these pretty much match my understanding of the word "keen" in descending order. Definition 1 by far would closest match the usage of the word that I would have always expected.wiktionary wrote: keen (comparative keener or more keen, superlative keenest or most keen)
1. (chiefly Commonwealth of Nations) Often with a prepositional phrase, or with to and an infinitive: showing a quick and ardent responsiveness or willingness; eager, enthusiastic, interested. quotations
I’m keen on computers.
I’m keen on you. ― I like you.
She’s keen to learn another language.
“Do you want to go on holiday with me?” “Yes, I’m keen.”
2. Fierce, intense, vehement. quotations
This boy has a keen appetite.
Having a fine edge or point; sharp. quotations
3. Acute of mind, having or expressing mental acuteness; penetrating, sharp. quotations
4. Acrimonious, bitter, piercing. quotations
keen satire or sarcasm
5. Of cold, wind, etc.: cutting, penetrating, piercing, sharp. quotations
a keen wind
the cold is very keen
6. (Britain) Of prices, extremely low as to be competitive.
7. (US, informal, dated) Marvelous. quotations
I just got this peachy keen new dress.
8. (obsolete) Brave, courageous; audacious, bold.
However, reflecting on our favourite character, it seems that definitions 7 and 8 are what Tom had in mind. I've never seen the word "keen" used in such a context apart from in the Keen games. Both these definitions - as per wiktionary - are labeled dated or obsolete. So therefore I must ask the question: are these usages of the word "keen" perhaps ones that would have been quite normal in, say, the 70s or 80s? Is it an American thing, as definition 7 would suggest? Do these definitions come more naturally to any of us, for instance members of the community who might be aged 40 or above? Has anyone ever contemplated this before?
Also, as a side question, is definition 1 less familiar to Americans - I ask this seeing as Wiktionary denotes that definition as "chiefly Commonwealth of Nations"? The United States is, of course, not in the Commonwealth. (Ireland where I'm from is also not in the Commonwealth however this departure from British influence was of course a far more recent event than that of the US). To me, definition 1 is the main definition of the word "keen".