CRIME scribe Ian Rankin has been using his pugnacious puzzling abilities to complete a jigsaw. Which initially sounds rather impressive. Though further investigation reveals it was a Beatles jigsaw, though only of Paul McCartney’s face.

Which is about as impressive as completing a Lulu jigsaw that only includes one Lu.

Gabbing greens

WE recently revealed that American scientists have taught spinach how to send emails. An unimpressed David Donaldson argues that there’s nothing new about plant communication. “We’ve had SAGE telling us what to do for a year now,” he points out.

Scent and sensibility

A POSSIBLY apocryphal tale from the wilds of Ochiltree in Ayrshire, where Amy Kinnaird once worked as a primary teacher.

A raging mother was said to have appeared at a classroom door one morning and screamed at the trembling tutor: "Oor Senga is sent tae the school tae be lernt, no tae be smelt. She's no a b****y marigold."

This intemperate interjection to the day’s tuition was in reaction to a letter sent home after the school nurse identified a particularly pungent pupil.

Clearly not every Ayrshire parent is in awe of our majestic medical professionals.

Sassy siblings

ANOTHER musical number to include in the social distancing playlist we’re compiling. Reader Graham Richmond suggests You Can Look But You Can’t Touch, a song associated with the Bella Twins, two sisters who gained fame in America through their fighting prowess on the wrestling circuit. (They’re essentially a slightly better-groomed version of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks.)

Comic capers

THE Diary recently discovered that a famous album sleeve from the 1970s features a chap reading a copy of The Herald. This has inspired us to imagine how spiffy other record covers would look if they also included an image of the world’s finest newspaper.

Reader Mick Rankin points out that on the sleeve of a 1966 John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers album there is a photograph of a youthful guitarist named Eric Clapton studying a copy of The Beano.

Clapton’s reputation never recovered from this shameful incident, and he was never heard of again.

How different rock history might have been if this Eric chappie had instead been proudly perusing the mighty Herald…

The naked truth

WE continue providing alternative meanings for well known locations. Harry Shaw from Airdrie has come up with two suggestions:

Aberlady = A female naturist.

Menteith = They’re no falsies.


PERSISTING with this linguistic theme, reader Laura Byrne asks: “Why is a group of squids not called a squad?”

Read more: Those were the days...