ONCE, wandering about Portree in my Wee Stinker T-shirt, it occurred to me that I must look an absolute idiot (Letters, May 20, 21, 22 & 23). Who, amongst the rest of humanity walking along Wentworth Street that day, would be remotely interested that I had "cracked the Wee Stinker"? I tried wearing it in bed but it was too warm because the cotton is of excellent quality. Three of the four t-shirts I have managed to accumulate over the years reside in a drawer, never worn, the one I did parade around in was given to my younger grand-daughter two years ago. I have yet to see her wearing it.

Therefore – if there is anyone yearning to wear such a garment, the three medium-sized ones I have are available. Since the Wee Stinker migrated to an inside page of The Herald I have ceased to look at it. I happily stay with the two puzzles on the back page. It was my father who said that crossword puzzles are “suitable fodder for women's brains”. Is that why we are rather good at solving them; are even addicted to them?

Perhaps that could comfort R Russell Smith (Letters, May 23) who says “not only am I stumped for answer, but I don’t understand the questions”. He continually demonstrates that he (otherwise) has an excellent brain. Mind you, I am rotten at sums.

Thelma Edwards,

Hume, Kelso.

R Russell Smith (Letters, May 23) should take heart. I, too, can be 6 down and 3 across before I can crack one, but from there the pieces of the jigsaw (sorry, Wee Stinker) can come together. Nor did I understand the questions until my sister-in- law, accomplished in such matters, persuaded me to persevere, leading to a goodly number of Wee Stinker T- shirts.

As I have not seen a published answer to the clue at the end of Dr Hamish Maclaren's letter of May 20 – Cruciveralbalist's stormy November? Then sympathise (7,8) – may I assume that no one has cracked it? I haven't.

David Miller,


* Reader Dr Hamish Maclaren says: The solution is: Stephen Naysmith.

Explanation: it is an anagram of "N then sympathise". "November" is "N" in the phonetic alphabet (a crossword convention). "Stormy" is the operator or key instructing you to unjumble "N then sympathise" (another crossword convention). The clue definition is "cruciverbalist". Hence "Cruciverbalist is unjumbled 'N then sympathise'".

My concern over plastic roads

CREDIT to MacRebur on recycling plastic waste to use with bitumen for road surfacing ("Elgin, where the road ahead is paved with ... plastic", The Herald, May 23). With the current road surfacing, any break-up of the surface will eventually end up being washed into culverts and into water table. Using recycled plastic, will this mean that any break-up of the road and its plastic constituents will end up going down the drains and causing the problem that they are trying to solve?

Steve Barnet,


Clarke gives grounds for hope

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Neil Cameron’s article regarding Steve Clarke’s appointment as Scotland manager ("Clarke can make Scotland as exciting as we were in 1989", Herald Sport, May 22). I started following Scotland as a teenager in the 1960s, and, for the first time in many a long day, feel a touch of optimism creeping in – but I don’t want to get too carried away. In Steve Clarke and Shelley Kerr I truly believe our game couldn’t be in better hands.

Ian Baillie, Alexandria.