Clueless at Cluedo

TWO shocking announcements from Edinburgh crime writer Ian Rankin, who admits…

a) He’s rubbish at Cluedo. (What next, we wonder? Is Stephen King about to reveal he hates Halloween?)

b) He doesn’t know who the killer is when he begins a novel, only figuring it out after he has progressed deep into the narrative.

Which has the Diary speculating whether other great writers have worked this way. Perhaps Herman Melville reached page 927 of Moby-Dick and said: “Hmm. It might be rather intriguing if I introduced some sort of aquatic species into the story. Maybe a goldfish..?”

The name game

THE granddaughter of reader May Potter has been learning in primary school about the origins of certain surnames. For example, she now knows that the ancestor of someone called Cooper would most likely be a barrel maker, because such a tradesman is referred to as a cooper.

This got May’s granddaughter thinking about her own surname.

After mulling it over for a while, she asked gran: “Do we have the surname Potter because our ancestors liked to potter around town?”

Fling with Fido

OUR recent tale about a pooch inspires reader Roderick Archibald Young to tell us that his mother bought one of those ball-throwing gadgets many dog walkers now use. “She says she can hurl the ball over 500 metres,” says Roderick. “But I think that's a bit far-fetched.”

Bumf on Bond

WITH all the hullaballoo surrounding the new James Bond flick, reader Eddy Cavin is predicting the media hysteria we’ll be pummelled with in the days ahead…

1) STV will show all the Bond films in sequence. (Though perhaps missing out that weird 1960s version of Casino Royale featuring Woody Allen. It would be too cruel to be forced to watch that again.)

2) TV news channels will demand to know… Who Will Replace Daniel Craig? (The Diary’s guessing it will be Woody Allen. Everyone deserves a second chance.)

Size matters

OUR revelation that the woolly mammoth could be brought back from extinction thrills reader Sarah Atkinson. “I’ve wanted another pet since my last one died,” she says. “But will a woolly mammoth fit in my hamster cage?”

Kiss me Kate

A DIARY yarn about the Ten Commandments has reader Gordon Casely suggesting a more precise definition of one of them…

Thou shalt not commit adultery = You can’t have your Kate and Edith.

Alarming development

FOR his son’s birthday, reader Nick Ronaldson bought him an alarm clock that swears instead of bleeping. “He’s in for a rude awakening,” says Nick.

Read more: How to be a cut above in school tests