Haiku is a form
of heptadekaphilian
poetry (I’m told).

Each poem is three lines
and seventeen syllabes
laid out 5-7-5.

Lynda with a ‘Y’
Sadly exterminated
Silently in space.

Russell T Davies
Revived a well-loved show, but
Forgot the Doctor.

Best of all, Haiku
Doesn’t even have to rhyme
Or make any sense.

Leaving aside the
pesky syllable stuff, it’s
rather like new-Who.

(on Matt Smith)

Like a drunk giraffe
If the Moff can be believed!
A young/old Doctor?

Giving drugs to an
Aberdeen Angus? One way
To make a “haiku”.

Yes whatever happened
To my copies of The Chase
And The Space Museum?

Peter Capaldi
Handing over the mantle
To David’s relly?


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Time to rename the blog!

Although then I’d lose the Spinal Tap reference. Ho hum.

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“Delicious torture awaits!”

Aww, The Androzani Team say the nicest things!

Since my latest crossword isn’t Who related, I thought it was time to move it to a new, crossword-related blog.


Please have a look here for more crosswords, plus the Whoey ones (for completeness)




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I couldn’t help myself, I just had to make up another “Bad tempered oath (9)”

As usual, there are a few Whoey clues and/or answers mixed in with the less Doctorly ones.

7. See 12
8. Insectoid buzzin’ but no “hi” (5)
10. Time Lord, perhaps the Doctor? (3,5)
11. Short logician in mature occupation – of Steed, perhaps? (6)
12, 7. Swirly time hid swirly bus driver and possible Time Lady (4,9)
13. Sign ran back to kill polymath (8)
15. Sort of crisis for health care professional when primary welfare is left out and left in (7)
17. Feelings shown by half-smirks and falsehoods (7)
20. 32 below freezing in the US, shirt and newspaper necessary on many occasions (8)
22. Obligation, may involve interest (4)
25. 23 players dubious and disdainful (6)
26. Notorious Italian city almost within ring, almost (8)
27. Race in the manner of a crib (5)
28. Sir loses head, wears dress – at 18? (9)
1. Place in toilets for comedian and actor (5)
2. Thing back in, was on horseback – correct me if I’m wrong (6)
3, 18. Murder mystery from 14, or sound of sapphire waterfall? (6,2,8)
4. Beryl – aunt and ‘arbinger (7)
5. Add extra large 5 for Gerry-built spaceship (8)
6. Overheard plan to imprison a ruminant aboard ship – he’s not quite general (9)
9. Friend of 16, owned joint in the past (4)
14. Story lovers use mature protection (3,6)
16. Friend of 9 with lo-calorie appendage (8)
18. See 3
19. Advanced type of paper, almost like Robin (7)
21. Can first Mesoamerican culture (4)
23. Game found after 6 and mostly mythological river, and before New Zealand island (6)
24. Legal judgement from noted airline (5)

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Another CrossWHOrd

Thanks so much to The Androzani Team for describing me as having a devious and cruel mind, and for saying that they enjoyed my Jumbo Crossword immensely. Now that I have some worthy opponents, perhaps I should ramp up the difficulty slightly…


Filed under Brain Teasers, crossword, cryptic crossword, doctor who

A Jumbo Winter Solstice Crossword!

This crossword has a theme, which means that a reasonable number of answers relate to it, as do some of the clues (though clues that relate to the theme don’t necessarily have answers that do, and vice versa). The theme can be found by answering this clue: “TV series that if treated as a command could lead to another one (from the 70s)” (6,3)

(There is also a secondary, related theme to do with clues 23 and 11, which should in itself be a clue!)

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Another crossword



1 Old fashioned entertainment during Xmas? Questionable! (6)
4 Limit thanks in rank of immortal (7)
9 Shaken heroes met troilism (9)
10 Mongolian tribe, or operating system? (5)
11 Unit of illumination, or planet of robots? (5)
12 Combat area where Zoe had ten, roughly (5,4)
13 Miss Hawthorne’s kind lose head, get Doctor’s – you can dig them? (7)
15 Superfan goes past end of line due to wind (6)
17 Seers like Basil’s other half’s (6)
19 Voltage and current rage for Great Enemy! (7)
22 Hope novice actress arrives before end of Tom (without Mark) in Maryland (9)
24 Favourite sheep thrown into jail heartlessly (5)
26 Dole out plenty, I’m told (5)
27 Being like a geek, siren ends break (9)
28 Where Flash Gordon was shot, in Hotel Street (7)
29 Nothing a rock band can’t back out of, as was recognised by Ancelyn (6)


1 Wilfred went first, well spotted (7)
2 Holy man, god, unknown one of the 23 7 9 (5)
3 Bend next to numeral suffix, like Susan! (9)
4 Make about its start: what Doctor did to Master’s body (7)
5 Bear found round pole lost moon (5)
6 Minor and Major planets, also evil woman swallowing fantasy world (9)
7 See 23
8 Short day on the German planet (6)
14 9s of edges? Figures! (9)
16 Fruit drink, or The Third Man’s black market drug? (4,5)
18 Poetic license due to fall (7)
19 See 21
20 Macpherson’s broadcasting, so to speak, to SF writer (7)
21, 19 Skills ‘ave crazy morning backed by one of the 23 7 9 (6,6)
23, 7 Forum contributor, a bird during prayer (5,6)
25 Ancient invention found in space (5)

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May 26, 2013 · 11:47 pm


This is a cryptic crossword, but not too difficult (i.e. not quite up to Araucaria’s standard).

The theme is given by the solution to this clue:

Empty dude goes through door and finds most of prostitute (no, it isn’t “Torchwood”) (6,3)

(Which indicates the level of difficulty, I guess. Alternatively, you can just look at the blog header!)

Or if that’s too easy, this might be a bit more of a challenge.

The theme this time is given by the answer to this clue:

Programme returns fish to rock outcrop? Head off cries of joy! (6,3)

Note – clues in quotes share a common attribute, and star the (slightly concealed) person to whom they are attributed.

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May 25, 2013 · 11:06 pm

Goodbye, my Sarah Jane.

Elisabeth Sladen 1948-2011

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Filed under doctor who, Elisabeth Sladen, In memoriam, Sarah Jane Smith, The Sarah Jane Adventures

Space and Time

The 2011 “Children in Need” special. Contains spoilers, so go and watch it on YouTube before reading any further.

Almost a harmless bit of fluff with some amusing lines; certainly less irritating than “Time Crash” (which involved hyper manic “skinny idiot” David Tennant being effortlessly outclassed by Peter Davison). But Stephen Moffat’s insightful comments on how women suffer from a glass ceiling amusingly and ironically inverted sub-adolescent humour was rather grating, and just a tad creepy – does he really think it’s suitable for either children or adults to have the entire situation arise because Rory is looking up Amy’s skirt? I was under the impression that they had got married recently, which in my experience obviates any compulsion the man might have felt beforehand to, ahem, “sneak a peek.” This feels uncomfortably like the writer’s prurience coming through, rather than anything else. As G.K Chesterton said, “A good story tells you the truth about its hero; a bad story tells you the truth about its author.”

This is on a par with Moffat’s rather awkward handling of the grown-up bits in various other stories, which at its worst is crossed with a mile-wide river of sentimentality; throw in some crass dialogue about “my lonely angel” and you have “The Girl in the Fireplace”…

Anyway, all the above sort of matches up with the peculiar and unlikable behaviour he foisted on Amy in the last series, such as having her throw herself at the Doctor and then, having apparently finally chosen Rory (in “Amy’s Choice”) she then tried to drag the Doctor into the bushes on her wedding day. This isn’t so much a strong female character, which I’m all for, as a person who treats her partner with complete contempt.

Anyway, moving on…

The spacey-wacey and timey-wimey stuff was OK, I suppose, but we have seen that sort of thing several times now, and it’s reached the point where a story that isn’t a ripoff of “By His Bootstraps,” “Man in His Time,” “Chronocrimes” or “Red Dwarf” would come as a refreshing change. It was amusing in The Curse of Fatal Death, clever and rather moving in Blink and at least impressive in A Christmas Carol. And, yes, it is nice that someone has noticed that Doctor Who is about time travel, and taken on board the implications, which in old-Who were only glimpsed occasionally (e.g. in “The Ark”, “The Time Meddler”, “Day of the Daleks”, etc) – and in RTD-Who just about nonexistent – but I do hope we aren’t going to spend the next few series’ stuck in the plot equivalent of a chronic hysteresis. (I realise that could be seen as ironic, but it could also be seen as a wee bit boring.)

So, I hope Moffat has a few more tricks up his sleeve; but if he hasn’t, I trust he will at least encourage other writers who do have fresh ideas. That was, after all, how the programme started, with lots of different takes on the central idea (compare, say, The Aztecs, The Daleks, The Celestial Toymaker, The War Machines and The Web Planet).

The previous showrunner apparently liked to put his oar into other people’s scripts, generally (IMHO) to their detriment. For example, Russell famously gave some writers “shopping lists” of things to include, for no obviously good reason (“New York 1930s, Pig Men, sewers, showgirls, the Empire State Building”), shoe-horned jokes into someone else’s script – and, indeed, changed the whole point of at least one story (“So, will you weep for the poor little Dalek? Russell T Davies says you will.”)

The only person whose scripts he never touched was, apparently, Stephen Moffat. I hope Moffat feels similarly towards all the other writers over whom he is supposed to exercise “creative control”.

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