Gove’s door is open to interpretation

Letters
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Barcroft Media/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Your report of Michael Gove saying the “door is ajar” on Brexit talks (18 October) reminded me of the stage direction given by Samuel Beckett that a door should be “imperceptibly ajar”. When a stage manager asked how this should be effected, Beckett explained: “It means the door is shut”.
John Bevis
Ironbridge, Shropshire

• Lizzie Collingham (Crumbs! A history of biscuits in 15 fantastic facts, 18 October) writes that the practice of “sin eating” had all but disappeared by the 17th century. However, in the churchyard at Ratlinghope in Shropshire is the grave of Richard Munslow, who died in 1906 and was widely believed to be the last sin eater in the area.
Graham Russell
Market Drayton, Shropshire

• I first encountered the practice of trying to smash a biscuit into three using one’s elbow many years ago (Letters, 19 October). The smasher was Scottish and the biscuit a ginger nut. Later I heard it is also done in Sweden using pepparkakor – Swedish ginger biscuits. Success in achieving three fragments is thought to confer good luck or the granting of a wish.
Margaret Farnworth
Liverpool

• You suggest the weekend’s European rugby victories by Exeter and Bristol will “warm the hearts of small-town folk nationwide” (Exeter desperate to add Premiership title to Champions Cup success, 18 October). Admittedly they are not London or Manchester, but Exeter and Bristol are cities.
Tim Westcott
London

• In 1353, the deadliest epidemic in history, the Black Death, ended; 666.6 years later Covid-19 erupted.
David Peett
River Common, West Sussex