20 FEBRUARY 1959, Page 22

SOUR GRAPES SIR,—If you make no mistakes you make nothing,


the man said, but when Strix writes, `Up there on the summit, clustered like guillemots . . . I am aware of the top people looking down on me,' I question his authority to reject lop' as an epithet. How clustered can he get?

But since he claims never to have heard an adjec- tival 'top' in conversation, will he now give us a rest from his beloved 'alas,' which I have yet to hear issue from human lips?

And what amuses Pharos about 'BIG SURPRISE EXPECTED'? To take just one common example, wouldn't the phrase be appropriate to a reading of any of Agatha Christie's novels?—Yours faithfully,