8 June polygon

Polygon puzzle
Using the given letters no more than once, make as many words as possible of four or more letters, always including the central letter. Capitalised words, plurals, conjugated verbs (past tense etc), adverbs ending in LY, comparatives and superlatives are disallowed.
One word can be made using all the letters
How you rate: 13 words, average; 17, good; 21, very good; 26, excellent.

Answers in the comments

Source, the Times.

Susan and Sian, you are doing so well on this! I rarely manage to get all the words, about once a week is my average.

Rowling and McEwan prizes

Dave Lull has just sent me a link to an article on the BBC website reporting that  "Harry Potter author J K Rowling has been named greatest living British writer in a magazine poll." Which magazine? The Book Magazine, of which I have never heard. JKR obtained three times as many votes as the second author, Terry Pratchett. Next were Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, Philip Pullman, Harold Pinter, Nick Hornby, A S Byatt and, in a 10th-place tie, Jonathan Coe and John Le Carre. Zadie Smith (who has just won the Orange prize for fiction) came in at no. 33.

None of the many media sources and blogs reporting this award links to The Book Magazine, and a Google search reveals only one magazine with that title, which ceased publishing in 2003. Strange and mysterious.

Ian McEwan has just won the James Tait Black memorial prize for fiction for Saturday, not one of his stronger books in my opinion, but very good indeed. (I preferred Atonement of McEwan’s more recent novels.)

I don’t know how the J K Rowling prize came about – who voted, etc — but I think it is great. She is a wonderful author. I am also delighted for Ian McEwan. Both novelists write books that people, not least me, really enjoy reading. You see people on the train and the tube all the time reading their books. I have already seen some sneering articles and posts about these particular awards for these particular authors, which I think are misguided.

Thank you, Dave, as ever, for the link.

Precision timing

Annie Mole on Going Underground’s Blog (unofficial London Underground blog) draws attention to an interactive map that lets you calculate your journey and time taken to travel between any two points in London, via clicking on the start and end points.  I tried a random journey from somewhere called Goswell Road to somewhere called Albany Road. After I clicked, the instructions said: "Walk for 8 mins 26 seconds to the Barbican station" and carried on in that vein until I reached my destination 55 mins, 9 seconds later. Fun, but Annie says she wouldn’t rely on it (it told her to change at a station at a time she knows it is closed) and I am sure she is right. I suppose Google has to do something while Blogger isn’t working (stop creating things and fix it, fix it, please!)