Letter from the editor: a Cup final that matters

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The Independent Online

Boiled eggs are like children: everyone’s got a view on how best they should be dealt with.

The other day, I put forward the simplest and best method to get the perfect boiled egg: a pan of boiling water, put in the egg (the freshness of which is the key), and after four minutes (precisely), it’s ready to go, or, with a nod to today’s big game, it’s up for the cup! Even Prince Charles, whose liveried attendant gives him half a dozen of various “vintages”to choose from, would be satisfied.

But a few readers have written to me, saying that putting the egg in boiling water can cause it to crack, and Roger Hudson of Eastbourne added his own tips, based on Delia Smith’s recipe. “Place in a pan of cold water,” he advises, “bring to the boil, turn off the heat (preferably gas) and leave for three minutes exactly. Works every time.” I’m going to see if you’re right, Roger. Let’s hope you’re not left with egg on your face!

I had a very interesting letter from i reader Cathie Paine last week, saying that she enjoys the intellectual challenge of the paper, and keeps a note of new words she encounters while reading it.

I also find it a thrill to discover new words, and in conversation with our deputy chairman, he described someone as a “mountebank”. Of course, I didn’t let on that I had never heard of the word, but later reached for the dictionary (yes, we still have such things). “A false pretender to skill or knowledge; a charlatan” was the definition. And now, unfortunately, I can’t recall who he was talking about!

You wouldn’t expect me not to mention today’s big event. No, not the Eurovision Song Contest (see page 25), but the FA Cup final at Wembley. I may have a partisan interest in this match, but one thing is clear: this is a Cup final that matters to both clubs and both sets of supporters in a way it hasn’t for some years. My only hope is that the best team wins - as long as they are wearing sky blue!