Would-be thieves find "clone of Stone of Scone" not a workable plan

In a caper worthy of Donald E. Westlake, a group of robbers carried out a careful plan to swap a 500-pound replica Stone of Destiny for the one in Scone Palace, Perthshire, only to discover they had stolen -- a replica.

They apparently made this discovery by reading the brass plaque bolted to the surface of their loot, which they then abandoned.

The genuine Stone, which was taken to London in 1296 and returned to Scotland only in the 1990s, lies in Edinburgh Castle, but will be brought to London and placed in the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey when a new monarch is crowned.

A confession from the Publisher

The horrible rhyming title is my doing. Ursula had selected a perfectly dignified and businesslike title. Okay...truth be told, Ursula provided both a dignified and a horribly rhyming title, but I went with mine because it was even more horrible than hers. I have yielded to temptation, and I am so ashamed!


It would rhyme, if...

It would rhyme if "Scone" was pronounced like it's written. However, it's actually pronounced, "Scoon".

Ah, well. Better luck next time.  

I'm from the civilized part of the world

I am a Byzantine merchant, not a....a.....a.....{shudder}...Celt!

When one is from the center of the world, it is forgivable to overlook the provincial dialects of remote backwaters such as...western Europe.

Now, if you will excuse me, I was on my way to attend the day's chariot races, then I shall return home to relax with my indoor plumbing. ;-)


Gotta know

What were the original titles?

Original titles

As proof that I really need to get a life...

I grabbed the SQL dump from two days ago in our backup server, extracted the gzip-compressed data, passed it through a filter looking for the word "Scone", then used a text editor (vi, not Emacs, dammit!) to find the correct data.

The businesslike title was: "Attempt to steal Stone of Destiny" (yawn...)

Ursula's self-described "silly alternate headline" was: "Somebody tried to steal the Stone of Scone! OMG!"

I take comfort from the fact that Ursula is an Ivy League graduate in English, and even she fell for the pronunciation mistake. So I may be wrong, but I am at least in august company.

And to you Emacs zealots who are still seething at my parenthetical remark above: Emacs is a fine operating system. I just wish someone would bundle it with a decent text editor.


Well, I'm not ashamed, I'm

Well, I'm not ashamed, I'm impressed!

If they tried it again, would it be "Son of Clone of Stone of Scone"?