About Lucian Poll

Lucian Poll logo
The result of my first three hours of Inkscape. My calling card, if you will.

Hello, you. I’m Lucian Poll, and I’m both a fan and a writer of dark, speculative fiction.(That’s “Horror” in old money.)

Now don’t run away just yet. You’ll find I’ve nailed your feet to the floorboards. See? Big long nails. Give them a tug. Now that’s workmanship! Look, I even took the time to avoid hammering through the bones in your feet, because I’m nice like that. Just relax, play nice and I’ll fetch my claw hammer at the end of all this.

So, yeah, horror fiction. What does that all mean to you?

Cheerless stories that slosh with ululating oceans of entrails and gore, and stuffed with detailed depictions of prolonged brutal rape? Ah. Sorry, you’ll be wanting splatterpunk – the stuff that all but killed horror as a mainstream genre fifteen to twenty years ago.

How about bloodless tales of sparkling vampires and fairies and impossibly ripped werewolves going at it like knives in ways that, ordinarily, would be considered bestiality? Again, I’ll have to disappoint you. You’ll find all that guff groaning in the shelves of the paranormal romance section – stuff that is all but killing horror as a mainstream genre right now.

No, you’ll find that Mr Poll much prefers to dole out death and terror in new and inventive ways wherever possible.

What was that? Like the Saw films, you say? Now, I really wouldn’t recommend upsetting me with such idiot talk. Don’t get me wrong, the first two were great, but… See? My hand has started to twitch. You did that. I’m afraid to tell you that’s never a good sign. Really afraid.

So what exact flavour of horror tickles Mr Poll’s taste buds, I hear you ask? (Yes you did.) As the strapline of my site attests, I much prefer to mess with minds in more ways than one. To disturb, yes, but so much more! I will thrill you and make you cower with fear. I will line up the most mind-boggling experiences for your delectation.

How? Best you set aside some room in your diary from Friday 13th September 2013. I’ll be sure to hit you with a killer novel of mine called The Floors for your trouble. I’d clear some space on your generic eBook reader now in preparation. All of that Fifty Shades shit can go for a start.

Look, there’s me yakking about my upcoming book and you are still none the wiser about little old me. How rude. So what would you like to know about Lucian Poll? Well, he tends to grump about in Norwich, UK, chiefly at weekends and outside the weekday hours of 9:00am-5:30pm. Sometimes he writes down horrible things, short things or long, and puts them out there for people to read. At all other times, however, he is someone else, who is also a grump.

Hmm? Why am I telling you this? My dear old thing, you didn’t think I’d let you go so soon, did you? I haven’t gotten to my claw hammer yet. Now, now, stop struggling. You’ll only hurt yourself. I’m only teasing you. Ah, here we are. Heavy old brute, this.

Now which side would you like me to attack first? Left temple or right?

24 thoughts on “About Lucian Poll

  1. Forget the hammer for now – I’m emailing you re this weeks Times puzzle. The clue about the shape of a Kitchen Instrument makes perfect sense IF you have played in an orchestra – in which case you will know that the Percussion Section is known as the Kitchen Section (Kettle Drums perhaps?) Like your website very much – explanations of our guesses especially!

    1. Fantastic stuff, Jeremy! Thanks for leg-up. I’ve mentioned this over in the comments for Times Jumbo Cryptic 1390 as this clue looked to have stumped a few of us. Thanks again for the help! – LP

  2. Hi, Re Yesterday’s Jumbo Cryptic. 31 Across seems to me to be Enlistees. Ultimately neglectful (L) in SINE returning as in Sine Die (without a day) and TEES as in Tee shirts. Hope this helps, seems to fit the clue for me.

  3. Lucian, re Jumbo 1403.. 49 Across. “Express hesitation” is one phrase = “Go ‘ER'”, me thinks. And for 10 Down “A girl coming out” is a DEB from Debutante not the name, which I think parses better. Rod Ward

  4. Wish I was as good as you . Try every week but rarely totally complete. Jumbo 1406. Your explanation for reservoir 40 down has spelt that word as reservior . I am just being clever

    1. Oops! Thanks, Sid. I’ve now corrected the post. I’ve a decent hit rate, but I often need a little bit of help to get me over the line, whether it’s from a reference book, Wikipedia or people dropping by to lend a hand. We all seem to get there in the end, though, which is the best thing about putting these posts together. Thanks again for stopping by! – LP

  5. 1410 times jumbo Dorothy Bags. Clue is complete as One who visits Oz (Dorothy); lots = bags bags of fun for example. Also perhaps ‘reach crisis’ could be come to a head leaving point to be to be ‘a head’ in the geographical sense. Though that is something of a stretch.

    1. Managed to complete 1411, a rare event for me . It must have been less demanding than some .
      In your completed grid ( 1 ac.) I think you have a misspelling. I am full of admiration for your pexpertise . My attempts usually go on to Friday.

  6. Jumbo 1415 . 13 across remit ,means to send something given a task one can say it is not in my remit(or terms of reference

  7. Checking on how petitioner worked for no 1422 and noticed your comments on vagabond which I think is v for view ad for bill and Gabon for the country.

  8. Times Jumbo 1441. 33 down. I think the measure of fluid is quart, not quarters, inside hinders. I.e hamstrings (verb), not hinds (noun).

  9. Jumbo 1446 10 across. I took retro-style to mean old-fashioned as it was once appropriate to address one’s father as ‘Sir’. I know this as my father once took my brother & me to one side & explained that he would like us to call him ‘Sir’. This was around 1970 not in the Victorian age so obviously we never did & the silly interview was forgotten. I expect the setter using retro-style to mean both old-fahioned & in reverse.

    1. Agreed, Chris. Cool story too! (Insert fistbump emoji here.) I believe the use of “sir” in this way is also still a thing over in the US. As mentioned in my comment to Dr John, I was hoping to find the usage explicitly covered in a dictionary, but I guess “a word of respect used in addressing a man” generally covers it. Stay well! – LP

  10. Re Times Jumbo 1450, 38ac: Ammonite is correct – it’s an explosive consisting of TNT and ammonium nitrate, from where I suspect the name is derived. I had to use the good old interweb to check it, as the explosive definition does not appear in my dictionary! Best wishes.

  11. Hi Lucian, re yesterday’s jumbo. 40 across takes me back to my childhood as we had a slide at our village rec. When one slid down it was important to move away from the bottom to allow the next child to come down and avoid a nasty crash, hence no standing at the bottom was a rule of the slide often yelled by nervous mothers of the smaller children. Hope this helps John

  12. Hi Lucien

    Thanks for your blog. You regularly save the sanity of my 91 year old Dad who has been doing the daily Times cryptic since he was 17. Is this a record I ask myself? He’s not great at modern phrases “not in Chambers” and that’s where I come in. He has been instructing me in the arcane arts of criticism crosswordiums for the past 10 years. I think I am getting there. Not great with the dailies but love the jumbos.

    We found 1456 a stinker because of e.g Go Platinum. What does that mean?” Grumble, grumble…. I explained.

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