Christine Lovatt's Hello Column

Christine's Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine – click here for more information

Hello – BIG October 2014

“I want everyone to wear what they want and mix it in their own way. That, to me, is what is modern.” – Karl Lagerfeld
Many famous people are still remembered, not for their wise words or brave deeds, as they would like to be, but for the clothes they wore.

Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian revolutionary, [more…]

Hello – BIG September 2014

Synonym: “A word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language” – Oxford Dictionary

When is a synonym not a synonym? And does the synonym have a synonym of its own? Writing crossword clues for a living, we get to know quite a lot about [more…]

Hello – BIG August 2014

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said, ‘Parking Fine’. -Tommy Cooper
In the early 20th century when the automobile first came into prominence, the Sunday Drive became a popular family outing, often after church, with no motivation other than driving for pleasure [more…]

Hello – BIG July 2014

The words desert and dessert look similar, but they are very different in meaning.

Now and again, one of our crossword clues seems to hit a nerve with our puzzlers and we get a sack of mail (or a deluge of emails) claiming that a gremlin has been found. Sometimes we have made an error [more…]

Hello – BIG June 2014

I recently received a query about a clue from a general knowledge puzzle in our Colossus magazine that went: ‘seedy fruit believed by some to be Eve’s Garden of Eden fruit.’ The answer is not apple, as many might think, but pomegranate, although some also feel it may have been a fig.

But it made [more…]

Hello – BIG May 2014

Rat: a rodent that resembles a large mouse, typically having a pointed snout and a long tail. I’m sure some of you will recoil with horror at the mention of rats, because of the bad press they have had for years...

Hello – BIG April 2014

“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them” William Shakespeare

Hello – BIG August 2013

There may have been a time when all the lands of the world were joined. Way back in 1596, Flemish geographer Abraham Ortelius suggested that the Americas were “torn away from Europe and Africa ... by earthquakes and floods".

Hello – BIG July 2013

Words, just like us, come from families. Some are related to each other and have ancient ancestors.

It’s not always an obvious relationship. For instance, the words free and friend both came from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to love’.

You wouldn’t think there was a connection between biscuit, precocious and concoct but they all come from [more…]