Welcome!

Welcome to my Desk, where you’ll find all sorts of items to hold your interest. Unlike my real office desk, which is cluttered with books, files, news cuttings and the remnants of my lunch, this Online Desk will be efficient and easy to navigate.

Learn some of the tricks of solving those weird cryptic crosswords on my tutorials page.

If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.

Read about the puzzling but positive effect Lovatts has on your health in Puzzles & your Health. We’d love to hear from you, so write a letter to Christine’s Mailbag. You might want to comment on my regular column @ Christine’s Hello.

There’s something for everyone here, so come on in!

Latest Posts

24 06, 2014

Hello – BIG July 2014

  • June 24th, 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 and we are happy to award gremlins [more…]

28 05, 2014

Hello – BIG June 2014

  • May 28th, 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 me realise that the poor old apple [more…]

20 05, 2014

What a BIG surprise!

  • May 20th, 2014

What a surprise. £50 for Big Demon 257. Like so many others this arrived at just the right time. We have two family weddings coming up and this will go towards a new outfit for one of them. Like most men my husband thinks one outfit should do. Definitely not. I so enjoy your puzzles and now that I am well [more…]

2 05, 2014

Hello – BIG May 2014

  • May 2nd, 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...
8 04, 2014

Hello – BIG April 2014

  • April 8th, 2014
“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them” William Shakespeare
1 04, 2014

Fool Me Once – Don’t Get Fooled This April

  • April 1st, 2014

Were you taken in by any April Fool’s Day pranks today?

There were certainly a few being dished out around our office this morning, which got us thinking about the origins of this most mischievous of days.

According to most sources, the modern embodiment of April Fool’s Day derives from an ancient Tongan religious festival called Hilaria (meaning ‘hilarious’) which celebrated the [more…]