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

27 10, 2014

Hello – BIG November 2014

  • October 27th, 2014

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.” – Mark Twain.
Calling a woman a dog implies she’s ugly. Calling a man the same thing implies that he’s uncouth or of low morals, although it could also be used as a compliment – ‘You [more…]

23 09, 2014

Hello – BIG October 2014

  • September 23rd, 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, is associated with the red shirts worn [more…]

25 08, 2014

Hello – BIG September 2014

  • August 25th, 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 synonyms – they become our friends. They [more…]

31 07, 2014

Hello – BIG August 2014

  • July 31st, 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 and taking in the scenery.
My early memories [more…]

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…]