Christine Lovatt

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 of car trips consist mainly of us all piling into my Dad’s Ford Consul heading for Brighton Beach because the sun had come out, only to spend our precious sunny hours in bumper to bumper traffic jams because everyone else had the same idea. Naturally, by the time we reached Brighton Pier, the clouds shielded the sun and the sea was icy.

Today, a Sunday driver is known as a slow, leisurely driver, usually spotted winding through places of natural beauty, holding up traffic in the process. A backseat driver is an annoying passenger who criticises or comments on a driver’s actions or, more broadly, someone who offers unwanted advice.

When you drive a coach and horses through something you are trying to find the weak points or the loopholes. The phrase most commonly refers to politics or law.  To drive a hard bargain is to make a deal that is very advantageous to you and to drive a point home is to stress a point with utmost persistence.

The driving force behind something is the thing that motivates or directs it. For some of you, entering our competitions to win prizes is the driving force behind completing the crosswords, for others it is the joy of solving them or the stimulation and brain exercise. Many of you have told me that our trickier crosswords drive you to drink, drive you up the wall, drive you bananas, or drive you to the edge.

So, what am I driving at with this column?  Well…. Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles is giving one lucky Lovatts puzzler in Australia or New Zealand the opportunity to drive home a brand new Suzuki Alto! For details, click here, check out page 75 of this month’s BIG, or pick up another Lovatts title displaying the ‘Win a Car’ logo on the front cover.

Good luck and happy puzzling!