Christine Lovatt's Desk

Welcome to Christine's Desk

Here you'll find a variety of puzzle themed items and pieces of information to hold your interest. Learn about some of the wonderful words and phrases in our everyday language, find out about the health benefits of crosswords and puzzles, be entertained by Christine's Hello column… and there's much more on offer. The latest submissions appear below. Thanks for dropping by and we hope you enjoy your visit.

Hello June 2019

Beer is one of the world’s oldest prepared drinks and the third most popular drink in the world, after water and tea – certainly the most consumed alcoholic drink.

Beer dates back to at least 5th millennium BC, in Iran. Cereal was first farmed around 10,000 BC, so it’s possible beer was brewed then, as [more…]

Hello May 2019

Our English language has a huge vocabulary – possibly larger than any other language.

This is because we have had so many varied sources. The Anglo-Saxons brought their West Germanic languages with them. After the Norman invasion of 1066, French became the language of the courts. The church, universities and legal world used Latin, [more…]

Our inspiring DIY winner Arthur Daniell

Our inspiring DIY winner Arthur Daniell will turn 100 this year! His winning crossword was published in Christine’s BIG Crossword 319.

Arthur Daniell was born on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia in 1919. He was the second youngest of 6 children. His parents settled on a dairy farm at Monteith on the River Murray [more…]

Hello April 2019

Is there any word more versatile than the word ‘stuff’? It’s an informal way of saying ‘things in general’, for physical objects, such as all your worldly goods, “I put my stuff in storage and went around the world”, or just what you’re holding, “Where can I put my stuff?”.

It can also mean [more…]

Hello March 2019

A few months ago, I wrote about favourite words of famous people and I asked you puzzlers to tell me your own favourite words.
Puzzler Billie Halpin’s favourite word is onomatopoeia, which means the formation of a word from a sound associated with the meaning, such as sizzle, which sounds like a sausage frying in [more…]

The 7 best words about autumn

Crisp
Derived from the Latin crispus meaning ‘curled’, this word means firm, dry and brittle and you could say it’s a great example of onomatopoeia, a word that sounds exactly like its meaning.

Deciduous
From the Latin dēciduous, meaning ‘falling down or off’ this word describes trees which shed leaves, usually in the autumn. Some well [more…]

St Patrick

The most famous Irishman was actually the son of a Roman official born and bred in South Wales. The legend goes that he was captured by Picts and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul, where he became a priest and is credited with bringing Christianity to western Europe.

Many countries [more…]

Hello February 2019

One of the many sources of our English vocabulary is the eponym – a word named after a person or place.

Some eponyms are obvious – I’m sure you can guess what Count Pavel Stroganoff lent his name to? Although he descended from wealthy Russian aristocracy, he was born in Paris, where a French [more…]

Hello January 2019

One of the few things that are guaranteed in life – along with death and taxes – is change. Nothing stays the same, both in our personal lives and in the world itself. While we may bemoan today’s modern style and long nostalgically for the beloved way of life from our childhood, change is [more…]