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.

Anne Bradford’s Dictionary

Anne Bradford’s dictionary started life as her own personal word list, as she solved crosswords from an early age and wrote down any words she wanted to remember. She wrote the clues from the crosswords she solved, and after twenty-five years she found she had enough material for a dictionary.

Her first dictionary was published [more…]

The Winter Solstice

Since ancient times, the winter solstice has been seen as an important astronomical occurrence, celebrated as the rebirth of sunlight and the gradual return of spring after the darkest period of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin sōlstitium, which translates to the standing still of the sun, reflecting the way the sun [more…]

The Word Weather

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

Since the beginning of recorded history we have tried to forecast the weather. Today, we use sophisticated technology, but for centuries sailors, shepherds and farmers [more…]

Stimulating Sudoku

Celebrate 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! 

This month we are celebrating a mind-boggling milestone: 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! One of our most popular titles, Handy Sudoku is the best fun with numbers you can have. Though it might look tricky at first glance, Sudoku puzzles require logical thinking, not maths skills – everyone has it in [more…]

The Goat Song of Greece

Tragedy is from the Greek word tragoidia meaning ‘goat-song’. Hmm, sounds a bit strange but in ancient Greece, groups of men joined together in a chorus to sing poetry, wearing goat-skins.  The chorus would tell a story in song, and one man would separate from the chorus to argue against the story – and [more…]

Dazzling Days of April

From April Fools’ Day to Earth Day and Easter to Ramadan, there are several important dates and anniversaries commemorated in April all over the world.

Did you know that the ancient Romans called April Aprilis, from the verb aperire meaning “to open”? This is thought to allude to April being a season of Spring in the northern hemisphere, [more…]

The March Hare

Since his first appearance in Lewis Carrol’s classic Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, the March Hare has become a well-recognised and much loved literary figure. A wacky co-host of the tea party that Alice stumbles across, fond of nonsense, jokes, and puns, the March Hare is just one character that reflects the zany madness of [more…]

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8 to recognise women for their achievements, to both highlight and work towards addressing barriers that continue to perpetuate gender inequality, and to reflect on the progress that has been made.

The very first International Women’s Day was held on March 19th, 1911, born from [more…]

You, ye, ya’ll & youse

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” – Dr Seuss. One of the most important words we use in conversation is ‘you’. It exists in several different forms and acts in different roles in languages from all over the globe – as [more…]