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.

Favourite foreign phrases

You might think our English language has some crazy sayings, but we’re not alone. Here are some of my favourite sayings from other languages:

We might say ‘when pigs fly’ – meaning we don’t believe something will ever happen. Germans have a saying ‘I think my pig whistles’ meaning I can’t believe it. In [more…]

Selling Sea Shells by the Seashore

Hello!

Tongue twisters have been around for years, challenging us to contort our lips and tongues by trying to pronounce the almost impossible.

To make a good tongue twister, you must string together words that are similar but not quite the same, and then make sure they make sense. Such as Sharing crazy crossword clues should [more…]

The most complex machine on earth

Hello!

The expression ‘plastic brain’ doesn’t mean your brain is made of a cheap, disposable material. Plasticity means the quality of being easily moulded, and scientists have discovered that the human brain has this capacity, to change continuously. It can modify its connections and rewire itself, at any age, for better or worse.

Scientists agree [more…]

Lovatts go pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Hello!

Unfortunately, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and it is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia. The good news is that research and early detection have been demonstrated to increase the chances of a more positive outcome.

To show our support during Breast Cancer Awareness month, Lovatts [more…]

Where do mermaids come from?

Hello!

Having three little granddaughters, I’m familiar with the favourite topics that little girls are into these days – rainbows, unicorns and mermaids. In fact it’s hard to buy a T-shirt for a toddler that doesn’t have one of these three depicted on the front – or dinosaurs, superheroes and trucks for boys (I have [more…]

Hello October 2019

Cooee!

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages and a good time to look at the contribution made to our vocabulary by the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander languages of Australia. There are all the words you might expect, such as budgerigar, koala, billabong, corroboree, bombora, woomera, yabby, boomerang, kookaburra, dingo and currawong. However, [more…]

Hello September 2019

Have you noticed that we have the word orphan for a child whose parents have died, and widow or widower for a person whose spouse has died, but no word for a parent whose child has died? Author Jen Hutchison would like the word motherling to be used for a mother who has lost [more…]

Hello August 2019

Traitors sometimes pop up in our crossword clues, highlighting the fact that history is full of tales of treason. In some cases, the names of traitors have become words to describe a person who acts treacherously.

The most famous traitor is probably the biblical disciple Judas Iscariot, who indicated Jesus’ identity to the Temple [more…]

The left handed life

All left-handed people are evil, worthless, mysterious and bring bad luck. At least, that’s what they used to think in former days. The Latin word for left is ‘sinister’, which has only come to mean evil or treacherous because of its leftist leanings.The old Saxon word for left was ‘lyft’ which also meant worthless. [more…]