Christine Lovatt’s Hello Column

Christine’s Hello column appears monthly in Lovatts BIG Crossword magazine

A fiesta of Spanish words in the English language

Or should I say Hola?  Because this column is about the Spanish language. There are approximately 405 million people in the world speaking Spanish as a native language, making it the second-most-spoken language by a number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese.  Spanish is also one of the six official languages of the United [more…]

Discover fascinating words that have changed their meaning

With spring marking the changing weather, when the cold winter winds are swapped for floral-filled days, it got me thinking about how the meaning of words also changes. One of the continuing controversies of my job is dealing with that fickle aspect of the English language, words that change their meaning – known as [more…]

Phrases we use from the silver screen 🎥

While many of us crave the sunshine and heat of summer, one of the silver linings of the chilly winter months is that they offer the perfect excuse to cosy up at home and get lost in our silver screen favourites. As well as an almost endless source of entertainment, I’ve found films and [more…]

Australia’s First Languages

Hello!

There is a common myth about how the kangaroo got its name. When European explorers first saw a kangaroo they asked a native Australian what it was called. The local didn’t understand the question and replied ‘kangaroo’ meaning “I don’t know” in his own language. The explorers took this to be the animal’s name. [more…]

Christine’s Granola Recipe

Hello,

About 10 years ago, when staying with my cousin in Ireland, we had homemade granola for breakfast every day. It was so scrumptious I begged him for the recipe. Now I make a batch every fortnight, and we have it for breakfast every 2 or 3 days. It’s so easy to make and you [more…]

Keeping clues accurate

When it comes to writing crossword clues, we have to be very careful when describing a word, especially when there’s another word with a similar meaning. Fortunately the other word is usually of a different length and wouldn’t fit the clue space.

However, we try to be as accurate as possible, and there are some [more…]

The history of pants (or trousers)

Back in the 6th C BC, among the Persians and Scythians of Asia, both men and women wore trousers, for warmth and comfort, so there’s nothing new about women wearing trousers.

The word trousers comes from the Irish triús and the Scottish triubhas which also gave rise to trews, close-fitting tartan trousers. Ironically, the Scots [more…]

We’re in this together.

Hello,

As we face these unprecedented times together, I’d like to reassure you that your favourite Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles magazines will still be available as usual – we do not expect any major disruption to our services or magazine deliveries for the foreseeable future.

I also wanted to thank you for the many heart-warming letters [more…]

Who was St Patrick? ☘️

Back in the 5th century, a young teenager Maewyn Succat lived on the west coast of Britain, maybe in Wales or Scotland. He was born to a wealthy family who had been Christian for at least three generations. His father was Calpurnius, a Roman cavalry officer and Christian deacon but Maewyn himself wasn’t a [more…]