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.

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…]

How ‘crafty’ has changed over the years

“Facts can be turned into art if one is artful enough” – Paul Simon

I wouldn’t have thought that carpenters, stonemasons or other craftsman had a predilection for cunning strategies or slyness. Yet both artful and crafty, with their sly implications, used to mean talented and skilful. Now they are more often used to describe [more…]

6 Inspiring Australian Women You Should Know About

Strong women have always had a powerful impact on history, and yet it’s only in recent years that we’re seeing the proper credit and recognition they rightly deserve for their contributions. Not only that, but through a concerted effort to increase the gender imbalance in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering & maths), we are [more…]

Why do we have leap years?

Good news this month for anyone whose birthday falls on 29th February – this is a Leap Year so you can celebrate your birthday on the correct day instead of 28th Feb or 1st March. Or maybe you don’t mind not having a birthday, because you claim to be only a quarter of your [more…]

‘Head over heels’ and other phrases about love

This month it’s St Valentine’s Day once again, and so much has been written about romantic love, in stories, poetry and song, that you might think there is nothing left to say. But it seems that we never tire of the romantic dream, which after all makes the world go round. Love will never [more…]

The two meanings of second

Have you ever wondered if there’s a connection between the two meanings of second? It means both ‘a sixtieth of a minute’ and ‘coming after the first’. Also, the two meanings of minute, ‘a sixtieth of an hour’ and ‘very small’. Well the fact is, they ARE connected.

When the hour was divided into sixty [more…]