Filling the Gaps

The story behind some of the people, places and events used in Lovatts crosswords…


In Greek mythology the Titans, also known as the elder gods, ruled the earth before being overthrown by the Olympians.

Titans were the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth) and were of gigantic size. Led by Cronus, the Titans overthrew Uranus, who until then was ruler of the world.

  Zeus, son of Cronus and [more…]

Uncle Sam

‘I’m a real life nephew of my Uncle Sam,
Born on the fourth of July’

We all know that the United States of America is affectionately known as Uncle Sam, but do you know why?

Legend has it that, during the war of 1812, Samuel Wilson was a meat inspector in the service of the federal government. [more…]

Big Ben

Originally, the nickname Big Ben referred to the bell in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London. Now however, it has come to encompass the clock and its tower.

The bell was cast in 1858 at the Whitechapel Foundry and was originally 16 ½ tonnes in weight. The following year, a 4ft [more…]

Dr Spooner

If you have ever tackled a cryptic crossword you will have come across the name Spooner or the term spoonerism for a clue where initial letters are swapped e.g. ‘fight the liar’ for ‘light the fire’.
William Archibald Spooner was born in London on 22 July 1844 and is remembered chiefly for his nervous tendency [more…]

Yuan Tan

The Chinese New Year festival, known as Yuan Tan, is probably the most important event on the Chinese calendar. Some 370 million people in China travel home to celebrate the three-day public holiday with their relatives, and every four years are given twenty days official leave to visit their home towns or villages. The [more…]

Yuri Gagarin

Colonel Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly in space when he orbited the Earth in 1961.

Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin was born on a collective farm in Smolensk, west of Moscow in March 1934. His father was a carpenter.

After attending his local school for six years and then various technical schools, Yuri joined the [more…]

Albert, Prince Consort

When Albert married his first cousin, Queen Victoria, it was a match of true love.

Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel was the second son of Ernest, duke of Saxe-Coburg, and Louise, daughter of Duke Augustus of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg.

He was not initially popular with the people of Britain and was always in the background of public life. [more…]

Billy the Kid

A boy with a six-shooter in his hand – he wreaked havoc in the Wild West.

William McCarty, who took on the name William H. Bonney, and was also known as Kid Antrim, was one of the most notorious gunmen of the American South West.

Born in New York in 1859, he grew up in Silver [more…]


Did you know that the pneumatic tyre was invented by a veterinarian?

Scottish veterinarian, John Boyd Dunlop, began experimenting with an air-filled tube when it was recommended that his son take up cycling for exercise. The bumpy cobbled streets made cycling quite uncomfortable and Dunlop thought he would find a way to soften the ride.

He [more…]