Filling the Gaps

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

Eric the Red

Flaming red hair gave the Viking Eric Thorvaldson his well-known nickname.

Eric (or Erik) was a Norwegian-born mariner, who became the first European to explore Greenland, though it seems other Norsemen had been there before him. He named it Greenland to indicate that it was more visually appealing that Iceland.

Eric was escaping murder charges in [more…]

Eva Peron – Evita

Amongst the younger generation, it is fairly safe to say that Eva Perón is known primarily as the woman Madonna portrayed in the musical film Evita.

Argentinians will agree however, that there was more to Perón than a movie and the following synopsis of her life is merely the tip of the iceberg.

María Eva Duarte [more…]

Shaka Zulu

Shaka kaSenzangakhonawas Zulu chief from 1818 – 1828. He changed the face of southern Africa by setting in motion the Mfecane and uniting the Zulu clans.

The Mfecane or ‘the crushing’, as the period became known, was a time of warfare and forced migrations. Zulu warriors, led by Shaka conquered and subjugated those in their [more…]

Attila the Hun

Known as ‘the scourge of God’, Attila waged a reign of terror, ravaging vast areas of Europe and Asia between the Rhine and the Caspian Sea.

Attila lived from 406-453 and was king of the Huns from 433 until his death.

The Huns were already very powerful before Attila succeeded his uncle, Roas or Ruglias. Attila [more…]

Annie Oakley

Born Phoebe Anne Oakley Moses in Darke County, Ohio, America on 13 August, 1860, Annie Oakley was to become the greatest woman rifle shot ever known.
At the age of six, Annie was already using a rifle to hunt food for her family and was renowned for her spectacular aim.
One of her biggest feats occurred [more…]


The Last Supper is probably one of the best-known Biblical events of world history and yet not many people are clear on where the event was held.

The ‘Last Supper room’ is known as the CENACLE, which is derived from the Latin coenaculum and means ‘dining hall’. It was here that all the apostles were [more…]

El nino

El Nino originally referred to the annual warm current off western Peru. It was named after the Christmas child El Nino de Navidad because the phenomenon began in late December.

El Nino now usually refers to the more severe weather conditions that occur every three to seven years when the ocean currents off South America [more…]

Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was part of the US team, which competed in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Adolf Hitler refused to recognise Owens’ outstanding achievements because he was black.

Born in Danville, Alabama, James Cleveland Owens became known as one of the greatest athletes of all times. 

He excelled at track sports at high school. In [more…]

Jolly Roger

Whereas many children find it hard to identify their own national flag, the majority would be able to pick out the flag flown by pirates, as well as knowing its name – the Jolly Roger.

Characters like Blackbeard, Long John Silver and Captain Hook have, over the years, brought the pirate trade of yesteryear to [more…]