Christine's Desk - Lovatts

Welcome to my Desk, where you’ll find all sorts of items to hold your interest. Unlike my real office desk, which is cluttered with books, files, news cuttings and the remnants of my lunch, this Online Desk will be efficient and easy to navigate.

Learn some of the tricks of solving those weird cryptic crosswords on my tutorials page.

If you wonder about the origins of some of our wonderful English expressions, Words & Phrases is the place to find out more.

Read about the puzzling but positive effect Lovatts has on your health in Puzzles & your Health. We’d love to hear from you, so write a letter to Christine’s Mailbag. You might want to comment on my regular column @ Christine’s Hello.

There’s something for everyone here, so come on in!

Latest Posts

20 02, 2020

Why do we have leap years?

  • February 20th, 2020

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 age!

Adding an extra day to the calendar [more…]

14 02, 2020

‘Head over heels’ and other phrases about love

  • February 14th, 2020

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 go out of fashion and it’s still [more…]

3 02, 2020

The two meanings of second

  • February 3rd, 2020

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 parts, the division was known in Medieval [more…]

22 01, 2020

Phrases from the movies

  • January 22nd, 2020

There’s no doubt that many expressions we use in everyday life come straight from the silver screen or from television.

To be stepforded is to be secretly replaced with a submissive robot. It comes from the film The Stepford Wives, in which all the wives in town are turned into compliant and submissive women by their husbands. A recent newspaper article [more…]

9 01, 2020

2020: Chinese Year of the Rat

  • January 9th, 2020

As we have just entered into the Chinese Year of the Rat, we thought we’d take a closer look at the phrases and literature surrounding the rambunctious rodents from the genus Rattus.

Many of you will recoil with horror at the mention of rats, because of the bad press they have had for years. A stereotypical rat is dirty, disloyal and generally [more…]

6 12, 2019

Australasia vs Oceania

  • December 6th, 2019

You may have come cross the name Australasia in our crosswords. It is the regional name for Australia and New Zealand, and despite the last four letters, it does not include Asia. It means ‘south of Asia’.

Every place on Earth has an antipode, ie the spot on Earth’s surface that is diametrically opposite to it. Australia and New Zealand are [more…]