Welcome!

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

8 04, 2019

Hello April 2019

  • April 8th, 2019

Is there any word more versatile than the word ‘stuff’? It’s an informal way of saying ‘things in general’, for physical objects, such as all your worldly goods, “I put my stuff in storage and went around the world”, or just what you’re holding, “Where can I put my stuff?”.

It can also mean ideas generally, “I read some interesting stuff” [more…]

12 03, 2019

Hello March 2019

  • March 12th, 2019

A few months ago, I wrote about favourite words of famous people and I asked you puzzlers to tell me your own favourite words.
Puzzler Billie Halpin’s favourite word is onomatopoeia, which means the formation of a word from a sound associated with the meaning, such as sizzle, which sounds like a sausage frying in the pan or cuckoo, the exact sound [more…]

25 02, 2019

The 7 best words about autumn

  • February 25th, 2019

Crisp
Derived from the Latin crispus meaning ‘curled’, this word means firm, dry and brittle and you could say it’s a great example of onomatopoeia, a word that sounds exactly like its meaning.

Deciduous
From the Latin dēciduous, meaning ‘falling down or off’ this word describes trees which shed leaves, usually in the autumn. Some well known decidious Australian species are the red [more…]

14 02, 2019

St Patrick

  • February 14th, 2019

The most famous Irishman was actually the son of a Roman official born and bred in South Wales. The legend goes that he was captured by Picts and sold as a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul, where he became a priest and is credited with bringing Christianity to western Europe.

Many countries celebrate St Patrick’s Day on 17th March [more…]

13 02, 2019

Hello February 2019

  • February 13th, 2019

One of the many sources of our English vocabulary is the eponym – a word named after a person or place.

Some eponyms are obvious – I’m sure you can guess what Count Pavel Stroganoff lent his name to? Although he descended from wealthy Russian aristocracy, he was born in Paris, where a French chef concocted a blend of French and [more…]

9 01, 2019

Hello January 2019

  • January 9th, 2019

One of the few things that are guaranteed in life – along with death and taxes – is change. Nothing stays the same, both in our personal lives and in the world itself. While we may bemoan today’s modern style and long nostalgically for the beloved way of life from our childhood, change is inevitable and we can choose to complain [more…]