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!
Anne Bradford’s dictionary started life as her own personal word list, as she solved crosswords from an early age and wrote down any words she wanted to remember. She wrote the clues from the crosswords she solved, and after twenty-five years she found she had enough material for a dictionary.
Her first dictionary was published in 1986. Anne solves crosswords from The Times, [more…]
Since ancient times, the winter solstice has been seen as an important astronomical occurrence, celebrated as the rebirth of sunlight and the gradual return of spring after the darkest period of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin sōlstitium, which translates to the standing still of the sun, reflecting the way the sun appears to halt its progress across the [more…]
Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!
Since the beginning of recorded history we have tried to forecast the weather. Today, we use sophisticated technology, but for centuries sailors, shepherds and farmers relied on weather lore to make predictions. [more…]
Celebrate 200 issues of Handy Sudoku!
This month we are celebrating a mind-boggling milestone: 200 issues of Handy Sudoku! One of our most popular titles, Handy Sudoku is the best fun with numbers you can have. Though it might look tricky at first glance, Sudoku puzzles require logical thinking, not maths skills – everyone has it in them to conquer the challenge. Read on [more…]
Tragedy is from the Greek word tragoidia meaning ‘goat-song’. Hmm, sounds a bit strange but in ancient Greece, groups of men joined together in a chorus to sing poetry, wearing goat-skins. The chorus would tell a story in song, and one man would separate from the chorus to argue against the story – and thus drama was born. This man was [more…]
From April Fools’ Day to Earth Day and Easter to Ramadan, there are several important dates and anniversaries commemorated in April all over the world.
Did you know that the ancient Romans called April Aprilis, from the verb aperire meaning “to open”? This is thought to allude to April being a season of Spring in the northern hemisphere, a time when flowers and trees began [more…]