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

13 06, 2018

Hello June 2018

  • June 13th, 2018

I am sometimes asked why people do puzzles, especially by non-puzzling people who can’t understand why we spend time struggling with crosswords or sudoku puzzles when we don’t have to. It’s a good question, and finding the answer to that is a puzzle in itself.

First of all, humans have an innate urge to discover patterns and to solve problems. We like [more…]

2 05, 2018

Hello May 2018

  • May 2nd, 2018

Although we might think of the word blog as a recent addition to the dictionary, it’s nearly 20 years old.
It comes from the term weblog, coined in 1997, which means an online personal diary, where people write about day-to-day events in their lives – literally a web log.
In 1999, blogger Peter Merholz jokingly broke the word weblog into [more…]

5 04, 2018

Hello April 2018

  • April 5th, 2018

What a magnificent creature the dragon is – a fierce, giant, fire-breathing lizard.
In China, the dragon is a symbol of strength, used by the Chinese Emperor as a symbol of his own imperial power. Other Oriental nations have their own versions of dragons.
In Europe the dragon is a fearful, aggressive monster, whereas the Chinese dragon is a spiritual and cultural [more…]

21 02, 2018

Hello March 2018

  • February 21st, 2018

When it comes to politics, I agree with whoever said, “I don’t approve of political jokes, I’ve seen too many of them getting elected”.
Politics give us many of the words we use in crosswords. Take the different kinds of governments, for example. The way our ancestors lived back in the hunter-gatherer days would be called anarchy, from ancient [more…]

5 02, 2018

Hello February 2018

  • February 5th, 2018

Humpty Dumpty sat on one, so did two little dicky birds, while ten green bottles were hanging from one.
I’m referring to a wall, which comes from the Latin vallum, meaning ‘a rampart’ or ‘row of stakes’. To go to the wall means ‘to fail in business’, while to face the wall is ‘to prepare to die’. Off the [more…]

11 01, 2018

Hello January 2018

  • January 11th, 2018

I’m finding it hard to believe that we are up to our 300th edition of my BIG Crossword magazine already. That must be thousands – possibly millions – of clues altogether that we have inflicted on you over 33 years.
We published our first BIG Crossword magazine in 1985, when our boys were only 3 and 2, and [more…]