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!
Spelling, put simply, is the art of correctly assembling words from their letters. And just like the passion for correct pronounciation, sorry, pronunciation, there are ardent supporters of a Zero Tolerance approach when it comes to inaccuracies.
To some, correct spelling is as sacred as religion. Sticklers we might call them. To others—a powerful world leader comes to mind—it doesn’t seem important [more…]
Back in the 6th C BC, among the Persians and Scythians of Asia, both men and women wore trousers, for warmth and comfort, so there’s nothing new about women wearing trousers.
The word trousers comes from the Irish triús and the Scottish triubhas which also gave rise to trews, close-fitting tartan trousers. Ironically, the Scots and Irish wore kilts themselves.
The ancient Greeks [more…]
As we face these unprecedented times together, I’d like to reassure you that your favourite Lovatts Crosswords & Puzzles magazines will still be available as usual – we do not expect any major disruption to our services or magazine deliveries for the foreseeable future.
I also wanted to thank you for the many heart-warming letters of gratitude I’ve received, describing the joy, [more…]
Back in the 5th century, a young teenager Maewyn Succat lived on the west coast of Britain, maybe in Wales or Scotland. He was born to a wealthy family who had been Christian for at least three generations. His father was Calpurnius, a Roman cavalry officer and Christian deacon but Maewyn himself wasn’t a believer.
When he was 16, he was kidnapped [more…]
“Facts can be turned into art if one is artful enough” – Paul Simon
I wouldn’t have thought that carpenters, stonemasons or other craftsman had a predilection for cunning strategies or slyness. Yet both artful and crafty, with their sly implications, used to mean talented and skilful. Now they are more often used to describe weaselly or machiavellian shiftiness. This is the [more…]
Strong women have always had a powerful impact on history, and yet it’s only in recent years that we’re seeing the proper credit and recognition they rightly deserve for their contributions. Not only that, but through a concerted effort to increase the gender imbalance in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering & maths), we are seeing an even greater number of modern-day [more…]