All Posts (676)
Nos 671 to 676
Felix Mendelssohn
Aesop of Samos
The Dog and the Bell
Notoriety is often mistaken for fame.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time, there was a dog whose habit it was to bite people in secret.

But his master fashioned a little copper bell and fastened it around the dog’s neck, so everyone far and wide would know whether the dog was at their heels.

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No. 671
Poets and Poetry
The Music of Silence
In Coleridge’s epic poem, the Ancient Mariner, amid the horrors of a ship of dead men, sees a sight both beautiful and surreal.
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772-1834)

EACH corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, And, by the holy rood! A man all light, a seraph-man, On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand: It was a heavenly sight! They stood as signals to the land, Each one a lovely light;

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No. 672
Charles Avison
Poets and Poetry
Unsung Heroes
The poet reflects on the obscure lives that most of us lead.
By Thomas Gray
(1716-1771)

PERHAPS in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.

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No. 673
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Poets and Poetry
November
Humorist Thomas Hood obviously didn’t like to see the nights drawing in
By Thomas Hood
(1799-1845)

NO sun - no moon!
No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member.

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No. 674
Muzio Clementi
Poets and Poetry
‘I Remember’
A poem of nostalgia tinged with regret.
By Thomas Hood
(1799-1845)

I REMEMBER, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

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No. 675
Camille Saint-Saens
Poets and Poetry
Ozymandias
The glory of political power soon passes away.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)

I MET a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies.”

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No. 676
Polywords (185)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Grey
Added on Thursday February 15th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.

About our calendars

From our Archive
Based on the account by Reginald of Durham
(12th century)
A bird of prey shattered the peace of St Cuthbert’s island, and was taught an unforgettable lesson.
At the cost of his own life, Lord Nelson showed Napoleon that he could rule neither Britain nor the waves.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
Canadian sailor William Hall was summoned over to India to help face down the Indian Mutiny.
A ‘Christian’ mob kidnapped and murdered a much-loved professor of mathematics - for her politics.

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History (414)
Polywords (185)
Georgian Era (113)
Fiction (85)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (24)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
India (14)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Sycamore’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘current of cold air’ (7 letters), and ‘e.g. fascinator’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with PIG and finish with STY.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.