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St Ahmed
Music: Alexei Fyodorovich Lvov
A Turkish official was itching to know the secret behind a Russian slave girl’s personal charm.

AHMED was a curator of the library in seventeenth-century Constantinople. He had two Russian slave women, one a beautiful young girl whom he kept at home, and the other an older lady he allowed to go to church.

When she returned, Ahmed noticed, the two women would be closeted together for a time, and afterwards a delightful fragrance would hang around the younger one.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: Shade. Colour.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Dance. Notice. Keep.

Use together in one sentence: Music. Church. About.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Lion of Piraeus
Music: John Jenkins
A marble statue in Venice bears witness to Europe’s long history of brave defeats and fruitless victories.

THE Arsenal at Venice is graced by two marble lions looted by Venetian commander Francesco Morsini from Piraeus, near Athens, in 1687. The lions, already a feature of the Greek port for fifteen centuries, were his trophies following a brief liberation of Athens and the Peloponnese from the Ottoman Empire.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: Leave. Abandon. Desert.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Feature. Sign. Battle.

Use together in one sentence: Sign. Leave. Guard.

More games: Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The United States of the Ionian Islands
Music: Nikolaos Mantzaros
The British liberated the Ionian islands from Napoleon, then gave them fifty happy years and the game of cricket.

AFTER the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople and much of Greece in 1453, the Ionian Islands were lucky. Most were under Venetian control, and flourished as part of a trading bloc which brought prosperity and respected local culture.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: Acknowledge. Recognise. Know.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Force. State. Make.

Use together in one sentence: Flourish. At. Force.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

Demetrius the Diver
Music: Muzio Clementi
A survivor of the infamous massacre of Chios in 1821 goes to Marseilles, but discovers he has not entirely left the Turks behind.

IN the port of Marseilles lived a poor Greek named Demetrius Omeros, who scraped together a living by diving for stray francs and copper sous. He had appeared in the city shortly after the massacre of Chios, but except for this and for living frugally on melon, bread and sour wine, little else was known of him.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: Except. Accept.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Bear. Commission. Sink.

Use together in one sentence: Stray. Waters. Build.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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A Pyrrhic Victory
Music: Edward German
The ancient Greek King knew victory had cost his army more than it could afford to lose.

AFTER they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites; in all there died of Pyrrhus’s men and the Romans above fifteen thousand.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: Ally. Friend. Confederate.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: War. Part. Arm.

Use together in one sentence: Baggage. Backward. Forces.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.

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The Spy
Music: Edward Elgar
In 1910, Constantine Zervakos, a young monk from the Greek island of Paros, found himself charged with espionage.

ON his way home to Paros after a long-anticipated visit to Mount Athos, a young monk named Constantine Zervakos decided he had enough time before his ship left Thessalonica to nip into the Turkish-controlled city and visit the church of St Demetrius.

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Word Play

Adapted from textbooks used in Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Distinguish using sentences: See. Notice. Watch.

Use as a noun and also as a verb: Ship. Catch. Lock.

Use together in one sentence: Rush. Find. Barbed.

More games: Précis. Sevens. Jigsaw. Confusables. Spinner. Opposites. Verb or Noun? Active or Passive? Subject and Object. Adjectives. Word Classes.