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Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

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The Spy
two-part story
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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Two Posts
The Miracle of Piso Livadi
two-part story
Three fishermen let their tongues run away with them, and were left counting the cost.

ONE August evening in 1931, three fishermen put into a tiny harbour in Piso Livadi, on the Greek island of Paros.

Wine flowed freely, and the next day’s feast of the Virgin Mary, a day when the whole island honoured the Mother of God, drew their coarsest wit.

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The Miracle of St John of the Caves
Music: Vassilis Tsabropoulos
The story of an unexpected escape through the heart of a hill.

BACK in the days of the Byzantine Empire, the people of Paros heard that pirates were yet again patrolling the coast of their island.

As it was the Feast of St John the Evangelist, they ran to a remote monastery dedicated to the saint, shut themselves in, and offered fervent prayers.

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AZ Index

See a complete A-Z List of all the stories on this website.

Featured Topic
Tagged ‘International Relations’ (10 posts)
page 1
1 The Din of Diplomacy
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
2 An Exceptional Nation
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone explains that a truly ‘exceptional nation’ respects the equality and rights of all nations.
3 Not the World’s Policeman
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
4 Guardian of Peace
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.
5 Collateral Damage
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.
6 The Jealousy of Trade
By David Hume
(1711-1776)
David Hume encourages politicians to put away their distrust of other countries, and allow free trade to flourish.
page 2
7 Kindergarten Politics
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
John Buchan didn’t think much of our ‘new manners’ in foreign policy during the 1920s.
8 The Unselfishess of Free Trade
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Victorian MP Richard Cobden pleaded for Britain to set the world an example as a nation open for business.
9 Huskisson’s Legacy
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens explains how cutting tax and regulation on Britain’s global trade made everyone better off.
10 Peace By Free Trade
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
The blessing of trade free from political interference was one of most important insights in British, indeed world history.
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Spinner

Use these words together in a single sentence:

School. Mistress. Which.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Tram’
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.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Show you know the difference between these frequently confused words.
Do you know ‘a republic in the Pyrenees’ (7 letters), and ‘shallow in sentiment’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with DOOR and finish with STEP.
Change KEEP into MOAT, one letter at a time.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with WIND and finish with CASH.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Longest Word (Letters Game) Games with Words

numbers game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic