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All Posts (665)
Nos 651 to 660
William Herschel
Discovery and Invention
Edmond Halley
Edmond Halley will forever be associated with the comet named after him, but his greatest achievement was getting Sir Isaac Newton to publish ‘Principia Mathematica’.

AT nineteen, Edmond Halley was assistant to John Flamsteed, the Astronomer Royal at the Greenwich Observatory, and at twenty-two he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his work mapping constellations and observing weather patterns on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic.

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No. 651
Charles Avison
Lives of the Saints
Roman Empire (Byzantine Era) (330 - 1453)
A Battle of Wills
Two strong and determined men refused to back down.
Based on ‘A Book of Golden Deeds’ by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

WHEN the Emperor came to the Sunday service that week (he was staying in Milan), Bishop Ambrose refused to let him in.

Theodosius reminded him that King David was a murderer and an adulterer, yet still attended the Temple in Jerusalem. 'If you have sinned like him’ replied Ambrose, ‘repent like him’.

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No. 652
2 two-part story
Charles Villiers Stanford
Stories in Short
The Man Who Would Be King
Two rascally former British soldiers in India set off to become kings of Kafiristan.
Based on the short story by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936)

TWO rascally former soldiers in the British Army, Danny Dravot and Peachey Carnehan, arrived one day in the cramped offices of a newspaper in Lahore. The sole correspondent remembered them as two fellow-freemasons, for whom he had recently done a small favour.

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No. 653
George Frideric Handel
Hans Christian Andersen
The Emperor’s New Clothes
A telling satire on fashionable thinking among the elite.
Based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen
(1805-1875)

ONCE upon a time, some weavers arrived at court, and offered to make robes so fine that only men fit for the very highest offices could even see them.

The Emperor paid them handsomely, and they set to work.

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No. 654
Elias Parish Alvars
Aesop of Samos
The Goose with the Golden Egg
Don’t get greedy when things are going well.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time, there was a villager who kept a goose. One morning he went to her nest to find an egg, and discovered that she had laid an egg of pure gold.

Immediately, a thought suggested itself. To lay a golden egg, his goose must surely be carrying around a vast lump of gold.

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No. 655
John Field
Aesop of Samos
The Debtor and his Pig
There are no lengths to which some people won’t go.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time in Athens, there was a man who was in debt, and his creditor was pressing him to repay.

His first response was to ask for an extension on his loan, as (so he said) he could not raise the money.

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No. 656
Aesop of Samos
The Crow and the Pitcher
Brute force is no substitute for quick thinking.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

AN extremely thirsty crow stumbled across a pitcher, and when she peered inside she found that it was half-filled with water.

But the neck was very narrow, and try as she might she could neither reach the water with her beak, nor summon up sufficient force to tip the pitcher on its side.

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No. 657
Muzio Clementi
Aesop of Samos
The Ape and the Fox
A valuable lesson when dealing with practised liars.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time, a fox and an ape were travelling the same road, and passed through a cemetery.

The ape waved a leathery hand towards the rows of headstones. “All these” he said “mark the last resting place of slaves given their freedom by my ancestors”.

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No. 658
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. 659
George Frideric Handel
Aesop of Samos
The Cat’s Wedding
It’s easier to change how you look than to hide who you are.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

Aphrodite felt sorry for the lovesick cat, and did indeed turn her into a very lovely young woman. Naturally, the young man immediately fell in love with her, and they were soon married.

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No. 660
Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 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.
Today in the Church
January 6 ‘English Style’ ?
The Feast of the Theophany of Jesus Christ
From our Archive
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)
A shy and unmusical stable-hand suddenly began to sing wise and moving hymns.
Based on the novel by Sir Henry Rider Haggard
(1865-1936)
Allan Quartermain goes in search of a lost tourist and a legendary hoard of diamonds.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)
For Jane Austen, the best education a father can give to his child is to befriend her.
By Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)
Cats do have a conscience: it tells them when to look innocent.
Lord Armstrong’s home was an Aladdin’s cave of Victorian technology.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (112)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Hare’
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 ‘wheedle’ (6 letters), and ‘engine-driver’s compartment’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SPIT and finish with FIRE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.