All Posts (649)
Nos 81 to 90
Malcolm Arnold
Sport History
Hooked
The great British public leaves a German tourist speechless during a county match at the Oval in London.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“TO begin with, I was much astounded at the enormous seating area of the ground, and at the huge crowd that was assembled to watch eleven men from Nottingham play at bat and ball against eleven men of Surrey.”

Continue reading
No. 81
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Sport History
A Many-Chorded Lyre
Stylish batting in cricket is about variety, invention and frankly anything that works, and we have Dr W.G. Grace to thank for it.
By Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar
(1872-1933)

“BEFORE W. G. batsmen were of two kinds, — a batsman played a forward game or he played a back game. Each player, too, seems to have made a specialty of some particular stroke. The criterion of style was, as it were, a certain mixed method of play. It was bad cricket to hit a straight ball; as for pulling a slow long-hop, it was regarded as immoral.

Continue reading
No. 82
2 two-part story
Johannes Brahms
Extracts from Literature
The Convert
Victorian cat-lover Harrison Weir launches into his favourite subject, but finds his audience growing restive.
By Harrison Weir
(1824-1906)

“STOP,” said my friend, “I see you do like cats, and I do not, so let the matter drop.”

“No,” said I, “not so. That is why I instituted this Cat Show; I wish every one to see how beautiful a well-cared-for cat is, and how docile, gentle, and — may I use the term? — cossetty. Come with me, my dear old friend, and see the first Cat Show.”

Continue reading
No. 83
Louise Farrenc
Character and Conduct
A Very Special Correspondent
Pauline de Meulan’s magazine Publiciste was close to going out of business when an anonymous contributor stepped in.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)

THE circumstances connected with M Guizot's courtship and marriage are curious and interesting.

While a young man living by his pen in Paris, writing books, reviews, and translations, he formed a casual acquaintance with Mademoiselle Pauline de Meulan, a lady of great ability, then editor of the Publiciste.

Continue reading
No. 84
2 two-part story
Edward Elgar
Extracts from Literature
A Curious Incident
Sherlock Holmes has been engaged to find a missing thoroughbred, but seems more interested in some lame sheep and an idle dog.
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

“I MUST say that I am rather disappointed in our London consultant,” said Colonel Ross, bluntly, as my friend left the room. “I do not see that we are any further than when he came.”

“At least you have his assurance that your horse will run,” said I.

Continue reading
No. 85
John Playford
Lives of the Saints
Taste and See
Wonder spread through a Tyneside monastery after Bishop Cuthbert asked for a drink of water.

AFTER Cuthbert and one of his priests had been on a tour of the remote villages of Northumbria’s high ground, they lodged at the monastery at South Shields, governed by Abbess Verca. They were kindly received by the community, and following an excellent meal Cuthbert was offered something to drink.

Continue reading
No. 86
2 two-part story
William Herschel
Modern History
Mir Kasim
The East India Company installed Mir Kasim as Nawab of Bengal, only to find that he had a mind of his own.

AFTER the Battle of Plassey in 1757, the East India Company rewarded Mir Jafar for his betrayal of Siraj-ud-Daulah by creating him Nawab of Bengal in Siraj’s place.* Jafar, however, failed to fulfil his promises of large payments from his Treasury once in power, and when his son-in-law Kasim offered to do better, the Company gave him Jafar’s throne.

Continue reading
No. 87
6 six-part story
Edward Elgar
Tales from the Bible
Joseph and the Coat of Many Colours
Joseph’s brothers decide they have had enough of their rival in their father’s affections.

JOSEPH was the favourite among the twelve sons of Jacob, and the others resented it.

They resented the coat of many colours which Jacob had given him, and above all they resented Joseph’s recurrent dreams in which they bowed low before him.

Continue reading
No. 88
Charles Villiers Stanford
Character and Conduct
Dr Johnson and the Critic’s Ambush
A literary man tries to trick Samuel Johnson into an honest opinion, which was neither necessary nor very rewarding.
By James Boswell
(1740-1795)

AT this time the controversy concerning the pieces published by Mr James Macpherson, as translations of Ossian, was at its height. Johnson had all along denied their authenticity; and, what was still more provoking to their admirers, maintained that they had no merit.

Continue reading
No. 89
Liberty and Prosperity
The Economic Case for Sovereignty
A nation with its own laws and a strong sense of shared cultural identity makes good economic sense.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

EVERY individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to the society.

Continue reading
No. 90
Polywords (182)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Path
Added on Monday December 11th, 2017
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 History
1878 The death of Alfred Bird, Birmingham pharmacist and confectioner
From our Archive
The most brilliant violinist of his generation, whose finely-crafted compositions showed off bravura and spoke tenderness.
An English monk warned of a flaw in the world’s most widely-used calendar.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
The colourful Foreign Secretary humbly accepted a lesson in manners from a local tradesman.
Persian star-gazers hasten to Israel for the birth of a royal heir, but find that King Herod has had his fill of them.
Zeus employs a little psychology to effect a reunion with his offended wife.

A to Z Index

Top Topics
History (394)
Polywords (182)
Georgian Era (107)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Triplets (23)
Railways (23)
Stuart Era (16)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Signal’
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 ‘outrage, public disgrace’ (7 letters), and ‘King David of Israel’s third wife’ (7 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FOAL and finish with MARE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.