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Nos 321 to 330
John Hebden
Discovery and Invention
The Genius Next Door
William Murdoch’s experiments with steam traction impressed his next-door neighbour, with world-changing results.

AS a boy, William Murdoch built a contraption which was the talk of his hometown of Lugar in Ayrshire: the ‘wooden horse’, a tricycle propelled by handcranks, in which he would ride the two miles to Crumnock.

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No. 321
John Hebden
Discovery and Invention
The Hat that Changed the World
Young William’s hat caught the eye of Matthew Boulton, and the world was never the same again.

IN 1777, after walking there all the way from Scotland in search of work, twenty-three-year-old William Murdoch sat in the offices of the engineering firm of Boulton and Watt in Smethwick, fiddling nervously with his hat.

Matthew Boulton had to disappoint William, as the firm was not hiring, but to ease the awkwardness remarked on the hat.

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No. 322
John Garth
Tales from the Bible
The Good Samaritan
Our responsibilities are not defined by laws or borne by governments. They are defined by mercy, and borne by love.

WHEN Jesus urged his followers to ‘love thy neighbour’, he was quoting directly from Jewish law. However, a lawyer asked ‘Who is my neighbour?’, since Israel was a ferment of Jews and non-Jews living uneasily together under Roman laws.

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No. 323
Edward German
Lives of the Saints
Bread from Heaven
Cuthbert trusted that keeping his promised fast would not do him any harm.
Based on an account by Saint Bede of Jarrow
(672-735)

AT ten o’clock one morning, Cuthbert stopped off in a village, hoping to find something for his horse to eat; as it was a Friday and Cuthbert liked to fast until three, he declined all offers of food himself, though he had no idea when he might eat again.

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No. 324
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Extracts from Literature
Mr Snawley Thinks Ahead
Mr Snawley has two stepsons he would like to offload, and Mr Squeers seems just the right person to help him.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

‘EACH boy is required to bring, sir, two suits of clothes, six shirts, six pair of stockings, two nightcaps, two pocket-handkerchiefs, two pair of shoes, two hats, and a razor.’

‘A razor!’ exclaimed Mr. Snawley, as they walked into the next box. ‘What for?’

‘To shave with,’ replied Squeers, in a slow and measured tone.

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No. 325
William Boyce
Liberty and Prosperity
The Great Chessboard
If Britain is a chessboard, then politicians should remember that the ‘pieces’ are alive, and they generally play a better game.
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

THE man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.

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No. 326
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
Kate gets a Dressing-Down
Kate Nickleby must bite her lip as she experiences snobbery for the first time.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

SHE was awkward — her hands were cold — dirty — coarse — she could do nothing right; they wondered how Madame Mantalini could have such people about her; requested they might see some other young woman the next time they came; and so forth.

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No. 327
Muzio Clementi
Music and Musicians
King George III (1760-1820) to King William IV (1830-1837)
Muzio Clementi
From performance and composition to instrument-making, Clementi left his mark on British and European classical music.

PETER Beckford, on a visit to Rome in 1766, was so impressed with fourteen-year-old Muzio Clementi that he engaged him to play concerts at home in Dorset.

He also paid for his musical education, eight hours a day studying the music of Handel, Scarlatti and Bach. By 1780, Beckford’s protege was performing for Marie Antoinette in Paris.

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No. 328
John Field
Lives of the Saints
Wulfstan and the Seal of Approval
William the Conqueror’s purge of the English Church was halted by a humble bishop and a dead king.
Based on an account by Charlotte Yonge
(1823-1901)

THINKING all Saxon bishops rustic and unworthy of their sees, Archbishop Lanfranc summoned Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, to a synod in the Abbey at Westmister, and ordered him to give up his pastoral staff and ring to a better man.

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No. 329
Muzio Clementi
Greek and Roman Myths
The Sword of Damocles
A reminder that those with extreme wealth and power have everything but the peace to enjoy it.

DIONYSIUS, lord of Syracuse, listened willingly enough as Damocles praised the king’s army, the splendour of his court, and the lavish hospitality of his table. But when the gushing courtier declared that Dionysius was the happiest of men, the king stopped him.

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No. 330
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.
From our Archive
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)
Don Pedro’s brother John tries to ensure that the course of true love does not run smooth.
The leader of 5th-century BC Athens lavished public money on the city and its adoring citizens.
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(1809-1892)
For Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Christmas was a time to let the dead past bury its dead.
From ‘Letters to Lucilius’ by Seneca the Younger
(?4BC-?AD65)
The wise old philosopher had learnt that popular entertainments rot the soul.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Scrooge begs the Spirit of Christmas to tell him what will happen to Tiny Tim.

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Triplets (23)
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Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Cafe’
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 ‘a temperature scale’ (6 letters), and ‘a bit of useful advice’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with FALL and finish with RISE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.