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Nos 461 to 470
Charles Villiers Stanford
Lives of the Saints
Cuthbert and the Expert Witness
A hungry monk thought he had got away with the tastiest of crimes, but St Cuthbert kept his promise to his beloved birds.
Based on the account by Reginald of Durham
(12th century)

SAINT Cuthbert loved all the birds of Inner Farne, and feared for them after he was gone. So he bequeathed to them a legacy, which is called ‘St Cuthbert’s Peace’.

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No. 461
Charles Avison
Discovery and Invention
The Tanfield Railway
Opened in 1725, the Tanfield Railway is one of the oldest railways still operating anywhere in the world.

‘TYNESIDE roads’ was the name given to a network of 17th century wooden-track railways around the North East.

One of these was opened at Lobley Hill near Gateshead in 1647, and horses trundled coal along the wagonway to Dunston staiths on the Tyne, to be loaded on collier ships.

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No. 462
2 two-part story
Sir Hubert Parry
Stories in Short
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Is an old family legend being used as a cover for a very modern murder?
Based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

THE sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville brought his nephew Henry from Canada to Baskerville Hall, on the edge of Dartmoor.

Rumours that Sir Charles had died of fright on seeing the Baskerville hound, the terror of a family ghost-story going back to the 17th century, Sir Henry brushed aside as legend.

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No. 463
Alice Mary Smith
Liberty and Prosperity
A Nation’s Wealth
It is not politicians and their policies that create wealth, but the hard work and ingenuity of ordinary people.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

HOW can protection, think you, add to the wealth of a country? Can you by legislation add one farthing to the wealth of the country?

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No. 464
2 two-part story
Ralph Vaughan Williams
British Myths and Legends
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
A knight issues a bizarre challenge to King Arthur and his court.

ONE New Year’s Eve, a knight rode into King Arthur’s hall. His clothes and armour were all green; even his skin was green.

Anyone who wished, cried the strange knight, could take one free swing at him with an axe — provided that he could then do the same in return.

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No. 465
2 two-part story
Ralph Vaughan Williams
British Myths and Legends
The Legend of Beowulf
The oldest surviving heroic legend in English begins with a wild creature of the fens that hunts men for prey.

MANY ages ago Scyld, the great King of the Danes, died. His body was committed to the sea in a great funeral ship, and the Danes did not expect to see his like again.

Among his descendants, however, was Hrothgar, a beloved leader who gathered noble men about him in his great mead-hall.

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No. 466
Henry Purcell
British Myths and Legends
How Brutus of Troy Became Britain’s First King
An early mediaeval myth linking British civilization to the Fall of Troy.

BRUTUS was a prince of Italy, and the great-grandson of Aeneas, the hero of Troy.

One day, Brutus shot his own father in a hunting accident, and fled to Greece. There he found many of his fellow Trojans, still oppressed by the Greeks who had tamed them so long before.

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No. 467
Muzio Clementi
Music and Musicians
‘God Save the King!’
The simple melody of the United Kingdom’s national anthem has stirred the souls of some great composers.

THE acclamation ‘God Save the King’ has been sung at every English coronation since Edgar in 973, but the song known today as the national anthem of the United Kingdom is much more recent, appearing for the first time in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ of 1745.

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No. 468
Ignaz Moscheles
History of Israel
King George V (1910-1936) to King George VI (1936-1952)
The Balfour Declaration of 1917
The former Prime Minister threw his weight behind a national home for Jewish people in their historic lands.

AFTER the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, the region known then as Syria came under British control through the ‘Mandate for Palestine’.

The Mandate drew on the so-called ‘Balfour Declaration’ of 1917, a letter, dated 2nd November, from government minister Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, a leading London banker and former MP for Aylesbury.

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No. 469
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lives of the Saints
St Dwynwen
St Dwynwen was a 5th century princess regarded by some as Wales’s answer to St Valentine.

DWYNWEN, daughter of Brychan, king of Brecon, fell in love with Maelon, a man of royal blood. Some say that Brychan had other plans for her, and forbade their marriage; others say that Maelon forced himself on her, and broke her heart. Dwynwen prayed to forget him.

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No. 470
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
Gideon is chosen by God to save Israel from the Midianites, but doubts his fitness for the task.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
By George Santayana
(1863-1952)
George Santayana had the chance to observe our national character at the height of Empire.
Snaring a wild boar turns out to be much less dangerous than keeping centaurs away from their wine.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens tells the story of King Henry II and the enchantingly beautiful Rosamund Clifford.

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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 ‘Rapid Transit’
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 ‘complaint’ (4 letters), and ‘be the right size and shape for a space’ (3 letters)?
Change ROCK into SALT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.