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Nos 621 to 630
George Frideric Handel
Music and Musicians
Zadok the Priest
Handel’s anthem sets to glorious music words sung at English coronations for over a thousand years.
Music by George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)

KING George II was crowned King of Great Britain in Westminster Abbey on October 11th, 1727.

At the moment of his anointing, an anthem was sung which had been used at this point in the ceremony ever since the coronation of King Edgar and Queen Ælfthryth in 973, at the hands of St Dunstan (who also compiled the service).

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No. 621
2 two-part story
Malcolm Arnold
British Myths and Legends
The Lambton Worm
Part One. John Lambton goes fishing on a Sunday, and lets loose all kinds of trouble.

ONE Sunday morning, John, the young heir of Lambton Hall, skipped Mass and went fishing in the Wear. No good could come of that, and no good did.

That morning, he hooked only an ugly-looking worm, tossed it with disgust down a well, and promptly forgot about it.

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No. 622
Franz Liszt
Miscellaneous Myths
William Tell
A classic tale from Switzerland of overbearing authority and a father with a very steady hand.

GOVERNOR Gessler had the bright idea of putting his hat on a pole in the prosperous town of Altdorf, and ordering every passer-by to bow respectfully before it.

After William Tell and his son walked by the hat without so much as a nod, Gessler’s men arrested them and brought them before the Governor.

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No. 623
Elias Parish Alvars
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles at the Crossroads
The gods had given Heracles every grace of body and mind, but there was one thing he must do for himself: choose how to use them.

HERACLES’S stepfather Amphitryon trained his boy in all the warlike arts, and did not forget music and letters.

But knowledge does not always confer wisdom, and after Heracles, blinded by rage, had killed his over-critical music tutor with a single blow, he took himself deep into the forest to think.

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No. 624
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. 625
2 two-part story
Muzio Clementi
Stories in Short
The Story of ‘Oliver Twist’
Fate and a vicious professional thief named Fagin conspire to trap orphan Oliver Twist into a life of crime.
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

OLIVER TWIST was an orphan from birth, and left in the unsympathetic care of a government Workhouse.

As soon as he was old enough, he was sent to work for an undertaker, a miserable existence from which he escaped by running away to London.

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No. 626
2 two-part story
John Marsh
Greek and Roman Myths
The Hunt for the Wild Boar of Calydon
Artemis, goddess of the hunt, pursued a bitter and relentless vengeance upon a king who carelessly slighted her.

WHEN Meleager, son of Oeneus, king of Calydon, was born, the Fates whispered that his life would last no longer than a chip of wood upon the nursery fire. Overhearing them, his mother Althaea sprang to the fire and doused it, locking what remained safely in a chest.

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No. 627
2 two-part story
Stories in Short
The Selfish Cat
A tortoiseshell laments his hard life among heartless humans.
Based on a story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)

“IT’S not every trade that deserves to have a cat about the place” said the tortoiseshell cat to the grey one.

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No. 628
George Frideric Handel
Greek and Roman Myths
Hephaestus and the Love Net
When he caught his wife with her lover, the ugly blacksmith of the gods showed that he was not without his pride.

APHRODITE was not pleased at being married off by Zeus to the ugly blacksmith, and took comfort in the arms of Ares, god of war. Helios the sun-god saw it, and told Hephaestus, who stomped off to his workshop to brood.

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No. 629
Sir Hubert Parry
Stories in Short
Too Clever By Half
Mrs Tabby White thought she’d try some of the clever things her humans did.
Based on a short story by Edith Nesbit
(1858-1924)

MRS Tabby White’s kittens thought their mother was the cleverest mother in the world.

She washed them and caught mice for them and taught them how to creep up on unwary things.

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No. 630
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
By William Wordsworth
(1770-1850)
God’s covenant of love is a fresh joy every time it appears.
An enterprising knight rids the Bishop of Durham of a troublesome boar, but the price comes as a shock to his lordship.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Oliver was elected as the unwilling spokesman for all the hungry children.
By Thomas Babington Macaulay
(1800-1859)
A young Robert Clive’s extraordinary daring helped to prevent India falling into the hands of the French King.
A princess covets the belt of a warrior-queen, so Heracles is despatched to get it for her.

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History (406)
Polywords (183)
Georgian Era (111)
Fiction (84)
Quickwords (46)
Doublets (34)
Railways (23)
Triplets (23)
Stuart Era (17)
Tudor Era (11)
Adam Smith (10)
Polyword ‘Forewarned’
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 ‘conclusive evidence’ (5 letters), and ‘perceptive realisation’ (6 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with WIND and finish with CASH.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.