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Posts tagged Fiction (84)
Nos 71 to 80
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Jan Ladislav Dussek
Extracts from Literature
A King-Sized Conspiracy
Rudolf Rassendyll is on holiday in Ruritania when he stumbles across a plot by the King’s brother to steal the crown.
By Anthony Hope
(1863-1933)

FOR a moment or two we were all silent; then Sapt, knitting his bushy grey brows, took his pipe from his mouth and said to me:

“As a man grows old he believes in Fate. Fate sent you here. Fate sends you now to Strelsau.”

I staggered back, murmuring “Good God!”

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No. 71
John Field
Extracts from Literature
The Insect on the Leaf
Scrooge begs the Spirit of Christmas to tell him what will happen to Tiny Tim.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

“I SEE a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

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No. 72
Extracts from Literature
The Footprints at the Gate
What Dr Mortimer saw beside the body of Sir Charles Baskerville sent him hastily to London, to consult Sherlock Holmes.
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930)

“FINALLY I carefully examined the body, which had not been touched until my arrival. Sir Charles lay on his face, his arms out, his fingers dug into the ground, and his features convulsed with some strong emotion to such an extent that I could hardly have sworn to his identity.

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No. 73
Muzio Clementi
Extracts from Literature
The Tide of Popularity
First impressions prove to be quite misleading in the case of handsome, disagreeable Mr Darcy.
By Jane Austen
(1775-1817)

MR. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion.

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No. 74
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Extracts from Literature
‘Please Sir, I Want Some More!’
Oliver was elected as the unwilling spokesman for all the hungry children.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

A COUNCIL was held; lots were cast who should walk up to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist.

The evening arrived; the boys took their places.

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No. 75
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. 76
2 two-part story
Richard Jones
Stories in Short
The Birds
Two men fed up with Athenian politics decide to build a city in the sky.
Based on the play by Aristophanes
(c. 445-386 BC)

TWO men from Athens, that cradle of democracy, were fed up with the childish politicking and squabbles about laws.

Imagine, said Pisthetaerus to his friend Euelpides, that we were birds! We could build ourselves a city in the sky, and get away from it all.

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No. 77
Extracts from Literature
Angel Cat
Cats do have a conscience: it tells them when to look innocent.
By Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)

“ONLY this morning I was watching that tortoise-shell of yours on the houseboat. She was creeping along the roof, behind the flower-boxes, stalking a young thrush that had perched upon a coil of rope. Murder gleamed from her eye, assassination lurked in every twitching muscle of her body.

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No. 78
Extracts from Literature
Typical Cat!
When a cat comes into your life, resistance is futile.
By P. G. Wodehouse
(1881-1975)

BY the end of the second day he was conveying the impression that he was the real owner of the apartment, and that it was due to his good nature that Elizabeth was allowed the run of the place.

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No. 79
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. 80
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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
For a perennial ‘runner-up’, Eratosthenes had a peculiar knack of being first.
By Cynewulf
(8th century)
Cynewulf reflects on the mystery of the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary.
By Samuel Smiles
(1812-1904)
Samuel Smiles shows us two great achievements inspired by two tiny creatures.
By James Boswell
(1740-1795)
A literary man tries to trick Samuel Johnson into an honest opinion, which was neither necessary nor very rewarding.
The Normans conquered England in 1066, and the country would never be the same again.

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Polyword ‘Field’
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 ‘part of a fish’ (3 letters), and ‘heart of the matter’ (3 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with SEED and finish with GROW.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.