Life

My feud with Conrad Black

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Goody goody gumdrops! The Donald has pardoned Lord Black and I couldn’t be happier. Conrad got a bum deal and…

Banana leaf, wood-effect on knitted? Choosing my mother’s coffin

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The mental fruit of yet another sleepless night was that my mother was determined to arrange her funeral as quickly…

My little lodger has been stolen from me

25 May 2019 9:00 am

‘Farewell then, little lodger. I wish you would stay for ever but I understand that girls in their early twenties…

In praise of older horses – and their trainers

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Newbury is as fair a test for a racehorse as you can get with its galloping track and a wide-open…

Bridge

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Simon Gillis coined a term to describe his disappointment when he sits himself out to allow four of his professionals…

Goring the gambit

25 May 2019 9:00 am

One of the most irritating defences to meet when playing 1 d4 as White is the Benko Gambit (1 d4…

no. 555

25 May 2019 9:00 am

White to play. This position is from Dubov-Giri, Moscow 2019. How did White conclude with a fine blow that forced…

Animal magic

25 May 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3099 you were invited to dream up an imaginary animal that is a hybrid of two existing…

2409: Crosswords

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The unclued lights are of a kind, including one hyphened, all confirmed in Chambers except for 8 across, which is…

to 2406: Heptad

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The group is ‘Les Nabis’ (anagram of ALBINESS (18)). Its members were VALLOTTON, DENIS, ROUSSEL, RANSON, SÉRUSIER, BONNARD and VUILLARD.…

How paranoia has infected our politics

25 May 2019 9:00 am

The politics professor Matthew Goodwin made an interesting observation on Twitter this week. He pointed out that many of the…

Could my slogan have swayed the Brexit vote?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

People sometimes ask what slogan could have swayed the Brexit vote: the opposite of the touchstone phrase ‘Take back control’.…

Dear Mary: What should I do when my host won’t serve the champagne I brought?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. Was I right to feel aggrieved when, having contributed a bottle of fine champagne to a small supper party,…

Debunking the Greek wine myth

25 May 2019 9:00 am

A book, a bottle, a bower set in an ancient garden: you think that if you walked round the right…

Why is a book like a sarcophagus?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

‘Is it like a packet of fags?’ asked my husband, less annoyingly than usual, but still in some confusion. I…

The death of New York’s nightlife

18 May 2019 9:00 am

New York   This is my last week in the Bagel and I’m going to give it the old college…

Now that Brexit’s been cancelled I’m moving to the Dordogne

18 May 2019 9:00 am

‘When you are in a hole stop digging. Have you never heard that?’ I asked the builder boyfriend, as he…

Bridge

18 May 2019 9:00 am

The Spring Fours in Stratford-upon-Avon — perhaps the most prestigious event in the English calendar — was as enjoyable as…

Ivory gates

18 May 2019 9:00 am

This year’s Grand Chess Tour kicked off in the Ivory Coast with a significant innovation, the first ever tournament in…

no. 554

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. This is from Topalov-Carlsen, Côte d’Ivoire 2019. How did the world champion finish off? Answers to me…

Verse and reverse

18 May 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3098 you were invited to submit a poem that can be read forwards and backwards, i.e. from…

2408: End of the line

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Unclued lights name a man born on 18 May; his position; his son; and (singly or correctly paired, two of…

to 2405: Satanic

18 May 2019 9:00 am

DEVILS at 33D (its ‘essence’ is ‘EVIL’) is linked with ‘Malevolence’ (13) and ‘Roguish’ (19) and Devil’s CANDLESTICK (1), ON…

In defence of British landowners (and the truth about grouse moors)

18 May 2019 9:00 am

I was surprised to read the article by Ben Macdonald in last week’s Spectator urging Britain’s grouse moor owners to…