The Spectator


High life

Boris is the only one who can save the Tories

A lady once offered to go to bed with me if I could ensure that she would write The Spectator’s…

Low life

The joy of my local paper

As usual I go downstairs at five o’clock in the morning and into the dining room, which now serves as…

Real life

My planning permission hell

When is planning permission for four loft windows actually planning permission for two? Or simultaneously vice versa? It’s a very…



Bridge is such a complex, multi-layered game that a single hand can be approached in myriad ways, depending on the…


Morse and Lewis

The Isle of Lewis chess pieces are one of the proudest possessions of the British Museum and also the National Museum…

Chess puzzle

no. 558

White to play. This position is a variation from Ding Liren-So, Stavanger 2019. White could continue the attack with 1…


Fan mail

In Competition No. 3102 you were invited to submit a fan letter from one well-known person from the field of…


2412: Transponders

It is the centenary of a daring feat. Unclued lights (two of two words) include two surnames, two locations (two…

Crossword solution

to 2409: Crosswords

The unclued lights are all hybrid animals whose names are formed by combining the names of the two original animals.…

No sacred cows

It’s a scandal that the BBC can still tax anyone who owns a TV

If I were a pensioner, I’d be a bit miffed by the BBC’s decision to end the policy of giving…

Spectator sport

The timing of Channel 4’s cricket highlights show is an outrage

Hardly any men can hit a tennis ball on clay better than Dominic Thiem. Unfortunately he ran into one who…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Is it ever acceptable to blow my own trumpet?

Q. A friend of 30 years moved abroad three years ago. He then was diagnosed with throat cancer but mercifully…


An alternate reality in Heathrow’s Terminal 5: Fortnum & Mason reviewed

I am obsessed with Fortnum & Mason, and the jams of the England that never was but could be. It…

Mind your language

How many words were coined by Thomas Browne?

‘How many words will you use today, first used by Thomas Browne in the 17th century?’ asked a trailer on…