The Spectator

23 March 2019 Aus


High life

I’m back in New York: the city that’s perennially offended

New York   Goodbye, snow-capped peaks; hello, swampy brown East River. So long, fresh alpine air; greetings to choking diesel…

Low life

After ten weeks spent caring for my mother, I had to relearn the art of conversation

I said my goodbyes and went outside with my trolley bag to wait for the taxi. While waiting, I looked…

Real life

Professional villagers won’t rest until they have eliminated mud from the countryside

‘Don’t touch anything sharp. Don’t saw anything or drill anything or sand anything,’ said the builder boyfriend as he left…



It’s exceptionally rare to pick up an 11-card suit. You might think it would happen at least once in a…


Family silver

The World Team Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan, finished last week with a victory for Russia but with an outstanding team…

Chess puzzle

no. 546

Black to play. This position is from Sasikiran-McShane, Astana 2019. Black’s queen is attacked, his knight is vulnerable and b7…


The big reveal

In Competition No. 3090 you were invited to submit a recently discovered lost poem by a well-known poet that makes…


2400: Unclued

All unclued entries are, unusually, not all unclued; all are different and there are no proper nouns. A repeated cryptic…

Crossword solution

to 2397: Obit V

Albert Finney, a fine ACTOR (13), died on 7 February 2019. His legacy includes SATURDAY NIGHT (10) and SUNDAY MORNING…


Farringdon’s Quality Chop House is macabre, but at least it has character

I love the drug of television, which is slightly less awful than the drug of social media because the conversation…

Mind your language

Does a dark lantern give out light?

‘Does a dark lantern give out black light?’ asked my husband as if in delirium. He was reading a book…

No sacred cows

Why the LGBT health panel isn’t diverse enough

On Monday, the government announced that Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Women and Equalities as well as the Secretary of…

Spectator sport

How Scotland humiliated England in the Six Nations

Outside the rugby superhighway of the A316, linking Richmond, Rosslyn Park, the Quins and HQ, it’s hard to imagine anyone…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how do I stop a man making lewd comments?

Q. My wife’s closest friend and her husband visit us every couple of months or so. Without fail he will…