The Spectator

20 January 2018 Aus


High life

Taki: In praise of French women

I spent the better part of two sunny days indoors writing about authenticity for a Greek magazine, a strange subject…

Low life

Jeremy Clarke: The power of ‘Bonjour’

In France, or in Provence at least, polite rule number one is to say hello. You must offer a distinct…

Real life

Melissa Kite: The death of humour

A vet has accused me of a ‘hate crime’ for making a joke about vets. On the basis that everything…

The turf

Why I’ll chain myself to an earthmover at Kempton Park

I have never been one for system betting but one little piece of guidance returns to my mind at the…



The first home tournament of 2018 was last week’s four-day European Open Trials. Ten selected pairs played 216 boards at…


Willing to wound

‘Willing to wound and yet afraid to strike,’ wrote Alexander Pope about Atticus. Those lines more or less describe the…

Chess puzzle

no. 489

White to play. This position is from O. Howell-Pickersgill, Hastings 2017/18. White now terminated proceedings abruptly. What was the key move?…


Rude food

In Competition No. 3031 you were invited to provide a review by a restaurant critic that is tediously loaded with…


2342: Decorative

Two unclued lights are terms for the same style. One, consisting of two words, forms a cryptic indication of each…

Christmas Crossword


A beastly business The quote is 1A/92/18D from the poem ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. The theme was the names…

No sacred cows

Why my pet dog Leo had to go

Readers may recall that the Young family welcomed a new addition to the household about two years ago: a Hungarian…

The Wiki Man

A nice, cuddly NHS would be bad for us

Recently the NHS postponed a large number of non-urgent operations to cope with what is known as the ‘annual winter…

Dear Mary

Mary solves your problems: How can I get over my smartphone separation anxiety?

Q. I will be 80 in March and all my friends will expect to be asked to the celebration. My…


Is the great vintage of 2015 retreating into itself

We were pondering the relationship between military history and wine vintages. It is extraordinary to think that the French managed…

Mind your language

Where does Donald Trump’s new favourite word come from?

In Polite Conversation, Jonathan Swift presents dialogues made up of clichés, banalities and catchphrases. When Miss Notable makes a remark…