Life

I dream of my perfect state: Sparta

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Gstaad It was nostalgia time at Prince Victor Emmanuel’s birthday party here, with many old friends reminiscing about our youthful…

The vomit-cleaners of YouTube

24 February 2018 9:00 am

My hangover was what the great Kingsley Amis describes in his Everyday Drinking guide as a ‘metaphysical’ hangover. Apart from…

I can’t live without Jane Fonda

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Everything since the ZX Spectrum has pretty much left me cold. Ghetto blasters, Sony Walkmans, CDs, Apple Macs, iPods, PlayStations……

Bridge

24 February 2018 9:00 am

It’s nice being part of a community. That’s how bridge is: over the years, you get to know, or recognise,…

Another Troy

24 February 2018 9:00 am

One of the sharpest lines in the Ruy Lopez (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 f5) is widely…

no. 494

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Black to play. This position is from Drozdowski-Tay, chess.com 2014. Black played 1 … Qg6 which was good enough to…

On the way out

24 February 2018 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3036 you were invited to provide a resignation letter in the style of a well-known author. I…

2347: Capital letters

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Each of the eight unclued lights is a series of letters in alphabetical order which can be formed into eight…

to 2344: I’m away

24 February 2018 9:00 am

The unclued lights can be preceded by or followed by the unclued word DOCTOR, which explains why I (Doc) am…

My children have turned my weight loss into the Stanford prison experiment

24 February 2018 9:00 am

I’ve become obsessed with my BMI. For those of you who don’t know, it stands for body mass index and…

The Battle for Britain

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Hate the Winter Olympics? Here’s why you’re wrong

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Despite the best efforts of this column (and the BBC), too many Brits regard the Winter Olympics with the same…

Dear Mary: how can we dissuade friends from visiting when one of us is ill?

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Q. Obviously one is delighted to have visits from close friends and family when one’s spouse is ailing, but how…

A Soho steak house that used to be a pornographic cinema: Sophie’s reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

Sophie’s lives in an old pornographic cinema at the south end of Great Windmill Street, Soho. It is opposite McDonald’s…

From Jeeves to Johnson: language and literary references in Boris’s speech

24 February 2018 9:00 am

In Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves, Bertie is moved to reward his inestimable valet for solving the unsolvable. Before requesting the…

Taki: My #MeToo moment

17 February 2018 9:00 am

#MeToo! It happened right here, in Gstaad, last week. A man in his mid-fifties, about six foot tall and 165lb,…

Even the BBC’s recipes are politically correct

17 February 2018 9:00 am

I’m cooking almost full-time for my poor old Mum and learning on the job: shepherd’s pie, roast pork, cauliflower cheese.…

I’ve faked my own iPhone death

17 February 2018 9:00 am

After much thought, I am toying with the idea of faking my own death. I mean in a virtual sense,…

What makes a champion jockey?

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Write a few books and you have to listen politely at parties as people who have never opened yours tell…

Bridge

17 February 2018 9:00 am

August 2015 will be remembered as a landmark for World Bridge. There had long been talk among bridge players about…

Wine Club 17 February

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Dry January must have heightened my senses. Or maybe I’m simply craving alcohol. Either way, I’m pretty chuffed with this…

Knight outriders

17 February 2018 9:00 am

A good rule of thumb is to avoid sending off knights to excursions at the edge of the board, where…

no. 493

17 February 2018 9:00 am

White to play. This position is from Capablanca-Fonaroff, New York 1918. Once again there is a knight on h6. What…

That lovin’ feeling

17 February 2018 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3035 you were invited to provide a poem entitled ‘The Love Song of [insert name of a…

2346: The name of the game

17 February 2018 9:00 am

The unclued entries (two hyphened) are all synonyms. Each of five clues contains a word that must be removed to…