Life

2394: Opening time

9 February 2019 9:00 am

The first three or four letters of eight unclued lights (including one proper name) form a set said to be…

2391: Stout and bubbly

9 February 2019 9:00 am

The LITTLE GENTLEMAN IN BLACK VELVET (4/8/16D) was a Jacobite toast to the MOLE (34) who made the molehill on…

The hypocrisy of Ken Loach’s Eurovision boycott

9 February 2019 9:00 am

The Guardian last week published a ‘we, the undersigned’ letter from 50 ‘artists of conscience’ urging the BBC to boycott…

Battle for Britain

9 February 2019 9:00 am

If England play like they did against Ireland, they’ll be formidable at the Rugby World Cup

9 February 2019 9:00 am

At the same time as England’s rugby union players delivered a magnificent hearts-of-oak performance to humble a very good Irish…

Dear Mary: How can I deal with an aggressive Big Issue seller?

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I wondered if you could advise me on a rather embarrassing situation please. I sing in my local Church…

Eclairs, cheesecake and unhappy women: Cakes & Bubbles reviewed

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Cakes & Bubbles is an unhappy woman’s restaurant. I thought it was a child’s restaurant, but I took a child…

Word of the week: Chronograms

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Jan Morris in her book Oxford enjoyed the Greek lettering on the floor of the rotunda entrance to Rhodes House,…

Credit: Photo by Alastair Grant/ WPA Pool /Getty Images

Why New York loves John Bercow

2 February 2019 9:00 am

‘The British political class has offered to the world an astounding spectacle of mendacious, intellectually limited hustlers.’ This is a…

Credit: Carlo107

What Sylvia learned at the constipation clinic

2 February 2019 9:00 am

‘The whole of my life I’ve had difficulty.’ I heard Sylvia say this through the door, which was slightly ajar.…

Credit: cdbrphotography

My old horse was tough, ferocious and violent – and I loved her as much as she loved me

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Under a blood moon, that was how Tara went down in the end. The old chestnut mare sure knew how…

Bryony Frost riding Frodon to win the BetBright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham Credit: Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

My miraculous winning streak

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Last Saturday morning, Mo Gawdat, former chief business officer at Google, was on the radio explaining his algorithm for happiness,…

Bridge

2 February 2019 9:00 am

The Norwegian Bridge Press Association’s annual prize for the best-played hand was a particularly hard-fought contest in 2018. Boye Brogeland…

Wine Club 2 February

2 February 2019 9:00 am

He will hate me saying this, but Anthony Barton — now in his late eighties — is the grand old…

A tale of two tournaments

2 February 2019 9:00 am

The start of the year sees the elite of the chess world divided between Wijk aan Zee in Holland and…

no. 539

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. This is from Howell-Bilguun, Gibraltar 2019. How can Black play for the win? Answers to me at…

Tweet beginnings

2 February 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3083 you were invited to submit a poem or a short story that begins ‘It started with…

2393: Monster Mash-up

2 February 2019 9:00 am

1D (two words) 15 10 26 né 21 died on 2 February. Most famous for 7A 37 and 14, he…

2390: Tea Shop

2 February 2019 9:00 am

The theme word is GRASS (for which the title is a cryptic clue). 1A, 1D, 6 and 37 are informers;…

An inconvenient truth: white children are underperforming everyone else in UK schools

2 February 2019 9:00 am

The Department for Education (DfE) published its finalised data on the 2018 GCSE results last week, revealing that, for the…

Battle for Britain

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Why HS2 doesn’t stand up to the test of time

2 February 2019 9:00 am

In past years, I have been a critic of HS2. I might now change my mind. One simple tweak might…

Dear Mary: Should I ever tip at a private club?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

 Q. I am an artist living in the UK and was charmed to be invited by a fellow artist, a…

Is wine an art?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Acouple of lawyers were disagreeing about a matter which could become increasingly relevant. Could a sitting president pardon himself? But…

Names, like drink, go by fashion

2 February 2019 9:00 am

‘Sounds like fun,’ said my husband, wearing a hat with the sign ‘Irony’ in its band. He had read a…