Life

Carlsen the Great

20 April 2019 9:00 am

I cannot conceal the feeling over the years of Magnus Carlsen’s leading position at the head of world chess, that…

no. 550

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Black to play. This position is a variation from Navara-Carlsen, Shamkir 2019. What is Black’s only winning move? Answers to…

That way madness lies

20 April 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3094 you were invited to submit a ‘Sonnet Found in a Deserted Mad House’. G.K. Chesterton once…

2404: 1+2 = 3+4

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The unclued lights (one of two words) share a feature, different in each case, and one is a past participle.…

to 2401: sign here please

20 April 2019 9:00 am

The unclued lights are ACCENTS or DIACRITICAL SIGNS and any appearing on letters in the grid had to be ignored.  First…

No mere mortal could possibly keep up with Game of Thrones

20 April 2019 9:00 am

By the time you read this, James Delingpole and I will have made our first podcast in 596 days. That’s…

The Battle for Britain

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, master of the seas and model Englishman

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Something very odd happened on the Today programme the other morning. Amid the mountains of bombast that usually fill the…

Dear Mary: how can I stop myself procrastinating?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am not a professional writer but on the strength of a short piece I contributed to a Festschrift…

The ideal restaurant for the mythical Spectator reader: Bellamy’s reviewed

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Bellamy’s is a Franco-Belgian brasserie in Bruton Place, a dim alley in the charismatic part of Mayfair; the part that…

Epics are hard and dull – but today’s are ‘great’ and ‘nice’

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Spoiler alert: in Henry Fielding’s play Tom Thumb, the hero is swallowed by a cow ‘of larger than the usual…

My advice to men and women

13 April 2019 9:00 am

OK chaps, keep your hands where people can see them, and don’t touch. And try not to look. Soon that…

I took Oscar to Provence - in business class!

13 April 2019 9:00 am

In the Easter holidays, plus two school days, for which his mother will be fined or, as a serial offender,…

I will never, ever, vote Conservative again

13 April 2019 9:00 am

With very little expectation they would care, I sent an email to Mole Valley Conservatives. It always amuses me, that…

The Grand National is one of the great days out

13 April 2019 9:00 am

If you’ve never been to a Grand National and are approaching an age when it is appropriate to list ten…

Bridge

13 April 2019 9:00 am

When did International Women’s Day become an official fixture? I have never been aware of it before this year and…

Wine Club 13 April

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Everyone loves the wines of Villa Maria. Its so-called Private Bin range is hugely reliable and, heaven knows, I’ve drunk…

Be prepared

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Last week I wrote about Cyrus Lakdawala’s new book, which provides an aggressive repertoire based on the solid move 1…

no. 549

13 April 2019 9:00 am

White to play. This is from Gukesh-Paramzina, Sharjah 2019. Twelve-year-old Gukesh is the second youngest grandmaster of all time (behind…

Write of passage

13 April 2019 9:00 am

In Competition No. 3093 you were invited to submit an extract from a novel that chronicles the adult life of…

2403: Hexad

13 April 2019 9:00 am

The second and fourth letters of six unclued lights (defined by surplus single words in six clues) form a set…

to 2400: Unclued

13 April 2019 9:00 am

The preamble suggests that unclued entries are partial anagrams of UNCLUED. The ‘repeated cryptic clue (= anagram of CLUE)’ ‘fixes…

Penny Mordaunt at a meeting of think tank Onward (Getty)

Being ‘down with the kids’ has turned the Tories into a laughing stock

13 April 2019 9:00 am

The news that 83 per cent of Conservative voters are over 45, compared to 53 per cent of Labour voters,…

The Battle for Britain

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Slow road marking on a country road

The consequences of the new EU car speed limit

13 April 2019 9:00 am

A once famous question posed to job-seekers at Microsoft was ‘Why are manhole covers round?’ The question was revealing not…