The Spectator

20 April 2019

The way of the cross

Without Christ we would not have western values


High life

The comedy and tragedy of Trump

New York On 21 April 1980, Rosie Ruiz won the fabled Boston Marathon in record time and looked as fresh…

Low life

A moral dilemma on my freebie holiday

What should I tell people when they ask me my ‘profession’?



You’re probably familiar with the old bridge adage: ‘Never put down an 8-card suit in dummy’. If you’re lucky enough…


Carlsen the Great

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

Chess puzzle

no. 550

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

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

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

Crossword solution

to 2401: sign here please

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

No sacred cows

No mere mortal could possibly keep up with Game of Thrones

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

Spectator sport

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

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

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I stop myself procrastinating?

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

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

Mind your language

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

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

The Best of Coffee House

India should not ask Britain to apologise for the Amritsar massacre

On the afternoon of 19 April 1919, troops commanded by brigadier-general Reginald Dyer opened fire on thousands of unarmed Indian…

The Best of Coffee House

Notre Dame’s loss is too much to bear

Civilisation only ever hangs by a thread. Today one of those threads seems to have frayed, perhaps snapped. It is…

The Best of Coffee House

How Britain can make life difficult for the EU during the Brexit extension

It is not good form for the British to be awkward and obstructive. The art of the compromise was the…