The Spectator

15 September 2018

All battle, no plan

The divisions within the Tory party are dangerously complex


High life

My faux pas at the Duke of Beaufort’s bash

A letter from a reader in South Africa mentions that the writer’s father insisted a white dinner jacket was permissible…

Low life

Back from the brink

Three and a half years on, there Catriona was, at the head of the table, exuding joy from every pore

Real life

I was hounded by a canine sex pest

And the owner made no attempt to save me



I think my regular reader(s) would agree that I have been rather low-key about my bridge abilities of late. Defence…


Caruana chronicles

In the run-up to the Carlsen-Caruana World Championship match set for London in November, I will be previewing their prospects.…

Chess puzzle

no. 523

Black to play. This position is from Potkin-Caruana, Dagomys 2010. How did Caruana finish off with a flourish? Answers to…


All’s well that ends well

In Competition No. 3065 you were invited to supply a happy ending for a well-known play, poem or novel.  …


2376: Somewhere XI

On 15 September somewhere bordered by 31 and 5, and whose capital is 40/10 (ignore an accent), celebrates its 43…

Crossword solution

to 2373: Susurrus

The theme was The Wind in the Willows (suggested by the title). RATTY defined 9, 13 and 22; MOLE defined 7,…

No sacred cows

Dr Toby’s booze advice: the better the wine, the less bad it is for you

I don’t hold out much hope for Drink Free Days, a new campaign launched by Public Health England and the…

The Wiki Man

Silicon Valley’s weird ideas on how to improve human life

Which is more diverse: London or Devon? That’s not a trick question. London is much more diverse than Devon. But…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: I had £300 stolen while at a friend’s house. Should I tell them?

Q. Following a small dinner last night in a private house, I got home to find £300 missing from my…


My host’s reciprocity was almost embarrassingly generous

Peace came dropping slow. I have never regarded west Flanders as part of la France profonde, but here we were,…

Mind your language

The origin and nature of teacakes

The Sunday Telegraph has been running a correspondence on the origin and nature of teacakes. One reader averred that in…

The Best of Coffee House

Serena Williams isn’t the victim of sexism – she’s just a sore loser

Serena Williams’s epic tantrum in last night’s US Open final wasn’t a noble stand against racism or sexism. It wasn’t…

The Best of Coffee House

The new Swedish lesson: populism can be kept at bay by listening to voters

The world’s press was all geared up to write “Rabble-rousing Sweden Democrat breakthrough” but Sweden’s voters have not obliged. The…

The Best of Coffee House

Why an insurgent Remain could win a second vote

Cold calculation suggests there won’t be a second referendum. It could destroy both the Tory and Labour parties, and in…