The Spectator

27 April 2019

The Scruton tapes


High life

In praise of privacy

David Niven’s younger son Jamie, now an old man and a bit overweight, approached my table and announced that he…

Low life

The joy of scrumpy

The last time I drank a pint of it, I ended up naked and shackled in a police cell

Real life

Have I misrepresented the builder boyfriend?

Someone met the BB recently, and couldn’t believe it was him

The turf

The genius of Henry Cecil

The master trainer’s style wasn’t technical, it was instinct — and horses were his best friends



Jonathan Harris is a man of principle. He and his wife Jenny had each entered a team for the Venice…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 27 April

Something new this week, with our first-ever offer from Naked Wines, the online retailer that’s been much in the (wine)…


Venit, vidit, vicit

India is quite possibly the birthplace of chess, with the four branches of the ancient Indian army, infantry, cavalry, chariots…

Chess puzzle

no. 551

White to play. This position is a variation from Vitiugov-Duda, Prague 2019. How does White exploit the greater activity of…


Praise be

In Competition No. 3095 you were invited to submit an elegy by a poet on another poet.   The prompt…


2405: Satanic

Doc writes: welcome to Smurf as our third new compiler joining our team.  One unclued light, the heart of which…

Crossword solution

Solution to 2402: Test Pilots

BOYCOTT (24), GOWER (25), MAY (40), GRACE (2), STRAUSS (23), HAMMOND (27), CLOSE (34), and ROOT (36) have all held…

No sacred cows

What would a Corbyn victory mean for me?

Until now, I haven’t been too worried about Jeremy Corbyn. True, he exceeded expectations two years ago, but that was…


Finding hope in poetry, politics – and white Burgundy

During the Middle Ages, some of the monastic halls which evolved into Oxbridge colleges allowed their younger inmates to indulge…

The Wiki Man

In defence of inaction: why it’s usually best to do nothing

I recently came across the Small Robot Company, a British agricultural robotics start-up. Their vision is that with smart, autonomous…

Mind your language

Did ‘haggis’ steal its name from thieving magpies?

Someone on The Kitchen Cabinet remarked that sambusa, as samosa is known in Somalia, came from Arabic. Perhaps it does,…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how can I tell my chatty masseur to stop talking?

Q. Like many of his profession, Manolo, my most-proficient masseur, has the gift of the gab and maintains a garrulous…