The Spectator

13 July 2019

The ties that bind

Can Boris Johnson forge a brand-new transatlantic alliance?


High life

Coco Gauff won fair and square, but she played terrible tennis

Martina Navratilova has never been shy about telling it like it is. She came out when other athletes were hiding…

Low life

Tuscany’s killer climate

As my engine died, a thunderclap exploded overhead and I noticed that I was freezing cold and soaked to the skin

Real life

Not going to the osteopath cured me

Instead I resorted to the power of conventional medicine – and it worked



All high-level bridge tournaments involve playing with screens placed diagonally across the table — and there are numerous rules to…


Howard Staunton

Staunton was the most successful British player of all time, winning three matches against European masters in the 1840s which…

Chess puzzle

no. 562

White to play. This is from Wassin-Grigorchuk, Izola 2019. Although the game is only just out of the opening, White…



In Competition No. 3106 you were invited to submit a poem with an ingenious twist at the end. This challenge,…


2416: Silence

The unclued lights share a common feature at least once, different in each case.   Across 7    Liechtenstein test about…

Crossword solution

to 2413: Sign here please

The unclued lights are EPISCOPAL SIGNATURES  First prize Jason James, CambridgeRunners-up K.M. Robb, Borrowstounness, West Lothian; McNeill, Belfast

No sacred cows

I love Boris for not firing me when I wrote a play about his sex life

Fourteen years ago, almost to the day, Lloyd Evans and I received a note from Boris. It was the press…

Spectator sport

What the new generation of tennis players could learn from Rocket Rod Laver

A chum was in Waitrose a year or two back, and was bending down with some difficulty to look at…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I stop men sending me articles from the Guardian?

Q. It is difficult to know what to do when homeless people ask you for cash as you are leaving…


The devil eats Prada: Patisserie Marchesi 1824 reviewed

The Prada Café is both a cake shop and a historical inevitability. It sits on Mount Street, almost opposite the…

Mind your language

The Lib Dems are wrong – it’s ‘ballocks’ to Brexit

I agree with James Joyce on the spelling ballocks. The Liberal Democrats made their MEPs wear T-shirts printed with ‘Bollocks…