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The Spectator

21 September 2019

Who governs?

Over-mighty courts are bad for democracy

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High life

Why I prefer cows to humans

Gstaad   The cows are coming down, the cows are coming down, and I’m off to the Bagel. My Swiss…

Low life

Semi-recluse (me) seeks dilapidated cottage on Dartmoor to rent

So now I must find somewhere else to put my books and live sometimes. Dartmoor, I thought: one of the…

Real life

What Brexiteers can teach Remoaners about good manners

If Leavers really were yobs, we’d already have left the EU by now



The bridge world championships are underway in Wuhan in China, and I’m obsessively following the action online. Fortunately it’s taking…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 21 September

One of the jolliest of our recent Spectator Winemaker Lunches was that hosted by Maria Urrutia, fifth–generation director of the…


Adopt a hero

I am often asked which players I admire most and which grandmasters, writers and champions exerted the most influence on…

Chess puzzle

No. 572

White to play. This is from Nguyen-Alekseenko, Khanty-Mansiysk 2019. White’s queen and rook are both attacked. How does he maintain…



In Competition No. 3116 you were invited to submit an extract from a government memo whose language would meet with…


2426: Her love

The unclued lights (including one of three words, two of two words, and a pair) are names for or are…

Crossword solution

to 2423: Redheads

The unclued lights were all leaders of the USSR.  First prize Wendy Atkin, Sleaford, LincsRunners-up Robert Burgon, North Berwick, East…

No sacred cows

David Cameron is more authentic than Boris Johnson

I don’t recall exactly when I first met David Cameron, but it must have been in Oxford in 1985 shortly…

Spectator sport

Farewell, Garry Richardson. We’ll miss you

A day of sporting shocks this Sunday past. As if the news of Tracey Horrobin’s bewitching performance with the ball…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: Can I ask my vegan friend to buy eggs and bacon when I stay with her?

Q. The other day a dear friend rang from her car with all the time in the world to burn…


It’s so easy to go mad in Oxford: Chiang Mai Kitchen reviewed

Oxford is a pile of medieval buildings filled with maniacs, and is therefore one of the most interesting places on…

Mind your language

The link between politics, moisturiser and your air conditioning unit

I asked my husband if I should spend £59 on 20 millilitres of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset…