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The Spectator

20 July 2019

Watson’s new plot

Is Corbyn about to be floored?

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High life

Let’s choose our politicians by random selection

Athens Standing right below the Acropolis, where pure democracy began because public officials were elected by lot, I try to…

Low life

Italy, in seven hours and five trains

People laughed when I told them my plan but nothing beats the window seat of a stopping train hugging the Ligurian coast

Real life

Why won’t the police acknowledge that speeding coppers are a liability?

The builder boyfriend fell foul of a police car going 100 mph down the wrong side of the road

The turf

One to watch: the 5lb claimer Theodore Ladd

He impressed me with his coolly competent performance on Busy Street at Ascot



I have always thought the term ‘bridge holiday’ was an oxymoron. When I travel with my team to various events,…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 20 July

A bumper offer this week from our old chums Yapp Bros. Led by step-brothers Jason Yapp and Tom Ashworth, the…


Tal story

Sixty years ago, the great Mikhail Tal won the Candidates tournament by a massive margin to qualify for a world…

Chess puzzle

no. 563

White to play. This position is from Tal-Rantanen, Tallinn 1979. This game features a typically brilliant Tal finish. Can you…


When two becomes one

In Competition No. 3107 you were invited to provide an extract that is a mash-up of two well-known works of…


2417: Six Nations

One of the unclued entries (two words) can be followed by each of the others (two of three words, one…

Crossword solution

to 2414: Matchplay

Conrad HILTON (2), Michael WILDING (37), Mike TODD (24), Eddie FISHER (3), Richard BURTON (30), John WARNER (31) and Larry…

No sacred cows

I’m starting a trade union for intellectuals

I have just returned from Minneapolis after attending the annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research. That’s ‘intelligence’…

The Wiki Man

Why extravagant things don’t have to feel expensive

‘Suppose you bought a case of claret a few years ago for £20 a bottle. It now sells at auction…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How should one react when someone invites you to an expensive restaurant — then lets you pay the bill?

Q. Further to your advice about how to refuse invitations, I had a friend, who sadly died young, who disliked…


The tastes of summer: polo, Pimm's and plenty of Champagne

England. On a glorious summer afternoon in the Sussex countryside, I had been invited to watch polo at Cowdray Park,…

Mind your language

Must Harry and Meghan’s son really learn to ‘essentialise’ race?

‘Ha, ha,’ said my husband, as though he’d made a joke. ‘Here’s one for you.’ He waved a page of…