The Spectator

20 January 2018

The great plastic panic

Packaging from petrochemicals is bad but what if the alternatives are worse?


High life

Taki: In praise of French women

Catherine Deneuve has expressed some badly needed truths about this crazy witch hunt

Low life

Jeremy Clarke: The power of ‘Bonjour’

Since I started bonjouring and bonsoiring one and all, I am everybody’s friend

Real life

Melissa Kite: The death of humour

In a post-joke world, everything is a hate crime

The turf

Why I’ll chain myself to an earthmover at Kempton Park

If the course didn’t exist, the Jockey Club would invent it. So why sell it off?



The first home tournament of 2018 was last week’s four-day European Open Trials. Ten selected pairs played 216 boards at…

Spectator Wine

Wine Club 20 January

Well, I don’t know about you but I found the recent festivities somewhat challenging. I didn’t draw a sober breath…


Willing to wound

‘Willing to wound and yet afraid to strike,’ wrote Alexander Pope about Atticus. Those lines more or less describe the…

Chess puzzle

no. 489

White to play. This position is from O. Howell-Pickersgill, Hastings 2017/18. White now terminated proceedings abruptly. What was the key move?…


Rude food

In Competition No. 3031 you were invited to provide a review by a restaurant critic that is tediously loaded with…


2342: Decorative

Two unclued lights are terms for the same style. One, consisting of two words, forms a cryptic indication of each…

Christmas Crossword


A beastly business The quote is 1A/92/18D from the poem ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. The theme was the names…

No sacred cows

Why my pet dog Leo had to go

It was nothing too serious, just a little nip. But the man from Ocado was understandably upset

The Wiki Man

A nice, cuddly NHS would be bad for us

We can have an efficient health service or one no one complains about. We can’t have both

Dear Mary

Mary solves your problems: How can I get over my smartphone separation anxiety?

Also: How to hide a housekeeper’s hideous cushions and how to keep friends as a birthday looms


Is the great vintage of 2015 retreating into itself

Some wines may turn out to have too much fruit, making harmony impossible

Mind your language

Where does Donald Trump’s new favourite word come from?

In Polite Conversation, Jonathan Swift presents dialogues made up of clichés, banalities and catchphrases. When Miss Notable makes a remark…