The Spectator

24 July 2021 Aus

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Aussie Life

Aussie Life

It used to be that sporting endeavour was regarded as a noble cause, and that our sporting pastimes were governed…

Aussie Life

Aussie Language

Talking to Peta Credlin on Sky News I coined a new expression, ‘language communists’. I used to call the bullies…


A Damascene moment in London: Imad’s Syrian Kitchen reviewed

Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is an eyrie off Carnaby Street, a once-famous road which seems to exist nowadays to sell trainers…

Spectator sport

Can the Lions prise open the strong Boks?

You would need a digger to explore the levels of irony in a Springbok chief slagging off an opponent’s dirty…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends asking to stay in my holiday cottage?

Q. My beloved wife has been studying Chinese metaphysics for 18 months. Our house and garden have been badly neglected…

Mind your language

The poetry behind ‘leather and prunella’

‘Oh, yes,’ said my husband, enthusiastically, ‘a loathsome disease. The tongue goes black and dry.’ He was referring to an…

No sacred cows

In defence of footballers taking the knee

Before the television presenter Guto Harri took the knee live on air — which cost him his job at GB…


Bridge | 24 July 2021

Bridge is a game you can never fully master, which is why it’s so endlessly stimulating. No sooner have you…

Chess puzzle

No. 663

White to play. A variation from Grandelius – Xiong, Fide World Cup, Sochi 2021. With an accurate queen check,White can…


2516: Such childish vocabulary

The nouns from the first sentence of a book (in the ODQ) appear as unclued lights — apart from two.…

Crossword solution

Solution to 2513: Golden anniversary

The announcement reads: ‘Fifty years ago, on July the third, Jac’s first crossword in this series was published.’ The shaded…


Kasparov’s tailspin

In a game between top players, the opening moves signify not only the battleground they have embraced, but also the…

Low life

A very annoying guide to the Somme battlefields

We arranged to meet the second, more expensive, guide of our Somme battlefield visit at the Thiepval Memorial visitor centre…

The turf

Jockeys suffer online abuse just like footballers

At least England’s defeat in the European Cup final has spared us the sight of Boris Johnson, who can scent…

High life

In praise of Patmos

Patmos I’m in Patmos with four grandchildren, two children, and a wife. I know, I know, it sounds very lower–middle-class…


Spectator competition winners: W.S. Gilbert’s guide to wedded bliss

In Competition No. 3208, you were invited to submit a recipe for marital bliss on behalf of an author of…

Real life

I enjoy making a nuisance of myself for a good cause

The scaffolding pole across the public footpath led to a farcical conversation with the local council. I had been walking…