The Spectator

8 May 2021 Aus

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Aussie Life

Aussie Life

As a child I had a version of OCD called Just Right syndrome. This doesn’t mean I lived entirely on…

Aussie Life

Aussie Language

Brauer College in Warrnambool, Victoria made the news for having required all the boys at an assembly to ‘stand up…


Bridge | 8 May 2021

The Lady Milne is the annual Women’s Championship between the home countries (and Ireland) and is most often a two-horse…


Spectator competition winners: poems on the death of Prince Philip

In Competition No. 3197, you were invited to supply a poem to mark the death of Prince Philip. I wondered…

Dear Mary

Dear Mary: How do I cope with colleagues’ bad habits now I’m back in the office?

Q. I am placed in a social dilemma due to a proposed visit on the last weekend of June by…

Real life

Why do hygienists self-sabotage?

‘You’re meant to be having your dental appointment now!’ barked the receptionist, bringing my lie-in to an abrupt end. Very…

No sacred cows

We Lumas have the weight of the world on our shoulders

In the introduction to an anthology of his jazz record reviews, the poet Philip Larkin imagines his readers. They’re not…

Mind your language

The shifting language of shame

As his tweed jacket flapped open to one side of his stomach, my husband stood up unsteadily and arched his…


My post-lockdown resolution: drink more Alsace

Freedom approaches. Should we be humming ‘Va, Pensiero’ or ‘O Welche Lust’ — perhaps both. Thinking of Fidelioreminds me of…

The Wiki Man

The hidden cost of free technology

Back in late 2019 I met someone from Zoom who was visiting London. The company, then as now, offered free…

Low life

If all else fails, there’s always basket weaving

The only thing left for me now is to embrace humility and take up basket weaving. In our dog and…

High life

The school that made an American century

New York With the Karamazovian hangover now only a weekly occurrence, the healthy life rules supreme. Well, most of the…

Chess puzzle

No. 652

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by Revd Ernest Clement Mortimer, The Problemist, 1942. Answers should be…


Dead brain cells

As round 14 of the Candidates tournament unfolded, I had the feeling of watching an anti-climactic post-exam bender. Ian Nepomniachtchi…

Wild life

Did I catch Covid from a naked-rumped tomb bat?

Laikipia Until I promised to slaughter a fat-tailed sheep with a goat thrown in for a feast, the farm cowhands…


2505: Endgame

The unclued lights (one hyphened) are of a kind, confirmed in Chambers. Elsewhere, ignore one accent.   Across 1 I…

Crossword solution

2502: Nay-sayers? - solution

The unclued lights are HORSES. First prize Bob Toland, Ramsey, CambsRunners-up Gareth Davies, Langstone, Gwent; Catherine Knox, London SW4