21 NOVEMBER 1998

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`Stability is sexy': the Prime Minister r Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, called defeats in the Lords of the European Elections Bill (which would have provided for elections...

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SPECTAT OR The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL Telephone: 0171-405 1706; Fax 0171-242 0603 PRIVATISING WAR T he salt-stained costume drama Horn- blower returned...

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There are only two ways of getting rid of Saddam BRUCE ANDERSON ome headlines are timeless. The same words will appear in today's paper as were used a month ago, or a year...

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TERRY PARRIS A t a village called Pals on the Costa Brava, where we have a weekend flat, I settled down with the Times. Surprised to see that my eldest son Matt had `outed' a...

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That outing. I didn't mean to, but if I did, I apologise MATTHEW PARRIS T hey came to take Rupert away today. I feel dreadful. I have outed an innocent llama in the Observer —...

Classifieds — pages 76-78

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FRENCH parliamentarians, notably two of famous pedigree, Jean de Gaulle and Alain Pompidou, have begun a renewed cam- paign against what they claim is systematic theft by the...

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Mind your language

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WHY not in front of the children I'm sure I cannot think, for Veronica has more slang beneath her little-finger-nail than a whole procession of Billingsgate porters....

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Anthony O'Hear compares this Labour government's cultural taste with its postwar predecessor's CAN IT REALLY be true that the Royal Ballet Company is in imminent danger of...

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Digby Anderson on why William Hague cannot have his Christianity without its Chief Executive ON MONDAY, William Hague gave a much publicised 'Wilberforce Lecture' on...

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Once Dutch doctors resisted Nazi euthanasia are encouraging colleagues to kill FOR MANY years, Dr Ben Zylic ran the only hospice in Holland, a converted for- mer hunting lodge...

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BONDING OVER THE BORDER than they realise ON 17 NOVEMBER the Scotland Bill completed its passage through Parliament. The fact of change has been greeted by some in Scotland,...

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Patrick Hosking reports on how directors make each other rich SOMETIMES, skimming a newspaper report, you read a quotation without prop- erly taking it in. Two or three...

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Andrew Gimson on the continuing German reluctance to talk about either of the world wars, let alone commemorate them Berlin THE GERMANS are no different from us. They are simply...

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Joe Haines tells what happened when Harold Wilson hired a private detective to trail George Wigg DURING the Falklands crisis, while the British task force was laboriously...

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Memories of Old Granada in the new Eurowonderland PAUL JOHNSON W hen I first visited Granada in the winter of 1950-51, it was veiled in snow. I froze while I sat painting the...

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That balancing item turns out to be £25 billion, so this week it's City and Palatial CHRISTOPHER FILDES A change of style this week: it's City and Palatial. The Queen spent a...

The offshore revolution

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First to float away from its native shore was the dollar. War and recovery had left dol- lars spread around the world and the idea caught on that this pool could be tapped. To...

Tax exile

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I would not like to argue that one motive for the euro was to cut the City down to size, but putting it on the spot would be the next best thing. Big business's generals, though...

Sovereign risk

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Still, the City is always resilient, and prob- lem-solving is its business. The Queen's City round took her to Merrill Lynch and to its dealing room, where there are emptY desks...

Leaving Europe cold

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Compare and contrast the scene in onshore Europe. Trading with our neighbours might have been our obvious choice in the days when a waggon of hay could roll no further than the...

Entrepot on Thames

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The City is an oddity: one of the world's three dominant financial centres, and the one without a home market to match. New York and Tokyo serve the two biggest economies of...

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LETTERS The myth of Dianamania

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Sir: Graham Turner (`Her candle has not survived the wind', 14 November) begins, `When Lady Susan Hussey . . . arrived at Balmoral . . . she found it hard to convince the royal...

Sir: I wonder how Graham Turner would feel if someone

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wrote an article like the one he wrote about Princess Diana after his mother, sister or dear friend had died. It was horrible and unnecessary, and I wish you hadn't published...

Sir: Ronald Spark's invective against Impe- rial Germany (Letters, 14

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November) is a blend of the Hun-bashing rant of Horatio Bottomley and the self-righteous bluster of jingoistic music hall songs. Far from dreaming of dominating Europe in 1914,...

A necessary war

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Sir: Allan Massie's conclusion that Britain should not have taken part in the first World war (The war for a worse world', 7 N ovember) is very, persuasive. Nonetheless, I...

The Russians were coming

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Sir: The evidence John Charmley asks for (Letters, 14 November) is in my book Drift to War. Charmley is correct in stating that Poland would almost certainly have refused to let...

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Sir: Richard Lamb (Letters, 7 November), has still told us

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nothing to nullify the first- hand evidence of Patrick Donner on the crucial point that we could not have with- stood an aerial Blitz before July 1940, but rather than have a...

Sir: It is now de rigueur to debunk any attempt

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to present historic Christianity in its proper light. Michael Harrington, writ- ing on C.S. Lewis, is all too predictable. There seems little point in contrasting The Abolition...

Ill read

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Sir: Your very interesting contribution on C.S. Lewis (`Great Christian, bad apolo- gist', 14 November) remarks that his chil- dren's stories are generally admired uncon-...

Lottery largesse

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Sir: It's a pity Edward Heathcoat Amory (`The finger of disaster', 14 November) hadn't waited a few more days before load- ing his pen with vitriol to write about the National...

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Surely Lord Hollick is not going to try to please Mr Mandelson again STEPHEN GLOVER L ast week I wrote about the case of `Peter's friend' and the Express on Sunday. Somewhat...

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The trouble with the media is not dumbing down, but its opposite PEREGRINE WORSTHORNE T he better the writer, the worse the reporter? I fear so, because the journalist as...

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Philip Hensher

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The fiction I liked best all year was Nicola Barker's Wide Open (Faber, £12.99), William Trevor's Death in Summer (Viking, f15.99), and Martin Amis's knockout col- lection of...

Christmas Books I

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Books of the Year The best and most overrated books of the year, chosen by some of the Spectator's regular contributors Anita Brookner My favourite novel of the year was...

Alan Judd

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Spellmount's new edition of the two vol- umes of Rudyard Kipling's The Irish Guards in the Great War (L24.95) is partly uncommonly evocative regimental history, partly a moving...

Digby Anderson

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A leading contender for the worst thing to happen this century must be the wanton destruction of western church liturgies , notably the Tridentine Mass and the Book of Common...

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Raymond Keene

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Virgil's Aeneid, translated by John Dryden (Penguin Classics, £9.99). I first tried Virgil's Augustan epic when I Was 12, at times in the original, then in t ranslation, but...

Michael Vestey

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For me it has been a year of diaries and Memoirs, beginning with Another Self by James Lees-Milne (John Murray, £16.99), a reissue of the 1970 autobiography of his early years....

Francis King

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The most remarkable non-fiction book of the year — surely destined to become a minor classic — was undoubtedly John Bayley's Iris (Duckworth, £16.95). Since this liber amoris...

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Simon Barnes

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I bought a fancy new edition of Ulysses when covering a rugby match in Dublin. I won't offer an interpretation of the book — I believe it's been done before — but will say that...


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Booksfot Christmas Another World by Pat Barker 'The confident vigour of the writing is as bracing as a November wind whipping up the Tyne' Helen Osborne, The Spectator Iris...

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Robin Oakley

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Nothing in racing writing this year had the elegance of Lord Jenkins's report on elec- toral reform or the ingenuity of Turf clas- sics like Jack Leach's Sods I have Cut on the...

Dot Wordsworth

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For me Beyond the Prosaic, edited by Strat- ford Caldecott (T&T Clark, £21.95), was of practical importance this year. This is because its subject is the liturgy, and just at...

Paul Johnson

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It is not quite impossible to produce a dull book on Jane Austen — it has actually been done by that gruesome old battle-axe Marylyn Butler — but it is hard to produce two...

Christopher Fildes

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A good year for fat books about the seri- ously rich. The World's Banker (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £30) is Niall Ferguson's sweep- ing account of the Rothschilds in their hey- day...

David Fingleton

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When an Australian law graduate, now Geoffrey Robertson QC, decided to remain here and practise at the English bar after his studies at Oxford, he blew a breath of fresh air...

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Wow! What a year for books. Fayed: The Unauthorised Biography by Tom Bower (Macmillan, £18.99) gave me almost as much pleasure to read as I will experience if the old phoney...

Martin Gayford

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Hilary Spurling's marvellous The Unknown Matisse (Hamish Hamilton, £25) reveals the creator of so much tranquil, joyous colour and space as a driven neurotic and martyr to...

Peregrine Worsthorne

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Class in Britain by David Cannadine (Yale University Press, £19.95). By far the best study of this slippery subject that I have ever read, most unusually making the case for...

Leanda de Lisle

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The funniest book I've read this year was William Sutcliffe's novel Are You Experi - enced? (Penguin, £5.99), about teenagers backpacking in India. It performed the mir - acle...

Ursula Buchan

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The best non-fiction book that I have read this year (apart from James Buchan's Frozen Desire: The Meaning of Money which consanguinity disqualifies me from recommending) is...

Sheridan Morley

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In a good year for biographies, Scott Berg's Lindbergh (Macmillan, £25) flies solo above the best; Berg is effectively writing the his- tory of 20th-century America through a...

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Old and young man Rivera

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Bevis Hillier DREAMING WITH HIS EYES OPEN by Patrick Marnham Bloomsbury, £20, pp. 370 T here are three unanswerable ques- tions for my generation (b.1940). We are a fortunate...

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Interior marked research

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Miranda France JESUS AND THE ADMAN by Rhidian Brook Flamingo, £12.99, pp. 194 A good second novel is famously diffi- cult to write, but when your first has won three awards,...

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The tick of a different clock

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Helen Osborne ANOTHER WORLD by Pat Barker Viking, L16.99, pp. 277 T he opening of Pat Barker's marvellous, merciless new novel is straight out of a Ridley Scott movie. A man...

No! I am not Prince Hamlet . . .

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Kate Hubbard FALSE PRETENCES by Lee Langley Chatto, £12, pp. 289 S usan, one of two recurring characters in Lee Langley's collection of stories, sub- scribes to the 'repertory...


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(52 issues) 12 Months 6 Months (26 issues) UK 0 £97.00 0 £49.00 Europe 0 £109.00 0 £55.00 USA 0 US$161 0 US$82 Australia 0 Aus$225 ❑ Aus$113 Rest of World 0 £119.00 ❑ £60.00...

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A King one hates to love

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James Delingpole THE GREEN MILE by Stephen King Orion, f10.99, pp. 465 tephen King is by a long chalk the world's most successful novelist. In the last 25 years his books have...

When absolute power improves absolutely?

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Allan Massie AUGUSTUS by Pat Southern Routledge, £25, pp. 312 W hen Caesar was murdered in 44 BC, young Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his great- nephew by marriage and designated...

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Worth at least a bust

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John Vincent DOUGLAS HURD, THE PUBLIC SERVANT: AN AUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY by Mark Stuart Mainstream, £20, pp. 472 A uthorised' is one way of putting it: for one thing, Lord Hurd...

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Perks and tantrums

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Selina Hastings CHARLES: VICTIM OR VILLAIN? by Penny Junor HarperCollins, £16.99, pp. 304 I opened this book with great excitement, having been led to believe by my daily...

Enveloped in doubt

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Bruce Anderson TRIAL BY CONSPIRACY by Jonathan Boyd Hunt GreeNZone Publishing, £15.99, pp. 336 T his is an irritating book; it is also an alarming one. The irritation comes...

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Doctors in the House Tom Sutcliffe reveals the latest plans of the men now running Covent Garden T he rebuilding of the Covent Garden opera house is an epic political drama...

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Theatrical magic

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Giannandrea Poesio was invited to the season's first night of La Bayadere in St Petersburg W hen Pavel Gershenzon, assistant to the director of the Kirov Ballet, asked me if I...

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Exhibitions 1

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In Celebration: The Art of the Country House (Tate Gallery, till 28 February) Ancestor worship Martin Gayford T here are occasions when the branding contrives to raise all the...

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Exhibitions 2

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Bridget Riley: Works 1961-1998 (Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal, Cumbria, till 31 January) A world outside John Spurling W hy Kendal? you might ask. The best answer is to go...

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Exhibitions 3

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Phillip King (Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 14A Clifford Street, London Wl, till 28 November) Flight of invention Andrew Lambirth T he current exhibition of new sculpture by...


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Into the Woods (Donmar Warehouse) Guiding Star (National) Lips Together Teeth Apart (Orange Tree) Troilus and Cressida (Barbican Pit) Unhappily ever after Sheridan Morley C...

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Wozzeck (Festival Hall) Rodelinda; Cosi fan tutte (Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Norwich) Overpowering eloquence Michael Tanner T he concert performance of Wozzeck last...

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It's good to talk Michael Vestey K lvin MacKenzie Ate My Radio Station' might be a suitable headline for the former Sun editor's arrival at Talk Radio, the only independent...

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Taking the punishment Alan Judd T hey're mostly seen in towns and tion car-parks, or on the Sainsbury's school runs, solid, safe, four-square , unassertively imposing, not too...


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Funny business James Delingpole T he other day, I interviewed Paul Whitehouse out of The Fast Show. One of the big problems with being a comedian, he told me, is that you stop...

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The turf

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The waiting game Robin Oakley A l problems are comparative, as was evidenced by the Scottish mountain- climber Mal Duff. He was forced by a hur- ricane-force wind once to...

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High life

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Class matters Taki ee whiz! I've been in the wrong busi- ness all this time. Thirty years of writing rubbish and sweating over my simple prose, when I could have been giving...

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Country life

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Spoiling for a fight Leanda de Lisle This fellow wasn't some loopy member of the squirearchy, but a very successful journalist. His move to the shires hasn't done him any...

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Singular life

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De haut en bas Petronella Wyatt L ast week I did PMQs with Sky televi- sion's Adam Boulton. PMQs sounds like something that affects women around that time of the month but it...


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Last chance Andrew Robson THE 1998 world championships in Lille commenced with the par contest in which 35 players were invited to solve 12 very tough declarer play hands,...

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STATE-OF-THE-ART new restaurants, even luxurious old ones, are fine if

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you want a special night out and a memorable, if costly, meal. But there are also times when one wants to get out of the house and simply let somebody else do the cooking. In...

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Christmas indulgence Auberon Waugh OUR FIRST Christmas offer, from Corney & Barrow, is by no means the cheapest of the year, working out at £7.10 the bottle on the mixed case...


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c/o Corney & Barrow Limited 12 Helmet Row, London EC1V 3QJ Tel: 0171 251 4051 Fax: 0171 608 1373 Price White I. La Combe de Grinou 1997, AC Bergerac 12 hots £61.20* 2....

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Parricide postponed Raymond Keene I WAS STRUCK by some comments from Jaspistos in his competition of 7 Novem- ber, in which he claims to have a feeble chess mind. Feeble it...


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COMPETITION La difference Jaspistos IN COMPETITION NO. 2060 you were invited to supply unhackneyed examples of differences, whether due to nature or nur- ture, between men...

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Competition/crossword entries

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Entries for one or more weeks of the competition and/or crossword may be posted together under one cover address- ed 'Competition Entries', provided each crossword entry is...

Solution to 1386: And co.

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i S Mall ifirl 0 Mid° PIA P a E illarl El EIMMIACLISMIlia R Erin 0 L 13 S 013aE R EN 171 JOIN a "li jorepirri a In F F 4 A ElaCialla L innaci. EMI T 113171 . age o...


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1 389: Like lightning by Doc A first prize of £30 and a bottle of Graham's Six Grapes Port for the first correct solution opened on 7 December, with two runners- up prizes of...

No. 2063: Sorry about that

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It is fashionable for heads of state and prime ministers to apologise for national `misbehaviour' of the past. You are invited to imagine that our next Poet Laureate obeys a...

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Winning for Wales Simon Barnes BUT why rugby? Why rugby union of all games? Why, to chapel choirs, self-educa- tion and social unionism, did the Welsh choose to add the winter...


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Q. The method proposed by C.C. of Aberdeen (17 October) to ascertain some- one's age without causing offence is too c omplicated to remember and cannot be calculated mentally by...