We regret to announce that we will no longer be able to answer the rhetorical questions in the Guardian Weekend magazine. Following a week in which seven questions were asked – including “Or are they?”, “What’s next?” and “A new society that has an executive government and where people are fighting for drastic change but are also emotionally contained?” – we are forced to conclude that the Weekend letter-writers have shifted from their longstanding interest in factual matters. Instead they have become increasingly involved with a more philosophical and abstracted range of questions. These new problems are by their very nature not easily solved by deduction or research, and over the past several months we have felt increasingly unable to provide useful answers.

We wish the Weekend’s letter-writers well as they venture into these increasingly rarefied waters. We may still answer occasional questions that seem susceptible to research, though not on a weekly basis; but for now, we leave you with answers to some of the questions that puzzled Weekend readers most regularly, in the hope that this will help future inquirers in the absence of our more devoted attention.

Who chooses Alexis Petridis’ clothes, and why?

Petridis’ clothes are selected by a stylist – frequently Aradia Crockett – with input from Petridis himself. They are worn for the purposes of illustrating his regular fashion column.

Why do Pam and Valerie, on the “All Ages” fashion spread, frequently wear their own shoes?

Their feet are slightly unusually large, at sizes 8 and 9, and they therefore are less likely to fit into samples sent to the Guardian by shoe providers.

Why do the people on the Blind Date so rarely go somewhere after the date?

Generally they decline to go on elsewhere because it is already quite late and they wish to go home, or because they do not fancy each other very much.

Where does Tim Dowling live?

Dowling lives in London, not too far from the Westfield shopping centre.

Why do people in the magazine frequently mention driving from one place to another, when walking is in many ways better?

Because driving is often much faster, and additionally makes it easier to transport bulky, heavy or awkward objects such as groceries or children.

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