The Saint’s most popular stories of 2013

Hugh Grant suffered setbacks early on. Photo: Frazer Hadfield

1. St Andrews student missing almost a fortnight after leaving for Edinburgh

11 May – 13,077 views, 0 comments

Seung Un Baek, known as Timothy Baek, went missing for almost a month after he left St Andrews for a visit to Edinburgh at the end of April. Police Scotland launched an appeal for information and Mr Baek’s family flew from southeast Asia to St Andrews to help with the search. He was later found to have flown to eastern Europe.

2. St Andrews student threatened to “slay” woman with sword

21 December – 10,620 views, 43 comments

Hamish McGregor, a geology student, was convicted of threatening behaviour after he stole a sword while drunk and used it to smash a local woman’s living room window. He then ordered the woman to “stand and deliver” and told her he would “slay” her. After pleading guilty Mr McGregor was sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay Ms Cooper £400 in damages.

3. 1,000 people attend party in Queens Gardens

25 April – 8,127 views, 3 comments

“Why have a party? My answer is ‘Why NOT have a party?'”

In April, 6 Queens Gardens played host to possibly the largest party in the town’s history after six American golfers rented a house and spread the word on Facebook. Around 1,000 people turned up for the DJs, live band and free alcohol.

4. Jewish charity ball goes ahead despite threats from Palestine activists

27 April – 5,719 views, 90 comments

A charity ball put on by the St Andrews AEPI Jewish fraternity and Jewish Society was forced to change location owing to safety concerns after staff at the Golf Hotel received threats from protesters. The event was eventually held in a secret location and guarded by security staff including plainclothes police officers.

5. “Moment of madness”: rare drug implicated in student death

25 April – 4,680 views, 7 comments

The death of Lewis Greig, a psychology student, from a suspected fatal reaction to a psychedelic drug came as two other St Andrews students were arrested in a separate incident for allegedly supplying drugs. The two events suggested a culture at odds with the University’s public image.

6. An open letter to Hugh Grant

26 September – 4,585 views, 6 comments

“Taking the easy route is not the done thing at St Andrews. We like to run into the North Sea at sunrise, submit our coursework via MMS and hold our nights out in a building site.”

Writing in the Viewpoint section before the 2013 Dunhill Links golf tournament, James Leech penned an open letter to Hugh Grant to let him know that “strolling into a hall and commanding the attention of first year girls is just too easy”.

7. The Great Gatsby – Review

19 May – 3,806 views, 3 comments

“It doesn’t capture my own imagined Gatsby, but it shows Luhrmann’s in a believable, touching way. It’s a strong film judged on its own merits, and a worthy adaptation of the novel.”

Jack Kelleher reviewed Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby in this Arts & Culture piece.

8. St Andrews lecturer missing on Skye

9 April – 3,528 views, 0 comments

Dr Oliver Smith, a lecturer in Russian, went missing in April while visiting the Isle of Skye with his family. An exhaustive search effort involving the police, coastguard and mountain rescue teams was scaled back after two weeks. Dr Smith’s body was found almost two months later.

9. Rector assessed: Moffat blasted over “laughable” scientific claims

7 March – 3,199 views, 10 comments

Alistair Moffat, the rector of the University, was criticised by the scientific community over claims made by his genetics company, BritainsDNA, which claimed to have discovered the grandson of Eve and nine descendants of the Queen of Sheba.

The University later found his conduct to be “contrary to the principles of academic freedom” and concluded that he was stifling academic debate after he threatened two scientists at UCL with libel.

10. Why I really hate Nando’s

24 October – 3,175 views, 27 comments

“There are two good things about Nando’s, both of which occur at the end of your meal. The first: you have already paid for your meal at the be­ginning and can run out of the build­ing quickly and discreetly. The second: you get to leave and never (hopefully) have to come back.”

Gabriel Ross inveighed against the popular food chain in this opinion piece for the Money section.


Figures correct as of 30 December 2013.


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