Puzzles & games


Bridge | 30 January 2014

I always find it impossible to sleep when I’ve played poorly, and last night just one sleeping pill was never going to be enough. Alas, I needed two to stop me agonising over my many mistakes during the weekend’s Lady Milne trials (for the women’s home internationals). Sally Brock and I didn’t manage to qualify,


Gates’ exit

In Virgil’s Aeneid the hero Aeneas escapes from Hades via one of two gates, one made of ivory and the other of horn. It is widely believed that he selected the wrong gate. As Homer had already established, the gate of ivory, which Aeneas chose, portends false visions, while the gate of horn heralds true


Burns Night address

In Competition 2832 you were invited to compose an address to an item of food. The assignment was inspired by Burns’s ‘Address to a Haggis’, but you were not obliged to write in his style. Albert Black went for a Kipling-Burns mash-up and other competitors drew on Shelley and Shakespeare. The winners take £25 each


2147: Amazing performance

Each of the 22 across solutions, in clue order, contributes one unchecked letter to a two-word phrase (13,9) in Chambers 2011. This dictionary entry will enable solvers to highlight a potential victim (9,7) by (again) choosing some of the unchecked letters from fifteen across entries in the order they appear in the grid. The nine

Crossword solution

to 2144: Leonids

The work was ‘THE TAMING OF THE (1D) Shrew’. ‘Shrew’ is suggested by 15, 27 and 33. The ‘Shrew’ of the title is KATHARINA (38), addressed as ‘KATE OF KATE-HALL’ (9) (in ODQ) by Petruchio (disguised as EUTROPHIC (20)), whose servant is Curtis (CITRUS (3)). Title: ‘tamed’ SONDELI (the Indian musk shrew).   First prize


no. 299

Black to play. This position is from Aronian-Van Wely, Wijk aan Zee 2014. Having already clinched first prize, Aronian’s only loss came in the last round when he fell into a diabolical trap. What has he missed? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 4 February or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk or by fax