Puzzles & games


Bridge | 2 July 2022

Rubber bridge is a game that happens to suit me very well: you can come and go as you please and you don’t need a partner. You just wait for those magic words ‘Table up’ and you reply ‘One in’! Ofc I quite understand it’s not everyone’s cup of tea: there are so many different


Maximum mischief

Forbidden things have a secret charm – that delicious paradox applies to the chessboard just as it does in life. Moves which appear to be unthinkable (for example, when the piece in question can be readily captured) can create a strong aesthetic effect. Composers of chess problems often make great play of this fact –

Chess puzzle

No. 709

White to play. Miles-Pritchett, Lloyds Bank Masters 1982. Tony Miles found a powerful counter to the queenside threats. What did he play? Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 4 July. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six weeks for


Spectator competition winners: poems about imperial measures

In Competition No. 3255, you were invited to submit a poem about imperial measures. Brian Bilston’s terrific poem ‘The Empire’s Old Clothes’ gave me the idea for this topical challenge, which proved hugely popular, drawing a gratifyingly large, varied and witty entry. Bob Johnston’s twist on ‘Ozymandias’ – ‘Look on my ounces, tons, slugs, and


2562: Clear view but no vowels

The cryptic title of this week’s crossword leads to a five-letter representation of the theme. The unclued lights include two pairs; one solution has three words and six others are of two words.   Across 9 Wood sorrel plants tangled in 11 (4) 12 See 35 Down 14 Arrive at a junction in a flurry

Crossword solution

2559: Platinum upgrade – solution

The perimeter, starting at square 38, yields six of the CITIES created to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee: DONCASTER, MILTON KEYNES, BANGOR, WREXHAM, DUNFERMLINE and DOUGLAS. STANLEY and COLCHESTER are the unclued lights. PORT (Stanley) had to be highlighted at 23 Across. First prize Gail Petrie, Brean, Somerset Runners-up Keith Williamson, Cambridge; Bill Ellison, Caversham, Berkshire