Puzzles & games


Bridge | 31 August 2017

The 43rd World Bridge Championships held in Lyon has just ended after two intense weeks and hundreds of boards. The first week saw 22 teams from around the world play a complete round robin, the top eight qualifying for the play-off. The USA entered two teams, both of whom made the quarter-final, but only one


Hou dares wins

Hou Yifan, the leading female grandmaster, is beginning to place strain on Judit Polgar’s record as the best woman chess player ever. At the Biel Grandmaster tournament, Hou seized first prize ahead of a phalanx of elite male rivals. Her win against the veteran grandmaster Rafael Vaganian (see below) was outstanding.   There have been occasional controversies,


Flavour of the month

In Competition No. 3013 you were invited to submit a poem in praise or dispraise of August.   There was a whiff of collusion about the entry this week, so many references were there to rubbish television, rubbish weather, fractious kiddies, tired gardens, traffic jams; as Katie Mallett puts it: ‘A turgid time of torpor


2325: Hard task

Clockwise round the grid run six of a kind (one of three words and one three-word pair). Other unclued lights show where you might find others of their kind. Unchecked corner letters could give PLAY-DEN PLANK.   Across 11    With everyone away, call hourly for singers (6) 13    Old bird biting end off confectionery (3)

Crossword solution

to 2322: In memoriam

The event was THE GLORIOUS TWELFTH (1D/29) (12 August, opening day of the grouse-shooting season). Remaining unclued lights bring to mind ‘grouse’: LAGOPUS LAGOPUS SCOTICUS (43/19: scientific name); RUGOSE and ROGUES (11 and 3: anagrams); GRIPE and BLEAT (39 and 25: synonyms).   First prize Robert Burgon, North Berwick, East Lothian Runners-up Jack Shonfield, Child


no. 472

White to play. This position is a variation from Hari-krishna-Studer, Biel 2017. Can you spot White’s winning thrust? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 5 September or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow