Puzzles & games


Tata for now

Wei Yi had just won a riveting game in round 11 of the Tata Steel Masters event (see puzzle no. 786). His post-game interview ended with the question: ‘With two rounds to go, do you still have energy?’ ‘No,’ replied Wei, smiling. And yet China’s second strongest grandmaster (after the world champion Ding Liren), somehow

Chess puzzle

No. 786

White to play. Maghsoodloo-Warmerdam, Tata Steel Masters 2024. Maghsoodloo’s situation looks desperate, but he found a surprise winning move here. What did he play? Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 5 February. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six


Spectator competition winners: poems about conspiracy theories

In Competition No. 3334 you were invited to submit a poem about conspiracy theories. Trawling the net for examples, I found, alongside the more familiar ones – a reptilian elite, JFK’s assassination, commie fluoridation – whispers of chemicals in the water to turn the frogs gay and that Finland is a myth. In a hotly


2639: Spelling the end

22 said ‘29 11’ (five words, ignore an apostrophe), suggesting the placing of theother unclued lights. Across 1    Once rush from county, as ire subsides (5) 4    Essential component of maximum break for players (3,6) 10    Open to sympathy as a barrel breaks cabinet (10) 12    Two ancients drinking a gallon in the shade (3,4)

Crossword solution

2636: Happy Ever After – solution

The twelve unclued lights form three quartets, each of which comprises two words that follow and two which precede one of the three words of the puzzle’s title: HAPPY [TRIGGER, WALKING, MEDIUM and ENDING]; EVER [HARDLY, CANTIL (thus reading ‘cantilever’), SINCE and GREEN]; and AFTER [SHAVE and TASTE, LOOK and TAKE]. First prize Nicholas Grogan,