Puzzles & games


Bridge | 3 April 2021

These days, most tournaments take place either on Bridge Base Online or Realbridge. I far prefer BBO for one reason: privacy. By contrast, Realbridge uses cameras and microphones — meaning you can’t play in your pyjamas, let anyone wander into the room, or shout at the screen when annoyed. Just as bad, you see far


Fortune favours the brave

If you wish to unsettle your opponents, first attack them and second, play the moves quickly. It’s far from easy to pull it off, but nobody does it better than Ian Nepomniachtchi. Among the world’s best, ‘Nepo’ stands out for his aggressive play, made all the more dangerous by marshalling an element of bluff. Are

Chess puzzle

No. 647

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by B.P. Barnes, Skakbladet 1961. Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 5 April. 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 prize delivery. Last week’s solution 1…Qf5?


Spectator competition winners: animals get their revenge on humankind

In Competition No. 3192 you were invited to submit a short story that features an animal (or animals) taking revenge on humankind. The spur for this challenge was John Gray’s engaging and insightful book Feline Philosophy, which alerted me to Patricia Highsmith’s short story ‘Ming’s Biggest Prey’, about a Siamese cat who eliminates a human


2500: 50 x 50

Each solution contains one letter at least once, always omitted in the cryptic wordplay of each clue. This letter and its number of appearances in the completed grid mark this week’s landmark. Two solutions are hyphened, five of two words and one of three. The red squares disclose Doc’s family celebration on 3 April.  

Crossword solution

2497: Scramble – solution

Six of the unclued lights are RAF stations of WW2. First prize Kathleen Durber, Stoke-on-TrentRunners-up Alison Gillam, Knotty Green, Bucks; Chris Kemp, Little Leigh, Northwich, Cheshire