Puzzles & games


Bridge | 1 June 2017

It’s the funniest bridge story I’ve heard in ages. At the recent Lady Milne championship (the women’s Home Internationals), one of the English pairs was fined a point for slow play during their match against Ireland. The pair insisted that they hadn’t been particularly slow — indeed they’d bid to a grand slam rather quickly


Vote Basman

To the best of my knowledge, Michael Basman is the first officially titled chess master to ever stand in a UK parliamentary election. Marmaduke Wyvill, MP for Richmond Yorkshire, was an accomplished player who took second prize in the great London tournament of 1851, but he could not have been described as a chess professional. Basman will


Question time | 1 June 2017

In Competition No. 3000 you were invited to provide an answer, in verse or prose, to a famous literary question of your choosing. Two admirably pithy responses to Hamlet’s dilemma came courtesy of Carolyn Beckingham:   ‘To be, or not to be: that is the question.’ ‘If you’re not certain, wait,’ is my suggestion. The


2312: Bandleader

Two unclued lights form the title by which a 38 32 is commonly known. This title’s first word defines one unclued light, and can also be divided into two words, each of which is defined by an unclued light. The title’s second word defines each of the remaining three unclued lights. Ignore one diacritic in

Crossword solution

2309: Complicated | 1 June 2017

Corrections of misprints in clues give TANGLED UP IN BLUE, the title of a song by Bob Dylan. Answers to thematic clues are nine (15), rip (20), char (24), into (25) and fur (30), each tangled up in blue (respectively perse, cyan, navy, Saxe and teal) to form entries defined by 22, 1D, 13, 38 and


No. 459

Black to play. This position is from Mecking-Basman, Hastings 1966. How did Black make the most of his active knights? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 6 June 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