Puzzles & games


Bridge | 3 July 2021

I have a confession to make. I did something I haven’t done for over 20 years: I went on holiday. A proper holiday. No bridge, no card games of any sort. No online kibitzing and no bridge reading or discussing. Just endless Covid tests and quarantine coming home — the only small problem being nothing



It’s a joy to watch a player like Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who can light a fire with his bare hands. Where most are content to develop their pieces in the opening moves, he has a knack for igniting the play at the slightest provocation. In the game below, Caruana’s move 9 h3 looks unremarkable, but Mamedyarov

Chess puzzle

No. 660

White to play. So–Vachier-Lagrave, Paris, June 2021. The queen on e7 can be taken, but Black’s last move was …Rd8, counterattacking White’s queen. Which move did White play to expose the flaw in this idea? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 5 July. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct


A literary-critical analysis of Abba’s ‘Waterloo’

In Competition No. 3205, you were invited to supply a rigorous literary-critical analysis of a well-known pop song. Thanks to Oliver Hawkins, who drew to my attention J. Temperance’s real-life analysis of Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ (The New Inquiry, 2015): ‘We may paraphrase Deleuze and Guattari and state that “it is within capitalist society that


Fifty years of The Spectator crossword

During the early spring of 1971, a package of eighteen unsolicited crosswords arrived in the post at the Spectator’s offices in Goodge Street. These puzzles were compiled by Jac who had already established himself during the 1960s as a challenging and inventive setter for the Listener series. The name John Adelmare Caesar hid behind the

2513: Golden anniversary

1A, on 23 17, 41 1D 8 in this 31 was 21D. This anniversary announcement consists of eleven words and includes an apostrophe. Each group of coloured squares reveals a name of one of the team, past or present. One blue square does double duty as it overlaps a green square too. Doc compiled the

Crossword solution

2510: Prom session – solution

Twelve symmetrically disposed unclued entries comprise three pairs of Spoonerisms (an anagram of the title): POURING RAIN/ROARING PAIN, FRYING PAN/PRYING FAN and COTTON REEL/ROTTEN KEEL. First prize John Kitchen, Breachwood Green, Herts Runners-up Eddie Looby, Longbridge, Birmingham; Justin Koprowski, High Wycombe, Bucks