Puzzles & games


Bridge | 4 April 2020

I’m finding it harder than I thought to concentrate while playing bridge online. And not just because my two children are constantly at home. No, my worst distraction turns out to be… myself. Until now, I’ve never fully appreciated the importance of sitting patiently while you’re dummy. Often, I’ve found myself wishing it wasn’t considered


Half measures

Would you slice a book in two? I learned of this peculiar practice in January, and I can’t fault its brutal pragmatism. Undeniably, half of War and Peace is more portable than the whole thing, and perhaps even less intimidating. When you finish the first chunk, you just swap it for the second. Books want

Chess puzzle

No. 598

A variation from the game above. Although White is a pawn down, he can rustle up decisive counterplay with one accurate move. Which one? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 6 April. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and


TripAdvisor reviews — with added spice

In Competition No. 3142 you were invited to supply a review on TripAdvisor that has been spiced up with a number of misprints. You saw this challenge for what it was: a brazen invitation to lower the tone. Take this snippet, for example, from Brian Murdoch: ‘The only problem we had was that I had


2451: Cretinous

Unclued lights are anagrams of ten of a kind. Elsewhere, ignore an accent. Across 9 A model cure fixed skin condition (10)14 Lass bumpkin snubbed (3)16 Prisoner saves rodent a piece of crust (6)17 Found tree blocking highway (5)18 Baseballer’s innings in Somerset city curtailed (5, hyphened)20 Sliding in dicky part of church (7) 22

Crossword solution

2448: Issues solution

The novels are A Modern Utopia (anagram of AORTAE IMPOUND 17/5), The Time Machine (HEATHEN/MIMETIC 22/27), Tono-Bungay (BATON/YOUNG 29/31) and Men Like Gods (SMOG/LIKENED 8/26) by H.G. WELLS (33). First prize Joanne Aston, Norby, Thirsk Runners-up David Morgan, Gilesgate, Durham City; R.R. Alford, Oundle, Peterborough