Puzzles & games


Bridge | 3 January 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!   I have made a resolution to make some bridge resolutions. Here they are:   1. When declaring, I will never again play to the first trick in a nanosecond. I will explain to the opps, in an insufferably smug tone, that I always take at least two minutes to plan


Game of the year | 3 January 2019

The time has come again when I award the accolade of most spectacular game of the year. It adds lustre if this is from one of the great matches. However, not one of the games from the London World Championship comes close to creating the requisite brilliance and drama. Instead, my choice falls on the game Aronian-Kramnik


Out with the auld

In Competition No. 3079 you were invited to supply a new anthem to welcome 2019, starting with the first line of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and continuing in your own way.   ‘Is not the Scotch phrase “Auld lang syne” exceedingly expressive?’ wrote Robert Burns to his friend Frances Dunlop in 1788, referring to the words


2389: All change

The unclued lights can be paired in some way or other. One is of two words.   Across 1    Distrain a dog brutally leading to loss of status (12) 10    Deep blue of Mediterranean ‘îles’ (4) 14   When this fish turns, it’s not fit for eating (3) 17    Pays attention to journalist when he’s around

Crossword solution

2387: On the Spot

The HISPANIOLA was the ship that brought the other unclued answers to TREASURE ISLAND in the novel by R L Stevenson. No pirates were named in the grid, except Ben GUNN who joined against them, but (Long John) Silver appeared in the clues, which had a nautical/piratical flavour. The map in Treasure Island had three


no. 535

Black to play. This is a variation from today’s game Aronian-Kramnik, Berlin 2018. How can Black briskly conclude his kingside attack? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 8 January 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