Puzzles & games


Bridge | 4 April 2019

Each March, a roll call of bridge superstars come to compete in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, one of America’s most prestigious tournaments. When the American player and sponsor Jeff Wolfson recently asked Zia Mahmood if he could recommend a pair to join his team, Zia suggested his pal from England, Peter Crouch. Crouch then asked


Advance planning

One way to improve your results is to develop a specific opening repertoire and learn it thoroughly so as to be prepared for most eventualities. This might seem like common sense but it is a lesson which many amateurs neglect to observe. A new book by the prolific author Cyrus Lakdawala (Opening Repertoire 1 d4 with 2


Spring villanelle

In Competition No. 3092 you were invited to submit a spring villanelle. The villanelle lends itself to themes of loss and time passing, but the somewhat gloomy mood of the entry was offset by how well you rose to the form’s technical challenges. Congratulations all round, but especially to unlucky losers Noah Heyl, R.M. Goddard,


2402: Test pilots

Eight unclued entries are of a kind. A 9-letter word for their position must be highlighted in the grid.   Across 1    Am being harassed by society celebs (8, two words) 5    Idiots half-heartedly following British and Russian decrees (6) 9    Surer 4, strangely unsure (10) 14    Fitting carpet, ignoring odd bits (3) 16    Nobody

Crossword solution

to 2399: Lines of Work

The unclued lights form the folk rhyme ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief’.  A.A. Milne (MILNE had to be highlighted) used this as the basis for Cherry-Stones, (9d) though the beggar-man became a ploughboy. Milne’s next five jobs are also mentioned in various clues.   First prize Lydia Miller, Vale, Guernsey Runners-up


no. 548

White to play. This position is a variation from Mamedyarov-Li Reufeng, PRO League 2017. This game also started with White playing f3 against the Nimzo-Indian Defence. Can you spot the immediate kill? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 9 April or via email to victoria@spectator.-co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the