Puzzles & games


Bridge | 4 July 2019

I know I’m not the strongest declarer in the world (or even at the table) but I didn’t realise my partner(s) literally stop breathing when they put dummy down. Unusually, I was declarer on quite a few hands in the recent European Mixed Teams, and I started to get an uneasy feeling when I heard


Tigran, Tigran, burning bright

This year Tigran Petrosian would have celebrated his 90th birthday. The Armenian grandmaster and world champion was noted for the profundity and originality of his strategic concepts, as well as his quasi-invincibility in high level contests. He was certainly my role model when I was a student of chess in my teens, a chess hero


Belles of the ball

In Competition No. 3105 you were ­invited to submit a fragment of commentary on the Women’s World Cup delivered by a figure from the world of fact or fiction, dead or alive.  From Joseph Houlihan’s William Mc­Gonagall, who chronicles the ­Scottish team’s defeat at the boots of the Auld Enemy, to R.M. Goddard’s Samuel Beckett


2415: The limit

1A (hyphened) suggests a word which, with changes to its 7D 33, becomes the four other words (including a name) suggested by the remaining unclued lights (including a pair). The word will appear in the completed grid and must be shaded.   Across 7    Outburst of song from tailor (3) 11    Lid of fryer accepted

Crossword solution

to 2412: Transponders

On 15th June 1919 John ALCOCK (34) and Arthur BROWN (37) completed the first non-stop transatlantic flight when they crash-landed near CLIFDEN, COUNTY GALWAY (46/9) in a VICKERS VIMY (23/25), having taken off from ST JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND (10/13) the previous day.   First prize Judith Cookson, Prestbury, Glos Runners-up Martina Fabian, Bourne End, Bucks; Alan


no. 561

White to play. This is from Reti-Bogolyubov, New York 1924. How did Reti conclude his attack with a fine blow? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 9 July 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 and