Puzzles & games


Bridge | 07 March 2020

I love the French expression esprit de l’escalier (‘wit of the staircase’); it perfectly captures that moment of frustration when a clever remark or retort comes to us just too late — as we’re leaving, or on the stairs. I’ve always thought there should be some equivalent expression in bridge: how often do we realise


Peasants’ revolt

The German word for pawn, ‘bauer’, can also be translated as peasant, or farmer. There are many spectacular games in which the pawns pick up their pitchforks and overrun the landed gentry. A historic example, played in 1834, is the game McDonnell–de La Bourdonnais, in which the Frenchman playing Black advanced his pawns to d2,

Chess puzzle

No. 594

Black to play. Puranik–Sjugirov, another spectacular game played at the Aeroflot Open. Puranik was perhaps counting on 1…Rc1 2 Qa3 Bd2 3 Qb2! threatening mate on g7. Sjugirov found a much more powerful move. What was it? Answers to ‘Chess’ at The Spectator by Tuesday 10 March or via email to victoria@-spectator.co.uk. There is a


Spectator competition winners: lines on a young lady’s Instagram

In Competition No. 3138 you were invited to submit a poem entitled ‘Lines on a Young Lady’s Instagram’. Thanks to David Jones, who suggested this challenge, a nod to Philip Larkin’s 1953 ‘Lines on a Young Lady’s Photograph Album’ from the collection The Less Deceived (‘My swivel eye hungers from pose to pose —/ In


2447: No small matter

One clued light can be associated with ten unclued ones. Ignore accents. One solution is an IVR. Across 4 Thrills if Leicester is rebuilt (11)11 A guy inside upset funny Shakespearean philosopher (9)13 European articles on new growth – fails to hit target (11)14 Jar in school laboratory (4)15 ‘Parking no good’ – sign on

Crossword solution

2444: Ones in the country solution

The unclued answers are all words inChambers, having their origin in Indonesia (clued by wordplay in the title). First prize Kailash Vernalls, Thame, OxonRunners-up Paul Davies, Reading, Berks; Mrs J. Smith, Beeston, Norfolk