Puzzles & games


Bridge | 5 December 2013

One of the most dramatic events of the Spanish American War was the sinking of the cargo ship Merrimac. Early in 1898, a bold plan was hatched by the US navy to rig the Merrimac with explosives, sail it into the narrow channel leading into Santiago harbour, then blow it up — thereby blocking the


London classics

This year’s London Classic tournament, organised by the indefatigable Malcolm Pein, who also heads up the charity Chess in Schools and Communities, is composed of several sections. The main group is graced by the presence of numerous elite international and British grandmasters, notably Viswanathan Anand, fresh from his title defence against Magnus Carlsen. All the


Winter’s tale

In Competition 2826 you were invited to submit nonsense verse on a wintry theme. The line between sense and nonsense is a blurred one; certainly Carroll’s crazy world has a bonkers internal logic all of its own. But perhaps the best way into nonsense is to put the quest for sense aside for once and


2142: Wintry

Each of seventeen clues comprises a definition part and a hidden consecutive jumble of the answer including one extra letter. The extras spell a four-word excerpt from a quotation (in ODQ) from a translation of a work by 10 (two words).  Clues in italics consist of cryptic indications of partial answers; in each case, the

Crossword solution

to 2139: Separated

The key word is BUTTERMILK (8), which can be separated into words defined by 15, 27, 40; 4, 23, 25; and 2, 7, 35.   First prize  Brian Midgley, Ettington, Warwickshire Runners-up  John M. Brown, Rolleston on Dove, Staffordshire; K.J. Williams, Kings Worthy, Hampshire


7 December

Black to play. This position is a variation from Evans-Staunton, London 1845. Can you spot Black’s fine finish to the attack?   Because of the Christmas printing schedule, we regret that this is not a prize puzzle.   Last week’s solution 1 Qh6 (1 … c1Q+ 2 Bf1 d4+ 3 Kg1 Qe3+ 4 Rf2 and