Puzzles & games


Bridge | 05 December 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, it is time to review the year’s achievements and disappointments. My team’s highest achievement was winning the English Premier League, and the less said about the disappointments the better! Looking at the National Grading Scheme (the ranking for British players), I was slightly surprised to see that Mike Bell


The Saric Supremacy

There is a gritty fight scene in The Bourne Supremacy, in which Jason Bourne (played by Matt Damon) faces down his adversary Jarda at an apartment in Munich. Both men are skilled assassins, but they aren’t wielding their weapons of choice. The villain’s hands are tied, but he lands the first blow with his elbows.


Brow lines

In Competition No. 3127 you were invited to submit Shakespeare’s newly discovered ‘Woeful ballad to his mistress’ eyebrows’, as referred to by Jaques in As You Like It (‘And then the lover,/ Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad/ Made to his mistress’ eyebrow…’). For the purposes of this challenge, a ballad could be any


2437: Sketchy

The unclued lights (two of two words, one of which includes an apostrophe) are of a kind. Where alternative final letters occur, M and O are to be used, not T and I.   Across 11    Carpet salesman finished right at the front (7) 12    Rode at front, elevated as aid to driver (6, hyphened)

Crossword solution

to 2434: eat it!

The unclued lights, including the pair at 35/28, are CAKES.   First prize John Maynard, Motcombe, Dorset Runners-up Tony Mouzer, Birmingham; Michael Smith, Aldershot, Hampshire


no. 583

Black to play. This is a variation from McShane–Van Foreest, Bundesliga, November 2019. I avoided this position, and the game was later drawn. What move for Black was I afraid of? Answers via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk by Monday 9 December. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat.