Puzzles & games


Bridge | 8 July 2023

I always look forward to seeing what Team Black are wearing when I go to international bridge tournaments. Their captain, Andrew ‘Bertie’ Black (founder of Betfair), picks a new team shirt for every event. At the recent European Transnational Championships in Strasbourg, they wore grey flat caps and Hawaiian shirts adorned with palm fronds. For



Magnus Carlsen broke into a smile while pondering his 64th move. Vishy Anand grinned back at him, both players revelling in the tension and complexity of their game from the Global Chess League, held in Dubai last month. They were down to less than a minute each, and India’s five-time world champion had just pulled a

Chess puzzle

No. 759

White to play. Petursson-Damljanovic, New York Open, 1988. Which move decided this battle of passed pawns in White’s favour? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 10 July. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six weeks for prize


Spectator competition winners: poems about procrastination

In Competition No. 3306, you were invited to submit a poem about procrastination. Procrastination looms large in Out of Sheer Rage, Geoff Dyer’s hilarious account of his attempt to write a study of D.H. Lawrence, and it struck me as an excellent topic for a competition. As Samuel Johnson wrote, the tendency to put things


2612: Grounded

The eight unclued lights are, or were, of a kind.         Across    1    Daily column about introduction of alternative fuel (8)    5    Cold, and damned unpleasant (6)    9    Tumbledown hut in barbarous realm (10) 16    Drink is finally within reach (6) 17    Joins female on Med, perhaps (5) 18    Unclothed Yanks fled joint

Crossword solution

2609: Hard work – solution

The literary scholar F.S. Boas used the term Problem Plays (9D) to refer to a group of Shakespearean plays which seem to contain both comic and tragic elements: Measure for Measure (12/36), All’s Well That Ends Well (39/1) and Troilus and Cressida (21/22). First prize J. Bielawski, Southport Runners-up Alastair Aberdare, London SW13; Jeffrey Frankland,