Puzzles & games


Bridge | 7 January 2016

Call me nuts but on 29 December I left lovely, sunny, delicious France for the fairly unlovely Royal National Hotel to play the year end’s last event, the one-day Swiss Teams. God it was fun. I hadn’t played a hand in 12 days (and counting) and we were all in a great mood (unusual), rested


Winter’s tail

The London Classic, the end of the million-dollar Grand Tour, was something of a damp squib. A surfeit of draws meant the event largely boiled down to who was most effectively able to despatch the cellar dwellers Anand and Topalov. Top scores out of nine were as follows: Carlsen, Giri and Vachier-Lagrave 51/2 each, Aronian



In Competition No. 2929 you were invited to submit an acrostic poem containing some predictions for the next decade, in which the first letters of the lines read NOSTRADAMUS. Although the forecast was bleak — no surprise there — a welcome smattering of more left-field prophecies made me sit up and take notice: Richard Dawkins


2242: Defeated

Clues in italics are cryptic indications of partial answers. In each case, the indicated part must be 5 39 (five words in all) to create the full answer to be entered in the grid. Definitions of the resulting entries are supplied by unclued lights.   Across   1    Film second struggle (5) 6   

Crossword solution

To 2240: Various sources

The thematic term (formed by letters cut from definitions, 17, and letters added to definitions) is SCISSORS-AND-PASTE. Unclued lights are types of scissors (9, 25, 31, 32) and paste (1, 6D, 20, 28). First prize L. Coumbe, Benfleet, Essex Runners-up Stephen Gore, Seer Green, Bucks; C.R. Haigh, Hassocks, West Sussex


Puzzle no. 390

Black to play. This is a variation from Carlsen-Grischuk, London Classic 2015. Carlsen won but this week’s puzzle shows how he could have gone wrong. Black has two ways to win immediately. Can you find both key moves? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 12 January or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is