Puzzles & games


Bridge | 10 April 2021

Bridge is a complex game, and is played by humans. Put those two things together and you have a guarantee that mistakes will be made. Whatever the strength of the partnership, making it easy for partner, and taking charge when you know the route, is absolutely vital. Here is a hand from a high-standard Mixed


Unfair play

Twenty players were disqualified from the Fide World University Online Championships, out of almost 900. Does that call for moral despair, righteous jubilation, or just a weary shrug? It is no revelation that policing the game has become a major challenge, made all the more urgent by the shift toward playing online. The first obstacle

Chess puzzle

No. 648

Black to play. Livaic-–Oparin, Fide World University Online Championship, March 2021. After 1…Rxc5 2 Rxb4, a draw was soon agreed. Which move should Black have preferred? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 12 April. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal


Spectator competition winners: royal clerihews

In Competition No. 3193 you were invited to submit clerihews (two couplets, AABB, metrically clunky, humorous in tone) on members of the royal family, past or present. This one was a crowd-pleaser and drew a whopping entry. An inevitable element of repetition didn’t detract from the overall excellence, so congratulations, all round. I was sorry


2501: Delightful

7 Down has wordplay to only half its grid entry. The undefined part is the first word of a 9-word description, in ODQ. Ignore all hyphens. The unclued lights can be arranged to form the full description.   Across 1 Good over – nearly more than one, in truth (6) 7 Strain to keep daughter

Crossword solution

2498: Cross-country – solution

The unclued lights consist of the names of two countries overlapping by two or three letters: eg 25D ‘JAPANAMA’ gives ‘Japan’ and ‘Panama’. First prize Robin Simpson, Shincliffe, Durham Runners-up Kim Conchie, Falmouth, Cornwall; Mike Corballis, Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand