Puzzles & games


Bridge | 8 December 2016

Simon Cochemé, whose witty column appears monthly in English Bridge magazine, celebrated his 70th birthday with a knees-up and duplicate at Young Chelsea at the end of November. The hands were ‘prepared’, each containing a problem of one sort or another, some well-known, others less so. The question was, would the players reach the intended


London classic

The annual London Classic is now underway at Olympia. Understandably Magnus Carlsen, after his exertions in New York, is not competing. Nevertheless, the line-up is extremely powerful, consisting of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana, Vladimir Kramnik, Lev Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Anish Giri, Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov and our own Michael Adams. This week, a


Let’s twist

In Competition No. 2977 you were invited to submit a Christmas carol with a topical twist. ‘In the bleak midwinter’ just about captures the general tenor of the entry, although George Simmers injected a lighter note with his invitation to ‘Deck Ed Balls with boughs of holly…’ and W.J. Webster, too, was looking on the


Festive features

99 (five words) and 20 (four words), whose 37 were 61 (two words) and 35D (two words), are seasonal 53 featuring the 78 whose name is formed by two unclued lights. Two unclued lights (of two words each) are the names of the 78’s 68D. In nine clues, cryptic indications omit reference to parts of

Crossword solution

to 2287: Quarry

Unclued lights are types of LIMESTONE. First prize Frances Whitehead, Harrogate, North Yorks Runners-up Margaret Almond, Sholing, Hants; P.D.H. Riddell, London SE23


Chess puzzle | 8 December 2016

Black to play. This position is from Topalov-Nakamura, St Louis 2014. Black seems to be in big trouble, but how did he turn the tables? We regret that because of the Christmas printing schedule, this is not a prize puzzle.   Last week’s solution 1 Bxh7+


Puzzles from GCHQ

Solving serious puzzles — to catch criminals and thwart terrorist plots — is what the men and women who work at GCHQ do round the clock. It’s hardly surprising that many of them enjoy setting and solving them in their own time, too, pitting their wits against each other. This selection is from The GCHQ

Christmas Quiz | 8 December 2016

Say so In 2016, who said: 1. ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ 2. ‘We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain. Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.’ 3. ‘The Prime Minister — I should be pleased about this I suppose — seems to think he should be

The answers | 8 December 2016

Say so 1. Theresa May 2. David Cameron (overheard on air, speaking to the Queen) 3. Jeremy Corbyn 4. Stephen Fry 5. President Barack Obama of the United States, warning against Brexit 6. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines about President Barack Obama at an Asean summit 7. Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein politician 8. Hillary