Puzzles & games


Bridge | 11 April 2019

When did International Women’s Day become an official fixture? I have never been aware of it before this year and I fumed noisily thinking how patronising it was, ranting on that men don’t have a special day as every day celebrates their importance. Wrong again. There is an International Men’s Day and, if you want


Be prepared

Last week I wrote about Cyrus Lakdawala’s new book, which provides an aggressive repertoire based on the solid move 1 d4. This week I focus on what might be termed a companion volume by the experienced chess coach grandmaster Neil McDonald, Coach Yourself (Everyman Chess), which aims to provide a training programme for those who


Write of passage

In Competition No. 3093 you were invited to submit an extract from a novel that chronicles the adult life of a well-known fictional hero from children’s stories.   I enjoyed Jess McAree’s account of Paddington Bear’s Conrad-esque voyage — ‘evicted by Brexit, residence visa revoked’ — to the heart of darkness in deepest Peru. Hugh


2403: Hexad

The second and fourth letters of six unclued lights (defined by surplus single words in six clues) form a set whose name is cryptically suggested by the remaining pair.   Across 1    Acknowledged 500 vatu due (6) 5    Raptors seek rats chandler set free (8) 10    Seabird collecting books about one UK fleet? No way!

Crossword solution

to 2400: Unclued

The preamble suggests that unclued entries are partial anagrams of UNCLUED. The ‘repeated cryptic clue (= anagram of CLUE)’ ‘fixes not only’ LUCE ‘but also’ the central 2×2 block as [CE/LU] and ‘as a result’ LUNE.   First prize Sue Topham, Elston, Newark Runners-up Ben Stephenson, London SW12; Phillip Wickens, Faygate, West Sussex


no. 549

White to play. This is from Gukesh-Paramzina, Sharjah 2019. Twelve-year-old Gukesh is the second youngest grandmaster of all time (behind Sergei Karjakin). How did he finish off here? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 16 April or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out