Puzzles & games


Bridge | 11 May 2017

I realised long ago that I almost never play bridge with a partner worse than me. Occasionally, I cut a palooka at rubber bridge — but they probably think the same about me. I mainly play with professionals and they always have something kind and constructive to say when the defence goes pear-shaped: ‘Cover an



Four important events have taken centre stage over the past few weeks. These were tournaments in Shenzen (won by Ding Liren), Zurich (won by Hikaru Nakamura), Karlsruhe (which witnessed a massive triumph for Lev Aronian, who came in ahead of Magnus Carlsen) and Shamkir. In this last, the local matador Shakhriyar Mamedyarov seized the laurels


Global mourning

In Competition No. 2997 you were invited to submit an obituary for planet Earth.   It was a smallish but varied and heartfelt entry. John Whitworth earns the bonus fiver and his fellow winners are rewarded with £25 apiece. Honourable mentions go to C.J. Gleed, D.A. Prince and Duncan Forbes.   In an obituary There’s


2309: Complicated

Each of fifteen clues contains a misprinted letter in the definition part. Corrections of misprints spell the four-word title of a work by an artist. Answers to clues in italics are to be treated and entered in the grid as indicated by this title; definitions of resulting entries are supplied by unclued lights. Two clued

Crossword solution

to 2306: Instruction

The instruction was ‘SEND IN THE CLOWNS’ (21D/14) from A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim. The remaining unclued lights were COCO (12), ANTIC (24), ZANY (43), FESTE (1D), COSTARD (5D), JOSKIN (30) and YORICK (33). SONDHEIM (diagonally from 21) was to be shaded.   First prize Jo Eales, Edinburgh Runners-up John Sparrow, Padbury, Bucks;


no. 456

White to play. This is from Kramnik-Adams, Shamkir 2017. How did Kramnik complete his rout of the black position? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 16 May or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and