Puzzles & games


Bridge | 13 July 2017

Here’s one of my favourite hands from the European Open Championships — although it caused David Gold to spend the next hour kicking himself. David is a world-class player, but even Homer nods, and after days competing in a sweltering tent in the Tuscan countryside, he made a small error which led him to go


Queen’s gambit | 13 July 2017

International master Andrew Martin is the head of the English Chess Federation Academy. He is well qualified for this post, since his conversational writing style is both characteristically endearing and informative. It is very easy to learn from Andrew’s work. His latest book is a tour de force of the venerable Queen’s Gambit which was


Laughing matter

In Competition No. 3006 you were invited to submit a sonnet that takes as its opening line Keats’s ‘Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell:’ (This was a sonnet Keats chose not to publish but transcribed into a long letter he wrote over a period in early 1819 to George and Georgiana Keats,


2318: Groundwork

One unclued light (four words) is the title of a 40 recorded by 43 (two words). This title forms a cryptic indication of one unclued light, which defines each of the other unclued lights.   Across 11    Unlucky guys taken in by bad old lie (9, hyphened) 12    Try to turn round cubic

Crossword solution

to 2315: Trunk call

4, 40, 43, 1, 3, 16 and 17 were all examples of PORTMANTEAU words, into which are packed the sense (and sound) of two other words.   First prize F. Whitehead, Harrogate, N. Yorks Runners-up Mark Rowntree, London SE10; D.G. Page, Orpington, Kent


no. 465

White to play. This is from Nepomniachtchi-Korobov, Khanty-Mansiysk 2017. Black’s king is clearly in desperate trouble. What is the most accurate way to finish off? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 18 July or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat.