Puzzles & games


Bridge | 14 January 2016

Forgive me for the outdated, clichéd expression but …GIRL POWER! The surprise winners of last weekend’s TGRs auction pairs were two women internationals, Paula Leslie (Scotland) and Solvi Rehmen (Norway). It was a giant victory — and a small step for womankind. Many of the (male) heavyweights of the bridge world had flown to London


Paul stories

An excellent recent article by Dominic Lawson in Standpoint magazine reminded me of the greatness of Paul Keres. The Estonian grandmaster,whose centenary falls this month, was silver medallist in no fewer than four world championship Candidates tournaments. (I will be writing about him next week.) Another illustrious player (one with the same first name) is



In Competition No. 2930 you were invited to submit up to 16 lines of macaronic verse. A dictionary of poetic terms will tell you that macaronic is a verse form popularised by Teofilo Folengo, a Mantuan monk, which uses a mixture of languages, normally with a comic or satirical intent. I prefer E.O. Parrott’s elegant


Christmas crossword: The winners | 14 January 2016

The first prize of £100, three prizes of £25 and six further prizes of the Chambers Dictionary of Great Quotations (2015) go to the following. The first four prizewinners also each receive a bottle of champagne. First prize Andrew Dymond, London SE24 Runners-up Mrs P. Bealby, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland; David Norwood, Puddletown, Dorset; Roderick Burgess, Cantsfield, Carnforth

2243: Obit III

Last year we lost a popular 39 of stage and screen. 18A/16 (four words in total) and 10/18A/15 (five words in total) are titles linked with the 39. 25 is the name16, while the remaining unclued lights give the name of the 39. A closely linked name (two words) will appear diagonally in the grid

Crossword solution

Christmas crossword solution

The grid quotation was from the JOURNEY OF THE MAGI (T S ELIOT). Initial letters of superfluous words spelled out ‘Heap on more wood, the wind is chill / But let it whistle where it will / We’ll keep our Christmas merry still’, from MARMION (Sir Walter SCOTT). Unclued works by these authors were the


No. 391

White to play. This is from Fischer-Benko, US Championship, New York 1963. The obvious 1 e5 is successfully parried by 1 … f5. What did Fischer do instead? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 19 January or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk or by fax on 020 7681 3773. There is a prize of £20 for