Puzzles & games


Bridge | 15 October 2015

Two weeks playing the Bermuda Bowl (world championships) in Chennai ended heartbreakingly for England’s awesome Open Team and their loyal supporters, who watched every board they could on BBO. They had qualified easily to the play-offs and drew USA 1 (the favourites for the gold medal) in the quarter final. After a thrilling match, England


Thud and blunder

The Fidé World Cup, which finished last week in Baku, boasted over $1 million in overall prize money, with $100,000 going to the winner. The format consisted of short sharp knockout matches, hardly congenial to heavyweight contenders such as Kramnik, Topalov, Aronian, Nakamura and Caruana, who were all eliminated in the early stages. The final,


Change of direction

In Competition No. 2919 you were invited to write a poem that begins with the first line or two lines of a well-known poem but then takes off in a new and unexpected direction. It was an exceptionally crowded field this week and the winners below fought off strong competition to take £20 each. Basil


2233: Clutching at straws!

The unclued lights, either individually or as a pair, are of a kind. Ignore one accent.   Across 4 Read tea-leaves with nettle and flour ingredients (11, two words) 12 Rejected English found in pithy sayings (6) 14 Silent block (5) 19 Spare book (7) 21 Pay some Brazilian temp (4) 24 Ex-giant, literally (4)

Crossword solution

To 2230: Lot 46

The unclued lights are FRENCH DÉPARTEMENTS, with five of them placed in the grid at their correct administrative number: 2, 3, 25, 36, and 39. First prize Gordon Hobbs, Woodford Green, Essex Runners-up Rowan Priestman, Burpham, Guildford; J. Caldwell, Winster, Windermere


Puzzle no. 383

Black to play. This is from Karjakin-Svidler, Fidé World Cup, Baku 2015. The position occurred earlier in the third game detailed above. Black played 1 … b4, missing something much stronger. What should he have played? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 20 October or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. The winner will be