Puzzles & games


Bridge | 17 December 2022

This is (unbelievably) my last column of 2022 and I thought I’d give you my team’s highs and lows for the year. Highs would be winning England’s Premier League, closely followed by coming second in the World Bridge Tour’s final in Copenhagen; and you don’t get much lower than being beaten in the first round


Twelve questions for Christmas

1. Who tweeted, in answer to the question ‘Do you still play chess?’: ‘I did as a child, but found it to be too simple to be useful in real life: a mere 8 by 8 grid, no fog of war, no technology tree, no random map or spawn position, only 2 players, both sides exact same pieces,

Chess puzzle

No. 732

Black to play. Babula-Kovacevic, Bundesliga 2022. Black faces a fierce attack, but an extraordinary move won him the game. What did he play? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 2 January. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow



Birthday Boy

Two unclued lights are a title (three words) and its creator (two words). Remaining unclued lights are four names and eight titles (either singly or paired, including two each of two, three and four words and one of five words), each name being associated with two of the titles. The theme word connecting them all

Crossword solution

2583: Out of place – solution

The unclued Across lights are British place-names beginning with P, L, A, C and E and the unclued Down lights are anagrams (i.e. they are ‘out of place’) of these place-names. First prize John Bartlett, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands Runners-up Sue Topham, Elston, Newark; Nicholas Grogan, Purley, Surrey


The Spectator’s 2022 Christmas quiz

Verbals In 2022, who said: 1. Them’s the breaks. 2. I know that we will deliver, we will deliver, we will deliver.  3. Dear, oh dear. 4. Excessive consumption of alcohol is not appropriate in a professional workplace. 5. For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power. 6. I could be wrong, but Hitler