Puzzles & games


Bridge 18 January 2020

2019 was a big year for Alex Hydes. HUGE in fact. He won, almost consecutively, three major international titles and several lesser ones. On top of that he and Ben Handley-Pritchard have just qualified to play for England in the Europeans in June. No wonder he’s in such demand. I have just returned from Edinburgh


12 rules for chess

As backhanded Christmas gifts go, a copy of 12 Rules for Life, must be up there with wrinkle cream or a nose-hair trimmer. One generous soul decided that Jordan Peterson’s bracing self-help book, published two years ago, was just the tonic I need to improve my life and character.   Who knows what advice to take,

Chess puzzle

no. 587

Sanguineti–Najdorf, Mar del Plata 1956. White to move. White played 1 Kd8?, to threaten 2 Qe7#. Black resigned, overlooking 1…Rxg4 to prepare Ke6-f5. White should have chosen a queen check instead. Which one? Answers by Tuesday 21 January to ‘Chess’ at The Spectator or victoria@-spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct


You must remember this

In Competition No. 3131 you were invited to submit a poem beginning ‘Yes. I remember…’ This challenge was suggested by a reader who was very taken with Adrian Bailey’s poem ‘First Love’, a riff on Edward Thomas’s much-loved ‘Adlestrop’, published recently in this magazine. The winners, in an entry that provided a bracing blast of


2440: Dizzy tiny blonde

The unclued lights (as four pairs and a singleton which includes an abbreviation and apostrophe) are of a kind. 36 is an acronym and 10 includes an accent. Solvers should highlight a further themed title of two words hidden separately in the final grid.   Across 1    Sheriff’s officer’s wild spat during argument (8) 12   

Crossword solution

Magical mystery tour solution

The Journey of the Magi (38A and 39A), by T.S. Eliot, was based on an earlier sermon by Lancelot Andrewes, which is the source of the perimeter’s version of the quotation (starting ‘in the East’, down the right-hand column). His name appears in anagram form at 43D and 12D; and T.S. Eliot similarly at 47D