Puzzles & games


Bridge | 18 April 2020

While chatting on the phone to my friend Alex Hydes a couple of weeks ago, I asked whether he was playing any online bridge. For a bridge superstar, Alex is unusually down to earth and self-deprecating. ‘I’m rubbish at it,’ he replied. ‘Cards on screen don’t register with me like real cards.’ But only a


Old wine, new bottles

‘Old wine in new bottles’ must be the most protean idiom in the English language. I encountered it a few years ago, as a title to an article by the Romanian grandmaster Mihail Marin, who likes to lean upon his deep knowledge of the chess classics to elucidate games played in the modern era. (Recently

Chess puzzle

No. 600

Black to play. Andrew Stone–Martin Jogstad, 4NCL Online, April 2020. The queen is trapped on f4, so 1…Rxg5 looks worth a try, as after 2 Rxf4 Bxf4 threatens Rg5-g3+. But in the diagram, Black found a far stronger move. Which one? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 20 April. There is a prize


Spectator competition winners: Pangrams in six lines

In Competition No. 3144 you were invited to submit a poem, six lines at most, containing all the letters of the alphabet. Some of the more technical challenges in the past have prompted howls of protest; under the circumstances, I decided not to make this one too taxing. Max Ross speaks, I am sure, for


2453: All right?

Unclued lights, five of two words and two pairs, have something in common. Elsewhere, ignore one accent. Across 1 Keep bearing left for Great Lake (5)11 Mule is slaughtered for food (6)12 Delving into information, understands about saving (7, two words14 800 in circle, enormous (5)15 In the country, must run at first over mountain

Crossword solution

2450: Titled Men solution

Alexandre DUMAS père wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, whose eponymous characters were Athos, Porthos, Aramis and (Edmond) Dantès. First prize Magdalena Deptula, Eton, Berkshire Runners-up Storm Hutchinson, Dulas, Anglesey; Ian Shiels, Leeds