Puzzles & games


Bridge | 17 November 2016

Have you ever felt that none of your partners are on the same wavelength as you? Despite regularly partnering the world’s top players, Zia Mahmood often jokingly moans (well, semi-jokingly) that he’s made a subtle or clever bid which has fallen on deaf ears. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone: whether he’s bidding or playing, you


Chigorin revived

The early games of the World Championship in New York between Magnus Carlsen and Sergei Karjakin did little to contribute to the gaiety of nations. In the first two games both contestants seemed more anxious to display their ability to avoid loss than to strive heroically for a win. If the two were ‘willing to


I quit

In Competition No. 2974 you were invited to submit a resignation letter from God.   Despite mankind’s attempts to kill Him off, God has continued to bounce back. ‘The Almighty,’ as Terry Eagleton puts it in his book Culture and the Death of God, ‘has proved remarkably difficult to dispose of.’ But what if He


2287: Quarry

In eight clues, cryptic indications omit reference to parts of answers; these parts must be highlighted, to reveal a word that defines each of the unclued lights. Two unclued lights consist of two words each.   Across 1    Quiet exercises by expert (5) 9    Locusts, very large, after jelly and syrup (10) 11

Crossword solution

to 2284: Shocking!

In PYGMALION (21D), ELIZA (32) said NOT BLOODY LIKELY! (7A/9/12).  Synonyms were NEGATIVE (24), RARE (35), ODDS-ON (20). GB SHAW (in the second row) had to be shaded.   First prize Vincent Clark, Frant, East Sussex Runners-up Julie Sanders, Bishops Waltham, Hants; Kenneth Robb, Linlithgow, West Lothian


no. 435

White to play. This is a position from Topalov-Caruana, St Louis 2016. Can you spot White’s crushing blow? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 22 November or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow