Puzzles & games


Bridge | 18 January 2018

The first home tournament of 2018 was last week’s four-day European Open Trials. Ten selected pairs played 216 boards at IMPs scoring, competing for the chance to play in this year’s European Championships. The top two will join Andrew Robson and Tony Forrester (who were preselected) to form the team representing England. My regular partner


Willing to wound | 18 January 2018

‘Willing to wound and yet afraid to strike,’ wrote Alexander Pope about Atticus. Those lines more or less describe the entire tone of the London Classic, which concluded towards the end of last year. Though it was a powerful event, there were too many anodyne draws to stir the blood of either the live audience


Rude food

In Competition No. 3031 you were invited to provide a review by a restaurant critic that is tediously loaded with sexual language.   I have had this comp up my sleeve since reading a piece by Steven Poole in the Observer in which he laid into the relentless sexualisation of food in our culture: ‘Everyone



A beastly business The quote is 1A/92/18D from the poem ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’. The theme was the names of the eight reindeer in the poem. Three were highlighted whilst the others each suggested three unclued lights: Dasher (26, 63 and 83 — sprinters); Comet (12, 48 and 64 — astronomers’ names given to

2342: Decorative

Two unclued lights are terms for the same style. One, consisting of two words, forms a cryptic indication of each of two unclued lights. The other is a word that can be divided into three words; each of these defines each of two of the other unclued lights.   Across 1    Part of thesis


no. 489

White to play. This position is from O. Howell-Pickersgill, Hastings 2017/18. White now terminated proceedings abruptly. What was the key move? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 23 January 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