Puzzles & games


Bridge | 17 April 2019

You’re probably familiar with the old bridge adage: ‘Never put down an 8-card suit in dummy’. If you’re lucky enough to be dealt such a hand — you’d better make sure you’re the one to set trumps. Of course, it does occasionally happen that your partner won’t stop bidding his own suit, forcing you to


Carlsen the Great

I cannot conceal the feeling over the years of Magnus Carlsen’s leading position at the head of world chess, that his victories were to be ascribed to his powers of Sitzfleisch (endurance at the board) or opposing errors, rather than his own enterprise, dynamism and genius. The result of the London world championship last year


That way madness lies

In Competition No. 3094 you were invited to submit a ‘Sonnet Found in a Deserted Mad House’. G.K. Chesterton once observed that ‘poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese’. Well, not the anonymous author of the curious poem that inspired this challenge: line eight of ‘Sonnet Found in a Deserted Mad House’,


2404: 1+2 = 3+4

The unclued lights (one of two words) share a feature, different in each case, and one is a past participle. One of the clued solutions shares this feature but is not as long and should be highlighted. One other solution is an acronym.   Across 5    Army doctor’s business supported by wife’s capital (6) 10   

Crossword solution

to 2401: sign here please

The unclued lights are ACCENTS or DIACRITICAL SIGNS and any appearing on letters in the grid had to be ignored.   First prize Professor Colin Ratledge, E. Yorkshire Runners-up V.A. Plomer, Swindon; B. Taylor, Bolton


no. 550

Black to play. This position is a variation from Navara-Carlsen, Shamkir 2019. What is Black’s only winning move? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 23 April 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