Puzzles & games


Bridge | 22 July 2023

Bridge isn’t a game you can master quickly. Quite the opposite: with every new level you reach, another looms above you. The higher you climb, the more humbling it is: possibilities you didn’t even know existed reveal themselves, yet remain beyond your grasp. Frankly, even Sisyphus wouldn’t swap places. Recently, one of the clients I



Nine wins in a row. What are the chances? That’s how Magnus Carlsen began on the first day of blitz (fast) chess at the the Zagreb Grand Chess Tour. My guesstimate is that Carlsen wins no more than half of his blitz games against the standard of opposition that he faced in Croatia, where his

Chess puzzle

No. 761

White to play. Rapport-Caruana, Grand Chess Tour Rapid, Zagreb 2023. Caruana’s last move, 61…Bd6-e7, was a decisive mistake. Which move allowed Rapport to take advantage? Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 24 July.There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address. Last week’s solution


Spectator competition winners: short stories after Walter de la Mare

In Competition No. 3208 you were invited to submit a short story whose first or last line is: ‘“Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller.’ The given line opens Walter de la Mare’s slippery, haunting, much-anthologised ‘The Listeners’ and many entries echoed the 1912 poem’s supernatural theme. An honourable mention to George Simmers and David


2614: Monkey business

Unclued lights (one of three words and one of two words, singly or paired) form three groups. Group 1 is three words of a kind; group 2 is two names and a title; group 3 is a name and part of a title. The word that links them must be highlighted in the grid.         Across    8   

Crossword solution