Puzzles & games


Bridge | 20 October 2016

I felt like an absolute hypocrite the other week. Sally Brock’s team had just beaten Alexander Allfrey’s in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup. They were due to go face to face against Simon Gillis’s team in the final the next day. I texted Sally: ‘Good luck, hope you win!’ Later that afternoon I bumped



The polls are in for next month’s big event in the USA and Magnus Carlsen has emerged the clear favourite in his world title defence against Sergey Karjakin. Indeed, the Norwegian world champion leads by five wins to one in the classical format used in New York. The match is organised by Agon and the


Ig Nobel

In Competition No. 2970 you were invited to supply an extract from an Ig Nobel Prize-winner’s speech that describes the ‘achievement’ (invented by you) being honoured. The Igs are spoof awards handed out annually at Harvard for scientific achievements that manage to be both hilarious and thought-provoking. In 2014’s Neuroscience category, for example, the award


2283: Be damned

The unclued lights (one of two words, one of three and-another of four components) are of a kind. Chambers gives only a cognate of the solution at 7 Down.   Across 9    River in middle of West Bank city (4) 11    Seafarer of marked individuality, but primitive (10) 12    Clear illustration includes appendage of seed

Crossword solution

to 2280: Acorns

The unclued lights are famous British OAK trees.   First prize Gerry Fairweather, Layer Marney, Essex Runners-up Mrs L. Ashley, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex; Jan Thompson, Bolton, Lancs.


Puzzle no. 431

White to play. This position is a variation from Carlsen-Karjakin, Monaco 2011. Although White is a rook up he only has one move to ensure ­victory. What is it? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 25 October or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first ­correct answer