Puzzles & games


Bridge | 23 April 2022

It seems ironic that while many bridge players are fighting to ‘Keep Bridge Alive’, raising money to encourage and teach the next generation of potential enthusiasts, the English Bridge Union seems to be doing the exact opposite. They have just cut the funding for sending Juniors to championships – crucial to the development of their


What is possible

There are lessons in chess that cannot be learned from a book. One lands, from time to time, in a position which amounts to a trial by fire – a test of conviction as much as skill. The experience of such a game can stay with you for ever, radically altering your sense of what

Chess puzzle

No. 699

Black to play. Sukandar-Niemann, Reykjavik Open 2022. In this preposterous position, Black found a quick forced mate. What did he play? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 25 April. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six weeks


Spectator competition winners: Let’s parler Franglais

In Competition No. 3245, you were asked to take a passage from a classic of French literature and recast it in Franglais. This challenge invited you to engage in the parlour game popularised by the late Miles Kington, whose much-loved ‘Let’s Parler Franglais’ columns in Punch were described by Michael Bywater as a ‘macaronic jeu


2552: ????

Eight unclued entries comprise four pairs whose thematic ordering is provided by 3, 31, 37 and 41.   Across 1 Deft, dry in denial (5) 6 Bitter unit – British back in charge (7) 11 Criminal or liar with cult having three cells (10) 13 Distress furniture suitable for oils? (9) 15 Talks, say, regularly,

Crossword solution

2549: Obscurity – solution

PALE FIRE is a novel by Vladimir NABOKOV (18). Synonyms of words in the novel’s title are 7, 15A, and 28, 36. Surnames of characters are KINBOTE (27), the components of which are defined by 21 and 37, and SHADE (1A), which is defined by 30 and also indicates how to treat the concealed title.