Puzzles & games


Bridge | 21 May 2015

I was lucky enough to sit next to David Gilmour of Pink Floyd at a friend’s dinner the other night. I’d been chatting earlier to his wife, the novelist Polly Sampson, who had mentioned that she’d like to learn bridge some day, and so I tried to enthuse him too. Perhaps I got a little


Reichenbach falls

The former world champion Vladimir Kramnik recently espoused an opening system which I elaborated in a tournament in Germany in 1975. Remarkably, in the first two rounds of the Mannheim competition, both of my opponents defended identically, and both were eventually ground down in simplified positions. Kramnik used the same method to defeat grandmaster Peter Svidler,


21st-century Belloc

In Competition No. 2898 you were invited to give an update on one of the children in Cautionary Tales who lived to tell the tale. Belloc’s gallery of kiddie delinquents suffered particularly unpleasant comeuppances — being eaten, feet upwards, by a lion, and so on. Of those who did escape with their lives, weepy Lord


Plus ça change

The unclued Across lights (Individually or as a pair) are defined by the unclued Down lights (individually or as a pair).   Across   1    Consistent growth, as an unflappable batsman? (14, two words) 11    Dull-grey pelt (5) 12    Apparently futile flower (4) 13    Gay Tory awkwardly embracing Republican (5) 14

Crossword solution

To 2209: Safe-blowers

The unclued lights were preceded by PETER (translation of 32A) to form phrases listed in Chambers or Brewer. First prize Christopher Bellew, London W6 Runners-up Alexander Caldin, Salford, Oxfordshire; Mark Roberts, Hostert, Luxembourg


Puzzle no. 363

White to play. This is from Kramnik-Svidler, Russian Team Championship, Sochi 2015. The black pieces are in a tangle and vulnerable to tactical strikes. How did Kramnik now launch just such a strike? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 26 May or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. The winner will be the first correct