Puzzles & games


Bridge | 24 February 2024

‘I haven’t seen this before,’ began a recent email from my friend and frequent contributor Nick Sandqvist. That meant it would be a bit special, and it certainly was. Double game swings are not as rare as you may think: 4♥ making one way and 4♠ the other – usually with a double attached –


It’s a knockout

‘Chess is a sea in which a gnat may drink and an elephant may bathe.’ I’m fond of that adage, which speaks to the depth of the game in a way that numbers cannot. But how many possible games of chess are there? The mathematician Claude Shannon wrote a paper in 1949: ‘Progamming a Computer

Chess puzzle

No. 789

White to play and mate in two moves. Composed by M. Lokker, Shakhmatnaya Moskva, 1967 Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 26 February. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow six weeks for prize delivery. Last week’s solution



2642: A cipher to decode

The unclued lights (including one of three words, one of two words, two hyphened and one pair) have nothing in common. Across 11    Get sober people welcoming sober person home (6) 12    Litotes newspaper plugs seem so funny (7) 15    Poser’s strain (6) 18    Distributed case for delicate key (5) 19    Engineers, mature but not

Crossword solution

2639: Spelling the End – solution

Prospero said ‘I’ll drown my book’ (The Tempest 5.1.56), illustrated by three volumes at the bottom of lake. First prize  Eleanor Morrall, Coseley, West Midlands Runners-up  Peter Marginson, Wilmslow, Cheshire; Roger Sherman, Richmond, Surrey