Puzzles & games


Bridge | 26 June 2021

On the whole, I’ve enjoyed playing bridge from the comfort of home during lockdown. One regrettable outcome, however, is that I’ve taken up smoking again. Cards and cigarettes just go too well together. Back in the days before smoking was banned indoors, we puffed away so much at TGR’s rubber bridge club that I couldn’t


How to lose

Millions of people would see losing to Anand as a privilege rather than a disgrace. So it is simply astonishing that one lucky opponent, facing the Indian star in an online simultaneous display, squandered the opportunity by cheating. ‘Checkmate Covid, celebrity edition’, hosted earlier this month by Chess.com, was supposed to be a lighthearted event,

Chess puzzle

No. 659

White to play. Gukesh–Yip, Gelfand Challenge, June 2021. White has strong pressure on the f-file, but which move forces a decisive material gain? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 28 June. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address and allow


Spectator competition winners: Rondeaus on a summery theme

In Competition No. 3204, you were invited to supply a rondeau with a summery theme. The best-known English rondeau is the Canadian poet and doctor John McRae’s first world war poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ (which inspired the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance). But the form has it roots in medieval and


2512: Impertinence

Clockwise round the grid from 34 run the answers (6,6,5, 11,4,3,7,4) (one hyphened) to eight riddles followed by the riddler’s name. Two pairs of unclued lights give the name of the riddler’s brother and the nature of the riddler. Shaded squares will give the letters of a relevant name. Elsewhere, ignore an accent. Across 7

Crossword solution

2509: Current description – solution

The perimeter quote is from ‘Ode to the West Wind’. The remaining unclued lights were the east wind (24A), south wind (30A), north wind (37A), and west wind (17A) which was to be highlighted. First prize Sarah Drury, Devizes, Wiltshire Runners-up Len Coumbe, Benfleet, Essex; Stephen Billyeald, Pangbourne, Berkshire