Puzzles & games


Bridge | 28 March 2020

It was impossible to imagine, when I filed my column a fortnight ago, that I would be writing this one in a new and totally unrecognisable world. All places of social activity have been closed, which of course includes bridge clubs, and all games, leagues and tournaments have been postponed ‘until further notice’. The last


The slow puzzle movement

I could list all manner of things I don’t try, because I know I won’t like them, like skydiving and revolting cocktails. But there’s another list of things I don’t try, knowing I might like them just a bit too much. ‘Puzzle Rush’ was, for some time, in the second category. Chess.com is one of

Chess puzzle

No. 597

A puzzle used in the solving championship, composed by Vittorio de Barbieri in 1918. White must give mate in two moves, against any defence. It is tempting to use the long diagonal directly, but the solution is more subtle: look for a move without a direct threat. Answers (first move only) to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday


Songs to wash your hands by

In Competition No. 3141, you were invited to submit a song we can sing instead of ‘Happy Birthday’ during hand-washing. Congratulations all round: this challenge produced a cheering entry — funny, varied and drawing inspiration from far and wide; from the Knack’s ‘My Sharona’ to the Hokey-Cokey. Commendations to David Silverman, Frank Upton and Nick


2450: Titled Men

The unclued lights consist of one author, two titles and four characters; ignore one accent. The titles (three words and five words) are pairs. Across 6 50% caught in large-scale disease outbreak (8)12 Get everyone out of Aleppo, due to lunatic taking over (10)13 Rolls makes an impression (9)14 Killer gets into motor car (4)15

Crossword solution

2447: No small matter solution

BIG, the solution at 21D, can be associated with the ten unclued lights. First prize Elizabeth Shorter, St Austell, CornwallRunners-up John Fahy, Thaxted, Essex; Roger Theobald, Laverstock, Salisbury