Puzzles & games


Bridge | 28 November 2019

Nothing is ever routine or boring when Alex Hydes is at the table. One of England’s best players, he’s a master at bluffing and pressurising opponents. His bidding may sometimes seem enjoyably eccentric, but in fact it’s the result of perfect logic and judgment. And he combines all this with wonderful humour and an eye


A good year for Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is the star attraction at this year’s London Chess Classic. The festival, now in its 11th edition, runs from 29 November to 8 December at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington. The World Champion will play in the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour, in a four-player knockout event with a $350,000 prize


What’s in a name? | 28 November 2019

In Competition No. 3126 you were invited to rearrange the letters of the names of poets (e.g. Basho: ‘has B.O.’) and submit a poem of that title in the style of the poet concerned.   The inspiration for this challenge was the puzzle writer and editor Francis Heaney’s wonderful Holy Tango of Literature, which includes


2436: The Devil’s Own

The unclued lights, including one of two words, comprise two adjectives and six  nouns. All share a common origin and are confirmed in Chambers.   Across 11    Prelude not quite within 24 hours (7) 12    Seen dancing without my extra turns (7) 14    Kind of horse judge impounds (6) 16    Number in Bow with many

Crossword solution

to 2433: House and garden

The painters were Millais (suggested by BOXING MATCH/SLOTHS: 1A/9D), Constable (GYP/FIRM: 7A/35), Gainsborough (EARNS/BROOKLYN: 29/24) and Landseer (NATION/SOOTHSAYER: 30/19).   The title suggested Hogarth.   First prize R.J. Green, Llangynidr, Crickhowell   Runners-up Judith Cookson, Prestbury, Gloucestershire; Hugh Dales, Dysart, Fife


no. 582

Black to play. Zelcic–Melkumyan, Tournament of Peace, November 2019. Melkumyan enjoys a big endgame advantage, and he found a cute way to finish the game off. What did he play? Answers to ‘Chess’ at The Spectator by Tuesday 3 December or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct