Puzzles & games


Bridge | 28 March 2018

Have you ever picked up your hand, opened a weak 2 on a proper six-card suit (all right, if you’re being honest, maybe a bit underweight point-wise but you’re not vulnerable) and watched with mounting alarm as it goes pass, pass, DOUBLE, all pass? Have you then sat there while they take the first seven


Victor Ludorum

A match which has attracted less attention than it deserves was Luke McShane’s victory over David Howell in the final of the UK Knockout championship, which coincided with the London Classic last December. En route to the final, Luke eliminated both the reigning British champion Gawain Jones and England’s most celebrated grandmaster, Nigel Short.  


Creative spark

In Competition No. 3041, to mark the centenary of the birth of Muriel Spark, you were invited to submit a poem with the title ‘The Ballad of [insert place name here].   I admired Paul Carpenter’s nod to Ken Dodd (‘The Ballad of Knotty Ash’) and David Silverman’s caustic, comic ‘Ballad of Westgate Shopping Centre’,


2352: Upright Characters

Of the unclued entries, three combine to form a phrase (five words) describing three more (four foreign-language words). The remaining three combine to form a sentence (seven words) given by Brewer as an example of one of them.   Across 1    It’s brimming, almost like an optimist’s view? Not half! (8) 8    Song or dance

Crossword solution

to 2349: Novel

The novel was HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster. Round the perimeter run the characters LEONARD BAST, PERCY CAHILL, MARGARET SCHLEGEL and HENRY WILCOX followed by EMF. WADED/SHORN (20/39) and SHOWN/ADDER (11/26) each  combine to form an anagram of HOWARDS END.   First prize Penny Mitchell, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire Runners-up R.R. Alford, Oundle, Peterborough; Kev Ward, Quorn,


no. 499

White to play. This position is from a later game in the match, McShane-Howell, London 2017. How did White conclude his kingside attack? Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 3 April or via email to victoria@spectator.co.uk. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include