Puzzles & games


Bridge | 31 July 2021

When I started learning bridge (about 20 years ago) I was taught the basic guidelines of play and defence and stuck to them rigidly. When I got out of the classroom and into the bridge club all my tried and tested rules were worthless — when they didn’t work. Third hand plays high — except


The king of no castling

In the body of chess rules, castling is a clumsy protuberance. Once per game, you get to move king and rook at the same time, with a bewildering list of exceptions. (One dreads having to broach these gotchas with a novice opponent who has castled improperly.) Despite its convoluted logic, castling is nothing more than

Chess puzzle

No. 664

White to play. Greco–NN, 1620. The centre is a dangerous place for the king. Which move does White play to force mate in two moves? Answers should be emailed to chess@spectator.co.uk by Tuesday 3 August. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal address.



2517: Final line-up

The unclued lights appeared at the start under the shaded squares reading row by row from top to bottom (two words). Across 5 Touring hotel, arrive at poor area (6) 10 Old driver will show support going about in revelry (10) 12 Resort with edge beside popular island (6) 16 Church collection on foot? (5)

Crossword solution

2514: Welcome Back – Solution

Unclued lights were stories in The Return of Sherlock Holmes. (The Adventures of the: EMPTY (41) HOUSE (2), DANCING MEN (12), PRIORY (31) SCHOOL (1A), ABBEY (9) GRANGE (45), SECOND (1D) STAIN (42), and of BLACK (26) PETER (5). First prize Jonathan Dollin, Droitwich, Worcs Runners-up Ben Stephenson, London SW12; Mrs L. Miller, Vale, Guernsey