Puzzles & games


Bridge | 29 December 2016

There are an awful lot of bridge babies in the world — that is, babies born to mothers so addicted to the game that they’re still playing when they go into labour. I recently learnt that the actor Jack Lemmon was one: his mother Mildred was playing in New York’s Ritz-Carlton hotel when her contractions


Game of the year

Probably the most spectacular game played in the past year was the brilliant win by Gawain Jones in the Olympiad. Gawain, a devotee of the King’s Indian Defence, succeeded in fashioning a masterpiece very much in the style of those King’s Indian heroes David Bronstein, Mikhail Tal and Leonid Stein.   Nguyen (Vietnam)-Jones (England): Baku


Empty words

In Competition No. 2977 you were invited to submit a selection of meaningless, pseudo-profound statements. Bullshit was defined in a 2005 essay by the philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt as being characterised by a lack of concern for the truth, as distinct from a deliberate intent to deceive (i.e. lying). Which makes this the ideal comp


2290: Timely II

Clockwise round the grid from 11 run three trios (8,4,6,5,9,3,5,8,4), each trio combining to suggest the same word. A trio of unclued lights combine to give a relevant activity (hyphened) and the remaining unclued light gives a relevant name verifiable in Brewer.   Across 9    Hat to be pleased with resembling a boater (10) 13   

Crossword solution

to 2288: Housey-housey

Unclued lights are names of PARLIAMENTS.   First prize Judith Bevis, Newport Runners-up Hilda Ball, Belfast; Michael Grocott, Loughborough



White to play and win. This is a position from Caruana-Kramnik, Leuven 2016. Answers to me at The Spectator by Tuesday 3 January 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 a postal address and allow six weeks for prize delivery.