Puzzles & games


Bridge | 10 February 2024

The Reykjavik Bridge Festival, held annually at the end of January, is one of the great treats of the bridge calendar, and this year it was twice as good: Thomas Charlsen decided to hold his terrific World Bridge Tour (WBT) just preceding it to make it easier for teams who wanted to play both. In


Fearless teens

A trio of teenagers dominated the Tata Steel Challengers event, which took place in Wijk aan Zee last month alongside the elite Masters event. Their fearless chess helped them get the better of many more experienced grandmasters. India’s Leon Luke Mendonca, 17, took first place with 9.5/13, and will receive an invitation to the Masters

Chess puzzle

No. 787

White to play. Salem-Vrolijk, Tata Steel Challengers 2024. Black’s last move, Qf2-c2, was a fatal error in an otherwise drawn endgame. Which queen check won White the game? Email answers to chess@spectator.co.uk by Monday 12 February. There is a prize of £20 for the first correct answer out of a hat. Please include a postal


Spectator competition winners: mischievous Valentine acrostics

In Competition No. 3335 you were invited to submit an acrostic poem for Valentine’s Day whose acrostic contains an unValentine-ish sentiment. The prize winners, printed below, pocket £20 apiece. Venus, darling, gorgeous snuggly-wuggly, Apple of my ever-loving eye,  Let me kiss you, squeeze you, honey-bunny,  Ever-treasured sugar, sweetie-pie, Nuzzle me, my gorgeous, hot stud muffin,


2640: Double entry

The 12 six-letter unclued lights bear a common feature, different in each case, but ignore one hyphen.         Across    1    Put up a hammock for son with Heather (5)    4    One lies drunk after attempt to restore equilibrium (9)    9    After seven days, say, shall journalist be wimpish? (4-6) 11    Muse was,

2637: Born to sing – solution

The unclued lights are the given names of pop stars. The pairs are 7D/20, 12/11, 25/24, 26/1D and 33/8. First prize Karen Bloom, Allington, Maidstone, Kent Runners-up Bernard Golding, Earsdon, Whitley Bay; D.P. Shenkin, London WC1