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numeracy

In how many distinct ways may the letters of "BOBBY FISCHER" be arranged into two "words"? Any "word" must contain at least one vowel or "y". (Answers on Tuesday)

bridge

You would expect a player in a vulnerable grand slam to take more care than usual. Perhaps the chance of winning a huge rubber induced South to take his eye off the ball.

John Lyttle on film

Female buddy-buddy movies - what a relief. No car chases, no heads being blown off in slow motion, no machine-tooled one-liners that are meant as a hymn to the hero's masculinity but instead highlight his insecurity. Not that female buddy-buddy movies can't be about girls with guns. Thelma and Louise, the classic that revived the genre once known - and derided - as the "women's picture", starred two pistol-packin' mamas, with a much- praised guest appearance by a would-be rapist's corpse. But what the women's picture invariably has is what most action flicks and all summer blockbusters studiously avoid: a sense of life lived, choices made, ordinary detail, the psychological interior. You know, the girlie show...

site unseen The first Lord's Cricket Ground, Dorset Square, London

The smell of cut grass and the sudden appearance in newspapers of long lists of cricket scores - baffling to the uninitiated - herald the arrival of summer.

pick of the week: GREYHOUND DERBY

The country was going to the dogs long before Blur's Damon Albarn revealed his penchant for greyhounds, and today, callow, mockney pretenders can rub shoulders with old-school sheepskinned enthusiasts for one of the high spots of the canine calendar (above). For the best views, head for the Stadium Grandstand. But if you fancy reclining in comfort, repair to the Diamond Room for a pint and a flutter. Races last around 28 seconds, as the Kate Mosses of the dog world break from their traps and dash after those rabbit rags in a bid for doggy glory.

DAY PLANNER

Today

David Benedict on theatre

How to be a literary manager: Go to the movies. Theatres don't programme plays any more, they just put on stage versions of classic films. Find a masterpiece and massacre it appears to be the idea. Tommy Steele did it twice. Not content with tampering with the sublime Singin' in the Rain, he then insisted on touring Some Like It Hot (and nearly bankrupted his producers into the bargain) while Simon Callow came a cropper with Les Enfants du Paradis. That debacle was a molehill when compared with the towering horrors of Carrie the musical which lost its leading lady, Barbara Cook, when she walked out after having nearly been decapitated by the set.

Iain Gale on exhibitions

It is always refreshing when a provincial gallery pulls off a coup and the Abbot Hall Gallery's current Lucian Freud show in Kendall, Cumbria, is just that. While in many ways a thinned-out version of the hugely successful 1992 exhibition which toured Japan, this can hardly be called a major retrospective - around 40 paintings in all. What we do have here, though, is an attractive and well-selected exhibition which neatly charts the career of the painter acclaimed by some as our "greatest living artist".

Dominic Cavendish on literature

THE INDEPE ED:NORTH ISS DATE: 28/06 PAGE:10

Angela Lewis on pop

Dodgy are not the most glamourous troupe in pop. While the likes of Blur and the Bluetones can shake skinny, still adolescent frames on TOTP with laddish narcissism, Dodgy the stodgy have the hairy legs and beer guts to keep them well down the teenage girl's fantasy list. But what they don't lack is an escapade-loving spirit. Every so often you hear they've been arrested at Speakers' Corner for protests against the Criminal Justice Bill, or are involved in some stunt in the campaign for the legalisation of cannabis. And their epic confidence probably explains why the Dodgy Club still thrives after all these years, and why their 1994 album Homegrown spawned several hits in a row. So, just maybe they don't actually need cute-looking cheekbones.

Bridge

Declarer fell for an old trap on this deal. It was one of those hands where there was a direct route to success, irrespective of whether West was having a little game or not.

Site unseen / The Royal Albert Bridge, Cornwall

Life is full of firsts. The first step, the first drink, the first cigarette, the first boy/girlfriend, the first driving test, the first ...

Iain Gale on exhibitions

The opening this week of the summer exhibition at the Royal Academy, calls to mind one of the few highlights of last year's show - a pair of vivid semi-abstract paintings by Barbara Rae. The fact that these works continue to haunt the mind is sufficient proof of the considerable power and presence of this important, though still relatively unknown British painter.

John Lyttle on film

Sometimes a movie is all incidentals. Sometimes it has to be. From Dusk to Dawn (below right), for instance, bills itself as a vampire flick, but has absolutely nothing to add to cinema's vampire lore, while its plot - or plots - are shamelessly borrowed from Cape Fear and The Evil Dead, the latter stitched to the former in a manner Baron Frankenstein might consider crude.

David Benedict on theatre

The whole of Broadway knew that Zoe Caldwell's powerhouse performance as Maria Callas in Masterclass was a dead cert for best actress at this year's Tony Awards. British producers have been winging their way across the Atlantic to put their bids in for the London production. British names suggested for the role include Frances de la Tour, Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg.
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