Moliere, a 17th-century French playwright, said, “Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive.”
Nowadays, I would guess that the most pricey is a Broadway musical, which would be appropriate because this deal was played several years ago during a duplicate in New York City.
How should South play in three no-trump after West leads the spade queen?
North and South were lucky that they had 4-4 fits in the minors. With the bad splits in each of those suits, if one had been a major, four of that major would have failed. Three no-trump, though, was makable with careful play.
Declarer began with six top tricks: two spades and four diamonds. Most players in the duplicate looked no further than taking three club tricks. If they won the first trick in the dummy, they played a club to the king and a club back to the jack. But East took that trick and returned a spade. Those who won trick one in hand and played a club to the jack suffered the same fate, ending down one.
The careful players spotted an avoidance play. After winning trick one on the board and playing a club to the king, they crossed to the dummy with a diamond and led another low club.
If East took that trick, South had two spades, four diamonds and three clubs. Most Easts ducked again. Now, after winning with the club queen, declarer played a heart to dummy's queen to guarantee at least two spades, one heart, four diamonds and two clubs.
Then the noise was North congratulating his partner.