Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - By Frank Stew­art

Cy the Cynic’s for­mer job, if any, is a mys­tery at my club. Cy won’t talk about it, save to give gag an­swers to queries. “Cy, were you a baker?” “Only when I kneaded the dough.” “An ar­chae­ol­o­gist?” “My ca­reer lay in ru­ins.” “Did you work in an auto shop ro­tat­ing tires?” “Off and on.” “Off and on” de­scribes Cy’s play: bril­liance or blun­der. At four spades, Cy took the ace of hearts, led a trump to his hand and re­turned a di­a­mond: four, 10, king. He won the next heart, led a trump to his hand and passed his nine of di­a­monds to the ace.

The Cynic ruffed East’s heart re­turn and drew trumps; he had none left. He took the queen of di­a­monds and ace of clubs but lost the rest. Down one.

Cy was off. At Trick Two, dummy must lead a di­a­mond. Cy wins the heart re­turn, con­cedes a di­a­mond, ruffs the next heart and leads a di­a­mond to the queen. East can ruff, but if he leads a heart, Cy cross­ruffs for 10 tricks; if a trump, Cy draws trumps and scores his long di­a­monds.

Ques­tion: You hold: ♠ 108 ♥ AK83 ♦ Q 10 6 ♣ A 10 9 4. You open one club, your part­ner re­sponds one spade, you bid 1NT and he raises to 2NT. What do you say?

An­swer: This de­ci­sion is close. You have no ex­tra high-card strength and no spade honor to help set up part­ner’s suit. As against that, your three 10s add to the value of your hand. If your side is vul­ner­a­ble, with more to gain, bid 3NT.

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