Wednesday, December 1. It was cool in Los Angeles. We were working the daywatch out of Bunco Division. The boss is Capt. Stewart. My partner's Frank Smith. He's a good player. My name's Friday.

We got a call about a misdefense at a club in Burbank. We checked it out. The suspect was sitting East when we arrived. West came over to talk with us.

"It was terrible, officer. Terrible."

"Just the facts, ma'am."

"South ruffed the third club and led a trump to the king. My partner took the ace and led a heart. Since South couldn't get to dummy to finesse with the ten of trumps, he cashed the queen, dropping my jack, and claimed. My partner should be arrested."

We took East into custody. He must duck smoothly on the first trump and again when dummy returns a trump. South will finesse with the ten, thinking West has the ace, and lose two trumps.

Trial was held in and for the County of Los Angeles. East was sentenced to read a good book on defensive play.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S K 5 4 H 9 6 2 D J 7 3 2 C K 6 2. Dealer, at your left, opens one spade. Your partner doubles, you respond 1NT and partner raises to 2NT. What do you say?

ANSWER: Pass. Your bid of 1NT promised six to nine points, balanced pattern and at least one trick in spades. Partner is likely to have at least 16 good points; but since your values lie in the minimum range and your spade "stopper" is flimsy, you can't accept an invitation.

North-South vulnerable

NORTH

S K 5 4

H 9 6 2

D J 7 3 2

C K 6 2

WEST

S J 6

H J 10 7 3

D 9 8 4

C Q J 10 9

EAST

S A 9 3

H 8 5 4

D 10 6 5

C A 8 7 4

SOUTH

S Q 10 8 7 2

H A K Q

D A K Q

C 5 3

South West North East

1 S Pass 2 S Pass

4 S All Pass

Opening lead -- C Q

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate