Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} K J 9 8 7 5

{heart} J 9 8 7

{diam} A

{club} K 5

WEST

{spade} A Q 10 3

{heart} 5 4

{diam} Q J 7 3

{club} 7 4 2

EAST

{spade} 6 4 2

{heart} A 3 2

{diam} 10 4

{club} J 9 8 6 3

SOUTH

{spade} None

{heart} K Q 10 6

{diam} K 9 8 6 5 2

{club} A Q 10

The bidding: NorthEastSouthWest1 {spade} Pass2 {diam} Pass2 {spade} Pass3 {heart} Pass2 {spade} Pass5 {club} Pass5 {diam} Pass6 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} 4

My friend the English professor and I were sitting in the lounge when Cy the Cynic came in from the penny Chicago game.

"I think I know how Noah Webster came to compile his dictionary," Cy told the professor. "Noah would try to talk to his wife, but as soon as he'd start, she'd say, 'What's that supposed to mean?' So . . . "

"Have you been playing against Wendy again?" I asked. Wendy, our resident feminist, and Cy, a shameless chauvinist, are old foes.

Cy showed us today's deal. He was East and Wendy was South. Cy won the trump opening lead and returned a trump, and Wendy next cashed the ace of diamonds, led a trump to her hand, took the king of diamonds and ruffed a diamond.

When Cy discarded, Wendy took her club tricks and conceded a diamond for down one.

"Not an easy slam to make," Cy remarked.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Wendy demanded. "Suppose I take the ace of diamonds and then the high clubs, cash the king of diamonds and ruff a diamond. I can ruff a spade and ruff another diamond to set up the diamonds, but I can't get back to my hand to take them. If I ruff another spade with my last trump, I've lost control."

After Wendy takes the ace of diamonds, she can overtake the king of clubs with the ace, cash the king of diamonds and ruff a diamond. She then leads the five of clubs to her ten (!), ruffs another diamond, ruffs a spade, draws trumps and claims.

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