Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} A 5 2

{heart} K Q 9 8 6

{diam} 5 4 2

{club} 9 5

WEST

{spade} Q J 10

{heart} 5 3

{diam} K 9 6

{club} 10 8 6 3 2

EAST

{spade} 9 8 6 3

{heart} A 10 4 2

{diam} Q 8 7

{club} Q 7

SOUTH (D)

{spade} K 7 4

{heart} J 7

{diam} A J 10 3

{club} A K J 4

The bidding: South West North East1 NT Pass 2 {club} Pass 2 {diam} Pass 2 {heart} Pass 3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {club} 3

"Think we'll ever learn where Cy worked?" Unlucky Louie asked me. Cy the Cynic's former job is a mystery. He won't talk about it -- except to give gag answers to queries.

"Were you a gardener, Cy?"

"No," he'll reply, "but I once managed a plant."

"How about a marriage counselor?"

"No, but I served as a makeup artist."

"Did you raise cattle?"

"No, but I was a stock analyst."

When I watched Cy play today's 3NT, I didn't put much stock in his analysis. He took the first club with the king and led the jack of hearts, winning, and a heart to the king and ace.

Cy won the club return, led a spade to dummy and cashed the queen of hearts hopefully. When West discarded, Cy tried a diamond to his ten. West won and returned a spade, and since Cy couldn't get back to dummy for another diamond finesse, he took only two hearts, two spades, three clubs and a diamond.

Cy says he never captained a fishing boat but spent time as a casting director. How would you cast about for nine tricks?

At Trick Two South leads his seven of hearts to dummy's eight! If East takes the ten, South forces out the ace later and has nine tricks.

If the eight of hearts wins, South can't be sure of setting up the hearts; he next leads a diamond to his ten. If West returns a spade, South takes the king and leads the jack of hearts. East ducks, but South later reaches dummy with the ace of spades for another diamond finesse. When the diamonds lie well, he makes an overtrick.

(c)2004, Tribune Media Services