Challenge 7X65 by Richard Pavlicek
Bad breaks abound on these problems, but have no fear: Jane Marple is on the case! Your goal as her assistant is to cope with the foul distribution you will discover. Unfortunately, despite Miss Marples insistence, Scotland Yard wont even acknowledge that a crime has been committed. So be careful! If you dig too deep, you might unearth a corpse or two.
As declarer on each of the six problems, all you have to do is choose your play from options A-F. Each option will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale based on my judgment.
I hope youve had your cup of tea, as the sinister events are about to unfold. Inspector Craddock has reluctantly briefed you on the Yards investigation, which you believe is off target. You think the evildoings stem from a local theatrical troupe and decide to feign a bit of acting talent and work undercover. Good luck, brave soul!
Due to the importance of this case, in February 2004 I gave the 838 entrants from 104 locations a full extra day to solve it! Im generous like that. (The fact that 2004 happened to be a leap year was just a coincidence.) And whats more, if you prove yourself to be one of the top detectives, you might even win a valuable prize.*
*Prizes include five signed sets (with certificate of authenticity) of the complete works of Agatha Christie. Winners must be at most 18 years of age and a Knight (or Dame) Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire. Dames of Sir PavCo Ltd. are ineligible.
You win the K and lead the Q, on which West pitches the 7 and East ducks. What next?
You play low from dummy and capture Easts Q with your king. What next?
How do you play?
You play dummys 10, and East plays the queen. How do you play?
You duck, and West leads the 10 (East plays 7) to your ace. On the A, East on your right pitches the 8. What next?
You win the K, as East pitches the Q! You next lead the 3, and East predictably chucks another heart. What now?
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Acknowledgments to Agatha Christie (1890-1976) and her Miss Marple character.Photos are Margaret Rutherford in Murder Most Foul (1964).© 2004 Richard Pavlicek