Puzzle 8N79 by Richard Pavlicek
In my continued efforts to stop David Bird from stealing my titles, I remind him that spelling counts. One t doesnt cut it; anyone with half a brain knows there are two, and I could claim three in Hey Abb-b-o-t-tt. And dont think for a minute that adding Monsignors to your stories changes anything! My attorneys have issued a cease-and-desist order, so be warned. Keep your beak off my puzzles! If these thefts continue, you may be the next Birdman of Alcatraz.
Click for a list of successful solvers
While surfing the Internet I came across the transcript of a 1938 radio broadcast from San Francisco just a stones throw from Alcatraz, so pay attention, Mr. Bird. It was a half-hour comedy show featuring Abbott and Costello. About midway through my interest was piqued by the following dialog, highlighting Bud Abbotts penchant for bridge:
[Bud] Lou! Let me give you a hand.
[Lou] Were friends; no need to clap.
No, you nitwit, I mean a bridge hand.
Thanks! I get nervous on the Golden Gate.
You hold A-J-10 K-J-10 10-7-5-3 10-9-2.
Thats too heavy. I cant even hold my breath.
What do you lead against six notrump?
First a right cross, then an uppercut.
which Card do you lead?
Diners Club is all I have.
Never mind. It was cold.
I knew that!
Scribbled in Abbotts handwriting in the margin was a Yarborough, presumably partner of the above. Beneath it was the note no long suit in dummy, no accidents, but that was it. No other bridge information existed, though one could surmise that whatever the missing hands were, Lou would be the perfect dummy. A partial construction shows:
Having occurred some 80 years ago, and with all parties long passed, hopes of further recovery are slim. Aside from Abbotts allusion to 6 NT being cold and his curious note, which Ill interpret as no 5+ card suit in dummy, and no singleton or void anywhere, the actual deal may be lost for eternity. Unless
you can help restore this piece of history.
Construct a South hand with which 6 NT can be made against any defense.
Many solutions exist. Because Abbot loved high cards (and the dummy Costello couldnt tell an ace from a deuce) tiebreaking goal is to make the South hand as strong as possible, first by HCP, and secondarily by the sum of all card ranks.
If desired, you may submit your solution using the form below. This may be done only once, and doing so will add your name to the list of successful solvers, ranked according to the tiebreakers. You will also receive an automatic reply with a copy of your solution and what Richard believes is the optimal solution.
Apologies to David Bird, and acknowledgments toLou Costello (1906-59) and Bud Abbott (1897-1974)© 2018 Richard Pavlicek