Main   Puzzle 8N99 by Richard Pavlicek  

The Mighty Deuce

This puzzle was inspired by an article by Jim Munday, published on Bridge Winners. I only mention this because Mr. Munday is dedicated to Sue, and he might sue me as well — not that I worry about losing the case, but PavCo attorneys have their hands full. Current litigation even disputes my rights to “Munday, Munday… so good to me!” but I swear it’s original. Bah-da…bah-da-da-da. Can’t trust that day!
In fact, to trust anyone resembling a warrants a brain scan.
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah… but on a Munday? Better do a cat scan.

Click for a list of successful solvers

Suppose North-South reach 4 S on the following layout. Children may be reading this, so I’ll spare you the bidding. Suffice it to say it was hardly mundane but certainly mundayne.

4 S South S 10 7 6 5
H 9 6 4
D A J 8 4
C Q 10
H A K Q J 10
D K 7 6
C J 7 6
Table S 2
H 3 2
D 10 9 3 2
C K 9 8 4 3 2
West leads
S A K 9 8 4 3
H 8 7 5
D Q 5
C A 5

West begins by cashing two top hearts as East high-lows to show a doubleton. On the third heart, East has a choice of deuce discards in three suits, but only the C 2 allows the contract to be set. Yes, any club but the king would do, but we’re talking deuces here. If you need a refresher, think Munday from Mississippi. Now that you have a better understanding of deuces, East parts with the correct one, and West exits safely with a trump. Declarer has no successful path to a 10th trick.

Discarding the D 2 would allow declarer an easy make by establishing dummy’s fourth diamond.

Discarding the S 2, better known as ruffing, may seem innocuous; but East just spent his one safe exit. His only hope would be to lead the D 10 or 9; queen, king, ace; but declarer now can establish a diamond trick by running the D 8 on the third round.

What about other North-South layouts? Is a club discard by East always adequate? Obviously, it could never be necessary for East to pitch a diamond, as a club would have to be equivalent. But what about the S 2?

Now it’s your turn to be a Munday morning quarterback:

Construct a South hand where East must ruff the third heart to defeat 4 S.

Multiple solutions exist. Tiebreaking goal is for the South hand to be as weak as possible. Weakness is judged by the sum of all card ranks: Ace = 14, king = 13, queen = 12, jack = 11, etc.

4 S South North will
get what

H A K Q J 10
D K 7 6
C J 7 6
Table S 2
H 3 2
D 10 9 3 2
C K 9 8 4 3 2
Available cards:
West leads
S A K 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3
H 9 8 7 6 5 4
D A Q J 8 5 4
C A Q 10 5

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Acknowledgments to “Papa” John Phillips (1935-2001)
and a gold Zero Tolerance medal to Sue Munday
© 2018 Richard Pavlicek