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High Cards Amiss

An eerie ambiance pervades the Friday night meeting of Puzzlers Anonymous, being the 13th of April. Professor Freebid bores everyone as usual with his opening lecture, then he sits down to enjoy a glass of burgundy. Glancing toward the door he sees a familiar disheveled face. “Timothy, you’re late! Come here, I want to show you a board from last night.”

Timothy walks over to the Professor’s table and stares at a bridge diagram written on a drink napkin.
“What board? Where are the high cards?”

“Ah, but that’s the puzzle. When you joined this club, you didn’t expect to be cured overnight, did you?”

Click for a list of successful solvers

“Come on, Professor, a puzzle needs more information than that.”

“Yes it does and there is: Each hand has 10 high-card points.
South is declarer in four spades, and no defense can beat it.
The deal irrefutably supports my boson deflection theory.”

“I knew you’d work your bozo theories into this some way. Does anybody really care?”

“Yes, Timothy, my friend Richard pays me big bucks for this stuff. Now shut up and solve it.”

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

Place the 16 high cards in the diagram so that N-S can win at least 10 tricks in spades.

As apparent to reach 13 cards, each hand must receive exactly four high cards. Further, each hand must total 10 HCP, which can be of any composition (possibilities are AKQJ, AAJJ, AQQQ, KKQQ and KKKJ) and in any number of suits. Successful solvers will be ranked by the most tricks winnable in spades, with ties broken by the lowest freakness of the complete deal.


4 S South S 10 9
H 8 7 6
D 5
C 4 3 2
S 5
H 4 3 2
D 10 9
C 8 7 6
Table S 8 7 6
H 5
D 4 3 2
C 10 9
East will get
the remaining
four high cards
West leads S 4 3 2
H 10 9
D 8 7 6
C 5


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