Double Dummy Corner


Problem 303

composed by Humpty Dumpty, 1986


♠ A532



♣ 92

♠ Q108



♣ J

♠ 9764



♣ 10765

♠ KJ



♣ AKQ843

West leads the 8 against South's contract of six no-trumps.

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Humpty Dumpty produced this one in 1986 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hugh Darwen's incumbency at Double Dummy Corner in Bridge Magazine.  You have to read his setting very carefully, I'm afraid, and it helps if you are a Lewis Carroll fan:

The hand cropped up in the annual Brillig Match between the Forest and the Castle.  The twins, Dub and Dum, renowned for their analytical prowess, were up against the unerring instinct of the two queens.  For the twentieth successive year, Humpty Dumpty was tournament director and as usual he made up the hands, the rules and the words.


West North East South
Red Queen Tweedle Dum White Queen Tweedle Dub
No 6♣  No 5 
No 4NT No 4♣ 
No 2♠  No 2 
No 1  No 1♣ 
No No No

"Well, that's quite the curiousest bidding sequence I've ever seen," declared Alice.

"Straigthforward Loca Dradnats," HD explained.  "Dub correctly opened by bidding an unmakable contract.  This allowed Dum to show his club tolerance without the worry of playing in a low-scoring contract.  The ace-showing five hearts demanded a four no-trump enquiry.  Four clubs was 'prepared' and two spades 'first suit forcing', leading, eventually, to Dub's well-conceived 'obverse' bid of one club, clarifying a strong hand with long, robust clubs, and necessarily ending the auction."

South had been the first to bid no-trumps, so the Red Queen was on lead, and the eight of diamonds was her natural choice, maximising the pressure on her partner.

Tweedle Dub proceeded to collect maximum points by making a frabjous change in each of the four suits in turn.

"Please, what's a frabjous change?" asked Alice.

"Precisely what it says," said HD, gruffly.  "Either declarer or dummy takes a card from a defender's hand and returns a card of the same suit.  The contract must then be makable against any defence."

"Easy-peasy!" cried Alice.  "I swap the queen of spades with Dum's two."

"Yes, that's frabjous," agreed HD, "but it doesn't get you any DD master points, you greedy child.  You must select the uffish card of the chosen suit, and then return in exchange the manxome one."

"Oh, I see," said Alice.  "Well, the lowest spade I can take, to my advantage, from Their Majesties' hands, seems to be the nine, and I must put it in dummy; and the biggest one I can afford to give back must be the five.  Then I can make the contract by playing three rounds of spades, setting up the nine.

"Bravo!" chortled HD.  "Have a master point!  Want any more?"

It was clear that frabjous opportunities existed in each of the other three suits, but it took Alice a little while to emulate Tweedle Dub's performance in correctly nominating the uffish and manxome hearts, diamonds and clubs.  The reader is invited to do the same, and to discover how Tweedle Dub played the contract in each case.

To send me your solution, click here.

Successful solvers to date:  Jean-Marc Bihl

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        Hugh Darwen, 2003

Date last modified: 03 June, 2019