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C4

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

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The Union

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Section C

COMICS B.C.

BRIDGE

CROSSWORD

Johnny Hart

Phillip Alder

Born Loser

Chip Sonsom

THE RIGHT PLAY FOR ONE LOSER

Frank and Ernest

Blondie

Bob Thaves

Dean Young & Denis Lebrun

Better Half

Sally Forth

Randy Glasbergen

Greg Howard & Craig MacIntosh

Andy Capp Garfield

The Senior Life Master was ready to start a new season of lessons, now that the snow had melted. “Bridge contains so many suit combinations that no one knows them all. Let’s start with one that inexperienced players often get wrong.” The SLM asked his students to study the first declarer-play problem on the sheets he had handed out. (They were looking at only the North and South hands in today’s diagram.) South (the SLM continued) is in four spades. West cashes two diamond tricks, then shifts to the club jack. How should South plan the play? While they were thinking, the SLM discussed the bidding. Note South’s sequence. A simple overcall, especially in spades, has an upper limit of about 17 high-card points. With 18 to 20 points, South makes a takeout double, then bids his suit on the second round. North, who might have jumped to two hearts, immediately raises to game. South can afford one trump loser but not two. And, interestingly, the right play is the same even when the opponents have not bid. South has 18 points and the dummy eight. That leaves 14 for the opponents. West surely has the spade king. The best play is to cash the spade ace first. Here, the king drops and South can gain an overtrick. But if the ace collects only the two and five, South should cross to dummy with a club and lead toward his spade queen, basing his play on East’s. If East plays the jack, cover with the queen. If he wins with the king, play low. And if he shows out, groan because you could not have made the contract. COPYRIGHT: 2012, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL UCLICK FOR UFS 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500

Reg Smythe

Jim Davis

Family Circus Dilbert

Bil Keane

Scott Adams

Rose is Rose

Pat Brady

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE Across 1 Fashion show disaster 4 Dated 7 Make a major decision? 9 Head honcho in baseball

Pearls Before Swine

Stephan Pastis

Lynn Johnston

41 Entices

25 Middle of this century

43 Economical

28 Spanish queen and namesakes

30 Father-and-son Connecticut 11 Element in many congressmen semiconductors Thomas and 13 Like galley Chris slaves, typically 31 Big ring 15 Late 1980s Cadillac

32 Buckle attachment

16 Literally, “the Stairway”

34 9-5 connector 35 Choice word?

44 It might be tipped at a rodeo

2 “That’s my intention”

reproduces 4 Ship’s boarding

39 Long Island university

20 Exceeds, as demand

Markova 40 Like the relatives notified in 6 CeCe of gospel emergencies, 7 Lavish events usually

H E L O T

A C E L A

S T O L E

T O W E L

B T E A M

M A G I C B E A N S

J P A R A F A I R C R O S

E R A T

D E R I G L U D E L U R T R E A C M O P L S E

S C C A I N N T Y P E F P L S O Q U U R A Y D

C H A L K S U P

H A R D G

L O A A N L E A R C A R

I D O N O T T K O D O L E

M E R A O W E D T E N E A A M S S L O T P L O Y H O L E I T A S N X T R A L O O M I N O P K A N E E L E D

4

11

5

6

9 12

10

13

15

14

16

17

18 19 20

21 28

22

23

24 29

32

25 30

33

26

27

31 34

35

3 Quickly

36 With love

S W A P S

3 8

1 Fingers on a diamond

2

7

Down

19 Makes a person less tense

ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE

1

42 Grass for some baskets

17 ___ Day

21 Closet item, for short

For Better or For Worse

24 Collection of Blaise Pascal writings

ladder 5 Keys and

8 Like John Kerry in 2004 9 Opposites of mansions 10 Food topping in France

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

Puzzle by Joe Krozel

18 Doesn’t continue, as an argument 21 Maintainers of a sacred flame in ancient Rome 22 Made a commitment to play

23 Boxing Hall-ofFamer Primo

31 Eye

33 One side of a longstanding ad battle 26 Sends 35 Military 27 ___ Hewitt, 2002 encampment Wimbledon 37 Nose: Prefix winner 38 Sign for a 25 Sewers, often

29 Nascar driver Elliott

musician not to play

11 Blast 12 Has no significance 13 They let traffic through after a crash 14 German article

For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit nytimes.com/mobilexword for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Share tips: nytimes.com/wordplay. Crosswords for young solvers: nytimes.com/learning/xwords.


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