"I've pleaded with Minnie to get new glasses," Cy the Cynic told me. "She said she doesn't need any. She said she drinks straight from the carton."

"I hope she had a twinkle in her eye when she said that," I laughed.

Minnie Bottoms, my club's senior member, wears an ancient pair of bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents' dismay. Cy has been Minnie's chief victim.

"She got me again in a team match yesterday," Cy fumed. "The contract at both tables was four hearts. At one table, West led the jack of diamonds, and East took the ace and returned a diamond to the king. West got out with a club.

"South won with the ace, cashed the ace of trumps, and took the queen and king of clubs. He then exited with a trump, and when West won, he was end-played. He had to lead from the king of spades or concede a ruff-sluff, so South made his contract."

"Declarer played it well," I observed. "He gave himself an extra chance."

"I was declarer at the other table," Cy growled, "and Minnie was West. Her opening lead was the KING of diamonds. She thought she was leading the jack, of course. When the king won, she led a second diamond to East, and he shifted to a spade. I was helpless. I had to lose a spade and a trump."

Minnie found the killing lead. Unless the defenders take their two diamond tricks, South can discard a diamond from dummy on his fourth club. But if West wins the second diamond, she can't shift to a spade, and South can pull off his end play.