"I can't believe it," Cy the Cynic told me in the club lounge. "This is the woman who allegedly can't tell one honor from another, and she handled the play like an expert."
Minnie Bottoms, our senior member, wears old bifocals that make her mix up kings and jacks, often to her opponents' dismay.
"Minnie was declarer at four spades," Cy said. "I was West. My partner and I jammed the auction, but Minnie wasn't intimidated. I led the king and ace of hearts, and she ruffed, peered through the mists, and laid down the ace of trumps. When East and I followed low, Minnie went into - pardon the expression - the grandmother of all huddles. Finally, she led . . . the jack of clubs!
"I took my queen - and Minnie then led the ace!"
"She thought her jack was the king," I laughed.
"We straightened her out," the Cynic sighed, "but I had no winning return. I tried another heart, and Minnie ruffed, led to dummy's 10 of clubs, returned a trump - and played her jack! She took the king of trumps and took her minor-suit winners, losing a heart, a club and a trump."
Glasses or not, Minnie played well. If she continues with the king and jack of trumps after taking the ace, another heart lead by East will force her to lose trump control. If Minnie then draws all the trumps, Cy will take a heart trick when he gets in with the queen of clubs.
If Cy had refused to take his queen of clubs, Minnie could have forced out East's queen of trumps, ruffed the heart return, and drawn trumps, winning five trumps, three clubs and two diamonds.