Puzzle 8S59 by Richard Pavlicek
Jolly old Saint NicholasHeld Souths cards today.All he had was just a queen,Not much else to say.
Any-one with half a brainKnows to pass is proper.Saint Nick took another view,Gotta show my stopper!
Notrump is the place to be;Heart tricks I should gain.But I must admit to you,Ive been found insane!
So there rests Crazy Claus in 3 NT, redoubled and vulnerable, with only 7 combined HCP. On most occasions this would be a debacle, maybe never winning a trick (minus 5200), but a bright Star in the East shone through. After losing the first four tricks, Nick had the rest. Plus 1000!
Note that 3 NT is cold against any defense, and from either side (North or South declarer). I am confident that 7 HCP is the fewest possible HCP to achieve this feat. Now for my holiday puzzle, lets lower the contract by a notch:
What is the fewest possible HCP to make two notrump against any defense from either side?
Construct a deal to illustrate. Ties for fewest HCP will be broken by the sum of (1) North-Souths card ranks* and (2) Souths card ranks, in that order of priority. Lower is better.
*Ace = 14, King = 13, Queen = 12, Jack = 11, etc.
Use the form below if you wish to submit a solution. Entries will be accepted until Christmas Eve (December 24) at midnight GMT just in time for Jolly Insane Nick to drop down your chimney. You may submit multiple times, but only the latest one counts. The best solutions will be published here on Christmas Day, with acknowledgment to the top solvers.
© 2020 Richard Pavlicek