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 Neptune by Marti Ronemus

So, while searching for factlets for today's essay, I ran into some intriguing (at least, to me) info about Neptune. I asked my husband if he thought Faithful Readers would be interested. He said, "Only if you introduce them to a Neptunian." Huh. Anyway, here goes.

Our only "visit" to Neptune was in 1989 when Voyager 2 zoomed by and sent back details. Neptune is the most gorgeous cobalt blue ever seen. It's 30 times further from the sun than we are, and 17 times our mass. It has six ugly lumpy rings (unlike Saturn). It has 14 moons, one of which spurts geysers.

It has a solid core, surrounded by ocean, the rest is a total mystery. The ocean, in case we had visions of a seaside vacation, is under such pressure that it is so hot the numbers are meaningless. Oh, and to further discourage vacationers, the average temp during the 16-hour days is -353 degrees.

As for meeting a Neptunian? You already deal with them every time you play bridge. It's the only explanation for some of those bids, right?

Now that we've returned from our trip around the solar system, let's see how we do on a hand against the Neptunians.

Question 1

  Your Hand
 K J 3 2
 A 6 5 2
 K J 7 5
Q: 1 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: Pass: A surprising number of experts suggest passing with this hand. The shape, by the way, is called "The Rattlesnake." Instead of entering the auction immediately, how about letting Them climb to game and then doubling? Or if They bid your short suit, making a Take Out Double, able to bid three suits with one bid. Normally we like to open whenever we can, if only to make life miserable for the opponents, but this is called The Rattlesnake because it can jump back and bite you. Beware of initial action; take YOUR bite later!

Your result so far:
Open Question

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Question 2

  Your Hand
 10 9 4
 Q 8 7 5 2
 Q J 10 5
Q: 2 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: 5: We've done nothing but pass so far in this auction, and it's time for action. Our pass after the 4 bid was very telling. It told that we weren't interested in slam and had no real suit of our own. Our fear, of course is that Pard wants Spades, and we are delighted to see his 4 bid. We have a nice fit in trumps (holding two Honorettes!) and have some nice values in Clubs. Why not show we have some values? Pard is probably fairly short in Diamonds (maybe void?) after East's bid. Let's invite slam and make it Pard's problem!

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 3

  Your Hand
 K Q J 10 8
 A Q 9 4
 10 7 6 5
Q: 3 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: 3: We are very distributional and we want our partner to know that, so we employ the "show and tell" strategy. Pard needs to know that we've got at least nine cards in two suits, and enough cash to buy the three-level. We'd like to have another diamond, but hey, nothing is perfect. How will Pard know this isn't Help Suit Game Try? Because we are the competing bidders, not Opener and Responder.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 4

  Your Hand
 9 6 4
 A 8 7
 10 8 5 5 3 2
Q: 4 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: 5: We were perfectly happy to support partner's Hearts with this miserable collection of dead leaves. (What, you don't bid with only 4 pts? Please! You've got a singleton, and nice support for Pard. Get with the program!) After hearing about the Diamonds, tho', we get serious about this auction. We expect Pard to have at least four Diamonds, probably five. In a competitive auction, for partner to have named a new suit, after we supported his original suit, he's got something special. Why not 5? Wouldn't you rather present him with an 11-card trump fit than 8?

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 5

  Your Hand
 A K 5
 A J 4
 A 8 5
 A 10 8 3
Q: 5 - As South, what is your bid?

On Fridays, we use 2 as Flannery, so an opening pre-empt of 3 can be a six-card suit, but will be solid.

 Your choice:
A: 3 No-trumps: Any other bid is indefensible. We've got Pard's A and two other entries to his hand. And without a singleton, void and/or a note from our mother, we don't play game in minors if 3 No-trumps is available.
And now let's see how those Neptunians play hands.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Play this Hand

Now that you've bid five hands, let's see how your play goes.

Overall Results

Your results:   out of    Average: 

What next? You may enjoy playing our prepared hands series.
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