Some interesting usenet postings.

Over the years, I have told my usenet software to "keep" various postings which I enjoyed for some reason.

It now seems to me more sensible to cancel the "keep"s, and instead post these messages here, in the vague expectation that someone else may enjoy them too. Here they are:

newsgroup: uk.rec.waterways
title: Inflatable swimsuit: Who know it?

sorry but disturb. I wanted inflatable swimsuit. This is normal woman
swimsuit one or more inflatable air chambers. My girl fiend use for
swimteaching, but she's inflatable swimsuit too old, but not know source
buy new. Whi if know, please send me e mail this fact: manufacturing
company, E mail address, and other finding parameter.

But inftalable? This is flotation force is regurable, this model's is
ideal for moving in the water. And if can swim, air chamber is released,
is not disturb in the vater.

Thanks for help. Your reply please send me CC, but my ISP not use news
server, I use soma time punlic news services.

Janos Kis

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====-----------------------     Search, Read, Post to Usenet

newsgroup: uk.rec.waterways
from: (Andrew Cormack - COMPG)
title: Re: Harecastle Tunnel - answers

Martin ( wrote:
: > other conceivable things.  Does anyone know if these units function
: > reliably in terms of speed measurement at such relatively slow speeds?

: No they are totally useless, I have a Garmin 12xl it measures anything
: between 4 and 6 knots, when I am travelling at 5.

As far as I remember the problem is the deliberate degradation of the
signal by the US Military. They put a "wobble" into the position signal on
the commercial channel to prevent people using non-military GPS sets to
position missile launchers and such like. To investigate this, we put
a GPS aerial on the roof of our building about four years ago, and were
typically getting speed readings of up to 4 knots. We checked the foundations
and all seemed secure....

Things may improve if there is another conflict in the Gulf! Last time around,
the one company allowed to produce milspec GPS receivers couldn't make
enough for all the soldiers, tanks etc. which needed one, so the "wobble"
was switched off for about 6 months and the army went out to buy commercial
receivers.  At least one new ocean current was discovered during this
period as research ships suddenly had at least a 10x better idea of where
they were!


newsgroup: alt.comp.virus
from: (Dr Alan Solomon)
title: Re: can a virus piggy back on jpeg's , gif,s ect ????????

In article <50a0pr$>, PhreeX ( writes:
>Just moments before going on a drunken rampage, killing thousands of people,
>with a large number of nucular weapons says...
>>just a dumb question from a computer challenged person
>>can viruses be piggybacked or included with binary files   ??
>Yes, however _NOT_ on any kind of image file. If your talking about that
>"teenybop.jpg" .... it was _NOT_ a .jpg, it was a .bat file. Only program
>files (such as .com or .exe) can actually contain "real viruses", however
>there are tons of ways to use a delete command to destory files, this is the
>case with the above .bat file.
>HOWEVER. There is work being done with .gif file's ..... it is possiable to
>have the file "jump" to another line (of code) upon being loaded, however at
>this time there is still lots of work to be done. But hey, it was not long
>ago no one would have believed you could infect a .doc file.

Also, there is work being done with the modem carrier frequencies. It seems
that if you hit the right frequencies, you can put the Soundblaster into
"input" mode, and create a file, which would then run, but there's lots of
research that still needs to be done. Of course, if you haven't got a
Soundblaster (and I understand that not all Soundblasters have an input
mode), this won't work. Anyway, you can easily protect yourself by
switching off your speakers when accessing the internet.

And a team in Roumania is working on a virus that works via the
graphics scanner, so if you scan in a picture with certain contents, the
file jumps to another line of code when its loaded, but this work is at a
preliminary stage. The problem is getting the resolution high enough, but
apparently if you use inverse dithering, that solves it.

Oh, and while we're listing recent work, you ought to be aware of the work
being done to reprogram the frequencies of portable phones (GSF phones
only, so you guys in the US won't be bothered by it, you don't have GSF,
do you?), so that the RF they generate is at the same frequency as the CPU
(cpus run at only a few fixed frequewncies). The RF is received by the cpu,
and you can inject a program directly into it. This process is called

Don't forget, no one believed Richard Milhous Nixon.

Alan Solomon, Chairman, AuthenTec Data Recovery and Computer Forensics
In 1984, I founded S&S; in 1996 sold S&S, who sell Dr Solomon's Antivirus
S&S:  email:

newsgroups: sci.math,,geometry.puzzles,alt.non.sequitur
from: (Bobby Tendinitis)
title: Re: Logic Problem

Jonathan Fisher was reported to have said:

> Hi,
>   I recieved this problem in class today and I was wondering if anyone
> could help me with it:
>      You have 12 marbles. They all weigh the same except for one. you
> have a balance and in three weighings you must figure out which one
> weighs different then the rest and wether it is lighter or heavier.
>      If anyone knows the answer to this it would be greatly
> appreciated.

Take the first marble and duct tape it to a park ranger (male or female,
that's not really relevant to the problem).  Take an additional three
marbles and mail them to your state Senator.  He will inspect the
marbles to make sure that there is no pollen inside them (pollen
may cause your parakeet's sternum to ache).  Swallow the
remaining marbles.  Now divide the reaction of the park ranger
("Butterscotch?") by the weight of the unpollenated marbles (in
this case, 16 kHz).  This will give you a total of TOKYOČ.  Now
divide TOKYOČ by the number of times your niece draws
cartoon characters on a pair of pruning shears, and you should
get the following equation.

       -------------------------------  =  Santa Claus

Hope this helps.

-Bobby T.

from: (Bill Taylor)
title: NON-CONSTRUCTIVE chess!? was: Godel is NOT applicable on chess

All this random talk about Godel, chess, etc, (how come no-one's mentioned
Penrose and his silly Lucasian argument yet?), reminds me of this little cutie.


r . . . k . . .
B . . . . . P .        White to move has a mate in two, this can be proved;
. P . P . P . .
. . . P p K . .        but white's first move cannot be determined!
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . B .
. . . . . . . .

Have fun.
           Bill Taylor      
           The intuitionist confuses knowledge with truth;
           The constructivist confuses ignorance with impossibility.

from: Robert Jasiek
title: Re: Is Go Theory Still in its Infancy?!

          2x5 go,    Area scoring,  black to move...          X . O O X
 An interesting position.  2-pass-rule: black wins by 4       . X . . .
                           3-pass-rule: black wins by 10

                          2x5 go,  white to move...          X . X O .
   white can easily win - but must beware the 8-cycle!       X . X . .

Again, most beautiful and non-intuitive situations!

robert jasiek

from: "Kalrithian"
title: Re: What do you develop on?

-ZZ <> wrote in message
>On 27 Mar 1998 16:31:00 GMT, (Travis S. Casey)
>>I develop on an extremely high-end neural net, augmented by external
>>storage which is, for all practical purposes, infinite.
>I use much the same kind of system, but although I'm told the storage
>capacity is indeed, for all practical purposes, infinite, the data
>retrieval really sucks on my system.
Plus, you've got to shutdown and reboot at least once a day, or it doesn't
function very well at all ... I wouldn't mind rebooting, except it takes six
to ten hours !!!


newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: (Ben Holness)
title: Word Progression through a sentence

Saw this in rec.humor - Can anyone think of other sentences that have
similar properties? (Not using 'only' as the word that progresses of

Originally posted by (mervyn) in rec.humor

The word "only" progresses one word in each sentence ...

Only I lent my cousin my AM radio. (No one else lent it.)
I only lent my cousin my AM radio. (I didn't GIVE it to her.)
I lent only my cousin my AM radio. (I didn't lend it to anyone else.)
I lent my only cousin my AM radio. (I have no other cousins.)
I lent my cousin only my AM radio. (I didn't lend anyone else's
I lent my cousin my only AM radio. (I have no other AM radio.)
I lent my cousin my AM-only radio. (It doesn't have FM.)
I lent my cousin my AM radio only. (I didn't lend anything else.)

Ben Holness

newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: Ori Berger
title: Re: ROT13-dromes?

Don Monson wrote:
> I wonder if anyone has invented the ROT13-drome yet?
> I.e., a word or preferably a phrase that reads the same in original
> form as well as in ROT-13.
> Imagine the text written in a circle.  Only the starting point will be
> different.

Much better than that - In the Obfuscated C code contest of 1989, the
following program, submitted by Brian Westley,

,ABBA(niam&&)))2-]--tang-[kri     -
(&&tang!(||)))0(rahcteg=raeN(  &&1==tang((&&1-^)gnat=raeN(;;;)tang,gnat
(&&)1-^gnat(&&)1& ABBA(!;)raeN,tang,gnat,ABBA(avnz&&0>ABBA{)raeN
(/*//**\**/tang^tang/**//*/,/*     */,~/*//*-*/tang,gnat,ABBA-
0/**//*/(niam&&ABBA||))))tang(       rahcteg&&1-1=<enrA(||))tang(
enupgrt&&1==enrA((&&)2&gnat(&&       )1-^tang(&&ABBA!(;)85- =tang
(&&)'a\'=gnat(&&)1-==gnat(&&)4        ==ABBA(&&tang!;))))0(enupgrt=
 gnat(&&)tang!((||)))0(rahcteg        =gnat(&&tang((&&ABBA;;)1-'A'=!
'Z'=tang(&&ABBA{)enrA/***/);gnat        ^-1&&znva(tang+1,gnat,1+gnat);
 main(ABBA&2/*//*\\**/,tang,gnat        ,ABBA/**//*/(avnz/**/);}/*//**/

Will compile (and do something useful!) when run as is, rot13'd,
reversed, or both rot13'd and reversed.

The makefile line, if you want to try is:

westley: westley.c
        ${CC} ${CFLAGS} -Dtrgpune=putchar $? -o $@

For this (and other fun programs), have a look at


newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: (Wei-Hwa Huang)
title: Re: Detroit Puzzle

"Steven"  writes:
>This one may be very easy for you Yanks, but as an Aussie I found it very

>If a man was standing beside the Detroit River in Detroit and walked due
>South, which foreign country would he first come to?

Lots of interesting puzzles in this vein.

If you went to the southernmost point of Chile and went west, which
country would you hit first?

If you started at the southern tip of Portugal and went west, which
country would you hit first?

If you were in Los Angeles and went north, which state would you hit first?

If you were in Tennessee and went south, which adjacent state(s) would
you be able to get to?

Wei-Hwa Huang,,
Smoking cigarettes are bad for you, so smoking cigarettes is bad for you.

newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: Matthew Daly
title: Re: Frequently misused words

T. Shannon Gilvary wrote:
> I've always wondered why no one is ever gruntled.  You hear about people being
> disgruntled all the time....
> And why is no one ever whelmed?  You can be overwhelmed, I've even heard of
> being underwhelmed (facetiously).  If you got what you were expecting, you
> should be whelmed.. ;-)

From the classic essay "How I Met My Wife" from the 7/25/94 New Yorker

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very
chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her
standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a
state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and
she moved in a gainly way.

I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones
about it since I was travelling cognito. Beknownst to me, the hostess, whom I
could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin
off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving
loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be peccable. Only toward and
heard-of behavior would do.

Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause
was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as
flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung
hero were slim. I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could
easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion.

So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some apparent
reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make
heads or tails of.

I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it
nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen.
Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated--as
if this were something I was great shakes at--and forgot that I had
succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times. So, after a
terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly
crowd with strong givings.

Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to
prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only called-for
remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the
notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself.

She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savory
character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. "What a perfect
nomer," I said, advertently. The conversation become more and more choate, and we
spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a
godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was
committal. We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have
given her my love, and she has requited it.

from: Duane Cahill
title: Palindromes

There was obviously more to the building of the Panama Canal than a man and a plan.

A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale,
macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again (or a camel), a
crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal--Panama!

It turns out that all 61 members of the senior class at Palindrome High decided to
head out to the beach on senior skip day.  They were all suspended.  The principal's

Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed,
Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray,
Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Bette, Dan, Reba,
Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned, Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora,
Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned.

newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: (Bill Taylor)
title: HOPPING FROGS. New game.

Hello folks!

Just recently we bought this quaint little game at a 2nd-hand
shop for an absolute pittance, and have had a real ball with
it. My 14-year-old son is embarrassing me by winning slightly
more often!  It is a game of pure skill & complete information.

It's presented in a rather old-fashioned (50's?  30's?) way,
slightly art deco in a crudely childish illustrator's manner.
Rather nice, if you like that sort of thing.  But the game
itself is a little gem, and well worth the trouble of
drawing/cutting up your own set.  We are still a long way
from conquering it - there are many hidden subtleties, for
such a simple-looking game.  I wonder if the inventors who
dashed it off knew what they had!

Here it is.

Equipment (all in cardboard cut-outs):

2 large lily-leaves; (one for each player's "home").
6 small lily-leaves, in a line between the homes.
8 frogs, 4 of each color for the two players, each player's
  set being labelled with 1,2,3,4 on their backs, one of each.

At any time, each frog can be in one of 4 places:-

"home" (where they start);
on a small lily leaf, (at most one frog on any one at any time);
in the water, (anywhere alongside the small leaves);
"gone", (back into the box).

OBJECT: to be first to get all your frogs back into the box.

The frogs move along the small leaves, from one's own home
toward the other (never backwards). If the leaves are empty,
the "1" frogs can only move one step along, the "2" frogs
can (& must) move two steps, and so on.    Any leaf that
is occupied is ignored in this count. So usually the frogs
will move further than their numbers.

Frogs can also knock one another into the water. If a frog's
number would have brought it to a small leaf that (had it been
empty) it would have stopped on, but that leaf is occupied
by an enemy frog, the moving frog MAY land there and bump the
enemy into the water.  NOTE:- this allows the moving frog a
choice, either to bump the enemy, or to treat it as a mere
occupied leaf and pass beyond it.

VITAL POINT:  If there is a line of enemy frogs whose leader
is at the moving frog's landing point, he may only bump the
FIRST one, not those behind; or alternatively pass over them all.

No frog may ever bump a friendly frog.

A frog in the water may be brought back to one's own "home",
but this uses up a whole turn.  A turn (which is compulsory),
is thus either moving a single frog (with or without bumping),
or returning a watery frog to home.

If the frog's move would take it to the enemy home or beyond,
it is thereby sent "gone" back to the box.   Note there is no
need to be the exact distance away; nor may one bump frogs
off the enemy home.

Well that's it!  It takes a lot of writing down, but is very
simple in actuality.

Please give it a try, and let us know what you find out;
either by email or (preferably) by posting here.   I won't
spoil your fun by giving advance hints on wise play, such as
we have already discovered, but there's more to it than meets
the eye.  There is an advantage to being 1st-mover, but it is
fairly small. (DAMN! - that was a hint...  bugger it; no more!)

Here is a typical situation, with all legal moves shown.
The arrowheads show the frogs' direction (i.e. color).

             <4    2>    4>          <2         <1<3
      HOME  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  HOME
     west    a     b     c     d     e     f     east

               In water: 1>       Gone: 3>

If it is West's move, he may play...

1 back to home, or
2 to e, bumping <2 into the water, or
2 to f, or
4 to gone.

If it is East's move, he may play...

1 to f, or
2 to c, bumping 4> into the water, or
2 to gone, or
3 to c, bumping 4> into the water, or
3 to gone, or
4 to gone.


         Bill Taylor 
Those who fail to learn History 1 are condemned to repeat it next year.

newsgroup: rec.puzzles
from: (Noam Elkies)
title: Re: underpromotion (tangent Re: How many points...)

In article , mumford  wrote:
>In article <66k68v$mjl$>, [I wrote:]

>>True enough, as far as pure logic goes.  However, it is easy to
>>prove that if a Rook promotion wins then promotion of the same pawn
>>to Queen at least draws.

>That's an interesting statement.  I've already posted a position for
>which this is true.

For which what is true?

>Now the ObPuzzle is to find a position where it would not be true...
>that is find a position where promotion to Rook is the only winning
>move, a promotion to anything else being a losing move (not a drawing

No -- the "easy to prove" statement quoted above shows that your
new ObPuzzle has no solution.

Several correct solutions to my initial puzzle (Rook promotion as
unique non-losing move) have been posted already; the key is that
the Rook's lesser powers make possible a stalemate defense.  One
of the solutions came with the challenge to do the same with Bishop
or Knight.  Now Knight is easy because the Knight can do things that
the Queen cannot; e.g.: White Kf6, pawn g7; Black Kh6, Qh5, pawn h7 --
White to move wins with 1.g8=N mate and loses on anything else
(1.g8Q? Qg6+ 2.Q:g6+ h:g6 etc.).  A drawing Bishop underpromotion
must again be to force stalemate.  One example, due to Traxler and
Dedrle, is: White Kg8, Nf8, pawn g7; Black Ka2, Qf7, Re8: White
draws with 1.g8=B!! R:f8 (else White draws by taking the pinned
Queen), stalemate!

In 1971 Rusinek found a remarkable position where all three
underpromotions must be deployed seriatim to force a draw:

   - - K - - - - -
   - - P n k - P -
   P P - - - - - -
   - - - - - - - -
   - - b - - - - -
   - - n - - - - -
   - - - - - - - -
   - - - - - - - -

The difficulty is not the material disadvantage, for which the
advanced pawns offer more than enough compensation, but Black's
mating threats; for instance 1.Kb7? Bd5+ 2.Ka7 Nb5#.  The solution:
1.a7 Ba6+ 2.b7 Ne4 (for Nd6#) 3.g8N+! Ke8 4.Nf6+ Nexf6 (Now Black's
idea is 5.a8Q Nd5(g8)! and Ne7 mate!) 5.a8B!! (Now Nd5(g8) stalemates,
and if Black releases the stalemate then White's remaining pawns come
to life.  But Black has another resource): 5...Ne5 6.Kb8 Nc6+ 7.Kc8
(again stalemate?) 7...Bf1! (for 8.b8Q Ba6+ 9.Qb7 Ne4! 10.Qxa6 Nd6
mate!) 8.b8R!! and Black has nothing better than Ba6+ 9.Rb7! Ne4,

--Noam D. Elkies (
  Dept. of Mathematics, Harvard University

newsgroups: rec.puzzles,sci.math
from: (Noam Elkies)
title: 163 magic (Re: A series problem involving the number 41)

In article <>,
Bill Daly   wrote:

>Actually, it is known why Euler's polynomial x^2 - x + 41 produces so
>many primes. Its discriminant is -163, which is the largest negative
>integer for which the associated quadratic number ring has unique
>factorization. Another curious fact, related to the same property, is
>that exp(pi*sqrt(163)) is very nearly an integer; you need to calculate
>at least 31 significant figures to see that it isn't, so on an ordinary
>pocket calculator it will look like an integer.

Actually that number is so big (262537412640768743.99999999999925007+)
that an "ordinary pocket calculator" (does anybody still have and
use one of those?) will just show 2.625374126e+17, which looks no
more or less like an integer than a random number of that size.  But
exp(pi*sqrt(163)/3) = 640320.00000000060486+  will look suspicious
on a calculator, especially one with an extra three hidden digits
of accuracy as some calculators used to.

ObPuzzle: which of  cbrt(186919)  and  cbrt(31226) + cbrt(16948)
is larger (cbrt being the cube-root function)?

--Noam D. Elkies (elkies@math.harvard:edu)
  Dept. of Mathematics, Harvard University

from: (Thomas Andrews)
title: Bad Suit Contracts: Grand Slam

Well, this will be probably the last in this series,
as anybody who has followed these has probably seen
most of the interesting types of positions.

This deal is very easy to understand:

             S: KJ5
             D: AKJ983
             C: AKJT

S: T76                     S: 8432
H: Q854                    H: KT9
D: 62                      D: Q75
C: 9842                    C: 765

             S: AQ9
             H: AJ7632
             D: T4
             C: Q3

When declared in notrump, a heart lead holds north/south to ten tricks.
The defense must get in with a diamond at some point to take two hearts.

In a diamond grand slam, the defense gets a trump trick.

But in seven clubs, declarer can ruff a third round of diamonds
with the queen of clubs and always has a safe entry back to the
north hand to draw trumps afterwards.

Thomas Andrews
    "Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always
    optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest
    idea what the heck is really going on." - Mike Royko

from: Souljah
title: Dual message carding [VERY LONG]

Hello all, Stuart Hood wrote:

> Ages ago, someone posted a very funny (fictitious) tale
> of a club that allowed all sorts encrypted bidding and
> signaling which highlighted the problem of allowing them.
> Can someone repost it?
> Stuart.
> -
> --
> Stuart Hood === IISC, Ceybank House, 22 City Rd, London, UK
> Phone: + 44-0171 628 6960         Email:
> Fax  : + 44-0171 638 7528         WWW:
> - Never let ignorance stand in the way of a good argument -

The original article appeared in the English "Bridge Magazine" of July
1981, written by Peter Winkler, following is a translation back to
English of the Dutch version of the article as it appeared in the Dutch
"Weko Wijzer" (which is the quarterly magazine for TD's etc.)  of June

A night at the Crypto-club

One night, after a hard day of work walking to the underground station
to go home, my eyes met a girl with a piece of paper in her hand that
resembled a convention card. When I spoke to her she explained she had a
quarrel with her bridgepartner. I offered to play with her that night,
and although she advised me not to, she eventually accepted. I was
surprised, because I didn't know of any bridge club in this part of
town, but she guided me to a building with oak doors and a shabby
Jugendstil lounge, where we took an elevator (of the first generation of
self-service elevators) to the sixth floor. She comforted me, we were
not going to visit an ordinary bridge club, but the Crypto Club.
That was all explanation I got; we entered a large room where about 50
people were playing bridge already. A big man with grey-white hair
greeted my partner: "Ah, there you are" and showed us to a table. "I
must warn you," my partner said as I placed her chair, " they might play
conventions you are not really used to." "Don't worry, I 've seen them
all" I replied humbly. "What do we play? Just straight up-and-down?"

Playing against an older married couple I picked up these cards as

   K 8 7 4
   J 7 5 3
   Q 9 5 2.

East, the male half, was dealer and opened 1S. I passed, and the answer
of 3NT was alerted and explained as "Forcing raise in spades, with two
out of the three top honors"
Easts 4D was alerted (standard US practice at least in those days) as an
asking bid.
"What does it ask for?" I asked. "Controls" left replied lazy and bid
4S, also alerted and passed out. I fumbled my 3 of diamonds and said: "I
suppose 4S denies a diamond control ?" And to my right the answer came:
"No, it denies a control in the suit the control was asked for."
"But diamonds was the suit asked for? " I continued. "No, it is diamonds
when I have the Ace of spades, hearts when I have the King and Clubs
when I have the Queen"
I took some time to work this out. It was clear to me, that the spades
holding at my left provided her with the information in which suit the
control asking had been. It also seemed that by bidding 4C or 4H East
could have ask the same for the other suits. But what was this all about
? I raised my shoulders and looked at my hand again. "Wait a minute" I
yelled, "how am I supposed to know which suit to lead ?" My RHO pointed
his right index finger in the air and raised simulaneously his left
eyebrow. "Aha !" he said. I finally decided for a kind of Solomon's
judgement and put my small trump at the table. This was the whole board:

Board 2: O/NS
                     J 9 3
                     10 9 8 2
                     A K 8 4 3

     A K 6 4                        Q 10 8 7 2
     10 6 5                         A Q J 3 2
     K Q 6 4                        A
     7 6                            J 10

                     K 8 7 4
                     J 7 5 3
                     Q 9 5 2

My partner seemed to think that -480 was quite a normal score on this
board, but I was irritated that my opponents had been able to bid this
board intelligently without expose their club weakness.

Fortunately the opponents did not enter the auction on the next board. I
was dealer and opened 1NT, raised to 3NT by my partner
Board 3: S/EW
                     9 7 2
                     K 9 4
                     A J 10 9 6 2

     10 8 6 3                       K Q 5
     K 8 4                          Q 7 6 5 3 2
     10 8 5 2                       J 3
     Q 4                            K 7

                    A J 4
                    A J 9
                    A Q 7 6
                    8 5 3

West started with the 3 of spades and East inserted the Queen. This
seemed like the right moment to impress my partner with my
pairs-playingtechnique. I'll tke the lead and play a club to the Ace to
take the chance of keeping East of the lead. But I realised I had to
look at their convention card to see if they played fourth-best. One
glance at ir and I saw an ominous green-spot: fourth-best against 3NT on
hands with less than 7 points, otherwise third/fifth.
Help, if the lead had been of a five card or longer (rather probable
because she would have picked a heart holding 4-4 or 4-5 in the majors),
it would be better to duck the lead, and finesse twice in clubs - the
latter being after all the best technically.
I played the 4 of spades and East returned a heart for 9 and King. West
returned a heart into my fork and after losing a club trick I made one
overtrick. This was not a score. I complimented East with his heart
switch, "Why didn't you continue with the King of spades ? Couldn't your
partner hold Jack fifth ?" "No, I can conclude from the auction she
holds than 7 points, so her lead must be fourth-best. We concluded that
we are able to read each other leads for about 75% using this system,
while the leader almost always hasn't got a clue." My partner didn't
seem to have any troubles with this explanation, but I couldn't hold
myself together. "Are these kind of conventions allowed ?" I asked her
after finishing the table. "It is not allowed to provide each other with
information the opponents can't understand, is it?" "Why not, they do
*not* have secret understandings and you can't force anyone to tell what
he can conclude of his own hand." "I suppose you are right, but it
doesn't make me feel good." "Just wait, there's plenty more to come"
she said. This club was founded by a group of experts in decrypting
secret codes - amateurs and professionals - and there's a tradition in
giving information encrypted here. Do you see the Director there ? He
is Greenspan, people say he was involved in decrypting the Purple Code.
The woman we just played designs secret codes for industrial use, her
man is employed at a computer security firm and the small guy at table
6 takes care of cryptogrammes for newspapers.

Our next opponents were two dark faced young men, probably students also
working for the CIA. Following two passes to my RHO opened 1H and his
partner alerted. "Could be a lead-directing psyche with a suit headed by
King or Ace". Holding half of the points of the deck in my hand I

     A Q 5
     Q 10 6
     A K 4 2
     K Q 8

LHO bid 1NT, alerted and explained as "Values for a redouble, and
guaranteeing Ace of King in opened suit". "What is their obsession with
trump honors" I thought to myself, but its mechanism became soon clear
to me. My partner passed and my RHO bid 2C. LHO alerted and explained
after being asked for it: "If he holds the Ace of hearts, he has a
psyche, but if he holds the King, he has a standard opening." And so my
LHO now knows where he stands; his own heart honor shows whether or not
his partner psyched. I thought he psyched, but how could I clarify it or
my partner? 2 NT seemed too high even to me, so I doubled again. LHO bid
2H, and following two passes I as your servant was at the helm again.

A little voice in the back of head said "Just be talked out of it" but
these crypto-creeps began attacking my nerves, so I doubled again.
Believe it or not, RHO held a normal 3rd seat opening, 10 points and 5/5
H/C. I saw the execution of 2S doubled being dummy.

This just went on and on. Instead of having fun in playing the game and
playing it with this partner, I tried harder and harder to take revenge
for our bad scoring. My partner at the contrary looked very relaxed and
seemed to enjoy seeing me having a rough time. When the last board of
the evening got on our table I showed, and I am ashamed to say so, signs
of active paranoia. As dealer I held:

    10 9 4 3
    K B 10 5
    A K 4 2

and opened 1D, LHO bid 1S and partner raised to 2D, now RHO doubled,
alerted and explained as a spade raise holding Ace or King. I'd seen
that one before, a useful convention to show partner he can easily lead
his own suit.
Trying to double them at 3 level I bid a modest 3D, and now it went
pass-pass-3S. I had almost already taken the double card, when I saw
LHO's alert. "Now, what is this again?" "If he holds the Ace of spades,
it is just competitive, otherwise it is a game-trial, 3H would show the
opposite meaning."

It wouldn't have been a very smart idea to double a game-trial, but what
I did was even worse. "What is it ?" I screamed. "Like I told you it is
either ........". At the moment the Director was already behind me. My
partner shrugged her shoulders, as if she was about to say: "I am sorry,
I know he is a newbie, but I thought he could handle it."

"I am perfectly allright" I insisted, while sweat started to soak my
entire body. I can't recall to much of what happened next, but I have
some fight floating my mind, calming words, feeling my feet lost contact
with the floor, and then: darkness, concrete and rain.

Furthermore all is clear. My partner's face was very clear in memory the
next morning, but I didn't know her name. Eleven evenings in a row I
went to that building, but the sixth floor was always empty, and last
time a group of workers were rebuilding the floor into a orthodontists'
lab. I finally tracked down the owner of the building, who told me he
rented the floor just once to a man named Greenspan, but only once.
Greenspan hadn't left any address or phone number. The Atlanta telephone
book did not give any clue either.
The year following this I met some people in cryptological circles, but
without any succes. Nobody had ever heard of the Crypto Club or
Greenspan; a list of people involved in the research on the Purple Code
didn't surface. As far as known there was absolutely no connection
between cryptology and bridge. I knew what I had to do.

Today on my turntable at home (well actually in my CD-player),
The Balance Of The Force - Boymerang
Rastafari Liveth Itinually - Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Man with the Fun - Maxi Priest
Nyah Man Chant - Bushman

Lots of CD's will accompany me in my car the next few days,
focusing on Sly & Robbie

and in the tapedeck:
Reggae Vibes 1hr of April 17th, and several dub plates, thanks to
Teacher and Mr. T
Rodigan's Rockers on BFBS September 20th show

                       Visit M.I.R.A.S.'  Misty in Roots website at:

                        Visit the Reggae Vibes Web site at:

De Nevers' Law on debate:
Two monologues DO NOT make a dialogue


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