Exercise: Rung 2.
Me and Raymond against Mike and Kelly. They got into an early 4H contract that they had no business being in. I had no hearts, but that wasn't the worst of their problems. I also had 14 points and no way to bid anything. And Kelly still seems to invariably choose crossruffing over pulling trump. It worked today, but we set them one in the first hand. Should have been off three. But Raymond wasn't feeling well and seemed determined to find ways to use that as an excuse. I led the king of clubs to set up my queen, Kelly topped it with the ace, and Raymond sluffed a diamond. I figured he must also be void of hearts, but he had four of them. And when I later led the queen of clubs and Kelly sluffed a spade, Raymond ruffed it. I had to remind him... you ruff your partner's LOSERS and sluff on his WINNERS, not the other way around. But we still set them. Then we made some game contracts. Textbook stuff, really... he opened 1NT and I had ten points, 4-3-3-3 (long clubs), so I bid 3NT. We made that without a problem, possibly with overtricks. But the hand I liked best, even though Paul would probably say I misbid, was when I had S K-Q-J-10-9-5-3-2 H x-x C A-x-x. Raymond opened 1H, which wasn't a bad sign, and I could see no better bid than 4S. More than a jump, more than a double jump, it says I've got ten spade tricks IN MY HAND (which isn't true... I've got five losers, but he's got thirteen points at least and most likely some heart coverage) and it says I don't think we've got a slam from looking at my own hand, but he's welcome to try for one. I knew, however, that he'd bid the meaningless and incorrect 5H, and so he did. I was tempted to bid 6S, but that was dangerous, so I stuck with 5S. What Raymond actually had was surprisingly NOT a 5H rebid: S A-8 H K-Q-J-10-x-x D A-x-x C K-10. He'd need many more hearts than that to rebid the suit. A 5D cue-bid might have helped, but considering that I've jumped (jump-shifted, actually) straight to game in spades without the ace, and he's got two of them, plus he's very strong for an opening, I'd have tried for slam with 4NT. I respond 5D with my one ace, meaning that we're missing an ace, so 6S is the final contract. Kelly led a diamond into Raymond's ace, I pulled the trump (a 3-0 split, boo hoo), and accepted my heart loser to make six, sluffing my clubs on the winning hearts (including that pesky ace... I love sluffing aces. It's so much fun!). 5H was a gimpy bid. But oh well. Slams are fun, but we made two games. They made one... a 4D contract where Kelly's crossruff strategy worked, but had the hearts not split 2-2 we could have set her, and then she raised Mike's 1NT to 3NT, forgetting about the partscore... still, not a bad bid and they made 5. Then she laid down her hand, with the hearts in two groups. She had five of them, perfect for a 2C Stayman bid. Wouldn't have changed the final contract, though. Sometimes it's just not fun to play by the numbers when you know what your hands are capable of.
Fixed my fixes at work... there were a few small changes I'd neglected to make earlier. It comes from my incremental testing approach... at every step of the way, I think of more tests I can run, and sometimes they reveal more problems. But it's done now. If anything else is wrong with it, it'll have to become a new PCR, because my development efforts are done done. I need to write skeleton unit tests next week while the peer review takes place and probably start looking at Tim's DERG changes. That will take a long time.
I started to prepare a chicken meal tonight before I realized that what I'd thawed last night was beef, not chicken. Fortunately, cutting the meat is one of the first things I need to do, so I packed the chicken meal back in the box, closed it, and will have it after the beef is done. But I thought that might amuse someone.
It's late. Why am I talking to you people? Oh, right... The Dig. I came up with a final sentence for that story chapter I posted last night... I've read over the rest of it enough times that I don't think it will change, but as always, I'll give it one more read-over before I start soliciting prereaders for it. Of course, most of them have already read the first scene, and there's only been one change to that since. Well, since the last set of changes. And Animenation FINALLY sent me the cancellation notice for AYA Enishi 2. Well, that's fine. Whether I order a regular one depends on what Geneon does with the limited edition of the third one, as I've already said. I so hate them.
Yes, that last paragraph was purposefully random and rambly. Why do you ask? I'm stinky... I need a shower. But NOT AS STINKY AS GENEON! (Yes, that will probably become a running gag, and without a doubt it will show up in QEFEFZ somewhere. Why do you ask?)