One of my favorite television comedies was “Third Rock From the Sun.” It featured four aliens who had taken on human form and called themselves the Solomons. The commander was played by John Lithgow. They came to study homo sapiens. The humor is laced with jokes derived from their ignorance of us. For example, Lithgow wants to know what religion they are. He asks their landlady. She replies, “Well, your name is Solomon, so you must be Jewish.”

“Oh, we’re Jewish!” they all say in unison with the perfect accent.

How would aliens feel about bridge? Maybe they would find the game easy. But if they were only logical thinkers, the psychological side of the game might baffle them.

Would an alien find the “best” play in this deal? When West leads the spade king against three no-trump, the alien might duck at trick one, hoping to pull off the Bath Coup. But it shouldn’t be difficult for West to switch to the jack heart, defeating the contract.

So, the alien will probably win the first trick and lead the diamond queen, going up with dummy’s ace when West doesn’t cover with the king. However, East wins the second diamond and returns his remaining spade: down one.

A human will play the spade jack at trick one. If West believes this card, he will continue with another spade. South wins with the ace and takes the diamond finesse, making the contract. (If East has a spade left, the suit is presumably splitting 4-3.)

The spade jack has an excellent chance to win the intergalactic bridge challenge.